A Minute With Mark: Scouting Skills

by | Jan 23, 2019

I have recently had the opportunity to serve as a Scoutmaster in a local troop.

Once again, I am so impressed and encouraged by the SKILLS that youth learn through Scouting. As I interact with the Scouts in my troop, I am constantly observing SKILLS that they are required to use in their Scouting activities.

Let me list just a few:

-Knot tying

-Fire building

-Orienteering – map and compass skills

-Outdoor cooking



-Record keeping

-Completing tasks and assignments

-Learning about our communities, nation, and world

-Duty to God and Country

-Respect for adults

-Respect for peers


-Returning and reporting



In today’s age of “how do you feel” and “what do you want to do?” it is encouraging that there is an organization that still has “requirements” which stretch boys above and beyond their own personal whims.

There is value in asking youth to perform difficult tasks and to stay on task until they reach an end and finish it.

I am a product of Scouting. Much of who I am today developed because I was required to camp in the snow, tie difficult knots, hike tall mountains, and swim through cold lakes. I was required to keep records, call merit badge counselors, finish products, and complete tasks.

These requirements taught me skills, and these Scouting skills are indispensable in my life, even today. 

Thank you, Scouting, for instilling character, fitness, leadership, and citizenship in America’s youth–and, for teaching valuable skills to enhance their lives.

I’m Still Scouting.  Are you?

~Mark R. Francis has served as the LDS-BSA Relationships Director for the Boy Scouts of America since 2012.