Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joining the Exclusive Group of Order of the Arrow

We all enjoy being a part of exclusive groups.  If we graduated with 4.0 GPA or if we were on a championship sports team we tell everyone about it and we look back with pride.  One of the most exclusive groups in scouting is the Order of the Arrow.  Last year there were fewer new members of the Order of the Arrow than there were new Eagle Scouts.  The process of joining the OA begins by having an Election at your unit.  At an Election, current OA members come and explain the Ordere of the Arrow including the minimum requirements and the values of the OA.  The boy members of the troop or team elect who they feel qualify from their unit.  After being elected the new candidate must then attend an Ordeal.  The next Ordeal will be October 10-11th. Which is the last Ordeal of 2014.  

When we come to your unit to do the election, we’d like to add value and be of service to you and your unit by running your program for that evening with activities that will give your boys a flavor of what the OA is about and maybe teach some leadership skills.  The OA and district leadership are working on a special pin that will be given out to the boys of the units that allow us to do this.  There are only a few weeks before the October Ordeal so hurry.  My contact information is below. 

You can be of service to the OA.  The Order of the Arrow meets the same time and building as Roundtable, if you are coming to Roundtable and there are Arrowmen in your troop or team, give them a ride or encourage them to come on their own.  Our activities are a mix of fun, service and crafts.  This month we are playing dodgeball, in October we are planning a service project, in November we plan on a craft night where we will work on some indian regalia.   

Yours in Brotherhood,
Mark Kirkham
Order of the Arrow Chapter Advisor

Varsity Scouts September 2014: Now She Is A Teacher

In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher  at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten.  On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she  removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids  entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.  
'Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?'

She  replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.' They  thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.' 'No,' she said. 'Maybe it's our behavior.' She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so,  they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken  all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom. Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha  said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.' 
By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW

Author: Unknown

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Commissioners Corner: Accountability & Responsibility

“A people that values its privileges above its principle soon loses both”

This is a speech given by President Dwight D. Eisenhower back in 1953

“My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads,

Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.

Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling.

May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.

My fellow citizens:

The world and we have passed the midway point of a century of continuing challenge. We sense with all our faculties that forces of good and evil are massed and armed and opposed as rarely before in history.

This fact defines the meaning of this day. We are summoned by this honored and historic ceremony to witness more than the act of one citizen swearing his oath of service, in the presence of God. We are called as a people to give testimony in the sight of the world to our faith that the future shall belong to the free.

Since this century's beginning, a time of tempest has seemed to come upon the continents of the earth. Masses of Asia have awakened to strike off shackles of the past. Great nations of Europe have fought their bloodiest wars. Thrones have toppled and their vast empires have disappeared. New nations have been born.

For our own country, it has been a time of recurring trial. We have grown in power and in responsibility. We have passed through the anxieties of depression and of war to a summit unmatched in man's history. Seeking to secure peace in the world, we have had to fight through the forests of the Argonne, to the shores of Iwo Jima, and to the cold mountains of Korea.

In the swift rush of great events, we find ourselves groping to know the full sense and meaning of these times in which we live. In our quest of understanding, we beseech God's guidance. We summon all our knowledge of the past and we scan all signs of the future. We bring all our wit and all our will to meet the question:

How far have we come in man's long pilgrimage from darkness toward light? Are we nearing the light—a day of freedom and of peace for all mankind? Or are the shadows of another night closing in upon us?”

Our boys aren’t going off to war in foreign county to fight, but we are at war. A war of good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, right vs. wrong.Scouting can help our young men by following the Scout Oath, with the Scout Oath a Scout is engaged to do his best to obey the Scout law. The main principles are;

Duty to God

Duty to others

Duty to self


The Scout Oath

On my honor I will do my best 

To do my duty to God and my country 

and to obey the Scout Law; 

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, 

mentally awake, and morally straight.


Living each day by the 12 points of the Scout Law: 

The Scout Law is a personal code of living to guide the way each Scout lives his life. It is not a repression of faults, so was not framed as a list of prohibitions. It states what good form is and what is expected of a Scout. The Scout Law is at the heart of the Scout method

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, 

courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, 

brave, clean, and reverent.

The Scouting Slogan “Do a good turn daily”  

The good deed is a key component of the law and promise. Baden-Powell felt this is the main duty God asks for, and fulfilling our duty to others makes us happy, which fulfills the duty to ourselves. The point is not so much the deed itself, which could be minor, but to teach the Scout to always pay attention and recognize if he could help someone. As we help and serve others we are reminded of the ultimate example of service by Jesus Christ. When we serve others unselfishly we are truly rewarded for that service.

This does not mean that you should do just one Good Turn during the day and then stop. It means you should always be looking for extra opportunities to help others, quietly and without boasting. Remember that a Good Turn is an act of kindness, not just something you do because it is good manners. Good Turns should be done for family, friends, adults, children, and especially for those that are not able to do the task themselves.

We need to prepare these young men for life, and the responsibilities that will come their way. Leaders plan and prepare your actives that follow the Scouting Aims and Methods,  

Scouting Aims:

Character Development

Citizenship Training

Mentall and Physical Fitness


Scouting Methods:

The Ideals

The Patrol Method

The Outdoors


Association with Adults

Personal Growth

Leadership Development

The Uniform

All Scout Masters, Varsity Coaches and Venturing Advisers as you follow the Scouting Aims and Methods you will become a hero to the young men you serve and this is for everyone involved in Scouting: A Hero is an ordinary person who sees a need, and is willing to sacrifice and suffer for another person who is willing but unable to do it for himself. There are many heroes around us. Many of these heroes are ordinary people who unselfishly give of themselves to provide comfort and aid to those in need.


Men of the mountain, Men of the plain

Who drink of fountain, Of suffering and pain.

Men of valor, And men of might

Who live every hour, To do what is right.

Men of wisdom, And men of strength

Who cherish freedom, And guard it at length.

Men who talk, And men who do

Who show by their walk, That their word is ture.

With there I care, To place my name

But I must dare, To live the same




Monday, September 1, 2014

Western Skies District Supports Non-Denominational Scouting with Wasatch Front Scouting

Do you have a son starting First Grade? Did you know that he can start cub scouts right now? Do you have a son or daughter that wants to camp almost every month of the year? Wasatch Front Scouting supports non-denominational scouting units for boys from First grade and up (Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts) and for girls and boys ages 14 – 21 (Venturing crew Co-Ed scouting unit).

Please join us at our Open House at The Rising Church on September 16th at 6:30. We will be having games and activities for the kids and information for the adults.12411 S 365 W, Draper, UT. If you can’t make it or want more info, please contact us via email at or Brian Young at

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why Scouting Matters to LDS Leaders

A few months ago, Rushford Lee, owner of Research Emotion Design (RED) started asking himself some questions centered on the subject of Scouting and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How did Scouting relate to Church objectives for youth? Was there a spiritual side to Scouting? Is there really any link between the trail to Eagle and a mission?

After pondering these and others, Lee asked his own stake president some of these questions and was surprised by the answers. This prompted him to embark on a large research project for the Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America that included focus groups (he called them “love” groups—turns out not all the Scouters who like Scouting, love the Boy Scout Council), including broad surveys to hundreds of LDS Church leaders, who had plenty to say. What followed were many meetings with the council officers to discuss the findings, and in the end, Lee was appointed to Vice President of Marketing for the Council.


When guessing what the most important outcome of Scouting to LDS Church leaders, many thought that becoming Eagle Scouts was at the top of the list. RED found that while having a young man receive his Eagle Scout Award was on the list, it was far from number one.

He also found the most effective way to champion the message of Scouting was through stake presidents and bishops, 80% of whom were Scouts when they were younger and 44% earned their Eagle. Many of these key leaders had been in the trenches as Scout leaders and 61% had been in young men presidencies.

From his research, Lee explained, “Our young men need heroes to look up to. They need role models in their lives, at home and as they grow. Our goal is to help them become men such as the great leaders and teachers around them.”

From this finding, the Utah National Parks Council, BSA responded by incorporating the theme “Becoming such as These.” Which was later turned into an original song composed by R. Ross Boothe which premiered at the Celebration of Eagles this last July.

Lee explained that we need to tie church leaders to Scouting and, “encourage our boys to become men like the key leaders in the church, stakes, wards and Scouting troops; to become men like Christ.”

Lee further clarified “This is what Scouting is meant to be; bringing God into Scouting in a large way and making this tie together. It’s time to make the purpose of Scouting clear.”

Before his research, it was not clear to him. The study surprised him on every turn and it became clear that many don’t understand the “Duty to God” connection that Baden Powell intended the program to have.

Scouting Pillars of Communication to Reach LDS Leaders

The research pointed the Utah National Parks Council, BSA in a new direction that centers around six pillars that connect with and communicate to LDS leaders the “why” of Scouting.

Through surveys of stake presidents and bishops, the six pillars are in order of importance to young men leaders as the youth go through their Aaronic Priesthood/Scouting experience.

1-   Be prepared by developing a testimony of Christ and of the gospel while doing our duty to God and our country.  In the survey one stake leader described it this way:  “Bearing our testimonies around the campfire: If we take our young men to outdoor activities and forget to have them bear their testimonies around the fire, we’ve missed the purpose of Scouting.”  

2-   Be prepared through personal growth and learning to serve others through charity and doing a good turn daily.  In the survey another stake leader said:  “There are life learning experiences in an outdoor environment with other boys and men that give the boys a unique experience outside of the home that support what’s going on inside the home.”

3- Prepare to go on a mission and teach others by preparing through the Scouting program as the activity arm of the priesthood. A stake leader described it this way:  “Life is full of difficult experiences. Teaching resilience in the early years is very helpful preparation for missions, marriage and parenthood.”

4-  Be prepared by learning to do hard things. A young man will gain confidence, learn leadership skills and prepare for the future as a son of God. One survey participant offered:  “Learning how to do hard things, gain confidence and preparing for the future.”

5- Be prepared to be good fathers and husbands by following the examples of men, such as our Scout leaders, the bishopric, our prophets and the Savior.  One Stake leader explained it this way: “To develop young men through faith in God, hard work, problem solving, achievement, and character-building activities.”

6- Be prepared by learning who we are as Scouts and sons of God by keeping ourselves physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight, understanding our true nature as a son of God. Finally to quote one more Stake leader: “Many young men don’t have the opportunity to connect with others. They don’t have strong family ties, they may not make friends easily, don’t fit in well at school. Scouting provides an atmosphere where the kids can fit in with their peers. Our leaders try and do a variety of activities that interest all of the boys. Gives leadership a chance to reach the one.”

The Utah National Parks Council, BSA is grateful to Rushford Lee and the team at RED; this research will shape the message and direction of Scouting for many years to come.

Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA
Reprinted with permission of Darryl Alder. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Venturing Update August 2014

Welcome back to the Venture’s Forum at Round Table after what should have been an exciting summer!  We look forward to hearing about some of the High Adventure Activities and achievements that your crews have accomplished.  You've all worked hard to create memorable character-building experiences for your boys.  Before those memories fade, take time with your crew to collect and assemble the photos, videos, and stories of your activities.  Make a crew photo album, journal, video, or scrapbook that everyone will be able to take with them on their journey through life and upon which they’ll be able to look back with fondness.  My own scout leader always reserved a small portion of the budget to make extra prints of photos that he took on each of our high adventure trips which we as boys placed into albums.  Today those albums are some of my most cherished possessions; they are the preserved memories of the events that shaped who I am today. Give your boys that same gift! As they face the challenges of adulthood they’ll have something that enables them to look back and remember those enriching experiences which should help to solidify the foundations of their testimonies.  

Varsity Update August 2014

We hope you all had a great summer with your Teams. And we hope that you were able to attend the Big Event. So our next big Adventure is going to be the Ultimate Varsity Challenge. If you haven't heard what this or when it is, you need to come to Huddle Night. Just MARK on your calendars for Oct. 11th.
Keep up the Good Work

Your Varsity Huddle Staff