Thursday, May 11, 2017

LDS Scouting Slipping Away

Today the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started their exit from Boy Scouting. January 1, 2018 the church will no longer re-charter Venturer or Varsity units. It’s the beginning of the end. Eventually, the Mormon Church will split from BSA altogether, I predict. I could see it coming long ago.
In February of this year I said:
I have been a Scout leader since 1986, even before my boys were old enough for Scouting. Most Scout Troops in the Church operate in a very loose way. I mean, how many of us played basketball more than we did Scouting? But now I am called as a Stake YM President. When I have a ward that seeks counsel and direction from the Stake concerning their YM programs I feel obligated with my calling to encourage a well-organized Scout Troop. I have 3 Eagle Scout sons and my last just lacks his paperwork and board of review. I truly love this program. I love the history and the connections to the past through traditions. I love what the program teaches and how boys can learn from it. I love the preparedness and self-sufficiency it teaches. But as my wife said the other day, "I just want to get my son finished and earn his Eagle so we can be done with the program before it completely collapses." That seems selfish but I tend to agree. The program that I grew up with is going away because of political correctness and the need to be so "inclusive." If there was no Girl Scouts somebody would be screaming that a girl should be able to join Boy Scouts! I kind of wish the Church would abandon this program and create one like unto it. But until then, I will push the program that I love so much. I always tell everyone that I accepted the Scoutmaster position all those years ago just so I could go camping and use my calling as an excuse! But so many of "my" boys have loved this program with me. They have moved on to missions, college, and marriage. It makes my heart swell when I catch one of my "boys" from years ago in the Temple. We always talk about that "one" campout or hike or activity that we shared and bonded with. I see how Scouting has enriched their lives and my own boy’s lives. I am sad that possibly their own sons may not have that same experience. I really just want the Church to get out, rip it off like a Band-Aid! It would hurt less than to watch it slowly die."
And so it continues. Instead of getting out, they drag it on. I get to watch this program die a long, slow, death. It hurts my heart. But I understand why. The official line is those 2 programs were hard to implement. I’ve been involved in Scouting a long time, away from Salt Lake, and we’ve been fine with it. I know the Church will never say it, but it’s my opinion that Scouting is giving in to political pressure in the area of LGBT and gender crossing. I know the Church’s stance on these things and I think they would like better control of their youth programs. I would completely agree but losing Scouting saddens me.
What does this have to do with LDS Guns? Many people started shooting in the BSA. The Rifle and Shotgun shooting merit badges are good introduction to the shooting sports and shooting in general. I’ve taught these merit badges on numerous occasions. They fill up at Summer camps every year.
BSA is a good place to learn basic preparedness and survival skills. It still is a good resource for learning and teaching skills. Look into their merit badges and literature. It can be a great training aid.

Semper Paratus
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