The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) broke ground for a new leadership complex named after President Thomas S. Monson on Wednesday, Jun. 15.
The Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex is scheduled for completion in 2020 and will become one of the BSA’s four high-adventure bases the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. The complex is designed to be “a state-of-the-art facility” where boy scouts will receive hands-on leadership training, according to a BSA news release.
“While Scouts already learn an array of leadership skills in our programs, the complex provides a tremendous opportunity to formalize this training so they can be better prepared to lead throughout their lives,” BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said in the release.
Boy scouts will benefit from guest speakers and “a variety of training methods and learning experiences” at the complex, according to the release. This will “help build on the organization’s mission to shape and develop the nation’s next generation of leaders.”
President Monson said he felt “deeply honored” to have his name be a part of the new leadership complex in a video message prepared for the groundbreaking ceremony.
“The need for strong, capable leadership is critical today, both in Scouting and in the world generally,” President Monson said. “To be associated in some small way with developing such leadership is humbling indeed.”
Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve, attended the groundbreaking ceremony on behalf of the church, according to a Mormon Newsroom release. Young Men General President Stephen W. Owen and Primary General President Joy D. Jones also attended the event.
“Leadership excellence is something President Monson has always strived to achieve personally and to foster in others,” said Elder Christofferson in the release. “He knows — better than anyone I know — that the joy of true leadership is to give all you have to bless and lift others.”
The BSA is currently “exploring opportunities to make the site available for leadership events to showcase West Virginia to other parts of the country,” according to the BSA news release.
“The knowledge Scouts gain from the activities hosted at the complex will be incredibly valuable and something they can take back with them to the real world and on to their future ventures,” Surbaugh said.