Congratulations! You’ve been called to serve as a Scout leader. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are no strangers to service. Because the Church has no professional clergy, it is volunteer members who teach the classes, sing in the choirs, and vacuum the meetinghouse floors. It is also volunteer members who serve as Scout leaders in LDS-sponsored units. Our callings provide many opportunities for us to share our time and talents with others.
A calling within the Scouting organization provides a unique opportunity to serve. We work to promote strong Scouting traditions of character and citizenship, while building relationships of trust with the boys in our units. Additionally, as the activity arm of the youth programs of the Church, Scouting works hand in hand with the missions of the Primary and the Young Men organizations.
One important aspect of serving as a Scout leader is safety. In planning and organizing activities, keeping boys safe and returning home with the same number of Scouts that you started with is always a high priority.
Too often, however, leaders may be so focused on the well-being of the boys in their unit that they forget to make the necessary preparations for themselves. Tragically, there have been a number of LDS leaders who have lost their lives while participating in Scout-sponsored activities. It is important for leaders, as well as Scouts, to be prepared for the physical demands of the activities in which they are engaged. Whether planning a hike, a campout, a bike ride, or any other type of activity, it is a good idea to consider the capabilities of the boys in your unit . . . as well as yourself as their leader. In order to encourage safe practices, it is important to pause for a “Safety Moment” and think ahead toward any potential problems that might occur by asking yourself “What could go wrong? And what can we do to prevent something like this?”
Along these lines, LDS Risk Management has developed a new safety website and a training video called “Get In Shape.” This video follows a leader as he prepares for a hike. While getting his pickup truck ready for the trip, some of his young men remind him that he should also be giving his body a tune-up.
While at the safety.lds.org website, you can also read more about ways you can develop a healthy lifestyle. Just as “Be Prepared” is the motto for any Boy Scouting activity, it can also have critical importance in the lives of both Scouts and leaders.