This week the LDS Church joined with BSA’s other major chartered partners in reaffirming its support of Scouting. As Scouters, we are humbled by the announcement that the LDS Church will continue its century-long partnership with the Boy Scouts of America.
At Utah National Parks Council, we look forward to continuing our mission of instilling leadership skills and high moral standards in youth everywhere and fully support the Church’s right to select leaders that best exemplify its standards. We are grateful for the trust placed in the Scouting program by the LDS Church leadership to help serve and build up their youth.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appreciates the positive contributions Scouting has made over the years to thousands of its young men and boys and to thousands of other youth. As leaders of the Church, we want the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to succeed in its historic mission to instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances, thereby equipping them for greater success in life and valuable service to their country.
In the resolution adopted on July 27, 2015, and in subsequent verbal assurances to us, BSA has reiterated that it expects those who sponsor Scouting units (such as the Church) to appoint Scout leaders according to their religious and moral values “in word and deed and who will best inculcate the organization’s values through the Scouting program.” At this time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go forward as a chartering organization of BSA, and as in the past, will appoint Scout leaders and volunteers who uphold and exemplify Church doctrine, values, and standards.
With equal concern for the substantial number of youth who live outside the United States and Canada, the Church will continue to evaluate and refine program options that better meet its global needs.
Following are excerpts of statements of support from other national chartered organizations and relationships committees regarding the recent change in membership standards (read the complete Statements of Support here).
General Commission on United Methodist Men
“We recognize that existing standards for adult leaders are still the foundation of Scouting including the adherence to the Scout Oath and Scout Law, the Declaration of Religious Principle, and the highest level of good conduct consistent with Scouting’s “codes of conduct.”
The new policy will not change the process for selecting Scout leaders. The decision of who will lead a unit (Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, or Venturing crew) chartered by a United Methodist Church still resides with the local church. Local churches will continue to select and approve Scout leaders based on the church’s Christian convictions and the evaluation of the character and skills of potential Scout leaders.”
Gilbert C. Hanke, General Secretary/CEO, GCUMM Nashville, Tennessee
“The National Catholic Committee on Scouting recognizes that differences in religious beliefs among chartered organizations and society in general have played a part in the creation of this resolution. While this fluctuating situation will be increasingly challenging, we recognize the vital importance of providing a Catholic emphasis to Catholic Scouts and Scouters seeking ways to live out their “duty to God”. We also recognize the increasing need for the Catholic Church to offer Scouting as a program of youth ministry. Chartering Scout units will ensure that youth within their faith communities are led by faith-filled role models who share the same interests in Scouting.
If you are like us, you joined Scouting to make a difference in the lives of others. Our youth don’t want to leave Scouting. Catholic Scouters like you are still very much needed. Let’s continue this important journey together and pray for the future of Scouting!”
Edward P. Martin Fr. National Chairman Fr. Michael P. Hanifin, National Chaplain
“The time has come for us to renew our ties with those organizations that have previously been reluctant to participate in Scouting. The prospect for forming new units has never been greater.”
Bruce Chudacoff, Chairman
National Jewish Committee on Scouting
- Even with this change, we continue to believe that the program made available by the BSA constitutes one of the most effective youth character development programs in existence. We emphatically believe that it continues to have the potential to be a powerful community outreach, evangelism, and ministry tool for any church, particularly in reaching families who currently have no religious or church affiliation.
- We believe that youth who are struggling with their own sexual identity are as much in need of character development programs such as Scouting as any other young person, and that Baptist congregations can and should be part of filling that need as an outreach and ministry program of their church.
- We urge Baptist churches to start or continue Scouting programs, and to have them led by adults who are faithful to the moral beliefs of that congregation, thereby aiding in the spiritual development of our youth. We believe conditions resulting in this policy change by the BSA provide clear evidence of the increasing need for current and future moral champions in our society.
- We encourage all Baptists in Scouting, both those in Baptist church chartered units and those in other units, to be a Christian witness within this mission field and to sustain their voice in Scouting at the local and national levels.
Affirmed by Ted S. Spangenberg, Jr., President, A.B.S.
Merri Bolen, Secretary, A.B.S.
We appreciate the tremendous service and support our chartered organizations provide in serving youth and families in every neighborhood in America. Without them, Scouting would not be possible.
Author: Lee Shaw | Community Alliances Leader
or call Member Care at 972-580-2489