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torribug

Blazer Scouts?

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On another scouting list that I'm on, one of the members mentioned that a family that she knows attends an LDS Church, and that they run their scouting program a bit differently. They only do one year for Webelos, then they go in to Blazer Scouts. The little bit of info I came up with by googling showed it to be a patrol for 11-year-olds (I recall that LDS packs start their boys a year later than "traditional" packs, so their 2nd year Webelos would be 11). Can anybody give me some info on that? Why do they have that program, and what do the Blazers work on? Since they are 11, they are old enough to be registered in a troop, so I'm wondering why they have a separate program instead of just a New Scout patrol.

 

Bug

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They've had that program for a very long time. I think they wanted something to bridge the gap between cubbing and scouting. Maybe somebody from LDS scouting will know more about it than I.

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They have this program because at 12 a young man in the LDS church starts in the Arronic Priesthood which the LDS church uses the BSA as part of the priesthood training program.

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Sorry if I seem dense, nldscouter, but why don't they just do second year Webelos? I remembered that the young men started in the Arronic Priesthood at age 12, and that all young men in the church were in the troop. I also remember someone explaining that that's why they started the boys later in cubs. But the Blazer question still stumps me - why not just two years of Webelos? Please understand I'm asking this for educational reasons, as I'm always fascinated by different scouting programs and methods.

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As with all Charter Organizations, LDS is able to make changes to meet their particular needs. In LDS, the BSA programs are their youth programs & are incorporated fully into the life of the church. Leaders are church members who have been called (assigned) to a particular position in a LDS Unit by their church leader. They are not volunteers.

 

LDS does not do Tiger Scouts at all. They also do not advance in the same manner as "regular" Cubs. LDS Scouts change levels at their birthdays so there are boys "graduating" at all times during the year. This reflects the fact that a boys age determines his position, or level of training, in the church.

 

Bobcat/Wolf - 8 years old

Bear - 9 years old

Webelos - 10 years old

Boy Scouts - New Scout Patrol (Blazer) - 11 to 13 years old

Varsity - 14 to 15 years old

Venturing - 16 to 18 years old

 

 

(This message has been edited by ScoutNut)

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What you've read is almost accurate. As a member of the LDS church, and one that serves on several BSA as well as LDS committees, let me clear up the mud, just a bit.

 

It's true that LDS Cubs don't do Tigers, also they start Cubs after the boy's 8th birthday. (We feel it's important that these children be at home). They don't camp, BUT don't read they don't do day camp (we do, just don't Cub camp over-night), we also run many outings, and try to make Cubs as fun as possible. So, if you start at 8 and advance each year, you only get 3 years before you turn 11. (See how you'd end up with only one year for Webelos?) The real difference for all you experienced Webelos leaders is that we don't use the national program plan, instead, we provide exposure to those required for Arrow of Light. Yes it's a limited program, but they get a good taste of what's there.

 

Now let's move onto Blazers, that's an old name for the Patrol, but is very much in use in the "trenches" (or is that pews, since we're dealing with a church?). The whole purpose of Blazers is EXACTLY what you'd want from a new scout patrol. The differences? Well... we've been doing this since the 60's. Also these young men camp a total of 3 nights during this year (goes right back to the keep the children at home concept).

 

Once a young man hits 12 years of age, he camps any time he'd like for as long as he'd like, except because of his priesthood commitments, he really should be home on Sunday. Local leadership interprets this guideline differently, BUT the direction is that they should be encouraged to attend church on a weekly basis.

 

As for leadership, young men are encouraged to gain as much knowledge in any of it's forms as possible. Leadership is not age based, programs are aged based.

 

Hope this helps :)

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>Once a young man hits 12 years of age, he camps any time he'd like for as long as he'd like, except because of his priesthood commitments, he really should be home on Sunday. Local leadership interprets this guideline differently, BUT the direction is that they should be encouraged to attend church on a weekly basis.

 

I have yet to be in one that allows Sunday camping (except 20 years ago when I was in scouts as a youth). I've tried to convince the local authorities that because in Jewish tradition the Sabbath ends at sundown (Christ was a Jew), that we could thus travel as soon as the sun hit the top of the trees on Sunday...but no one has bitten yet.

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Thanks, Thumper, for the explanation. I always enjoy hearing how different groups of people (read that as religions, countries, etc.) use scouting programs (and not just BSA) to help shape our young people. Sounds like the LDS church has really used this program to work in the best possible way for their youth.

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My dealings with LDS Scouts is very limited.

We had a couple of adults take Wood Badge back in the late 90's. I remember that one of the guys was elected the Patrol Leader of the Beaver Patrol.

I also attended a Eagle Scout Court of Honor at the local LDS Church. It was one of the best that I ever attended.

I don't claim to know very much about the church or how they deliver the program. I do know from what I have seen they are doing a fine job.

Eamonn.

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This thread hasn't been commented on in four years now, but came up in my Google search on differences between blazers and "regular scouting."

 

These are all great comments, but I just created an account to clear up something that I hope was already understood.

 

The point of cubs not camping over night, and blazers only camping three separate nights per year, is more that young children spend more time with their families, rather than that they spend more time at home.

 

I camped more nights with my family as an 11-year-old kid, than I did as a blazer that year of my life. I also went on more hikes with my family and friends before I turned twelve than I did in my two years since turning twelve and being a "regular" scout. I think this is appropriate that more time be spent with ones family at that age, than with the patrol, but depending on the personalities of the family and the boy, this may not be the best in every case. If I have a son, the decision will largely be up to him whether he does "regular" scouting or LDS scouting. They are both fantastic.

 

D

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