boy scouts of america and temple
By Nicole Balmforth
Oct 08, 2018

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Remain Involved in Camping

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been with the Boy Scouts of America for over 100 years. In that time, with Scouting as the activity arm of Young Men programs in the Church, camping has been a major part of youth experiences. Scouting emphasizes the value in outdoor experiences and generations of young men have experienced life-changing camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities in their Scout and church programs. In Utah National Parks Council camps, stakes and wards have also come for youth conferences, girls camps, fathers and sons campouts and more. 

In May, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informed the Boy Scouts of America that they would no longer charter Scouting units in 2020. Since then, questions of whether there will continue to be camping have arisen. In statements released on Friday, September 21, church leaders reaffirmed a commitment to include camping in their youth programs so outdoor experiences will continue to remain a prominent part of shaping youth. Both the Young Men and Young Women programs in the church will use camping to build relationships with Jesus Christ and local BSA camps will still be available for church use. 

The two statements and further details can be found here

Scouting leaders and LDS meet to plan activities

The First Statement

family and scouts camping“Camps and other outdoor activities have always been and will continue to be a prominent part of gospel learning, building relationships, and strengthening faith in Jesus Christ,” the first statement said. “Children and youth may participate in Primary day camps, Young Women camps, Young Men camps and high adventure activities. Local leaders, youth and parents will identify and provide outdoor activities that invite spiritual experiences and meet the needs of their children and youth.”

 

The Second Statement

There are still changes that will occur to the Youth Women and Youth Men programs such as activities. The second statement went into some detail about what those activities will be.

“Activities will be based on needs rather than requirements. Weekday activities, outdoor adventures, and youth conferences will continue as a vital part of helping children and youth learn, develop friendships, serve, and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ.”

The great outdoors is the perfect environment to build spiritual devotion and engage with Gods creations. We appreciate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continued use of our amazing camps and commitment to learning in the outdoors. 

Using Scout Camps and Facilities

Though the Church will no longer charter units, wards, and stakes. We will still be able to use local BSA council camps and facilities to carry out their programs. Council camps are still some of the safest, best options for groups to have outdoor experiences with the benefit of decades of experienced and trained staff. If you’d like to learn more and schedule your activities, visit utahscouts.org/camps.

Camping has been a time-honored tradition of Scouts since the creation of the Boy Scouts of America. There is a long history behind camping and with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re glad these two integral pieces of our history will still remain connected.

For questions about these, visit the FAQ page located on the LDS website.

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