· Scouting

Scouter finds a calling and his first patch


By Steven Scheid


PHILMONT SCOUT RANCH––Tom Beasley came to the week-long August United Methodist Scouters Workshop to learn about his newly accepted role as scouting coordinator for the Memphis Annual Conference.

With a servant’s heart, Tom agreed to serve, but he did not have much experience with scouting.

At check-in, Tom was asked to wear his class A for the flag ceremony. “What is a class A?" asked Tom.

What he did not know is "Class A" is the short hand for the Boy Scouts of America field uniform. Tom did not own a uniform yet. But, that was not going to stop him from learning.


A parable for Tom

Tom says a parable at the opening sessions seemed addressed to him:

God places a spark in each person. In scouting our challenge is to prepare tinder to catch that spark. Some sparks need a little more fanning, but they all have potential. Once a flame is started, kindling must be added. And, finally wood is added.

Participants were challenged to find the tools they need to prepare for personal growth and for a ministry to young people for whom they are responsible.

Tom took the challenge seriously.


Spark become a fire

Throughout the week, Tom heard from the national commissioner of the BSA, the leader of Venturing, the chief executive of Program of Religious Activities with Youth, and scouters across the nation.

He worshiped at sunrise and laughed with new friends, and he had found a calling to fulfill.

The spark had been ignited into a fire.


1,800 years of experience

Tom was asked to speak at a closing service..

As a certified public accountant, Tom had done some adding.

“With all of the participants and staff at this course, there is about 1,800 years of scouting experience sharing together,” he said. “Where else can you access 1,800 years of experience for $550? I got a good deal.”


His first patch

Tom noted that the Philmont Duty to God patch is the first patch he has earned.

“This was the perfect start to an amazing journey,” he said. “It truly was the hearing and answering of a calling.”


Next workshop

We are excited to support and sustain ministries to youth in proven programs. These ministries are always in need of those who answer the call like Tom.

The next UM Scouters Workshop at the Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, New Mexico, is scheduled for June 16-22, 2019. Come to the mountain and hear the call.


Steven Scheid is director of the Center for Scouting Ministries at the General Commission on UM Men 


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