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.