MIDVALE — The 2012 Bishop’s Dinner for Scouters and Clergy celebrated leadership by adults and youth and the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts at Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Midvale April 22.
Father James Blaine, pastor of Saint Peter in American Fork and the scout chaplain represented the Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, who was returning from his ad limina visit in Rome. Fr. Blaine has a long history with Scouting; he joined the organization as a Cub Scout and achieved the rank of life, then served as a Tiger den leader for 11 years at St. Peter Parish. He was appointed Region 13 chaplain in 1997 and was involved with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting until 2008, when he became the scout chaplain.
"Each diocese is asked to have a diocesan scout committee, whose purpose is to plan and carry out all the programs set forth by the Boy and Girl Scouts of America and by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting," Fr. Blaine said. "It’s very rewarding to see the boys and girls participate in the various activities."
At the dinner, Fr. Blaine presented Nancy Reading and Deacon Herschel Hester with the St. George Award, the highest honor for adults in scouting, for their contribution to the spiritual development of Catholic youth through scouting in the Catholic Church.
Reading is the chairperson for Catholic Scouting to the Great Salt Lake Council and a member of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Draper. Deacon Hester, a member of Saint James the Just Parish in Ogden, was appointed as the state chairman of the Diocesan Committee on Catholic Scouting.
Eleanor Bouley, an eighth-grader and a Girl Scout Cadette in Saint Olaf Troop 108 reported on her troop earning their Silver Award by helping at the Road Home family shelter in Salt Lake City by assisting families with three pre-cooked dinners, entertaining children, making blankets, and collecting books and toys.
Bouley started Girl Scouts in kindergarten as a Daisy and has grown in many ways since then including in confidence friendship, and in service, she said.
"Every year our troop helps with the Saint Olaf Stocking Stuffer at Christmas," said Bouley. "We also make school supply kits for kids in need and make bears for kids in the hospital. For our Bronze award we helped at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab by collecting animal toys."
Scouting has been one of the most successful youth programs in the history of the world, said Martin Walsh, scoutmaster of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Boy Scout Troop 1279.
"Scouting supports and encourages a good code of conduct to help youth through their lives," he said. "That can be measured by the fact that two presidents were Boy Scouts before becoming president, 36 percent of all senators were boy scouts, 47 percent of congressmen were Boy Scouts, 70 percent of all commissioned officers who serve our country were Boy Scouts and one-third of the chief executive and financial officers were Boy Scouts. Boys in Boy Scouts two years or longer make better husbands and are more likely to be involved in community events."
Cathleen Sparrow, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Utah, added that 80 percent of women business owners were Girl Scouts, as were 67 percent of female state legislators.
"Girl Scouts teaches girls decision making skills," Sparrow said. "Selling Girl Scout cookies teaches the girls responsibility, financial literacy and how to set goals and decide what they are going to use their proceeds for because 89 percent stays with the troop to give back to the community. Girl Scouts is a culture; they lead by example."