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FAQ About the future of LDS Scouting in the Alamo Area Council

On May 8th, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) announcedExternal Link that it would no longer charter Scout units after December 31, 2019. This has led to many questions about what Scouting will look like now and in 2020 in the Alamo Area Council, which LDS youth accounts for 10% of our membership (about 2100 Scouts). Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: Will Scouting be available after 2019 for LDS Church members? 

A: Yes. The Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council will continue to provide BSA training, program, camp facilities, and resources to all chartered organizations who want to participate. The Council invites and encourages all those interested in staying involved in Scouting to do so.

Q: If I am interested in staying involved in Scouting beyond 2019, where can I go for answers to my questions?

A: For general information, go to www.AlamoAreaBSA.org. For more specific questions, email LDS@AlamoAreaBSA.orgExternal Link, talk to your local district representative, or visit www.BeAScout.orgExternal Link.

Q: What if my son doesn’t finish his Eagle requirements by December 31, 2019?

A: We will ensure that everyone who wants to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout has the opportunity to do so. Those in LDS units who have not finished by the end of 2019 will be able to join nearby community units to continue progressing.

Q: Is the LDS Church okay with members joining ‘Community Scout’ troops after 2019?

A: At the BSA National annual meeting in May, 2018, Elder Holland expressedExternal Link a hope that many LDS youth will continue to be involved in Scouting outside of the Church sponsorship. Scouting will continue the tradition of developing strong leaders and will be complementary to the new Church program. Families who choose to do both will be richly rewarded by the combination.

Q: What will happen to council camps after the Church stops sponsoring Scouting units?

A: The Alamo Area Council camps – Bear Creek Scout Reservation, McGimsey Scout Park, and the Mays Family Scout Ranch - are among the best, safest places in Central South Texas for groups to learn outdoor skills, have fun, and practice leadership skills. They will continue to serve all active chartered organizations. Both Bear Creek and the Mays also serve non-Scouting groups and their outdoor recreation needs both now and in the future.

Q: Where can I go camping with my youth group in the future?

A: The following Alamo Area Council camps– Bear Creek Scout Reservation and Mays Family Scout Ranch - have been and will continue to be available for non-Scouting stake and ward activities and to complement the new youth program. These two Council camps are ideal locations for youth conference, girls camp, Aaronic Priesthood encampments, fathers and sons, leadership training, etc.

Q: Do LDS units need to recharter in 2018?

A: YES.  ALL Wards and stakes WILL NEED to go through the recharter process due by December 2018. Additionally, wards will still need to register all new 8-year-olds, move-ins and newly-called adult leaders through the end of 2019.

Q: Do I still have to worry about Youth Protection Training and leader-specific training?

A: The Church FAQExternal Link says “All adult leaders should continue to receive Youth Protection and other required training for their position.” These training programs will help leaders serve youth more effectively.

Q: Can I still participate in BSA youth protection and leadership training (like NYLT and Wood Badge) after the Church stops sponsoring units?

A: BSA training programs are available for all who want to increase their leadership capacity and better serve youth. We have helped stakes and other groups host NYLT and Wood Badge courses for their youth and adult leaders, and have received numerous reports of the positive difference these courses make in their youth programs.

Q: What does the change mean for insurance and liability coverage in my youth program?

A: The BSA will continue to provide primary liability insurance for all registered youth and adults. All LDS units are covered by this policy until the end of 2019. After this date, LDS youth programs will fall under the Church’s liability program (see safety.lds.orgExternal Link).

Q: Will all packs and troops be coed after 2019?

A: No. The new Family ScoutingExternal Link options do not change the single-gender nature of BSA programs. They do allow for all-girl dens and all-girl troops. Chartered partners can choose whether they want to sponsor single-gender packs, one pack with boy dens and girl dens, an all-boy troop, or an all-girl troop. 

The name of the program serving youth 11-17 years old will be Scouts BSA, which perfectly represents the new, inclusive program for older Scouts that the BSA is proud to offer. The name change is effective February 2019, when Scouts BSA will begin welcoming girls and boys. 

Q: As the Church is leaving soon, what should I focus on with my pack or troop? Do we need to worry about advancement or Give the Adventure (formerly called Friends of Scouting)?

A: According to the Church statement announcing the December 31, 2019 separation, “Until that date, to allow for an orderly transition, the intention of the Church is to remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8-13 and encourages all youth, families, and leaders to continue their active participation and financial support.” The Council will continue to provide support and resources for all LDS units to have a high-quality Scouting program that helps their youth grow.

Do you have other questions? Contact LDS@AlamoAreaBSA.org.

For more information, visit www.AlamoAreaBSA.organd childrenandyouth.lds.orgExternal Link. Or, to find a new Scouting unit near you, visit www.BeAScout.orgExternal Link

 

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