Rodger Morris (rlm@SUNED1.NSWSES.NAVY.MIL)
Wed, 10 May 1995 11:21:17 PDT
I thought I'd throw in a few observations from my experience with LDS
Scouters in my district over the last twenty-three years. Disclaimer: This
recapitulates only my experiences in my district.
1) Back in the 1970s, the LDS were quite clannish and insular. They held
their own roundtables, had their own week at summer camp that was open only
to them, and generally eschewed contact with non-LDS units (except for
Scout-O-Rama and Camporee).
2) The LDS Scouters generally served only one year, two at the most.
3) This has changed radically. Most LDS Scouters serve two years or more in
unit level positions. We hold our District Roundtables and OA meetings in
LDS facilities. LDS Scouters attend district training functions, as well as
holding some of their own in-house training. LDS Scouters are involved in
all facets of the district's programs and activities, including the district
committee and the commissioners.
4) For years, the LDS have hosted an annual "Merit Badge Roundup", wherein
merit badge counselors get together with Scouts and give them an
introduction to the merit badges they counsel. This Roundup has an LDS staff
and used to revolve almost entirely around merit badges required for Eagle
Scout, and was (justifiably) perceived as somewhat of a "merit badge
factory". This has evolved to the point where we have a mixed staff and
offer about 20 merit badges, 5 of which are from the required list. We have
also ensured that the published merit badge requirements are being met. The
counselors and the Scouts who wish to do so set second and subsequent
meetings to complete the merit badges (easy merit badges such as Collections
and Skating are usually earned in one session). The last Roundup we put on
(March 1995) was so well received by the troops in our district that only 2
out of 13 troops did not have Scouts participating (one LDS troop, one U.S.
Navy troop; both out camping that weekend).
5) The last Roundup was so well received, that we had 6 of the 11 troops
participating ask us to run another one in fall.
6) The LDS church runs an annual event called "Little Philmont". I am not
LDS, but I was asked to give a presentation on places to go camping in our
council, which I did.
Summation: Over the last 20 years in my district, the LDS Scouters in my
district have moved from being short-term, non-participating Scouters to
being outstanding Scouters in every sense of the word who are a mainstay and
a decided asset to our district. I have nominated one LDS Scouter for the
District Award of Merit in years past, and shall be nominating two this year.
P.S. I was out for surgery and recuperation therefrom for the last two
weeks. It's good to be back!! ;-)
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 852, Ventura County Council (CA), BSA
National Woodbadge 416, Philmont, 1973
"I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City