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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  1. merit badge pow wow

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    • I added the non-practicing Mormon part to my post because I DO understand the doctrine.   I love the LDS Church, and am very grateful I was raised the way I was.  I fell in love with and married a Catholic though, and have taken a couple steps back, which gave me a slightly different perspective.  I also understand the need to feel like one has to defend the Church - there is plenty of misunderstanding and hostility out there, but Mormons tend to see any criticism as hostility, when it just isn't there.  As to the claim that the Boy Scout program was not a priesthood program, you're right, in that Baden Powell never set it up that way.  I have four brothers, though, and can tell you from first hand experience that in our wards, scouting absolutely WAS being used that way.  You may not see it, since your ward(s) may not have utilized the program that way, but it did happen. There is nothing in scouting that one can point to as not being a suitable method for learning for girls/young women.  Yes, of course the sexes are different, but scouting principles are human principles.  We're seeing the patrol method work beautifully in girl troops, and girls becoming good leaders.  They're learning outdoor skills with no trouble at all.  With girls having their own troops, your statement above doesn't really apply.  Girls are learning together in a group just as they do at camp.  In any case, this whole argument is because of the gentle disparaging from Church leaders.  Making it mild doesn't excuse that it shouldn't have been said in the first place.
    • Yes, private organization can discriminate if they can prove it conflicts with their organization mission/values.  The Supreme Court has been fairly consistent. While I personally believe BSA made a mistake banning gay youth in the first place and an even bigger mistake fighting it so publicly in court, I don’t believe it was a primary cause of our massive membership drop.  Nor do I believe that reversing the decision was the primary cause for further loss.   If this was the case, the Coed Campfire program and the conservative Trail Life program would each have hundreds of thousands of youth.   Both are barely the size of an average council. I’ve never had a youth leave the program that brought up the social issues.  Only once, with a close friends who don’t join, was the gay ban brought up.  They said they wouldn’t sign up their scout because of it... I explained that changed... they still didn’t sign up. BSA, outside of Eagle Scout, is not in the formula for getting little Jonny into the best colleges.  STEM or STEAM education has replaced the Scout Law as the National crisis.  Patrol method is messy, parents are not patient to let it work.  Youth have plenty of other opportunities for entertainment and are typically already over scheduled.  Done right, scouting is a fun experience that does teach critical values and skills our nation needs. Unfortunately, too few know this and I see further declines in membership ahead.  
    • You are certainly in a new world, that much is very clear.  Utopian  or  dystopian ? That remains to 'be seen.  Boyscouts was designed as an adventure for the boys, Scouts BSA looks like a family camping club with parents, siblings, boys, girls, and everything in between. It has been said on this, and other, forums that the new wave of scouts and scouters are better off without the "old fogey" crowd. That sadly goes both ways.   I find myself pondering if I will be able to recommend that my grandsons join cubscouts in 5 years. Then I wonder if the organization will even still exist.  I'd say it's 50-50.    
    • I apologize, this forum is not the place for a discussion of the LDS faith.  I just found some of the recent posts patronizing and was offended by them.  We should get back to discussing Scouting, not the LDS church.
    • Nor did I appreciate the suggestion in your earlier post.  You said: So perhaps I should have said the BSA got caught up in the current social and political ideology of the worth of the individual? Pardon if I interpreted you incorrectly, precisely which current social and political ideology did the BSA get caught up in? that sexual preference is a not a reason for excluding kids or adults from the BSA? that gender identity is not a reason for excluding kids from the BSA? that girls should be able to enjoy the Scouting programs of the BSA the same as boys do? I could easily argue that your original statement is itself is a frankly, utterly false calumny that reflects a shocking and extremely unkind attitude towards those who believe that Scouting should be a place that welcomes all kinds of kids. But, I will refrain from doing so.
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