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LDS Dropping Senior Youth Scouting


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#201 5yearscouter

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 08:34 PM

Around here, in our district, the LDS adults tend to stick around in their called position for a long time.  They might be working with cubs again after years working with boys, but they are also running the eagle boards, or roundtable break outs or other larger things. They have a lot of commitment to scouting in the LDS church, and I admire that.  I hope that the change to drop Varsity and Venturing and the ensuing drop in units, doesn't kill off LDS scouters commitment to all the rest of scouting that they do.  I hope they keep/ allow/ encourage older youth to continue registration in their troops or encourage them to seek out the OPTION of non LDS traditional unit Varsity and Venturing programs in their area if the youth doesn't want to give up on say varsity/venturing awards.

 

It's certainly going to make things different at roundtable.


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#202 John the Xcar

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 10:06 PM

So far we have not had any direction other than what the original statement from our church and the associated LDS website new program outlines (which have, for the most part, been available for a while now).

As the scoutmaster in our Ward I am meeting with every young man and their parents from 12 to 17 to ascertain their interest in 3 things:

1) their overall interest in Scouting
2) their personal and family interest in rank advancement
3) realistic level in personal/family commitment in achieving those ends.

I have always believed that advancement has to be Scout and Family driven with Organization support. The organization should never lead advancement. In the eyes of some that is almost blasphemous while to others it is refreshing. What neither end of the spectrum really seems to understand is that I can typically provide the framework of support for either personal/family goal. But I will not do it for them and will never be the prime motivator.

In the ward troops that I have been involved with the vast majority rate the success of a ward scout program based on rank advancement. That singular focus on a 'trinket' has nullified what the Eagle really is supposed to symbolize: A boy that will be an amazing adult some day.

The 'get your eagle' before you drive or date or get a job or whatever, has ruined the program, at least in the wards I have been associated with.

Of all the boys I served that I come in contact with I have never had one ever reminisce about their eagle award or eagle project... But they have all talked at length about the hikes, climbs, raft trips, canoe wars, campfires, rainstorms, lost gear, forgotten tent poles, first fish caught, injuries, games, Kate night talks around campfires, long drives in the cars, bear encounters, first rappels, not enough food, too heavy packs, dropped paddles and on and on.

If/(when) the scout program goes away I worry there will be even less support to allow scouts to build memories like these.i will do them regardless but I see a future where I may not be doing it with LDS young men. It is hard enough now to garner that support. It will be nigh impossible then.
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#203 MattR

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 10:45 PM

@John the Xcar, your complaint that there's too much focus on advancement, that advancement has become the aim of scouting, annoys a lot of people not in LDS units as well.

 

Of all the boys I served that I come in contact with I have never had one ever reminisce about their eagle award or eagle project... But they have all talked at length about the hikes, climbs, raft trips, canoe wars, ...

Very well said.

 

I don't know if this is possible but if the LDS church drops boy scouts is there anything preventing you from starting a regular troop?


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#204 The Latin Scot

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 11:18 PM

First of all, welcome @John the Xcar, nice to have another LDS leader here!

 

Technically, there is a policy in the Church that leaders called to Scouting positions should be kept in their Scouting callings for at least three years, and that they get trained as much as possible during that time. Unit funding is even allocated specifically to cover training costs as needed. 

 

Ideally, people will commit to the callings they are given and do the best they can during their period of service; unfortunately not everybody is willing to do so whole-heartedly. However, in my area, I see the opposite problem from what JtX sees - here, there is such a backlash against boys focusing on advancement that almost nobody here gets their Eagle at all. My congregation (or Ward as we call them) has not had an Eagle Court of Honor in almost three years. There needs to be a balance; my region has responded so bitterly against the "trinket" that is the Eagle rank that now we don't produce any - and that is just as bad. 


Edited by The Latin Scot, 26 May 2017 - 11:18 PM.

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There is no such word as "Webelo." 

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


#205 John the Xcar

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 11:53 PM

MattR ... I am giving serious thought to sponsoring a troop if my church stops sponsoring BSA completely. However it is almost guaranteed that the LDS church will continue through at least the end of 2018, so that decision is bit in the future. I would guess any formal announcement would not occur until at least next year May.

Latin Scot: I was the cubmaster in my ward until about 18 months ago. I was called after the ward had gone through 3 scoutmasters and 4 Venture Crew Advisers in 3 years and only one single campout during that time as well.

There are far more 'technically savvy LDS scouters' around but I am very focused on the basics of scouting. Get them outside, give them tents, packs, sleeping bags, sticks and of course fire and knives and they will come around.

We have had 4 week long trips in the last 18 months, a full self supported 50 miler, and about a dozen more overnighters as well. The kids have gone from complete novices to the point they can actually organize real 5 day trips, give assignments, and have some back up plans. The only Eagle we have had is a kid that was 12 months away when he was 14 months from 18. He made it by the skin of his teeth. He had given up on scouts because the program was beyond anemic in the ward. He got jazzed when we were camping 13 days after I was called as the scoutmaster. Real outdoor activities made the program relevant to him. It is relevant to the younger boys as well now. Some will advance to the official Eagle Rank, but as of now they are all Eagles to me, rank or not.
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#206 Gwaihir

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 12:17 PM

Of all the boys I served that I come in contact with I have never had one ever reminisce about their eagle award or eagle project... But they have all talked at length about the hikes, climbs, raft trips, canoe wars, campfires, rainstorms, lost gear, forgotten tent poles, first fish caught, injuries, games, Kate night talks around campfires, long drives in the cars, bear encounters, first rappels, not enough food, too heavy packs, dropped paddles and on and on.

 

 

That's because the destination of Eagle was never intended to be the point.  It was always the journey to Eagle that mattered.... right up until moms figured out Eagle looks good on resumes, then it was all about earning the 10 letters they get to place at the bottom of their 24lb Ivory sheet.  The journey to Eagle is what you remember, it's where your lessons come from, it's where your character is forged... the service project and the patch are just finale to a body of work.  Not the work itself.  I wish more leaders and more parents would realize this.  Even the BSA has turned "Eagle Scout" into a brand, a brand that created a glut of Eagles who are 11, 12, 13 years old who haven't really gained any kind of real experience, who's skills and leadership really haven't been put to any test... but they checked all their boxes and finished their race to the red white and blue!  BSA can add a +1 to their bottom line.*


*(Of course there are exceptions, but I believe these are exceptions that prove the rule.  Hell, the argument from mothers and girls is the same... Girl Scouts doesn't have "Eagle Scout"... as if the skills and knowledge learned on that journey are inconsequential... it's the resume fodder that matters!!) 


Edited by Gwaihir, 30 May 2017 - 12:18 PM.

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#207 Pint

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 12:01 PM

From the other side of the pond...

 I'm aware that Scouting in the USA is structured very differently and relies on something called Charter organisations who recruit the leadership team, provide the meeting place, equipment and other resources.

And if that CO decides to drop the BSA Scouting program then that's it, no more Scouting.

 

In the UK things are a little different, Things are organised at a Group level where the Scout group is the centre overseen by a committee ( usually consisting of parents of current and former youth members, former youth members and other interested partys as well as Beaver/Cub and Scout leaders) The Scout Group is its own thing, although it is supervised (in the loose sense of the word) by a Scout District.

 

Whats stopping a group of Parents/Adults and youth starting their own Scout Group with its own equipment and if lucky enough its own meeting place, admitting those youth members of the LDS church who have been denied Scouting as a result of the LDS no longer being a CO?


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#208 Sentinel947

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 03:02 PM

From the other side of the pond...
 I'm aware that Scouting in the USA is structured very differently and relies on something called Charter organisations who recruit the leadership team, provide the meeting place, equipment and other resources.
And if that CO decides to drop the BSA Scouting program then that's it, no more Scouting.
 
In the UK things are a little different, Things are organised at a Group level where the Scout group is the centre overseen by a committee ( usually consisting of parents of current and former youth members, former youth members and other interested partys as well as Beaver/Cub and Scout leaders) The Scout Group is its own thing, although it is supervised (in the loose sense of the word) by a Scout District.
 
Whats stopping a group of Parents/Adults and youth starting their own Scout Group with its own equipment and if lucky enough its own meeting place, admitting those youth members of the LDS church who have been denied Scouting as a result of the LDS no longer being a CO?


Not much different. We have Troop committees as well that handle unit registration and finances. We just add a layer above that, being a Charter organization who provides at the least a place to meet.
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#209 DuctTape

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 07:26 PM

From the other side of the pond...
 I'm aware that Scouting in the USA is structured very differently and relies on something called Charter organisations who recruit the leadership team, provide the meeting place, equipment and other resources.
And if that CO decides to drop the BSA Scouting program then that's it, no more Scouting.
 
In the UK things are a little different, Things are organised at a Group level where the Scout group is the centre overseen by a committee ( usually consisting of parents of current and former youth members, former youth members and other interested partys as well as Beaver/Cub and Scout leaders) The Scout Group is its own thing, although it is supervised (in the loose sense of the word) by a Scout District.
 
Whats stopping a group of Parents/Adults and youth starting their own Scout Group with its own equipment and if lucky enough its own meeting place, admitting those youth members of the LDS church who have been denied Scouting as a result of the LDS no longer being a CO?


Nothing. In fact it is quite common. A "group of citizens" is quite often an effective CO as they exist solely for the benefit of the unit and its boys.
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