Faith

Mormons drop Scout programs for older teens

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  • twinlakesmom Rathdrum, ID
    May 17, 2017 6:41 p.m.

    I love scouting. All four of my sons are Eagle Scouts. However, having lived in many parts of the country and overseas as a military spouse, in none of the wards I have been in have I seen a successfully implemented Varsity or Venture program. My observation is that this is because of a combination of complacency by the parents and their sons and a lack of understanding or willingness to implement the program by the called leaders. Broadly speaking, those programs fail, just as the First Presidency announcement stated. The Varsity program in my current ward is run by very great and engaged brethren and is the most successful I've seen. I hope that what comes next will engender better participation, but I have little confidence that it will unless the parents of the young men actively prioritize it for their sons and participate with them. The fatal flaw when any church program fails for our youth is parents who do not participate and look upon the program as free child care for their children instead of a way for them to engage with their children and strengthen their family.

  • mammoo55 Tremonton, UT
    May 16, 2017 1:41 p.m.

    I feel this is a great decision. Another viewpoint to consider. My oldest son loved cub scouts and completed his Arrow of Light. He really wanted to move on in the scouting program, however, we lived in a very rural area of Maine. Our drive to the church was an hour one way. As far as I know there was not a scouting program even set up and I am not even sure if there was a young men/women's program because our ward was so spread out mileage wise. With a busy family of five children, involvement in extracurricular activities, and faithfully holding family home evening every week and that type of thing, there was no way that there would have been time to take two hours on a weeknight during the school year to go to the church for scouting, even if there was a scouting program going on. The only choice was to enroll him in a local scouting program, unfortunately, the local scouting program did not adhere to the values that we, as LDS believe, ie, swimming on Sunday's and many other activities on the Sabbath. So, our choice was no scouting beyond Cub Scouts. Was he affected by not participating in the scouting program? He went on to serve a faithful mission.

  • Michael2011 Bigfork, MT
    May 15, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    The statement read in part, "young men ages 14-18 are not being served well by the Varsity or Venturing programs, which have historically been difficult to implement within the church."

    For 19 recent years in nearly every ward I have served . . . the Varsity, Venture, and Explorer programs thrived because leaders had a burning desire to learn their duty and to carry it out. When I read of HS teens not being served by the LDS scouting programs and "historically" the LDS scouting program "has been difficult to implement within the church", this was never the case in the wards I served. Call me naÏve, but those who acquire a prayerful inspired 2-year academic field-tested understanding, it does not take long to see it as the most perfected vision of Scouting ever to be revealed that "attracts" full uniform teens from high schools when leaders implement it . Example I witnessed in one ward: Five age-separated units/patrols of 35 young men in head to toe uniforms (summer, winter, and dress) in opening Wednesday ceremonies, plus monthly campouts/activities planned a year ahead. From the five units of 35, they "attracted" another 15 non-members. Build it right and they will come.

  • Dame Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2017 8:09 a.m.

    I have worked in many the stages of the scouting program from Cub Scouts to Varsity scouts for 30+ years. I have seen first hand the blessings of the scouting program. It helped my son prepare for his mission better than Duty to God or Mission Preparation Classes. It helped him prepare for College better than Duty to God. I have seen missionary opportunities that will now be lost. I have former scouts that have been helped in their careers and the military because of receiving their Eagle. Very few scouts get their Eagle by age 14, even though the LDS Church will register older scouts that want to continue in scouting it will be much harder for boys to achieve rank advancement. The scouting program works if it is done right. Changing the program will not change the leaders. The Leaders make programs work for their boys. The young men I have talked to who have reviewed the new program are not excited at all. There is so much good that can not be matched by the new program. My heart is so sad.

  • blueskies Kearns, UT
    May 14, 2017 12:34 a.m.

    TJulien - "This is a sad day for the church and a sad day for thousands of boys and young men that will be denied the opportunity that their fathers, grandfathers, and other previous generations have had for character, skill and spiritual development in a structured and positive environment."

    The YM will not be denied opportunities...the church's new program will provide the YM with all the same things scouting has provided---building character, skills, spiritual development, etc.,---and much more. Our Prophet and the brethren have been inspired of the Lord to make these changes/implement a new and much better program because the Lord knows better than any of us what the YM need as well as how that can best be accomplished.

  • LastFrontiersman Pocatello, ID
    May 13, 2017 10:29 p.m.

    I'm glad to see this happen as a former Eagle Scout & member of the Brotherhood of the Arrow. Scouting has been victimized by leadership that has sacrificed integrity for what is considered popular. It has been subject to the intense replacement & infiltration of leadership by leftist who see it as a necessity that they infiltrate & control social institutions which defy their personal views & beliefs. This is sinister, & I am glad & proud to remove it's support for an organization which has repeatedly shown it's willingness to depart from its core principles to cater. That does not make strong men, good scouts, or individuals of moral strength & integrity.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    May 13, 2017 8:55 p.m.

    When I suddenly and unexpectedly became a single mother with 4 children, scouts and sports became collateral damage. I could no longer afford scout camp and my oldest son wasn't able to earn all of the merit badges and advancements he needed to become an Eagle, we were in survival mode. Even though he was the only young man in our ward to serve a mission (for a while out of 9 potential) his MP gave him grief and questioned his ability to work in a very primitive area of the mission. He eventually did successfully.
    As a parent I always appreciated others helping him develop into a man of good character; especially when his father chose not to finish his obligation. I'm interested to see what the church will be inspired to do, especially with sons from so many single parent families in need of guidance.

  • Lake! Big Lake! CHANDLER, AZ
    May 13, 2017 4:53 p.m.

    My family is so thrilled with the decision to not move forward with the scouting program. The Aaronic Priesthood wasn't emphasized very much here. My boys were over scouts many years ago. It was a divine decision solely on the reasons stated by the brethren. Scouting simply didn't benefit the YM anymore.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    May 13, 2017 3:14 p.m.

    The only words I can think of are "Madrasa training for the YM".

  • Lkalama Ephraim, UT
    May 13, 2017 8:55 a.m.

    Very disappointing! I'm a convert and have been a cub scout leader! I feel like if the scouting program is failing within the church it's because of poor leadership! When we were leaders, we witnessed scout masters and other leaders just barely showing up and just barely going through the motions! We didn't want this calling but took it and took it seriously! All our boys got all their badges that were required to move on to the next level! I feel like you get out of it what you put into it! Sure you may have some boys that may fall away but what about the boys that achieve and have goals? Isn't it worth it just for them? I feel like the church is going against everything they teaching are basically giving up on the program instead of finding solutions! Very disappointing!

  • chungalito Clearfield, UT
    May 13, 2017 12:46 a.m.

    The boys are the losers in this decision. Don't blame it on the boys in the statement, it wasn't their fault. It was the load of complainers called "Leaders" that never read the Program to begin with. And it was from the Stake level down. And to all the "Duty to God" callers out there consider this, "On my honor...do my Duty to God..." Yep there it is! How about that. The organizations mission is to "Help Young People make Moral and Ethical Choices throughout their lifetime by instilling in them the values found in the Scout Oath and Law." I watched this thing first hand take failing YM Programs and helped them succeed simply by reading and acting on the manual. I'm disappointed in the many failed leaders out there who complained at Scout Training Meetings, in private after they were called and Stake President who hated Scouting and let it be known. To those, you never knew what you had. They never took the time to read the book either and it's loaded with great activities and plenty of Leadership opportunity that would change lives. But I digress, because of poor leader commitment, this was never going to work but maybe Church Leadership can't say that.

  • Eastern CO Coug Elizabeth, CO
    May 12, 2017 10:54 p.m.

    As noted by some, many boys just don't fit into the scouting mold, and therefore are miserable attending scouting activities. Have to go to stay active I suppose. This is the case for many uninterested boys and adult leaders in church units. I am one of those miserable scout leaders to be honest. Probably why some LDS troops don't function as well. The last official scout camp I attended included a merit badge counselor who wore a diaper like loin cloth barely covering himself. No this is not Yester- Year's BSA. Of course this is liberal Colorado, where professional nut cases have infiltrated the organization. When our Stake President heard about this, he refused to let our troops attend any more official organized scout camps. Once again I have been called to scouts. I was praying when I moved some other calling would find me. But the ward is thin. So doing the best I can and trying to support the Bishop and the church. Finally, when I listen to the scout oath these days I have a hard time keeping a straight face when they say keep myself "Morally Straight". Not sure what this means anymore. Time to drop the whole thing in my mind.

  • fishboy85 Shelley, ID
    May 12, 2017 10:54 p.m.

    after reading some of these ridiculous comments.
    there's nothing wrong with the Boy Scout program just untrained leaders
    When there are people accepting the callings just because they were asked from the bishop and they said yes whatever they want to do it or not and they have no motivation to get training that is what makes a bad Scout program and I have seen this firsthand as a scout and scoutmaster so if you think there is an issue with the scout program you need to look at your leaders are they doing this because they want to or because they feel they have to. As for the cost of Boy Scouts if you're going to start telling up the cost you better start looking at how much sports and other after-school activities cost

  • OnMyHonorIWill Ballwin, MO
    May 12, 2017 8:58 p.m.

    I have been involved in Scouting as a young man, having earned the rank of Eagle Scout,On My Honor, and Duty to God. I also went thru the Exploring program in the late 70's. Much of the skills that I have developed over the years I first learned in Scouting. Where else can a young man learn so much but by working on merit badges and participating in organized activities. Today I serve as an Eagle Scout Board reviewer for the local district and serve as an Archery Merit Badge Counselor. I developed a love for Archery and the outdoors because of Scouting. The most important thing I learned from Scouting and MIA is leadership and Service. BOTH Programs go hand in hand - compliment each other. I SUSTAIN our Church Leaders but I will continue to Support the BSA - because of the young men I am ultimately serving.

  • Marie2319 Logan, UT
    May 12, 2017 4:50 p.m.

    Davea0511 has it right - our local scout office routinely loses stuff, and can't seem to complete even the most basic paperwork. It's 2017, and yet their website is from the dark ages, and nothing is computerized. With all the money they rake in, you'd think they'd be able to afford a decent web designer!

  • Marie2319 Logan, UT
    May 12, 2017 4:31 p.m.

    Best news I've heard all year! The BSA is inefficient, unorganized, and generally clueless. As a den leader and scoutmaster's wife for the last 4 years, scouting has been nothing but a money hole and a time zapper for already stressed-out families.

    First you have to outfit your scout, $120+ if bought at the scout store. Then, there's FOS. Then, pay to support the ward troop. Gasoline is out-of-pocket. You're pressured to attend the national jamboree, at $3000 PER SCOUT (what I retorted to the stake guy can't be printed here). Then, each kid pays to attend ward scout camp - it's $3200 to send a small ward group to a run-down, poorly managed BSA facility that calls a single hot pocket "dinner." These are just family expenses - the ward expense of registration, badges and other useless baubles, are thousands of dollars per year.

    The costs are obscene. And the program isn't all that.... I can teach my sons and their friends to be honest and kind myself, FOR FREE. I can even teach them how to build a fire while I'm at it (never met an eagle scout I couldn't out-fire..). Ah, the BSA - taking fathers out of the home at all the wrong moments since 1913....

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 12, 2017 1:47 p.m.

    Your boys are at greater risk from heterosexual scout leaders than they ever were from gay leaders.

    Go figure.

  • Davea0511 Meridian, ID
    May 12, 2017 1:37 p.m.

    Every scouting office we've worked with frequently looses the merit badge blue cards that scouts hand in, which then don't get entered in the computer (resulting in a nightmare of having to get things signed off again before the next rank advancement). I wonder how many 1000's of scouts gave up on their eagle from the frustration of having to rejump though hoops they already did. Thank heavens that's over. Maybe going forward young men will actually get credit the first time for what they get done.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 12, 2017 12:43 p.m.

    Many LDS women will see this as a Mother's Day gift that they appreciate more than any flower they ever received!

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    May 12, 2017 12:30 p.m.

    HAPPY DAYS !

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 12, 2017 11:35 a.m.

    To "Neanderthal" the council staff is different than the Scoutmasters.

    The council staff run the Camps and run Scoutmaster training, run the local Scout Shop, work with various outreach programs, and do things ABOVE the Scoutmaster level.

    The fees for the camps are indirectly subsidized by the Council. For instance, Camp Maple Dell has a lodge that is used nearly year round. The lodge was build using Council funds because of its intended purpose. Plus, many of the improvements that are done at the Scout Camp are made possible by the donations from FoS. The Camp fees that the boys pay are not sufficient to pay for everything at camp. For example the $300 per boy is entirely insufficient to pay for the staff and upkeep of a large summer camp. Similar camps elsewhere cost anywhere from $500 to $1000.

    In the case of the BSA, the donations stay at the level they are donated at. Money does not go up and down the system to pay salaries or overhead.

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    May 12, 2017 10:20 a.m.

    @RedShirtCalTech:

    "To 'Neanderthal' the council uses the money for their staff..."

    And what does the staff do? From what I've observed, the local scout master does all the work... camp-outs, weekly scout meetings, Court of Honors, etc. Why doesn't the staff do volunteer work like scout masters?

    '...and for the seasonal staff at the Scout Camps, and to also pay for the maintenance and development of their camps."

    The boys pay a fee to go to the camps, which is supposed to cover that.

    "The individual donations to the National BSA are SEPARATE from the FoS donations."

    Money is fungible... did I day?

    @blueskies:

    "Neanderthal, Friends of Scouting funds stay within local councils to help with expenses...not to pad the pockets of national BSA leaders/employees."

    Once again, money is fungible.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 12, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    To "Neanderthal " the council uses the money for their staff and for the seasonal staff at the Scout Camps, and to also pay for the maintenance and development of their camps.

    The individual donations to the National BSA are SEPARATE from the FoS donations.

    Assuming you really live in Springville, that would put you in the National Parks Council. On their web page is an article titled "Scout Money: Where It Comes From, How It’s Spent". That will answer you questions about Friends of Scouting and where the money is spent.

  • blueskies Kearns, UT
    May 12, 2017 9:33 a.m.

    Neanderthal, Friends of Scouting funds stay within local councils to help with expenses...not to pad the pockets of national BSA leaders/employees.

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    May 12, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    @Slammer:
    "Neanderthal: As your handle implies, you don't understand Scouting funds flow."

    I'll come visit you in the 'Slammer' and explain further. In the mean time...

    "Not one penny of FOS goes to National. All FOS funds are used within your council."

    And what does the council use it for? Not one red cent funds scouts at the local troop level.

    "National's budget is largely funded by National's earnings on it's bank account (endowment) and by donations, corporate and individual."

    Individual donations? That's what I'm saying... individual donations via 'Friends of Scouting.' Furthermore, money is fungible. If you're unfamiliar with the term, look it up .

    "I'm sorry, but you've had the wrong paradigm."

    But I have the correct picture of national BS leadership compensation. Try Googling. Here's what I got... 'The fifth highest-paid charity CEO in America was... chief scout executive with the Boy Scouts of America National Council, according to a new study by nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator. Compensation: $1.6 million.'

  • Kieran B Murrieta, CA
    May 12, 2017 8:42 a.m.

    The old Duty to God program was interlinked with SCOUTING activities and most of the boys attained their DTG certificates, with the "New" DTG program it appears not so much!
    There was always a high correlation between attaining Eagle Scout and serving a mission.
    Yeah, sometimes the older boys had to be "badgered " into going to BSA programs like mountain man , but always ended up having a great time and were eager to go the next year.
    Long term , dedicated , trained leaders could have made a difference, which is / was the churches policy ALWAYS, but not embraced by local leaders in most wards and stakes.
    Have to wait and see how it plays out in the future.
    Thanks BSA, best of luck in the future.

  • HeatherShow Ashburn, VA
    May 12, 2017 8:01 a.m.

    Honestly, I think it's about time. I always thought it was so unfair how the vast majority of money, effort, and celebratory events went to boys, leaving young women ignored. Boys got regular campouts, events, endless mentors for merit badges, huge courts of honor, etc. Meanwhile, girls work super hard for what used to at least be pretty pendants. Then we lost even that and were demoted to stickers. Stickers!!! Like we're in primary. But nope, boys kept getting everything.
    The worst part, though, was watching as teenage boys were almost completely ignored as far as true spiritual teaching is concerned. Duty to God was there, sure, but that was never the main focus. Nope, for boys, learning knots was more important. Teenage years are pivotal and that's when they need instruction that focuses primarily on being the best, most worthy, most righteous man they can be, rather than focused mostly on cooking over a campfire. To people who complain about losing archery, et al, ask yourself: what's the main point of church? It's not there to teach wilderness survival. Spiritual survival is far more important and that's where the time, money, and effort should be spent!
    So yeah. About time.

  • whatsup1 Kekaha, HI
    May 12, 2017 2:33 a.m.

    I am an eagle scout and served as a southeastern for 15 years and have been on the scout committee for 45 years, and I was always disappointed in the great costs for scouting. The uniform cost more than most boys I have worked with could afford. Friends of scouting puts a financial burden on many. Just the cost of supporting the scouting program justifies the decision to put the finances where it will be more cost effective.

  • FuzzyLogic VACAVILLE, CA
    May 12, 2017 12:01 a.m.

    I suggest many/most of you should go to the church's site for the YM program. It exists today and has many recommendations for activities that are not far from what we did for scouts. They recommend that YM meet at least once a month and still carry out two to three campouts a year along with something similar to a high-adventure activity. There is also a suggestion that these YM do more activities with the YW.

    As YM president in our ward, we recently planned a service project to clean up a property raved by fire the previous summer. In addition to that, we asked the property owner if we could shoot clays after the service was performed. The YW heard about this activity and asked if they could join us. The YM went up Friday evening and camped and the YW and their leaders came up on Saturday and we had an amazing time performing service and shooting shotguns. I KNOW this will be an experience each YM and YW will always remember and we did it all outside of scouting. You don't need the scouting program to have fantastic activities and teach skills, morals, and character.

  • bw0467 Draper, UT
    May 11, 2017 10:20 p.m.

    Well, it's a good start but it seems the Church still struggles to get its act together fully and get things done without having to do them in piecemeal. If it's going to drop the BSA, then drop it across the board! This tells me they are still are not ready with the program they've been working on for over 5 years now. The BSA has been morally bankrupt, greedy, and corrupt for years now and should have no place in the LDS Church.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    May 11, 2017 9:52 p.m.

    I find the suggestion that serving a mission outside the US is a higher honor extremely offensive and wrongheaded. Multiple members of the 12 served their missions in the US so it is just plain stupid.

    I think this is a great move. I never had a chance to get my Eagle because my dysfunctional 11-year-scouts organization made if impossible to get my first class till I was 13. It would have been nice to not hav ed gad people hounding me at 16 about eagle.

    I also have to say I hated scout camp because the merit badge class time too away from fun activities.

    One reaction of mine is I hope th u soon allows a structure of,more combined yw/ym activities athat each higher age group.

  • dung beetle Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:25 p.m.

    That's the first shoe to hit the floor. May the next one soon follow.

  • JJJ111 Lindon, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:48 p.m.

    I hope the new program will be in conjunction with the YW's program and not apart. We certainly don't separate the sexes in our schools. I don't separate our children at home according to sex. We do things together. Nothing anywhere implies that it is important to separate the sexes, yet we do it, year after year. It is an idiotic way to let youth grow up and it creates a learned divide that is forever embedded, FOREVER EMBEDDED!

  • Crew Sayder Nepean, 00
    May 11, 2017 8:39 p.m.

    Up here in Canada, most Stakes have opted out of Scouting altogether. The cost is huge. At least $200 bare minimum to register 1 Scout. SLC will cover half of that, usually the Ward covers the rest. Then you have the fees to participate in a Scout camp or Kub Kar Rally. The Ward has to pick up those costs and church policy prevents most fundraising.

    On top of that the process for a leader becoming complaint with the Scouting rules (which they must do before they can actually be at a Scout meeting as a leader) takes months. If you want a new Akela for September you better call them in June and get things underway.

    It could work if you treated Scouting callings like being a Bishop and kept them there for 5 years at a time, but that isn't how it usually goes. I expect in time the church will pull out of Scouting altogether.

  • No Conference Will Take Us SEATTLE, WA
    May 11, 2017 8:03 p.m.

    LDS Scouts in my area (Washington State) have gone to church camps more than scout camps anyway. LDS camp properties have served a good purpose up here even for YW. I am sure the same can be said for Utah and other areas?

    Let's face it. Scout leader callings in a ward is like a revolving door. When you are released from a YM calling, you are also released as a scout leader. Should never be that way. Need diehard scouters that serve for years. Not just one or two. And that has been a big problem.

    That problem has been reduced as of today.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:27 p.m.

    Slammer wrote:
    "- 90%+ of Eagle Scouts served a full time mission to completion
    - 30 % of non-Eagles served a full time mission. "

    Would it be unkind to point out that correlation is not causation? I bet there are many contributing factors to earning an Eagle as well as serving a mission. Good parenting is one.

    LDS boys will serve missions in the same numbers without BSA as they did with BSA. There is a program for young men and we have had it for years. It is called the Aaronic Priesthood.

  • Ignominious Sandy, UT
    May 11, 2017 6:44 p.m.

    Raising our children is our responsibility alone. The LDS Church is there only to assist. This is doctrine. It seems too many forget this and expect others to teach their children correct principles.

    We deliberately chose to have our boys go through the Cub Scout program only and to emphasize the importance of completing their Duty to God. Our experience has shown that leaders give little importance to it though. But again we don't rely on others to do what's needed for our children.

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    May 11, 2017 6:39 p.m.

    The church has just killed a program that has already been dead for a long time.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 11, 2017 6:25 p.m.

    It's not just a matter of the program not working, boys over 14 just lose interest in Scouting. I'm an Eagle and have been a leader for many years. While there are many things I love about Scouting, it's hard to implement in smaller wards (and even larger ones) and frankly isn't done anywhere outside the US.

    It's time for the Church to have a focused program and more structure for the Young Men- like the Young Women have had for several decades. Young Men need to be better prepared for life and need skills to run their household, learn to respect women and girls, get an education, and prepare spiritually for what lies ahead. I'm looking forward to what the Church has in store.

  • Rocket2010 Murray, UT
    May 11, 2017 6:18 p.m.

    As a former YM Pres. I wish this would have been axed years ago. Older boys are so tough to get to youth activities hopefully this helps. Wish the church would part ways entirely with scouting. I'd love to take my boys to a scouting program independent of the church. I think it would help the scouts and the church if they did separate. Scouts would be able to have kids who are interested in scouting instead of kids who are forced to go. Plus as a parent I wouldn't feel obligated by my faith to take my sons to the activity program my faith supports. Sometimes it just feels like more church, more church culture, more commitment. Would love to be an outsider in a scouting program.

    Hooray for the Young Men!! Excited to see what comes next and how this plays out with my 13 y/o whose getting his eagle this year.

  • Mick , 00
    May 11, 2017 6:06 p.m.

    Slammer-

    We have 60 YM in our ward. According to you that means 6600 dollars from the Boy Scouts. Plus their YM budget.

    We have 53 YW in our ward. They get 1500 dollars from the ward budget.

    I want the girls to have every experience the boys have. We have just as many YW going on missions as YM. They participate in personal progress and it's not just about sitting around and sharing feelings and crying. Our girls camps have been adventurous, but they could be so much more with equal funding.

    I am glad the church pulled out of BSA. Now perhaps the YM and YW can be treated the same. And for all those who love scouting, feel free to have your sons, and apparently daughters now, participate.

  • Kieran B Murrieta, CA
    May 11, 2017 5:48 p.m.

    It's a sad day. The reason the Varsity and Venturing programs don't work is entirely on the shoulders of the leaders. Little or no effort put into the programs. My son achieved Eagle right before age 14 thankfully, as there was no scouting effort put in after, as a result his 3 non-member friends never attained Eagle Scout are Life Scouts. At least the boys can stay in the Troop to get Eagle if they wish.

  • Kevin G. Woodstock, GA
    May 11, 2017 5:18 p.m.

    I understand the decision to separate from the BSA national organization for cost, as well as the increasing gaps in both organizations values and practices. This is a challenge and opportunity for the Saints. If we want to continue to raise "Prepared" young men then the brethren (you and me - not the General Authorities) need to step up and provide those opportunities.

    For those who applaud this separation, are you prepared to provide leadership lessons, camp-outs, fishing, archery, computer instruction, bugling, hiking, physical fitness, swimming, first aid, personal finance, and the 200 other subjects our boys can benefit from? Or will your ward youth program become another extra Sunday school lesson by an hour of basketball?

    I've been a BSA adult volunteer for 28 years and LDS church member for almost 30 years. My 3 sons are all Eagles. I've seen the good, bad, and different types of LDS troops in 5 different states from Utah to Georgia. In my experience the quality of a YM/Scout program is directly related to the engagement and training of the leaders.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 5:16 p.m.

    "Be fair" said, "I don't know of any boys who went camping monthly (regardless of weather) because their parents "hounded" them to go with the troop. They went camping because they wanted to go."

    In my son's case, I can't count the number of times leaders and other young men in our ward in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley have tried to persuade him to go camping. And, given the way young men are otherwise, I find it extremely hard to believe the concerted effort from them came of their own doing without direction from their leaders. And while I appreciate they are well-meaning, it's unfortunately a fact that because the Church has supported Scouting, some of these leaders very definitely equate participating in Scouting activities with righteousness. But the reality is that my son goes to church every Sunday, is diligent in his duties, is attentive in class (both at Church and Seminary), and generally has a more grounded understanding of the Gospel than others in the ward. And, frankly, the lessons he has learned through sports and music are preparing him at least as well, and probably better, for life than Scouting is doing for his peers.

  • Slammer Lehi, UT
    May 11, 2017 5:17 p.m.

    Neanderthal:
    As your handle implies, you don't understand Scouting funds flow. Not one penny of FOS goes to National. All FOS funds are used within your council.

    National's budget is largely funded by National's earnings on it's bank account (endowment) and by donations, corporate and individual.

    I'm sorry, but you've had the wrong paradigm.

  • shadowfx Chandler, AZ
    May 11, 2017 5:15 p.m.

    Many have seen this day coming and several are celebrating, others whining, blamming the POTUS, mud-slinging, name-calling, you name it - it is here. Diversity nothing more than a buzz word than believe me and accept the left or you are wrong.

    I have been in scouting for a vast majority of my life, excluding my mission, and the last 3 years - I pretty much have done scouting. I went to Wood Badge and completed my tickets and was beaded.

    I have 2 sons, with Autism, that are Eagle Scouts. They have been ridiculed, hated, bullied, biased leaders, among other things, yet they did not let it stop them. They finally got a Leader who did not put up with it. He believed in training and made sure anyone that was called was trained. He encouraged me and I went through training and believe in training. He was able to run a successful Varsity program.

    Today, 14-18 programs are not being ran as outlined by the church at several wards. Many leaders, I feel, do not understand the programs. Several do not go through the training offered, as such, the young men suffer, or those who want the program.

    The Leaders have been preparing for this day. It is always tough to say good bye.

  • At Peace Clearfield, UT
    May 11, 2017 5:15 p.m.

    This really is not a big change.

    If you look at the suggested activies in the new program most of the activities suggested under the new program could also have been done under the Varsity Scouting program. The Varsity Scout program features include numerous program features across five fields of emphasis including service, personal development, sports, etc.

    Scouting has a specific mission to help instill the ideals and values in the scout oath and law in youth using specific methods that have proven effective over a hundred years. Ideally, BSA has been youth lead. And any praise worthy activity could have been planned and carried out. The biggest problem is a lack of understanding and a willingness of local leaders to learn and do their duty. Local leaders and youth have not participated. As a church spokesman said on KSL, (paraphrase) ...It is like having a really awesome pair of running shoes and never putting them on or trying them out.

    The church has come up with its own program, it will save on cost of registering 180,000 youth who were not truly participating anyway. And it is pre-customized.

    But I believe it will be better.

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    May 11, 2017 4:49 p.m.

    @windsor:
    "Bet nobody saw this configuration coming. I didn't."

    I did. Months ago, I wrote to the LDS Church president complaining about the high salaries of the national leaders... and stated, for that reason, I would no longer donate to 'Friends of Scouting.'

    The national scout leaders had a good thing going to line their pockets. Every year the boys were required to visit each home in the area (Ward) asking for donations and you'd be frowned upon if you didn't give generously. Most of the donations don't go for scouting. It went for high salaries of the national leaders.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    May 11, 2017 4:34 p.m.

    Leaving the Boy Scouts increases the peculiar nature of the Mormon Church. Also, not sure whether any replacement program will be better for our boys. With the exception of encouraging women to serve missions, other recently installed Church programs haven't been anything to write home about.

  • dgilray Rowlett, TX
    May 11, 2017 4:28 p.m.

    Yay! No more Friends of Scouting campaigns!

  • taatmk West Jordan, UT
    May 11, 2017 4:24 p.m.

    @Open Minded Mormon
    "Duty to God" means NOTHING on a job resume.
    "Eagle Scout" says a lot.

    Don't be so quick to use such universal language in your statements. I know several local boys who have been hired precisely because of the former being on their resume. Both these denote prior practice is making a commitment to a group purpose, read company charter-mission statement, and can be the foot in the door with certain companies.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 11, 2017 4:13 p.m.

    Granny suggests my comment regarding the church using the scouting movement as an indoctrination tool, in exchange apparently for financial support, is pretty low.
    Fair enough, if that's how you feel.
    But when my son started in the scouting movement here that's exactly how it appeared to me. That is how I feel.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    May 11, 2017 4:06 p.m.

    Hutterite and Granny No where did the article say that the LDS Church would deny the youth from participating in Boy Scouts programs, just that would no longer sponsor them. What is lost here is the great support the LDS Church has given the BSA over decades of working together. The BSA was in a no win situation because of the LGBT, who only care about their agenda. As for the church, I am amazed that they stayed with the BSA as long as they have. The bottom line here is that any boys who want to be in the BSA programs still can, it just will not be with the massive financial support the church used to provide.

  • Slammer Lehi, UT
    May 11, 2017 3:53 p.m.

    While I agree Varsity and Venturing aren't effective, partly due to complexity, partly due to lack of "share of mind" with 14-18 y.o. YM, partly due to lack of investment by leaders - let's not throw out the good Scouting does in a rush to end all Church-sponsored scouting.

    The core values of Scouting are direly needed today and Scouting helps engage boys with the AP, their quorums, their parents and their leaders. While advancement is not the be-all and end-all of Scouting, it is a proxy for the aforementioned engagement with good institutions. In my direct experience I've witnessed:
    - 90%+ of Eagle Scouts served a full time mission to completion
    - 30 % of non-Eagles served a full time mission.
    Again, with Eagle as a proxy for engagement, it's working pretty well if one of the objectives is guiding YM to serve missions.

  • Granny Saint George, UT
    May 11, 2017 3:33 p.m.

    @ Hutterite who said, "This is positive. Scouting needs to be independent, and the church can create it's own indoctrination programs."

    That's pretty low.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 11, 2017 3:31 p.m.

    Speaking of right to choose, shouldn't young adults be choosing for themselves whether they want to be in the scouting programme or not? Just because it exists less and less as an indoctrination arm of the church doesn't mean it has lost value.

  • 3grandslams Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 11, 2017 3:26 p.m.

    Good move by the church. Youth really lose interest in scouting after 14 or 15. Pretty much dead weight programs.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 11, 2017 3:25 p.m.

    "Duty to God" means NOTHING on a job resume.

    "Eagle Scout" says a lot.

  • endoftimes Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 3:11 p.m.

    When organizations as the BSA start talking with buzzwords such as "tolerance" and "diversity", it is simply time the get out. The intolerant leftist fascists are slowly changing our right to choose. Free thought and choice is not accepted any longer in the worlds of diversity and tolerance. This is what the "new BSA" is teaching the young brownshirts.

  • Slammer Lehi, UT
    May 11, 2017 3:07 p.m.

    I challenge the logic In posts and challengerecurring mythical misinformation about scout finances:

    'YW feel disadvantaged relative to effort/expense that goes into YM'. The solution - dumb-down the YM program! Yikes!! Classic lowest common denominator thinking. Let's not excel at anything!! Yikes again!

    'YM in other countries don't get the same attention without a scouting program.' Again, lowest common denomitor thinking. I know it's a real issue the YMGP is wrestling with, but please - is the best solution to punish something that is available to help in the US and Canada?

    Myth 1: Pro Scouters are overpaid.
    There may be some isolated cases, but for charitable organizations benefitting 10's of thousands of boys, with 10's of thousands of volunteers (UNPC, for example), execs are grossly underpaid relative to other charities. If you doubt it, you go do it!

    Myth 2: Scouting is an undue financial burden on the Church and members through FOS.
    The Church funds a paltry $10/boy/year. A tiny investment for "the activity arm of the AP". It should pay more.
    FOS tries to raise $100/boy, also a tiny sum to support the program.
    Show me a youth program that runs on $110/boy.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    May 11, 2017 2:50 p.m.

    "it has been my observation that young men who go on High Adventure Trips (of a week or more) never come home early from missions."
    Respectfully,

    I knew many kids whose last encounter with the church was one of those.

    You're comment is a classic example of confirmation bias.

    The church attitude around scouts, embodied in your comment, is quite nauseating to many members.

  • CV Storm Hyrum, UT
    May 11, 2017 2:45 p.m.

    The Varsity and Venturing programs in the church have never ran as outlined in the BSA handbook. As a long time scouter and recipient of the Silver Beaver Award I applaud this decision by the church. The money going to BSA for these two programs was a waste of funds. The BSA basically hung it self with over-priced uniforms and awards, extravagant fees for camps, and lets face it their decision on the Gay Rights issue. I think the Friends of Scouting push this year is going to be a whole lot of misery for those who try to collect it. I know I am out.

  • Matotonka Herriman, UT
    May 11, 2017 2:41 p.m.

    This move shouldn't shock anyone, given the fact that the BSA has decided to accept the idea that not all scouts or scout leaders fit into the LDS mold. However, as the parent of a young man who loves scouting and is not a member of the LDS faith but was aforded the opportunity to participate in the scout program through the church, I am concerned. My son truly enjoys all that scouts has to offer. I have already started looking for troops that will alow him to participate without being a member of the sponsoring organization. It seems that due to the cost associated with scouting most troops are reluctant to accept him. Those that are willing are just to far away from home to attend. So I guess his scouting trail ends early.

    He is very discouraged with this decision and is upset that he will not meet his goal of eagle with the scout troop he has attended since starting. He will miss his friends and leaders, and I will miss helping him with his projects. This decision has effected him in a profound way and i am quite sure he is not alone. I am positive my son is not the only scout who was sweept aside with the churches decision to discontinue varsity scouts.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 11, 2017 2:36 p.m.

    While this is all exciting for those who live out west, or even more so in Utah where the church owns its own camps. Anywhere else, we rely on the Scouts camps for our boys to have a place to go and do this stuff. Is the church leadership really prepared to offer parity world wide to what those in Zion enjoy?

    When my oldest son was in Youth administrative people in the big building in Utah decided youth should not travel more than 150 miles from their home wards anymore. An entire generation of kids missed out on doing things like going and participating in things like the Hill Cumorah pagent. Fortunately sane minds prevailed, and that policy was repealed.

    Sometimes church leadership forgets we don't all live in Utah. The tell us we need to be building up the kingdom around the globe, and yet don't provide the same level of support to youth around the world.

    The churches mission is to spread the gospel. Our scouting programs have been far more effective in outreach than the BYU football team or most of the missionary activities. More youth come to our church because of scouting... not missionaries knocking on doors.

    Unfortunately turn back to isolationism.

  • Utah Soldier Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 2:37 p.m.

    I have been in Scouts for 46 years, am an Eagle with both of my sons as Eagles. I have worked at the local, regional and national level of scouts.

    I am disappointed in this decision and yet see the wisdom of this decision.

    I am disappointed as I firmly believe the scouting programs (of which Varsity and Venturing are part of) can help young men grow into responsible adults. I have seen the positive impact on thousands of young men.

    However, those two programs are rarely run properly within the LDS church. Because too few LDS leaders get trained, they run a "pseudo" program which the boys don't fully appreciate (and both of those programs are meant to be MUCH more boy run than a typical Scout Troop." Because of this, I see the wisdom of pulling away from BSA and not waste sacred resources (aka tithes) to pay for the registration of those youth and adults - with the exception of those who want to stay registered in the Scout Troop.

    I pray that the "new program" will be run better within the wards, and not just become "Basketball" or "Duty to God" nights.

  • Simple Comment71 Somewhere, CA
    May 11, 2017 2:33 p.m.

    I'm an eagle. All my brothers are eagles. My son is now an eagle. My second son a star. I have a love hate relationship with scouts and I am happy to see these two programs go.I am thankful for a father that contributed his time in scouts and worked with my brothers and I. When I say work, I mean work. My project still stands today after 30 years. That project took me six months. Others from my lds troop painted parking lines at the church. I'm sure they didn't last 30 years. I believe the local congregations have always been a problem with scouts. Each person believes their opinions are fact. The BSA has also lost touch with reality. Its not about the boys as much as its about career scouters. All boys seem to be is another account handled by the account manager and there is no real push to see the boys achieve. My ward is full of people so difficult that they seem to stifle the boys at times. I hope scouting is gone from the lds before my youngest gets of age so I can keep just a few positive memories I have of the program.

  • JJJ111 Lindon, UT
    May 11, 2017 2:32 p.m.

    Primary isn't separated. School definitely isn't separated! But when you hit age 12, the Church thinks it needs to separate you forever on! The Church now has the chance to bring these programs closer together where they belong. YW and YM need to be together not apart.

  • Reimerforce Gulf Breeze, FL
    May 11, 2017 2:26 p.m.

    Not trying to bash scouts or those who love it but for our family this was happy news! I've long wished for a young men's program that resembled the young women's in unity of the young men worldwide as well as the focus being on, preparing them to be fathers and husbands and to focus developing faith in Christ. I watched the amazing way it affected my girls and have wanted it for my boys for a long time! Scouts is ok but it doesn't feel like it's focus is really on those most important things and it often ends up stealing the main focus, the time, and energy etc. away from those important things. It's become too much of a distraction from the things that matter most, at least from where I'm standing. And sometimes it's treated as if it is part of the commandments instead of just a program. Ugh. And then there's the pride and ego that leaks into it when everyone's competing for badges. Kinda loses the whole point of it all. When my son said, "mom I don't need a badge for doing something good and most of this I do every day.", was when I realized how much it needed to change. So as a mother of 4 boys I'm over here feeling very joyful at this moment!

  • Artierome Salinas/Monterey, CA
    May 11, 2017 2:19 p.m.

    Sounds like a win for basketball.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 2:16 p.m.

    Having been a Camp Director for an LDS Scout Camp in NJ/NY/PA for a number of years, it has been my observation that young men who go on High Adventure Trips (of a week or more) never come home early from missions. Those who avoid the arduous experience of carrying their provisions for a week on their back often come home early from missions, if they go at all. Hopefully, strenuous high adventure trips will be a mandatory part of Teachers and Priests' activities. Basketball doesn't substitute for learning to become a responsible adult.

  • TCW05 Australia, 00
    May 11, 2017 2:16 p.m.

    Another example of cultural hegemony bites the dust. If the church continues its global efforts it will have to continue to purge every vestige of Utah/US cultural practice and philosophy (mingled with scripture) from its programs/guidelines. Sensible decision.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 2:01 p.m.

    This is a bad plan. How many boys are going to choose going to more church over going to scouts?

    If this would have happened when I was an LDS Scout, the only time I would have chosen church over scouts on a Tuesday is if there were pretty girls involved.

  • CaptainFD LITTLETON, CO
    May 11, 2017 2:01 p.m.

    Phase one complete. Far overdue, in my opinion, but I trust the Leaders in their timing. Even back in the mid eighties, when I turned 14, my mind completely turned away from the strict scouting program. Sports, Girls, Job, friends, family, Girls, and Sports all took precedence over scouts (Not necessarily in that order) I never went to a scout camp after I was 14 because I was playing sports and working. I was just thinking - why do we throw so many things into a summer? Scout Camp, Youth Conference, Girls camp, and/or Trek if it's that year. How about one program for a week with all the Youth and the Youth leaders and then end it! Think how nice it would be to pool all that money and dedicate it to one event...might have leaders more willing to attend also. I look forward to seeing Cub and Boy Scouts being un-associated/un-affiliated with the LDS Church. And for all the "haters" negatively speculating on why the LDS Church is doing this - This is America baby! You can start your own program/church/group/faction and get your own life and affiliate with the BSA all you want...but I suspect you would rather just complain and do nothing on your own but hate others.

  • TJ2 Brigham City, UT
    May 11, 2017 1:52 p.m.

    It's been a while since I felt like shouting Hallelujah! As a YM president for the past two years, I found scouting to be incredibly debilitating. Our older young men simply were not interested in rank advancements and uniforms. They wanted authentic activities without all the fluff. I could barely stand all the red tape, paperwork, fees, certifications, and lost time dealing with the absurdities of the program. Scouting also couldn't compete with school sports.

    With our venture crew we were lucky to get 1 or 2 boys to show up at any given camp-out or activity... of the 12+ that we had in our ward, and our stake leadership wouldn't let us combine with other wards to create healthier units for fear of "muddying the leadership chain".

    The church itself is going to find itself irrelevant in people's lives if it can't figure out a better way to lead and inspire people. I've spent upwards of 10,000 hours in church meetings over the past 20 yrs. Some of it was great, but most of it was fluff. You know how many camp-outs, BBQ's, and adventures I could have had with my family & friends with those lost 10,000 hours?

    Ugh. Keep on cutting brethren, axe more meetings!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 11, 2017 1:50 p.m.

    "The church will continue to sponsor Cub Scouts for boys 8 to 10 and Boy Scout programs for those 11 through 13 in those two countries, but statements released by the church about the announcement signaled that it may drop those programs in the future, too."

    No surprise here. This day was predictable 4 years ago. In another year or two the Church will dump the rest of BSA as the above statement indicates. So long as we have national leaders like President Trump and a conservative Supreme Court who preserve and protect religious liberty and our First Amendment, Churches will be able freely exercise their own concious and establish programs that are founded on Christian moral values instead of being under the threat of the federal goverment to cave into political correctness or be sued as they were with Obama.

  • Azscout Mesa, AZ
    May 11, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    How does eliminting church troops insulate the boys from diversity? For those interested in scouting, there are lots of community troops that do a much better job, and expose the boys to much more diversity. Along with the church getting rid of scouting, perhaps they can also ban all basketballs from the church buildings on Mutual nights. Basketball has nothing to do with building faith. All it has ever done is provide the boys an excuse not to participate in other activities, and cause a LOT of noise that echoes around the building. Then they can address the extreme disparity in funding, travel, and allowed activities between the young women's and the young men's programs, develop a program for the young men that is actually spiritual in nature, like the young women have, and finally have a program for young men outside of North America. The young women have a worldwide program. Depending on scouting in North America has allowed them to basically ignore developing a program for young men around the world.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    May 11, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    How will the Brethren know who should serve missions overseas, and what will young men put on their applications for BYU, and on their resumes well into their forties?

  • The Last Goonie Republic of Kek, 00
    May 11, 2017 1:38 p.m.

    Agree with these comments and am sad the actions only go half-way. Too much compromise when it comes to standards and results. This should have happened under Robert Gates' watch.
    Without the LDS church's backing, watch the BSA make hard left turns as they tank their ranks.

  • FreeMan Provo, UT
    May 11, 2017 1:32 p.m.

    Finally ! Can't wait until they finish the job.

    Scouting is fine but let boys choose if they want to participate. Let discipleship and priesthood service become the new paradigm.

  • illuminated Kansas City, MO
    May 11, 2017 1:32 p.m.

    "Discussions about those issues began before highly publicized controversies over BSA decisions to accept gay Scout leaders and gay and transgender Scouts and long before last week's news that Scouting has considered admitting girls to more of its programs. The church said Thursday those issues weren't part of the decision"

    So the Church's reason to drop this program had nothing to do with the homosexual and transgender issues?

    Wow. Just when I got my hopes up that the Church was doing the right thing...

  • TJulien Roseville, CA
    May 11, 2017 1:28 p.m.

    Lots of comments about the pressure of becoming an Eagle Scout and leaving Scouting once they are an Eagle Scout.

    Folks, Scouting is not just about becoming an Eagle,mans the eagle award is not a graduation from Scouting. Maybe that is where the church has gone wrong in their relationship with Scouting, by pushing boys to become Eagle Scouts at 13 and 14 years of age.

    Receiving the Eagle Scout award is not a prize and it certainly is not a contest to see who gets it first. I am an Eagle Scout. I earned it way to early and it took years after pining the badge on that I understood what it meant to be an Eagle Scout. My dad was a First class Scout and I think he got more out of his scouting experience than many of the church's so called Eagle Scouts.

  • Azscout Mesa, AZ
    May 11, 2017 1:22 p.m.

    In church troops, members are asked to be scout leaders, regardless of having children in the troop, any experience with scouting, relevant skills, or any interest at all, but it's expected that you will serve where you are asked. Then there's all the paperwork and online reporting, and it becomes very time consuming, so the "leaders", who don't want to be there anyway, are quite lax, and the troop doesn't function well. Its embarrassing to go to scout camps and see how unprepared and uninterested many of the church troops are. But somehow, many of these troops still manage to churn out Eagle Scouts because that's what's expected. Maybe that's why being an Eagle Scout doesn't have the same prestige it once did. Part of it is culture doesn't care as much, but part of it is crappy LDS troops that churn out eagle scouts that can't hold a candle to other Eagle Scouts. We've moved around some (not a ton) and in some places we enrolled the boys in community troops because the church troop was so pathetic. This frequently left our boys with nothing to do during mutual, which should be spiritual. It was usually "scouts" and/or basketball.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    May 11, 2017 1:23 p.m.

    In our ward, it's always been a complete misnomer to refer to the teachers quorum as a "Varsity Scout team" or the priests quorum as a "Venturing Crew." I suspect that not 1 in 50 wards in the U.S. have made even a half-hearted effort at implementing Varsity Scouts or Venturing; to the extent that Scouting has happened after the boys turn 14, it's almost always been an individual effort to finish off the Eagle Scout requirements. I can't say what the future is for Scouting for LDS boys ages 8-13, but I see the dropping of Varsity Scouts and Venturing more as a cost-cutting measure (and a facing up to reality) than a response to recent BSA policy changes.

  • Glen Danielsen Yorba Linda, CA
    May 11, 2017 1:04 p.m.

    This is such great news! And I look forward to the Church dropping scouts altogether and replacing it with a Church-wide world-wide program of its own — better, more focused on things that matter most instead of merit badge busywork. Happy day!

  • K Mchenry, IL
    May 11, 2017 1:03 p.m.

    Why must boys be in scouts to the point a church assigns their participation? It looks to me that the LDS church is really pushing mission prep. Teens have to do seminary during the week, many hours of church on Sunday, attend activities decided on by their leaders, encouraged to do camp/trek, EFY, byu sport camps, work part time to save money for mission/college, and take increasing challenging high school classes both in number and difficulty since the requirements have increased in each state and BYU became more difficult to enter. Where do they have time to earn Eagle Scout rank?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    May 11, 2017 1:01 p.m.

    I think the LDS church did the boy scouts a favor. The Boy Scouts have needed to part ways with this toxic organization for at least a couple decades now.

  • Azscout Mesa, AZ
    May 11, 2017 1:00 p.m.

    As someone who can say every single male in my family is an eagle scout, all i can say is it's about time! I can't wait until they drop cub scouts and boy scouts up to age 13. Those that claim its all because of gays are ignoring many many facts so they can bash the church. The fact is scouting in the church frequently doesn't work well, especially outside of Utah. The church pays millions to BSA every year so BSA can bloat the salaries of their executives. They require extremely overpriced uniforms, plus all the badges, pins, and other accessories that must also be purchased. In the church there is a lot of apathy by the parents and boys, and resentment by leaders. In real scouting, the boys are supposed to take the lead and the adults are there for supervision, support, and instruction when needed. In the church, parents think that getting their boys to the weekly activities is doing their job. They can't even be bothered to drop off their boys for campouts. The scout leaders have to go around and pick them up. The activities are all planned and led by the adults, not the boys, and the boys participate with varying degrees of interest in anything scouting, but its "church".

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 12:59 p.m.

    this is truly a sad day. i am in my 60's and scouting made me a much better man.
    This is a lost opportunity for many young men. i understand the church's decision.

  • MrEmpirical Cheyenne, WY
    May 11, 2017 12:57 p.m.

    My Eagle Scout came off the wall and the resume and went into the garbage the day the BSA announced it would allow gay scout leaders. While it would be absolutely false to say that all or even a large percentage of gays are child molesters, it is absolutely true (see U.S. DOJ statistics) that almost all child molesters are gay men. Opening BSA leadership positions to gay men is bound to attract predators from that subset of gay men and will, inevitably, result in terrible criminal tragedies. I do not want to be associated with those inevitable problems. My son and my dollars were also withdrawn from the program.

    While I have no comment on the LDS church's decision, I can say that the handwriting was on the wall the day the BSA caved to the pressure to admit gay leaders. That was the day the BSA went on life support. Another successful liberal crusade to destroy all that is good in America.

  • Eliotwatts Meridian, ID
    May 11, 2017 12:59 p.m.

    I think this is a great opportunity for the church to focus on the collective growth and well being of its youth worldwide. Now with the missionary age at 18, this is a great time to provide a program that will prepare our youth not only in a practical way that will prepare them for the real world and their missions as Scouts has attempted to do, but to focus on the spiritual side of their growth. Focusing on personal conversion, Duty to God, and a host of other inspired opportunities such as Face to Face. How cool would it be for every American ward to have a sister ward in another state or country allowing the youth to interact face to face via the internet with like-minded youth sharing their unique perspectives and experiences, growing together. So many amazing possibilities to look forward to!

  • Davea0511 Meridian, ID
    May 11, 2017 12:55 p.m.

    Gee whiz. Nothing has changed, people. If you didn't get your eagle by the time you were 15 you were completely on your own to finish it yourself. It's always been that way. We've never been involved in Venture and Varsity ... we only pretended we did, but they were only YM activities that will continue - so yeah nothing has changed, except for when they're 14 and actually were involved in scouts.

    And so our YM aren't going to get help to get their Eagle in their 14th year when they used to? Big whoop ... most of those scouts who got their Eagles by then didn't really earn their merit badges. Their mom did. Regardless, from 15 yrs old and on it was the YM program. Always has been. Now it's just official.

  • BransonScouter Branson, MO
    May 11, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    I've been a product of LDS scouting. I didn't have parents or scout leaders help me in scouts. My parents were burnt out from pushing my older brothers through. My leaders were undertrained and struggling to do the program. I was very active and went to everything and did all my scouting homework. I ended up with the Life rank. I was missing one merit badge but no one knew what I was missing until it was too late. I've now served in many scouting positions for the last 15 years continually.

    I gave my brief background to point out where I'm coming from. Scouting has its problems but most of those problems are not the program being a bad program. Our attitudes and culture have changed and caused more and more friction. We haven't really done a great job at implementing scouting the way it was designed. The church joined scouting when the patrol method was the only method. Now the patrol method isn't widely used, understood, or implemented. I believe we still have many hurdles for any new direction. Our YM groups are generally small and our LDS culture isn't always easy to join. Older young men don't serve the younger the way they could. We still need what scouting provides.

  • Doug Ex-Fat Guy Fair Oaks, CA
    May 11, 2017 12:50 p.m.

    To: Walt Nicholes - Orem, UT re: Eagle Scout rank. Well, if the Soviet Union, along with its Cuban and Nicaraguan 'allies', had invaded the USA as portrayed in the original "Red Dawn", a Cuban VDV Colonel would consider you as a member of an 'elite, paramilitary organization.' Which some wags have accused the Church of being, and I wish that I were entirely joking.

    This may be the way that the Church eases its way out of Scouting, but my impression is that once boys hit high school, they more or less lose interest anyway. Indeed, though it shouldn't be, all too many who continue are considered 'nerdy' or socially retarded. Since the lads, if they follow the normal course of events, should be prepared to serve a full-time mission once they turn 18 and graduate high school, it makes more sense to have more Church-sponsored activities that build towards that.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    May 11, 2017 12:52 p.m.

    @UC Professor:

    "This is a dishonest, cynical move to further demonize, marginalize and eventually eliminate all diversity and tolerance of gay men, of every age. No one is fooled by the rhetorical smokescreen employed here."

    What evidence do you have of this? It is missing. Because of the lack of evidence presented it makes me wonder if your opinions are being formed based on some prejudice or stereotype? If so, don't invoke promoting diversity to defend your views. It gives diversity a bad name.

    Diversity is about benefiting from different cultural values and making a judgement on what different ideas are good. In order to make the judgement of what is good, there has to be some absolute standard so that we don't adopt repugnant practices (cannibalism, slavery, etc) solely because they are different. The LDS church has been a vocal supporter of the idea that there are moral absolutes. So if anything, their position is one of strengthening diversity rather than weakening it.

  • Glassy Enterprise, UT
    May 11, 2017 12:46 p.m.

    The next big headline will read "DMV Experiences Huge Surge in Driver's License Applications" --when all those parents finally realize they can stop threatening their sons with "No driver's license unless you get your Eagle!"

    I've thought for a long time that the award had a lot more to do with a parent's "Ego" than the son's "Eagle".

  • Mrswood Northborough, MA
    May 11, 2017 12:43 p.m.

    I am thrilled about this announcement. In the past, our ward has had a very successful venture crew and it helped the ym and did great things for them. However, times change and I think it's a great time for this change. There's always scouting with the town/community if people want to continue
    I'm a yw president and it is really hard to have to tell my incredible young women that we can't go do these crazy adventures due to budget and the fact they are girls. It also seems like the focus has been more on scouts and not on spiritual growth. I'm looking forward to seeing how both the ym and yw programs will be effected.

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 12:38 p.m.

    On a scout opening program, my son was told that if he didn't get his Eagle Scout, he would be a failure in his life. That came from a guy whose kids did get their Eagle awards but became inactive short after. I told my son to do what he can if he wanted but what I really wanted from him was to graduate both High School and Seminary. He did that and much more. And yes, he remains active in Church. That was 15+ years ago. Maybe I am wrong but I didn't see the BS program evolving with times. What I did see was putting unnecessary extra pressure on kids making the BS program crucial for life and taking the emphasis away from what it does matter: to build their own testimonies.

  • John Stockton 12 Albuquerque, NM
    May 11, 2017 12:36 p.m.

    I have to admit, I am happy to see it go! I did enjoy going camping and spending time with other young men in my ward, but not much else. I feel like the church could emphasize better standards for youth than the boy scout program.

    I especially did not feel good when my leaders told me that if I did not get my Eagle Scout that I would not go on a mission or get married in the temple. By the way, although I am far from perfect, I did accomplish both without my Eagle Scout award.

  • MommyPackMule ,
    May 11, 2017 12:34 p.m.

    Having seen LDS run programs (grew up in the church with brothers in scouting) and now being part of a non-LDS troop, I've seen a huge difference in some of the groups. Being called to be a scout leader isn't really the best way to insure that scouting works for young men. Too many times, leaders who are fulfilling a calling aren't personally invested in the program. Being part of a troop where leaders volunteer their time makes it much more likely that the program is run well and that the boys will enjoy their time as a scout.

    I hope that the Church is able to implement a program that works, but if they're relying on 'forced' leadership, I'm not hopeful that they'll have any more success with a different program. I also hope that boys who are interested in scouting the way it's written by the BSA will have parents who might consider letting them join a non-LDS troop, or letting spiritual development occur within the arms of the Church, and setting up a BSA troop for their boys.

  • Lifelong Learner Orem, UT
    May 11, 2017 12:28 p.m.

    It's about time. This is a welcome and long-overdue step, and hopefully won't be the last. I'm glad that those boys who still want to pursue Scouting will be encouraged to do so. Slow but steady...

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    May 11, 2017 12:14 p.m.

    Ummm, the scout haters may want to hold off dancing on the grave of Mormon Scouting, because Mormon Scouting will continue for Cub Scouts and 11-13 year-old Scouts. Scouts will still go to Scout Camp - scouts will still work on merit badges - scout activities will occur on Wednesday nights and scout outings will occur on weekends - yes, there will still be the beloved Friends of Scouting. I'm sorry to rain on the parade for some, but that is the reality of Mormon Scouting.

  • CTM SAN ANTONIO, TX
    May 11, 2017 12:11 p.m.

    I was in a stake meeting when this news broke. All in attendance cheered. Now can we get rid of basketball?

  • mopilgrim Plymouth, MA
    May 11, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    The last statement of the article "More than 280,000 LDS boys and young men who are between the ages of 8-13 will remain associated with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts" is misleading. It implies that boys older than 13 will NOT remain associated with Boy Scouts. Saying that the Church will no longer sponsor Boy Scout Troups does not mean that boys will be told not to join other Boy Scout troups in their towns. There have been times in my 24 years of church membership that the Church has encouraged boys to join town troups. I have 4 boys who are Eagles, and 3 more who intend to become so as well. I support the Church's new program and am looking forward to it! My boys will also continue with Boy Scouts until they achieve the rank of Eagle.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:54 a.m.

    I strongly endorse this decision. I was one of those hounded to get my Eagle, which I did, but the benefits of having achieved that rank are at best etherial. I have never had it come up in a job interview. I didn't need it to be worthy to serve a mission. My wife didn't make sure I was an Eagle Scout before she married me. My kids didn't care.

    On the other hand, I did learn a lot of things, and some skills, on the way to the Eagle Rank. Might I have learned them in some other forum? Perhaps.

    I agree that the BSA seemed to be taking the LDS church for granted. I look forward to the day when there will be no more hyper-military cub scouts either. But we do need to continue to teach our youth to love this country, and aspire to continuing freedom. We can do that without Scouting.

  • Go2 Utah, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:51 a.m.

    So no more pushing to get the their Eagle ? I guess we'll stop the Merit Badges classes now . . .

  • 2close2call Beverly Hills, CA
    May 11, 2017 11:51 a.m.

    "Mormons drop Scout programs"

    I think everyone saw this coming. I am surprised it has taken so long.

  • wgirl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:48 a.m.

    65TossPowerTrap - I said the YW program has flourished, that does not mean that every girl that participated in the YW program flourished - just that the program itself was created by the Church and has functioned well for years without the need to pay millions of dollars a year to an outside organization. I am sorry your girls did not enjoy their experience in YW's.

    I agree with you that girls should have more opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreational activities - go camping, hiking, rafting, etc. The good news is they can! I organized a yearly camping trip - not Girls Camp - with my girls every year when I was a YW leader. The girls helped plan the activities, and they expressed an interest, and so we did it. There was no crying involved and we didn't talk about our feelings. I agree that girls have been short-changed in this regard, with scouting budgets many times larger than YW budgets and wards and stakes buying outdoor gear "for the Scouts" and not "for the youth" to share equally. (In my experience anyway).

    Yorkshire - shouldn't we all be "beating the drum that YW are just as important as boys?" Aren't our young women just as important as our young men?

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    I suspect that eventually, the Church will cancel the scouting program if, for no other reason, than lack of interest.

    In my area ward troops were combined and even then only came up with 7 scouts.

    I suspect on a stake basis, they wouldn't even be able to come with 15 scouts.

    Several reasons for this: a) kids just don't see the relevance in it. b)kids are "dating" even as young as 12 (even though the parents don't approve, it still happens)c)those kids who ARE social would rather spend their time with organized sports, than the "regimen" of BSA activities. d)in MANY cases their parents also didn't find it relevant, so they, in turn, don't urge their kids to participate.

    In my ward, the ONLY person they could get to run the "friends of scouting" drive was an 87 yr. old guy, and the only other person who donated (he told me later)was his 91 yr. old neighbor!

    I think the "values" being taught at Scouting have a lot of merit, but the whole program needs to be either revamped, or those values taught some other way.

  • U. C. Professor ,
    May 11, 2017 11:43 a.m.

    Are we forgetting that the distinguished, dedicated and generous British man who invented Scouting was gay? Has that fact been buried in all the other fear based homophobia, false allegations and harassment of young gay Scouts? This is a dishonest, cynical move to further demonize, marginalize and eventually eliminate all diversity and tolerance of gay men, of every age. No one is fooled by the rhetorical smokescreen employed here.

  • ctagge Layton, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:42 a.m.

    Oh my gosh! How in the world will these boys get jobs now that many of them won't be able to list that they are an Eagle Scout on their resume?

  • byugraduate Las Vegas, NV
    May 11, 2017 11:27 a.m.

    So they finally admit that Scouting is not the activity arm of the priesthood. What else will they change their mind on? If they listened to the members, they might learn something.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:29 a.m.

    The LDS Church has buried an ineffective program that has been dead for many years. There are more effective programs for enhancing development in today's adolescents.

  • SoCalmom4 Bakersfield, CA
    May 11, 2017 11:21 a.m.

    Scouting is not the end-all-be-all for teaching our young men responsibility, respect, a serving attitude, community involvement, discipline, and goal setting. The Gospel teaching us that, too, you know, besides many other activities. The scouting program is great...for some boys, not all, and those who want to continue can. And for those worried that the church is "withdrawing from the the world" because of this decision, join a pack sponsored by another church or school. Problem solved. Or, live outside of Utah. 😜

    One of my boys doesn't like scouts. He thinks it nerdy and is embarrassed by the uniforms (no offense). He LOVES camping and being outdoors and learning all those skills, though. He participates in all service activities. He just has no desire to earn a merit badge. Does this mean he's going to lack some skills that only a scout shirt can provide? I don't think so. He goes to to zero period seminary (5:30am) so he can go to high school football and weightlifting practice at 6:20 every morning. Just doing that everyday teaches important skills like responsibility, goal setting, discipline and determination. There are different roads to build character guys.

  • TX-LDS Plano, TX
    May 11, 2017 11:22 a.m.

    Only a matter of time now until the Church tosses the entire BSA program. This was just to soften the blow in transition. So will all the Scouting die-hards shoving the "Scouting is THE activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood" line be quiet now, please? Clearly, it isn't.

    Just a couple months ago an older gentleman at Church said this exact line during the FOS fund drive and added "and it will always be so". I thought to myself at the time, "always" is pretty strong. Little did I know then, how soon I would have a huge smile on my face thinking about that one.

  • mikemarine Parker, AZ
    May 11, 2017 11:16 a.m.

    The Church has not left Scouting.....Scouting has left the Church. I have two Eagle Scout sons with Order of the Arrow who served missions and I can truly say....it's not the same Scouting Program today that served my children and ward and stake so well in the past.

  • LorinT UK, 00
    May 11, 2017 11:17 a.m.

    Small but important correction ... in Canada and UK the top award is actually called "Queen's Scout". So two paragraphs could be revised as:

    The First Presidency said young men who want to continue to work toward "the rank of Eagle Scout or Queen's Scout should be encouraged and supported and should be properly registered as Scouts."

    A Queen's Scout is the Canadian and UK equivalent to BSA's Eagle rank.

  • byugraduate Las Vegas, NV
    May 11, 2017 11:15 a.m.

    Well its a good start. Now get rid of the other corrupt Scouting programs.

  • B-Real2 Saratoga Springs, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:14 a.m.

    So happy to hear this news. Got it on the way to work and couldn't stop smiling for 5 mins. I've been a YM leader in 4 u.s. states and 5 wards, regularly done the training. Was a scout growing up and achieved LIFE advancement but that's all.

    Honestly the boys were willing to do the fun scouting stuff, but the paperwork and follow through all came down to their own parents (and few ever did anything with it), but I still felt like a failure all the time in YM, and it was 90% due to Scouting. I'd feel great about Sunday lessons, fun activities, youth conferences, Duty to God, etc. but I always felt like a failure when it came to scouting. It was like dragging snails to the salt flats.

    This will allow YM leaders at the youth age to do MORE actually. The church just lifted a 500 lb gorilla off their backs...I feel lighter and happier already. No more guilt and shame due to poor scouting attendance by the boys and poor advancements.

    I'm an employer, and have 30 men in their 20's working for me. I have never asked a single one if they are a Eagle Scout. It's never mattered to me. I know of ZERO employers that ask that anymore. I care about the character of the person. That's it.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    May 11, 2017 11:03 a.m.

    A couple things:

    When I was a boy scout I was told that I could NOT ever become an Eagle Scout because physically I could not get the Life-Saving Merit Badge. Many have since told me that "wasn't true" but there were more boys than just me told that back in the 1960's. So my older brother and I dropped out of scouting...he saying "If it's not good enough for my brother, it's not good enough for me." They have since modified that stance and my two sons and his son have all 3 become Eagle Scouts. I always have a twinge of pain at an Eagle Ceremony when they form the Eagles Nest and I remember that I was denied that opportunity. After 55+ years it still stings a bit. I'm glad my sons didn't suffer such a restrictive, exclusionary experience. I attribute it to either poor leadership or the military type mentality that existed at that time.

    Secondly, the way things are going the Boy Scouts of America are going to have to change their name to the "Scouts of America." PC has ruined this national treasure and those who founded it are turning over in their graves, I'm certain.

  • Gringindio Queen Creek, AZ
    May 11, 2017 11:02 a.m.

    It is such a blessing to have a living prophet who is able to lead and guide us! I am looking forward to seeing the changes the Lord has in store for his young men and the blessings it will bring.

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    May 11, 2017 10:59 a.m.

    The Church lost control of this program, so they did away with it. It is clearly in their best interest to create programs where they don't have to experience normal people, who happen to be Gay. It is a sad day. On the other hand, at least I don't have to feel guilty anymore about never making Eagle Scout (the bullying was just too much).

  • Lmorden Mililani, HI
    May 11, 2017 10:57 a.m.

    I think this is a sad movement. If they remove the Boys from Utah that get their Eagle Scouts by 13 it would be interesting to see how many boys get their Eagle Scouts after 14-17. Not all the wards and stakes outside of Utah have an Eagle Scout program to get their boys completed by 13.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    May 11, 2017 10:45 a.m.

    I'm a proud Eagle Scout, but I definitely understand the Church's rationale here. Political issues aside, the Varsity and Venturing programs were very difficult to implement properly. I was lucky enough to have some great YM leaders, but the only real difference between being a Varsity or Venture Scout as opposed to a regular Scout was the name and the fact that we went on high adventure trips instead of going to Scout camp.
    My fondest memories of Scouting as a youth were the high adventure trips. Most of the merit badges were tedious and boring, the official BSA events like Scout camp and youth leadership trainings were a snore, and too many leaders failed to teach the boys to plan and lead, resulting in many poorly planned activities that no one enjoyed.
    The parts of Scouting that are good don't have to leave the Young Men's program, but as the Church slowly removes itself from the BSA (I'm sure that the days of 8-13 year-old Scouting programs in the Church are numbered, too), they can teach the boys to lead and serve through programs more tailored to the needs of the Church.

  • KENNY JIMNO MULBERRY, FL
    May 11, 2017 10:30 a.m.

    More of Question
    Don't we want our young men to experience other young men in a setting outside of churchs and school to afford them the ability to shine as a good example to learn to become Outstanding citizens and encourage other young men in society to do the same?

    Why not strengthen​ the BSA and open new opportunities in other countries without scouting programs there?

    The Church is shutting the doors for young men outside the church an opportunity to meet Mormon young men doing good deeds without being an actual church sponsored Activity.

    My first experiences and part of my foundation for becoming a member of The Church was my experience with LDS young men.

  • Woodworker Highland, UT
    May 11, 2017 10:33 a.m.

    First, thanks to everyone for your comments. Se
    Next, the Church has often asked for sacrifice for one cause or another. Later, the program or goal was changed or deleted. That did not make it uninspired. Willing effort and sacrifice is always a sanctifying experience for those doing it - regardless of how long the cause lasted. That's how I will look at my experiences as a youth and adult leader in the Scouting program.
    Also, I have felt the increasing strain on my time, family, budget, and emotional health trying to support a BSA program that was way too complex and demanding. I was hopeful that they would learn to simplify. Obviously, they have not. I am thankful to the Church leaders for trying to do so now. Few adults have the means and time to run a BSA program.
    Finally, I agree with others that becoming an Eagle Scout is not the beginning or end of the purpose of Scouting. The real purpose of Scouting, an any good program for youth, is to build character, leadership, and skills that will help them become better citizens and disciples of Christ. P.S. Thank you to all my Scout leaders - those who helped me as a youth, and as an adult leader! Do Your Best!

  • TJulien Roseville, CA
    May 11, 2017 10:18 a.m.

    I am amazed at what I consider to be the large number of negative and sometimes hateful comments aimed at the Boy Scouts. The success of the Scouting program in your church is not the responsibility of the Boy Scouts, it is the responsibility of your volunteer leaders, and to be quite honest the quality of church members being called to serve as scouting leaders has been poor. For years these callings have been undersold by church leaders and under appreciated by those who were called. I know wonderful LDS scouters, and I know pathetic LDS scouters. Guess which ones have good programs with happy families?

    Severing ties with the BSA is not going to change this. If venture and varsity programs are not working it is the fault of church leadership at the stake and Ward level. If memory serves me correct the Varsity program was developed about 30 years ago specifically to meet the need of LDS Scouting. This is a sad day for the church and a sad day for thousands of boys and young men that will be denied the opportunity that their fathers, grandfathers, and other previous generations have had for character, skill and spiritual development in a structured and positive environment.

  • UtahTroutStalker Draper, UT
    May 11, 2017 10:16 a.m.

    I think this is a good move for the Scouts. The LDS church as attempted over the years to use it in a way it was never intended.

    LDS ward charters typically only have boys from LDS families (not all but many).

    Scouts should be more inclusive, and it is better when the boys that make up the troop come from more diverse backgrounds. This helps to teach them to grow up to be men who are more inclusive and understanding of people who may not believe exactly as they are their families do.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    May 11, 2017 10:13 a.m.

    Would have been fun to see the faces of the overpaid top BSA executives...

    Have they figured out yet that the LDS Friends of Scouting gravy train is eventually going to end and deprive them of a lot of $$ ?? :)

    Wish we could get Cub and younger Scout things at a fair price.

    But I do NOT fall in with the same complainers (many in these comments) who think YW are getting short changed.

    Our local YW thankfully do not have 'feminist' leaders and mothers who are always beating the 'YW are just as important as boys' drum.
    A ward where that WAS the case are now filled with women who are advocating for women to stand in the baby blessing circle, and were Kate Kelly sympathizers, OVERLY focused on women in the Scriptures, or lamenting we don't study RS leaders of early days of the Church like we do early Prophets etc. etc

    Maybe no link, but seemed obvious to us that kind of next jump was a result--after hearing constant accusations that YW weren't as valued as the Scouts.....

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    May 11, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    Re: johnpack

    "They do NOT need another hour of Sunday School on activity night."

    Bravo!

  • twspears6007 Bakersfield, CA
    May 11, 2017 10:07 a.m.

    I have thought for the last 5 years that the Church Scouting Program was going in the wrong direction. I to have seen a lack of interest for the older boys. As a Scoutmaster in my Ward I have pondered what the future would hold for our precious youth. I opposed in 2013 any movement that would allow homosexual youth and adults into our Scouting program I knew that the BSA was condoning a policy that the LDS Church would eventually cause the Church to make changes in the Scouting program. Now that it has become a fact. My question now is with a January 1st 2018 effective date we need to have a more clear direction for our 15 and up young men for the future. My original hope was that the Church would start its own program. I believe that we have plenty of skilled leaders in the Church who could support our own program. I am truly optimistic for changes in our Scout program I am very happy that the Church has put God first a doctrine that is eternal and irreversible no matter what man does. I believe that our Church leaders have had deep prayer to seek the direction and future of our Scouting program. In my 30 years of Scouting I have always been blessed with supporting our youth.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    May 11, 2017 10:03 a.m.

    Re: wgirl

    "The YW don't play basketball every Wednesday night. The YW program has flourished for years without paying millions for assistance from an outside club. "

    Maybe the YW program works for you, but it didn't "flourish" for my three daughters. They got tired of the constant "sharing of feelings", crying and choreographed spirituality - particularly at Girls Camp. My daughters wanted to do the outdoor stuff that my sons did in Scouting.

  • slyfox6 Cibolo, TX
    May 11, 2017 10:04 a.m.

    It's about time! Scouting is more about money than actually helping boys. Top leaders make ridiculous amounts of money in a program that is supposedly nonprofit. It's also sad that the church spends so much money on a program for boys, while the girls have been limited to one fundraiser a year and not even that anymore with budgets growing smaller. I was upset as a youth that the boys got to do cool activities like camping, hiking, rafting, etc. while the girls had activities like how to apply makeup and do hair. I'm excited about this, especially since my son is now in Young Men. The church can run a better program by itself where the funds will actually go to help boys and not line the pockets of Boy Scout officials. Funds will also be more equally distributed among the YM and YW of the church which is how it should've always been. With 5 girls of my own, this also excites me. I am so thankful that the church is standing up to this program and finally doing something about it. So, don't mind me while I do my little happy dance 😁

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    May 11, 2017 10:00 a.m.

    This is a good move, but no panacea. We must expect greater scrutiny than ever before. Individuals and groups will seek to be included in the new program and bring suit every time they feel discriminated against.

    In other words, they will seek control over our own program.

    And, to some extent, the Church will cave to their demands.

    I would very much like to be proved wrong.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    May 11, 2017 9:57 a.m.

    @Gruncle Ralph.
    Though time requirements for rank advancements haven't changed, age requirements for participation in a Boy Scout Troop was lowered from12 to 11 in 1949. For LDS Troops the change never made sense, because prior to the change the troop ages matched up nicely with LDS priesthood quorums.

    Just my opinion, but that extra year of maturity gives young men the opportunity to take a lot more responsibility for their choices in life, and how they fulfill their scouting requirements. The pressure to achieve is less on Mom and Dad (ok, Mom really) and more on the young man. As the Church gradually introduces its new program, we can expect it to fully recognize the maturity and added responsibility that young men take on when they are ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.

  • johnpack Parker, CO
    May 11, 2017 9:57 a.m.

    In my experience, the problem with church Scout units boils down to 1) programs from 11-13 that are too much like schools and too little outdoors in an attempt to be Eagle factories (which creates the false impression that youth aren't interested in scouting by 14), 2) advisors who refuse to let the youth led, and 3) leaders who successfully turned Varsity Teams and Venturing Crews into troops.

    Our youth desperately need the outdoor, fun, youth-led program Scouting was intended to be. They do NOT need another hour of Sunday School on activity night.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 11, 2017 9:53 a.m.

    The haters of Scouting didn't read the announcement very well. The boys will still be encouraged and helped to achieve the rank of Eagle.

    Now, if you look at the YM Duty to God booklet, and look at the requirements there, and go to the website in the letter sent by the First Presidency, you will see that the Venturing and Varsity program will continue under a new name. In fact, it will give MORE structure to the YM program making it more like the YW program.

    Now, tell me all of you former Scout Masters that hate scouting, do you really think it will be less work implementing a YM style program for the YM than it was under Venturing and Explorers?

  • srh83 Hillsboro, OR
    May 11, 2017 9:55 a.m.

    This is great news! I love the principles of scouting, but the Church can teach those without a direct affiliation to the BSA. At least for those ages 14+.

    I was always bothered by the President of the BSA getting a $1.8 million salary while we all hound the members to do friends of scouting and pay for super expensive badges/awards when the Church could do their own program for cheaper and better. Good move!

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:55 a.m.

    As a scout leader, serving two different bosses, the church, and BSA, was difficult at best. The church dud not leave scouting, scouting has left the church. I will be happy when we leave BSA completely.

  • Peebee Portland, OR
    May 11, 2017 9:53 a.m.

    From a different perspective, I served in the YW program as both ward and stake president for over 10 years. We worked very hard to make the program relevant, interesting and exciting. For those great girls, but it was heartbreaking to see the YM go out of town to see a nuclear submarine while we (leaders) took money from our own pockets to take the girls on an acivity we could afford at home - and that's just one example of the inequities we worked hard to overcome. Scouting may be a great program, but from my perspective it robbed the YW of adventure and outings that could have been equally as character building, career promoting, mission preparing and family focused as the YM.

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    I've been a scout leader for 20 years and have absolutely loved scouting. I was expecting this announcement sometime, and anticipate a wonderful program for the YM. I completely trust LDS Church leaders.

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    May 11, 2017 9:52 a.m.

    Venture and Varsity have never worked in any ward I have been in. The only scouting that has worked is for the younger boys, up to age 13. So this probably won't change a whole lot in practice. Of course, now my boys (14 and 16) may wonder if they should even worry about finishing their Eagle - they are very close, so I am sure they will.

  • proud2b4family Spring Grove, IL
    May 11, 2017 9:52 a.m.

    "As a former Eagle Scout this basically says to me that this was an uninspired program and that my time in young men's was obviously wasted."

    It says nothing of the kind. First of all, Eagle Scout, and scouting in general, were never claimed to be "inspired programs" of the church. The Church has always maintained its independence in how it ran scouts vs. how National ran it. Eagle rank in the Church was always meant to be just a milepost marker in a boy's progress toward adulthood, not a salvific ordinance.

    You sound like you're just looking for an excuse to complain about a change you don't like. That says a lot more about what you didn't learn in the leadership aspects of the Eagle rank advancement requirements than it says about the program as a whole. If you want what the Eagle Scout rank symbolized to continue in the new programs the Church is rolling out, then roll up your sleeves and get to work on it. Complaining fixes nothing.

  • RFS San Bernardino, CA
    May 11, 2017 9:51 a.m.

    Will this be the death-nell of scouting? Not if we continue to financially support it! Did you notice that we are still participating in FOS? By-the-way, Our ward only collected $50 toward our $1800 assessment this year. The stake Pres says the rest will have to come out of our budget if we don't do a fund raiser. We just did a fund raiser to send our youth on a Stake organized Youth Conference to Salt Lake/Provo. We barely made it. Good luck getting blood from this turnip of a ward!

  • delta84 Murray, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    Makes sense to me. The Varsity/Venture programs have always seemed irrelevant and confusing. Now the official focus will be to get an Eagle by 14, then continue with activities that will focus on preparing the young men to cope with relevant and real-life challenges they will soon face as they prepare to leave home. My son is 14 and will earn his Eagle this summer, and I am very happy to hear about the change.

  • Be fair South Jordan, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:36 a.m.

    During my 12 years as Scoutmaster in New England, I had stake leaders provide leadership and activities that the boys in our troop and I couldn't provide, such as canoeing. I knew how to hike and to backpack, but I didn't know how to canoe, and canoeing was a big thing in New England! I especially liked the fact that our stake left us alone, unless we needed help. I gave as much freedom to the boys as possible, and our stake gave as much freedom to the branches and wards as possible.

    One boy come to a monthly campout with only a frying pan and a small receiving blanket -- no food, no sleeping bag, no tent. I felt prompted to let him stay, and I found our troop leader, a Priest, and said, "You have a problem!" He found the boys patrol leader, a Teacher, and said, "You have a problem!" The Patrol Leader found his patrol and figured out ways to help the boy survive and enjoy the campout. The temperature got down to 28 (F) that night, and the first thing the boy said the next morning was, "I'm cold." He learned his lesson and came to the next campout well prepared!

    But, times change and the church changes its policies to keep up with the times and prompting from the Lord.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    May 11, 2017 9:36 a.m.

    IMO, this is mainly about money and the complexity of the Boy Scout organization in 2017.

    The Church can do a much simpler program that better fits the needs of its youth worldwide.

    As for money, the Church doesn't have the money adopt the Boy Scout program internationally. Additionally, the Church can also now align YM and YW in a much more equal way, and do it on a global basis.

    As an Eagle Scout and former Scout leader, I miss the way Boy Scouts used to be. But, I am excited about the changes to YM and YW that will be well-thought-out, implemented globally, and under inspiration, as opposed to the direction of the now PC BSA.

  • TryingToBeLikeJesus UMATILLA, OR
    May 11, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    Yay!! I've been saying for years that the BSA has been sucking way too much in funds from our church, and the boys aren't focused enough on spiritual aspects. And.. As already stated, had been way misaligned with spending compared with YW. Primary budget is always bled dry by Cubs as well, so I hope that's done away with asap!

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    May 11, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    I am currently a Unit Commissioner, and just FYI, I live in the heart of South Jordan, with the majority who are LDS, white-bred (I can say this cause I would fit this category too, even though I was raised near San Francisco where I was def the minority). I am sorry to hear of those who feel they have been excluded. That isn't what Scouting is about, nor the LDS Church. In our area, we have always invited AND PAID for ALL eligible boys within our neighborhood charter boundaries. There have been several of those, not of our faith, who have served as Scout leaders because they enjoy their children, and they have been very well accepted. There was recently an 8-year old boy who joined Scouting and his 2 moms are fully supportive. As a neighborhood, I have watched those in Scouting working hard to accommodate and be sensitive to the needs of this family. The participation levels, even with the younger Cub Scouts has dwindled over the years as competitive sports and other extracurriculars have filled the gaps of time and character building experiences as a team where Scouting once used to have that place. I think there are many reasons to part ways, and now is a good time.

  • RFS San Bernardino, CA
    May 11, 2017 9:27 a.m.

    Well this falls in line with the attitudes of Young Men leaders that "we don't do Scouting, we do a different program" (not true, read the green book on LDS scouting). If the goal is to get a boy on a mission, not get a boy to eagle, then this program (which is the young women program, but with extra sports thrown in) is certainly aligned with that goal.
    Remember, it's not the boys who make the program in the church, it's the leaders. If the LDS leaders continue to be lack-a-daisical about teaching the boys to be leaders, and creating a program they are interested in and then coaching them to lead it, if the leaders continue to just throw a basketball into the room four times a month and call that an activity, then the new program will go nowhere either.
    The number one reason for failure of the scouting program in the church, is the failure of the leaders to get trained. Trained leaders have a whole different understanding of what scouting does for the youth. I really feel it's the lack of trained leaders that has killed scouting for the LDS church. If you read the LDS scouting instructions you find that a scout leader is to complete training before he is sustained in church.

  • Be fair South Jordan, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    During my 12 years as Scoutmaster in New England, our troop had a lot of boys achieve Eagle Scout, and I don't know of any boys were were "hounded" by their parents to achieve that rank. The boys became Eagles because they wanted that rank! I don't know of any boys who went camping monthly (regardless of weather) because their parents "hounded" them to go with the troop. They went camping because they wanted to go.

    The thing I liked most about scouting was the success BSA had with the boys running their own troop and the adults acting as mentors and advisors and being in the background. We were a small branch, and we covered an area as large as the Salt Lake Valley, and the boys came from several towns scattered around the area. It was hard for the boys to have planning meetings, because they came from different towns, but we did the best we could. We were glad that Sunday meetings and weekly Mutual meetings brought the boys together.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    May 11, 2017 9:24 a.m.

    Less is more-thank you for removing one more draining duty (which Scouting has become) from our lives! **The Church and the programs they have endorsed/supported have always been meant to support the family, not replace it.

  • windsor City, Ut
    May 11, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    Bet nobody saw this configuration coming.

    I didn't.

    Bet we thought it would be all or nothing.

    I personally am pleased.

    Preserves what is best about Scouting-- and then gets kids out about when political correctness issues could come into play.

  • Kug Big Arm, MT
    May 11, 2017 9:17 a.m.

    Its about time the church took this stand! Good news!

  • Goldminer Salem, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:15 a.m.

    Scouting is one important program to teach discipline and the importance of achievement. The Eagle Scout award is an excellent award to have one's resume. It is also an excellent goal to achieve for all young men.
    I think there is something else going on here with this notice. And I would not be surprised to see the Church leaving the Scout's totally in the near future. And while the Public Affairs office my deny any suggestion that it has anything to do with homosexuals or politics, it seems pretty obvious to me that this is exactly what is driving this move.
    Sad.

  • Gruncle Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:15 a.m.

    @mcfarren
    It will be even more ideal when ages 12-13 bow out as well. The ever-increasing rush to Eagle at younger and younger ages, and at lower and lower levels of expectation, has unfortunately devalued the the rank for many years.
    ----------------

    I don't see how that can be true when the same time limits are in place that boys have to wait to attain certain rank advancements that have always been there, they have the same requirement of merit badges as always (with the same number of Eagle required MB's) and the same requirements for eagle projects.

    There were go-getters who got their Eagle at 13/14 when I was a Scout just like there are now, it's a fallacy that kids are getting it "earlier and earlier."

    That's just not the case.

  • Reed9000 Midland, TX
    May 11, 2017 9:12 a.m.

    I think this was a terrible descision. As a former Eagle Scout this basically says to me that this was an uninspired program and that my time in young men's was obviously wasted. In my experience the church will really have to step up their young men's program in order to fill the spot of scouts. They will basically have to come up with a knock of scouting because the duty to god program really needs a lot of work. Going through as a young man it was constatly changing vary vague and open to interpretation and poorly constructed. Where else are the young men who don't have fathers who are outdoorsmen going to get to go camping learn survival skills as well as wood working archery shooting etc. I don't think those things will be included in duty to god. The church is already having trouble keeping young men interested so is it a good idea to remove a program that actually makes it fun? In my opinion church leaders always talk about how they need good strong men to lead but they are removing a program that allows boys to feel like men and do things that men have done for centuries. This will not strengthen the young men but ultimately make them weaker.

  • faith in deed Mesa, AZ
    May 11, 2017 9:10 a.m.

    Doess this sentence in the article have a typo?
    "Today, about 470,000 LDS boys and young men ages 8-13 participate in Scouting programs in the US and Canada. "
    Should it say ages 8-18? It doesn't jive with the numbers in the next paragraph.

  • D-day Orem, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:09 a.m.

    I grew up in a small ward in Tennessee and BSA was a heavy focus in the youth program. I really enjoyed the BSA program until it came time to submit my Eagle Project. I was going to get the material necessary and install the flooring for a new disabled women's shelter. My brother for his project was going to build walls to section off rooms in the shelter. Our projects were rejected multiple times even after revising each time. Eventually, our scout master went to the council to see why the proposals that he felt were really good were getting rejected. The council told him that they don't need our church in the BSA, and we should just stick to our Duty to God program we have. I eventually found the motivation to get my Eagle 4 years later after moving to California where the church is more accepted. People have the right to think the church is reacting to the BSA's newer rules (I don't think the church is), but you need to see the discrimination in the reverse.

    I personally am in favor of this split because, like the article said, the church can now focus its time and money on providing a meaningful youth program to all its members across the world and not just the US and Canada.

  • SoCalmom4 Bakersfield, CA
    May 11, 2017 9:08 a.m.

    This seriously makes me so happy!! I've been wanting this to happen since the day I was asked to submit our primary budget for our ward and told I needed to allocated just about half of it to the cub scouts. I was appalled that that much money was going to just one program in our church to pay for badges and pins (I know there's more to it, but still). Now our young men can have programs designed just for their specific needs and don't get me started on the lack of funds for our young women....I love everything about this!!

  • Weston Phoenix, AZ
    May 11, 2017 9:08 a.m.

    A new program isn't going to change anything.
    The real problem lies with adult leaders who are untrained and not engaged.
    In my stake less than 20% of leaders ever got trained.
    And i would assume that the rest of the church isn't much different.
    Its entertaining to me to see people talk about the church making a better program.
    Maybe its because they've never seen the miserable home teaching numbers, been to a shoot-from- the-hip elders quorum lesson.
    As long as basketball is going to be our mutual program we may as well free scouting from our path of destruction.

  • Allen South Jordan, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:07 a.m.

    Many years ago, while living in New England, I was called as Scoutmaster and served in that calling for 12 years. It was an exciting and motivating time! Because we were a small branch, later a small ward, my Bishop let me have boys up to 18. This was a good move, because it gave a level of leadership to the boys and the troop that is impossible to achieve if the troop is limited to younger boys. Each Priesthood Quorum had its own patrol, and the patrol leaders were encouraged to have separate patrol activities. We were a hiking and backpacking troop, and both the boys and I loved the mixture of all ages in our troop (including 11-year old boys who were a patrol and followed church guidelines of camping overnight only twice per year). They met with us for our monthly campouts, starting early on Saturday morning. Our stake provided leadership and activities that the branches and wards didn't have, such as canoeing.

    But, times change, and the church changes its policies to keep up with the times and to follow inspiration from the Lord. It will be interesting to see how well the older boys adapt to this new program, and it will be interesting to see what happens to the younger boys!

  • james d. morrison Sandy, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:07 a.m.

    I really don't think this decision had anything to do with political correctness issues. It's more to do with the fact that kids lose interest in the scouts. Also consider what happens if a majority of the kids in a ward earn their eagle before 14. They pretty much don't do scouts anymore and it is hard to coordinate the activities that will involve those still working on their merit badges and those already done.

  • wgirl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    Hallelujah! This is a step in the right direction.

    65TossPowerTrap - The YW don't play basketball every Wednesday night. The YW program has flourished for years without paying millions for assistance from an outside club. The men of the church are just as capable as the women of the church have been, at providing high quality lessons and activities for the youth. The Personal Progress Program is amazing. It could easily be adapted and used in the Young Men's program.

    I hope this takes pressure off of all the mom's out there that feel obligated to nag and cajole their boys, to create spreadsheets to keep track of merit badges and detailed calendars to document camping trips, and spend hours tracking down merit badge counselors to sign off on their son's advancement - all for an Eagle Scout Award. I hope it doesn't mean they will feel pressured to have accomplished it by the time the boy is 14.

    People that love the Boy Scouts can continue with the program, just like people that love softball can join a league, people that love 4-H can form clubs and people that love books can form a book club. The BSA wasn't created by the church and has nothing to do with the Gospel.

  • james d. morrison Sandy, UT
    May 11, 2017 9:01 a.m.

    Awesome. By the time kids are 14, they have lost most interest in scouting except for the outdoor activities like camping, river rafting, biking, etc.
    Curious though, if a kid hasn't earned his eagle by 14, then what happens. Won't get much help on completing it from the ward scout troop I imagine.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    May 11, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    I guess I kept expecting this when "gay" leadership was adopted by the BSA. And no, I am not homophobic. However, with each passing year, BSA seems to be moving further and further from the ideals that the drew the church to adopting as a support system for its own standards generations ago. The original concepts which urge scouters to be dutiful followers of Christ through being courteous, cheerful, brave, kind --- doing a good turn daily, have been pushed to the side in an attempt at not offending anyone. This strategy, in my opinion, has been an all but fatal blow to the organization. What society needs are people with convictions who are kind as well as courageous - in my thinking, this is no longer the BSA.

    But regardless of my personal feelings, I would have and still continue to support my LDS church leaders in their decisions. I'm sure it is the right one, though not necessarily the popular or easy one.

  • XCasper Canada, 00
    May 11, 2017 8:59 a.m.

    Outside of Utah anyway, or at least in the south, it was my experience that these two programs (Varsity & Explorers) were never very well supported nor implemented. The basic boy scout troop was hit or miss if the poor scout master (YM 2nd Counselor) had any scouting experience or support. Then we had to contend with members who were eagle scouts that grew up in the Utah area that were highly negative towards the program because, I was told, in and around Utah, scouting was shoved down a boys throat in such a way that it was a chore and if they didn't get eagle then they weren't a good enough Mormon. I'm amazed it held on this long since so many in the priesthood even went so far as to complain that scouting was taking the young men away from their priesthood duties. Over sensationalized media coverage the swayed more uninformed members against the program too. It's a shame really, the core values and lessons of scouting are amazing. Still I fear it is doomed regardless.

  • 112358 Alpine, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:59 a.m.

    Robert Gates legacy: the destruction of Boy Scouts of America.

  • Constitutionalist1787 Provo, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:56 a.m.

    As an Eagle Scout, I have good memories of being a Boy Scout and I looked forward one day to having my future sons to be Eagle Scouts as well. I realized that once the BSA changed their policies to allow gay leaders that it would be difficult for the Church to be involved. I think it is the right decision but the transition will be tougher than expected. The Church's Duty to God program is designed for this but I think that young men leaders will be forced to change their planning of activities.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 11, 2017 8:55 a.m.

    ""In most congregations in the United States and Canada, young men ages 14-18 are not being served well by the Varsity or Venturing programs, which have historically been difficult to implement within the church,""

    Considering the church has been doing a real bad job with Varsity Scouting anyways... makes sense. But since our church troop is now comprised of 1/3 non members.... this is a huge blow to our missionary efforts in the field.

    But hey.... its all about Utah members.... lets not worry about what's going on in the real world and ways to bring young men into the church. I'm dying to see what they plan on replacing it with since church sports is all but gone. It's not like our Youth spend every weekday morning for an hour in church... lets make Wednesdays just more seminary.... that will bring the boys back in.

    My son is one of three members in his high school of 2,000 students. I sure hope the church comes up with something for these boys. Scouts was one of the few reasons many of these boys wanted to show up wednesday nights. They get enough of the other churchy stuff.

  • Raymond fan Olympia, WA
    May 11, 2017 8:57 a.m.

    I can hear a collective sigh of relief from mothers of young men sounding all across the U.S. and Canada. Now we can stop hounding those reluctant 14 year olds to finish their Eagle. YAHOO!
    For years the B.S.A. has drained money from the LDS population and fed their professionals. NO LONGER. The Church can help our young men so much better to prepare for their futures.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:57 a.m.

    @ pragmatically, when you say "what is needed is a guarantee of moral leadership," I'm sorry, but the same issue applies within the Church, not just to Scouting and other organizations.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:57 a.m.

    Unlike others who have written in, I had the privilege of having a great Scout Troop with 3 of the 12 boys getting their Eagle before they were 14. Then I was asked to be the leader of the Varsity and continued with the same boys. Did we have fun? Did we teach and learn? Did we do exceptional things to help others? Were the boys and their youth leaders involved and liked what we did? All of the answers are yes. Did we play basketball instead of doing things related to the Varsity program each week? No! When the boys reached 16, 9 of the 12 were Eagles.

    It is leadership that has brought the changes in the program to this point not social change in the older groups. Doing things unrelated to scouting causes a disinterest in Scouting. Great leaders like those who have expressed their disappointment today have made the program work, others were not successful.

    The Ventures, age 16 to 18 has always been a different kind of problem and the interest is low as evidenced by the number receiving their Eagle at 18 where the pressure is to get it or not to get it.

    The key thing is that a young man can attain Eagle if he chooses to, no matter the age.

  • IAlaw Malvern, IA
    May 11, 2017 8:57 a.m.

    I am an Eagle Scout, and I support this change 100%. I've been hoping for years that the Church would cut ties with BSA. The Church can operate its own program more effectively and far less expensively than they have via BSA.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    May 11, 2017 8:54 a.m.

    Long ago, at age 12, I and a couple of other boys that were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in scouting as part of an LDS troop. This was mainly because we had friends that were in the troop. In the years since, I have seen many young men that were not members of the LDS Church participate in LDS troops.
    It is hard for me to imagine why LOU Montana thinks he "could not" participate in scouting because Mormons dominated in his small town. Perhaps it would be better to say that LOU Montana and others in his small town chose not to participate?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:52 a.m.

    So why bother with Scouting for 12 -13 year olds? Many won't reach the ultimate goal - becoming an Eagle Scout- something that is pounded into Scouts from the get-go. There are some things here that don't make much sense.

    I am also concerned with the issue of further isolation of LDS youth from the rest of the world. That's a topic that could be discussed in detail, but there's no opportunity here, and I'm not sure the paper or the Church really wants go there. If the fear is being around a few gay folks, and the like, I actually find this decision to be erroneous. If the decision is based on the increasing irrelevance of some of Scouting activities, it might make sense. But overall, the increasing tolerance of Scouting to people is not such a bad thing, and Scouting does teach some important principles. I don't see the Church doing something better and which doesn't feel contrived. I guess we will see.

  • BlueMoonOden Wilmette, IL
    May 11, 2017 8:48 a.m.

    This might be a death blow to the Scout program. With so many churches forming their own scouting programs and scouting being slow to change with the times (except the Gay questions) the Boy Scouts of America is coming to a close. The Mormon Church with their large number of scouts has helped keep the organization afloat. Boy Scouts have been suffering a slow death over the years because of lower and lower membership and without the LDS church it will pretty much be the end.

  • PacificCreek Puyallup, WA
    May 11, 2017 8:50 a.m.

    I have mixed feelings on this. I believe that the scouting program can be a lot of fun and do a lot of good for the young men who participate. I had a blast as a kid but haven't enjoyed administering the program as an adult very much. It really is a good fit from 11-14. Once the boys turn 14 they are much more interested in sports, cars and girls than merit badges. I feel like the church can build a better program that can still have a lot of fun without dumping funds into the BSA coffers.

    The Venture an Varsity program aren't a good fit because the boys don't want to do it and haven't for quite some time.

  • neece Logan, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:50 a.m.

    I think there have been some good comments said. I do understand it may alienate some people/groups, but over the years I have seen the older boys really not being interested in Scouting anymore. Personally I would rather my boys learn things more close to our religion. This move is simply to solidify our beliefs.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    I'm anxious to hear more details of the Lord's program. Scouting was great for our family and I'm grateful that all our boys are Eagles. I am optimistic that religious freedoms will continue to allow us to live the principles inspired by the Scout Oath, Scout Law. Motto, and Slogan. And we can follow the words of the Savior and love sinners (we all are), but advocate against sin. This move will help us to continue to follow the Savior in detail instead of just hearing the one very important teaching - love everyone (interpreted as love every choice). I love the inspired Church leaders.

  • RedLegBandit West Jordan, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:46 a.m.

    Scouting always took the most fun things about the outdoors and made them boring and lame. So glad I still found a love for outdoors even after scouts nearly ruined it for me. And so glad that the church is parting ways with the scouts.

  • humbug Syracuse/Davis, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:43 a.m.

    I'm thrilled. Good news! Three cheers! Long overdue. Such good news.

    It has bothered me for years - the compensation salary of local BSA leaders in Utah.
    It bothers me that families are burdened with making such large donations to BSA.
    It bothers me that so much time is spent to learn the program.
    It bothers me that so much less money has been spent on the Young Women, even though their program is superior to the BSA program.

    I'm incredibly grateful the church has made this decision. Yes!

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    May 11, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    It seems that many are worried that nothing will be proposed to fill in the void. I propose an arts program that might include tap, jazz and modern. Boys will learn that their bodies are gifts from God and should be used to express all of their emotions. Hey--it beats eating a raw trout! Ta!

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 11, 2017 8:42 a.m.

    To all the BSA haters out there --
    the LDS Church did not abandon the BSA program entirely.

    I've been in Scouting with the Church for over 30 years,
    and the truth is, boys who will become Eagle Scouts will be 90% the way there by age 14 anyway.

    14-18 is time for the boys to WORK, cars, sports, and girls...

  • LDScarpedeim Farmington, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:40 a.m.

    Wonderful move! I am an Eagle Scout. All my brothers are Eagle Scouts. My four sons are Eagle Scouts. My wife and I have served in most leadership positions in Cubs and Scouts including Scoutmaster and Cub Master and Unit Commissioner. We are a significant
    donors to Friends of Scouting. I served on my mission as a young men's president, (in Europe)
    where we could not use the scouting program and our youth did just fine.

    Sorry to see the institution of Scouting failing on the fires of political correctness; attempting to please all, and in the end breaking free of its moorings.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:36 a.m.

    When I was 15, our ward was selected as a pilot unit for the Varsity Scout program the year before it was fully rolled out. We liked the high adventure aspect of it, and were into it hard core. We continued to participate until 18, and many of us got 3 palms with our Eagle too. I earned by Eagle when I was 16 and many of my friends were even older. Our leaders kind of discouraged the rush to Eagle by 14. Funny thing is that those who got Eagle at 14 didn't have much to do with Scouting after their Court of Honor. They kind of just did it to get done with it.

    Two down sides is that if wards want to do high adventure, they won't have access to BSA's high adventure bases. (Never went to one, we had plenty of places to go to plan our own, so maybe not a big loss.) The other is that the BSA insurance won't cover accidents to older boys if they are not registered and the activity is not a Scout-sanctioned event. Look for the lawyers of the Church and BSA fight over who has liability on events that include both boys registered with BSA and those who are not.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:34 a.m.

    As an Eagle Scout, I have to say I am happy with this change. The long-held theory that becoming an Eagle Scout is a good indicator of a boy serving a mission and marrying in the temple is waning at best, if it ever was true. In our day, the young men need more spiritual training, that sadly does not always come in the home. I do believe that Scouting has a place in the Church, and keeping the program for those 11-14 as their official activity is great. And those who have not earned Eagle by 14 or just want to keep earning merit badges are still allowed to be part of the ward troop is a great thing too. Or maybe older boys who want to continue Scouting will join troops not chartered by the Church and see how Scouting works outside the Church.

  • 23scadoo College Station, TX
    May 11, 2017 8:31 a.m.

    My wife and I have hoped for this change for many years as we've seen the level of scout leadership in the church diminish.

    I am an Eagle Scout and my wife was very active with a troop before she was a member of the church. Her troop was organized through a different church but had members that were from all different religions and backgrounds. This taught her an extreme amount about being tolerant and accepting of others. I was also part of a troop for many years that was run out of the Elk's Lodge. That was the best troop I was ever in. The Scout Master was there because he wanted to be there not because he was called to be there. I know there are still great Scout Masters out there but they seem to be few and far between. My wife has taught a church Scout Master how to read a compass moments before he was to go and teach the scouts. This is crazy.

    I think this will give a great opportunity for YM to join troops outside of the church and gain some additional experience and compassion for others and let YM leaders focus on training and teaching young priesthood holders how to be great priesthood holders.

  • JEE Orem, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:30 a.m.

    While I agree this is the right move for both the church and BSA in the long run it still saddens me a bit. In my experience the church never implemented scouting as it was intended. At least not in any of the wards I've lived in. My boys really wanted a good scouting experience. We never found that in our wards. Leaders showing up totally unprepared each week, basketball more often than not, campouts only occasionally and half baked when they did happen. Nobody really cared. For a time I was called as a scout leader. I tried, but doing it alone was impossible, and with almost zero training I was ignorant how it was supposed to run anyway.

    Now we're involved in a community troop not affiliated with the LDS church and it is amazing. It's run as close as possible to the actual BSA guidelines, and it's been a great experience. Scouting is still relevant for young men. This troop has boys ranging from 11 to 17 years old and all of them are getting tremendous value from it. From what I've seen BSA did not fail the church or LDS young men, the church failed at implementation. Hopefully whatever they come out with next will work well. As for me and my boys, we're sticking with BSA.

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    May 11, 2017 8:28 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future.

  • WendellDoug Nampa, ID
    May 11, 2017 8:28 a.m.

    As an Eagle Scout, Former Scoutmaster, Current YM President and Father of 3 Girls, I applaud this decision.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:23 a.m.

    I have been hoping and waiting for this for years and not just because of the recent issues with transgender scouts and gay leaders. 100 years ago, learning how to tie 10 different knots was important, back when one of the main roles of 12 year old young men was making sure the horses were properly tied up, but it is mostly irrelevant now. I love the outdoors, the camp-outs, etc, but the scouting program in general is so antiquated in many instances that it is not relevant to modern life for our young people. In addition, the bureaucracy, the inflated salaries of executives, the excessive costs of uniforms and all things financially related to scouts (friends of scouting) have all been a really hard pill to swallow for many years. Surely the LDS church will successfully integrate the positive aspects of the program while leaving behind the negative aspects.

  • AGPennypockets Provo, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    Now would be a great time to find a deal on trucks, trailers, outdoor camping gear...hmmm.

  • gibson Provo, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    As father of three Eagles and grandfather of three more, I support this change by the Church, however today I am going to make a larger contribution financially to the Boys Scouts of America. Why? Because I believe in Scouting and what it does for the youth of the Church and to whomever and wherever it is offered.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    We lived in Illinois for several years and the local council never fully accepted the LDS scouts. They considered Mormon units as Eagle factories that just turned out merit badges and otherwise missed the point of scouting. And they didn't like the special arrangements we made to avoid Sunday swim checks and camp set up. And they didn't care much for us camping as wards, like we were somehow special

    The idea of leaders being "called" was weird to BSA. They changed too much. And our committees suffered from instability.

    That said, there were some non Mormon boys in our troops...and they loved our brand of scouting.

    Uniforms, badges and rank no longer have much appeal to teens these days. There must be goals, but there are other ways to run a program. This will be interesting.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:20 a.m.

    While I applaud this move I believe the Church should have done away with it all. The 14-18 year olds were never really involved in Scouting anyway unless they were making that final push for merit badges and Eagle projects. I can’t wait for the “other foot to drop.” I will always support the Church leaders and will continue to give to Friends of Scouting until all ties are severed.

  • Accounted4 Montgomery, AL
    May 11, 2017 8:20 a.m.

    I'm not dropping Scouts for my 3 boys. Some of my best childhood experiences occured in Scouts. Scouts helped me prepare for life, learn new practical skills, build friendships, strengthen my beliefs/testimony, and become a better person. I don't agree with all their organizational changes the past few years but it is still nationally recognized and unchanged at its core.

    Looks like I'll be spending a lot more time down the road with the Methodist or Baptist Scout troop.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    @Laura Billington:

    The last paragraph said that older boys can continue with Scouting through the ward troop to pursue rank advancement and earning merit badges, if they and their parents want. The fact is that many older boys loose interest in Scouting.

  • John Glenn Centerville, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:14 a.m.

    I once heard the statement that when a boy turns 14 his mind is dominated with the 3 senses 1) Sweat (sports) 2). Oil (cars) and 3). Perfume (duh). As a past leader in all capacities with YM it was very challenging to implement the proper programs with 14 -18 years old. Hard to implement when the interest just isn't there - - though we tried.

    I feel this is inspired and the correct move

  • cath_and_her_egg Sand, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    This was expected and it would have been surprising if this stand wasn't taken. It's a shame that this was forced upon us. All 4 of our boys loved scouting and 3 became Eagle Scouts. But we totally support this move now.

  • marileecr Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:16 a.m.

    Finally.

  • mdp Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:13 a.m.

    Long overdue. There is Nothing that the BSA offers that the Church cannot do much better in accordance with our spiritual and physical development goals for the kids. It should also teach the BSA leadership that bad decisions have consequences.

  • RWOFVA RIVERTON, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:14 a.m.

    A wise move. I'm nearly to my 3rd eagle scout son and proud of them but scouting doesn't work well past 14. I also see through my daughters that they feel they don't get the same opportunities for adventure and experience that the boys receive under the umbrella of scouting.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    May 11, 2017 8:10 a.m.

    Bummer. Scouting isn't for everybody, but it has been great for my sons. I fear the new program will be lame. I guess basketball every Wednesday night isn't too bad.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:11 a.m.

    This is positive. Scouting needs to be independent, and the church can create it's own indoctrination programs.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    May 11, 2017 8:08 a.m.

    I am an Eagle Scout, and all of my sons are Eagle
    Scouts as well. The program has served us well, and I have seen it do great things for other participants, both scouts and leaders.

    Thank you, BSA!

  • Slammer Lehi, UT
    May 11, 2017 8:10 a.m.

    Unfortunately one of the root causes of lack of success with Varsity and Venture Scouts is not acknowledged. Based on my thirty years of scout leadership experience one of those causes is lack of dedication and time investment by local adult leaders in those programs. They usually think 5 minutes of last-minute, weekly preparation, plus sporadic attendance on mutual nights is enough. If those older-boy leaders would look at their 12-13 year-old counterparts and how much time they spend, they'd have a better clue on how to successfully implement Varsity/Venture programs.

    But alas, not fulfilling Church callings has been and will be an epidemic in the Church and so I'm not very hopeful that any new program will meet with success without a massive restructuring to include holding adult leaders more accountable for spending more time with YM, and pushing for closer, mentor-like, one-on-one interactions vs. the normal group-teach that YM leaders are used to.

    Most disheartening will be the celebration by those who have hoped and prayed for this to happen, when due to their own lack of dedication they have been one of the primary causes of the ineffectiveness of Varsity/Venture.

  • proud2b4family Spring Grove, IL
    May 11, 2017 8:07 a.m.

    @Speculum rerum, see the LDS newsroom.

    They always have an extensive fact sheet anytime a new announcement goes out. They couldn't ease into this and softly. They had to announce it at some point and, unfortunately, due to the political climate, they have to do so without a lot of warning. Otherwise, undue speculation runs rampant and causes more problems for everyone.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    May 11, 2017 8:00 a.m.

    When you conjoin a religion with a social program, the tensions begin.

    When I was a kid, there were Baptist scouts, Jewish scouts and Catholic scouts in the same troop, all together for the fun of it. They even shared holidays to learn about their buddies religious traditions. It bred tolerance and understanding.

    Now apparently Mormon troops are a monoculture with few outsiders included. Sadly, what I witnessed disappeared. Suspicions arise and the glue that holds us together as a society continues to dissipate.

    Maybe the LDS leaving Scouting is the right answer for LDS dogma, but it is exactly the wrong answer for the American society. Build bridges, don't tear them down. And don't be afraid of "the other". You might even learn a thing or two.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    May 11, 2017 8:00 a.m.

    In my small childhood town, myself and others could not join Scouts because it was dominated by the Mormon church.

    Later in life my wife was asked by her church to be a Scout Leader because no one wanted to do it.

    I gladly assisted her.

  • ItsKnightTime Layton, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:56 a.m.

    The article says the church is also looking to replace Cubs and Boy Scouts. Where in the church news release and FAQ's does it say this? Deseret News, please cite the source.

  • antodav Tampa, FL
    May 11, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    Thank goodness. The Church's involvement with the BSA causes far more problems than it does good. The BSA is no longer a positive influence upon Young Men. It is past time for it and the Church to part ways.

  • pragmatically Boise, ID
    May 11, 2017 7:56 a.m.

    what is needed is a guarantee of moral leadership in scouting. There is no such guarantee, and younger scouts are more vulnerable than older ones. Parents leave too much to 'organizations' to influence their children. We are looking at yet another lawsuit in our city of abuse by scout leaders. You place your sons and daughters in places of questionable safety and who will be judged for that.

  • BlakeR St Joseph, MI
    May 11, 2017 7:55 a.m.

    This will result in a much more effective approach to the needs of all Young Men at the Unit level. No more wrangling between YM, Leaders, and parents about how to run a program that meets the needs of "Scouters" and "non-Scouters". Now, we can just focus on Young Men / Aaronic Priesthood holders, and how best to help them learn and mature spiritually, physically, and emotionally and to find and magnify their unique talents and abilities. Many of the same kinds of activities (especially outdoor activities) will be used for this purpose, but without all zelous focus on specific mechanics and requirements (as if all YM were cut out of one conforming mold) and the outdated trappings (staring with the war era, military uniform).

  • JT4 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:53 a.m.

    A good first step.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:51 a.m.

    As a former Boy Scout Leader 4 times over, I applaud this decision and it just goes to show you how much the gospel is true. I was a Assistant Cub Scout Leader, Assistant Boy Scout Leader twice and a Boy Scout Committee Chairman in Provo, Utah before moving to Davis County.
    I still remember the day I received an email from the Boy Scouts of America about taking a survey to vote on the subject of homosexuality and standing in front of Boy Scout Leaders and not telling them which way to vote but that they should vote and feeling deeply hurt that the Boy Scouts of America made this decision and then going to my Bishop and speaking to him about this. He said, Bobby the Boy Scouts can't go against the Strength of Youth pamplet and then I felt better.
    Like, I've said several times, the Church and the Gospel are not one and the same. The Gospel does not change but the Church does. If the Church changes it will align itself with Gospel principles. What a blessed day this is!

  • Ryan Phillips Herriman, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:49 a.m.

    Good riddance! Boy scouts is a secular organization with paid professionals, yet it gets free labor from lds members because of "callings" to serve. It uses lds wards to solicit money for friends of scouting, while young women who want to participate in a similar program are forced to sell cookies. And now bsa is praised for encouraging leaders who are openly gay to supervise teenage boys in close proximity on overnight campouts.

  • BalancedFulfilledLife MISSOURI CITY, TX
    May 11, 2017 7:48 a.m.

    As in other matters, taking the time to read the article enlightened my understanding and persuaded me that this decision is motivated by love, wisdom and everything good. I fully support this decision.

  • DC Surfs Carlsbad, CA
    May 11, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    40 years ago when i turned 12, I bailed out of scouting. Who knew I was so visionary at such a young age? I was right all along and preached this for years but it wasn't always met with joy from other ward members. Some acted as if receiving an eagle scout award was some sort of life saving ordinance.

    Keep the campouts but lose the uniforms and the structure. Incredibly lame with no impact on ones spiritual progress. This continues to be an antiquated program.

  • mightyhunterhaha Layton, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    I applaud the move for the LDS church to pull back from Varsity and Venture Scouting. I had many disagreements over the years of the so called super scouters who thought they could dictate how things were suppose to occur in the Young Men's program. Even when reminded they were an auxiliary and it was the Bishop's call they would still try and dictate. I also had many run in's with how the scout camps ran and the payments of the scout camps. I finally had to organize our own camps. The boys and the church will be much better off running their own program.

  • Laura Billington Maple Valley, WA
    May 11, 2017 7:45 a.m.

    My son loved the Scouting program at his LDS troop in Maple Valley. He earned 74 merit badges and finished the requirements for his Eagle award at the age of 14--the experience was invaluable. His scoutmaster was organized and really cared about "his" boys. For some, he was a closer father figure than their biological dads.

    I cannot imagine the loss to the boys which will come because they will be discouraged from continuing scouting after age 13 by joining troops sponsored by non-LDS groups.

    No matter how it's sugarcoated, this is a response to the BSA's admission of gay leaders. As in, somebody somehow is afraid that even knowing that some leaders, somewhere, are gay will convince their boy to "become gay".

    Sad.

  • Speculum rerum Ravenna, OH
    May 11, 2017 7:45 a.m.

    What exactly is this new program for 14-18 boys? My stake, ward and ward counsel are completely unaware of any changes and directions for 2018. The ward counsel works on a 6 month planning schedule and the stake a 3 month funding schedule. We have had no adult training in any program comparsble to scouts. Is the plan to just drop scouting without a replacement in the short term?
    We need detsils and structure now!

  • patriotstate Herriman, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:41 a.m.

    As a recent convert, I was amazed and thrilled to learn that the LDS Church was so involved in Scouting. I became an Eagle Scout (OA Member and Explorer) thirty one years ago, and have watched political correctness and decades of mismanagement erode Scouting. It is unfortunate for Scouting that they have made their choices, and caused this breakaway by such a strong advocate for Scouting. The LDS Church is making the right move, because it is based on the development of the boys, as compared to the BSA changing policy to remain popular within closed door gatherings.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    May 11, 2017 7:37 a.m.

    Phew. I can stop worrying about being called to Scoutmaster.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:35 a.m.

    I'm an Eagle Scout, and I fully support this decision. Once the boys get past 14, the Boy Scout program doesn't work. My boys and pretty much every other boy I've seen is interested in different things at 14 and beyond. It'll be interesting to see the implementation of the new program and to see what's coming for the younger boys, and girls, too. The BSA made a choice to go the direction it's going. Now we'll see how it does without the Church. Hopefully for them those who pushed the liberal agenda step up and and fund their the BSA.

  • ConservativeUtahisBest Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:36 a.m.

    Interesting Move. Although I do agree that Boy Scouts does teach young men good skills, the church is in a position to teach the same skills and to have a similar program to the Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts has dropped off the last few years and have compromised their values. The Boy Scouts values no longer put God first when their oath says they they will do their duty to God and their country. God comes first as He always should.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:33 a.m.

    Hallelujah! Let the dancing and celebratory festivities commence!

  • Landscapermanut Draper, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:32 a.m.

    High Time! Let's get the younger boys out ASAP. I have worked at all levels of scouting for many years and various capacities. Scouting left the Church behind many years ago; Church Leaders have been very patient, but now is time to "pull the plug".

  • DonO Draper, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:28 a.m.

    This is a brilliant move. IMO, emphasis on Duty to God is far more important and meaningful to young men than their focusing on merit badges and rank advancement.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    May 11, 2017 7:29 a.m.

    It will be even more ideal when ages 12-13 bow out as well. The ever-increasing rush to Eagle at younger and younger ages, and at lower and lower levels of expectation, has unfortunately devalued the the rank for many years. Hopefully local church leaders will not push through the 12-13 year olds in an attempt to 'get it done' even more quickly now that the handwriting is on the wall.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:28 a.m.

    If our sons were still teenagers, we would have them participate both in the Church activities AND the Scouts.

  • DavidMiller Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:25 a.m.

    I've never been one to push for the LDS church to drop scouting but I have to say from my experience that this move makes sense - I don't think I have ever seen a church Venturing crew that really did anything with the program and the Varsity teams were rarely any better. This may bring about the end of all Varsity scouting as most non-LDS scout units allowed 14-year-olds into the Venturing program and didn't bother with a Varsity program. That may become the only scouting model with the church pulling out of Varsity.

    While I have never desired to have the church leave Scouting behind this move makes that seem inevitable at some point.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2017 7:22 a.m.

    My burning question:

    Was this the desired end result of people pushing for more "tolerant" Scouting? Do they really want more people to be involved with Scouting or do they just hate the idea of someone, somewhere disapproving of their lifestyle?