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The following are sections from Handbook 2: Administering the Church that are specific to Scouting.
Where Scouting is authorized by the Church, quorums may participate in Scouting activities during Mutual. Scouting should help young men put into practice the gospel principles they learn on Sunday.
Each member of the bishopric oversees the Scouting program for the Aaronic Priesthood quorum he oversees. Members of the ward Young Men presidency generally serve as Scout leaders. Or the bishopric may call assistant quorum advisers as Scout leaders, with members of the Young Men presidency called to serve as assistant Scout leaders.
In each quorum, the bishop usually appoints the quorum president or one of his assistants in the priests quorum to serve as the youth leader of the Scouting program. However, he may appoint other young men as youth Scout leaders.
Where Scouting is authorized by the Church, young men ages 12 to 15 should be registered. Young men ages 16 and 17 should be registered if they are pursuing rank advancements or if the stake president or bishop chooses to sponsor Scouting programs for young men of this age.
All adult Scout leaders should register before they begin their service and should receive proper training in their responsibilities. In the United States, registered adult leaders receive liability protection from the Boy Scouts of America.
The Church pays all or part of the fees for registering young men and adult leaders in Scouting. The Church also pays for unit chartering. Registration and chartering expenses are paid from the stake general checking account. The Church provides these funds in addition to the budget allowance.
The bishopric organizes a ward Scout committee to ensure that Scouting functions properly as a supporting activity for Aaronic Priesthood quorums.
Where there are few young men, a Scout troop may be organized to serve multiple wards and branches or, in some instances, an entire stake or district.
Funding for Activities
Funding for Aaronic Priesthood activities, including Scouting activities where they are authorized by the Church, should come from the ward budget
Faith in God Program
The Faith in God program helps boys and girls ages 8 through 11 live gospel principles, develop testimonies, and prepare to be righteous Aaronic Priesthood holders and righteous young women. This program also encourages children to memorize the Articles of Faith.
The ward Primary president ensures that each child who reaches age 8 receives a copy of Faith in God for Girls or Faith in God for Boys.She helps parents understand that they can use these guidebooks as resources for activities with individual children and with the entire family.
Where Scouting is authorized by the Church, Scout activities take the place of activity days for boys ages 8 through 11. To maintain a gospel focus in Scout activities, leaders use the Faith in God for Boys guidebook as one of their resources. As boys fulfill requirements in the guidebook, they also qualify for religious awards in Scouting.
The children’s Primary teachers may serve as Scout leaders, or the bishopric may call others to serve as Scout leaders. Leaders ensure that Scouting activities follow the guidelines in 11.8.1 and in chapter 13.
The Primary presidency ensures that all boys ages 8 through 11 are registered in the Scout program and that all Scout leaders are registered and receive proper training. For more information about Scouting, including guidelines for planning annual day camps, see the Church’s Scouting Handbook and the Day Camp Guide for Eleven-Year-Old Scouts.
The Church has not adopted the Tiger Cub program (in the United States) or the Beaver program (in Canada) for Primary-age boys.
Funding for Activities
Leaders ensure that expenses for activities are in accordance with the current budget and finance policies of the Church. The following principles apply.
Most activities should be simple and have little or no cost. Expenditures must be approved by the stake presidency or bishopric before they are incurred.
Stake and ward budget funds should be used to pay for all activities, programs, and supplies. Members should not pay fees to participate. Nor should they provide materials, supplies, rental or admission fees, or long-distance transportation at their own expense. Activities in which members provide food may be held if doing so does not place undue burdens on them.
Possible exceptions to the funding policy in the preceding paragraph are listed below. If the ward budget does not have sufficient funds to pay for the following activities, leaders may ask participants to pay for part or all of them:
- One annual extended Scout camp or similar activity for young men.
- One annual young women camp or similar activity.
- One annual day camp or similar activity for Primary children ages 8 through 11.
- Optional activities as outlined in 13.5.
If funds from participants are not sufficient, the bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity annually that complies with the guidelines in 13.6.8.
In no case should the expenses or travel for an annual camp or similar activity be excessive. Nor should the lack of personal funds prohibit a member from participating.
For a possible exception in funding large multistake or area events for young single adults, see 16.3.7.
For guidelines about funding travel that is associated with activities, see 13.6.24.
Funding for Equipment and Supplies
If possible, equipment and supplies that the ward needs for annual youth camps are purchased with ward budget funds. If these funds are not sufficient, the bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity annually that complies with the guidelines in13.6.8.
Equipment and supplies purchased with Church funds, whether from the ward budget or a fund-raising activity, are for Church use only. They are not for the personal use of individuals or families.
Church funds may not be used to purchase uniforms for individuals.
Fund-raising activities are not usually approved because expenses for stake and ward activities are paid with budget funds. As an exception, a stake president or bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity each year. Such an activity may be held to raise funds for the following purposes only:
- To help pay the cost of one annual camp or similar activity as outlined in 13.2.8.
- To help purchase equipment that the unit needs for annual camps as outlined in13.2.9.
If a fund-raising activity is held, it should provide a meaningful value or service. It should be a positive experience that builds unity.
Contributions to fund-raising activities are voluntary. Priesthood leaders should take special care to ensure that members do not feel obligated to contribute.
Stakes and wards that sponsor fund-raising activities should not advertise or solicit beyond their boundaries. Nor should they sell products or services door to door.
Examples of fund-raising activities that are not approved include:
- Activities that would be taxable.
- Activities completed with paid labor, either by employees or by contract.
- Entertainment for which the stake or ward pays performers for their services, when admission is charged, and when the intent of the activity is to raise funds.
- The sale of commercial goods or services, including food storage items.
- Games of chance, such as raffles, lotteries, and bingo.
Any exceptions to these instructions must be approved by a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency.
The Friends of Scouting fund drive in the United States will continue as a separate, voluntary solicitation.
Monday nights are reserved for family home evening throughout the Church. No Church activities, meetings, baptismal services, games, or practices should be held after 6:00 p.m. on Mondays. Other interruptions to family home evening should be avoided. An exception may be made when New Year’s Eve is on a Monday (see 13.6.11).
Leaders ensure that Church buildings and other facilities are closed on Monday nights. Receptions and other similar activities may not be held in Church facilities on Monday nights. Members are also discouraged from holding receptions in other facilities on Monday nights.
Where practical, members may want to encourage community and school leaders to avoid scheduling activities on Monday evenings that require children or parents to be away from their homes.
Members who travel in Church-sponsored groups should have the approval of the bishop or stake president. Travel for activities should not place undue burdens on members.
Long-distance travel for activities is discouraged. If a stake president or bishop feels that such travel may be justified, he prayerfully considers the potential spiritual benefits of the activity, the cost of the travel, and the effect on families before approving it.
If long-distance travel for an activity is approved, members should not provide it at their own expense. Nor should significant portions of the stake or ward budget allowance be retained from one year to the next to cover travel expenses.
Travel practices and the application of guidelines in this section should be consistent among units in the same coordinating council. Stake presidents may discuss and agree on general consistency in travel practices during coordinating council meetings.
Leaders fill out an Activity Plan form for activities that involve travel outside the local area.
When a Church activity for youth involves travel outside the local vicinity or staying overnight, parents should give written permission for their children to participate (see 13.6.13). Responsible adult supervision must be provided (see 13.6.2).
When feasible, Church groups should use commercial transportation that is licensed and is protected by liability insurance.
When Church groups travel in private passenger vehicles, each vehicle should be in safe operating condition, and each person should use a seat belt. Each driver should be a licensed, responsible adult. All vehicles and drivers should be covered with reasonable amounts of automobile liability insurance.
Church organizations may not own or acquire automobiles or buses for group travel.
A man and a woman should not travel alone together for Church activities, meetings, or assignments unless they are married to each other or are both single.