By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
About 1,800 scouts and adult leaders took part in activities celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Heritage Council at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in eastern Jefferson County Oct. 14 to 16.
The weekend culminated on Oct. 16 with an outdoor Mass. About 150 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, adult leaders and volunteers gathered on a clear fall day, sitting on camp chairs and blankets, to join in prayer. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz and Father Jeffrey Gatlin, chaplain of the Catholic Committee on Scouting, celebrated the Mass.
During his homily, Archbishop Kurtz specifically addressed the parents and thanked them for their “willingness and help in cultivating a good path to good character.”
The archbishop said he’s “especially happy” to see young men and women building good character in their lives.
“What you are doing this weekend and in scouting will have an impact on the rest of your life and it’s going to make you think not so much only of yourself but to think of others,” he said to the Scouts.
The Lincoln Heritage Council encompasses 64 counties in four
states: Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri. There are approximately 20,000 Scouts and 10,000 adult leaders in the council, Charlie Hulsman, chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting, said.
About 2,800 Scouts and leaders in the Archdiocese of Louisville account for roughly 10 percent of the Lincoln Heritage Council, Hulsman said.
Thirty-two parishes in the archdiocese sponsor 89 units, which consists of Cub Scouts (boys from kindergarten to 10 years old), Boy Scouts (11 to 18 years old) and Venture Crews (coed 14 to 18 years old).
Hulsman said the Catholic Committee on Scouting sees “scouting as youth ministry.”
“You never know how you may influence or affect the youth,” he said. “Scout leaders provide great role models.”
The Catholic Committee on Scouting also promotes the religious emblem program, which is designed to encourage Scouts to learn and grow in their faith. Each January the committee presents emblems to about 200 Scouts during a service at the Cathedral of the Assumption. There are four religious emblems: Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII.
The archbishop encouraged the Scouts to continue to grow in their faith and to discover God’s plan for them.
He told the Scouts and adults that the two marks of someone with good character are: the ability to say “I’m sorry” and the willingness to say “I forgive you.” He said those are the traits of a “person with some substance.”
“As you finish your time here, say a little prayer as you get ready for the rest of Mass. Say ‘Lord what gift are you giving to me?’ ” he said. “If you can say that prayer, you are going to uncover God’s plan in your life — your vocation.”
He said uncovering that plan will consist of “finding ways to say ‘I’m sorry’ when you do something wrong and ‘I forgive you.’ ”