- The Chief’s Thoughts on the LDS Partnership
- How to Better Serve LDS Scouting Partners
- Adapting and Implementing Scouting for LDS Purposes
- Unified Alignment and Service Model
- The Impact of Technology
- The Cost of Scouting
- Summary and Conclusion
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:
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Author: Darryl Alder | Director of Strategic Initiatives, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.