Monday, February 29, 2016

Generations of Cub Scouting and Akela’s Council

This post was copied from the Blog of the Utah National Parks Council. 
To see the blog post, CLICK HERE 

Cub Scouting has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. I watched my mother lead my younger brother’s den, train countless other leaders in our district and council, and travel all over the state while on council business. We even took a family vacation to Philmont Scout Ranch one summer so she could attend training there. She believed that every boy deserved a well-trained leader and took the time to attend Wood Badge and earn her beads. Because of her hard work and years of service, she has received several awards, including the Silver Beaver, and was recognized as one of the Influential Women in Scouting in the Utah National Park Council.
Akelas Council LogoNot long after I began my own Cub Scouting adventures as an assistant Cubmaster, my mom strongly recommended that I go to Akela’s Council. She was a participant in 1992 and loved it. She knew that any Cub Scout leader, new or experienced, would come away from Akela’s Council with new ideas and a recharged attitude towards the program.
I finally decided to go in the summer of 2011 for Course 27 and it seemed like the universe was against me. I was nervous about leaving my 22 month old daughter for a week, my husband was going to be overseas with the military, and just after I registered and paid I found out that my stake was not going to be reimbursing me for part of the cost. I almost gave up on going to Akela’s Council.
Thankfully, my mom, my prime example in Cub Scouts, came to my rescue. She reaffirmed that my daughter would have an amazing time staying with Grandma and Grandpa and even offered to help pay. My husband, who supports my work in Cub Scouts without blinking an eye, told me that I needed to go and that everything would be okay, even if he was so far away. I was also blessed that two staff members for my course worked to get me a scholarship to help pay for the course.

The morning that I drove up the mountain to Tifie Scout Camp, I was so nervous, but I knew that I needed to be at Akela’s Council. When I arrived I was given a bag, a binder, and told I would be in the Cheyenne Den and our color was purple. I looked down at my wrist and smiled at my new purple watch that I had purchased just for Akela’s Council. Before heading to the opening ceremony with the other participants I called my mom to let her know I was there safely. When I told her what den I was in, she gave an excited gasp and told me that she was a Cheyenne too!
That week was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. The presentations and activities were fun and informative. I picked up some great ideas to bring back to my Pack and set some goals to improve my own work as an assistant Cubmaster. I saw and experienced first-hand what my mom had talked about for years. She was on my mind a lot that week and I was thrilled to be able to share those experiences with her. I finally started to see why she loved the Cub Scout program so much and did all she could to make sure her boys had an excited, enthusiastic, and trained leader.

A few years later I had the chance to be on staff for Akela’s Council 31 in 2015 and found another connection for my mom and me. The year I was a participant, my den leader explained that he had made one of the displays that is used as part of the course every year. While going through the supplies and other things needed for course that year, I found the original display that my den leader had fashioned his after. Stamped on the back was a note that it had been handmade by my mother’s den leader many years before.
I am now the Cubmaster of my Pack and have been on Akela’s Council staff twice and am looking forward to my third experience this fall, this time as the Cheyenne Den Leader. I know that I could not have been as successful as I have been without the amazing example of my mother and the invaluable experiences gained as an Akela’s Council participant and staff member. I would encourage any Cub Scout leader who wants to feel more prepared for Den Meeting, Pack Meeting or as a Committee Member to take advantage of the amazing resources available at Akela’s Council. You will come away with countless new ideas for your boys to enjoy and be more able to help your Pack grow in whatever capacity you serve.

For more information, go to

Online Registration Is Now Open!!  

Christa Adjusted PicAuthor: Christa Twitchell | serves as Cubmaster in Pack 922 chartered by the LDS Spring Creek Eighth Ward, Springville Spring Creek Stake. She is serving on staff for Akela’s Council this year

Monday, February 22, 2016

We're All In - Stephen W. Owen, YM General President, Inspires Scouters

This blog post is on "The Blog of the Utah National Parks Council" and can be found here...

Stephen W. Owen, General Young Men President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke Saturday at the 2016 University of Scouting, telling attendees that having young men and mentors come together is what Scouting is all about.
Brother Owen gave the keynote address at the event held February 18 at the Utah Valley University Institute Building and addressed his comments to Scouters in the Utah National Parks Council. He spoke fondly of his own Scouting experiences and said the thing that mattered most to him as a Scout were the associations he had with other boys and his leaders.
Brother Owen went on to encourage leaders to keep the real purpose of Scouting in mind:
In the Book of Mormon, Nephi is commanded to build a ship. There’s a lot that went into it and I’m not going to go into the whole story, but if we are not thinking clearly and not looking at the right purpose, we may think that building the ship was the goal.
Do you know what it really was? The real goal was to build the ship to get to the Promise Land. I want you to think of Scouting in that regard. When we think of Scouting in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Scouting is not ‘it’, Scouting is not ‘the goal’, it’s not ‘the purpose’, it’s only part of the vehicle that helps us to the, so called, Promise Land.
We understand the purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood, we understand the purpose of the Church and the need in trying to help our young men. We look at it as between the ages of eight and eighteen, what does a boy need to be when he turns eighteen? What does he need to become? We know that we want them to become a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, not just to stay as an Aaronic Priesthood holder. Become a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, endowed in the temple, serve a mission and become a husband and a father. All these wonderful things that come their way in the future are for them, the promise land.
He also addressed the 103-year relationship between the Church and the Boy Scouts of America, referring to the new adult leadership resolution passed by the BSA and statements given from the Church in the past few months that caused concern among many members of both organizations.
Many have expressed concern at the phrase “At this time” in the Church’s statement. Brother Owen said, “‘At this time…,’ that’s a fair and accurate statement. At this time, we as the Young Men General Presidency are in. We need to understand that President Thomas S. Monson is our prophet and when he makes a statement, that’s what we do and we are grateful for that.”
“I love Scouting and I know all of you do. Let’s move forward. Let’s not sit in idle, let’s not sit on the sidelines and worry about it. Let’s move forward and keep going.”

Author: Stephen W. Owen | General Young Men President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How Akela's Council Cub Scout Leader Training Changed My Mind About Cub Scouting

How Akela’s Council Changed My Mind About Cub Scouting

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

To see the blog post, CLICK HERE 

I went to Akela’s Council Cub Scout Leader Training 6 years ago when I was only a member of the Pack committee (serving in our LDS ward primary presidency). I wanted our pack to have a great program but I didn’t know much about Cub Scouting so this seemed like a great chance to learn.
Many people in my life didn’t have a great opinion of Scouting in general and thought of it as largely a waste of time. Not having had anything to do with it up till then I must admit I wasn’t too excited about my new position. But I’m the kind of person who likes to do things right so I wanted to get a good idea of what I was supposed to do and what a good Scouting program should be, so my husband (the Cubmaster at the time) and I decided we should go.

I was expecting 4 days of roundtable-like training’s and a lot of sitting around taking notes. Boy was I surprised! It was an adventure from start to finish and I came away with a passion for cub scouting.
At Akela’s Council I had life changing experiences and made lifetime connections. Being able to step away from the bustle of life for a few days and learn and grow with all the people there was unforgettable. We got to work on projects, share ideas, complete challenges, have a great time, learn and laugh a lot.  It is such a neat program and the individuals that made it all happen were so generous and kind, their examples and friendship really touched me and I still draw on the things I learned from them.
There were many things that our pack just wasn’t doing and I got to see first hand how much better things go when the right systems and tools are in place. I also realized how significant the small things could be to the boys and the importance of belonging, and I came away determined to help the boys in my pack feel wanted and loved. I wanted to share with my pack how fun cub scouting could be.
Our pack program improved so much when we started implementing the things we learned. We even had life long Scouters approach us at some of the pack meetings to say how impressed they were with the quality of program that they saw. I don’t say this to brag only to say that it was because we were using the things we learned at Akela’s council and it really really did make a difference in our pack. I’m so glad that I went.  I am now serving as a Den Leader, and this time I am very prepared.
To learn more about Akela's Council, please visit our website

If you want to know more check out this YouTube video:

By Celeste Hunt - Hurricane, Utah
This post was copied from the Blog of the Utah National Parks Council.