By Chuck Jewell
Two cities. Two Latter-Day Saint youth. One scouting program.
Benjamin Jewell was moving from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA when the Church stopped using the BSA as the activity arm of the priesthood. He was very interested in going on to Scouts BSA, but he was one of only a couple in the Amarillo Texas Stake that wanted to continue. He visited several troops in the area and settled on Troop 86 charted by St. Paul United Methodist Church. Though Covid-19 hampered some of the scouting in the troop over the past year, he was able to attend his first summer camp at Robber’s Cave State Park near Wilburton, Oklahoma in July 2020. He earned his Scout rank and the Horsemanship merit badge and has several other merit badges in various stages of completion. He’s participated in multiple Eagle projects and a couple of campouts. He even earned some money for camp by manning the Coffin Coaster at a local haunted house attraction in October. Scouting had been good to Benjamin. He looks forward to being able to participate in more and more scouting events as Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in Texas.
San Antonio, Texas
Brett Lasater was almost a Life Scout when the Church’s move away from the BSA took effect in January 2020. Brett’s dad and his brother are Eagle Scouts, and he had always had the goal of becoming an Eagle Scout himself. There are five stakes in the San Antonio metropolitan area. Scouts from three of those stakes continued the LDS charter of Troop 423. They now meet as three separate patrols in their different areas of the city. Brett is in one of those patrols. Troop 423 has five Eagle scouts awaiting their courts of honor and eight additional Life scouts that are working on Eagle. Brett currently has his Eagle project approved and is working with San Antonio Parks & Recreation to design and install a large trail map kiosk in a local nature park. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, Brett participated with his patrol via Zoom and completed the merit badges that Life scouts frequently procrastinate, namely Personal Fitness and Personal Management. Scouting has been better for Brett since the split. He has had a positive experience with scout leaders that are committed to the Scouting movement and that genuinely believe that scouting makes better men.
Chuck Jewell is a 40-year veteran volunteer of the BSA and an Eagle Scout. Benjamin is his son and Brett is his nephew.