A Report From the Field – Frankfurt, Germany

It is amazing how things are created – take, for instance, this “Report from the Field” which originally was to be titled “A Note from the Field.” It was intended to reflect wonderful letters from our members and supports around the world – and started with a letter from Bill and Donna Collins, currently in Utah waiting to return to finish their mission in Frankfurt, Germany. Bill and Dona originally wrote the kindness note referring to our recent decision (since reversed) to retire the “Annual Membership” status. I was so impressed with the tone of their letter and their marvelous attitude toward this great program of Scouting that I wrote them back and enclosed a little Vanguard gift as a token of my appreciation. In return, I received the most wonderful note – which I thought was more than a note, but more like a report of the faithfulness of Scouters across the world who are continuing to strengthen the Rising Generation through Scouting. With the permission of Bill and Dona Collins, I share with you a part of their “report from the field.”

Dear Brother Dahlquist,

We received your letter and and thoughtful gift, thank you. We also thank the Vanguard International Scouting Association for the positive consideration of our request.

Sister Collins and I love Scouting and have seen the blessings that come to young people through the Scouting program. We recently completed a Military Relations Mission in the Germany Frankfurt Mission with an assignment to work at the Hohonfels Military Installation. When we arrived at our small Branch in Germany, we found that the current Committee Chairman for the scout troop on the base had been a scout in my troop in Virginia in 1993. The troop and pack are sponsored by the VFW, and we became active participants in both programs. Our assignment as military relations missionaries was to minster to the LDS families that were not on local branch records. On a regular basis, when we were at a scouting activity, a parent would come up and identify themselves as a less active member of the Church. During summer of 2018, I was asked to be the chaplain for Camp Avantura – the 3-week summer camp in Croatia. It was a great opportunity to work with scouts and scouters promote Duty to God and to start some of the scouts toward earning their Religious Award.

While serving in the Philippines from 2016-2017, we were able to work with a local BSA troop, but also to work with wonderful, dedicated and spiritual brothers that were involved with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. We met regularly with and even camped in the jungle with stake presidents and scoutmasters and could sense their commitment to bringing the values of Scouting to the young men in their stakes, wards and branches. It was a marvelous experience.

I mention these things, because Scouting has been a big part of my life since I was a Cub Scout in the 1950’s. Scouting has taught me so many skills and values and provided so many faith building experience for Sister Collins and me. When the Church moved away from Scouting as a young men’s program, I wondered about the ability of LDS scouts to obtain a religious award. Thank you for organizing the Vanguard International Program.

We have received a 2nd Moderna vaccination and hope to be able to return to Frankfurt and finish out our current mission in Germany. We plan to continue scouting in TAC and look forward to reuniting with our scouting friends in Germany.

Thank you for all that you do to promote Scouting,
Bill Collins

Bill and Dona then shared the following photos of their Scouting efforts across the globe.

This is the first LNT Trainer course taught in the Philippines. Ecco Park June 2017. Present are members of both the BSA and Boy Scouts Philippines

Sister Collins teaching LNT in December at Mt. Mailing Camporee

Scout Camporee in December 2017, Boy Scouts of the Philippines Campground at Mt. Makiling.

Br. Collins as Chaplain at Camp Avatura, Savudrija, Croatia, July 2019

As a result of this wonderful report from the Collins’s as to the impact they are making in Scouting around the world, we have created this new feature on our Website: “Report From the Field” and invite others to send in reports of exciting developments in Latter-day Saint Scouting across the world. While we realize that we can’t print or share every report, we will share as much as we can. Please send your input to commissioner@vanguardscouting.org. And, again, thanks for all each of you does each day to strengthen the Rising Generation and their devoted leaders worldwide.

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