A conversation with Sister Rosemary Wixom

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Sister Rosemary Wixom and her husband, Jack, at the BSA National Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, was elected to the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board at their annual business meeting on Thursday, May 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. Sister Wixom is the first Primary general president since Sister LaVern W. Parmley (general president 1951 — 1974) to receive this appointment (although all Primary general presidents since Sister Parmley have served on various BSA National committees and/or the National Advisory Council).

We visited with Sister Wixom in Nashville shortly after her nomination was made official.

LDSBSA Relationships: How do you feel about your new assignment?

Sister Wixom: My appointment is really an honor for the Church. It speaks volumes to have the BSA want an additional general Church officer to participate on the BSA National Executive Board. There is also value in having women’s voices influence Scouting. It is often the mothers who make Scouting happen and help their sons through the process.

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Sister Parmley served as Primary general president from 1951-1974.

 LDSBSA: Tell us about Sister Parmley and her service in Primary and Scouting.

Sister Wixom: She was remarkable! She was the Primary general president during all of my growing up years in Primary and I always admired her. She truly had a vision for the needs and the potential of young boys. It makes me wonder if she understood what they would be facing in our day, right now. She is the one who led the way in bringing Cub Scouting into the Church. We give credit to Sister Parmley and her vision for how Scouting can be a tool for boys to learn values, service, and leadership and the importance of their Duty to God; and to learn these things while they are in Primary.

Sister Parmley was laying the groundwork that we are building upon today. She was chosen for that time and season. I have the greatest respect for what she provided which is now affecting boys 60 years later.

LDSBSA: Why is Cub Scouting so important in Primary?

Sister Wixom: I look at Scouting and we are in a place now when we need it more than ever. Scouting puts boys on the path to manhood by learning the character traits that will help them be successful in life. It’s the opportunity to be exposed to leaders and mentors that will guide these boys in their lives. We begin when they are eight years old, when they are young and so impressionable.

In addition, it’s so healthy to open these boys’ eyes to the fact that there is much good in the world. When values are reinforced from many directions then it has a greater impact on the young man. We can trust the Scouting program to reinforce these values.

LDSBSA: How do you feel about receiving the Silver Buffalo Award?

Sister Wixom: I consider it a great honor, but most of all a great blessing to have had the experiences that have come with this calling.

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Sister Wixom and her husband, Jack (right), and son (left) with Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock (far left) as she receives her Silver Buffalo Award.

Primary Service Facts:

Sister LaVern W. Parmley was called as Primary general president in 1951. Cub Scouting was officially adopted for Primary boys in 1952 under the direction of President David O. McKay.

Sister Parmley was appointed as a member of the BSA Religious Relationships Committee in 1968. In a letter dated April 1, 1968, A.E. Iverson, director of the BSA Institutional Relationships Division, congratulated Sister Parmley on being the “First Lady of Scouting,” meaning that she was the first woman to serve on a National BSA committee. In 1969 she was appointed as a member of the Cub Scout Committee and in 1971 was elected to the BSA National Council (Board).

Sister Parmley received her Silver Buffalo Award in 1976. She was the first woman to receive this honor.

Sister Rosemary Wixom was called as Primary general president in April 2010. Since then she has served on the National Advisory Council and several National committees.

Sister Wixom was elected as a member of the BSA National Executive Board on May 22, 2014.

She received the Silver Buffalo Award on May 23, 2014.

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  1. […] We visited with Sister Wixom at the meetings.  Read more about her interview here. […]

  2. Richard Holloman says:

    It’s wonderful to have such connectivity between BSA and the Primary. I would love to see focused instructional outreach to primary aged boys’ parents to emphasize the church’s inspired commitment to scouting and the parents essential role in its success. This could include links to such messages already given but not yet collated or highlighted. Too many parents still think scouting is a drop off boy-sitting service.

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