“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
—R. Waldo Emerson
Every Single Merit Badge
Kent Bates, 15, has accomplished what few others have done. He has earned all 119 merit badges offered in the Scouting program. Kent is in the Heber City Fifth Ward, Heber City Utah Stake.
It all started when Kent and his friend, Loy Young, decided to see who could earn all the merit badges first. After much hard work and study, Kent completed his goal with Loy not far behind. Kent earned his first merit badge in swimming and his last in masonry. He built a brick fireplace in his backyard.
Some of the most difficult merit badges for Kent were in signaling and oceanography. He enjoyed learning about oceanography so much that he is joining a Sea Explorers unit. The merit badges he enjoyed the most were in bugling, theater, waterskiing, and small boat sailing.
Kent says that Scouting has played an important role in his life. “I plan to finish high school and then serve a mission. When I return, I want to get back into Scouting and help other boys just as my merit badge counselors did me.”
When the newly formed Lakeland Florida Stake issued the challenge to hold a Young Women basketball tournament, the Lake Wales Branch rose to the opportunity. But they had a problem. They didn’t have enough active girls in their Young Women program to fill the five positions on the playing floor. And having a couple of substitutes wouldn’t hurt.
The girls and coaches began asking friends and inactive members to join them. The girls were told that if they didn’t have fun, they didn’t have to stay. A team of eight was formed and practices began. Soon the girls learned the meaning of phrases like “set up” and “fast break” and learned to dribble without using both hands.
With determination and hard work, the Lake Wales Branch had a basketball team. At the stake tournament, their skills were challenged. It was the first time they had played together on an indoor court, and they had some trouble getting used to having confining walls.
At the end of the tournament, the Lake Wales team came out on top. They were the first Lakeland Stake champions. The experience of playing together and fellowshipping has made them winners.
Learning about the Work
Combining talks by official missionaries with role-playing experiences, the students of the Smithfield, Utah, seminary program served four-day “missions” as part of a missionary preparedness lesson.
Some took advantage of the seminary-supplied hairdresser and received bona fide missionary haircuts before entering the “MTC” (day one). The so-called Mission Training Center was an assembly where students were instructed by stake leaders. Then each student was assigned to one of the mission fields presided over by a seminary teacher as “mission president.” As students divided and went to different rooms representing their “mission fields,” they were instructed about the culture and people of their new area and were assigned a list of missionary activities, which included being assigned a companion, carrying scriptures at all times, maintaining arm’s length from members of the opposite sex, and cooking a family dinner (day two).
One day was devoted to role-playing experiences in teaching the gospel to “investigators,” who were really fellow classmates (day three). The next day students reported their missions to their “home wards” (classes) and told of the things they learned from the experience (day four).
The following week, the seminary held “mission reunions” with students gathering again in groups representing the areas in which they served their four-day missions. Linda Birch of Smithfield reports, “Most students took the lesson seriously, and the program was a great success.”
Rick Hilder of the San Lorenzo California First Ward has loved sports for as long as he can remember, and someday he hopes to make them his life’s work. Meanwhile, the 16-year-old sophomore from Arroyo High School not only participates in baseball, football, basketball, and wrestling, but spends a good deal of his spare time coaching a group of younger boys. It was because of his willingness to share his time and talents that he got a part-time job with the Oakland Raiders.
A few years ago, Rick’s younger brother asked Rick if he would come and help to organize and coach some of the kids at his school. Rick was delighted and immediately formed a neighborhood team. The activity was so successful that they completed two winning seasons.
The father of one of the team members was impressed with Rick’s work and dedication and suggested that Rick meet one of his neighbors, George Jones, the assistant equipment manager for the Oakland Raiders. They discussed his interest in sports. George offered Rick a chance to be his assistant.
The work itself is rather ordinary, even in the somewhat awesome world of professional sports, but once in a while, Rick’s job turns into a real treat.
“There are times when I feel like I’m working out with the team,” he says. “I keep the balls dried off, and sometimes they have me go out onto the field and catch the balls or shag field goal attempts when the team is practicing. The players are super guys and treat me very well and are friendly. They encourage me to stick to my goals.”
Rick particularly likes talking with Todd Christensen and Marc Wilson. “We talk a lot about the Church,” he says, “and about my plans for a mission and my desire to one day play football for BYU.”
At his school, Rick is an all-around athlete. He is a double-duty football player, taking a defensive tackle position as well as playing center for the offensive team. He was voted the most valuable player of the year last season. He also wrestles and plays baseball.
Becky Wall, 18, of the Fort Wayne First Ward, Fort Wayne Indiana Stake, is a leader in Church and in school. She served as her seminary class president. She is musically talented and has used her abilities to compose and perform. She accompanies the swing choir on the piano, sings in concert choir, plays the flute, and marches with the school drill team. She was also the student choreographer for the school musical.
Summer School Throngs
Feeling a need to beat the crowds or save time while getting a college education? Brigham Young University’s spring and summer terms may offer some advantages.
With only half the usual number of students enrolled during the summer months, classes are smaller, offering more personalized teaching situations yet still utilizing the physical facilities of a large university. For new college students, these eight-week terms offer a large range of classes. There are also plenty of student and campus activities to help new students get involved. The terms run from May 4 to June 24 and June 29 to August 19.
A Heritage Scout-o-Rama
Scouts in Ogden, Utah, learned about their heritage as well as held a Scout-o-Rama. The event was held in a wooden fort erected for the activity complete with outlook posts, bearded mountain men with muskets, and Indians in teepees. The activities of the day attracted the attention of the community, and Scouts manned over a hundred booths and displays. Included on the schedule were flag ceremonies, old-time fiddlers, square dancers, a pinewood derby, and band concerts.
The old western fort was the idea of Brother Vince Quan, who has a keen interest in the history of his new home town. Brother Quan is originally from California. One of his projects, completed with the help of the Scouts, was the placement of a monument in honor of Peter Skene Ogden, a British explorer, for whom the city was named.
After the activities were completed, the fort was dismantled, yet the old West atmosphere lingered. The Scout event is well on its way to becoming an annual community event.
Out of Sight
Rhett Wyatt, 18, of the Gresham Oregon Stake is involved in drama at his high school, jogs daily, maintains a B-minus average, and has started his own business. He is also blind.
Rhett lost his sight when he was eight. He was hit by a car, which left him in a coma for six months, damaged his leg, and cost him his sight. He hasn’t let his accident stop him.
Although limited in his participation in sports, Rhett still runs daily and works out on a trampoline thanks to an invention of his brother’s. Rhett has become interested in drama. He has been in two school plays, including playing the part of a sighted character. He memorized steps in order to dance in the plays. His entertaining abilities include stand-up comedy routines.
He and his mother founded a small business called “Out of Sight Industries.” They sell T-shirts and backpacks for the blind.
Rhett plans to attend college where he hopes to study counseling or drama.
The Awakening by Richard Eyre (Bookcraft, $6.95)
When his plane went down, the pilot ejected and lost consciousness. When he awoke, he had lost his memory. This new novel by Richard Eyre is an adventure story about a young man searching for his past. But haunting memories seem to indicate that he may not like what he will find. Rich with gospel parallels, The Awakening has the elements of a good mystery yet can be read on several levels.
When you talk to President Johnson in the Young Women program in the Pleasant Hill Second Ward, Walnut Creek California Stake, you may be talking with Becky, Annette, or Allison. Each of the three daughters of the Curt Johnson family serves as the president of her class. Becky is president of the Laurels, Annette presides over the Mia Maids, and Allison heads the Beehives.
On the Shores of Lake Winnebago
The blue of Lake Winnebago against the green hillsides was the backdrop for the Appleton Wisconsin District youth conference. The conference site was the Olympic training camp just outside of Brothertown, Wisconsin.
Meeting other young members and nonmembers from the area gave the participants a good opportunity to learn and to fellowship. The workshop covered a range of subjects including missionary preparedness, journal writing, dating, self-defense, and outdoor survival. Moving outside, the group enjoyed some lively games of football. That evening the young people were inspired by local speakers and dressed up for a semi-formal dance.
When it was time to leave, a final testimony meeting was held. Besides the young members, several nonmembers bore testimony of the good feelings they had felt during the youth conference.
Scott Czappa summed up the thoughts of the group when he said, “We get recharged to live through the year. We all get together to share our thoughts and bear our testimonies.”
Run and Rake
Missionary work and service projects went together for the Modesto Sixth Ward, Modesto California Stake, when the young people in the ward met for a “Run and Rake.”
In teams of two, equipped with rakes and missionary pamphlets, each pair went from door to door asking if they could rake the leaves from people’s lawns and if they could leave a pamphlet about the Mormons. When their offer was accepted, the entire group lined up across the lawn, and in one sweep, the lawn was raked clean. The group was able to rake three blocks and place many pamphlets. The neighbors were impressed with the young people, and the missionaries gained two new investigators from the project.