Welcome to the LDS Scouter Blog. We hope to provide you with valuable information, share useful resources and maybe even improve some attitudes and Ward Scouting programs. The recommended way to use this blog is to start with the post, "Why I started this blog." Then browse through the post titles in the archive (found in the sidebar) for topics of interest.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"The church needs its own program."

I have heard this from so many people. Most of these people either inherited this attitude from parents (possibly unknowingly) or the scouting program didn't "work" for them, a brother, a son, a husband. Oftentimes it's both, because if one or more of your parents doesn't like the scouting program, it's very likely it won't work out for you. Scouting is primarily a family-based program, so if the family is not involved, it just isn't the same.

Often scouting doesn't "work out" because it is not implemented correctly. This is why it is so important for parents and leaders to learn everything they can about the program. Leaders should attend the training courses, and parents should get involved. (Ambitious parents can even take training courses.) Church leaders have emphasized the importance of registering and training all scout leaders, and the Church Handbook on Scouting states that stake and ward leaders should ensure that everyone with a calling in scouts gets proper training.

The Important of Woodbadge Training by Charles W. Dalhquist

In fact, training is the first thing mentioned in a recent newsletter message by the Young Men's General Presidency. The message specifically talks, point-by-point, about why the church uses the scouting program. The very first point listed is: "It provides an outstanding training program for adults on how to successfully guide young men to achieve their very best. Many have said that, 'Scouting is for the boy.' In reality it is for the adult. Boy Scouts of America provides the training, programs, and resources necessary to help adults effectively prepare young men for today and their future." They go on to list three more reasons the church makes use of the Boy Scout program. This is a message I recommend everyone read and share.

I like to remind people that there are plenty of young women our there for whom "Personal Progress" didn't "work." Some women don't care for Relief Society or its activities. Does this mean the church should stop using those programs, because they don't work for everyone? Of course not.

All of the programs the church uses are inspired by God, including the scouting program. He is the one running this church, and I think He knows what He is doing. Oftentimes imperfect people or our own bad attitudes keep us from reaping the full benefits of the programs. It is important not to dwell on past experience, but to always move forward in faith.

Did you know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the first ever chartered organization of the Boy Scouts of America? From the beginning the program has been inspired. Church leadership also works closely with the National Board to keep the program running in a way that will work for LDS and non-LDS scouters alike. The Primary General President and Young Men General President both serve on the National Board. Did you know that President Monson has served on the National Scouting Board longer than any other person? Ever.

President Benson (and others) told us that, "The prophet will never lead the Church astray." Is it possible that nearly 100 years of prophets have all been deceived on this one thing? Please remember, the prophet is not the head of the Church, just His mouthpiece.


elderstretch said...

A related issue: "The Duty to God program will replace the Scouting program." Not so, at least for the immediate future. The General Young Men's Presidency has made this abundantly clear in a message written for a recent issue of the LDS Relationships Newsletter. Do your homework, look it up yourself. Hint: it's in one of the 2010 issues on ldsbsa.org. References to "scouting, where authorized" are also included in the Aaronic Priesthood Section of the new General Handbook.

I don't have official word on this, but it is much more likely that the Duty to God program presents a solid alternative in areas of the world where scouting is not--or for various reasons, cannot be--approved by the Church.

In the United States, Scouting is always in support of the youth programs of the Chartered institution, not in competition with them. We are fortunate that the Church got involved early, because we have a bit of leverage to keep it that way.

In the world where it is not authorized, the aims, methods, skills, programs of scouting are still adaptable and useful to support the Duty to God program. Even in the United States, the two awards programs work together to build the boy if leaders are wise enough not to throw them into competitive programs.

Evenspor said...

Thanks for your comment, elderstretch. You are absolutely correct. If you are looking for that particular newsletter, you will find a link in the article. :)