Friday, July 5, 2013

Thomas S. Monson Award: Now, For Every Scout and Scouter!

Before you turn away, thinking this post is just for LDS scouts - it's not! Please read on about this great award, now available to all Scouts and Scouters!

In this 2010 post I wrote about my experience at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, and my experience earning the George Albert Smith award. Now that three years has passed, I can honestly say that this award is one of my most prized remembrances from the Jamboree experience. Not just because of the quality and beauty of the award, but the experience in earning it. The award was available to all Scouts and Scouters at the Jamboree, independent of religion.

Now, in preparation for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, the LDS-BSA Relationships Office has released details of the Thomas S. Monson award which will debut at the 2013 Jamboree. This award has very similar requirements to those of the George Albert Smith award, but will now be available (after the Jamboree/August 2013) to all Scouts and Scouters - even those who do not participate in the Jamboree - shortly after the Jamboree concludes. Once again, this award will be available to all Scouts and Scouters, regardless of religion, who wish to participate and earn this choice award.

So just who is Thomas S. Monson? He's a strong advocate for Scouting, a Silver Buffalo recipient, and he's the current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a Prophet of God. You can read more about him here.

This years award also celebrates the centennial of the relationship between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Boy Scouts of America. The LDS church was first organization to embrace the Boy Scouts with a national charter in 1913.  From the award requirements:
On May 21, 1913, a charter was signed and the MIA Scouts officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. A dynamic partnership, destined to affect millions of boys, had been formed. As the first nationally chartered organization, the LDS Church established a pattern for other religious and community groups to partner with the Boy Scouts of America, thus affecting additional youth and organizations throughout the following century. Today, the LDS Church is the largest chartered organization of the Boy Scouts of America, sponsoring approximately 430,000 youth and 37,000 units in 2012.
Today the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains one of the largest advocates for scouting, and is the "largest chartered organization of the Boy Scouts of America, sponsoring approximately 430,000 youth and 37,000 units in 2012."(1)

So why would you want to pursue this award?

  1. Learn more about the LDS Church's support for the scouting movement.
  2. Read motivational story about how Scouting impacts the lives of young men forever.
  3. Complete requirements in two merit badges (Genealogy and Family Life).
  4. Reinforce faith and Duty to God.
  5. Reinforce living the Scout Law
  6. Meet new Scouts and engage in discussion the value of Scouting in your life

The requirements epitomize the core values of scouting. Duty to God, Brotherhood of Scouting, Advancement, living the Scout Oath and Law.

Certainly a valuable experience for all scouts to participate in this wonderful experience and earn a beautiful award. I hope all of you will review the requirements and take the time to pursue this award.

I would be very interested in hearing your feedback and especially your thoughts and feelings as you complete the requirements and/or are successful in earning the award.

Award Details
Award Requirements
Award Order Form (available August 2013)

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