“Snowshoes and Scouting,” New Era, Sept. 2013, 37
Wyoming can be a cold and snowy place in the wintertime. That’s why one troop decided to make snowshoes. During the fall they were looking ahead to the Klondike derby coming up in January. They wanted an activity that could prepare them for winter camping.
Under the direction of their Scoutmaster and deacons quorum adviser, the young men went online to find a pattern and instructions for making snowshoes out of rawhide and wood. “We realized this project was going to take a long time,” says Sam F., deacons quorum president, “but we were all excited, and we had a plan.”
As the young men worked on their snowshoe frames, they discussed how they could help others in the quorum who were less active, and they made a plan to visit them. “We visited every boy on our list and invited them to come to Scouts,” Sam says. “We told them we were making snowshoes for the winter campout coming up.” Having a clear goal was helpful in drawing other boys to the troop.
As the snowshoes progressed, so did the quorum. Six young men started the snowshoe project, but soon others joined in, including one of another faith.
John B.’s friend, Timothy N., was active in his church, but it didn’t have a Scout troop, so he started coming with his friend. His brother, Thomas, even joined the ward’s 11-year-old Scout patrol and earned his religious award. He was then presented with the award at his own church service.
While the young men and leaders worked, they made religious connections between wrapping the rawhide tightly and bringing their quorum together.
Jacob D. started coming regularly to the Scout meetings. His mother, Heather P., later thanked the troop for welcoming her son and their family. Other young men who had never attended church came to the Scout meetings to make snowshoes.
By January, the snowshoes were finished and each young man had a pair to use during the Klondike derby. Aiden H. said what they all felt about making snowshoes: “It was fun because we got to use them!”
“We learned a lot about enduring to the end on a project and about strengthening our quorum through Scouting,” Sam says. “My snowshoes will last a long time, and whenever I see them I’ll remember this experience, as well as the great friends we made in our troop and quorum.”