We seem to be in the minority but our experience is that they stay very separate, to the point of making extra work for camp staff.
I appreciate what you are saying. I was just putting in some positives, because I tire of reading all the negatives.
Because LDS units are integrated into the overall church program, there are problems. In our area, CA, they wanted the boys back to go to church on Sunday. So they left Camporees Saturday night. The Camporees officially ended Sunday night. The officials were often generous enough to have award ceremonies on Saturday night so the LDS could participate.
The Church growth was rapid in CA, so the LDS units were often new and inexperienced. The LDS boys wouldn’t win many awards at Camporees and got discouraged. So they (with the help of the district) had more district training and a pre-Camporee for the LDS. Gradually the LDS brought there skills up and began to compete well. But I am sure that extra Camporee was easy to misunderstand and get offended by. As far as I could tell, there was always a good working relationship between the locals and the district. It requires good support for the district, however.
In church organizations, there is a continual turnover in assignments. Two years might be a typical time for a typical assignment. That is not good enough for Scouting. In our area, however, some individuals became identified as good Scouting people and get that assignment almost permanently, sometimes as an added assignment in addition to something else. That works better.
In some ways, the LDS units have been out front. The LDS started a Vanguard program in 1928, and the BSA patterned the Explorer program after this in 1933. The Varsity program was started jointly by LDS units with BSA participation. It was finally adopted by the full BSA in 1983.
So there has been accommodation and give and take along the way.
To: broncobilly; SZonian; MHT; SandRat; RonF; Tax-chick
Scouting IS different in the LDS church than in the BSA, but with permission of and under agreement with the BSA.
The LDS Young Mens Mutual Improvement Association researched Scouting and created MIA Scouts in 1911. In 1913, the LDS church became the first institutional sponsor of the BSA, with the right to run a LDS Scouting program instead of the BSA program. The LDS program is called Latter-day Saint Scouting. The program is NOT the BSA program; the LDS church describes LDS Scouting as affiliated with "Boy Scouts of America (BSA); Scouts Canada; the Scouting Associations of Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain; and other associations in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa."
The conceptual difference is that LDS Scouting has a specific different goal for the Scouting program. According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Scouting is to help meet "the Aaronic Priesthood objectives of preparing young men for full-time missions, temple blessings, and righteous manhood." The ultimate objective of LDS Scouting is to help young men prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and prepare to serve a full time church mission.
To meet the LDS church's goals, LDS Scouting differs from BSA Scouting in many ways, including:
- A separate Eleven Year-Old Scouting program, because LDS young men do not enter the Aaronic Priesthood until the age of twelve. Eleven year-olds are Scouts, but meet apart from twelve-fifteen year olds and do not camp.
- Boundaries drawn by LDS Ward and Stake, not by BSA Council or District.
- Unit membership determined by Aaronic Priesthood quorums.
- No Tiger Cubs. Cubs from 8-10. Boy Scouts from 11-13 (with the eleven year-olds in a separate program). Varsity from 14-15. These three programs are supposed to be part of the LDS Scouting program for all wards. IF approved by the Bishop, then there may be an all-male Venturing Crew from 16-17. Why are there so many 13 and 14 year-old Eagles Scouting in LDS Scouting? It's the church's formal youth program and it ends for many LDS Scouts at the age of 15.
- Leaders have their roles as part of their calling, generally assigned by Church leadership. Their tenure is shorter, on average, than a BSA Scout leader. They may or may not have the same interest in Scout leadership -- although we all know many BSA Scout leaders who were roped into taking a position.
- No Sunday camping/travel. This prevents LDS Troops from participating fully in many District or Council campouts, unless the camporee makes arrangements to meet LDS needs. Fewer LDS leaders are Wood Badge-trained because of the Sunday issue, but many Councils offer Wood Badge courses to meet LDS requirements.
- Some additional or different publications. There is a handbook for LDS Scouting.
- In the eyes of many, less youth involvement in leadership. For example, the LDS handbook on Scouting says that the senior patrol leader is "nominated by the bishopric and sustained by quorum [in other words, Troop] members . . .. This leader is usually the quorum president . . . but may be another worthy young man, whether a member of the Church or not." I cannot imagine Troop members failing to accept the Bishop's candidate for SPL, but I may be wrong.
My primary contact with LDS Scouting was during the short period I was the Council Commissioner. We tried to create a new position for a Commissioner for LDS units, to meet their specific needs. One problem was that our Council's geographic boundaries were not church stake boundaries. One of the two church leaders (Bishops?) involved did not want the position to exist, and the second leader (the other stake Bishop?) wanted to select the Commissioner and have him report to the church leader.
LDS Scouts, leaders, and Troops are different from BSA Scouts, leaders, and Troops -- but they come from different programs which serve different purposes.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a strong partner of the BSA in Scouting. The LDS program must be meeting the church's needs, because Scouting is still the official male youth program for the church. But . . . it is a different program from BSA Scouting, for better or worse.
Anyone with different knowledge, please correct me. I knew nothing about LDS Scouting when I became Council Commissioner, except that none of the LDS leaders knew how LDS Scouting differed from BSA Scouting, and none of the BSA leaders knew how BSA Scouting differed from LDS Scouting. After working with the program, I know this much (he said, holding his thumb and forefinger about 1/8" apart).
posted on 01/03/2008 2:13:09 AM PST
(You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.)
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