On May 8th, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it would no longer charter Scout units after December 31, 2019. This has led to many questions about what Scouting will look like now and in 2020 for the BSA and members of the Church. For example, many people are wondering “Is Scouting dead within the Church now?”
Some Church members have wondered if continuing to participate in Scouting is like bailing water out of a sinking ship.
However, in May 2018, the Church stated that they would, “remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting” until Dec. 31st, 2019. This statement has power in it. Church members have been given their assignment and can continue to work to raise youth into amazing, strong adults.
So when it comes to the question “Is Scouting Dead within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” the answer is simply “no!”
Not only have many members taken it upon themselves to recommit to Scouting for the next six months, but there are also community units being formed all over the nation, filled with Latter-day youth who want to continue participating in Scouting.
The Church members who have taken it upon themselves to recommit to Scouting and to remain “fully engaged” are also setting an example for those around them who may be floundering or focusing on bailing rather than building.
These members are leaders, parents, and youth who understand the value of the Scouting program and still need the quality activities and resources offered. This is especially relevant for youth who need Boards of Reviews to happen or for youth who want to continue earning their Eagle Scout award after 2019.
If this sounds like you, you can
continue your Scouting adventure here!
What the Church has to Say
The Church has sent out multiple statements and FAQs doubling down on their position on Scouting. And although they are transitioning away from Scouting and toward their own youth program, the intention of the Church is that all Scouting units will continue to be chartered until December 31, 2019.
During this time of transition, the Church will continue to register all boys ages 8–13, those 14 and older working on rank advancement, and adult leaders associated with those youth. All adult leaders should continue to receive Youth Protection and other required training for their position. Camps, regular activities, and Friends of Scouting will all continue until December 31, 2019.
“Please know how grateful we are to the BSA… We are locked arm in arm and hand in hand for the next 18 months. Please keep your shoulder to the wheel… Let me say it again, ‘Keep Serving.’” -Elder Holland, 2018 National BSA Meeting
After 2019 for Latter-day Youth
For more than a century, Boy Scouts of America and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have worked together to instill character, citizenship and fitness in young people. Through the Church of Jesus Christ, millions of young people have been part of the Scouting adventure. More than 145,000 have earned the rank of Eagle Scout since 2000 alone. For those families, Scouting is more than an activity – it’s a legacy. As of December 31, 2019, the formal partnership with the Church will come to an end, but your Scouting journey can continue!
After Dec. 31, 2019, the Church will no longer sponsor any Scouting units as they begin to focus on their own youth programs. However, Latter-day youth are still perfectly capable of joining or remaining in the Scouting program.
These youth and their families can begin looking for, joining, and even starting community-sponsored units to continue their Scouting adventure.
BeAScout.Scouting.org is the best place to start when looking for a community unit to join. This page also has all the information you could need about the different Scouting programs that are available for every member of the family.
If you are interested in starting a community unit so Latter-day youth in your community can easily transition after Dec. 31, contact your local council.