Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Scouting is here to stay!

Every now and again, I chat with someone who expresses the opinion that the LDS Church will be dropping the Scouting program sometime soon.

General YM Presidency shows their support
for Scouting in full uniform.
Despite very pointed prophetic statements, including one from our current Prophet and Church President, “Let me affirm that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not diminished in any way its support of the Scouting movement,”  this rumor seems to resurface every few years.

 Set aside the issue of Scouting being an inspired program for a moment, and let’s take a look at a few facts and figures about the LDS-BSA relationship:

·         The LDS Church was the first sponsor partner of the Boy Scouts of America, beginning the relationship in 1913 – just three years after the BSA was established.

·         The LDS Church is the largest charter partner of the BSA, sponsoring about 33% of BSA units and representing about 13.8% of total BSA youth membership.

·         A member of the BSA National Executive Board since 1969, LDS President Thomas S. Monson is one of that body’s longest serving members. He is also a recipient of the Silver Buffalo award – the highest service award given in the BSA.

·         The BSA and Church co-fund a group that operates just to facilitate the LDS-BSA relationship. You can look at this group’s website at:

·         Each summer the LDS Church sponsors two weeks of leadership training for Stake Presidencies at BSA’s Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. These trainings are a collaboration between the Church and BSA, and are considered highly effective events by both organizations. The General Young Men and General Primary Presidencies feature heavily as speakers at these events.

·         Members of the Young Men and Primary General Boards are in frequent communication with many different departments of BSA National, and are constantly consulted regarding issues of policy and program.

·         As recently as 1984, the BSA worked with the General Young Men’s Presidency to develop a Scouting program aimed at 14-15 year olds. The resulting ‘Varsity Scouting’ program was designed specifically to maintain the integrity of the three Quorums of the Aaronic Priesthood.
Based on these facts, it is clear that the current trend in the Church is to work with BSA to manage and contribute to the program and relationship so that Scouting continues to support the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood and the divinely appointed missions of the Church.

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