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MattR

Another view of the LDS split

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I was at my district committee last night and heard something different. There are a number of LDS troops and just individual scouts in our town that are interested in continuing in the BSA past 2019. Some may want to do it just to complete eagle before the time limit runs out but there are also plenty that just like scouts. There's an effort by the district to try and find them a home so they can continue. Some troops want to move whole and some scouts are looking for non-LDS troops to join.

The guy in our district leading this, who's on my camping committee and is about to become the district commissioner, belongs to the LDS church and is reaching out to others in the LDS community to let them know they can continue with scouts. He loves scouts and bleeds green. To be honest, when I get really frustrated with the district he's a great guy to talk to just because of his optimism. I wonder if anyone else has seen this. Apparently national is also seeing this.

 

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My father-in-law is a huge long-time Scouter (past council president even). Because our LDS troop is functioning so well, he has talked of continuing it intact under a different CO (he was even willing to do the legwork to find the new CO and an alternate meeting location). I doubt he will get traction - especially for the necessary adult leadership to staff an independent troop. I told him to count me out - I won’t continue as Scoutmaster under that scenario. Absent BSA’s girl decision, I likely would have supported the idea.

Scouting has been a truly fantastic ride, but it will be time for me to move on when the church exits 12/31/19. Because of BSA’s girl decision, the program is lost in my eyes.

Edited by gblotter

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@gblotter, not trying to poke the bear. Just want to have know the range of what scouters are planning to do.

Suppose your father-in-law stumbles across a CO that says, "Great, but we also have these five girls and a teachable Mom ..."

Will he flex for them? Or, will he move on to the next CO?

Are you enthused about the new LDS offerings? The global focus impresses me. Looks good on paper -- like something I try to arrange for my church's youth. But I'm getting an apprehensive vibe from folks at street level. I have a friend who is in the LDS church and he always touches base with me about scouting. Even though his son never was involved in it much, he seems a little disappointed about his church loosing the scouting program. On the other hand, they've always had a tough time garnering the leadership to make a great troop. (This probably explains why his son was more involved in soccer than scouts.)

I haven't had a chance to talk to LDS kids (scouts or otherwise) to hear what they think. My guess is if even 10,000 of them nationwide want to join a troop -- for whatever reason -- we volunteers will have to scramble to make it work for them. Part of that would indeed include making sure they get their Sabbath fulfilled in an honorable fashion. I could imagine some troops hosting a patrol of LDS 1st-years that would go easy on the camping requirements so that the boys' could fulfill their religious duties.

Edited by qwazse
Replaced "Mormon" with LDS. Just learned that it was not a welcome adjective in some parts.
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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

I could imagine some troops hosting a patrol of LDS 1st-years that would go easy on the camping requirements so that the boys' could fulfill their religious duties.

That is a very cool and novel solution. I hope there are troops that consider such.

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Let me provide an example. I'm Mormon. My 13 year old son is also part of a community troop, which typically camps out Friday afternoon through Sunday mid-morning. Generally, he will go through Saturday evening. After the campfire, he and I will head home. He makes sure he's on the duty roster plenty on Saturday, so noone can accuse him of bailing on work. 

It's not 100% ideal. On the other hand, these scouts are his friends, and friends support each other, particularly in personal choices.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Edited 59 minutes ago by qwazse
Replaced "Mormon" with LDS. Just learned that it was not a welcome adjective in some parts.

Don't sweat it.

There's talk in my district of starting a troop in 2020. With over 100 LDS troops to draw from, I would assume they'll find enough adults to staff it. We haven't yet seen what the new Church program will look like but I imagine the boys will still get their fill of camping, hiking, shooting, climbing/rappelling, service, STEM, etc. That will probably have a significant effect on the amount of LDS youth interested in BSA. No one in my troop has said anything about continuing after 2019.

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1 hour ago, LVAllen said:

Let me provide an example. I'm Mormon. My 13 year old son is also part of a community troop, which typically camps out Friday afternoon through Sunday mid-morning. Generally, he will go through Saturday evening. After the campfire, he and I will head home. He makes sure he's on the duty roster plenty on Saturday, so noone can accuse him of bailing on work. 

It's not 100% ideal. On the other hand, these scouts are his friends, and friends support each other, particularly in personal choices.

Plenty- I'd say overwhelming majority- of units already have to accommodate youth that are into sports to either leave early or miss out on weekends.  I see no problem with that.  Effort is what matters, not that the youth is at 100% of everything.  I don't even see how anyone could rationalize that this is a problem towards a POR- isnt' delegation a huge part of "showing leadership"?  The kid is a PL, and had his stuff together, lead through Saturday night and then gave instruction to his APL on Sunday morning needs, he'd get the gold star from me! 

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I see the issue being a few things:

1) LDS youth that want to continue, may or may not find support in the idea from their church... this puts the young man's family and the young man at odds with the direction of their faith's leadership.  Will this happen?  Maybe, maybe not.  But much like a LDS mom working outside the home... while I don't think its expressly forbidden, its obviously not encouraged.  Making those that do an outlier in their faith community.  The same will likely hold true from scouts / scouters who continue after the LDS exits.

2) LDS scouts are used to the BSA program under the LDS specific program adjustments.  Those will not be in effect in the post-LDS sponsored era... this may or may not have a net negative effect on LDS youth participation in non-LDS units.  My bet is it has an effect.

3) Aside from membership loss... how is BSA planning to address the loss of free meeting space for all its operations?  I'm not LDS, but I can not remember EVER attending a training, roundtable, etc... that was not held at an LDS church.  My son recently had his Eagle BOR... at the LDS church.  Where are all these meetings going to magically move to?  I'm assuming that once LDS is gone, they are not going to open their property to BSA use any longer...

The bottom line - there might be a few that want to continue... but I doubt they last very long.  Some will short term to finish what they started on Eagle... the others, the program will no longer accommodate their religious preferences (not just in regards to membership policy).  They may not recognize the BSA program in its non-LDS format... they may get pressure from within their LDS communities to cut ties.

My guess is any residual hanger-ons from LDS units will be pretty short lived for these reasons.

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51 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

I see the issue being a few things:

1) LDS youth that want to continue, may or may not find support in the idea from their church... this puts the young man's family and the young man at odds with the direction of their faith's leadership.  Will this happen?  Maybe, maybe not.  But much like a LDS mom working outside the home... while I don't think its expressly forbidden, its obviously not encouraged.  Making those that do an outlier in their faith community.  The same will likely hold true from scouts / scouters who continue after the LDS exits.

2) LDS scouts are used to the BSA program under the LDS specific program adjustments.  Those will not be in effect in the post-LDS sponsored era... this may or may not have a net negative effect on LDS youth participation in non-LDS units.  My bet is it has an effect.

3) Aside from membership loss... how is BSA planning to address the loss of free meeting space for all its operations?  I'm not LDS, but I can not remember EVER attending a training, roundtable, etc... that was not held at an LDS church.  My son recently had his Eagle BOR... at the LDS church.  Where are all these meetings going to magically move to?  I'm assuming that once LDS is gone, they are not going to open their property to BSA use any longer...

The bottom line - there might be a few that want to continue... but I doubt they last very long.  Some will short term to finish what they started on Eagle... the others, the program will no longer accommodate their religious preferences (not just in regards to membership policy).  They may not recognize the BSA program in its non-LDS format... they may get pressure from within their LDS communities to cut ties.

My guess is any residual hanger-ons from LDS units will be pretty short lived for these reasons.

1. Obviously feelings will vary from individual to individual but I don't see anyone being ostracized for continuing with Scouting. It will become just another activity that some people do, like 4H, FFA, or club sports. There are many LDS women that work outside the home. Not having to do so is the ideal but being self-sufficient is more important. I've known many women that work and were still asked to be Relief Society Presidents [women's pastors] and Primary Presidents [children's pastors].

2. What do you mean Scouting isn't free?! :)

3. Are there no other churches or schools serving as COs in your area? Hopefully someone will step up.

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I think that most troops will do their best to accommodate scouts heading back to town on Saturday night, the parent may have to be the transport, but most troops won't have any issue with a scout missing Sunday. 

From what I have seen adults at the unit level are most likely to drop scouts, while those active at the district and council level are more likely to stay. I know of ONE district committee member who made clear he will leave 12/31/2019, while the other 7 or so have made it clear that they are staying. 

For scouts and parents who are used to scouting under the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints rules, they may be surprised that they have to pay for scouting, but there are also many advantages they will find. 

In the long run I think it will end up to be a great experience for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints scouts in community troops. Different, but good. 

I am trying to follow the new policy on how to reference the church, and it seems overly cumbersome to me right now. Oh well

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This was sent to all LDS Scouters just yesterday; I find it interesting that it offers more directy options for Scouting families who wish to continue in the program with their sons. NOTE: we are not pushing this same program for girls. Scouting is a perfect fit for boys; we don't believe it is as effective for girls, so you won't see anything about bringing our daughters and sisters into Scouting. Thank goodness!

https://www.scouting.org/pathforward/?utm_source=AC&utm_medium=email&utm_content=LDS8232018#video

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7 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

... NOTE: we are not pushing this same program for girls. Scouting is a perfect fit for boys; we don't believe it is as effective for girls, so you won't see anything about bringing our daughters and sisters into Scouting. Thank goodness!

https://www.scouting.org/pathforward/?utm_source=AC&utm_medium=email&utm_content=LDS8232018#video

Great link, @The Latin Scot. I suppose it's comforting that parents won't see anyone from LDS nudging them to swamp our units with their little ladies -- in spite of this statement on the very same link (emphasis mine):

Quote

Is Family Scouting available to us?

Yes! Scouting has always been a family activity. In fact, Cub Scouting now of­fers separate dens for girls and boys, and Scouting-age youth will have opportunities in single-gender troops

It's a big country. And a lot can happen in a year.

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