{LDS How-to} Combine Scouting and Duty to God

by | Mar. 22, 2011


One might not think Scouting and Duty to God go hand in hand. One is doctrine-related, and the other is all about tents, badges, and fire, right? While both programs have a unique take on fostering development in a young man, these programs complement each other in many ways.

1. Involve the youth in service activities. Both programs call for service. Requirements of some service permeate every office of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the latter ranks of Boy Scouts—Star, Life, and Eagle—require service as well. Know what your Scout is doing for service and count it toward his Duty to God, or vice versa. Use merit badges such as Painting, Pet Care, Home Repair, and Citizenship in the Community to find service ideas.

2. Teach boys principles of morality. Duty to God involves a lot of pondering and studying the gospel. Scouting can help reinforce that with the Scout Law. Scouts are asked to live trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent lives. Mix in these principles with his gospel study.

3. Learn and expand their perspective. In the American Cultures merit badge, Scouts are asked to learn about other cultures in their area. What a great opportunity to share the gospel with others—a key requirement in Duty to God. Also, if you have non-members in your Troop, the interaction can produce positive missionary and moral discussions.

4. Interact with others. Scouts are encouraged to help inactive Boy Scouts return to service. Sound familiar? What’s more, Duty to God has a “Share” activity in every segment. Who better to share a testimony, a lesson, or a skill learned than with Scout buddies?

5. Measure success and growth. A Scout Board of Review is eerily similar to Priesthood and worthiness interviews. Leaders of both groups check on the boy’s progress and support him. This is easily a combined activity with LDS Scout leaders.

Make a master list to streamline your boy’s life. Make three columns—one on each side for either Duty to God or Scouting, and one in the middle for the activities he does from day to day or at school or work. Match requirements of the programs with things he already does and find where the two programs line up, then assign activities. Better yet, let him pick ones that will progress him simultaneously.
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com