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Trevorum

LDS Scouts in mainstream units

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The threads on Blazer Scouts and Varsity Uniforming were informative. I did not realize the constraints that are placed on the program for LDS boys.

 

Do these constraints hold only for units that are sponsored by a LDS Chartering Org? Our troop has several LDS scouts. I always try to be aware of and respectful of the variety of faiths in our community and I am wondering if there are any considerations I should know about for LDS boys in mainstream units such as ours

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The no-camping on Sunday restriction would hold for the LDS scout regardless of the sponsoring unit. The LDS Church believes that the youth and adults need to attend church and renew their baptisimal covenants via the sacrament, and it does not approve sacrament "on location" unless under special circumstances.

 

Of course, the individual members make their own choices. Steve Young played football on Sundays. Eli Herring (drafted by the Raiders), refused to play in the NFL because of the req't to play on Sunday.

 

Usually, I personally refuse to do any recreation on Sundays (including camping), but made an exeception this last weekend for Red Cross certification in canoeing. I "justified" it as a requirement for the boys to have a qualified instructor/first aid.

 

So...there it is.

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I do not think "restraints" is an accurate term. They are structures and procedures that the LDS church has worked with the BSA to enact to make scouting a more useful tool for their particular goals as a nationwide chartering organization.

 

Rather than take the attitude of "we know better and we will do it differently" as some individuals have, the LDS church, in coorperation with the BSA, have spent years developing specific program elements that meet the goals of Scouting and their church. THey have worked closely to develop a program not based on the individual leadership style or personal wants, but one which uses scouting to better aid a boy in growing stronger in their faith.

 

It is an impressive cooperation.

 

 

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You just have to do the best you can to accomodate the needs of the Scouts in your unit. Obviously, if you have a troop made up of half orthodox Jews and half LDS members, you are not going to be able to camp together on the weekend. There may be some combinations that just won't work.

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Anne - I don't know. How are these different as far as Scouting would be concerned?

 

Bob - I didn't say "restraint", I used the word "constraint", which I think is is an accurate term. A rule by a Chartering Org that doesn't let 11 years olds camp more than 3 days that year is a constraint in my opinion. I'm not criticizing it, just describing it.

 

tortdog - our scouts seem to handle the camping on Sunday issue as you have described (in fact one fellow just completed an Ordeal weekend). At least for our guys, I don't this this is a problem. But what about the requirement to rank advance by birthday (is this for Cubs only?) and the rule that age cohorts do not mix with others (if I understand that right?). Are there special considerations a SM should know about?

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My apologies I meant to type constraint. I do not see their program as a 'constraint' but as an approved modification to make the program a better fit to their specific needs.

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Trevorum, I'm not really sure either but my guess is that the LDS Scouts would tend to only join LDS-sponsored packs and troops, so I'm wondering if the boys you have are Reorganized LDS, but you'd really need to speak to a church member to find out how that may or may notimpact their participation.

Peace!

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I considered putting my boys into a non-LDS BSA unit, warning the Bishop that unless the program got its act together I was going to make sure my boys found a good BSA unit. I also know a 17-year young LDS lady who has joined a non-LDS BSA crew. She can't join the LDS BSA crew, since we do not intermix our genders thus the solution was the non-LDS crew.

 

So...I'm sure LDS youth find their way into non-LDS units.

 

>But what about the requirement to rank advance by birthday (is this for Cubs only?)

 

That's only a rule for the LDS units, not for all LDS youth. The LDS Church would not care that an LDS youth was moving up in a non-LDS unit according to the age-standards of that non-LDS unit.

 

>and the rule that age cohorts do not mix with others (if I understand that right?).

 

That rule is there to keep the priesthood quorums together, with the BSA unit the activity arm of each priesthood quorum. Where an LDS boy is in an non-LDS BSA unit, that rule would not apply anymore than an LDS youth in Little League or YMCA and being put into an age group that did not follow the LDS pattern of 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18.

 

>Are there special considerations a SM should know about?

 

Really, the only two I can think of is (i) to keep the Sabbath Day holy as the LDS Church views it, meaning no recreational activities on that day and allowing the members to attend their church/sacrament meetings, and (ii) LDS youth are not to do overnight activities with members of the opposite sex (whether youth or adults). Also, with youth younger than 16, there should not be a lot of inter-gender activities. There will be exceptions, but that's bascially it.(This message has been edited by tortdog)

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I am in a district that is heavely LDS. I directed our day camp for 4 years and the LDS units drive me crazy. They advance totally differently than BSA. They advance on their birthday regardless of the time of year. And only about 10% of the units put what a boys rank is on their camp registraton forms. So when I had no rank I would put them into a camp dens and when they would get to camp I would have to shuffle well over half of them into the right rank units.

 

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That sounds more like Lynda has a local unit leadership problem and unrelated to the BSA approved program of the LDS church. Cubs Scouts advance to different program levels based on age how is that any different?

 

Do non-LDS units always fill out paperwork perfectly. They don't in this District.

 

Just becasue their program is different it isn't bad...it's just different.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, but to be fair the LDS BSA leaders generally don't get the training. We have some good ones, but far too many who are "called" to a scouting position and then either (i) don't follow through with the leadership calling or (ii) act as a leader but don't get BSA training.

 

For example, we have about 40 LDS BSA units in our district. Of all those units, we will have about 5-7 LDS leaders show up at roundtable. I bet only about 20% of them have been trained. We have 10 Varsity units and only one unit is actually doing the program.

 

We have a lot of work to do (but we can do the program well if we decide to).

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Thanks Bob,

 

Sorry I missed this post (in other posts I've said that I'm a leader in the LDS church, and a District/Council person). To put my spin on it...

 

I'm the Committee Chairman for a Troop that's sponsored by The Knights of Columbus. My son earned his Eagle in that Troop (and is now serving a mission for the church in a suburb of Atlanta).

 

What things did we ask our SM for? As has been mentioned, we left camp on Saturday night (at camporees and things we left after camp fire)

 

When we were at Philmont & Northern Tier, we held our own worship service.

 

I had no reservations about allowing my son to grow up with several fine, non-LDS, young men. He had a great time, and we feel we were good examples of our faith.

 

Today, I still help that troop, but my SM knows come Sunday I'm not around. He also knows that some evenings (including Monday) I have other things I worry about.

 

It is true that most LDS scouts end up in LDS units, just like it's easy to paint units with the brush that we don't listen, we don't play it right, etc... but as BW has said, are these units the only ones that aren't inline? If so, where are their commisioners? We feel it is very important to set good examples, and follow the rules. I feel that if someone is out of step more often than not it's because they don't do the dance...

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LDS scouts advance on their birthday? Honest, innocent question here - how does that work with advancement requirements?

 

FYI, according to The American Heritage dictionary, the second definition of constraint, "the state of being restricted or confined within prescribed bounds." I believe Trevorum used the word correctly. A constraint is neither good nor bad, it just is.

 

Vicki

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Vicki, I'm curious about that too, and would welcome a clarification from tortdog or LPC. My guess is that boys earn their ranks according to the standard requirements and at their own pace, but move up into the next age cohort (12 & 13 year olds, for example) on their birthday. But what effect does this have on patrols? Are patrols constantly changing membership as fellows age in and age out?

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