Boy Scouts Rally to Support Scoutmaster Battling Cancer

Paul Grosvold bowing his head in prayer during a troop meeting.(Photo credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO/JULIA MOSS)

Like many Scoutmasters across America, Paul Grosvold is a stand-out leader and mentor to hundreds of young men. Charged with a passion to serve others, he’s a beloved member of his community who would rather tend to the needs of others before his own.

Yet, earlier this year, Paul was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Scouting families across Great Falls, Mont., are organizing a benefit on Dec. 6 to honor and give back to the man who has made such a positive impact on their lives.

A Model of Scout Spirit

Serving as Scoutmaster and Order of the Arrow advisor in the Montana Council, along with other service groups, Grosvold volunteered more than 1,100 hours to serving the youth of his community last year. This year he’s retired from his Scoutmaster role, but he continues to lead young men as an Order of the Arrow advisor.

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Colton M. with members of his troop before a court of honor meeting. (Photo credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO/JULIA MOSS)

Fifteen-year-old Colton M. is among the hundreds of boys mentored under Grosvold. The Scout says campouts were much harder when his father was deployed, yet he found support in his Scoutmaster.

“He helped a lot. He was caring and kind,” Colton said to Great Falls Tribune. “He showed me how to be more independent.”

Despite his dad’s absence, Colton still excelled in the program and even rose to become a patrol leader.

“He tries to figure out who you are. He always wants to know the person. He cares about them instead of talking about himself,” Colton said. “He tells stories about his youth and when he did things wrong. He’s not worried about looking perfect but shows it’s OK to make mistakes.”

Many Scouts from the troop shared the same heartfelt feelings about their Scoutmaster, including 13-year-old Elliot R. He says Grosvold helped him earn the Tenderfoot rank.

“He sat with me three hours helping me finishing the requirements. He asked lots of questions,” Elliot said. “He showed me what it means to be a Boy Scout. Everybody knows him and loves him. He’s so friendly and kind.”

Grosvold was reluctant to step into the spotlight for the dinner, but the Scouts are looking forward to sharing the impact of his leadership, while also supporting him as he has done for them.

Read more about the significant impact this Scout leader has made on his community and what other Scouts are saying they’ve learned from him by reading the full story at Great Falls Tribune.


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Hayley Cordaro is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at