Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cubs Gather for Pinewood Derby

On Thursday, June 25 - after months of preparation and a frenzy of eager anticipation - Cub Scouts from Bloomington 7th and Southgate Wards gathered at the starting line for the Pinewood Derby, a celebrated rite of scouting selected in 2006 as one of "America’s 100 Best Ideas"! With the help of parents, siblings, or grandparents, each boy had an opportunity to turn a block of pine, plastic wheels and metal axles into a racing car - as Cub Scouts have been doing since the first Pinewood Derby in Manhattan Beach, California in 1953.

"We had some of the most creative and amazing cars I’ve ever seen," noted Primary president Pat Chappell. "Blocks of wood had been turned into everything from Sponge Bob to a rolling guitar." Thanks to Brother Doug Schaerrer for hosting a derby workshop in his garage and for teaching the boys about his various tools and how to use them.

The boys and their family members all had a great time - especially enjoying the opportunity for Dads to dust off their own Pinewood Derby cars for a Classic Car Derby. Every Cub Scout was a winner receiving an award for their car, plus an award for participation; but when the races were over, Hamilton Puiri took 2nd Place in the Webelos den and 2nd place overall, Dallen Forsyth took 1st place and Luke Wilkes placed 2nd in the Webelos pack while McKay Goldhardt came in 3rd in the Wolf den and 3rd place overall.
Thanks to Tina Forsyth and her committee for organizing the event and to all who support the Cubs and Boy Scouts in any way.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Be What You Believe!

The 2009 Bloomington Youth Stake Conference was "an amazing and spiritual experience," according to dozens of young men and women over age 14 who took part in the 2-day event. Held June 5-6, the conference - described as a mini-EFY right here in St. George - encouraged participants to "Be What You Believe." All youth were divided into families of 10 girls or boys and assigned to homes in the Bloomington Stake. One family of girls and a family of boys made up a company, and throughout the 2-day conference, youth were expected to remain constantly with their family or company. Speaker John Bytheway, one of four outstanding workshop presenters, warned youth participants, "Satan is patient and will never give up in his efforts to win your soul. Choose your friends wisely and remember it is better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent!" Another speaker reminded attendees, each baptized member of the church can have the spirit of the Holy Ghost with them at all times. "But it’s a still small voice and we have to learn to listen!" Another speaker talked of being what you believe in word and conversation by using Christ-like communication. "But the most important thing to learn is to learn to talk to God through prayer," quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley who said, "don't worry. It will all work out. Shape up and say your prayers." Brother and Sister Bowen counseled youth to be what you believe as a child of God, stating, "Just because we don't remember our premortal life, that doesn't mean it didn't exist. We don't remember, but Satan does."

In addition to workshops, 320 Bloomington youth and their leaders took part in a service project in which they planted 100 trees along Pioneer Road and painted dozens of fire hydrants around the community. At the end of the project, the green clad army of hardworking youth gathered at Bloomington Park for games and a quick shower, courtesy of the Bloomington fire station. The conference concluded with a spiritually uplifting testimony meeting in which youth shared their love for and faith in Jesus Christ as well as their affection for new friends and dedicated leaders.

Church-wide, youth conferences are held at varying times of the year and for different periods of time, but always with a purpose of helping youth build faith in Jesus Christ, strengthen their testimonies, develop their talents, make new friends, have fun with others who share similar beliefs and standards; and develop leadership skills as they help plan and carry out various aspects of the conference.