In small groups and camp-wide programs, Elders Vaughn J. Featherstone and Ted E. Brewerton, both of the First Quorum of the Seventy, counseled more than 700 Scouts to prepare for missionary service.
The Santa Rosa Regional Scout Encampment, held Aug. 18-23 among the tall redwoods of Camp Masonite-Navarro, 70 miles northwest of Santa Rosa, Calif., focused on more than the usual camp activities and merit badge advancement. Organizers aimed their efforts at inspiring boys from the Santa Rosa, Ukiah, San Rafael, Napa, Fairfield and Eureka stakes to go on missions.During a special campfire program, Elder Featherstone, speaking among the great Redwood trees, recalled how difficult it was for the early saints to contribute funds for the Kirtland Temple.
"I compared that to the kind of sacrifice the Scouts would need to make in this life," Elder Featherstone said. "They will probably give to the same extent spiritually and physically that the Kirtland saints did financially."
Elder Brewerton told the youths to "put on the whole armor of God." Later, in a sacrament meeting address, he said the Church needs more missionaries who had earned the rank of an Eagle, because they are better prepared to cope with the challenges faced in going into the world.
Both General Authorities also spoke at a special banquet for Eagle Scouts.
At the encampment, each boy received a 22-page Mission Preparation Guide, which included a workbook covering helps for scriptural, financial, physical and spiritual preparation. It was designed to help each Scout picture in his mind the kind of missionary he wants to be, then to evaluate where he is in his progress toward a mission. The prospective missionaries also were encouraged to set goals.