Greetings! We are the Barrus Family from Okinawa, Japan. We are all involved in Scouting (two parents, one Scout, and two Cub Scouts) and continued because of our rich Scouting heritage. I (Makenna) was a little sister Scout tag-along, assisting my three brothers earn their Eagle Scout awards. Clay is an Eagle Scout with a Grandmother who volunteered and supported eight sons and ten grandsons to earn their Eagle Scout. Clay’s grandma was awarded the Silver Fawn and one of my grandmothers was awarded the Silver Beaver. (Note: The Silver Fawn was the precursor to ladies earning the Silver Beaver. It is a rare and historic award.)
One year into our marriage (2009) we were called to be Bear den leaders and our journey began. Our stake highly encouraged leaders to go to Wood Badge and Clay volunteered. After his first weekend, he came home recommending that I sign up for the next class. I was very interested because this was an opportunity to use my college degree in Parks and Recreation, where “fun with a purpose” is also the goal.
Both of our experiences lead to a strengthened testimony of the Scouting as the “activity arm of the Young Men”, but we both knew this to be true for the Young Women as well. We were both also saddened by how Scouting was not properly implemented within the congregations we attended and tried our best to help others “catch the vision” as we moved to new packs, troops and YW classes.
We continue to participate in Scouting because we had always planned to–even when the Church ended their partnership with the BSA. We were content with our daughters waiting to join a crew when they were old enough and have our son join a pack. However, when Scouting announced the change to allow girls in all areas of Scouting (2019) we registered our daughter as a Bear and she is now in a troop here in Okinawa. Our son is now a Bear, and our youngest is a Lion. Scouting is part of our heritage and we want it to be a part of our children’s legacy as well!
-Clay and Makenna Barrus, Okinawa, Japan