“Cody and the Campout,” Friend, May 2015, 16–17
Thomas ran through the house looking for Dad. His Scout patrol meeting started in 10 minutes, and he needed help tying his neckerchief.
“Dad! Can you help me?” Thomas pointed at his neckerchief. But Dad was busy talking on the phone.
“Of course Cody can join our patrol,” Thomas heard Dad say. “In fact, we have a campout next weekend.” Dad talked some more, then smiled and hung up.
“Who was that?” Thomas asked.
“You know Cody from school? That was his dad. Cody’s going to join our den and come on the campout next weekend.”
Going on overnight campouts was Thomas’s favorite part of being an 11-year-old Scout, and he liked Cody. But he was confused about one thing. “But Cody doesn’t go to our church.”
“I know,” Dad said. “Cody’s church doesn’t do Scouts, so he wants to join our patrol.”
But everybody in our patrol is from our ward, Thomas thought. How would Cody fit in?
Before the campout, everyone met up at the Church building. “Hi,” Cody said to Thomas. The boys talked for a bit, and then Cody said, “I brought a two-person tent. Wanna share it with me?” Thomas grinned and said yes. Soon the Scouts set off for the mountains. When they got there, the boys ran off to set up their tents.
“Ready?” Thomas called to Cody.
“Ready!” The two boys pushed the tent poles into the ground. Their tent rose up and made a long shadow. “That was easy,” Cody said. “Race you to the river!” Cody bolted away, and Thomas followed behind.
Cody took a turn leading a hike and lighting the campfire. He liked exploring and was really friendly. Thomas was glad Cody got along with the group so well.
At dinner that night, Cody and Thomas grabbed their tinfoil dinners and joined the other patrol members at the picnic table. “Brother Wilson, will you say the prayer?” Dad asked one of the other leaders.
Thomas folded his arms and looked over at Cody. He wasn’t sure how Cody prayed at his church. But Cody bowed his head too and said “amen” at the end—just like everybody else.
“Why did your dad call him ‘Brother Wilson’?” Cody whispered. “Is he really his brother?”
“It’s because we’re all children of Heavenly Father,” Thomas explained. “Do you pray the same way we do?”
Cody smiled. “We use some different words, but it’s mostly the same.”
Pretty soon it was time for s’mores around the campfire. “Now we’ll have Cody give the spiritual thought for tonight,” Dad said.
Thomas was surprised, but Cody gave him a thumbs-up as he walked to the front of the group. “Thanks for letting me come,” Cody said. “I was a little nervous at first, but you’ve all been really nice. I’m going to share one of my favorite scriptures.”
Cody read, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Thomas recognized the scripture. “I go to a different church than you guys, but we all show that we love God in the same way—we love each other. Thanks for being my friends!”
Dad stood and thanked Cody. “Now let’s sing ‘Love One Another’ to finish our evening,” he said. Cody listened and smiled while the group sang.
“Nice song,” he said as he crawled into their tent. “It was just like my scripture!”
Thomas smiled and climbed into his sleeping bag. Cody and I might go to different churches, he thought, but we can still be great friends.