Although the Scouting program is no longer sponsored by the church, local youth still interested in the program now have a unit to belong to, said organizer Rebecca Serr.
At present, about a dozen young men have registered to be part of Troop 30, which meets Thursday nights at 7 p.m. at the Franklin County Extension Office, 561 W. Oneida, Preston. It is part of the new Mount Naomi District.
Serr, the mother of four boys, said she pushed for the organization of the troop in response to the desire many local youth have in remaining involved with the Scouting program. She has been actively involved for several years in the former Franklin District of the Trapper Trails Council of Boy Scouts of America. Two of her sons have earned their Eagle Scout rank and the other two are working towards that goal as well.
Once the troop found Jared Jensen to sponsor the troop through his company, ACME Fireworks, they identified Ben Babb as Scout Master, Ammon Serr as charter representative, and a scouting committee: Bev Smith, Mandy Babb, Lisa Baird and LaRon Baird.
An effort is also being made to organize a pack for Cub Scouts, said Rebecca. “We are looking for people to help with the pack. Please call if you are interested in helping or have a child that wants to be involved,” said Serr. She can be reached at 208-406-8937. She hopes the pack can be organized in the next couple of weeks.
Serr said with the adoption of a new children and youth program by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Scouting in the Franklin County area will become an extracurricular activity “just like any sports team.”
“(The two programs) can absolutely work together. They are not mutually exclusive. Instead of choosing a sport or in addition to choosing a sport, (kids) will choose Scouting,” she said.
“The Church’s program of helping youth learn to set goals can go hand-in-hand with the current Scouting program. You can still participate in both of them. It’s just what best meets the needs of your family,” she said.
In addition to helping her own boys grow through the Eagle Scouting program, Serr said she was motivated to get Troop 30 organized because of the “influence it had in my dad’s life, who was not a member of the Church (of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). That’s what helped him get through being a kid, and to grow.”
“(Scouting) provides leadership opportunities for kids. Overall I think the BSA is one of the few groups that teach duty to God, duty to country, duty others and duty to self. It also teaches the virtues of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent,” she said.
“There are other ways to develop leadership in boys, but I believe the Eagle projects will be missed the most,” said Lincoln Mumford, who was been involved with the BSA as both a Scout as well as an adult leader.
“The value of the Eagle project isn’t just the service provided to the community, but it is almost magical how the boy begins to see himself as a contributing part of that community — part of its fabric. His view of his life expands and he sees himself as part of something greater than just him. That’s a great thing for a person to feel,” said Lincoln Mumford, a member of a former Eagle Board of review.