scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: understanding LDS scouting
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Sun Apr 02 2000 - 09:12:49 CDT
There has been a great deal of discussion this past week about LDS scouting,
the OA, how positions are filled...and likely there will be more.
I have responded to lots of the issues...but have a couple of general
thoughts that may assist some of you.
First, there is a list called "scouts-lds" that is for LDS scouters. It
isn't an exclusive list like Arrow-l...you don't have to be LDS to join.
Rather, those of you who work with LDS troops on a regular basis, I
encourage you to join that list. I think it is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Second, the LDS Church has a manual for scouting called..."Scouting". It is
about 12 pages long and is the guide to LDS scouting. It is the ONLY manual
that we put out regarding scouting. If it isn't in that book, then
everything else we do is what BSA says a troop is supposed to do.
There is no reason why non-LDS people can't have this book. When we get a
new district staff, DE, etc, the first thing I do is give them a copy of the
booklet. Those of you who are district or council scouters and have LDS
units, get one. It is......*FREE*! Free for you, free for the LDS unit
that orders it, etc. Then, sit down and read it. If the units you work
with don't follow the book "to the letter", ask them why. They may have
some very good reasons (we also have a philosophy that says "local leaders
make local decisions"...in other words, the book says to do something, but
if the local Bishop feels like his unit should do something different, and
he gets permission to do it, it is okay).
Ask questions about the book. If you don't understand, make the unit
leaders deal with it. If they won't...then there are plenty of people here
who will help.
I am a firm believer in two things about LDS Scouting:
1) There is no such thing as "LDS Scouting." LDS troops are a part of BSA
just like everyone else. Our program is the same, our ideals are the same.
I can think of only, really, three "rules" that are different for LDS troops
than from BSA, and my non-LDS parents love these rules (by the way, over 3/4
of my troop, are NOT LDS...).
2) Every other chartering organization or troop has different quirks. Most
of them aren't "for the entire Catholic Church" or "the entire public school
system", so LDS rules are more visible. But given the discussions we have
on this list, and the differences that exist between troops, the LDS rules
which we get so concerned about aren't really all that different from any
other ways of doing scouting that we ask questions about here.
Hannibal Branch, Nauvoo Stake
(Eagle, Fox, Vigil)