What is the BCL?
Over the last year I have been in a number of Scout meetings where the above directive given to the YM leaders was discussed. To 1) Be with them, 2) Connect them to Heaven and 3) Let them lead, has been discussed. And more than a few times they were referred to as “BCL”. Since these were Scout meetings the discussions naturally led to “How can/does Scouting help YM leaders do these 3 things?” I found the discussions interesting and informative but since I am a Cub Scout leader (for the most part) I would find myself trying to find a way to apply it to Cub Scouting as well. (Have you ever been in that position?)
As I sat in one of these meetings recently, my mind wandered and I discovered an answer to my question – How can this apply to Cub Scouting? What came to my mind was the chorus of a very well known primary song – “Lead Me, Guide Me, Walk Beside Me...” Of course there is more to that chorus as well. “Help me find the way, Teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday.” And all of a suddenly I thought “That’s it! That is the Primary/Cub Scout version of BCL!”
Sometimes I find it difficult to sit in Boy Scout meetings and find a way to relate it to Cub Scouting. Making this connection between the YM BCL and a primary song has helped me already.
|Young Men’s Directive||Primary Version|
|1) Be with them||1) Walk Beside Me|
|2) Connect them to Heaven||2) Guide Me, (Help me, Teach me)|
|3) Let them lead||3) Lead Me|
The order is reversed and I have yet to decide if that matters or if that means something – my initial thought is No. But it’s entirely possible I may change my mind later as I continue to ponder the relationship between the two. Let me know in the comment section below what you think. Does it help you? Did I miss something? How can we make this better?
B – Be with them
Walk Beside Me – Whether our Scout calling is in YM or in Primary we need to spend time with the boys. We need to get to know them and love them. What do they like? What are they good at? And since Cub Scouting is a family program this also extends to getting to know the families. Of course, Den leaders get the opportunity to spend time with the boys every week. Playing games, making stuff and having fun with their monthly adventure. And Families are invited to the monthly pack meeting where together we celebrate achievements and show off things learned that month. Games and activities are planned for the whole family to participate. Spending time together is an important part of Cub Scouting.
If your calling is in the Stake Primary (or YM) I think the same principal applies. We need to get to know the ward Scout leaders. How can we best support and help them if we don’t even know who they are or they us? Unit Commissioners should be making regular contacts. And Roundtable is a great place where leaders at all levels can get together and learn and experience Scouting together. If you look at roundtable as a way to connect to those you should be serving and supporting could that change your attitude about roundtable attendance?
C – Connect them to heaven
Guide Me – And how do we “connect them to heaven?” We “teach them, help them and guide them”. Again, Cub Scouting is for families and should support the families. Families teach, help and guide them “To live with Him someday”. Cub Scouting is all about teaching new skills, learning about the world around us all in a fun and adventuresome way. In Cub Scouting we teach boys to “Do Your Best” which is all that is ever required of any of us.
Again, if your calling is with the Stake, what are you doing to help leaders understand the purposes of Scouting? Help them see how through Cub Scouting we can help and guide these precious children back toward their Heavenly Father. One “connection” that is often overlooked is the power of being outside in nature. Hopefully we all know that there are things that can be felt and learned out in the quite of nature (camping, hiking, etc.) away from other distractions (and technology) that can have a strong and lasting influence on our youth (and us adults too for that matter). It’s a Stake’s job to be sure the ward leaders have the proper training, resources and experiences to help them make spiritual connections in Scouting. Too many just see Scouting as a checklist of things to do rather than a journey to experience.
L -Let them lead
Lead Me – This is the only one of the 3 that is really just a little bit different at the unit/ward level. In YM and Boy Scouts the young men should be the ones to do the planning and leading, adults are just there to advise. But Cub Scouting is an adult led program. Yes, there are opportunities for boys to learn leadership principals also but it’s the adults that do most of the planning and leading. Having an annual plan that is shared with parents is key step in leading a great program.
If your calling is at the stake level then your job is more like the YM’s L – let them lead. A stake’s job is to train a new leaders and to make sure they have the essential resources they need to successfully implement a program that works for their boys and their families. Then step back and let them go and lead their own programs – within the guidelines set by the BSA and the LDS church) As they get to know their boys they will soon know how best to lead and guide them.
Conclusion – BCL or LGW or…?
Maybe I should have titled this article “The Primary’s LGW”. But that most likely would have confused you even more than the title I gave it. Whatever you call it or however you remember it, I hope it will help you when you find yourself sitting in a meeting where they start talking about YM or Boy Scout stuff. There is almost always a way to apply those same topics to Cub Scouting and/or Primary as well. You just need to be willing to look at what is being taught in a different way. As well as how it might apply a little differently. Next time you see an article from the General YM presidency you might find it applies to primary leaders more than you thought.
Author Annaleis Smith is a “stay-at-home” mom of 5 (3 boys 2 girls). She has been a Cub Scout leader in her LDS ward since 2003. She has also been involved with district roundtables since 2008 and various council committees (including Akela’s Council) since 2010. Annaleis currently serves as a Cubmaster, Assistant Roundtable Commissioner, president of the Commissioner College Cabinet for UNPC.