Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Beginnings

I attended New Beginnings last Wednesday.  New Beginnings is like "cross over" for Weblos' coming into a Troop for the Young Women's Program of our Church.  One of my daughters is already in Young Women and the other one just started.  I feel like a girl completing the Personal Progress Program is just as important as a boy earning his Eagle.  My daughters are very motivated to earn it and I don't have to do much reminding especially since my wife is also working on the program too.  I have a daughter who wants to camp bad and my promise to her is that she can join a Venturing Crew at a near by Church when she finishes her Personal Progress.

New Beginnings had a sports theme and they all hammed it up for the theme including wearing jerseys and crowd cheers.  One of the talks really touched me and I think it was very applicable to Scouting and Duty to God (thanks KJ for sharing!!).  Here it is:

Coaches of sports teams often provide players with a notebook full of x’s and o’s made into diagrams or plays of how to succeed.  It is called a playbook.  Team members study it and look to it for a plan of action. 
A football player’s goal is to make it in the end zone and ultimately win the game.  If the football players study the playbook faithfully, train and exercise their minds and bodies to make them strong, work hard, follow the rules of the game, are team players and listen to their coaches they will ultimately achieve their goal.            
Much like football players our YW have a playbook.  It’s their PP book.  They are part of a team.  You parents are their coaches.  The YW leaders are their cheerleaders.  On this team, we have some rookies….these are our new beehives.  Our team captains are our class presidencies.  We also have some all-stars: these girls have already completed their PP and earned their YW recognition award.  We also have MVP’s…these are the girls who are working hard trying to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.  We even have a rule book which we use side by side with our playbook and that is the FTSOY pamphlet.            
 If our YW study their playbook faithfully, train and exercise their minds and bodies by completing value experiences to make them strong and courageous, work hard, follow the standards within their “rule books”, are team players and listen to their coaches they will ultimately achieve their goal…which is hopefully the temple. While most playbooks are kept secret from rival teams our playbook teaches our YW to share the gospel with others, invite their non-member friends to church activities, and to serve.               
Our playbook uses the 8 YW values which are Faith, DN, IW, Knowledge, C&A, GW, Integrity, and Virtue to help our YW more fully understand who they are, why they are here, and what they should be doing as a daughter of God to prepare to go to the temple. 
If a football player was to go on to the field for a game without having practiced or preparing themselves they would not perform well.  Practices are held usually on a regular basis so that players can learn to apply instructions coaches have introduced for the upcoming game.  Just as with any athlete or sports team they must practice in order to become better. 
Our playbook has set a forth a program that not only will help our YW become better but it will help them become excellent.  In order to complete this program they must:
  • Attend sacrament meeting on a regularly 

  • Live the standards within the For the Strength of the Youth pamphlet 

  • Keep a journal 

  • Record your testimony of the Savior 

  • Complete 6 value experiences and 1 ten hour value project for each of the first    seven values.  And then for Virtue each YW will complete 4 value experiences and read the Book of Mormon.
As the YW set and achieve goals they are preparing for their future roles as women, wives, mothers and leaders.  Participating in PP on a regular basis and applying the instruction within this book will help you establish habits such as scripture study, prayer, service, and journal keeping.  These habits will strengthen your testimony and help you learn and improve throughout your life. 
Imagine the confusion or frustration players would feel on the field if they never or rarely practiced.  What would happen if they never cracked open their playbook, if they never heeded the instruction from the coaches, if they weren’t team players, and if they didn’t follow the rules?  I would think that they would be upset with themselves and disappointed…maybe even angry and they definitely wouldn’t win the game.                  
Our playbook…our PP book is filled with experiences for your growth and learning. The PP program was a program put in to place to help you to prepare you for game situations that you will face during life’s journey as you strive to reach your goal of going to the temple and ultimately coming unto Christ. 
So here is the connection I go from this talk.  Parents play the key role to a young man earning his Duty to God award and him earning his Eagle (the book Trials to Testimony confirms this).  They are their son's Coach.  Us, as leaders, are the cheer leaders and at times watch from the side lines.  Sometimes we watch a boy sitting on the bench from the side lines.  We can cheer all we want but the Coach is in charge.  How weird would it be for a cheerleader to come over to the Coach and ask for his clip board and his headset?  The Coach might go all Bobby Knight on the cheerleaders..........  On the other hand, the Coach may not care what is happening to his players OR not know what to do with his players.  That is where we, as leaders, can help train them and cheer them on.

Boys need to be actually practicing the things they learn.  It isn't just a homework assignment but it should be viewed as a way to change ones life.  Scouting fulfills the purposed of the Aaronic Priesthood.  Aaronic Priesthood duties fulfill the purposes of Scouting.  Boys need to be taking every experience they have and using it to learn and to grow.  Classes and instruction shouldn't be a class to just sit through.

How grateful I am for my daughters leaders.  At times I have been frustrated with them but I know they have my daughter's interests at heart.  I want my daughters to be learning and growing every minute they spend with their leaders and I will be there to help council them, coach them and yes, even cheer for them!!

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