Although the Church will end its 105-year association with Scouting and implement a new child and youth program in January 2020, members are asked to “continue their active participation and financial support” during this interregnum. “The Church will continue to register all boys ages 8-13, those 14 and older working on rank advancement and adult leaders associated with those youth.”
At the BSA national meeting held in Dallas in May, Elder Holland said, “Please know how grateful we are to the BSA. We are friends now and we will be friends forever. In 18 months when our charters are finished, we hope that many LDS youth who wish to do so will still choose to be in Scouting. It is just the charter part that we are separating from. We’re going to stay in close contact. And we are locked arm in arm and hand in hand for the next 18 months. Please keep your shoulder to the wheel. . . . We’re not in any way disavowing any of those virtues of Scouting. This is about children. We hope that you keep serving. Let me say it again, ‘Keep Serving.’”
It is still vitally important to the Council during this 18-month period to make sure our camps function properly and we continue to provide the training, support and liability protections our current leaders and youth deserve.
As you consider this opportunity, please review the information below on Local Alignment and Utah National Parks Council Finances.
Within the Church’s Utah South Area, Scouting is well-aligned with the Church’s values and goals. Our wards and branches are BSA’s chartered partner in 99.3% of the Utah National Parks Council units. As to our packs, troops, and older boy programs, the Utah National Parks Council works with Church leaders to help the Church achieve desired outcomes for its young men – described under these jointly-developed “Six Pillars”:
- Develop a testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel
- Grow in capacity to charitably serve
- Prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, make temple covenants, and serve honorable missions
- Build the ability and confidence to do hard things
- Learn to become a good husband and father
- Be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight
Utah National Parks Council Finances
The Utah National Parks Council serves Scout units from Utah county south to Washington, Juab, Wasatch and Uintah counties. Utah National Parks Council also serves Scout units in Lincoln County and Mesquite, Nevada, and units on the Arizona Strip. With its 19 local districts, the Council serves over 86,000 Scouts and is, by far, the nation’s largest BSA Council in terms of numbers of boys and units served. The Council finance details include:
1. 100% of Friends of Scouting dollars are used to benefit Scouting locally in the Utah National Parks Council and its districts. As for Scouts in Church-sponsored units, BSA National is funded from Scout registration fees, which Church Headquarters annually pays directly to BSA National.
2. Funds raised through Friends of Scouting are about 40% of the total income budget for the Utah National Parks Council. Camping and Activities Revenues make up about 49% of the income budget, while the remaining 11% comes from merchandise and supply sales, interest income, etc.
3. Scouts’ participation in the Utah National Parks Council 13 camps (Maple Dell, Tifie, Thunder Ridge, etc.) are funded in part by Friends of Scouting dollars. Camp fees are subsidized annually by Friends of Scouting dollars in order to keep camp fees lower, allowing the Utah National Parks Council to have some of the lowest camp prices in the country.
- Friends of Scouting dollars are not the typical source with which Utah National Parks Council builds camps, buildings, and similar improvements. These funds come from separate donations and returns on past capital and endowment donations.
5. The Utah National Parks Council payroll for full-time employees averages $41,000 per full-time employee across the organization, including an average of $50,000 per full-time district executive.
6. The Utah National Parks Council employs 350 seasonal employees —mostly returned missionaries and teenagers from Utah South Area stakes—to teach and serve in camps. These young men and women, in their BSA employment, learn to teach and serve in powerful ways, in an away-from-home environment. This Scout employment helps train future missionaries.
7. The Utah National Parks Council accounting processes are professionally audited by Hinton Burdick CPAs & Advisors that helps assure that the Utah National Parks Council affairs are well managed and properly presented.
8. The Endowment Fund of the Utah National Parks Council is smaller than it ought to be but appears both well managed and appropriately segregated. The Endowment Fund is approximately $3.36 million. Five percent of this amount — about $160,000 per year helps augment Capital and Operating activities.
9. The Utah National Parks Council has no debt. It has a line of credit with a present balance of $0 dollars. The line of credit is maintained as a prudent measure to “be prepared.”
10. The growth in the Friends of Scouting campaign totals does not keep pace with the membership growth (3,299 new youth in the last year) in our rapidly growing region. In terms of expenditures per boy, the Utah National Parks Council is the nation’s most efficient council.
All donations to the Church’s 2018 Friends of Scouting drive are voluntary. Each will be deeply appreciated. Thank you for considering this opportunity.
Elder Dale H. Munk