Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: All-LDS troops
Re: All-LDS troops
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 13:41:58 +0800
Jason Cruse pointed out that there is no policy excluding non-LDS from
joining LDS troops. Although this is quite correct, locally there has been
a semi-official policy imposing a quota on the number of non-LDS members
that can be permitted to join our group. The quota has been to ensure that
the majority of the members of the group are LDS church members. While such
an exclusionist policy may be disapproved of by some, it was introduced for
the rather practical reason that problems could be encountered should the
committee come to be dominated by a greater number of non-LDS parents (a
very real possibility, since our experience has been that as a general rule
LDS parents will only get involved in the committee if specifically called
by their bishop, whereas non-LDS parents frequently join the committee as a
matter of course to be involved with their children. Not a criticism of LDS
parents, merely an observation based on lengthy experience) The common
example pointed to is the fact that most scout groups here routinely use
various types of raffles for fund-raising; this would be unacceptable for
an LDS group, but would very likely be suggested by non-LDS parents not
familiar with LDS church standards.
Currently our cub scout pack has roughly 1/3 non-LDS boys. Interestingly
enough, in the past it was somewhat rare for non-LDS to be interested in
joining LDS scouting here; partly due to lack of active recruiting efforts,
and partly from a reluctance to get involved in a "churchy" scout group
when there were plenty on "non-churchy" ones to choose from. More recently
we have had a great deal of interest from non-LDS parents who would like
their boy to join our pack. I would consider several reasons to account for
- boys already in the pack inviting their friends. We still don't actively
recruit; it has never been felt necessary, but the boys do a great job
themselves anyway. And after all, that's always the most effective
- (putting on my cynical hat) almost every scout group is always screaming
out for more leaders. As a result, any parents approaching a group and
wanting their son to join is likely to be given some not-too-subtle hints
about becoming a leader. Since our groups have most of their leaders
serving there having been called as a church position, we don't tend to try
and shanghai every parent who walks through the door into a leadership
position. This very likely makes our group a somewhat more attractive
proposition to some parents.
- although scouting in Australia has permitted girls to join at all levels
for some years now, the national association made allowance that not all
groups were compelled to accept girls. This meant that LDS groups could
remain boys-only in keeping with church policy. It is possible that some
parents have recognised this fact and, wanting their boys to be in a
boys-only scouting group, chosen the LDS group as the only place where this
Incidentally, although the quota policy has existed, I am not aware that it
has ever actually been imposed. There have never been a large enough number
of non-LDS boys wanting to join that it became an issue. More recently it
has been a slight area of concern for our cub pack, but not so much from
the perspective of proportion of non-LDS to LDS ratio but rather that for a
long time the numbers in the pack have been close to the maximum number of
cubs permitted to be in a single pack.
>And, (putting flame proof suit on) let me just add that any LDS troop that
>is *excluding* non-LDS scouts is violating LDS church policy. That many
>(not all) LDS troops tend to be LDS is, in my experience, as much due to LDS
>troops not recruiting as it is other faiths not wanting to join an LDS
>troop. But, there is NO policy in the LDS church regarding non-LDS boys or
>leaders. My troop is a case in point: out of 16 boys and 4 adults we have 2
>LDS boys and 2 LDS adults. Are we an anomaly? yes...but are we somehow
>violating any rule or unspoken principle in the LDS church? Certainly not.
>Is there a policy allowing for LDS troops to deny membership for religious
>grounds? Nope. Nary a one.
Grant O'Neil _r| Ll\
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ICQ #8443166 ~~ `_'
I was miserable.
Then someone told me "Smile and be happy - things could get worse"
So I smiled and was happy - and things got worse...