The Scout-led Troop Blog #12: The Simplicity of Scouting

Scouting is simple. Boys organize into patrols. The patrol leader leads. The patrols plan their own activities. They have fun with their friends. They are responsible for making things happen. They pack their own packs. They plan their own meals. They are responsible. They cook, camp, hike, swim, and climb. Mostly in the great outdoors. […]

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The Scout-led Troop Blog #11: Rank Advancement Under the New Teacher-Priest Activity Program

In its May 11, 2017 letter announcing the discontinuation of the Varsity and Venture programs in the Church, effective January 1, 2018, the First Presidency stated, “young men over the age of 14 who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout . . . should be encouraged and supported in their […]

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The Scout-led Troop Blog #10: Agency is the Doctrinal Foundation of the Patrol Method

For one particular troop meeting, our patrol leaders’ council planned the skill instruction portion of our troop meeting to be on music. That sounded good to me until they told me that one of the instruments they would be giving instruction on was an electric guitar. We met in the Primary room of our building […]

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The Scout-led Troop Blog #9: We’re Raising Boys, Not Cows

Years ago, I looked across the street from my home and saw my neighbor training his dog, a German shorthair pointer. He would give commands such as “heel,” “sit,” “roll-over,” or something like that. The dog obeyed perfectly. It was a beautiful sight. I thought, “Why can’t I train my children to be perfectly obedient […]

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The Scout-led Troop Blog #8: The Patrol Method Helps Scouts Develop the Confidence to Really Lead

Recently, I attended a troop meeting just as an observer. The troop was holding a “shakedown” to make sure all of the Scouts had everything they needed for their summer camp and, hopefully, did not have anything they should not be bringing. The Scoutmaster sat at the front of the room the entire meeting and, […]

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The Scout-led Troop Blog #7: “Positions of Responsibility” – A Blessing or a Curse?

As Committee Chair, I recently met with a Scout who told me he was ready to submit his Eagle Scout application and wanted some help. I asked him what his “position of responsibility” was in his unit and he looked at me like a “deer in headlights.” Unfortunately for me, over the years, this has […]

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The Scout-Led Troop Blog #6: “Guided Discovery” and Conversion

Our goal as LDS Scouters is unique. It is to: “Help young men become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfill their divine roles” (Young Men Auxiliary Training). The Young Men General Presidency has suggested three ways to accomplish this goal: Be with them. Connect them with heaven. Let them lead. This blog focuses […]

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The Scout-Led Troop Blog #5 – Part 2: Do You Trust Your Scouts Enough to Let Them Lead?

In the October 2016 general conference, Elder J. Devn Cornish shared an experience he had after graduating from medical school and was in a pediatric residency training in a high-powered, competitive program. He was faced with a challenging assignment and felt unqualified to meet it. In his despair, he alternated between sobbing and sleeping and […]

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The Scout-Led Troop Blog #5 – Part 1: Do You Trust Your Scouts Enough to Let Them Lead?

When I sat down with our new senior patrol leader and told him that we had decided that the adults were no longer going to run the troop and that he would now be in charge and make decisions, he looked at me like a “deer in headlights.” Like most 13 year-old young men, I […]

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The Scout-Led Troop Blog #4: “Have You Asked Your Patrol Leader?”

A couple of years ago, the eleven-year-old Scout patrol in our ward decided to join the troop at our district camporee. We were excited to have them join us but we were also a little nervous because by then we were very much a Scout-led troop and we were not sure the eleven-year-old patrol was […]

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The Scout-Led Troop Blog #3: The Genius of Scouting

One of my assistant Scoutmasters told me that it used to be like “pulling teeth” to get his twin boys to get on their uniform and get ready for our troop meeting each week. Then, when the Scouts started running things, he came home from work one night and his sons were already in their […]

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The Scout-Led Troop #2: Train ‘em, Trust ‘em, and Let ‘em Lead

Due to bad traffic and bad weather on the way up the mountain, we arrived at our campsite of about 7,000 feet elevation at around 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night. There were patches of snow on the ground and it was probably about 30° F. Shortly after arriving, I watched one of our Scouts […]

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