If you read Trails to Testimony by Brad Harris, he talks about how the scouting program should be used to help boys accomplish three major goals in their youth:
- To “become” Eagle Scouts, not just get their Eagle awards
- To “receive” their endowment, not just take out their endowment
- To “become” a missionary, not just go on a mission
Early this summer, I asked the boys some questions about our quorum with these goals in mind. I threw out a few questions and had them brainstorm some ideas. The questions were:
- Why do you come to mutual every week? What brings you here week after week?
- What does your vision of success look like for our quorum/troop?
- What goals should we have to accomplish that vision?
This is a picture of our chalkboard with some of what they came up with that day.
Using this exercise along with Brad’s perspective, I thought about how I could help them make the connection between their long-term goals and our weekly goals so that it would stick in their minds for a long time to come. My mind immediately went to using a picture instead of words (which generally works better for me too). I wanted to give the boys a visual image they could relate to. Recognizing the many analogies that could be used here, I chose hiking. When you go out to hike a mountain, we know it’ll be a challenge. It’s mostly uphill. It tests physical strength and mental commitment. It pushes our abilities in ways that are meaningful all along the way. The best part, the pay-off, is when you reach the top. Summiting the peak, taking in that view, makes all that effort totally worth it.
This concept of hiking works well to illustrate what I feel about working to accomplish these other goals in the lives of these young men. Below is the image that I will refer to anytime we talk about why we do what we do in our quorum and troop. The long-term goals are respresented by reaching the summit. The weekly goals are represented by the hike along the way.