Canada and Scouting would likely be found near the top of President Thomas S. Monson's "favorites list."
For three years, the LDS Church president called The Great White North home while presiding over the Church's Canadian Mission from 1959 to 1962. His talks and writings often reference the years he and his wife, Frances J. Monson, spent living and serving among the Canadian members and their neighbors.
And he's a lifelong Scout who has championed the program for decades and actively serves on the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board.
On Friday, President Monson's passionate support for both Canada and Scouting were recognized when a trio of Scouts Canada executives presented him with the Silver Fox Award. According to Scouts Canada, the Silver Fox is reserved and bestowed upon "those deemed to have contributed service of the most exceptional character to Scouting in the international field, performed by persons who are not members of Scouts Canada."
The Silver Fox Award recognizes people who have impacted Scouting worldwide, said Rob Stewart, Scouts Canada's executive director of program and membership services. "We try our best to identify deserving Scouters — and certainly President Monson was top of mind when we did that look."
The award, he added, is "really a recognition that Scouting is certainly bigger than one country — it's a worldwide movement."
President Monson received the honor during a morning ceremony in the Church Administration Building. Joining him at the event was President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, his second counselor in the First Presidency.
The Church leader said he was honored to be recognized by Scouts Canada.
"When I turned 12 years of age, I became a Tenderfoot Scout, and I've loved Scouting ever since," he said. "It's been my honor to attend most of the Jamborees internationally and to be on guard for Scouting throughout the world."Comment on this story
President Monson is a past recipient of Scouting's Silver Beaver and Silver Buffalo awards and International Scouting's highest award, the Bronze Wolf.
Time spent Friday with the Canadian Scouters also offered President Monson a few moments to reminisce about the years he lived in Canada.
"My dear wife and I had the privilege of living in Canada for three years at the time when our second son (Clark) was born. We felt he's our Canadian boy."