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Trevorum

LDS religious emblems program

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Posted (edited)

Hello gang!¬† ūüėɬ†Great to see some old "faces" here and also nice to see lots of new(er) members too!¬† I hope all my old friends are doing well.

Some of you may remember that way back when, I was a member of the BSA Religious Relationships Committee in my role as a leader of the UUSO. I am no longer on that committee (the UUSO was replaced by the UUA) but I have just recently been copied in some email correspondence by a committee chair using an old email list. I have of course redacted myself from the discussion (and notified the OP) but some of the continuing email has caught my eye and I wanted to know if anyone on the forums knows anything about the new LDS religious emblems.

It seems a group of LDS scouters are creating an emblem program for LDS fellows who have remained in BSA.  They are trying to get this up for a vote at the next National meetings this month. 

One of the comments by a (non-LDS) committee member was regarding the infamous "rule of 25" (which he admitted (!!!) was originally adopted to exclude a Wiccan emblems program within BSA) and whether there are 25 LDS-chartered units remaining nationwide. One suggestion was to replace the rule of 25 (units) with a "rule of 1000" (scouts). I'm sorta dubious about that idea.

Anyway, I think this proposal is great and I fully support the LDS initative! The more things change, the more they stay the same - it all reminds me of the old UUSO days  ...

Edited by Trevorum
clarification

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The alleged Rule of 25 hasn't been around for awhile, if ever. 

As is often asked, "show where it is written".   There are several Faith Awards that the BSA  allows and to my knowledge, the named faith has few Charter Orgs, if any,  listed in the BSA ranks.  

Deny Wiccan faith awards?   Well, maybe not allow on the uniform officially.  But again, where is the rule ?

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Who wouldn't love another patch? Go for it!

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Posted (edited)

Actually these developments are much, much further along than noted here. First of all, there is already an official organization in place that has replaced the LDS-BSA Relations Committee, now known as the Vanguard International Scouting Association - it was announced on February 8th of this year to coincide with the anniversary of Scouting. Its information can be found here: 

https://www.vanguardscouting.org/uncategorized/new-vanguard-international-scouting-association/

Secondly, there is a virtual conference from Philmont scheduled for next week (Friday and Saturday) during which they will announce the new religious awards for Scouts and Scouters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - among other things. They have a great schedule of trainings planned. I got an email for it a week ago. Here's the registration page:

https://www.vanguardscouting.org/philmont-vision-2020-conference/little-philmont-virtual/

So there is a lot of good stuff coming down the line for us LDS Scouts and Scouters! I'll be sure to post all the new goodness as it comes. I'm certainly excited!

Edited by The Latin Scot
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Thanks, LatinScot!  I figured someone here would know more about this initiative. Is Vanguard recognized/approved by the LDS Church? That was one of the obstacles we had in the UUSO.

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I don't know how the church would go about sanctioning any one group as it's 'official' representative body, as it likely wants to keep its break from Scouting as clean as possible. However, if any organization does assume that mantle, it will be this one. It's made of up many of the same people who served in the previous organization, like Mark Francis and Charles W. Dahlquist II, who were important figures in its structure and in the BSA at large, so it's pretty clear this will be the most important organization to LDS Scouting families in the future. Whether or not the church chooses to give its approval to any of them remains to be seen, but I don't think that will be a major hurdle to the association in the future either way. 

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I am very excited by the formation of this group. ¬†There‚Äôs a big ‚Äėhowever‚Äô in there, though. As of right now - more than three months after the February 8th announcement - the ‚ÄėLeader Resources‚Äô portion of the website still has ‚Äúlorem ipsum dolor‚ÄĚ text.¬†

(For anyone unfamiliar with graphics, this is a block of Latin text you get  when you add a box for text to a page. This means that there has been no development to the page since it was created.)

I'm hopeful that they will be able to gather steam, but if you’re waiting on religious emblems, it looks like it could be a while. 

I’m curious as to whether the booklets and medals already developed could continue to be used?  The medals themselves shouldn’t need to be changed, and only a small portion of text in the reference material would need to be altered. 

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As I mentioned above, this whole situation reminds me of the early days of the UUSO. After our faith's formal leadership severed ties with BSA (ironically regarding the same set of issues that led to the LDS schism), the existing UU religious emblems were no longer offered to Scouts. In reaction, a group of Scouters created the independent UUSO organization to open a dialogue with BSA and to develop a new set of religious emblems. We were invited to participate in the National Council's Religious Relationships Committee and we then proposed a series of newly developed UU emblems. Eventually, these were approved by BSA, but the process took several years. Even after we were fully within the "big tent", we still struggled to get the approved emblems publicized and formally listed in BSA publications. 

I think it very likely that the initiative of the LDS Vanguard organization will be expedited, but it will probably be a slow, bureaucratic process.

Any LDS Scouters who support the Vanguard initiative should contact the organization and offer to get involved at your local level. I'm sure your support will be welcome!

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Trev,

Add in two other factors ... Covid-19 and bankruptcy will put a further brake on any action involving Irving. 

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Not at all my friends, they have just been saving everything for announcement at the annual Little Philmont event which they broadcast this weekend! I spent this whole weekend on an online training conference held over Zoom where the entire organizations and its programs were revealed and carefully, dynamically presented by the organization heads. Over 600 people attended from all over the country!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the newly revised website for the newly organized and ready-to-rumble Vanguard International Scouting Association!

https://www.vanguardscouting.org/

This has actually been in development for more than a year, thanks to the prescience of our church leadership; as soon as the break from Scouting was announced wheels were in motion to establish an organization that could carry on the good relations between the LDS community and Scouting organizations throughout the world - which is why this new organization will be available to LDS Scouts from all nations - not just the Boy Scouts of America, but also Scouts in other countries' organizations as well. A presence is planned for Jamboree, and the new religious awards have been created and are in production already! The Light and Truth Award for Cub Scouts and the Vanguard Awards for Scouts and leaders, will be available within the year. While the Church has no part in the creation of the awards nor in the organization, it is apprised of everything it does and all it stands for, so there is nothing done by VISA which they are not aware of. As for its recognition by Boy Scouts of America, well, thanks to Charles Dahlquist's pull as the former National Commissioner and the deep connections the Church maintain on the national committees prior to the break, this organization is already the official BSA- recognized liaison for LDS Scouting. Scouting in the Church is not slowing down one bit during this pandemic - in fact its gaining momentum every day!

The new awards:

The Light and Truth Award (Cub Scouts)

The Vanguard Award (Scouts)

The Vanguard Award (Adults)

Light and Truth Award.jpg

Vanguard Award.jpg

Vanguard Award Adult.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I was so relieved when I actually opened @The Latin Scot's reply because right below his abbreviated message in the sidebar was an ad with an image of facemasks -- the first of which was purple.

So for those of you whose cookies lead to the presentation of other ads ... visualize:

Quote

LDS religious emblems program

By The Latin Scot · Posted 10 hours ago

Not at all my friends, they have just been saving everything for announcement at the annual Little Philmont event which they broadcast this weekend! I spent this whole...
<Image of purple mask ... same color as the religious award knot>

:blink:

Edited by qwazse

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Wow, that is terrific, LatinScot!  I am so impressed by the way this has been expedited to encourage young LDS fellows to remain within the BSA. Congratulations to all the LDS Scouters who must have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to achieve this!

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Maybe I missed something, but why would there be a new religious emblem program? The LDS has an established emblems program, that should really just continue, no? Even if the internal organization responsible for scouting has changed. 

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I would never try to disparage a faith's decision about how to teach their youth, but I too am confused...

If the Vanguard International Scouting Association is the new "Scout" organization for the CoJCoLDS youth, why the claim that it is "approved" by the BSA?   The BSA would never need to "approve" another youth  organization.  BP Scouts?  Four H? Ambassadors?  Campfire?  Royal Rangers? None of them have sought BSA approval of any kind. 

If the LDS church (out of Salt Lake City, yes?) has divested itself of it's connection/approval etc. of BSA,  and formed a new youth Scouting type organization, why the need to have (seemingly)  two religious awards, ie, the "old "  awards (approved for wear on the BSA  uniform)  and the new Vanguard awards?  Are the Vanguard awards to be "approved" for wear on the BSA uniform?  It's a Vanguard award.  What happens with the "old" LDS awards?  

And, if it is allowed that LDS youth may continue their participation in BSA Packs and Troops (and earn ranks up to and including Eagle) , utilizing the BSA program unfettered by the old LDS adaptations,  why the apparent desire to keep some "official"  LDS connection with the BSA?   Wow, a hyper achieving LDS kid could be a VISA, a GSUSA, a BSA member too ?  

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