I have worked in many the stages of the scouting program from Cub Scouts to
Varsity scouts for many 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 they 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 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.
I think that we can spend the next many years discussing our theories on they
why's and where-fores. Such time might be entertaining, but what we have
before us is opportunity and as always, choices. Whether or not
scouting is dissolving in the church because of people not stepping up and
running the program as outlined (i.e. negligence in their callings), or wishing
to stear clear of the gay issues, youth having other interests after age 14.
Perhaps certain of these possibilities rings true for different people.The church constantly re-evaluates itself and how effective it is in its
primary mission and as the reality of latter-day events and challenges increase
with greater speed and intensity the church will continue to streamline its
efforts and focus its attention and budget on items that will bring us closer to
Christ and not necessarily closer to world-wide acceptance. I for one am
willing to faithfully follow the Brethren as my heart directs me to do.
I believe a lot of the 14-18 yr old boys will still be registered in the Boy
Scout Troop, if they have a chance at achieving the Eagle rank. In fact, they
will have to be registered in the troop if they are still working on Eagle. It may provide a good opportunity for older boy leadership in the troop.
Most non-LDS troops have older boy leaders. Interesting thing to see work itself
@Woodworker, amen! Everything about Scouting has become way too complicated,
expensive and tedious for the average leaders (who want to enjoy their son) to
maintain. From an LDS Church perspective, I think it is incredibly
lopsided and fiscally irresponsible for the Church to be spending millions of
dollars in all the fees with just as many hours to meet the required training
meetings of this program, with nothing to show for the YW and all of the other
thousands of YM/YW who live outside of the "promised land." I
don't see how the Church can even continue to justify maintaining such a
program when there are so many other ways we should be ministering and
training/strengthening ALL our youth to minister as the Savior does. That goes
for Cub Scouting and 11 year-old Scouts, too. I attended my local Round Table
last night, and to expect the training of leaders for a den with 1-5 boys in it
is beyond ridiculous.
Either you support the First Presidency or you don't.
@CaptainFDThank you! You nailed it!
I became a Life Scout as a youth, a Varsity Coach, Venture Leader, and held many
positions in the BS Troop program. The values and principles taught in
Scouting, i.e., citizenship, character building, duty to God, etc. are timeless
and valuable. One overwhelming problem with the BSA is how complex it has
become. What man has the job and money that allow him to camp 6-12 weekends a
year, plus a week of summer camp, and attend weekly Scout mtgs. and monthly
Round Tables? As a young married father, I chose to quit the Varsity program
because I couldn't afford the books, uniforms, and even the extra gas.
That was just a fact. I'm sad that the BSA did not simplify its program
and make it possible for more youth and adults to use it successfully. Do you
want to have a successful program - in anything? Then simplify and make it
possible for anyone who puts in the effort. Let's not run faster than we
"I am willing to at least see what the Church is going to implement in
absence of the Venturing/Varsity program, but if it is anything like the current
Duty to God program, then my family is not going to be too excited about
it."I'm not waiting around for the Church to teach or
entertain my children. I will see to that. I don't care what or if the
church institutes any kind of program. My children are sealed to me and my wife,
not the YM president or the Scoutmaster. The programs of the church need to be
seen in the light for which they are intended, to assist the family on it's
ultimate goal of exaltation. That responsibility lies with me and my wonderful
wife. No one else.
I remember when scouting was optional and separate form the young men's
program. They met on a different night. It wasn't until the mid 80's
sometime between Nov 85 and Mar of 86 that it became the only activity and
merged with the YM program. I remember the scout master of many years losing his
job and program. I remember many YM being forced into scouting. Now that the
national BSA organization has embraced the natural man, a break with the LDS
Church was only a matter of time and inevitable.
My son grew up with scouts in the Church, got to Life but never got his Eagle.
Not important to him. To be honest, he went on scouting outings because we made
him and later because he wanted to for the fun of it but he by-passed the
Venture activities because of work, school and by then he was doing his own
thing. No they need a program that increases spiritual preparedness, increase
community service opportunities, and thus get the youth off of the "me
first" viewpoint of selfishness that seems to dominate our culture and a
more selfless viewpoint. Times change, so do the needs of our youth. Good move
by the Church.
It seems the wrong time for Mormons to be building walls, but perhaps the church
has caught the Trump fever. There is no one to love so much as ones self, but
some how we are all still some how supposed to be god's children. Strange
Excellent move by the LDS church. So many factors have been leading to this
decision. I wish it was taken farther and eliminated the Cub and Boy Scout
programs too. Already having difficulty with younger aged boys being too busy
with after school sports and activities. I think if a boy wants to attend
scouting he can make that decision with his family and attend a non-LDS based
scouting group where they can do their thing with other scout leaders. LDS
church doesn't need the liability or the costs incurred by being part of
the deteriorating BSA system. A system that pays their full-time
"leaders" enormous, non-deserving, salaries. Take the money we spend
and split it between the YW and YM. Never liked just teaching boys First Aid
and Emergency Prep but not really addressing it with the girls. Maybe if we put
them together then the boys will become comfortable with the girls and actually
ask them out on dates...might be a nice collateral benefit.
I called this move the day after the bsa decided to allow gay leaders. It took
longer than I thought, but a program along the lines of the yw program is more
As a Varsity Coach I felt we ran a very good Varsity program. But Venturing has
been tough, especially since the change in mission age to 18. After the mission
age change the boys focused even more intently on jobs and school--earning money
for their missions and preparing for college immediately after the mission.I love Scouting, but agree that there should be a change, especially
with the disproportianate amount of money spent on North American LDS boys
compared to LDS boys internationally, and to LDS girls everywhere. Hopefully a
new program will be better suited for 14-18 year old boys. Venturing has been a
The gravy train for the Boy Scouts is ending. The paid Scouters never helped
any of the troops in our wards so this is their reward.
Charles,I agree with what you said, but I also wanted to clarify a
few points. First, that discipleship and fellowship with the Lord does not look
the same for everyone. Moreover, I think families can decide for themselves
which programs are best for their youth. I am willing to at least
see what the Church is going to implement in absence of the Venturing/Varsity
program, but if it is anything like the current Duty to God program, then my
family is not going to be too excited about it. I agree with you on the loss and
the missed opportunity with the varsity and venturing programs. I am also
interested to see what opportunities the Church may have in mind with a new
program. However, I also see new community venture crews popping up
on the Wasatch front not being knee-jerk reactions. As we all know, Venturing is
already a fantastic program. I, as a parent, need to recognize our most
important limited resource in our family...time. If my options lie between a
fantastic community venturing program and a sub-par or luke-warm,
entertainment-oriented new young men's program, I know where we will be
spending our time and efforts. Just saying.
@taatmk - I'm glad you're excited for more Spiritual and less
Scouting. It was always awkward trying to introduce a campfire testimony mtg
with the boys...possible but awkward. It's time we shift that thinking!I'm also glad this is happening because of the equality of
resources where the Young Women are concerned. I know that the past 20 years
have seen significant increases in spend on YW but this will only help that
divide decrease. BSA will probably feel a large pinch as the money from
registering all YM stops coming in.
Young men callings just got more attractive!
Charles Dahlquist and President Monson both are fantastic scouters so any hope
of retaining scouting as it was 50 years ago is lost. I loved the program but
forces outside the LDS Church have been trying to destroy it ever since then.
It's rare to find any LDS Ward with a functioning Varsity or Venture
program. I worked to implement a full Varsity program about 10 years ago but it
never took hold. It's not worthwhile for the LDS Church to continue to
register all 14+ boys that are not Eagle rank, it's expensive for something
that is not used currently.Also, a program that was created in 1978
is clearly outdated today, especially considering the lowering of the Mission
age for the Young Men. As soon as age was lowered it was clear that we needed a
better program to prepare boys to be Mission ready at age 18, and the Varsity
program was only pulling precious time away from other Duty to God things.
Less is more. I've been in as a Unit Commissioner for several years now
and can see it makes sense the LDS Church will not part ways until it had
something else, more specific to its beliefs, ready to go in place I agree with
all the comments, except about following in blind faith, which implies I
can't think for myself. No one should be doing that, but can you enjoy
your journey and choose to embrace something new because the old way was clearly
in need of an overhaul? Yes. I have 4 teenagers and in today's world, the
kids and leaders aren't homophobic-they are busy, as stated above. Parents
are pushing the younger boys through the hoops to get their Eagle (check it off
the list), so they can actually enjoy the benefits of the high adventure camps.
Well, in theory, I guess that works, but I'm glad the leaders are
recognizing the difference between theory and reality. Kids are so busy with
the demands of school and life, in general, they need programs that will support
them and build their faith. I fully support the new shift in emphasis and think
it is long overdue!
Varsity and Venturing never had a chance against two powerful fragrances:
perfume and gasoline.
Scouting is and was good for the cub scouts and scouts through age 13. However,
many young men involved in extracurricular activities in sports, academics,
student government, community service were easily bored with scouting. Good
decision by the Church to discontinue for 14 and older. Now, if we could just
get the Church to rollback the "monthly" teacher training meetings!
Disruptive to the entire ward and boring beyond belief...I'm thinking one
time every other year.
"So many people told me I had to just blindly follow the leaders with the
scouting program."Perhaps therein lies the crux of the problem
... not that leaders actually said to blindly follow (I know of no Scout Leader
who ever advocated a "blind" approach, whether LDS or not), but rather
that there were so many people who assumed that to be the case, and then
approached scouting with a chip on their folder.I did not grow-up in
scouting, but came to understand its virtues as an adult. Having moved all too
regularly with the military, but invariably being called to work in scouting
assignments over several decades, I came to see many troops/teams/crews
(chartered by Wards) who worked for the boys, exceedingly well. And I saw
others where the leaders kept the troop up through age 17, ignoring the other
programs. Those where the programs were fully enacted tended to prosper, with
the associated growth. Those where a smorgasbord approach was taken tended to
flounder. Like so many things in life, people get out what they put
in, and usually to the degree with which they adhere to proper principles. I
think the "Bountiful Guy" has the right approach.
Part of the problem is that they call people as scout leaders who aren't
gung-ho for scouts. They called people like me instead of people who wanted to
do it.Part of the issue is that if most of the kids in the ward have
already earned their eagle by 14, then you can't have scout activities to
work on merit badges for those who haven't or else the others will get
bored and not come. So then you other kinds of activities that may be either
educational or recreational but don't really distinguish themselves as
scout activities, more as just ward activities. Plus, kids will have outgrown
their uniforms and aren't going to spend money on new ones or the varsity
or venturing outfits. So then it looks less and less like scouts. The church
is just officially killing what is already dead.
I'm good with people using their agency to react how they choose. I
believe that we can follow church leaders AND embrace other good activities.
The Church's statement does not condemn anyone who chooses to enroll their
children in scouting units over age 13. Nor does it condemn the many other
optional programs for youth.
"Expecting some “knee-jerk reactions” from LDS families and
individuals with strong Scouting backgrounds and involvement, Dahlquist said he
anticipates some community-chartered Venturing crews cropping up along the
Wasatch Front in the absence of LDS-sponsored programs."So many
people told me I had to just blindly follow the leaders with the scouting
program. Are these same people going to justify starting a new scouting
venturing and not "just blindly follow" the leaders into this new (and