Friday, October 14, 2016

Why I Went to Akela’s Council “Back Then” and Why I Go Now ~ By Annette Ward Apr 13, 2016

My husband and I had just moved to Mona, Utah after having lived over thirty years in Farmington, Utah. My first position or call in our new LDS ward was to be a Webelos leader.  I can’t say I was overjoyed. But, being the mother of seven boys, the program wasn’t completely unfamiliar.  In Farmington, I had been a Wolf or Bear leader several times. There was no training.  No instructions. It was simply a passing on of a couple of books and records.  We had weekly den meetings and attended pack meeting once a month. It was all okay. The activities were fun and even useful for the boys. I would not have considered it a life changing experience for the boys…or for me, but we did it.
So, that was the attitude I went into as the Webelos leader.  I knew a little and enjoyed the boys. Mostly, I depended on the other leader. That’s what I did for three months and I was released and moved on to work with the Young Women in the ward. That lasted for about nine months and I was called to be the Cubmaster.
I was not a happy camper.  My heart was broken and I resented being back into Cub Scouts for numerous reasons, but I did it. I “played” Cubmaster, as uncomfortable as it was. I also attended roundtable.  I loved the boys and after a few months gained a testimony that Cub Scouting could make a positive difference in the lives of young boys. Although I was unsure how to go about it, I knew it could happen.
Fortunately, I have two amazing daughters along with those seven boys. One daughter and her husband met at Scout Camp in Idaho. They seemed to be drawn into the program wherever they lived.  She was serving in Cub Scouts and was my mentor, and she tried her best to convince me to follow her to Akela’s Council. It was costly. I’d be leaving my garden and animals for nearly a week. She persisted, informing me of scholarships available from most stakes. I checked with the bishopric and they thought our stake would pay for half the cost. Finally, I relented, registered a little late and attended Akela’s Council 29.  As it turns out, it was by far the best Scouting decision I ever, ever made.
Tamara, my daughter, found others to carpool with to AC29. I was only about an hour away, so I packed up my car early in the morning and drove down. I was nervous and hoping Tamara and I could be together while there. She was the reason I was going, to do something with my daughter.
That reason soon changed. Although my daughter and I tented together, we didn’t work closely during the day. That was good, because I had to stand on my own. It didn’t take long until the early mornings, late nights and “more than one could digest” days were filled with laughing, creating, learning, and endearing friendships.   Many of these friendships continue, especially as we support each other in the Scouting adventure
One of the highlights of Akela’s Council was rubbing shoulders with some of the happiest, most enthusiastic, and knowledgeable people in Cub Scouting. I’ve come to discover that people involved and committed to Cubs are some of the happiest people in the world. Rubbing shoulders all day with committed Cub Scouters was the greatest. Scouters who really did love the Cub Scout program. They shared their love of Scouting and how it could build and bless the lives of young boys and it was fun. These wonderful leaders were directing, teaching, and enabling me to become a more committed, knowledgeable, fun Cubmaster and to love it all.  I was learning the “how,” while having a blast.
I have since been released from Cub Scouts. I have served on Akela’s Council staff two times and this year will be my third, AC32.  I volunteer at Roundtable. I’ve gone to Wood Badge.  Because of Akela’s Council, Cub Scouting is now a choice. A choice because I recognize the potential it has to build responsible boys—boys with character and purpose.  It is part of the pathway for LDS boys to become righteous priesthood holders, husbands and fathers. When implemented properly, the potential for building boys of ANY faith is only limited by the commitment, knowledge and love of the leaders.
I originally went to Akela’s Council because of my daughter. Now, I go to share Cub Scout Spirit, to help other leaders gain tools for having fun and working with the boys and to continue learning.  I was called to serve and now I choose to serve.  Every boy deserves a trained leader and Akela’s Council is the pinnacle of Cub Scout training.

Author: Annette Ward | Assistant Roundtable Commissioner and Merit Badge Counselor in the Mt. Nebo District

This post was copied from the Blog of the Utah National Parks Council. 

1 comment:

  1. I came across your site on pinterest. I just got called as a den leader over the wolf scouts and I have NO idea what I am doing or where to begin! I know I only have 3 boys who are starting from scratch!
    Anyways, I just had to give a shout out because my mom was born and raised in Mona! I am from Nephi, but currently living in Washington! Small world!!! I am sure I will be using your blog often for help!!!
    My grandma is Karen Belliston, and my aunt DeAnn Young is still in Mona too. Not sure if you know of them or not! :)
    Kylee Morgan Edwards