Boy Scouting in LDS Wards and Branches
Boy Scouting is the BSA program for boys ages 11 through 17. At age 11, the boys join the patrol for 11-year-old Scouts and quickly earn the Scout rank. They meet weekly to work on requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. At age 12 they join the patrol for deacon-age Scouts, and for the ensuing years they work through several rank advancements and will earn at least 21 merit badges. The boys usually register as members of the Varsity team at age 14, and when they turn 16 they join the ward’s Venturing crew. The goal is eventually achieving the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout before reaching the age of 18.
To read quotes from Church leaders about the necessity of registering immediately click here: Church Policies Concerning BSA Adult Registration.
“All adult Scouting leaders must be properly registered and must complete Youth Protection training before beginning their service.” LDS Scouting Handbook, 8.5.
Complete the following two items:
- Register with the Boy Scouts of America. Fill out the Adult Application at Scouting.org. Alternatively, you may get an Adult Application from a bishopric member, the pack committee chair, or your BSA local council office.
- Complete Youth Protection training at my.Scouting.org. It will take about half an hour.
- Youth Protection (YP) training is required for all leaders in LDS units prior to submitting the Adult Application.
- Note: You do not have to be a registered member or have a member ID number to take YP training.
- To take Youth Protection training go to my.Scouting.org and create an account.
- From the my.Scouting.org portal, click on Home (upper left corner) and My Dashboard. Under the heading My Youth Protection Training, select “Youth Protection Training.”
- LDS POLICY ON THE TIMING OF YP TRAINING DIFFERS FROM BSA POLICY. As indicated above, for leaders in LDS units the YP training certificate of completion must accompany the Adult Application, even though the Adult Application indicates “New leaders are required to take Youth Protection Training within 30 days of registering and before volunteer service with youth begins.”
- If a currently registered leader is switching to a new position in the same unit, the YP certificate must accompany the Adult Application. The words “Position Change” should be added at the bottom of the application under the block for the registration fee.
- No staples: We have been told by the BSA not to use staples when attaching the YP certificate to the two-page Adult Application. Even when the staples are removed, there might still be problems in feeding applications into the scanner. Therefore, paperclips would be advisable.
- Upon completion of Youth Protection training, print the training certificate and give it, along with your completed Adult Application, to your troop committee chair (to be submitted ASAP to the district executive at the BSA local council office).
- Once your paperwork (Adult Application and YP certificate) has been submitted to the council office, it takes approximately two weeks for the background check to be completed. After two weeks you may be sustained in sacrament meeting and then begin your service.
- When your Adult Application has been approved by the BSA, you will be issued a BSA member ID number (your committee chair should be able to tell you what it is). After you know your member ID number, log back into my.Scouting.org. Find your name in the upper right-hand corner. Click on the silhouette next to your name. Then click on “Legacy MyScouting.” Click on “Continue to Legacy MyScouting.” Sign in with your username and password (if requested). Click on My Profile. Update the system by inputting your ID number. This will link your Youth Protection training records (and any other training records in my.Scouting.org) to your BSA membership.
- To learn more about BSA policies regarding Youth Protection, click here.
REQUIRED TRAINING: Once you have finished Fast Start training, you are ready to learn more about your duties and responsibilities as a leader working with the eleven-year-old Scouts. Some training is only offered live and other training is available online at My.Scouting.org.
To find out what training is required for most Scouting positions, click on the BSA’s “Trained Leader Requirements: Unit and Other Positions.”
Leader-specific training for your position: to be completed ASAP
- Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Specific Training: This is a live course (approximately 5 hours) presented by your district or council. If your district is not offering this course in the next month or two, check the council calendar for the next available course that is within a reasonable distance. The training is the same throughout the BSA and you may take the course in any district or council.
- Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills: This is an overnight training required for the adult leader of the eleven-year-old Scouts and his or her assistants (although it is also useful for any adults who are registered with the troop). This is a live training experience, and if it is not offered within the next few months in your district, check the council calendar and take it in a nearby district or council.
- Troop Committee Challenge: This online course (taking about an hour) is required for all troop committee members, including the member of the Primary presidency who represents eleven-year-old Scouts. This training should be completed within 30 days. It is also offered live in some districts.
BOY SCOUT ROUNDTABLE:
An event (usually monthly) sponsored by the district designed to help leaders carry out a successful Boy Scout program in their troops At roundtable you will get program ideas; you’ll receive information on policy, events, and training; and you’ll have the opportunity to share experiences with other Scouters and enjoy fun and fellowship. It’s at roundtable where you’ll hear about exciting (and sometimes unusual and unique) activities you can plan with your Scouts, why some camping areas are better for specific activities, and how other Scouters have succeeded in implementing the aims and methods of Scouting.
SUPPLEMENTAL TRAINING: To take these and many other online training courses go to my.Scouting.org > Home > My Dashboard > Training Center > Other > Supplemental Training.
- Planning and Preparing for Hazardous Weather: This training is required for at least one leader who is going with your unit on an outing or activity. The course is online and must be repeated every two years. Recommended for all adults who accompany the boys on outings.
- Safe Swim Defense: Required by at least one leader (preferably all adults) on outings involving activities that include swimming or wading in water over knee deep. The course is online and must be repeated every two years.
- Safety Afloat: Required by at least one adult on outings involving more than just swimming (boating, tubing, waterskiing, and so on). The course is online and must be repeated every two years.
Wood Badge is Scouting’s premier training course. It was designed by Lord Baden-Powell to enable Scouters to learn the skills and methods of Scouting; it is “learning by doing.” Those attending the course are divided into patrols consisting of about eight adults. The patrols form a troop. The entire troop lives in the out-of-doors for a week (or for two weekends), practicing Scouting skills, such as fire-building, camping, cooking, tying knots and lashes, and so on.
Many councils offer a “Sunday-friendly” course, over two weekends from Thursday through Saturday. This allows leaders in LDS units and other religious organizations to return home on Saturday night so they can attend their regular Sunday services.
Charles W. Dahlquist, former Young Men president, had this to say about the value of Wood Badge:
“If we are really intent in touching the lives of our young men. . . then we will do whatever is necessary to help us to accomplish that—including getting trained. For most of us, Wood Badge is life-changing because it has to do more with vision and understanding this great tool for strengthening young men of the Aaronic Priesthood than anything else (“The Importance of Wood Badge Training,” LDS Relationships Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1, February 2007). To view the entire article, click here.
To learn more about Wood Badge training and how you can attend, contact your local council office or check your council’s website.
Choose from the following options to keep up to date on LDS Scouting.
- As indicated on the BSA Adult Application, the adult leader of the EYO Scout patrol registers as the “Leader of 11-year-old Scouts (LDS Troop),” with position code “10.” The assistant adult leader for the EYO Scout patrol registers as an “Assistant Scoutmaster” with position code “SA.” (See page 2 of the BSA Adult Application.)
- Youth Leadership: “In consultation with the ward Primary presidency and the [adult] leader of the eleven-year-old Scouts, the bishopric appoints one of the boys to serve as the patrol leader [of the eleven-year-old Scout patrol]” (LDS Scouting Handbook, 6.2).
- “Although they are part of the ward Scout troop, they function in their own patrol and operate under the direction of the ward Primary presidency. They can participate with the ward Boy Scout troop in occasional daytime activities as well as boards of review and courts of honor. Scouting prepares eleven-year-old boys to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and transition into the deacons quorum and Young Men program. . . . [These] overnight camp experiences may be held with the ward’s Boy Scout troop” (LDS Scouting Handbook, 6.2).
- “The bishopric adviser to the Primary or another qualified male adult should be invited to supervise the overnight camping experience when the leader of the eleven-year-old Scouts is a woman” (LDS Scouting Handbook, 6.2).
- More details about Scouting for eleven-year-olds is found in other paragraphs of section 6.2 of the LDS Scouting Handbook. In the BSA this patrol is known as the “new Scout patrol,” and information on patrols for new Scouts is found in the Boy Scout Handbook, the Scoutmaster Handbook, and online.