Did you know that each May, key Scouting volunteers and professionals gather for the BSA National Annual Meeting?
This year the meetings were held in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are a few fun facts and tidbits from the events:
Three Church members were elected to the National Executive Board:
- Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president, replacing former Young Men general president David L. Beck.
- Charles Dahlquist, former Young Men general president.
- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Holland is the fourth Apostle to be elected to the board. Elder George Albert Smith was elected in 1931. He was replaced by Elder Ezra Taft Benson in 1949 and Elder Thomas S. Monson in 1969.
Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, and President Thomas S. Monson both currently serve on the board. President Monson is the longest standing member of the board and was recently given lifetime member status.
Robert Gates, BSA President, spoke on Thursday morning. Read or listen to his speech here.
At the National Recognition banquet on Friday evening Brother Larry Gibson, former counselor in the Young Men general presidency, received the Silver Buffalo Award. His wife, Shirley, five Eagle Scout sons, one daughter, and his Eagle Scout son-in-law were all present on the stage for the recognition, making an impressive sight!
Also on Friday evening, an LDS reception was held for LDS Scouters and guests.
Members of the Young Men and Primary general presidencies were in attendance and spoke to the group of approximately 225 people.
A group of LDS Scouts from the Atlanta area sang.
Sister Rosemary Wixom spoke about the importance of mothers and told the choir members, “I’d like to meet your mothers.”
Brother Stephen Owen, Young Men general president, talked about discovering that Thomas George Wood, the first Scoutmaster in the Salt Lake City Waterloo Ward Troop, was his great uncle.
Mike Surbaugh, incoming Chief Scout Executive, shared insights from his recent visit to Salt Lake City to attend general conference in April. His experiences at the MTC, Humanitarian Center, and Family History Center gave him a greater understanding of the Church.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland told the group that “A Scout is Cheerful and I am eternally optimistic.” He admonished everyone to pray for the leaders of the BSA and the Church and invited everyone to be “brave, clean, and reverent.”
Next year’s National Meeting will be held in San Diego, California.