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Another LDS scoutmaster


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#1 John the Xcar

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:30 PM

I have spent almost all of the last 27 years working with every aspect of LDS scouting. Cubmaster, venture crew adviser, scout master, COR, along with a few positions in the council at various points thrown in. Unlike many LDS scout leaders I did not grow up in Scouts. My family would not allow me to join.

I started looking to this site for more information when my church recently announced they were dropping the varsity and venture programs in 2018. Reading between the lines it seems likely by 2019 or thereabouts my church will disassociate with scouts altogether. This saddens me.

I dreamed of being a scout as a child and it was denied me regardless of my begging. I am concerned that upcoming generations of LDS youth will be further isolated from the rest of their community.

So now I am considering establishing a troop if that eventuality comes to pass, or volunteer in an established troop in my area.

My hobbies within the realm of scouting is very outdoor focused. I have helped troops to climb technical mountains, canoe remote rivers and lakes, multi-day caving trips, and long distance hiking. I spend 5 to 6 weeks a year sleeping on the ground and trying to turn into Sasquatch. I grew up in Alaska (lived in the Bush for 5 years).

Best conversations I have ever had with kids is around a campfire or on a run ( I coached 4 years of high school xc and track and 4 years of college as well).

All that aside, I just want to help today's young men discover within themselves the ability to do hard things and that they can become the men they dream of being.
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#2 Stosh

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 03:24 PM

In spite of my church stand on not supporting the BSA, I have continued with Scouting because I, too, believe in the importance the program has to offer young men in our society.  My church does not "back" scouting because of the recent changes in the BSA policies, but the phrase, "help other people at all times" keeps coming into my consciousness and it's hard to ignore.  Sure there are groups out there that are tolerant\/intolerant or simply does not want to condone the lifestyles of others, but one does not need to set aside a life long dedication to a program because of the church puts oneself into.  Others have the freedom to do as they see fit in their ministries to others, I help young people by volunteering for church, community as well as scouting programs.  Others have reasons for why they do the things they do, as do I.

 

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your dedication to the young men you have been called to serve.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#3 qwazse

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:28 PM

Welcome to the forums! And thanks for all you do for our youth.
FWIW, you have what the old-school Protestants called a calling. (One that comes from beyond any bishop.)
I hope that, inspite of all of these high-handed shifts from your house of worship, you'll find a way to fulfill that calling.
If so, let us know how you do it.
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#4 The Latin Scot

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 10:36 PM

Welcome! It's always nice to have another LDS Leader here in our midst. And I don't know where you got the idea that the church is going to drop all scouting by 2019, but I am pretty sure that just isn't true. As Elder Holland (one of our highest Church authorities) explained at the BSA National Meeting, "don't read more into this change than there is." He then quoted Groucho Marx (gotta love him!) saying "there is less going on here than meets the eye."

So welcome aboard, and don't fear - the church isn't dropping the Boy Scout or the Cub Scout programs anytime soon.
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There is no such word as "Webelo." 

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


#5 HulkSmash

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:34 AM

John, 

 

Welcome aboard.  I am new as well to the forums.  I was an LDS Scoutmaster for the past 6 years but now I am in the background on the committee and am doing a number of council events but the boys still refer to me as their Scoutmaster.  Unfortunately I have seen three Scoutmasters come and go since I left a year ago which frustrates me to no end.  I have had mixed emotions and seen a lot of different reactions in my ward/stake concerning Scouting and the latest decision.  I think most of it is due simply to lack of understanding by members.  I have fielded a lot of questions from non-members on what I thought it meant overall but all I have is an opinion.  

 

From a program perspective it's a good thing.  The vast majority of wards had paper crews and teams.  It's hard enough having a functioning troop in the church without trying to implement two other programs.  I would challenge any council to show me a proper functioning varsity team.  They are few and far between and to think the Church would have a hope of doing it right was a dream at best.  Venture crews are much better if ran properly but unfortunately the stigma with LDS units rings true in many cases that parents look at the Eagle as the accomplishment and not the journey to get there.  It's all about getting the award.  If I hear "21 and done" from a parent it makes my skin crawl.  With that mentality the emphasis on program that does not result in Eagle is disregarded leaving the crew as something "extra" that doesn't warrant attention.  

 

The latest decision will enable the young boys to be in Scouting and the older ones to continue if they so choose which will reduce the number of YM who are seemingly forced to attend Scout meetings.  From a quality standpoint it is a good thing in my eyes.  My personal opinion however is that once Pres. Monson passes it is just a matter of time until the Church pulls out of Scouting altogether.  That will be a sad day.  I hope I'm wrong but I feel like it's just a matter of time.  


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#6 John the Xcar

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:46 PM

The LDS church has made it quite clear they are working on a program that will be able to followed by all 12-13 year old young men in the church and since scouts is not universal, at some point the church will step away from all scouting programs.

As for an award at the end of a journey, that is fairly universal to just about everything. Diplomas are one example and there are innumerable others as well.

I am hopeful that as this settles out that the LDS church still sponsors 1 or 2 troops per stake, for those that are truly invested in scouting.
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#7 HulkSmash

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:26 PM

Even if that doesn't happen.  Troops and Crews will still be around outside the church.  My daughters already want to join crews because the YW only teach how to sew and bake cookies.  LOL


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