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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  1. The boy scout uniform

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  2. Den Flag

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  3. I need help.

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  4. Merit badge books

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  5. Skill Awards

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    • Frankly, I'm glad that BSA is no longer so tied to LDS. I am not comfortable with the gender disparity, and have never been happy with how the BSA program was modified to fit the needs of one religion. BSA should have had more of an arms length relationship from the very beginning. This transition is very difficult, but I think it ultimately could be healthy. Scouting should work without any kind of special kinds of concessions for any kind of faith environment. 
    • I'm not aware of any transcript of the above video (other than the one generated by YouTube) but I wouldn't recommend starting there to understand the new program. That video was created to be shown to members of the Church during a Sunday meeting. If you're not familiar with the Church, there's going to be a lot of unfamiliar terms and references. If you want the CliffsNotes on the new program, here it is: 1. There are four program areas: Spiritual, Intellectual, Physical, and Social. 2. Groups (called classes or quorums), families, and individuals create goals and activities in each of the four program areas. That's it. The details are all up to you.  For example: Physical: A quorum of 16-18 year old boys sets a goal to summit the three highest peaks in the state. They schedule warm-up hikes to ensure everyone is up to snuff for that kind of hike. They plan the meals, travel, camping, and schedule of the event with (preferably minimal) assistance from their adult advisers. Intellectual: A class of 14-16 year old girls want to learn how to do metalworking. They ask a welder in their congregation to teach them about safety precautions, tools, and techniques. They make metal step stools. Spiritual: A family sets a goal to daily read scriptures together. The children are in charge of choosing a time and gathering the family together.  Social: The mountain-climbing quorum ask a grey-haired old couple from the congregation to teach them swing dancing. They invite the girls their age to join them.
    • Until recently with the changes of the program, the BSA was rich with Alumni support. That doesn't include other resources. Once a boy scout, always a boy scout at heart was the general reasoning. But even my 33 and 36  year old sons don't see today's boys scouts as the same program they came from. The structure is basically the same, but traditionalism seems to be fading. The discussions of OA's changes are a reflection of how many alumni feel about the whole program. If culture is to blame, then maybe scouting is an outdated idea. At least in the traditional outdoor adventure sense. But to your point, we will see how the resources hold up. Certainly camps are taking a huge hit. Barry
    • This is a complete aside.  But one of the things that really struck me, coming from GSUSA into BSA was how much more the boy scouts had in the way of resources that the girls scouts.  Money?  Local BSA troops seem to be sitting on back accounts with thousands of dollars in them.  The GSUSA troops start and end each year with no money.  Resources:  The BSA camp has motorboats, kayaks, canoes, new-looking life jackets, bicyles,  rifle range, a fancy archery range, etc, etc, etc.    The GSUSA camp has battered aluminum canoes,  faded old orange life jackets, and a small shed containing a few bows for archery -- and this is one of the premier camps in the council.   I have just been astonished at much money boy scouts appears to have. 
    • The LDS faith isn't unique in believing men and women have different gender roles. But even still, that doesn't make this program unequal. If anything it has done the opposite, the local budgets for boys have been decreased to parity with that of the girls.
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