Scout-led Troop Blog #18: What Is Changing and What Is Not?

The 100+ Year “Inspired” Partnership Before addressing the changes, let’s look at what this partnership is. The Church recognizes the good that has come from its 100+ year partnership with the BSA and Scouting. “The Scouting program has benefited hundreds of thousands of Latter-day Saint boys and young men, . . .” “A Joint Statement […]

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Scout-led Troop Blog #17: The Prophetic Revelation on “Ministering” and the Scout-led Troop

Although our 12-13-year-old Scouts are not directly affected by the recent changes in “ministering” in the Church, they are definitely affected by the principles underlying these changes. When a historic change in church policy or practice is announced, it is tempting to focus on the mechanical aspects of the change to make sure we are […]

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Scout-led Troop Blog #16: What LDS Scouters can learn from the Changes to the Young Women Camp Guide

Less than three-weeks ago the Church announced changes to the Young Women Camp Guide. Highlighted among those changes are “eliminating certification and emphasizing youth leaders.” There appears to be a trend in working with youth leaders in the Church. Train them younger and give them more responsibility to actually lead. Not just talk about it […]

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Scout-led Troop Blog #15: The Converting Power of the Outdoors

When I was a boy growing up, my parents took us five kids camping every summer for two or three weeks. We traveled to places all over the Western United States: Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Lake Tahoe, Bryce, Zion, Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone, to name a few. We had no money for hotel rooms, restaurants, […]

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Scout-led Troop Blog #14: “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt, “Scoutmaster to the World”

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a weak boy who did not like to play games and did not care for other boys. He was born in 1900 in Aarhus, Denmark, and lived in his own dream world. When he was 9 years old, he wrote a poem about trolls and elves […]

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The Scout-led Troop Blog #13: The First Presidency’s Statements regarding Eagle Scouts

On May 11, 2017, the First Presidency announced that effective January 1, 2018, the Church will discontinue its Varsity and Venturing Scouting programs for young men ages 14–18. However, the First Presidency letter also states that “young men over the age of 14 who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout […]

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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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