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The Latin Scot

LDS CHURCH ANNOUNCES INDEPENDENT ACTIVITY PROGRAMS BEGINNING 2020

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I am glad to see this thread was cleared of the off topic rants.  Thanks moderators. 

As a life-long scout and scouter, and a fairly recent convert to the LDS church (about 3 years) I have to say I am disappointed with the decision but will continue to support BSA and scouting. I also personally think that opening the programs to girls is great. 

My bigger concern is for the youth of the church without some of the safety measures and regulations that BSA has. I know we all like to complain about how BSA won't allow water guns and have regulations for many things and prohibits some activities that we find acceptable, but overall it is for the safety of the youth, and it does a pretty good job. Without some of those policies you can end up with well meaning people over there head. Just because you rock climb does not mean you know how to safely teach a bunch of youth and supervise the activity. 

I wish the BSA and the LDS Church the best of luck in their future programs, and wish those adults and youth involved in those programs safe and fulfilling experiences. 

 

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Last night, we had our first Troop Committee meeting since the announcement of LDS exit. As you might imagine, there was full attendance and the meeting ran long with discussion and speculation.

The advancement plan for each of our 30 boys was discussed in detail. With a hard deadline of 12/31/19, the trail to Eagle now suddenly feels a lot more serious (even ominous) to our Scouting families. For some of these boys, just one misstep or missed date will derail their train. One parent was very sad because their son has no chance to finish Eagle before the deadline.

We discussed the difficult financial position of BSA National and its recent desperate moves to admit girls. Our troop has a lucrative annual troop fundraiser that we will run one more time to fund our Scouting activities to the end of 2019. Any leftover money (unlikely) will be donated to FOS on 12/31/19.

One Assistant Scoutmaster spoke postively about the prospect of him joining a non-LDS troop. One boy has already decided he will join the non-LDS troop of his OA buddies in order to continue his OA lodge membership. One parent hoped the council/district would sponsor some sort of outreach expo for LDS Scouting families to learn more about the surrounding non-LDS troops. However, most families acknowledged that their Scouting journeys will end on 12/31/19.

The next 18 months will be an extremely busy time, and we plan to take our troop out with a bang - not a whimper. Several big blow-out Scouting adventures are being contemplated for summer 2019.

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1 hour ago, gblotter said:

The next 18 months will be an extremely busy time, and we plan to take our troop out with a bang - not a whimper. Several big blow-out Scouting adventures are being contemplated for summer 2019.

Nothing like a deadline to really bring things into focus... Just ask any Life Scout approaching his 18th birthday... :)

(I hope your results exceed your planned expectations.)

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2 hours ago, gblotter said:

The advancement plan for each of our 30 boys was discussed in detail. With a hard deadline of 12/31/19, the trail to Eagle now suddenly feels a lot more serious (even ominous) to our Scouting families. For some of these boys, just one misstep or missed date will derail their train. One parent was very sad because their son has no chance to finish Eagle before the deadline.

Why won't he be able to finish? Technically, can't you wait until June 6th to start? (Which would be a terrible idea).

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3 hours ago, gblotter said:

The advancement plan for each of our 30 boys was discussed in detail. With a hard deadline of 12/31/19, the trail to Eagle now suddenly feels a lot more serious (even ominous) to our Scouting families. For some of these boys, just one misstep or missed date will derail their train. One parent was very sad because their son has no chance to finish Eagle before the deadline.

 

Is there any reason why the boy couldn't be enrolled in a different troop to finish if he really wants Eagle, or is the the parent that really wants Eagle?  Nothing says they are prohibited from joining a non-LDS based troop.

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1 hour ago, mashmaster said:

Is there any reason why the boy couldn't be enrolled in a different troop to finish if he really wants Eagle, or is the the parent that really wants Eagle?  Nothing says they are prohibited from joining a non-LDS based troop.

The option of enrolling in a non-LDS troop exists for all our Scouts, and that idea was discussed in great detail during our committee meeting. A few boys may pursue that option if they miss the 12/31/19 deadline.

When contemplating a non-LDS troop, there is some doubt/concern over respect for our beliefs (avoiding Sunday camping, etc). When my son attended National Jamboree last summer with mostly non-LDS Scouts, the adult Jamboree leaders for our council contingent were reluctant to address issues of swearing and pornography. Sure - Scouting is boy-led and all, but that kind of "hands off" attitude doesn't sit well with LDS parents (or their sons, for that matter). In LDS Scouting, the chartering organization relationship with the unit is anything but "hands off". There is a level of oversight, direction, and support that is perhaps hard to duplicate elsewhere.

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8 minutes ago, gblotter said:

The option of enrolling in a non-LDS troop exists for all our Scouts, and that idea was discussed in great detail during our committee meeting. A few boys may pursue that option if they miss the 12/31/19 deadline.

When contemplating a non-LDS troop, there is some doubt/concern over respect for our beliefs (avoiding Sunday camping, etc). When my son attended National Jamboree last summer with mostly non-LDS Scouts, the adult Jamboree leaders for our council contingent were reluctant to address issues of swearing and pornography. Sure - Scouting is boy-led and all, but that kind of "hands off" attitude doesn't sit well with LDS parents (or their sons, for that matter). In LDS Scouting, the chartering organization relationship with the unit is anything but "hands off". There is a level of oversight, direction, and support that is perhaps hard to duplicate elsewhere.

Understood.  We have some scouts that are LDS in our troop and we respect their religious practices like we would others.  So they go home on Saturday night for example.  I would still suggest that as an option but make sure you have that discussion with troop leaders ahead of time to see if it would be a good match.  Some troops may certainly work better than others.

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3 hours ago, Saltface said:

Why won't he be able to finish? Technically, can't you wait until June 6th to start? (Which would be a terrible idea).

One example from last night's committee meeting: A Webelos Scout who has already finished his Arrow of Light does not turn 11 until October. He has no path to Eagle before 12/31/19.

A few other boys have very tight timelines. One missed deadline will derail their Eagle efforts unless they are willing to join a non-LDS troop in 2020.

Personally, I hate the pressure of such deadlines (even when it is a looming 18th birthday) because of compromised standards and corrupted motivations. However, as Scoutmaster I am here to support these Scouts and their families to achieve whatever goals they have in Scouting. 

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10 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

We have some scouts that are LDS in our troop and we respect their religious practices like we would others.

Just curious - in your troop, would adult leaders proactively address incidents of pornography and swearing, or only if a Scout is courageous enough to step forward and voice a complaint (or not even then)?

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8 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Just curious - in your troop, would adult leaders proactively address incidents of pornography and swearing, or only if a Scout is courageous enough to step forward and voice a complaint (or not even then)?

If I heard of any of that, I would address it privately to the scout.  We haven't had to deal pornography, but those in my issues are something that a SM or ASM would address with the boy.  I would not call it out in front of the whole troop.   For Pornography, it would be the boy, then the parents.

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7 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Just curious - in your troop, would adult leaders proactively address incidents of pornography and swearing, or only if a Scout is courageous enough to step forward and voice a complaint (or not even then)?

Yes - of course.  We occasionally have a boy swear and a leader talks with him.  We've never had an incident of pornography.

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1 minute ago, mashmaster said:

If I heard of any of that, I would address it privately to the scout.  We haven't had to deal pornography, but those in my issues are something that a SM or ASM would address with the boy.  I would not call it out in front of the whole troop.   For Pornography, it would be the boy, then the parents.

Glad to hear it. At National Jamboree, my son and his LDS buddy - their ears burned from the constant barrage of swearing from so many boys. They felt powerless in the situation because the adult leaders heard it but paid no attention - the swearing problem was pervasive. As you might imagine, that kind of stuff is completely foreign in an LDS troop, so it felt very strange to them to see it ignored by adult Scouting leaders.

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2 minutes ago, gblotter said:

At National Jamboree, my son and his LDS buddy - their ears burned from the constant barrage of swearing from so many boys. They felt powerless in the situation because the adult leaders heard it but paid no attention - the swearing problem was pervasive. As you might imagine, that kind of stuff is completely foreign in an LDS troop, so it felt very strange to them to see it ignored by adult Scouting leaders.

Perhaps Jamboree was a unique situation because the boys were not being supervised by their regular Scoutmaster and other familiar adult leaders. The Jamboree contingent adult leaders were mostly strangers to the boys, so maybe the adults felt awkward stepping in and the boys felt bolder in defiance.

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7 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Glad to hear it. At National Jamboree, my son and his LDS buddy - their ears burned from the constant barrage of swearing from so many boys. They felt powerless in the situation because the adult leaders heard it but paid no attention - the swearing problem was pervasive. As you might imagine, that kind of stuff is completely foreign in an LDS troop, so it felt very strange to them to see it ignored by adult Scouting leaders.

I heard many issues that happened at Jambo that made my blood boil.    Swearing was the least of those, but it doesn't make it meaningless.

Swearing in not appropriate in scouting.  I do it more than I should (never around the boys) but it is something I work on.  I do it much less than most people, but nobody is perfect and I try to improve myself.  

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5 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Perhaps Jamboree was a unique situation because the boys were not being supervised by their regular Scoutmaster and other familiar adult leaders. The Jamboree contingent adult leaders were mostly strangers to the boys, so maybe the adults felt awkward stepping in and the boys felt bolder in defiance.

I have been known to talk to youth outside of scouting to address rudeness before.  I get some strange looks.

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