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Proud Eagle

LDS and others with travel restrictions

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In my area the LDS units seem to have decided that they cannot travel on Sundays. As best as I can tell they don't seem to have a problem being away from home, they just don't travel.

 

(On the other hand most of the individual members of the LDS church I have known traveled on Sunday just like everyone else when there was some activity such as a school trip.)

 

In any case, these travel restrictions have made it very difficult for LDS Scout to participate in certain district and council functions, attend summer camp or other major summer activities, and to participate in the Order of the Arrow. I can't recall ever seeing an LDS unit at a camporree. I know we have had a few LDS Scouts join the OA lodge, but most of the LDS units seem to discourage their members from completing the Ordeal, even when that unit asks for an election (which many don't).

 

So, what are some techniques to employ to better adapt programs and activities to the needs of the LDS Scouts and other Scouts with travel restrictions? How can units that don't traditionally participate in the various district, council, and lodge activities be made to feel welcome?

 

Obviously there is nothing wrong with certain units choosing to isolate themselves from the larger Scouting family, but on the other hand I think we are all missing out on something when someone chooses to remain apart.

 

Thoughts anyone?

 

I certainly am not an expert on these things, and in fact I know very little.

 

I do know that travel restrictions are not limited to the LDS Scouts. I know many Catholic Scouters that will not participate in an activity if it means missing Mass. While I will sometimes participate in an activity even if it means missing mass (Jambo comes to mind), I always try to find a way to make it to mass when possible.

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When we had LDS units in our district, they would come to camporees, but would pack out after the campfire on Saturday night. We always heard it was because they could not do much else on the Sabbath except go to church.

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I think it's important to understand that LDS units do not do recreational Scouting on Sundays. That means, as units, we don't travel. That means we don't canoe. That means we don't rock climb, etc. In the past, we could hold church services at the campsite, but no longer (except where there is special approval and adequate facilities for worship...e.g., Philmont church services).

 

However, we will hold courts of honor and other Scouting recognition events.

 

Thus, the way to accomodate LDS units is to allow them to break camp early during a camporee (or arrive late). We pack and go right after the Saturday campfire. We arrive Monday morning for Scout camp, as opposed to Sunday.

 

For Woodbadge, the SHAC held a 6-day training, as opposed to two 3-day weekends. Most of the participants in the Woodbadge course were LDS. SHAC also accomodates the LDS in canoeing training, by doing it over two Fri-Sat as opposed to one Fri-Sun (other than instructors).

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I'm in the Grand Canyon Council in AZ. It has a very large number of LDS units. Many of the district roundtables are at LDS facilities and many of the district and council leaders are members of the LDS church. Obviously, the LDS has a very large influence on the council operations.

 

One time when I went to a district training session, another scouter asked me what stake (a grouping of LDS churches) I was in. I could have made some smart aleck remark like I didn't know I looked Mormon but thankfully I smiled and said I was not a member of the LDS church. That's how dominant the LDS is here in GCC. If you assume a scout or scouter is LDS you're probably right.

 

Anyway, like scoutldr said, at camporees the LDS units here pack up and leave Saturday night. I find it really quite interesting that half the camporee attendees are gone before Sunday.

 

SWScouter

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I do not see how remaining faithful to ones religious obligations or how accepting the differing religious practices is "isolating" oneself. When I go go to worship with others of my faith on the appointed days I do not feel isolated from others, and when my friends of other faiths go to worship I do not feel like they are shunning me in any way. As a person of faith I feel closer in community to others of faith even if we belong to different denominations, than I feel toward people who claim affiliation to my own but do not practice it.

 

What is the differnce between an LDS unit that does not camp on Sunday and a Jewish unit that does not camp on Friday night?

 

 

 

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At my scout camp (in NM) we have one camp week (usually in mid July) when all the LDS troops in the council come up for the same week. For that week, the program is shifted just slightly. Instead of getting to camp on sunday afternoon (like every other troop) the LDS troops get there first thing monday morning. Since we try and work our merit badge classes to finish up in 4 days anyway, we simply have a merit badge session instead of a time when scouts can come and make up requirements they might have missed (like swimming laps at the pool) The campfire lay out is also a bit different, but it works out... (and as a personal note, all the staff are thankful it only happens one week out of the summer, because of all the differences we have to deal with) but all the differences happen at the same time, so only one accomodation instead of individual troops being accomodated for

-Curtis :-D

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Wow, I guess you guys were busy while I was away at camporee this past weekend. There are other ways to help accommodate those that don't wish to start camp on Sunday (I know that almost is almost exclusively my faith, but there might be others).

 

I have served on several summer camp staffs at various camps, and have inspected camps all over the state of California. One idea I saw from another camp, that made great sense to me was that if the troop was planning on arriving on Monday, they were to have a list of the merit badges each scout would like. That way merit badge classes could be filled before they arrived, and then they would just have health checks, and swim checks first thing Monday. The camp also made the staff available for these checks before breakfast. I have also seen camps start to hold registration on the internet before troops get to camp. I think this has helped all units not just the LDS ones.

 

I really find it interesting that there is such concern about following the Scout Oath and doing ones best to "do my duty to God". When my son decided to try a non-LDS troop many people told him that he would feel out of place, it would be too hard, etc. Luckily he, his SM, and his patrol never got the vision of those concerns. They just worked together to be happy. It was interesting to watch. It might have been different had the troop not been sponsored by a religious service group, but it worked for us.

 

It's nice to hear you want to include all groups, perhaps the best way is to actually ask your local troops what they would like?

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