Thursday, May 15, 2008

All about scouting

As many of you know, scouting is HUGE in my family. some might even go as far to say that it rules our lives. Recently, on my baby center boards, someone posted a thread complaining about the scouting program and that super long week her husband has to take off to go on a 50 miler, instead of going on a family vacation, and how much she hates the scouting program because of the time it takes her husband away from her family.

It really bothered me that she had so much anger towards the scouting program and he husband's church calling in their ward with scouts. And lots of other people voiced similar opinions about it. I had to jump in. . .although I shouldn't have.

For those who aren't LDS, let me explain how our church works. Everything is based on church members serving in all the aspects. No one is paid. but because the church asks for tithing donations (10% of your income) church members are able to be reimbursed for things they provide for the church. Like gas from driving somewhere for an activity. Money for the food you paid for an overnighter. Awards you bought for the eagle scout banquet.

Anyway, because everything is based on members serving in callings, like scoutmaster, youth leader/teacher, etc, it's hard for me to understand how someone can blame scouting, when it's something they were asked if they'd be willing to contribute their time and service to, and then AGREED to do it.

They made the choice to serve it. Or, their husband made the choice to serve. but it's the scouting programs fault? Nope. I don't think so.

Here's what I posted to these people:

"wow, I probably shouldn't jump into this, but here I go! I come from a family of scouters. I have 4 sisters and 1 brother. My father has been involved in scouting as long as I've known. and not just on a church level. He works with big-wigs with the National BSA, Developing new programs for the Venturing Program. He's done woodbadge sessions tons of times, our family vacations were to go to a week long scout camp in NM (Philmont) while he was getting more training.

He's out of town about every other weekend currently for something scouting. Sometimes it for work, most of the time it's for scouts. Currently, it's just my mom and youngest sister (15 year old) living at home. Is it a sacrifice for them? You bet. And this isn't even a calling for him.

His calling actually comes from the Young Men's General Presidency. he's the LDS Chaplin at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico all summer long. He's had this calling since 2002, the year I graduated from High School. My family has gone there for the entire summer while he serves this calling. At the time, it was just myself, younger brother, younger sister, and mom. One of my older sisters has been working there every summer as well though.

That's their family vacation. My sister has never gone to girls camp with her ward. She doesn't get to go to any summer camps, or EFY or anything like that because of Dad's calling. He's missed baby births/blessings of grandkids, birthdays, his dog dying. i had to plan my wedding a month earlier because of it.

It's a sacrifice the church asks of you. You have a choice EVERY time a calling is extended to you, your DH's have a choice. What if your DH was called to the bishopric? He'd be gone a lot more, you'd hardly see him on sundays, he'd go to every youth activity, have meetings in the evening after work. . etc. . .but would you blame the church? I hope not.

Don't blame the scouting program. it's not the scouting program asking him to do these things, it's a church calling. and like all calling, It's blessed more lives and family's than it's hurt. and could bless your lives as well if you tried to support the leaders. others have mentioned that when it's run properly it's great. That's the problem though. People aren't willing to take the time to get the training to help make the program run properly, and so it doesn't work like it should, some people end up sacrificing more time. . etc.

Anyway, my point it. The scouting program is a good thing, of anyone, it should have screwed up my life, but I love it, and can't wait to get my daughter involved in a venturing program.

and I don't think the church is getting 'rid' of it any time soon. if ever.

ok, i'm done happy *jumps off soapbox* "

It really bothers me that people just want to pass the blame. And not just on this, on everything in life! People have a hard time stepping up and taking responsibility for their choices.

*update-5-16-08 @2:30pm*
I had to stop reading that thread because people were pulling my comments out of context as well as commenting how how awful my father must be to choose his calling over others (which is NOT what he's doing). And they also followed me to my blog. Which is why you can no longer post anonymous comments on my blog. Sorry! guess ya'll have to leave names now! :)


  1. Amen! It's a bummer that those moms can't see past their own hardships to the good their husbands are doing for the youth they serve. It's too bad they don't just decide to get the whole family involved in Scouting - then they won't miss family vacations for campouts, because the campout will *be* the family vacation. That's what Philmont was for us, and we loved it.

    Scouting provided me so many unique opportunities, in particular bonding time with my dad when we were on campouts or at Philmont, and with my mom when dad and brother were at summer camp. Mom and I would always have so much fun that week that they were gone! We'd go shopping, go out to eat every day, go to museums, etc. Things that it was harder to do when she had to cook and clean for two messy boys in addition to us girls. (Who obviously never make messes and always help with chores, haha!)

    I think Scouting is like any other volunteer activity - yes it can cause some difficulties to give up your time and money for the good of others, but it's definitely worth it in the end!

    I hope that the other moms on that board aren't too mean to you after that post! I think you're swell. =)

  2. Although he wasn't the scout master, my husband basically ran the scouting program in our last ward. We loved it! It gave troubled boys (which is what our ward was filled with) constructive things to do. They had never been backpacking before, and Vaughn taught them how to do it. They all said they hated it the first time, but they all cam again the second time and they loved it. He made a real difference in their lives and I'm glad he was able to do that. The only hard thing about the calling for me was watching Vaughn have to take on a lot of extra work because wives of the other leaders weren't supportive of scouts.

  3. Good for you!! Someone needs to give them a little perspective and who better than someone who was very involved with scouting.
    This past year I've been learning that your attitude and how you look at something can make the difference between night and day, happy and unhappy. As much as I hated it when my mom would tell me that you can choose how you feel about the things that happen to you, she's right. They just needed a litte perspective so good for you.

  4. It's so true that you have a choice about accepting callings and such. When they asked Joe to be the YM pres., I almost wanted him to say no because of the time commitment for both of us. We've been working with the YM for almost 6 months now and it's been lots of fun. He's helping the boys learn how to work and be responsible (something they haven't had to do much, sadly). Tomorrow is the Troop 215 garage sale/bake sale and afterwards a multi-stake dance (which happens to be 1 1/2 hours away). It's exciting but a lot of work and planning to get our family stuff and church stuff all done sometimes (especially right after a vacation; it was really good to see you by the way!). I'd never tell him to quit though, and I can't wait for Scout Camp so I can hang with the girls!

  5. Honestly if you feel so strongly about it perhaps you should pay her gas money and to buy her husband's shoes. While I understand your point it is OK to vent on babycenter. As it is okay for you to have your own opinion too. Maybe you have more financial resources than they do.

  6. Wow Krystal! I'm with you on the accepting of church callings and scouting!