boy scouts of america and temple
By Boy Scouts of America
Sep 09, 2018

The Path Forward: BSA releases statement regarding the future

The Boy Scouts of America recently clarified its transition plan with regard to Scouting for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now and in the future. View this message here and read the letter below.

Dear Scouting Families,

Thank you for your support of and involvement in the Boy Scouts of America. We recognize that for many of you, Scouting is a family tradition that spans many generations.

We are deeply grateful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for serving as the chartered organization of your Scouting unit as it has for millions of other Scouts over the past 105 years. Because of the Church’s need to provide a global program to its children and youth around the world, the Church has made the decision to restructure its own youth program and to discontinue its sponsorship of your unit after December 31, 2019. This change has left some families wondering how they can participate in Scouting beyond January 1, 2020. Many are also concerned that involvement in the Church’s forthcoming youth program might preclude them from Scouting. Please rest assured that Scouting will continue to be available to all youth and families that desire to participate, and that you may do so with the Church’s blessing.

At the 2018 National Annual Meeting of the Boy Scouts of America, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made the following statements, “This isn’t a divorce. It’s growth. We’re not in any way disavowing any of those virtues of Scouting. It is just the charter part that we are separating from…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.”

Plans are already in motion to establish new unit sponsors in your community in partnership with, among others, PTAs, PTOs, schools, civic organizations, churches, businesses, and neighborhood associations. Meanwhile, please follow the recent guidance provided jointly by the BSA and the Church in which we were instructed that, “Until that date, to allow for an orderly transition, the intention of the Church is to remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8-13 and encourages all youth, families, and leaders to continue their active participation and financial support.” In addition, please remember to continue to enroll your incoming 8-year-old Cub Scouts to ensure that they receive the full benefit from the Scouting program and to ensure that registered Scouts are encouraged to continue to be involved in Scouting activities and advancement.

Several months before the charters end, you will have the opportunity to select a new unit from among available sponsors. You will then be allowed to multiple register your son—at no charge—in both units for the balance of 2019. On January 1, 2020 you will simply begin meeting with your new Scouting unit.

We will stay in touch with you at each step along the way.

With deepest appreciation,


Michael Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive


Charles W. Dahlquist, II
Chair, Transition Task Force






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3 thoughts on “The Path Forward: BSA releases statement regarding the future

  1. AvatarDave Riddle

    I am glad the article mentioned that the church doesn’t disavow the values of scouting. It was the scouts that disavowed the values of scouting. The BSA let us all down when it caved to the pressures of society.
    It’s sad to watch what once was a great program fall. As a boy, I remember a specific scout camp (Timberline) that changed me. It was the first time that I felt like a man. What an awesome experience and awesome program to develop boys into men.
    Scouting…true scouting is dead and I’m sad that my own son will not be a part of that.

    1. AvatarNick

      I concur. It is sad that a once great program betrayed itself and its members. I still hope, however, that others will find good in the program. I feel it still has much to offer, just nothing more for me.

  2. AvatarLarry Vidinha

    Scouting will continue to be a great program as long as it has good leaders. It influences the lives of so many and if we “abandon” it, then we lose out on an opportunity to positively affect the lives of so many young people, this time both young men and women.

    I have been a scouting leader for a long time in both LDS sponsored units and non-LDS sponsored units. I was a Venture Crew Leader for 10 years for high school students. I had nearly 60 scouts of whom 40% were female. I had both mothers and fathers who were volunteers and we travelled/camped all over the USA, Canada and even Europe. We didn’t have any more problems with a coed unit than my experiences with all male LDS units. Whenever you establish the necessary controls that are enforced by the kids themselves, not just the adults, things work amazingly well. Lets not be afraid of allowing young men and young women to do joint activities. As a teacher of 25+ years, it is amazing just how well our classrooms with both genders can function.

    Let’s continue to be active supporters of the scouting program. Let’s be the examples of what adult leaders can/should be for now and beyond Dec 31, 2019.


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