“Inspiring Scout Leader,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 69
The influence of James H. Rogers, a member of the Menlo Park First Ward, Menlo Park California Stake, is still felt by the boys who were in his Scout troop 30 years ago. Most members of Troop 215 obtained their Eagle Scout awards and went on to serve missions, marry in the temple, and raise children in the gospel. Many of them cite their Scoutmaster, Brother Rogers, as being instrumental in shaping their characters.
“Even though we had a large troop, he still focused on the individual,” recalls Steven Lund of the Pleasanton Second Ward, Pleasanton California Stake. “He also had the ability to motivate and lead through love and not force.”
Murray W. Hunt of the Hibbard Third Ward, Rexburg Idaho Stake, remembers him as a Scoutmaster who encouraged those in his charge to always do their best. “He insisted that our camp be the finest and the tidiest—and it was: neat tents and cooking areas, trim paths lined with rocks, lashed archways and signal towers, a rough-hewn timber flagpole,” he says.
Scouts sometimes would work at night by firelight if necessary to complete merit badge requirements, Brother Hunt explains. But having fun was also an important part of camping with Brother Rogers and the other Scouts: “There was always the troop’s nighttime campfire, with jokes, stories, songs, skits, and Brother Rogers’s reverent and thoughtful Scoutmaster’s minute.”
Now fighting cancer, Brother Rogers continues to motivate those around him. Says Robert Leonard of the Menlo Park First Ward, Menlo Park California Stake: “For those of us blessed to know him as a leader, teacher, and friend, his champion attitude is a constant inspiration.”