What Does Duty to God Mean to You? Part 1 & 2

Recently, the Boy Scouts of America adopted a resolution that reaffirms the organization’s Duty to God. The National Executive Board of the BSA continues to recognize this as a fundamental component of our overall mission.

The Scout Oath is one of the first things a Scout learns when he/she joins, stating “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God…”. This phrase has been one of the most important principles of Scouting from the beginning. It was only until a few years ago that Life Scout, Joseph Romo from Troop 818, and Alyson Do, president of Crew 1910, realized what this phrase truly meant.

At the 2018 Catholic Diocese Bishop’s Luncheon Joseph and Alyson provided the pastors, ministers, cubmasters, scoutmasters and staff attendees with their summer camp spiritual testimonies. Read below to understand the unique journey Joseph and Alyson had to go through to understand their Duty to God.

Alyson Do, Crew 1910

“Good afternoon Catholic Leaders.  My name is Alyson Do.  I am honored to be the president of Crew 1910 otherwise known as the Bishop’s Crew.  I have been active in Scouting for the past four years and during time, each and every summer I have spent one full week at Lost Valley Summer Camp attending and staffing the National Youth Leadership Training, or NYLT.  At NYLT the youth leadership team is constantly in motion, serving, leading, guiding, helping in rapid succession.  We really don’t have much idle time.   However, the outdoor setting makes up for the intense week spent there. After a full week in this amazingly beautiful natural environment of Lost Valley, I always rediscover a greater appreciation for God’s creation in that magnificent natural setting.

I love being able to wake up to the clear air and witness a spectacular sunrise knowing it’s by God’s imagination.  Or being able to look up and see a cloudless sky, full of bright twinkling stars at night, a view that I don’t ever really get to enjoy here at home…in suburbia.

Being at Lost Valley really makes me more appreciative of God’s creation and it makes me want to try harder to protect the earth that He has gifted to us.  Additionally, the Lost Valley campgrounds offer me with a quiet place where I can stop what I’m doing and take a breather with no electronic or manmade distractions around me…to reflect on God’s grace in my life. All in all, experiencing Lost Valley has really changed me and the way I view my faith because I used to think that the only way to praise and honor God was through prayer.

By spending time at Lost Valley I’ve learned that I can also Worship God by appreciating and caring for all of His creation, something that I take back home with me when my time at Lost Valley has ended.”

 

Joseph Romo, Troop 818

“Good afternoon fathers, Scout leaders and my fellow Scouts. I am here today to talk to you about my own faith story and how God has strengthened me in Scouting. I’m hopeful that this testimony will help fuel the vision of a Scouting encampment for all those who want to dive more into their faith.

I grew up Catholic, attended a Catholic elementary school and now High School. But I was never really tuned in. I went through the motions and said my prayers. It wasn’t until my freshman year that God entered my life.

Since then I have been aware of the love that Christ has for me and the whole world. That’s what I want my fellow scouts to realize… to realize the Love that God has for us no matter what.

Scouting takes us everywhere, whether it be from the beaches of Catalina to the towering mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We are called. Nature, in a way, calls to each and every one of us. John Muir once said, ”In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks”. We always take something new from nature when we venture out into forests. Not only Scouts with their very large backpacks go out into the wilderness but our own savior Jesus Christ went out into the wilderness to fast and to be with his Father.

Like many in this room, I suspect, I was called to the wilderness at a very young age.

Some of my first memories took place in Yosemite National Park and the surrounding Sierra Nevada. I’m an avid backpacker and have hiked Catalina, Ojai near Ventura County and Philmont in Cimarron, New Mexico. While on these trips I became fully aware of God’s blessing to the world. One outing stands out in particular, a trek to Philmont, where we had to climb a mountain just as it was about to rain. With our heavy packs we climbed a very steep trail for several hours. The last leg of my trek I felt like I couldn’t do it.  I had serious doubts about being able to conquer this peek. That’s when I looked up to the cloudy sky and said to the Lord, ”God…I know I haven’t talked to you in a while but I need your help right now. Give me the strength to complete this journey.”

Well, I made it obviously. That was one my greatest memories of my God being there for me through Scouting.

Nature, in a way, is actually a representation of God’s creative hand. Everyone’s life is like a mountain.  There are many paths to reach the summit or to reach God. But there is always the challenge of climbing it. Even though the trail is well marked, it is strenuous. Many obstacles are there to distract us, but it’s our job to push on and make it to God at the top.

Not only through nature is God revealed to us but through protecting it and preserving his creation. And for us Scouts, seeing God through nature will help deepen our faith and draw us into a place of worshiping him…to surrender ourselves to Him, and to allow Him to fill us with Grace.

Our God is so great that he basically gave us the entire Earth to discover. All of this to say, I am in full support of this idea of a Catholic Scouting Encampment.  Especially in the world we are living in today where God may seem distant to some who are distracted by school, a job, technology or partying.

But with this encampment we can help make our world more personal, more loving, just as God did for us.”

 

Share your own Duty to God story here: www.ocbsa.org/stories

 

Veterans of Foreign War Awards for 2018

The Department of California Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) announced Troop Leader Jim Clements, Boy Scout Troop 727 and Eagle Scout Joshua O’Neill are the recipients of prestigious Scouting awards in California.

VFW’s Scout of the Year program provides members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who display standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country with the opportunity to be rewarded with college scholarships of up to $5,000.

To be eligible for the award, the candidate must:

  • Be the recipient of the Eagle Scout Award, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Summit Award or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award
  • Be a registered, active member of a Boy or Girl Scout Troop, Venturing Crew or Sea Scouts Ship at the time the above award was received
  • Have demonstrated exemplary citizenship in school, Scouting and community

The competition starts at the local VFW Post (296 Posts) level and then moves quickly to District Competitions (17 Districts). From there each District submits one candidate to represent them at the Department (State) competition. Department Scout of the Year will then have their package sent to National HQ in Kansas City MO and compete for the VFW National Scout of the Year. At each level there are monitory scholarships awarded upwards of $5,000.

The Department of California Veterans of Foreign Wars is proud to announce the selection of 2018 Scout of the Year – Joshua O’Neill. Eagle Scout Joshua O’Neill is from Troop 727 of Rancho Santa Margarita CA and is a Junior at Trabuco Hills High School. Scoutmaster Jim Clements states, “The honor bestowed upon Josh O’Neill and Troop 727 is a true testament of their efforts, drive, and embracing what Scouting has to offer.”

Outstanding Scout Unit of the Year for California

Boy Scout Troop 727, with 35 Scouts, was awarded the Outstanding Scout Unit of the Year for the State of California. Each submission is judged on having an established and evolving Scouting program as outlined by the Boy Scouts of America. By living according to the Scout Oath, these Scouts demonstrate duty to God and Country with multiple service projects. Chartered by VFW Post 6024 of Mission Viejo, Troop 727 was founded in 2012 in Rancho Santa Margarita. Troop 727 has been Scout Unit of the Year for 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and now 2018.

Scout Leader of the Year for California

The VFW Scout Leader of the Year award for California is Scoutmaster Jim Clements of Troop 727. This award is measured against his/her peers performing the role of Cub Master, Scoutmaster, Venture and Explorer Advisors, Sea Scout Skippers, and Girl Scout Leaders and is selected by the VFW Department of California. Jim provides an opportunity for older Scouts to participate in a program that is tailored to their personal maturing needs. Scoutmaster Jim Clements states, “I am blessed to be allowed to be called Scoutmaster for this group of Scouts.”

 

 

Christian Redman Receives OC Sea Scouting Youth Leadership Award

Article by: Sheila McNutt

Christian Redman is passionate about Sea Scouting and has represented Sea Scouting in Color Guard at more than 30 Orange County Council Boy Scouts of America events over the last 6 years. He has a revolutionary war drum and expertly leads the guard with a cadence. He has taken time off from his studies for the Building Industry Luncheon, Food Service Industry Luncheon, Real Estate Luncheon and other fundraisers. He has given service at the Men of Character Dinner, Eagle Scout Dinner, Good Sea Scout Luncheon and many other events.

Recently he has spearheaded a new Sea Scout Ship 1771 “Resolution”. Christian wants to give service by mentoring and encouraging those less fortunate than himself and wants to share the skills he has learned over the years.

His idea was to be inclusive by offering Sea Scouting to youth who are financially challenged and youth with disabilities. He recently recruited 10 new members, some members with Down syndrome and vision imparities. Each disabled youth is paired with an able-bodied youth so everyone can have fun on the water. Christian encourages youth to think of others instead of focusing on themselves.

Christian has demonstrated his love of Scouting by showing pride in every scouting activity he participates in. He enjoys what he is doing and it is evident when you talk to him. He smiles and his eyes light up as he tells you about his adventures.

Over the years, Christian has worked extremely hard and has achieved Eagle Scout, Venturing Silver, Venturing Summit and Quartermaster Ranks. He is one of the few Scouts in the nation to earn these 4. This remarkable young man undoubtedly deserves recognition with the Sea Scouting Leadership Award.

If you are interested in joining Sea Scout Ship 1771 “Resolution” or being a member of a trained Color Guard email skipper.resolution@gmail.com.

Philmont Program Announcement

PHILMONT PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT – UTE PARK FIRE 6/4/18 4:00 MDT

“The safety of our youth participants, volunteers and staff is a priority for everybody at Philmont Scout Ranch and the Boy Scouts of America.  While efforts continue to extinguish the fire currently burning in the back-country, the anticipated damage and inability to access the affected areas makes it currently impossible to host back country programs.  Until the fire is extinguished, the areas are inspected and the damage assessed, it is impossible to definitively state when those programs will resume.

At this time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all backcountry treks that were scheduled to take place in the Philmont backcountry from June 8 – July 14, 2018.  We hope that back country treks may resume after July 14, 2018 with altered itineraries, assuming the back country is safe and infrastructure is restored.

Additionally, programs scheduled to take place at Philmont Training Center will also be canceled through June 23, 2018. The Philmont Training Center expects to welcome back participants beginning with Philmont Family Adventure on June 24, 2018.

The NAYLE program, which takes place at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp seven miles south of the Philmont Base Camp and is unaffected by the Ute Park Fire, will go on as scheduled.

Over the next few days, we will be contacting the lead advisor or contingent leader of all crews that are impacted by this decision, starting with those that are scheduled to arrive first, as well as affected PTC coordinators. Thank you in advance for allowing the Philmont team to contact your crew – your assistance will help make sure that Philmont phone lines remain open.

We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to continuously evaluate the fire and air quality to ensure that we can safely deliver outstanding program.

Thank you for your support and patience.”

If you have any questions, please contact Philmont Scout Ranch directly. Our hearts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters affected by the Ute Park fire near our beloved Philmont Scout Ranch. We are grateful for the many local, state, and federal emergency responders for their service and pray for them as they continue fighting to keep all area residents safe.