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Advancement Resources

Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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    • I do not appreciate the suggestion that the BSA  "got caught up in that new fangled idea of the worth of the individual," and that, by default, our church somehow doesn't believe in the same. This is, frankly, utterly false calumny that reflects a shocking and extremely unkind attitude towards our beliefs. It's both un-Scoutlike and uncharitible to make such a sideways accusation, especially towards a religion that embraces the supreme and eternal doctrine of divine worth and personal value. I hope these kind of comments cease, but I suppose this has become a time for anybody with misconceptions about our religion to take their shots while the climate is against us.  No matter; I'll stand up for our beliefs as long as I have to because, frankly, I love all the people I've come to know here, and I would hate to see false information spread on these good forums. I will also defend ANY OTHER FAITH that comes under condemnation. To put down the faith of another is totally un-American, even if it's done in a subtle or indirect way. Aren't we better than this?
    • You seem to put this fact (not symbol) forward as though it was something wrong or evil that our church was doing. I assure you, this incomplete generalization glosses over many other doctrines to which we hold that explain this fact, and again, demonstrates a misunderstanding of our beliefs and doctrines. 
    • Three things.  First of all, we believe that sexual relations are ONLY to be had between a man and a woman who are legally married. So whether the individual is gay or straight doesn't make a difference - we still believe in the law of chastity, and we expect our membership to live the commandments related to it, regardless of how they perceive their personal orientation. Next, including girls in Scouting isn't about inferiority or inclusion. It's about the fact that boys and girls are fundamentally different. But including girls in Scouting sends a message that boys and girls learn in the same way, and are for all intents and purposes identical. While the sexes are equal to each other in worth and importance, they are still DIFFERENT. So treating them in Scouting as though the learn in exactly the same way isn't quite aligned with the way we understand the divine differences between men and women.  Finally, Scouting was not a priesthood program. It was the activity program for young men, and while we certainly and frequently tied the two together, they were still separate. Whether women hold the priesthood or not has nothing to do with it, and the very suggestion demonstrates that many people still have tremendous misunderstandings about our doctrines concerning priesthood, gender relationships, et cetera. But no, the issue was not that the BSA was part of a priesthood program (because it wasn't) - the issue has no 'REAL' cause, or subversive purpose. Quite simply, the church has grown out of Scouting. We have millions of youth all over the world. For people to claim we have made changes "to cater to millenials" or to "align with the times" shows that people in the U.S. really don't grasp how vast and widespread the Church is. We are a truly GLOBAL church, with members in hundreds of nations speaking hundreds of languages. We need to promote unity and cohesiveness amongst our members, and we need a program for children and youth that would serve all of them in the same way. Scouting just can't do that any more. Our exciting and wonderful new program can, so we are moving on from the BSA for the benefit of all our members. That is the REAL reason we are changing our relationship with the BSA. Any other claims, suggestions or insinuations are either based on an incomplete knowledge of our beliefs or a misunderstanding of our intent. We love the BSA. We always will. But we need something different now. We should part as friends and will love and tender memories, not tainted resentment based on allegations based on hearsay or rumors. 
    • At our District level, camporees have added a lot of value.  Our Klondike, our on by district, is a Troop favorite. Council level summer camps, merit badge clinics (some) and a variety of partnerships with local universities and professional sports teams have helped provide solid experiences.  In addition, my council has definitely helped on recruiting tasks. National...  improving IT systems (Scoutbook linkages & online applications)  along with high adventure plus program material. Now, I do question if our fees and fundraising are going to these areas in the most efficient way possible and I question all the layers of leadership.
    • Absolutely.  All Scouting is local.  Recruiting happens through units.  Program happens through units.  Retention happens through units.  We don't need a vast, multi-layered bureaucracy above the unit level, with the Scouting bureaucrats principally occupied in pleasing the Scouting bureaucrats in the layers above them.  We don't need them sucking money and time and labor out of the real Scout workers in the units.  Take a good look at what districts and councils and BSA National does.  How much value does it add to unit programs?
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