Vanguard Religious Award Profiles: Elizabeth & Emma
Two outstanding young Cub Scouts recently completed some challenging personal goals and also made history in the process. Vanguard International Scouting Association is proud to recognize the first two girls to earn the new Light and Truth Award. Elizabeth K. age 9 from Buckley WA, Chief Seattle Council, and Emma D. age 10 from Richmond UT, Crossroads of the West Council, both completed the award requirements this summer. The Light and Truth Award (and the Vanguard Religious Award for older youth and leaders) are the religious awards for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently registered with the Boy Scouts of America. The Religious Awards Program of the Boy Scouts of America encourages youth and adults to grow stronger in their faith as part of their Scouting experience.
Elizabeth and Emma found some of the award requirements difficult, but very fulfilling. Emma noted that “Some of the requirements were very hard to find opportunities for during COVID. It was very difficult for me and I feel like I accomplished a lot. I feel the award has done a lot to prepare me and help me further develop my testimony.” Elizabeth agreed, stating “it was very difficult for me and I feel like I accomplished a lot. I feel the award has done a lot to prepare me and help me further develop my testimony.”
Both girls had special experiences while working on the award requirements. Elizabeth reports that “I liked doing the service project. We chose to help with the Weekend Food Program with the White River School District. We helped purchase food for kids to take home on the weekends. It made me feel happy that I was helping. Another service project we did was Beautify Buckley. We met with our pack at the fire station and spread bark and picked up garbage to take care of our community. One of the recipes I learned to make was pancakes, but another was much more complex. It was Marshmallow Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes! I miss them, yum! It was very hard to make those! I read a lot in my scriptures and I wrote in my journal. Now I can have these experiences in my memory forever.”
Emma tells about her special experiences: “I loved talking to my grandma and getting to hear her stories. Also, I got to secretly help my siblings around Christmas time as an act of service. I felt the Spirit strongly and really had fun doing nice things for them. It was a great way to give gifts at Christmas. I also hope to get to go to the temple soon to do baptisms now that my temple is open and I am eligible.”
Now that these young trailblazers have completed the requirements, do they have any advice for others seeking to earn their own awards? Emma recommends rewarding yourself along the way for some of the difficult requirements—she had an ice cream party after memorizing all the Articles of Faith! “It was WAY more fun looking forward to my ice cream party.” She also said it was easier to work on parts of the requirements with her family as part of Come, Follow Me lessons. She recommended listening to Gospel apps or Primary songs to help with learning—and selecting electives and requirements “that match with your goals in the Children and Youth Program.” Elizabeth emphasized, “Getting the award is worth it! Even if it seems too hard. Don’t work on the award for too many hours at a time. Just do little bits at a time so that your mind is fresh.”
Both Elizabeth and Emma have plans to continue in Scouting and earn their Eagle Awards. They emphasized how much they have learned so far in Scouting and especially the close friendships they have made. We fully expect that before long we’ll see their applications for the Vanguard Religious Award. And perhaps, in a few years, we’ll write an article for this Newsletter covering their Eagle Courts of Honor. Congratulations to two outstanding Scouts!
Submitted by Wayne and Roma Bishop, Religious Awards Committee Chairs