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Eagle1993

LDS leaving BSA?

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2 hours ago, gblotter said:

Scouting used to be my parenting partner because it shared my values and reinforced what my children learn at home and at church. Now it is an organization with different values that merely tolerates what my children learn at home and at church. Gone is the BSA marketing slogan "Timeless Values". BSA no longer takes a leadership position with values - it just follows where society is going, with its finger on the pulse of popular opinion and yes - surveys (perhaps even the same surveys you referenced). 

For me it is still an organization that shares my values and reinforces what my children learn at home (I am LDS). The Scout Oath and Law are excellent moral guidelines, whether you are LDS, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, or Volunteer Fire Department.  I see that they have just drawn their circle a little bigger. No Chartering Organization is being forced to adopt multi-gendered units - the LDS church has said they do not plan to change from male only units. COs also  control their own staffing, so no unit is forced to accept leadership they are uncomfortable with.

3 hours ago, Col. Flagg said:

Boys over 14 are being given the option of going to troops. Few are from what I hear. Why? As leaders tell it 1) LDS boys are reluctant to join non-LDS units, and 2) Some guys are more in to other things than what non-LDS units do as Scouts.

The guidelines from the LDS church used to say to register all young men ages 11-17 during annual rechartering. Going forward, ages 11-13 will be registered by default, but boys 14 and up will only be registered if they are pursuing Scouting advancement. After 2018, the church will no longer cover the fees for boys 14+ via the lump sum from Salt Lake, they will have to be paid locally by the boy, the family, or the unit.  I have worked in the LDS Young Men program and Scouting for several decades, and I see this as a reflection of reality - only about 3rd of the older boys (my gut, no data to back that up) want to do traditional outdoor program Scouting, others have band, or sports, or jobs, and were just not using the program. The new LDS activity program for older boys is more activity based, almost like a Varsity Team or Venture Crew, and more open to/encouraging of being mixed gender in those activities.

Speculation hat on: I think moving the older activities out from under the BSA wing has a component of being less regulatory - NRA certified instructor not required to do a shooting activity, or maybe take the boys paintballing, for example

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15 hours ago, gblotter said:

You have been very patient in making your arguments. Your kindness shows through.

Thank you. I'd rather not lose folks like you over the inclusion of my daughter so it is important to me that we respect your opinion as much as people that may share mine. What BSA teaches and brings to youth is far more important than any disagreement we may have over the membership changes and I'd rather have you in BSA with your disagreement (and allowed to remain "traditional") than have you leave it due to compulsory changes in values.

 

15 hours ago, gblotter said:

Scouting used to be my parenting partner because it shared my values and reinforced what my children learn at home and at church. Now it is an organization with different values that merely tolerates what my children learn at home and at church. Gone is the BSA marketing slogan "Timeless Values". BSA no longer takes a leadership position with values

Is your Troop chartered by your church? If so, has your Troop experience changed?

I ask because I know some of the local Troops chartered by churches (my Troop is church-chartered) that have not changed under the new membership rules at all (and that may include mine, I have not asked). I would think that in those cases, the Troop and your church still reinforces those same values. I hope your Troop experience doesn't leave you feeling just tolerated. Is it possible that you are projecting something not really being experienced?

Probably 95% or more of scouting is local; Patrol and Troop level. What BSA does in another council, and much less another state, has no direct impact on my Scout. If another council started letting adults in their 30s get their Eagle, it would not have a direct impact on the values my Troop teaches.

16 hours ago, gblotter said:

This past summer he attended two different BSA camps in addition to National Jamboree (we barely saw him at all during the summer). In 2018 he will be attending Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island and Camp Meriwether in Oregon. He drinks Scouting from a fire hose and makes my Scoutmaster buttons burst with pride. But with all these changes, it feels like my son is catching the last train out of the station (and even he realizes that 2018 will be a triumphant last hurrah). So many adventures, so many memories - so much fun. It has been an incredible ride.

I hope to share in your experience one day! My son went to the Jambo on a road trip (too young to go to camp there) and loved it. We both can't want until he is old enough to do the High Adventure stuff.

 

16 hours ago, gblotter said:

They want a different kind of Scouting that appeals to different kinds of families and different kinds of Scouts and different kinds of Scouters.

I don't agree with this. They want the same kind of Scouting that appeals to the same kinds of families as they always have. This is evidenced by the fact of the greater focus and requirements as it pertains to faith. This is also evidenced by the fact that they are not forcing any membership changes on people that want to keep things just the way they were a decade ago.

 They also want to make scouting more available to those families where their faith doesn't object to sexual orientation or gender.

 

Why can't BSA be both? Traditional to you and yours and modified for others?

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4 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Why can't BSA be both? Traditional to you and yours and modified for others?

Probably for the same reason those in the Middle East can't pull it off for thousands of years.  And the same reason the Christians can't pull it off for hundreds of years.  And the same reason political empires come and go on a regular basis.  And the same reason why maps of the world change before the ink dries.

It's called human nature and everyone feels more comfortable around like-minded/value people.  People go where they feel comfortable.

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1 hour ago, Stosh said:

Probably for the same reason those in the Middle East can't pull it off for thousands of years.  And the same reason the Christians can't pull it off for hundreds of years.  And the same reason political empires come and go on a regular basis.  And the same reason why maps of the world change before the ink dries.

It's called human nature and everyone feels more comfortable around like-minded/value people.  People go where they feel comfortable.

America has been a melting pot (or perhaps more accurately, beef stew - sort of like BSA now), for centuries with far more diverse opinions, cultures, and norms than BSA. Certainly we, people that follow the Oath and the Law, can learn to "feel comfortable" with the idea that another Troop might have different members than our own - especially when we consider the fact that most if not all non-religious employers are even more accepting of diverse cultures and norms than BSA.

Heck, my employer accepts cross-dressers (not that I have ever seen one in my workplace), doesn't mean I am going to quit my job. Also, as I eluded to in another thread, I am a vet. My old Parachute Infantry Regiment now accepts both gay and female soldiers. I would not avoid service to my country based on such - duty is more important than what objections I might have on their inclusion. I would hope Scouts who follow the Oath still feel a duty their country even when their country might do something that is not 100% to their approval. That is kind of what makes duty and being Brave relevant. If it was easy, we would not need an Oath or Law for it.

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

it is important to me that we respect your opinion as much as people that may share mine.

*Rant On* BSA National made it abundantly clear that they do not respect the opinions of people like me when they rammed through these changes under the pretext of manipulated data and disingenuous surveys using oddly-worded questions that forced agreement with their predetermined outcome. It is incredibly insulting (and enraging) to hear Mike Surbaugh brag about the sham process they concocted and how this was all in response to popular demand. Within our troop organization, I don't know a single Scouter (male or female) who is in favor.

This decision smacks of desperation as BSA struggles to maintain membership. Financial solvency under the heavy debt load ($400M) for development of The Summit may be the real motivator. BSA leadership claims this is the result of long and careful deliberation, but where is the evidence of thoughtful planning when they can't even describe what the future girl program will look like? I sincerely believe that this move will alienate more boys than it will attract girls for a net loss of overall enrollment. In a decade we will all know if Surbaugh was the person who saved or killed Scouting in America. Or maybe it will just look like Scouts Canada which is now primarily a girl organization and in rapid decline. *Rant Off*

 

1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

I'd rather not lose folks like you over the inclusion of my daughter

An unmentioned point: I have three daughters and even they object to these changes. Their response was "Why ruin things for the boys?". These activities don't appeal to two of my daughters - their passions are in the performing arts and sports. My eldest daughter likes camping and hiking and even backpacking, but from her experience with church camps she knows that she doesn't want to do it with a bunch of other girls (her words - not mine). She also knows about Venturing but has no interest in joining because her teenage life is full with other pursuits.

 

1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

Probably 95% or more of scouting is local

This was mentioned in another thread. Our troop is local, but nothing else.

 

2 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

This is also evidenced by the fact that they are not forcing any membership changes on people that want to keep things just the way they were a decade ago.

Nobody is forcing us to accept any of these changes. We can keep things just as they were a decade ago.

Unless we participate in a merit badge midway, or a Camporee, or a JLTC, or an OA induction, or a BSA summer camp, or a Jamboree, or a high adventure base, or a ...

Nobody forces me to inhale their second-hand smoke. It's entirely my choice if I decide to breathe.

 

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18 hours ago, an_old_DC said:

Col., I meant the boys in crews and teams are being moved back into the LDS troops. That way they can finish work toward Eagle and still go on high adventure trips, if they and the troop choose.

I don't think my LDS friends got the memo. Most of the crew and team leaders are retiring or going to work on other programs. The 11-13 year old units have no clue how to help guys get to Eagle. This is a big problem for those units which is why if any 14+ LDS Scouts want to make Eagle they are going to non-LDS units. Most, from what I am told, are Eagling-out and then they're done.

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

America has been a melting pot (or perhaps more accurately, beef stew - sort of like BSA now), for centuries with far more diverse opinions, cultures, and norms than BSA. Certainly we, people that follow the Oath and the Law, can learn to "feel comfortable" with the idea that another Troop might have different members than our own - especially when we consider the fact that most if not all non-religious employers are even more accepting of diverse cultures and norms than BSA.

Heck, my employer accepts cross-dressers (not that I have ever seen one in my workplace), doesn't mean I am going to quit my job. Also, as I eluded to in another thread, I am a vet. My old Parachute Infantry Regiment now accepts both gay and female soldiers. I would not avoid service to my country based on such - duty is more important than what objections I might have on their inclusion. I would hope Scouts who follow the Oath still feel a duty their country even when their country might do something that is not 100% to their approval. That is kind of what makes duty and being Brave relevant. If it was easy, we would not need an Oath or Law for it.

Yep, I still have the freedom of choice, at least for the present time.  I can quit my job.  It's my choice.  This is why I never worked for what I felt was an unethical or immoral institution.  I was once a minister in a "Christian" organization.  Once it abandoned it's moral compass, I left.  It was my choice.  The same dynamic apples to the BSA.

I do a lot of volunteering for the Red Cross.  They put it out there right up-front their position of helping other people at all times regardless of their cultural, religious, etc. backgrounds.  I know how it works and I find it okay.  They do not provide any moral compass for the work they do.  They just do relief work for anyone needing it.  I can live with that.   As soon as the organization re-defines "anyone".  I'm looking for another area to spend my volunteer hours and efforts.

Edited by Stosh

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31 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

The 11-13 year old units have no clue how to help guys get to Eagle.

I'm not sure what the problem is.  If they read the requirements, the Eagle project workbook and the application, that's about 95% of what you need to know right there.  I know that our council has on their web site instructions for setting up a project review, BOR, etc., I assume all councils do.  Perhaps that is a foolish assumption, but then someone can call council and find out who their District Advancement Chair is, call him/her and get the council/district-specific procedural information they may need.  Or the Scout can do it. 

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And what's wrong with just going with what the requirements say without adding or subtracting anything from them?

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17 minutes ago, Stosh said:

And what's wrong with just going with what the requirements say without adding or subtracting anything from them?

Was that directed at my comment?  I didn't add anything.  The requirements include the use of the Eagle project workbook and mention the application as well. They also refer the Scout to the Guide to Advancement, 9.0.2.0 through 9.0.2.16, for more information about the project.  So for all practical purposes all of those things are part of the requirement.  You could consider the G2A section to be just guidance in fulfilling the requirements, but the requirements suggest that people read it, so they should read it.  I personally wish the BSA would put all information needed to become Eagle in one easily accessible place, but they don't, instead they put part of it in the Handbook and the rest of it in several different places that must be tracked down on the Internet.  But at least the requirements mention what you have to look for.

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No, it was not directed at you @NJCubScouter it was directed at all the others out there that simply find it necessary to protect the integrity of the Eagle process beyond the requirements.  We get a lot of that in the lower ranks, but when it comes to Eagle, the zealousness of the leadership seems to take an entirely different set of criteria from which they work.

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Ok, sorry for the assumption.  And I agree with you, but any more detailed comments would probably lead this thread too far away from the LDS church's relationship with the BSA, which is what this thread is about.

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3 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

I'm not sure what the problem is.  If they read the requirements, the Eagle project workbook and the application, that's about 95% of what you need to know right there.  I know that our council has on their web site instructions for setting up a project review, BOR, etc., I assume all councils do.  Perhaps that is a foolish assumption, but then someone can call council and find out who their District Advancement Chair is, call him/her and get the council/district-specific procedural information they may need.  Or the Scout can do it. 

The problem lies in the execution of the program. The 11-13 LDS units were totally focused on trail to FC and nothing else. Kids made FC, maybe Star, and then moved up to the 14+ unit. Since locally many of the leaders stay with one unit or the other, they get entrenched in their own littler Scouting universe.

Could they learn? Of course. But it seems few local units are willing to learn the Eagle process. Our unit has taken in 5 LDS kids so far as a result. They know we have a good mentoring program and that their boys will learn how to get to Eagle.

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10 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

The problem lies in the execution of the program. The 11-13 LDS units were totally focused on trail to FC and nothing else. Kids made FC, maybe Star, and then moved up to the 14+ unit. Since locally many of the leaders stay with one unit or the other, they get entrenched in their own littler Scouting universe.

Could they learn? Of course. But it seems few local units are willing to learn the Eagle process. Our unit has taken in 5 LDS kids so far as a result. They know we have a good mentoring program and that their boys will learn how to get to Eagle.

Is it a turf war of some type preventing leaders from the older age units going to the troop level and leveraging the experience and talents there? I mean, same things at play, just a uniforming difference. Just surprising to hear, especially if the same  CO is sponsoring both.

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