Courtesy PhilNews, Philmont Scout Ranch
Duty to God is a centerpiece of the Scouting program in this country. Our duty to God comes before duty to country, duty to family, or duty to self. It is a hallmark of the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturing advancement programs. The founder of Scouting, Robert Baden-Powell, believed that it was our duty as Scouters to ensure that all youth in our program had the opportunity to learn about and practice their religion as taught by their families.
Here at Philmont Scout Ranch one’s duty to God is taken quite seriously, due in large part to the devotion and leadership of Mark Anderson. Over the many years that Mark has served as Director of Program, he has worked to ensure that we have a strong Chaplain staff, that we have the resources to have strong Base Camp and back country religious services, and that we have a devoted hour each evening dedicated to Duty to God without interference or competition from other activities. Mark and his wife Linda have also served as wonderful examples to the staff of Philmont of what it means to put God first in one’s life.
For his tireless efforts on behalf of the Chaplaincy and promotion of Duty to God here at the ranch, the Philmont Chaplains were honored on May 29, 2016 to present Mark Anderson with the United Methodist Church’s Silver Torch Award. While most adult Scouter religious awards are given by a local congregation for work with their own youth, this award is rare, and given only to those who have distinguished themselves in serving youth and promoting Duty to God at a regional or national level. It recognizes the builders of Christian character and service to others.
On behalf of the many thousands of youth and adults who have benefited from his efforts over the years, and the many thousands of Philmont staff who have witnessed their example, we congratulate Mark (and Linda) on this outstanding honor!