June 16, 2016
The Boy Scouts of America broke ground Wednesday, June 15, 2016, for it's new state-of-the-art Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex in Glen Jean, West Virginia.
The new complex will provide hands-on training on the principles of leadership, "The need for strong, capable leadership is critical today, both in Scouting and in the world generally," said President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a video greeting recorded for a groundbreaking ceremony.
A video greeting by Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was shown to those gathered at Glen Jean, West Virginia, for the groundbreaking of the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex. Courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The building will be a place where scouts and scout leaders can learn a variety of training methods and have learning experiences in communication, storytelling and conflict resolution. It will also feature guest speakers.
Elder Jeffery R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church and member of the Scouting Executive Board, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson, also a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Stephen W. Owen, general president of the Church's Young Men organization, and Joy D. Jones, general president of the Primary, all attended the event on behalf of the Church.
"Today as we prepare to break ground for such a center I submit that 'Thomas S. Monson' is the ideal name to place on and to match the vision behind such a center," said Elder Holland. "He whom I call 'Elder Monson' or 'President Monson,' but whom fellow Scouters have always affectionately called 'Tom,' has lived each day of his life in true harmony to his Master, living an exemplary life boys could pattern their own lives on, and in serving his fellowman."
"Leadership excellence is something President Monson has always strived to achieve personally and to foster in others. He knows - better than anyone I know - that the joy of true leadership is to give all you have to bless and lift others," said Elder Christofferson.
"The Summit Bechtel Reserve offers life-changing experiences to youth they can't experience anywhere else and, as such, is a natural fit for this meaningful project," said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA. "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."
President Monson joined the BSA's National Executive Board more than 46 years ago. He's earned the organization's highest awards, including the Silver Beaver, Silver Buffalo, Silver Fox and Bronze Wolf.
The buildings within the complex will be named after four instrumental BSA founders and leading business leaders including: Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc., John D. Tickle, Sr., Chairman of Strongwell Corp., and Philip M. Condit, Former Chairman and CEO of Boeing (retired).
The complex is being built at the Summit Bechtel Reserve and is expected to be completed in 2020.
The LDS Church is the BSA's oldest partner and largest sponsor of Scouting units.