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Just_A_Guy

Introducing the new not-scouting scouting program . . .

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Well, it depends on what leadership means. In the BSA, leadership could refer to all adult leaders.

Also, this could be problematic, depending on the implementation:

We welcome boys whose parents are seeking a faith-based outdoor adventure program that places an emphasis on character development, leadership, and moral purity, and who aspire to live in accordance with the values expressed in the program’s Oath and Creed.

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I've got experience getting our kids involved with differently-christianed organizations. The two things to keep in mind, are the policies/rules/statements of faith, and the people involved. Briefly:

* If policies allow LDS, but other members hate mormons, your experience will not be good.

* If policies don't allow LDS, it doesn't matter if the members like or hate mormons, you can't join.

* If policies allow LDS, and the membership is friendly or neutral, then you can have a quite positive experience, as long as you never, ever, ever forget that you're guests there, and if you do anything close to proselytizing, you'll probably no longer be welcome there.

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* If policies allow LDS, but other members hate mormons, your experience will not be good.

* If policies don't allow LDS, it doesn't matter if the members like or hate mormons, you can't join.

* If policies allow LDS, and the membership is friendly or neutral, then you can have a quite positive experience, as long as you never, ever, ever forget that you're guests there, and if you do anything close to proselytizing, you'll probably no longer be welcome there.

Considering that Trail Life USA seems to be targeted toward conservative to fundamentalist evangelicals (it's been all over sites like onenewsnow and wnd), it probably falls under category #1. Although, those in the Church that keep on saying that the Church should have severed its ties with the BSA will probably still gravitate over to this new thing.

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We should start our own.

I'm no fan of LDS scouting, but I think that's a terrible idea. One of the benefits of belonging to the BSA is the physical resources. Sending your kid to camp for $300 for a week is a really really good price. Most similar programs are going to charge at least double that amount.

If the church were to start its own program, it might be able to manage okay in densely LDS areas, but the less densely populated areas would suffer.

Then there are all the training resources that the BSA develops. These training resources are what help maintain the organization's safety record and prevent litigation against leaders when accidents happen. This kind of insurance becomes more affordable the larger the organization is. If the Church were to open its own program, it would have to pay higher costs for the same insurance while have to pay out the nose to develop training programs of the same caliber.

The beauty of the BSA is that the BSA tries very hard not to interfere with the morals and ethics of the chartering organization. The BSA encourages chartering organizations to adapt the program to its needs while still providing the necessary level of training and infrastructure to make the programs a success.

Besides, if there's any problem with LDS Scouting, it's that the program is too 'LDS' and not enough 'Scouting.' I really don't think we need to change the way that scouting is done in Mormonism. I think we need to change the way mormons approach scouting.

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Considering that Trail Life USA seems to be targeted toward conservative to fundamentalist evangelicals (it's been all over sites like onenewsnow and wnd), it probably falls under category #1.

Oh, you can't be so sure. Pretty much every single fundamentalist evangelical out there has encountered critical information about Mormons, but that doesn't mean they all hate us, or even care.

Here's my experience: We homeschool our kids. We've been involved in two different christian-based homeschool co-ops - one run by the Nazarenes, one run by my local Mega Church with ties to Focus on the Family. Both had similar policies and mission statements - basically, "We believe what we believe, and we're going to teach it to your kids, and if you're going to be part of the leadership/teaching, you need to believe it too." Honestly, after reading their statements of beliefs, a Mormon finds himself in agreement with just about everything there, except two biggies - the trinity, and biblical infallibility/sola scriptura. So our kids take classes like math and music and reading and English composition and sports and robotics and Colorado History, and they also learn what a bunch of evangelicals believe about God and why it's different than what we believe.

We're upfront with being LDS (they also make sure and ask all new families up front). So we won't be teaching there any time soon. The org gets to draw the line at how involved mormons can be. The megachurch org says I can be a hall monitor, but not a food services assistant, or anything else. *shrug*

So that's the policy side of things. The other side of things is people-based. Some people are just leery of mormons. But in our experience, most of them just have this half-remembered notion that there's something wrong with us, but they don't remember what it's supposed to be, or why they should care. Most of them. The quality of our experience is determined by the few who have a firm opinion one way or the other.

At the megachurch, we've basically been viciously attacked by one person in leadership, and love-bombed by the rest of them, who did everything they could to apologize for that one lady's behavior. The attack was not pleasant. My wife called me in tears. But the love bombing seems totally genuine, and there's a heck of a lot more of it. They all seem to have become comfortable with the "mormons in their midst", and we've gone out of our way to be harmless and friendly, so it works.

Anyway, if any mormon is interested in this Trail Life USA deal, you can expect similar types of experiences.

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I'm no fan of LDS scouting, but I think that's a terrible idea. One of the benefits of belonging to the BSA is the physical resources. Sending your kid to camp for $300 for a week is a really really good price. Most similar programs are going to charge at least double that amount.

If the church were to start its own program, it might be able to manage okay in densely LDS areas, but the less densely populated areas would suffer.

Then there are all the training resources that the BSA develops. These training resources are what help maintain the organization's safety record and prevent litigation against leaders when accidents happen. This kind of insurance becomes more affordable the larger the organization is. If the Church were to open its own program, it would have to pay higher costs for the same insurance while have to pay out the nose to develop training programs of the same caliber.

The beauty of the BSA is that the BSA tries very hard not to interfere with the morals and ethics of the chartering organization. The BSA encourages chartering organizations to adapt the program to its needs while still providing the necessary level of training and infrastructure to make the programs a success.

Besides, if there's any problem with LDS Scouting, it's that the program is too 'LDS' and not enough 'Scouting.' I really don't think we need to change the way that scouting is done in Mormonism. I think we need to change the way mormons approach scouting.

And yet, the YW org seems to do okay (or is expected to do okay) without all this fancy shmancy stuff. ;)

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And yet, on the other side of the aisle, MoE, that is exactly what we have chosen to do for the YW.

(Probably should leave it at that, so as not to totally highjack the thread).

And yet, the YW org seems to do okay (or is expected to do okay) without all this fancy shmancy stuff. ;)

Actually, there are very different reasons why the Church doesn't do Girl Scouts. The GSA doesn't have the same organizational structure. It is stricter on membership requirements, and doesn't give the troops as much independence and control over its finances as the BSA gives troops.

Venturing would be a good solution, but it's only 14+ and can be coed, which the Church isn't fond of.

And truth be told, I'm underwhelmed by the young women program. I think it lacks a lot of substance unless you have really committed leaders. We are enrolling our daughters in Girl Scouts now, and as soon as they are old enough, we will probably enroll them in a Venture Crew. Whatever they do, I think they need something more than what the Church offers in Personal Progress. And if they decide to skip out on Young Women weekly meetings altogether, I'm okay with that as long as they find some other suitable extra curricular to fill the time.

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Oh, you can't be so sure. Pretty much every single fundamentalist evangelical out there has encountered critical information about Mormons, but that doesn't mean they all hate us, or even care.

Oh, in picking Category #1 I certainly didn't mean to endorse your phrasing of "hate mormons," but if the conservative evangelical reaction to people like Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney is any indication (you'd think evangelicals would like them), it certainly wouldn't be a wholly positive experience. At the very least there would be some subtle (or not so subtle) proselyting going on in this program.

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And yet, on the other side of the aisle, MoE, that is exactly what we have chosen to do for the YW.

(Probably should leave it at that, so as not to totally highjack the thread).

And what some non-US wards do.

Edited by anatess

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...it certainly wouldn't be a wholly positive experience.

Totally agreed. But then again, I've scanned through a few Boy Scout threads to know that's true of the Scouting organization as well.

When you get groups of people together trying to raise kids "the right way", there will always be conflict and some negative experiences.

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Actually, there are very different reasons why the Church doesn't do Girl Scouts. The GSA doesn't have the same organizational structure.

GSUSA.

:)

MoE I grew up doing both Personal Progress and Girlguiding (the UK version of Girl Scouts) it worked well for me - and I very rarely had clashes between the 2 programs!

As did I. I completed the Personal Progress program and earned my medallion. I also was a Girl Scout for 13 years, and earned my Gold Award.

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I earned my medallion and more badges than any other girl in my guide pack - I couldn't earn our highest award as didn't have a senior section in the area when I was younger but I really regret it

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. . . Trail Life USA.

Gays and Mormons need not apply.

Let's not forget the Jews. Not to mention that we're hardly the only nontrinitarian Christian church, though IIRC, we're by far the largest. Several of the others have differing views, but pretty much all that I'm aware of are incompatible with that statement of faith.

Edited by NightSG

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Maybe it's just me and my family, but I don't really differ that much with the statement of faith. Of course, the biggie is pretty clear;:

“We believe that there is One Triune God

Big difference. But setting aside the concept of the nature of God, what does their SOF say that I agree with? Plenty:

* Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son, and the Holy Spirit – Creator of the universe and eternally existent. - Sounds like what I believe.

* We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. - Sounds like what I believe.

* We believe each person is created in His image for the purpose of communing with and worshipping God. - I wasn't created to worship God. Besides the trinity, this is the other item that keeps me from signing that statement of faith. But if they're nice people, I don't really mind exposing my kids to their mindset. Better alternative than the mindset they'd get at a lot of places.

* We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a Godly life. - Sounds like what I believe.

* We believe that each individual is called to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength; and to love their neighbors as themselves. - Sounds like what I believe.

* We believe that each individual is called to live a life of purity, service, stewardship and integrity.” - Isn't that basically what the Proclomation on the Family says? Wording is a little different, but overall it sounds like what I believe.

* Purity – Members are called to live a life of holiness, being pure of heart, mind, word and deed, reserving sexual activity for the sanctity of marriage; marriage being a lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman. - Sounds like what I believe. Pretty much exactly what I believe, in fact.

* Service – Members are called to become a responsible part of their community and the world through selfless acts, which contribute to the welfare of others. - Sounds like what I believe.

* Stewardship – Members are called to use their God given time, talents, and money wisely. - Sounds like what I believe.

* Integrity – Members are called to live a moral life, demonstrating the inward motivation to do what is right, regardless of the cost - Sounds like what I believe.

I dunno - if you're so ticked off at the recent BSOA/homosexual issue you can barely see straight, this organization might seem like an appealing other option.

Of course, I only have daughters, so the issue is only relevant to me, to the extent that y'all are raising boys that my daughters will eventually date. I'm just saying that if they brought home a Mormon boy who was heavily into Trail Life USA, I wouldn't immediately have reason to run him off...

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^^ Sounds pretty good to me...

:D

Where do I sign up?

________________

Seriously though, I Don't Think I'd Qualify...

I barely managed to get my Eagle...

...and I think I am going to be done with Scouting for quite a while...

...at least until the day (if/when it comes) where I get called as a Scout Master or a similar calling.

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^^ Sounds pretty good to me...

:D

Where do I sign up?

________________

Seriously though, I Don't Think I'd Qualify...

I barely managed to get my Eagle...

...and I think I am going to be done with Scouting for quite a while...

...at least until the day (if/when it comes) where I get called as a Scout Master or a similar calling.

You'd be better off joining Troop 662 :D

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The Scouting program, when done the right way, is the greatest tool to teach young men in and out of the church. President Hinckley's father was part of a group that investigated the Boy Scouts in 1912, and he reported to the church leadership that there was no other program available to the church to increase the spirituality of young men than the Boy Scout program. I have seen how this works first-hand.

It has been commented that the problem in LDS troops is that it is too LDS. Baden-Powell said that if you take God out of Scouting, there is no Scouting. It is my testimony that he was inspired by God to start the Boy Scouts because of the strength young men would gain by participating in it than any other organization. I have witnessed and been part of events and activities that have changed the lives of young men and prepared them for their missions better than anything else.

I did not have good experiences in Scouting when I was young because none of my leaders were properly trained, nor did they have testimonies of the program. The Scouting program IS the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood. You take away Scouting or refuse to properly support the program and you take away its purpose to fulfill the mission of the Aaronic Priesthood. Church leader after church leader has endorsed this program, that there is no substitute.

When I first heard about the decision to allow openly gay youth to participate in Scouting I was upset. Then I listened to the church's response, that we will continue to use Scouting as a tool to bring young men closer to Christ. There will be negative consequences to the new rule but if done properly, Scouting will continue to be a great tool for the spiritual growth of all young men in and out of the church.

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