By Darryl Alder
Dec 19, 2015

LDS/BSA Summit: Leadership Training

This is part 5 of an 8-part report. You can read the other posts here:

December 8th Scouters and professional staff gathered at the Joseph Smith Building in Salt Lake City’s Temple Square to explore key issues facing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America. The gathering consisted mostly of Council Key 3s from throughout the BSA’s Western Region.

In in our last posted report, we explained how the 89 participants were divided into five groups  to discuss ways to get a Unified Alignment and Service Model to better provide Scouting to LDS wards and stakes. Today we report on:

Leadership Training

Prior to this gathering, Area 2 Scouters and professionals worked out this advance discussion list:

  • Scouting works most effectively when volunteers at every level are committed to the church’s vision and thoroughly trained in Scouting programs and methods.
  • The council should ensure BSA trainers teach LDS stake representatives, who in turn teach ward Scout leaders. This ensures volunteers at every level are taught Scouting methods while allowing LDS leaders to exercise their stewardship.
  • The BSA is responsible to make this training easily available for stake and ward leaders. This will include automating and simplifying online education tools so volunteers have easy access to necessary information and materials.

After several hours for discussion on the above and other topics, the tables combined their top five actions to take back home. This is what they listed:

  1. Training must become modular, a kind of one-stop training that a new leader can fit into their own schedule. Training must be both convenient and meaningful to new leaders, focusing on value for the learner (not hopping through hoops to please the national training committees).
  2. It should be flexible, dynamic, on demand, just-in-time training. For example, a session on camping should be accessible when needed before the first campout, no matter where the learner is in his or her progress toward a trained leader status. It should be mobile; perhaps virtual.
  3. Training requirements should explained at the time the new Scouter is recruited. Then it should be triggered electronically from the moment of registration with an e-mailed training unit on day one. That same automation should notify commissioners of the status of a new trainee so that they can be supported by their commissioner.
  4. Training could be made training available within church training programs, not at the district’s or council’s convenience, but at a regular training offered in the stake.
  5. Bishops and stake leaders should be encouraged to take training and lead by example, but training should be offered so that it can be easily understood by these leaders. It must be relevant to thier church callings.
Mark Francis right) at Philmont with General Primary and YOung Men Presidencies

Mark Francis right) at Philmont with General Primary and YOung Men Presidencies

In the wrap-up of the meeting, Mark Francis said that, “Scouting is as important to him as it is to us and nothing has changed. We need to continue faithfully.”  He reminded us that the LDS-BSA Relationships office has existed since 1951 and works closely with the Young Men General Presidency and Seventies.

He also said that when invited into a council,  he mostly works with LDS Relationships Committees, so he challenged all present to see that one exists on the local level in every represented council.

Visit this blog site again Tuesday for a report on the next part of the meeting where they considered the role of technology in church service.

Darryl head BW

Author: Darryl Alder | Director of Strategic Initiatives, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.


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2 thoughts on “LDS/BSA Summit: Leadership Training

  1. AvatarTed

    I live out east and I have been ym sectary and comm. chair and been in lds scouting for years. But we have a new counselor in ym’s. No experience in scouting or ym and he has read only the red leadership book once a week ago. He is very proud of being crud. Has belittled ym on 2 Sunday’s about there smell telling them if you ride with me and smell after activity or camping he would give them money put out at station and call parents to come get them. Say that they smell worse then a room of dead bodies. Has been a leader sense Oct. refuse to yet reg with scouting or take training. Still he goes and is allowed to go with ym and scouts. Our bishop and ym pres. son of bishop. No big deal. Now so I don’t make waves I’m told don’t go to Sunday ym priesthood but still ym sectary have no contact with scout or ym activities. still comm. chair. and have son in ym still not welcome. Son is 2nd councilor in teachers quorum that when there are teacher president meeting ym pres. said only pres and 1st councilor only 2nd councilor not needed. I dont know what to do Ive received all stake and online training from church. Have all training from basic up to woodbadge and every level of online and Im council trainer for lds friendly training. Afraid things are going to blow up. And Im think of asking to be released so Im not part of it. What to do?

    1. Darryl AlderDarryl Alder Post author

      Your concerns are more common than you may think. Perhaps you should contact your commissioner with some of these concerns. Since you are sponsored by an LDS ward, your commissioner is likely a member of the High Council or Stake Young Men Presidency.
      If I were your Bishop (and I have been one) I would be afraid of the responsibility of an unregistered leader for two reasons:
      1- all adults that work with Scouting youth must have a background check, which comes from registration
      2- BSA liability coverage cannot kick in when adults are not part of the charter, but are serving in a leadership position.
      That’s a lot of personal liability for your Bishop.
      Please let us know your general area and we can send one of our District Executives by to help you out.


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