Brother Pack attended a national BSA meeting with President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Texas. President Monson has served on the board of the BSA since the year I was born, in 1969 (that's 42 years if you are counting). During the conversation as policies and procedures were being discussed, President Monson leaned over to Brother Pack and said, "We need to save each boy one at a time."
Interestingly, Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting also said, "Scoutmasters deal with the individual boy rather than with the mass."
He then cited some statistics related to the late age in which young men in our council receive their Eagle scout award.
- 33% of Eagle Scout boards of review happen after the young man has turned 18
- 64% of Eagle Scouts are registered to a Venturing crew.
What do these statistics tell us about how we as adults are focusing on our young men? Are these good stats or bad stats? I'll leave it up to you to decide, but brother Pack's point centers around what the new Duty to God handbook for the LDS Church counsels us to do with our young men, to "focus on what they are becoming."
He then asked, "Why is scouting in the LDS church?" It's because in the ACTIVITIES of the Aaronic Priesthood is where young men learn their duties. Scouting is the ACTIVITY arm of the Aaronic Priesthood.
He then challenged us to let the young men perform their duties and lead. He reminded us that there are four people in an LDS ward that hold priesthood keys. Two of those are young men and one is the Bishop. If those three are not receiving revelation (or are not given the opportunity to fully exercise their priesthood), then NO ONE in the quorum is receiving revelation for that quorum.
He then ended with his familiar story of why he loves 50-mile hikes from the June 2012 Ensign and how "on the second night around the campfire, you have the most teachable, ready-to-learn, ready-to-listen-to-the-Spirit young men you will ever see."
Great words of encouragement from our council executive, glad I was there.