By Steven Baugh
Apr 07, 2016

Varsity Week at Philmont

This is an open call to Bishops and other leaders of young men. When President Monson announced that 18 year-old young men could serve missions, did this raise your anxiety about how to best help these young men prepare? Having served as a Bishop, I suspect that it did. For many of you, I’m fairly sure, one of the helps you wish you could turn to would be Varsity Scouting. Am I correct? If so, you probably lamented that your older Boy Scout programs (Varsity and Venturing) were just not where they should be. Is that still the case? The young men seem disinterested. The leaders are untrained and seem confused and uncomfortable about what to do. Am I overly negative? Have I missed the mark or am I fairly close?

Steven Baugh and STP

STP: S, Staffing; T, training; and P, Program

I want to suggest a way to strengthen your young men and their leaders, and help those young men be prepared to serve missions. I believe strongly that a well-functioning Varsity Scout program is a tool the Lord has provided to do just that. But how do you do it? Think of it in terms of STP: Get fully staffed with a Varsity Team Coach, an Assistant Coach, a committee chair, and five adults (brothers or sisters, perhaps parents) who will serve as mentors to the Varsity Scouts/Teacher Quorum members in your ward. Invite them to get trained. The stake and district will help with this. And run the Varsity Scout program, using the trained leaders and materials provided. That’s it. That’s STP: S, Staffing; T, training; and P, Program—run the program.

VS CLASS ROOM2Leader specific training provided at the stake or district level will help. In addition, I strongly recommend that you get your young men and adult leaders to a Varsity Vision course, provided at the stake or district level. It’s an exceptional experience. The uniqueness of Varsity Vision is that it provides training for the adult leaders and the boy leaders to be trained together—to experience the why and how of Varsity Scouting together. Your young men will come away from this training with leadership skills and confidence to run an outstanding, engaging, and exciting Varsity Scout program.

Here is an additional help. I am referring to a week at the Philmont Training Center, focused on “Leading Varsity Scouting in LDS Teams.”Varsity Philmont

The training has been developed by LDS priesthood and Scouting leaders specifically designed to give the adult leaders the in-depth knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to develop and run an exceptional Varsity Scout program. Those who attend (Varsity Coaches, committee members, Bishopric and stake presidency members, ward and stake young presidency members) will enjoy a week of learning in both the classroom and the beautiful outdoors of Philmont, taught by experienced instructors using the best of adult learning approaches, hands-on, engaging, and discussion-oriented.  It’s a great place to bring your family as well—a wonderful setting to meet with other LDS families attending because of the LDS Varsity week and with families from other faiths as well. Come join us.

To learn more about Philmont, visit

To register for the LDS Varsity week, visit and go to Week 9 and click on “Leading Varsity Scouting in LDS Teams.”

baugh BIO
Author: Steve Baugh | Vice-President – District Operations and long time Varsity Scouter

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