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Eagle1993

LDS leaving BSA?

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10 minutes ago, numbersnerd said:

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.

Yeah, that was what I thought too at first. I think it is just that the guys doing the 11-13 program want to stick with that because that's what they know. The 14-17 guys know how to run their program and really don't want to "fight" the 11-13 leaders for who will run the unit. Of course, being LDS guys there are all too nice to get in to a political war, so they just avoid the confrontation. The 11-13 leaders see the unit as "theirs" and the 14-17 leaders, rather than hassle with it, just go on to other things.

The 14-17 boys have either a) if the are Eagles have dropped Scouts, b) if Eagles but love high adventure have joined non-LDS crews, c) if not Eagles have joined non-LDS troops with a good road to Eagle program.

If it was any other denomination it would be a unit-on-unit leader blood bath. ;) The LDS guys are just too nice.

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1 hour ago, Col. Flagg said:

Yeah, that was what I thought too at first. I think it is just that the guys doing the 11-13 program want to stick with that because that's what they know. The 14-17 guys know how to run their program and really don't want to "fight" the 11-13 leaders for who will run the unit. Of course, being LDS guys there are all too nice to get in to a political war, so they just avoid the confrontation. The 11-13 leaders see the unit as "theirs" and the 14-17 leaders, rather than hassle with it, just go on to other things.

The 14-17 boys have either a) if the are Eagles have dropped Scouts, b) if Eagles but love high adventure have joined non-LDS crews, c) if not Eagles have joined non-LDS troops with a good road to Eagle program.

If it was any other denomination it would be a unit-on-unit leader blood bath. ;) The LDS guys are just too nice.

As a leader of 14 and 15 year old boys in the LDS program I think there's a key item missing from the conversation.  Like in the traditional scouting program some LDS units run good programs and some LDS units run poor programs, units that run good programs will continue to help their boys work in patrols and advance in the program, units that ran poor programs will unfortunately have boys who will suffer.  In our unit (we call them Wards) I'm a Varsity Scout Coach for the next 23 days after that my responsibility for the boys and for their progress towards Eagle and learning important skills doesn't go away.  On January 1st I change to a Assistant Scoutmaster (half of the training is already done, waiting for the next OLS class to open to finalize everything) and my boys will now work together in a patrol under the troop instead of in a Varsity Team.  Will some Wards who have little interest in Scouting shut down after boys turn 14, unfortunately they probably will but I don't think these Wards are currently pushing scouting skills, they are just following along in the motions while not really offering much support along the way.

-Matt

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2 minutes ago, mattsid said:

In our unit (we call them Wards) I'm a Varsity Scout Coach for the next 23 days after that my responsibility for the boys and for their progress towards Eagle and learning important skills doesn't go away.  On January 1st I change to a Assistant Scoutmaster (half of the training is already done, waiting for the next OLS class to open to finalize everything) and my boys will now work together in a patrol under the troop instead of in a Varsity Team.

Hi Matt,

I have several questions for you.

In our stake, none of the wards ever registered a separate Team or Crew. Boys 11-17 are registered in the Troop with age-segregated patrols. So the May announcement was really no big deal for us because we were already doing it that way. In other stakes where Teams/Crews did exist, our council did a mass-migration of registrations from Team/Crew into the Troop. This happened back in August and we were told that the timing was under the direction of BSA National. Did that same mass-migration happen in your council?

In my experience, even wards with Teams and Crews did not really implement the Varsity and Venturing programs as defined. They were really just doing Boy Scouting for older boys with a high-adventure twist. Because you seem to be a dedicated Scouter, I'll ask it was any different in your ward. Did you actually implement Varsity Scouting as it was defined with the separate awards program of Varsity Letter and Pins, etc? Did your ward also implement Venturing correctly with its separate awards program? If you did, then are a rare bird and my hat is off to you.

BTW: I assume you are in SVMBC? I am next door in PacSky.

Cheers.

 

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12 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Hi Matt,

I have several questions for you.

In our stake, none of the wards ever registered a separate Team or Crew. Boys 11-17 are registered in the Troop with age-segregated patrols. So the May announcement was really no big deal for us because we were already doing it that way. In other stakes where Teams/Crews did exist, our council did a mass-migration of registrations from Team/Crew into the Troop. This happened back in August and we were told that the timing was under the direction of BSA National. Did that same mass-migration happen in your council?

In my experience, even wards with Teams and Crews did not really implement the Varsity and Venturing programs as defined. They were really just doing Boy Scouting for older boys with a high-adventure twist. Because you seem to be a dedicated Scouter, I'll ask it was any different in your ward. Did you actually implement Varsity Scouting as it was defined with the separate awards program of Varsity Letter and Pins, etc? Did your ward also implement Venturing correctly with its separate awards program? If you did, then are a rare bird and my hat is off to you.

BTW: I assume you are in SVMBC? I am next door in PacSky.

Cheers.

 

Hey gblotter,

Yes, our Stake had our Troops, Crews and Teams all registered individually, luckily I didn't have to deal with the recharter headache but from what I heard it was a real pain. 

We had the same mass migration, my understanding is that the boys were co-registered sometime in August or early September in the Crew and in the Troop, they weren't sure at that time what they did with the leaders records but our advancement person was going to manual register us as ASMs during recharter to avoid any possible issues.

Your experience with how the Crews and Teams ran is exactly as ours, we were really a Boy Scout Patrol running as a Venturing Crew, we did (do) high adventure activities, went camping, and generally caused trouble the only difference between us and our younger patrol was they focused more of their weekly activities on merit badges where we focused more on career building and skills.  I have yet to see an LDS Varsity Crew implement the varsity program, I heard rumors of someone trying to do it once but I'm pretty sure it was an urban legend.  Our Venturing program in all reality isn't really focused much on scouting at all, most of the boys, at least now, are either Eagles or have no interest in becoming eagles.  They seem to focus mostly on career and skill building activities. 

I think what most people don't realize is that the actual change for most LDS unit's won't be that much different from what they are already doing. If a unit is strong in scouting they will continue to be strong in scouting because it's a way to fulfill the objectives of the Church for our Young Men.  With the changes I think the Church has just given us more options to help fulfill that goal. If a unit hasn't been strong in Scouting it will hopefully give their leaders more options (insert my 2 cents and my unit on unit blood bath skills but if they couldn't pull off Scouting they probably won't be too good at pulling off the Church's activity program but what do I know...).  It also stops us from having to register every boy who's on our records, for those of you who don't know the Church automatically registered every young man who was of scouting age into the scouting unit whether they had ever attend a meeting or not, whether they had interest or not, whether they had ever attended church or not. 

The biggest concern I have for the transition is for the units who either stop the scouting program all together for the older boys (which is not how I read the instructions from our leaders) or decided to pick and choose what they follow.  Our unit has decided to follow the GTSS (that's the right acronym for Guide to Safe Scouting right :) ), I'm envisioning a lot of units picking and choosing, saying this is a scouting activity and this is a YM's activity thus trying to skirt the safety rules.  I think that will open a lot of risk to the youth and a lot of liability for the church until they come out with some more detailed guidelines.  (I will admit however that it would be nice to have some more freedom with shooting activities). 

Yep, I'm down here in the SVMBC, Quicksilver District.  Not the most experienced Scouter in the world but trying to learn something new every day.

-Matt

 

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Our Stake actually has one ward (not mine of course lol) that has a functioning Venturing unit with 8 or 9 active participants; they have a really dynamite leader who has been in it long enough to get the program off the ground and make it work. They run the whole Venturing program, with all the separate awards and activities and everything. Come January they'll continue as a privately-operated Venturing Crew, while still doing the new program for Priests, but as you can all imagine, their unit is the exception. Some wards in our area can't even get the 11 year-old Scout program right; my mother is actually the Unit Commissioner for all the Stake 11 year-old groups, and she tells me most of them don't even have a rudimentary grasp of what their program is supposed to accomplish.

My ward has always registered the boys automatically into our Team and then Crew at 14 and 16, but they haven't run the programs as they should have been. I am in the Cub Scout program, so I am not directly involved with the older guys, but I know our leaders over those ages pretty much do high adventure activities all the time; not much will change for them except that their titles will change to Assistant Scoutmasters so they can continue to work with any boys over 14 who are still working towards their Eagle (which is most of them; boys are much lazier about the whole thing where I am than in a lot of other regions). 

For those non-LDS Scouters out there, mattsid is 100% right - not much is actually changing for LDS units. I know everybody outside the Church seems to think that the world is crashing down and that nothing will ever be the same, but within the Church, there really isn't going to be that much change at all. And I don't think Scouting is going to be all that heavily affected by the move. I do share however the concern that safety guidelines for older boys are going to be imperiled by the exit - without the BSA procedures as a buffer, a lot of activities could be taken too far if leaders are not careful. Hopefully people use their heads when planning activities under the new umbrella of programs.

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Thanks for clearing this up for me. I can only imagine how confused folks must be inside and outside of the LDS community.

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