A lifetime of Scouting and activity in the Church has culminated in three generations of Eagle Scouts for the Edward Earl Dean family. And it has been those Scouting experiences that help keep the Dean family close and growing in the gospel.
"We've spent a lifetime in Scouting," said Edward Dean, 71, the first in the family to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. His son, Leslie Dean, attained the rank in 1959, and a grandson, Loren Benjamin Dean, achieved it 1988.Edward became immersed in Scouting while presiding over the Dothan (Ala.) Branch, which had the largest Scout troop in the Southeast Alabama Council. He also served as assistant Scoutmaster at two jamborees, one where he was accompanied by both his sons, Leslie and Marcus.
A member of the Olympus 3rd Ward in the Salt Lake Olympus Stake, Edward received the Silver Beaver award from the Great Salt Lake Council. His wife, Adrene, served in the Primary as a den mother for five years while their children were growing up.
"With Scouting as an official part of the Church, the better Scout troop you have, the better job you are doing in your priesthood responsibilities," said Edward.
Leslie and Marcus have served missions and married in the temple.
"Scouting helped me feel more self confident and learn basic skills," Leslie said. "It helps you develop self-discipline as you work toward the goal of making Eagle. You have to set goals to do that. It just doesn't happen. There is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing if you can reach that goal, then you can reach other goals in life. All those things complement serving a mission."
In addition to Loren, Leslie will have another son receive his Eagle this year as will Marcus' son. The Deans' grandsons also plan to serve missions. Loren, 17, a priest in the Magnolia Ward, started community college at age 15 and will graduate in June at age 17. He plans to continue his education while preparing to go on a mission.
"Scouting has helped me to know that I can take care of myself," he commented.
Leslie, 43, a high priest in the Magnolia Ward of the Riverside California Stake, currently serves as assistant Scoutmaster.
"There's no other youth program in the world that would support the gospel as the Boy Scout program does," he said.
Changes impact Scouting programs
- Though the 1991 Budget Allowance Program instructions include several modifications related to Scouting, Church leaders reiterated that the partnership between the two organizations continues as strong as ever.
Here is a look at some of the Scouting-related policy changes.
- Exploring: Young men 16-17 years old should be registered in Scouting when pursuing rank advancements, or when stake presidents and bishops choose to sponsor Explorer Posts (Venturers in Canada) for young men of this age.
Bishops should consult with their stake presidents to determine the most effective mid-week program for 16-17 year-old young men in their wards. The Explorer program, when carefully planned and structured, can offer young men a number of meaningful and productive activities. If wards choose not to participate in Explorer Scout programs, bishops and stake presidents should make sure alternate programs choosen for these young men are well planned, meet the spiritual and social needs of the young men, and are consistent with the Church's Aaronic Priesthood goals and budget allowance guidelines.
- Annual camp or activity: Young men can individually participate in the cost of one selected local council- or national-sponsored camp or activity or one annual camp or activity that is equivalent in experience and cost to a local council-sponsored camp. This camp or activity may also be paid from the budget allowance.
- Fund raising: Young men who participate in the cost of their annual camp or activity . . . are encouraged to individually earn their own money. Group fund raising is permitted only when funds additional to those earned individually, or not available from the budget allowance, are needed for the annual camp or activity or for group equipment.
- Sustaining Membership Enrollment (SME): SME should be a voluntary contribution to the Boy Scouts of America by Scouters and friends of Scouting. While fixed assessments should not be made to stakes, wards, or members, stakes are encouraged to donate at a level commensurate with the number of young men registered. Area presidencies, regional representatives, and stake presidencies should not pressure local units to raise specified amounts. Stake presidents and bishops should ensure that all friends of Scouting fully understand the need and benefit of supporting this activity and are provided the opportunity to contribute.