Mac’s Message #7: Become a Trained Scout Leader

by | Oct 20, 2014

Mac McIntire

Mac McIntire

One would never jump into the pilot seat of a cargo plane and try to fly it without first reading the manuals and getting fully trained in piloting skills. Yet many Young Men leaders jump into their Scouting position with no intention of getting properly trained when they’ve been given stewardship for the most precious cargo of all—the Lord’s young men.

“Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the [Young Men] office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.” (D&C 107: 99 – 100).

I hope you will read the above scripture over and over and heed its counsel. These two verses are the final admonition in section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants—one of the priesthood sections that every priesthood holder, particularly Young Men leaders, are counseled to study.

I plead with you to take your Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting callings seriously. When you accepted the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods you took an oath and made a covenant to magnify your calling. The best way I know to magnify your Scouting calling is to become fully trained in your leadership position.

In the LDS Scouting Handbook it says, “Young Men and Primary leaders who are called to Scouting responsibilities should receive training in Scouting principles, policies, and procedures as used by the Church. Trained Scout leaders who understand and live the gospel, understand priesthood governance, and understand the Scouting program are better able to serve young men and boys involved in Scouting activities.” (LDS Scouting Handbook for Church Units in the United States, 2014, 2.0). Scout leaders are considered trained when they complete Youth Protection, leader-specific training, and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills. These courses represent the minimum training you should attend if you wish to learn your duty and magnify your calling.

The BSA training document “What Makes a Trained Leader” will help you determine which training you should complete for your specific calling.

In my opinion the best training you can attend to learn how to pilot your Scouting unit successfully is Wood Badge for the 21st Century. Wood Badge is the premier leadership training in Scouting. This powerful training causes the light bulb to go on for many Young Men leaders. I know your young men will be better served if you attend Wood Badge soon after you are called to your Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting calling.

I dream of the day when bishops will call new Young Men leaders properly, insisting they get fully trained within the first few months of being set apart. It would be wonderful if our Scout councils and districts were inundated with requests for more training from LDS Scouting leaders.


Take a Moment to Reflect

  • Have you learned your duty as an Aaronic Priesthood and Scout leader? Are you truly magnifying your calling?
  • What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?
  • Have you been fully trained in your Scouting position?
  • Have you attended Wood Badge training? If not, when will you commit to go to Wood Badge?
  • Do you attend monthly roundtable meetings and participate fully in the experience?


Turn Your Reflection into Action

  • What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?


“Training is essential to understanding Scouting and feeling confident that we can implement the program. Training motivates us to succeed because as we develop a degree of mastery, we gain confidence that we really can be successful Scout leaders.” (David L. Beck, Young Men general president, “Capturing the Vision of Scouting,” Ensign, June 2012)


 -Mac McIntire is a dedicated Scouter who has blessed many lives through his service and acute understanding of the Scouting program. He currently lives in Evanston, Wyoming.