Mormon Church to sever ties with Boy Scouts

Mormon church to cut ties with Scouts and start its own gospel-driven youth program
Church Announces Plan for Worldwide Initiative for Children and Youth

10 May, 2018

Rich Baker, who served for seven years as a scoutmaster for Troop 66 in Belmont, Massachusetts, said he was sorry to see the church drop Scouting, but that it "was never quite fully embraced". To prepare girls today to be the world's leaders of tomorrow, Girl Scouts will provide them with an unparalleled leadership experience when they are young - an experience that can only come from the best leadership organization for girls in the world.

Larry Abbott, Scout executive and CEO of Boy Scouts of America - Grand Canyon Council, doesn't think it'll make a short-term impact.

But, their futures are now headed in divergent directions. At the troop age, girls have been registering for many years in Venturing, Sea Scouts, Exploring Posts and Varsity Scouts.

The church, based in Utah, now claims 16 million members in almost 200 countries, but its Scout program served boys mostly in North America.

FILE - In this June 8, 2014, file photo, a group of Boy Scouts march during the Salt Lake City's annual gay pride parade in Salt Lake City.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America are separating after collaborating for over 100 years, but the two organizations are painting it as a civil severing.

A spokesperson for the group said such windows would open them to legal challenges that would be hard to defend against with cold evidence and unavailable witnesses. Others share a newly discovered passion for Scouting. And yes, they'll even be able to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

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The only difference is that the boys started on their achievements six months ago, so the girls who recently joined have to work twice as fast as the boys so they can reach their achievements at the same time as the boys. The Mormon Church was a major player in the boy scout movement in the United States, accounting for almost 20 percent of all 2.3 million boys scouts.

The partnership will finish at the end of 2019, when the Mormon Church will begin a new initiative for young members and stop chartering BSA troops.

Farrer said he hopes people will take seriously the LDS church's encouragement in Tuesday's statement to continue active participation and financial support toward the Boy Scouts of America.

The move also shows the Utah-based religion's efforts to solidify its global footprint.

In the last couple years, the boy scouts have opened their doors to welcome a more diverse group into the program. The church said it will begin a new program for boys ages 14 to 18.

"And we are actively helping today's girls tap into their potential; unlock new skills; and develop the courage, confidence, and character they need to be tomorrow's leaders", says Sally J. Leep, CEO of Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming.

"It's great to get the boys out in canoes and shooting bows and arrows but that's not going to do them any long term good if they leave the church", Mason said.

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