Church spokesman Bart Austin said, “While it’s LDS-based tonight, celebrating our 100 years’ association of Scouting, it’s really about community involvement in Scouting — what Scouting’s done for all the kids, whether it’s through the LDS Church or any other organization that sponsors a Scout troop. “
Austin said there were approximately 60 to 75 boys involved in the three Scout troops sponsored by the Gilmer LDS Church.
He said last week four boys from Troop 311 earned Eagle Scout honors, the highest attainable rank in the program. A Court of Honor was held for them. Their books describing what they had done to become Eagle Scouts were displayed at a table along with the custom-made walking sticks their Scoutmaster made for them as a gift.
He also introduced Gilmer-based Justin Nessen, who oversees all the youth involved in Scouting in the East Texas stakes.
Following the open house, the attendees watched a special broadcast from the LDS Church leadership celebrating the anniversary.
In commemoration of the Church’s 100-year affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, an event called “A Century of Honor” was held. The event originated at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was broadcast live throughout North America in English and Spanish.
Featured on the program were Scout choirs, historical vignettes and videos highlighting important events, service and achievements from the past century. Thousands of local Scouts of all ages participated. Members of the First Presidency of the Church as well as national BSA leaders and executive board members also attended.
All Scout troops in North America were invited to participate by viewing the broadcast live at a local LDS stake center or online during or after the broadcast at scouts.100.lds.org.
In 1907, Sir Robert Baden-Powell began the Boy Scout movement in England, and in 1910 the Boy Scouts of America was founded. The Church became the first sponsor of Scouting in the United States in 1913 and is now the largest sponsoring organization of BSA with more than 430,000 boys and young men enrolled.
President Thomas S. Monson, who has served on the BSA National Executive Board longer than any other member, said, “Scouting brings out the best in each of us. You've learned much from Scouting. Live what you've learned and will continue to learn. Help others to hike the trails, to keep steadfast in the paths of truth, of honor, of duty, that all of you can soar together on eagles' wings.”
In a May 2013 letter sent to stakes and wards, the First Presidency stated, “For 100 years, the Church has enjoyed a strong, rewarding relationship with the Boy Scouts of America. We are thankful for Scouting’s emphasis on duty to God and moral behavior and its positive influence in the lives of boys and young men.”