Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wood Badge in Nevada and Wood Badge in General

Evenspor over at LDSScouter Blog is about to head to Wood Badge.  Her course (like the Course I am staffing) is having a hard time getting participants.  My personal feeling on why everyone seems to not want to sign up is the change in membership standards - this isn't a statement for or against the change and whether you agree or not our boys still deserve trained leaders.  LDS Scouters for some reason have been saying for years that the Church was leaving Scouting and this membership change has seemed to give them ammo.  So here it is in black and white - we ain't leavin'!  THE LDS CHURCH IS NOT LEAVING SCOUTING ANYTIME SOON!:
For the past 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong relationship with Boy Scouts of America, based on our mutual interest in helping boys and young men understand and live their duty to God and develop upright moral behavior. As the Church moves forward in its association with the Boy Scouts of America, Church leaders will continue to seek the most effective ways to address the diverse needs of young people in the United States and throughout the world. 
The Church’s long-established policy for participation in activities is stated in the basic instructional handbook used by lay leaders of the Church: “young men … who agree to abide by Church standards” are “welcomed warmly and encouraged to participate” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 8.17.3). This policy applies to Church-sponsored Scout units. Sexual orientation has not previously been—and is not now—a disqualifying factor for boys who want to join Latter-day Saint Scout troops. Willingness to abide by standards of behavior continues to be our compelling interest. 
These standards are outlined in the booklet For the Strength of Youth and include abstinence from sexual relationships. We remain firmly committed to upholding these standards and to protecting and strengthening boys and young men.
The Church appreciates BSA’s reaffirmation of its commitment to “duty to God,” which includes service to others and moral behavior—central principles of our teaching to young men. As in the past, the Church will work with BSA to harmonize what Scouting has to offer with the varying needs of our young men. We trust that BSA will implement and administer the approved policy in an appropriate and effective manner.    
A letter signed by the First Presidency of the Church is being sent to all Latter-day Saint congregation leaders throughout the United States. The letter will include the reaffirmation of Church policies and standards referenced in today's public statement.

LDS Scouters - get in the game!  We are here to stay and Wood Badge applies to more than just Scouting! Sign up and learn something!

It is time to do OUR DUTY and GET TRAINED.  Some closing statements from Presiding Bishop Gary E. Stevenson:
Duty—shall we drill down just a little deeper?  Thomas S. Monson, the leader of my church and a longtime member of BSA’s National Executive Board, said, “I love and cherish the noble word duty and all that it implies.”
Duty to God is the heart of Scouting. It is a founding principle as old and deep as the organization itself. What does it imply? The World Organization of the Scout Movement defines duty to God as “adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting therefrom.” And a BSA duty to God task force said, “Spirituality, reverence, morality, [and] ethical behavior . . . are terms which reflect and demonstrate ways to fulfill duty to God.”
Some may not see the sacred gatekeeping role scouting plays. They may see only fundraising and not a foundation. Others may brand scouting activities as merely outdoor recreation, but it can and must be shown that BSA is not a camping club; it is a character university centered on duty to God. I quote again from Robert Baden-Powell: “The whole of [scouting] is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.”  
I stand here today with a resolute belief that Scouting must never overlook this core principle. We still need duty to God. We always will.  When the societal and political winds come, and they surely will, scouting cannot unhinge itself from this foundational principle. This great organization cannot be deterred when we remain strong in our solid foundation, when we stand united for duty to God. 


Evenspor said...

I just added some comments over there, and I won't repeat them over here. I think your thoughts are great, and I hope that the Church's stance in this acts as a huge sign to people that the plan is to stay with Scouting for a long time yet.

I also really wish people would remember that when we are talking about "The Church" we need to remember where those decisions ultimately come from. Perhaps we should be saying, "The prophet.." or even, "The Lord intends for His Church to stay with Scouting for a long time yet."

I really like what Bishop Stevenson said about the "camping club," because I think those who don't understand why we use Scouting ("outsourcing" our programs, as one person put it to me) or expect that the Church is developing its own program and will drop Scouting any day now, that is what they think, that Scouting is all about camping. They don't understand the deeper purposes of the program, and those are the things we need to keep reminding them of.

Fishgutts said...

Outsourcing? OUTSOURCING??? Oh heavens. Scouting in the smallest of nut shells is about learning your duty.......your duty to God, your duty to country, your duty to community, your duty to family, etc. The people who think otherwise I don't want near the Scouting program or near my Scouting sons.