Jump to content
Eagle1993

LDS leaving BSA?

Recommended Posts

Interesting article from Think Progress that walks through the history of LGBT admission into scouting. While primarily focused on the actions and events that led to the changes in membership policy it does talk to some who have studied the Morman faith and seems to conclude it is likely that LDS will completely leave the BSA. It also states that the BSA leadership is likely aware and that could be a primary driver in opening up membership to females (to help offset the loss). While the article is written by a former member of Scouts for Equality and I don't agree that our membership loss was due to our admission policy in the 1990s through early 2000 (GSUSA also dropped during that time) I thought the article raised some interesting points and may be another reason BSA is looking to open up membership.

 

https://thinkprogress.org/boy-scouts-lgbtq-lds-policy-changes-3b6f6fcdce4a/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regurgitation journalism.

Interesting how it trivializes the record-setting loss of membership in years following the revised membership policy.

It makes no effort to name Trail Life and interview any of its leaders.

Nor does it acknowledge the loss of MoU with AHG and the chilling effect it may have had on developing that elusive "parallel unisex" structure..

It doesn't seek to report on BPSA and it's lack of national presence after decades of inclusion.

 

Most importantly, it does nothing to call homosexuals to consider supporting scouting at an inclusive CO. Evidently dismantling BSA's bias towards theism is the next laudable task.

 

And certainly LDS has been a stakeholder (no pun intended). So, yes. If you're gonna be relevant, their opinion will matter.

 

It's just one more "sacrifice the many for the sake of the few" tomes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd recommend skipping to the section titled "You can go your own way". The rest is a retelling of the actions leading up to opening up membership and leadership to LGBTQ. While I do agree with those changes qwazse is correct that the article is incomplete in its reporting regarding membership decline pre and especially post.

 

What I found interesting and new were the latest info regarding LDS continued partnership with BSA and how that might be influencing their expansion to accept girls. Through discussions with LDS officials and various religious and BSA researchers and historians it seems clear that LDS would create their own youth organization and leave BSA and that the BSA is probably aware of this. They then speculate that the loss of 1/3 of their membership is driving them to open up Scouts to girls.

 

This article in addition to the Buzzfeed article today releasing a letter from GSUSA to BSA accusing the BSA of coverterly undermining them in preparation for expanding membership to girls would indicate they already made their decision. BSA released a statement they didn't make a decision yet and that they are disappointed the GSUSA broke off talks to align in the future.

 

I'm on the fence of letting girls into the program. While I think some may enjoy it and succeed, I don't want to see BSA try to be everything to everyone ... at that point you do nothing well. I do think the decision has been made and is likely due to LDS leaving Scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It's always a mixed bag of feelings to see how others who are not of our faith choose to interpret what we do or do not believe as a religion, or in this case, as a Chartered Organization. 

 

The simple facts are these - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports the ideals, values, and heritage of the Boy Scouts of America. As long as the BSA continues to adhere to those ideals, there is no reason for our church to leave the organization. So, for the time being, there is absolutely no reason for the Church to reconsider its affiliation with the organization, and I will state right now, anybody who claims to have 'insider information' which suggests otherwise is either flat-out lying or looking to stir controversy. And mind you, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS HAS NOT LEFT SCOUTING!!! We no longer patronize the Varsity or Venturing programs, but all of those boys are simply being filtered back into the Boy Scout troops to continue their advancement. The Church has not left Scouting. If you have been spreading this rumor until now, please stop, as it is simply not true.

 

That said, if the BSA does ever shift its ideology to the extreme that girls are allowed into the Boy Scout or Cub Scout programs, then the Church would very likely, and for good cause, have occasion to reconsider its affiliation with the group. As a body we are more than capable of creating our own programs that meet the needs of young men and boys; in fact, the Church already has such programs in place in hundreds of other nations. The US and Canada are actually the only countries where the Church uses Scouting as its official activity arm for youth. 

 

So it's really up to the BSA, not the Church - if things are allowed to stay as they are, with no more crazy membership changes or alterations, then the Church will have no reason whatsoever to consider leaving the BSA. But if such changes do take place, then the Church will of course need to consider the moral welfare of its youth before it considers the repercussions to a program that no longer meets their needs. So it's up to you, Boy Scouts of America. The Church will only act if you make it necessary. 

 

And as we can all surmise, both parties are intensely aware of this. Much of the BSA National Board is comprised of LDS officials, so all of this is deeply felt and understood.

Edited by The Latin Scot
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@The Latin Scot ... thanks for the insights, it is better to hear information from someone within the faith. I'm sure it is somewhat like having those outside the BSA srite about its culture. I guess time will tell and I'm sure LDS leaders are keeping BSA informed.

 

Thanks....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... The US and Canada are actually the only countries where the Church uses Scouting as its official activity arm for youth. 

 

So it's really up to the BSA, not the Church - if things are allowed to stay as they are, with no more crazy membership changes or alterations, then the Church will have no reason whatsoever to consider leaving the BSA. But if such changes do take place, then the Church will of course need to consider the moral welfare of its youth before it considers the repercussions to a program that no longer meets their needs. So it's up to you, Boy Scouts of America. The Church will only act if you make it necessary. 

 

And as we can all surmise, both parties are intensely aware of this. Much of the BSA National Board is comprised of LDS officials, so all of this is deeply felt and understood.

So, when Scouts Canada's membership policy changed, how did they placate LDS?
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Latin Scot - I interested in the Scouts Canada's coed policy and how the LDS Church viewed it as well.

 

Of course Utah has a single council, maybe two, with more members than Scouts Canada has enrolled. So I am not sure if it even enters the LDS thought process.

 

My understanding is that before LDS dropped the Venturing program, they did have girls in venturing in single gender crews, just no coed crews.

 

What are your thoughts on the actions the LDS Church would take if BSA were to bring girls into to Scouting through parallel single gender units, or to allow CO's to choose parallel or integrated units? DO you think the LDS Church would pull out of Scouting all together?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shooting the messanger but ThinkProgress is one of the most biased publications in America. Its the left wing version of Brietbart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

And mind you, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS HAS NOT LEFT SCOUTING!!! We no longer patronize the Varsity or Venturing programs, but all of those boys are simply being filtered back into the Boy Scout troops to continue their advancement. The Church has not left Scouting. If you have been spreading this rumor until now, please stop, as it is simply not true.

 

My understanding from LDS news releases below is not all those boys will "filter back" only those who desire to advance to Eagle will.  My guess, boys who just want to continue in Boy Scouts will join a non-LDS troop.

 

The Church will continue its Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs for boys ages 8 through 13 because they “meet the development program needs of boys from ages 8 through 13.†It will also be involved in Friends of Scouting. The First Presidency letter states that “young men over the age of 14 who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout or Queen Scout should be encouraged and supported in their efforts and should be properly registered as Scouts.â€

 

https://www.lds.org/church/news/church-replacing-varsity-and-venturing-scouting-with-new-activities-program?lang=eng&_r=1

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/questions-answers-changes-young-men-program

http://blog.utahscouts.org/eagle-scout-trail/lds-scouts-do-not-need-to-get-eagle-before-14/

Edited by RememberSchiff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@qwazse I cannot speak much for how things are operated in Canada except that they do not register girls in their units, nor will they. Their program is under review, and more information about their program is likely to be forthcoming.

 

@@HelpfulTracks Utah is actually home to no less than 4 councils, and they are among the largest and most active in the BSA. There are also huge councils in other areas with large LDS populations, such as California, Idaho, Arizona, and Wyoming. But it is a mistake to think that the Church only looks at what goes on in Utah. We are a global Church, with almost 16 million members in more than 160 countries, and every one of them matters. Thanks to meticulous organization of leadership, the young people in Canada receive as much attention as the members in Venezuela or Mongolia or Nigeria or the Ukraine. So you can be sure that the Scouts in Canada are getting all the attention they deserve in this regard.

 

Your facts are mistaken about the Venturing program - the Church has never at any point chartered or endorsed Venturing units for girls. We have our own programs for girls and young women that we have run for more than 120 years, so we have never had any need to include them in any of Scouting's programs.

 

If, however, Scouting were to cave to popular pressure and make their core programs (Cub and Boy Scouts) co-ed, it could be one of the last straws for the Church's involvement with Scouting. The Church has been remarkably patient with Scouting's changes up until now. The pull from Varsity and Venturing actually had nothing to do with any changes in Scouting, but rather happened because local leaders weren't implementing the programs correctly and so we were wasting resources on programs that weren't being properly used. But we have kept Boy Scout and Cub Scouts because they fit with our needs and ideals. If they were to collapse their values and ultimately make those programs co-ed, however, then it would be the time to wonder how long the Church would continue with the programs.

 

@@RememberSchiff The Church will continue to run its Boy Scout troops as before, and boys over 14 who want to continue advancing will simply continue in their own troops. There will be no need for them to transfer to non-LDS troops. If they feel they have had enough Scouting, they they can continue in the Church's new activity programs for young men 14 and up, but to continue advancing, they need only remain in their own troop. No transferring to outside troops will be needed.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Your facts are mistaken about the Venturing program - the Church has never at any point chartered or endorsed Venturing units for girls. We have our own programs for girls and young women that we have run for more than 120 years, so we have never had any need to include them in any of Scouting's programs.

 

I'm interested in your view.  If LDS used Venturing for years and Venturing allowed girls and LDS simply did not register girls in their Venturing crews, isn't that parallel do how LDS could function if girls were allowed in Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts?  Or is it the additional mixed perception (materials, words, etc) that would cause trouble?  I know many camps already have LDS only weekends.  Going to state parks and other areas are already co-ed type of events.  I'm just curious.  

 

This is always the challenge.  Most churches have co-ed youth programs.  Even my conservative church had co-ed faith formation in the 1970s.  I'm just curious.  

 

I'd hate to see LDS leave over this as LDS had a rich wonderful history in BSA.  But BSA also needs to keep relevant to the times and serve the needs of all charter organizations.  Unfortunately, charter orgs are vast and diverse.  

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@HelpfulTracks Utah is actually home to no less than 4 councils, and they are among the largest and most active in the BSA. There are also huge councils in other areas with large LDS populations, such as California, Idaho, Arizona, and Wyoming. But it is a mistake to think that the Church only looks at what goes on in Utah. We are a global Church, with almost 16 million members in more than 160 countries, and every one of them matters. Thanks to meticulous organization of leadership, the young people in Canada receive as much attention as the members in Venezuela or Mongolia or Nigeria or the Ukraine. So you can be sure that the Scouts in Canada are getting all the attention they deserve in this regard.

 

I was merely pointing out that there are about 60K Scouts in Canada. There are about 5-6 Councils in the U.S. with larger scout populations, of which 2 are in Utah. In that light I didn't think that Scouts Canada would be a good barometer for how the LDS Church might react to co-ed scouting.

 

Your facts are mistaken about the Venturing program - the Church has never at any point chartered or endorsed Venturing units for girls. We have our own programs for girls and young women that we have run for more than 120 years, so we have never had any need to include them in any of Scouting's programs.

 

My mistake. However, I have received that information from several members of your Church. Comments on several sites, including LDS.org seem to validate that in at least some circumstances YW are in Venturing.  

 

If, however, Scouting were to cave to popular pressure and make their core programs (Cub and Boy Scouts) co-ed, it could be one of the last straws for the Church's involvement with Scouting. The Church has been remarkably patient with Scouting's changes up until now. The pull from Varsity and Venturing actually had nothing to do with any changes in Scouting, but rather happened because local leaders weren't implementing the programs correctly and so we were wasting resources on programs that weren't being properly used. But we have kept Boy Scout and Cub Scouts because they fit with our needs and ideals. If they were to collapse their values and ultimately make those programs co-ed, however, then it would be the time to wonder how long the Church would continue with the programs.

 

Which brings me back to my original question of how you think the LDS Church would respond to the potential changes of parallel tracks or possibly coed scouting.

 

Initially, I was assuming that how LDS Scouting functioned in Canada would provide no insight as to how the Church would react to changes in Scouting here in the U.S.

 

But your response that each country matters, makes me feel it might.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, charter orgs are vast and diverse.  

 

One might view that as a "fortunately" rather than an "unfortunately."

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One might view that as a "fortunately" rather than an "unfortunately."

 

I think it is fortunate too.  Unfortunately, it means some charter orgs might walk away when BSA makes membership policies consistent with the teachings and practices of other charter orgs.  That's really this situation.  One charter org has a key membership criteria that is not really that important to other chater orgs.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Your facts are mistaken about the Venturing program - the Church has never at any point chartered or endorsed Venturing units for girls. We have our own programs for girls and young women that we have run for more than 120 years, so we have never had any need to include them in any of Scouting's programs.

My mistake. However, I have received that information from several members of your Church. Comments on several sites, including LDS.org seem to validate that in at least some circumstances YW are in Venturing.

 

 

 

Could not figure out how to correctly quote to reply to the above, but wanted to clarify - the Church itself does not charter female Venture crews, but is a relatively common practice for "Dad's Dentist Office" or "Mom's Towing Service" to charter an all female venture crew, or even a co-ed crew, if they have a daughter and friends who are interested in doing outdoor adventure activities that are not normally in the scope of the LDS Church's young women program.  I know that are one or two all female "LDS" venture crews in the Atlanta metro area, chartered by LDS members, but not by the Church.

Edited by NJCubScouter
Mod. note: Reformatted to what I think you were aiming for

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×