The Scripture Scouts discover the Family Proclamation!
In their twenty-year history, the Scripture Scouts have explored the Book of Mormon, The Old and New Testaments and the Articles of Faith. Now, the Scripture Scouts bring their unique combination of music, insightful dialogue and humor to the task of teaching children the principles of the Family Proclamation.
In this musical adventure, Boo, the talking Basset hound, is on vacation at the beach and meets three little cousins, Benny, Jen and Babs, who are at Castleberry Cove for a family reunion. The first day of the reunion, Grandpa Castleberry gives everyone a copy of the Family Proclamation and tells them it’s a treasure map. Through their exploration together, the children discover the remarkable beauty and power of God’s great treasure, the family.
Come spend a week at the beach with Boo and his friends!
Some Reflections on Writing Scripture Scouts- by Melanie Hoffman
It’s been nearly twenty years since I first began writing Scripture Scouts. Then, I was a young mother with three active little sons. I had to squeeze my writing into little cracks in my life with my family. We finished the Book of Mormon adventures when I was expecting our fourth son. I still can’t listen to the Jaredite episode without feeling queasy. We joined forces again to write Scripture Scouts- Articles of Faith four years later. Writing Scripture Scouts has been a holy experience for me. Through the years, lines from the songs and words of childlike wisdom have come to my mind countless times to bless and enlighten me.
About a year ago, Deseret Book gave us the opportunity write Scripture Scouts again, this time on the Family Proclamation. We were very excited! I have the privilege of writing with some great men. Marvin Payne, the originator of Scripture Scouts, and voice of Boo-dog, organizes all of our ideas and puts them into words. Marvin has a rare gift for writing for children. He understands and greatly respects them. Steve Perry, my fellow songwriter, has a mind like none other I’ve ever encountered! He is funny, highly original and sensitive at the same time. Then there is my wonderful husband, Roger, who is so gifted at arranging music for children. He takes our songs and makes them into treasures. Roger is a perfectionist when it comes to music. He believes children deserve the highest consideration of all. Along with Scripture Scouts, we have produced two other children’s series, the Allabouts and Alexander’s Amazing Adventures. One of the most fun things I do in my life is sit in our living room with these guys and brainstorm how to teach children the gospel.
I was a little nervous to start writing Scripture Scouts again, especially to tackle teaching the Family Proclamation, a powerful but undeniably “grownup” document. We all knew that we would need plenty of inspiration to make it work.
As we began creating the characters and location, the ideas began to flow. We decided on a family reunion at the beach. I love the beach (as my family will attest) and I have cherished memories of family reunions when I was a child. For me, it was the perfect setting!
One of the things I loved about family reunions was discovering cousins I had never known before. That’s what happens with our little Scripture Scouts. Jen and Benny come to the reunion together and meet their cousin Babs on the beach. As we discussed the development of these characters, we considered carefully the fact that so many children today do not have the “traditional” family. We wanted children to be able to relate to our Scripture Scouts so this project could be of use to them. We especially didn’t want any child to feel alienated in any way. We approached every principle with that in mind.
On the first day of the reunion Grandpa Castleberry passes out copies of the Family Proclamation to all his family and tells them that it is a treasure-map. Writing this project was like discovering treasure for us as we searched through the document and found ways we could teach these precious truths to children. It was a joyous adventure!
What I'll remember most about our creative meetings is how we all had to shed our “grown-up” notions of what the Proclamation says. We had to toss all of the comfortable, threadbare, and mostly meaningless expressions we’d been parroting back and forth in home teaching visits and ask each other “What does Repentance mean, in six words of one syllable each, none of them starting with ‘R’?” Philosophy went out the window, rhetoric sank down the drain, Elizabethan English got banished to the Shakespearean Festival and the High Priest’s Group.
An enormous and completely unexpected blessing came when we went searching for the simplest and truest ways of saying what we believe: We began discovering the simplest and truest things we believe. Knowing that we couldn’t “snow” or “verbally pacify” the kids, we were suddenly unable to “snow” or “verbally pacify” each other. Huckleberry Finn discovered that “you can’t pray a lie.” If someone pure and holy is listening, you have to tell the truth. Children are pure and holy. Having to walk a while in little-bitty shoes and talk to each other as though we were children, we got just a little bit purer, just a little bit holier. The members of the creative team will always share the bond of that journey.
Steven Kapp Perry
Writing Scripture Scouts is always joyful work, but creating the new adventures in the Family Proclamation was even a notch more wonderful than usual; because these timeless principles of family truth have never been more timely!
Writing Scripture Scouts was like standing on holy ground. Children deserve our finest efforts. I felt that my job in arranging the music was to reflect the joy, the spontaneity and the openness of children.
Elder Boyd K. Packer has said that our testimonies should be like a fire of faith “... that our children can warm their hands by.” We tried to build the biggest bonfire we could!