@HashTagScouts Thank you - much appreciated. I do understand the history of how Scouting has worked for the LDS church. I am glad that the LDS church is now defining their own youth program. As they grow internationally, I think this is a good thing for them. I just thought this statement from the LDS leadership and the way that they will not charter Scouting units, not allow Scouting activities on their faciliaties, nor faciliate the seemless transition of youth to non LDS units is turning a pretty cold shoulder to Scouting.
More broadly - just because it's no longer their youth program doesn't mean that they need to kick it out of the building. They have smart members and I'm sure people would adapt perfectly well if the local leaders had said "On, January 1, 2020, you need to start attending our new youth program. If you want to continue in Scouting, it is your choice and is optional. Those meetings will be on Thursday nights at 7:30pm." This works fine for all other kinds of denominations around the country. But, they didn't do that, and they are in essence saying "On January 1, 2020, Scouting ends. If you want to continue Scouting you need to go do it somewhere else." Ouch!
That there are so many outstanding Scouts & Scouters who are members of the LDS faith is another great reason for the LDS church to be willing to charter units like just about every other religious group in the US. Given how central the church is to many LDS members, I would have to imagine it would be a popular option for a local LDS church to sponsor a Scouting unit. I expect that it would only serve to further strengthen the community of their congregation to have yet another activity their youth and adults can do together.
@ParkMan Perhaps there is misunderstanding of how scouting has worked to this point for LDS? For LDS units, scouting is a youth ministry, not just an “activity”. It would be like the Catholic Church directing each parish to charter units, and having those incorporate Catholic religious education into the unit program- thus allowing scouting to fulfill the religious education requirements for our faith.
After December, LDS youth (and adults) can continue in scouting, it just no longer fulfills the LDS Church requirement of ministry. It will be just an activity a youth can take part in, akin to soccer, band, karate, etc. And an individual ward (parish, in the Catholic vernacular) cannot be a CO of a unit post December. I see no issue there. The LDS is not saying no, you can’t be in scouting, they are simply saying they are not going to be the conduit to scouting as they have been. I am sure there will be plenty of LDS Church members buying popcorn, candy bars, etc. from scouts after December, so the support of the members is still there. My councils’ President is an LDS Church member, and he was part of a non-Church troop for years with his son, so he isn’t going anywhere.
Culture shock time.
One of my new scouts was asking about the scout handshake -- working on scout rank. So I raised my right hand in the scout sign and stuck out my left hand for a handshake --- and my ASM (also new to BSA) said "but that's not what's in the scout handbook".
Having grown up in a different scouting organization, and having done its scout handshake hundreds of times, this took me by surprise. So I went looking back through the various old handbooks and facsimiles of handbooks and found:
In Scouting for Boys by Baden-Powell, p42
I could find nothing about the scout handshake in the American 1911 Boy Scout Handbook -- but maybe I just overlooked it.
But Scouting for Girls, 3rd abridged edition 1929, says, p44
So @John-in-KC and others, did Boy Scouts (BSA) ever combine the right-handed half-salute (ie. scout sign) with the left-handed hand-shake? Do they ever still do so?
It's important to note that the definition of friendly in "your book" is entirely subjective, and there seems to be a strong suggestion from your comments that you feel that if our faith were truly "friendly," it would conform to your ideas of how a religious organization should interact with the BSA in the future - your ideas of what "friendly" means. But that would be an unfair conclusion, and it may be misleading to those who read these forums and don't understand much of the actual situation.
Our Church will not sponsor Scouting in the future. So to suggest that leaders should "organize LDS sponsored units if they so choose" reflects a very large misunderstanding of how our Church operates. Local organizations are not very far removed from the central, global leadership of the Church, and no local unit is authorized to allocate its budget towards things like Scouting without approval from the central Church organization. It's simply not an option, and frankly, that's a good thing. It allows our units to focus on making the new program a success, and it reflects the imperative need of the Church to be prudent with its funds. Spending it on multiple youth activities when there will already be a large new program to roll out would be financially unwise. Friendly would mean that others who are not of our faith understand these things, and not pass judgement on how our faith chooses to serve its youth.
The Church still does encourage its members to continue in Scouting if they so choose, as the latest roll-out of information makes clear. Just because they won't use our facilities or recruit in our halls does not mean we are in any way being unfriendly, unless other choose to interpret it as such. But that is the subjective view of those who are coloring these events according to their own prejudices, and I hope that as we continue to move forward with the changes in this relationship, we will be mindful of the need for courtesy, objectivity, and optimism in the face of a bold new future.
Greetings. Question. Yesterday I joined my first blog-the Souter forum....asked questions about Eagles...learned that there was a change in the BSA in 1973....the blog entitled "what happened in 1973" had not been used since 2008...I was a 12 year old Eagle...noted a difference-I was required to pass the lifesaving MB...noted that an 11 year old Eagle was not possible in my eara...apparently this hit a nerve with some...all of a sudden the forum ended--"topic locked"...please explain...what's up with that?