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LDS Dropping Senior Youth Scouting


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#181 NJCubScouter

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:14 PM

My understanding of the LDS program from talking to LDS Scouters and reading their commentary on this announcement is that A) their 11 year old program is a set, repetitive program that is designed to get Scouts to First Class in a year, and is very adult leader oriented to the point that it seems like it is still Cub Scouts or "Webelos 3" ...

 

Wait.  It was my understanding that the 11-year-old patrol in LDS Scouting do not do overnight camping.  Under the current requirements, you must have at least six overnight camping trips for First Class.  So how do you make First Class during a year in which you can't go camping?


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#182 The Latin Scot

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:52 PM

Not quite so. 11 year-old scouts may participate in 3 overnight camping trips. They are strongly urged to complete all the other requirements for 1st Class by their 12th birthday so that they can be as close as possible to completing all the work when the time comes. It's the Cub Scouts that don't do any overnight camping, though as a Webelos den leader I can tell you, we are still outdoors PLENTY. ;-) 

 

Also, the 11 year-old patrols are no more adult-driven than they are in non-LDS patrols, in that it entirely depends on the leaders, not how the Church implements the program.  And on that note, we follow the exact same program as non-LDS troops, and have many of the same problems and strengths. But to generalize a program that encompasses thousands of boys in every part of the country by saying "their 11 year old program is a set, repetitive program that is designed to get Scouts to First Class in a year, and is very adult leader oriented to the point that it seems like it is still Cub Scouts or "Webelos 3" ..." seems pretty unwise to me. For the most part, LDS units are run just like other units. We have a few minor program specifics, but otherwise things are exactly the same. We don't run our own "version" of Scouting. We run Scouting. The degree of fidelity to the program might vary at the unit level, but that is not Church-wide, nor is it wise nor accurate to assume such. Leaders are trained to run the proper, Boy-led Scouting program - the very reason the Church adopted Scouting in the first place was the emphasis Scouting places on letting the boys lead, even at the 11 year-old level. Let's not spread the false idea that in LDS units, things are different. If they are doing things according to Church policy, which is to follow BSA policy mind you, then they are running the program just as B.P. first envisioned it.


Edited by The Latin Scot, 17 May 2017 - 09:59 PM.

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There is no such word as "Webelo." 

The only proper singular of Webelos Scouts is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  


#183 The Latin Scot

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:04 PM

By the way, the general recommendation from Church leaders has been to register older boys in the Boy Scout troops so that they can continue in the advancement program if they wish. It's only the Varsity and Venturing programs and won't be getting new registrations; most will simply be siphoned back into the Troops instead of automatically being moved up as they were before. So the BSA will not really be losing that much revenue; it's more of a "moving around" than it is a "moving out."   :cool:


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There is no such word as "Webelo." 

The only proper singular of Webelos Scouts is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  


#184 Stosh

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:21 PM

Thank you @The Latin Scot  your explanation is reflective of how our LDS units are run in our council.  I hope the scouts will continue with Scouting beyond the 14 year limit, and I'm sure there will be those that will continue along with the Church's new program.  Between the two there should be a good group of young men promoting the Church as well as BSA.  It hasn't hurt our non-LDS scouts to pick up the tab, I'm sure dedicated LDS scouts will do the same.


Edited by RememberSchiff, 18 May 2017 - 05:53 AM.
fixed @ reference

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Stosh

 

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#185 Peregrinator

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:28 AM

If they are doing things according to Church policy, which is to follow BSA policy mind you, then they are running the program just as B.P. first envisioned it.

If you're running age-based patrols (which I know are not unique to LDS) then you're not running the program as B-P envisioned it.


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#186 Back Pack

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:54 AM

By the way, the general recommendation from Church leaders has been to register older boys in the Boy Scout troops so that they can continue in the advancement program if they wish. It's only the Varsity and Venturing programs and won't be getting new registrations; most will simply be siphoned back into the Troops instead of automatically being moved up as they were before. So the BSA will not really be losing that much revenue; it's more of a "moving around" than it is a "moving out."   :cool:


Must be different where I live. At RT last night four LDS unit said they were folding and didn't expect their scouts to "move" anywhere but on to other things.
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#187 RememberSchiff

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:01 AM

Must be different where I live. At RT last night four LDS unit said they were folding and didn't expect their scouts to "move" anywhere but on to other things.

 

A tone of liberation from the LDS scouts?


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#188 Back Pack

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:32 AM

A tone of liberation from the LDS scouts?


Don't know exactly why other than these Venturing units wanting to stay in Venturing and away from "all the crap in Boy Scouts". His words.
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#189 Stosh

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:56 AM

A boy in Scouts because he has to doesn't make good Eagles. Give me a boy who wants to be tbere,then I have a chance.
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#190 gumbymaster

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:46 AM

If you're running age-based patrols (which I know are not unique to LDS) then you're not running the program as B-P envisioned it.

 

I don't think that's entirely true.  BP often discusses scouts being in a patrol with one's friends/peers.  The Boys who join together generally stay together, etc.  This would imply, but not codify, age based patrols.

 

Each method has strengths and weaknesses.  I grew up with mixed age patrols, not because that was required, but it was the culture of my troop, and led to a good distribution of leadership and skills teaching (by the youth) that seems less difficult than my son's (generally) age sorted troop.


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#191 The Latin Scot

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:33 AM

@Peregrinator Not to be contradictory, but having just finished reading the complete published works of B.P. himself (a gift from a dear old Scouter who has since passed on), it would seem that the creation of "new Scout patrols" was a common practice for many generations, and is entirely in line with what Lord Baden-Powell imagined for the success of Scouting units. Patrols are not age-based after that first year, which is used to wean boys out of the adult-driven Cub Scout model and into the boy-driven Boy Scout model. Note that after the first year our patrols are not age-based either. In any case, for most of Scouting's history it was in fact de rigueur for new Scouts to be put into a "new Scout patrol" under the leadership of a Troop Guide - that's why the position of Troop Guide even exists. So in the ideal situation, we do indeed follow the classic model of patrol organization - the first year in a new-Scout patrol, and following that, patrols organized by the boys themselves where numbers permit.

 

@Back Pack, I am sorry to hear of the negative attitudes coming from your LDS leaders. They are not representative of LDS ideals at all, and I am sorry to learn about how those leaders have chosen to represent our Scouting philosophy through their words and actions. They seem to be rather embittered, an understandable if not appropriate position to take given the circumstances.


Edited by The Latin Scot, 18 May 2017 - 11:34 AM.

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There is no such word as "Webelo." 

The only proper singular of Webelos Scouts is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  


#192 Peregrinator

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:44 PM

I don't think that's entirely true.  BP often discusses scouts being in a patrol with one's friends/peers.  The Boys who join together generally stay together, etc.  This would imply, but not codify, age based patrols.

 
That's true but that one's friends and peers would be made up entirely of boys one's own age is something new.
 

SCOUTING IS A GAME for boys, under the leadership of boys, in which elder brothers can give their younger brothers healthy environment and encourage them to healthy activities such as will help them to develop CITIZENSHIP.


@The Latin Scot, I would love to read where B-P wrote about new scout patrols. It's not familiar to me.
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#193 Stosh

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:03 PM

When I use the term aged based patrols, I do not limit it to all the boys being the same age.  There's always a variation of a year or two because many times boys pick to go with their friends, older siblings, etc. I don't have a problem with that.  I do allow the boys to group themselves and then in the back of my mind I have a rating system of 3 differing patrols.  The new guys (NSP) that need a TG is obvious.  They need the TG to help them get their feet on the ground to begin with.  That process can last one or maybe even two years depending on how the boys progress through S-FC.  Then there are the regular patrols.  This is the bulk of the troop.  They generally have the most age mix due to the fact that the progress from Star to Life takes a bit longer for most boys.  Then there are the venture patrols of older boys.  These are the boys that are beginning to tire of "looking out for the new guys" have their POR's done, working on MB's and trying to stay interested in the program.  They plan activities that are challenging and interesting.  If the activity is BWCA, these are the boys that all have FC, Swimming, Canoeing, First Aid and Wilderness Survival MB's.  They are ready for things that the NSP only dreams about and what keep the regular patrol boys informed of "what's next".  While it is not regulated as a true age-based patrol, their skills and interest do require them the latitude of a strata system that won't break up the patrols that would normally occur when a Jambo, High Adventure or boredom avoidance is necessary.  When boys reach a certain level of expertise they are moved up to the venture patrols as the older boys age out.  That opportunity to "move up" is a great incentive when they reach the age when interest seems to wane.


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#194 John the Xcar

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:04 PM

I am an LDS scoutmaster and have been involved as an adult leader since the early 90s in LDS BSA programs. I have been a Venture Adviser for over 10 years of that time. A cubmaster for about 3 years, a COR, and numerous other positions at the unit and at Council level as well.

I do not speak for the LDS church on This issue but think I can shed some light on some of the problems faced with engaging the BSA programs with LDS youth.

1) all adult roles in our wards (congregations) are volunteer.

2) virtually every role is filled with someone that has never done that before so THEY can learn. In my case I did not grow up in Scouts. I literally had no experience as a Scout or even as a parent when I first started working with Scouts.

3) people move. Since our Wards are geographic in nature when an adult moves they are replaced with someone else. This tends to create short tenure.

4) scouting leaders in the LDS church tend to be younger, in their 20s. Most people in their 20s are far more likely to move than older people so they are replaced more often.

5) turnstile adult leaders lead to revolving ideas about the direction of the program and no consistent vision of where it should go. And of course less trained leaders with less experience.

6) societal changes have taken boys into 4 directions and 3 of those are not typically associated with traditional BSA activities: video game culture, sports, general apathy and thrill seeking. BSA culture most closely aligns with thrill seeking (rock climbing, water craft, caving, white water rafting etc...) And most adults with short BSA leadership tenure are fearful or at least logistically intimidated to supervise thrill seeking activities. So activities become more and more insulated from any possible risk.

7) LDS BSA callings being short tenure with many if not most having little leadership experience with no real logistical strength have created a downward spiral that has no real solution in sight at least as long as it is paired with non-geographically bound BSA programs and guidelines.

Couple all of that with the fact that as boys age there are three more distractions: cars, girls and jobs.

____________________

As for the financial impact, think of it like trying to build a profitable fitness gym. You need to sell as many memberships to people that don't use your facilities as possible. Gyms do not make any money on those that actually use the gym. In fact those people cost them money. Losing LDS membership fees of any size is going to impact to greater degree than losing those same dollars (or even more) than if they list them from Scouts that are highly active in BSA facility use or any other use of BSA resources.
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#195 RememberSchiff

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 06:08 AM

An impressive first post @John the Xcar , thank you and welcome to scouter.com.


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#196 qwazse

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 09:17 AM

JtX, thanks for elucidating. It seems to me that other Christian sects have made this decision long ago by never choosing to wholesale franchise their older youth programs via BSA in the first place. (You may get a church here and there, but certainly not entire denominations.) I think that stems from a sense in mainline denominations of finding individuals who are called and equipping them accordingly; whereas LDS had identified the equipment then called individuals. This worked for a while when the culture was less nomadic.

 

But like you said, with late teen males' broad interests and many transient youth (and parents), the narrow focus wasn't getting LDS what it was seeing in other youth programs. Just like other denominations, LDS now sees scouting as merely a part of the solution to youth development.


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#197 NealOnWheels

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 11:18 AM

Xcar,

 

Most of your observations apply to non-LDS units as well,


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#198 Col. Flagg

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 11:49 AM

Now I know why I don't have a gym membership.


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#199 John the Xcar

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 02:25 PM

Neal, I guessed that but having zero experience with a non-LDS troop I can't know that for sure.

I also stated in point 1 before that adult leaders are volunteer and that is accurate but that does not mean that they initiate that, it means they are asked by their ward leaders to accept the 'calling'. So in many cases the adult leaders are people that would never on their own volunteer for a BSA leader role.

It is difficult enough to get people to get trained when the volunteering is their own idea much less when their personal experience did not lend itself to Scouts.
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#200 desertrat77

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 06:59 PM

Now I know why I don't have a gym membership.

Same here. 


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