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Why do LDS Scouts get lost/killed more often?

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  • #16
    It's always better to send up the red flag when you see something that doesn't seem right. In most cases, it'll end up being nothing, but in those other cases, a valuable service has been provided by bringing a problem to light.

    Now, like others, I'm pretty ignorant about the nuances of LDS Scouting. However, in a thread about a month ago where we were discussing whether some religious groups get preferential treatment, it was mentioned, I believe, that LDS does run its program differently, but that that was an agreement reached with BSA in order to keep LDS in the program. Maybe we're seeing an unfortunate and, I'm sure, unintended consequence of getting away from the way Scouts is "done".


    • #17
      The differences in the programs do not include the skill, methods, or safety requirements. I sincerely doubt that calling New Scouts, Blazers is the cause of any of the accidents. Nor will calling Venture Patrols Varsity Teams instead.

      Accidents come from lack of training, lack of obedience to rules, and insufficient leadership.

      There is nothing in the program difference that you could logically tie to fatalities.


      • #18
        >>if the cause of the number of THE injuries was based on the percentage of scouts served, then certainly we would have seen more UMMC scouts involved.


        • #19
          From my own experience and observations as a high adventure director having worked with LDS units on both the east and west coasts, I see the problem being adult leadership, and supervision.

          Been many times where, as a guide, I had to directly supervise these Scouts while their adult leaders shirked this responsiblity. And, there's has been a few times where I have terminated the program, and returned all back to camp for their own safety.
          As far as I'm concern, I hope that I will never have to take another LDS unit into the backcountry again, three seasons was enough..


          • #20
            I think it would be good to see some actual statistics before reaching any conclusions on the reasons for a discrepancy that may or may not really exist. However, I doubt you are going to see such statistics because, even if the BSA breaks down its accident/fatality/lost-Scout statistics by CO, I doubt they would release such figures, especially if they showed that a particular religion's unit's numbers are higher than everybody else's.

            So I guess we are just left to speculate and conjecture with few if any facts at hand and no way to tell whether what we are saying has any basis in reality. (One might say this is a specialty of this forum.)


            • #21
              NJ: "So I guess we are just left to speculate and conjecture with few if any facts at hand and no way to tell whether what we are saying has any basis in reality. (One might say this is a specialty of this forum.)"

              Sometimes you got to go with what your given.

              Seriously, it appears that many (not all) of the deaths or lost scouts seem to be LDS scouts. I have my doubts that there is some sort of conspiracy of the media to only highlight LDS scout deaths over all other scouts. Since the BSA doesn't provide numbers that I'm aware of, speculation is about all you can do. Heck, without speculation.....what would we do around the campfire late at night.


              • #22
                You think that the BSA is hiding something because you doubt that they keep accident data based om religious practices. I don't think Sate Farm Insurance keeps accident data based on religion, what do you suppose they are trying to hide?

                I wonder if the BSA will have any of their stealth helicopters on static display at Jamboree?


                • #23
                  Bob says:

                  You think that the BSA is hiding something because you doubt that they keep accident data based om religious practices.

                  Um, no, Bob. As I have had to explain to you a number of times before, I think what I said, not what you change my words to. Your technique of changing someone's words to mean something that you can then attack is one I learned to spot about 30 years ago on the high school debating team, so you have little chance of getting it past me now.

                  I wonder if the BSA will have any of their stealth helicopters on static display at Jamboree?

                  Well, you know the trick with conspiracy theories: If you deny the theory, you must be part of the conspiracy. (If I was responding to almost anybody else, there would be a smiley face here.)


                  • #24
                    Scouters, let's please keep this civil. I brought up this topic because our fellow Scouts are dying here. There is lots of good input on the table but no clear answers. Let's keep the input coming...

                    Are there any other LDS Scouters out there? In your experiences, are there things about the way we implement the program that may be causing this?

                    I'm not sure that I'm willing to accept that difficult terrain is the reason that our boys are not using safety gear, are wandering around the wilderness without buddies, supplies, or even basic knowledge about how to be found, or get knocked into a river while vandalizing a national park. It might be a factor but how much of one?



                    • #25
                      Concerned scouter,
                      I take the loss of life very seriously. If you read through each of the accidents you listed and how to pick an overwhelming element from each one wwhat would your list look like? My list is consistantly showing, safety precautions not being followed, inappropriate activities, poor leadership judgment.

                      Is that what your list looks like?

                      What do you believe the solution is?


                      • #26
                        Some possible solutions are these...

                        - First, SM's and other adult leaders are appointed to their position by their Wards. Better would be to find those persons who are truly interested in the job, and want to serve in those positions.

                        - Second, Adult training programs that don't conflict with the LDS's Sunday travel ban....a tuff nut to crack since the majority of training courses occur on the weekends.

                        - Third, and the most drastic would be for the LDS Church to stop using the BSA program, and create their own Youth Program akin to the Royal Rangers....overall, this would be the best approach since it would allow them to tailor thier programs to thier unique belief system....


                        • #27
                          But le Voyageur

                          1) all COs should give serious consideration as to who they should select for unit leadership does the LDS Bishop who believes that God helps make this selection give less weight to the decision than the person who stands in front of a group of parents and says 'we need somebody to do this"? Think of how many leaders came to be due to the latter method.

                          2) few if any of the BSA safety training programs are held on a Sunday. The most important of all of them is a brouchure the can read anytime they choose to pick it up.

                          3) How will starting their own program change anyones behavior? No lives will be saved by such a move. They simply would no longer creat litigation and financial losses for the BSA and that's not what is important here.

                          If you were to look at all the accidents in the BSA each year I would expect you would find them equally distributed among ages and religions. What they will no doubt share in most cases is that a person or persons ignored a safety rule.

                          Sure accidents happen. I have been on three outings where scouts were injured. In two cases the scouts ignored safet rules or warnings and the third case was a matter of wrong place wrong time. 3 injuries in over 30 years, and hundreds of scouts, and yet not one was an LDS scout.

                          We do great adventures, but we train before we go, we plan ahead, and we adhere to the rules. That's all it would have taken for that list to have been considerable shorter.


                          • #28

                            Yes, that's what I see in this list too: inappropriate activities, poor safety precautions, poor leadership judgement. Even if it does not represent the entire population, these are serious lapses.


                            Agree on 1 and 2 but would sure hate to see 3. We've worked real hard to get away from the "cult" label and a big part of that has been our involvement/support with/for BSA. We're very proud of the number of LDS Eagle Scouts and throw those statistics around all the time. When was the last time you heard about a Royal Ranger award?


                            • #29
                              "There is lots of good input on the table but no clear answers."

                              I don't see accidents as an "LDS" problem at all. It's an accident problem. Several people here have pointed out the reasons and answers: lack of leadership, lack of training, basic failure of the leadership to conduct outdoor activities in a safe manner. The answer is to select good leaders, and train them to follow safe practices.


                              • #30
                                3 will never happen because the BSA wouldn't expose itself to the incredible loss of registered Scouts and Leaders. They cannot force the LDS program to change either. The best they could hope for is to have these Leaders actually respond to the program that they have now, as any Unit, District, or Council would if there were issues, and follow the program.