With program membership open to boys and girls ages six to 20, the Last Frontier Council serves central and southwest Oklahoma by promoting the mission of the Boy Scouts of America – through scouting programs, leadership training and civic service opportunities.
“Scouting is a full-family outdoor program impacting the community far beyond the youth we serve,” says Sarah Spinks, the Last Frontier Council’s development and communications director.
“The Boy Scouts of America Youth Development Program prepares youth to make ethical choices over their lifetimes,” she continues. “Our scouts engage in a variety of activities designed to address their physical, mental and spiritual needs. Camping, hiking, survival skills and a variety of outdoor education programs teach them how to be resourceful and maintain healthy lifestyles. Earning rank advancements, awards and merit badges provide scouts a tangible way to see how service projects and other activities translate into development of new skills, self-reliance, initiative and moral accountability.”
The Scout Slogan: “Do a Good Turn Daily,” has boots-on-the-ground meaning for scouts in many ways, including participation in Scouting for Food. Held annually in November, the event aims to collect over 65,000 pounds of food, and then donate it back to the community.
Individual participants work toward the Eagle Scout Rank by completing a plethora of useful projects. Scouts in the Last Frontier Council are no exception, and have completed everything from construction of a pavilion at Elmer Thomas Park in Lawton, to renovation of a lounge at the Santa Fe Family Life Center in Oklahoma City.
It is not unusual for scouts to make a major impact in the communities they serve. When citizens’ lives are disrupted by tornadoes, fires and ice storms, scouts can mobilize their membership quickly to aid those in need. Also, scouts honor those who served their country by placing flags on graves of veterans.
“Each scout pack, troop or crew collaborates with their Charter Partner to provide volunteer hours, such as community service projects, holiday celebration participation, flag presentation and retirement ceremonies, which benefit the Charter Partner and the community,” Spinks says.says.
The pandemic took a toll on the Last Frontier Council, lowering the youth membership numbers by just over half. But Spinks says the council is working hard to come back strong. At the end of 2022, the membership included 5,800 youth and 2,000 registered volunteers participating as parents.
The Scout Motto
“Scouting has concise and universal ideals that are applied in all aspects of our program,” says Spinks. “The Scout Oath and Law provide guidelines for doing the right thing. Every member renews his or her dedication to these ideals at the beginning of every meeting, every week. The Scout Oath teaches scouts honor, doing their best, duty to self and others, making the world better by helping others, taking care of one’s self, continual personal development and respect. The Scout Law, ‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent,’ lays out twelve points that will lead scouts toward the right thing each time they face a challenge. Through the Scout Slogan, scouts are taught to ‘Do a Good Turn Daily,’ which means doing something to help others without expecting anything in return.”
Main image cutline: Open to youth ages six to 20, scouting programs help members to become independent, caring stewards of their communities. Photo courtesy Last Frontier Council