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The Times They Are A-Changin’: LDS, Scout Me In, and Scouts, BSA

by Angel Zuniga Martinez for the Alamo Area BSA: May 10, 2018, 1st published www.AlamoAreaBSA.org

I’m not sure this information is for you, but by now you have likely heard something about three recent changes within the Boy Scouts of America: 

(1) ‘SCOUT ME IN’ is the BSA’s newly launched membership recruitment campaign tied to the expansion of our program for girls in what is conversationally called ‘Family Scouting,’

(2‘SCOUTS, BSA’ is the new official name of the older Scouting program ‘Boy Scouting’, effective February 1, 2019, when Boy Scouts of America’s Scouts, BSA program welcomes both boys and girls. (The Alamo Area Council currently welcomes girls in Cub Scouts)

(3) and, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) will no longer charter Scouting units after December 2019. 

In my role as a volunteer leader and financial supporter of Scouting, I bet you are a little like me and find that information in the public on Scouting, and frankly any subject, can become distorted.  There is so much noise, stressful distractions, work pressures, and personal life challenges that steal our peace!  

Don’t worry. 

That’s why we are here! Most moms and dads struggle with the question, “Do I have what it takes to find life success and be happy for myself and my kids?”

How open minded are you to consider there may also be bigger stories affecting your peace? 

Teachers and public servants like our police, firemen, and military who are tasked to keep us and our children safe, must balance new serious demands. Many organizations from food banks, public schools and afterschool programs to providers of mental health and drug addiction support for children are also facing challenges and funding shortfalls. 

Although it may seem like you hear on repeat Bob Dylan singing ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’, the organization name is the same and BSA’s mission is the same - to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. 

The GOOD NEWS is that the positive support found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law AND in good ‘ole adventure in the great outdoors, like I just had with my Venturing Crew in Gonzales, Texas, ARE valuable to us adults too!

So, back to the three recent changes. 

IF you can imagine a future where your son or daughter looks you in the eyes after successfully graduating school and says, “thank you mom…thank you dad for being a positive influence in my life and pushing me to do my best and for all your sacrifices to provide me a better happy life,” THEN please thoroughly review the resources found at the following online page that most people find helpful when striving to understand ‘Scout Me In’ and ‘Scouts, BSA’:

www.Scouting.org/FamilyScoutingExternal Link  

“If she is to be equally efficient with her brother for work in the world, a girl must be given equal chances with him; equal chances for picking up character and skill, discipline and bodily health, and equal chances for using these when she has got them,”~ Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Worldwide Scouting movement. 

IF the LDS announcement affects or concerns you, please know both organizations wish only the best for each other.

The LDS Church has most its membership outside of the US. Their desire is to create and implement a uniform youth leadership program that serves its global membership. Church members who wish to continue with the Scouting program are encouraged to transition to other existing Scouting units. Please welcome them.

Here in the Alamo Area Council approximately 10% of our youth membership (about 2100 youth) are currently registered in LDS chartered Scout units. While we will work diligently to welcome and incorporate all LDS families that wish to participate in Scouting programs, the Council and the BSA nationally, will continue to serve families with the best value-based leadership program in America.  

“There is no teaching to compare to example,”~ Lord Baden-Powell, Founder of the Scouting movement.

Don’t worry. The good news is you can decide what’s best for your family and your community, including your chartered organization that support their respective units within Boy Scouts of America. 

What happens next is you will discuss these changes with your family and see how, if any, they impact your life. Then, engage your chartered organization and local community.

If you, your chartered organization, or community and family want help, then please reach out to us at the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council. We are here to guide you in finding your family’s happy life through Scouting adventure in Bexar and the 12 surrounding counties we serve! 

Email PR@AlamoAreaBSA.org to schedule a call or face to face appointment.

“You never know what your journey has in store. You just work hard and keep your nose to the grind. You do things the right way, you treat people the right way and good things happen.”~ Becky Hammon, San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach

Thank you for your personal involvement and for financially investing some of your charitable giving with Scouting youth in the Alamo Area Council. We appreciate and need your continued support!

*  ‘Scouting for Girls: Adapted from Girl Guiding’ (1918) Found under the heading of ‘The Citizen Scout’ page 213.

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