When the Church announced its break with the Boy Scouts of America, many people were shocked — only to be further surprised when they announced all existing youth activity was subject to change.
While the new youth initiative announced in May was vague, Mormon Newsroom released a statement on Friday regarding the 2020 change in youth activities.
The statement, quoting the “Children and Youth Development” LDS.org page (which hosts a thorough FAQ section), explains that “camps and other outdoor activities will be an important part of gospel learning, building relationships, and strengthening faith in Jesus Christ. Children and youth may participate in Primary day camps, Young Women camps, Young Men camps, and high adventure activities. … Activities will be based on needs rather than requirements.”
Regarding other activities, LDS.org affirms, “Weekday activities, outdoor adventures, and youth conferences will continue as a vital part of helping children and youth learn, develop friendships, serve, and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ.”
In addition to this statement, the Church released a short video about the new initiative entitled “A New Direction for Children and Youth in 2020”.
The video begins with words from President Russell M. Nelson aimed at the Church’s youth: “My beloved younger brothers and sisters, you are among the best the Lord has ever sent to this world. You have the capacity to be smarter, wiser, have more impact on the world than any previous generation.”
While the video and the press release don’t expound on the new youth initiative in great detail, its goal is clear: to strengthen the youth’s faith in Jesus Christ and encourage them to develop a personal relationship with Him.