Announced today, the Church has had enough with the political correct Boy Scouts of America. It’s really sad. My grandson is 13 and was looking forward to getting an Eagle Scout. I’m not sure what the Church has planned to replace this. I’m sure his mother will look to stay in Scouts somewhere until reaching his Eagle Scout.
I think the Church should simply start a competing program and call it Boy Scouts of America since the BSA is dropping “Boy.” We will see what all happens but it’s going to be a bit confusing for the leaders and the boys too. Eventually, it will work out. Our troop has had many non-members kids involved. Not sure what will happen to that. Parents will most likely seek another troop and church to affiliate with.
I was called as the scout master just about 4 months ago and have tried to bring some structure to our program. I specifically enjoy my role because I am better at teaching the universal values of scouts than giving religious lessons. When I was inactive as a teen I would go to the scouting events because I found them engaging unlike basketball night.
I have always felt that the biggest problem with the boy scout program at church was it was a calling. They should have let those with a passion for it to lead troops as volunteers. To many people (including myself) have been called to do cub or boys scouts and only do it because they were called to, not because we actually care about it. The second I get a position I can make a positive change in the program it is announced it is ending. Kind of deflating because I was jumping on board for the first time since I was a scout.
DevMo - Great comments. I totally agree that LDS troops should have been lead by volunteers as opposed to people called to it.
Should they have been vetted? I don’t think every volunteer is always the answer either.
Our ward currently has a great scout leader who didn’t start out that way with the enthusiasm but developed into a great leader because he first loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him. We will be getting a new bishop very soon and he may move people around including the scout leader.
I don’t think callings are the problem. And, apparently the Lord doesn’t either since He’s telling us to break off the companionship for good reasons.
My biggest problem is why is the Church waiting to drop out of scouting until 2020? Is this a plea bargain from the current national “scouting” HQ. Why doesn’t the Church end it all at the end of a current registration period in various jurisdictions? It sure looks like the national or international “scouting” organizations have won a plea bargain from the LDS Church. Also, what new program does the Church need for youth? We already have the YM and YW programs.
Maybe the Brethren are trying to get BSA to reconsider the changes. The “Art of the Deal.” The Numbers If youth going inactive and leaving the Church has gone up. Same with other Christian churches. Not sure the new programs will help but it’s what the Lord is inspiring them to do. The internet makes it easy to find anti-Mormon attacks but do the kids know how and where to go for answers? Same with adults.
The Boy Scouts of America is planning to keep the name for their organization and use “Scouting” as the name for their program, that will include co-ed Cub Scout packs, but separate troops for girls and boys. I agree that it is sad, but as the BSA and the church’s paths became more and more divergent, there really was no choice but to separate. I sincerely hope the church has been planning for this day and has an excellent outdoor based program for our young men that will teach the same skills and values already to go. Besides the huge loss of FOS money, the loss of massive numbers of LDS volunteers that BSA has grown so used to having will certainly make this decision one BSA will remember with regret.
Not sure the church is going to have any outdoor program, I think it is focusing on the “spiritual” side of Young Men and Women’s program.
After serving as a scout master for over 20 years in four different parts or the country, it is hard for me to think that the young men of the church wouldn’t have hikes and camp outs to look forward to after weekly religious instruction every Sunday. If that is what happens, so be it, but it would be a great loss to grow up without time in the outdoors.
Based on the church statement, they will. Read it. Life skills is just that.
“This new approach is intended to help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills and fulfill their divine roles as daughters and sons of God.”
That is the direct quote Scott…
So tell me what Life skills are?
It does not necessarily mean learning outdoor skills like you do with scouting.
Most people consider Life Skills to mean the ability to cope with stresses and challenges of daily life, esp. skills in communication and literacy, decision-making, occupational requirements, problem-solving, time management and planning.
Ya, I think it does include scouting type of activities.
Even if it is very similar to Scouting in activities, it will certainly be far cheaper than the extortionate, pyramid scheme sums of money that BSA cost the Church and its members (chartering fees, uniforms, badges, books, camps, etc.).
I actually think the financial aspect played more of a role in BSA’s demise with the Church than BSA’s repeated attempts to stick a thumb in the Church’s eye, despite the financial and volunteer donations the Church made. It has been a tremendous drag on Church time and money resources for decades, with no bang for the buck or ROI.
I’ve seen how Scouting has changed since the 1980s, and the negative changes have nothing to do with allowing girls or gay leaders. They have more to do with societal shifts. I was done when I was told to intentionally let things slide in board of reviews. The merit badge clinics (an LDS creation), where everyone who came got a badge, regardless of proficiency or requirements, was part of this assembly line production of ranks and Eagle Scouts. It has been so watered down, that none of the “accomplishments” mean anything.
Ask yourself this: if they did a reality show pitting Eagle Scouts against each other using Scout skills, how would that go? Not hand-picked cream-of-the-crop, but random, average Eagles (especially from Mormon troops in the Wasatch Front)? Everyone knows that most of them are Eagles in name only, and can’t demonstrate the competencies or skills an Eagle is supposed to certify.
Right on Floyd. Life Skills is some kind of activities that welfare to work programs use to teach people how to be responsible, get a work ethic, learn basic skills like reading, writing and math and how to use computers and learn basic working skills. Learn how to get to work on time and make commitments.
I doubt it has to do with reading, writing and arithmetic. The rest mentioned is what Boy Scouts was supposed to be about and a good scout leader would do. Camping and those skills are also part of life skills. The Brethren know this.
Very interesting and insightful comments, Rubicon. I hadn’t thought of the $$ part of it.
Coincidentally, my 16 yr old son just completed his Eagle Project on Saturday. It was an awesome learning experience for him to lead a team that engineered and built a shot put retrieval system for the local high school. It’s basically a 40 ft trough made of ABS plastic.
AMEN Larimer. Real Scouters are real scouters. People who love to do it the old BSA Way.
My son’s proposed Eagle project was shot down by the committee (he wanted to build dugouts for the middle school baseball field, using donated materials and mustered volunteer labor). They told him it didn’t demonstrate “leadership!” Yet, routinely, the only Eagle projects in the stake that are approved are “bring donated non-perishable food to stake conference and put it in the boxes outside of the chapel.”
My son turns 18 on the 28th, and will be a Life Scout. It’s not really that important to us for him to bust his tail with another project.
Money may have had some role in the church’s decision to drop scouting but I am betting it was secondary to the other issues of the BSA incrementally bowing to political pressure over the years to get more in line with social change. It will be interesting if the BSA can make up for the financial loss of losing sponsorship from our church by getting donations from LGBT groups and feminist groups. I am guessing they won’t. Scouting is essentially dead as it was originally conceived by Lord Baden Powell and that is too bad. The BSA has chosen whom it wants to please and it will lead them further away from the principles of the Scout Oath and The Scout Law and those principles were in harmony with what is taught in the scriptures.