The Ward Role in Scouting
The implementation and administration of Scouting is done at the ward level through the Aaronic Priesthood and Primary organizations.
“Quorums may participate in Scouting activities during Mutual. Scouting should help young men put into practice the gospel principles they learn on Sunday” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 8.13.4).
“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” (Handbook 2, 11.5.3).
For topics not covered below, ward leaders (the bishopric, the Young Men presidency, and the Primary presidency) should search the LDS-BSA Relationships website (ldsbsa.org) for information on the specific units for which they are responsible; for how to grow Scouting in the ward; and for information on finances, camping, training, and so on. The videos, blogs, and success stories shared by experienced Scouters will serve as valuable resources to all ward Scouting leaders, including committee members. The most recent guidelines are found at Scouting Guidelines for the Ward and should be used as a ready reference for the bishopric and other ward Scouting leaders.
Note: The terms bishop and bishopric on this website apply also to branch president and branch presidency. The term ward also applies to a branch in the Church.
Follow the guidelines 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 Guidelines.
Bishopric members, Young Men presidency members, and designated ward Primary presidency members register as members of the committees of the Scouting units for which they have stewardship. Alternatively, Young Men presidency may register as assistant leaders in the Scouting units for which they have stewardship. If a bishopric member, Primary presidency member, or Young Men presidency member serves in more than one Scouting position in the ward, he or she must fill out a separate Adult Application for each position (additional registrations are known as “multiple registrations”). There is no fee for multiple registrations.
- “The bishop assigns a counselor to serve as the ward’s representative to the local Scouting district. This counselor registers as the chartered organization representative (COR)” for each unit in the ward. (LDS Scouting Guidelines). He may multiple register as a member of the committee (or as the chairman of the committee) serving the boys of the quorum over which he has stewardship.
- The bishopric member responsible for overseeing the Primary generally registers as a pack committee member. He may wish to multiple register as a member of the troop committee (because he has stewardship over the eleven-year-old Scouts).
Complete the following two items and return the adult application and the Youth Protection certificate to the committee chair of the unit for which you are registering.
- Fill out the Adult Application at Scouting.org or pick one up at your BSA local council office.
- Complete Youth Protection Training at My.Scouting.org.
Note: You do not have to be a registered member or have a member ID to take Youth Protection training. Youth Protection training is required for all leaders in LDS units prior to submitting the Adult Application.
- To take Youth Protection (YP) training go to My.Scouting.org and create an account.
- From the My.Scouting.org portal, click on Home and then My Dashboard and take Youth Protection training. There are two versions of YP training: standard YP (about 30 minutes) and Venturing YP (slightly longer). Bishopric members, designated Primary presidency members, and YM presidency members should take standard YP, unless they are registering with the Venturing crew. However, because bishopric and YM presidency members work with all the youth in the ward they are encouraged to take both YP courses.
- Upon completion of Youth Protection training, print the training certificate and give it, along with your completed adult application, to the appropriate committee chair (to be submitted to the BSA local council office).
- When your Adult Application has been approved by the BSA, you will receive a BSA membership card, which includes your member ID number. After you receive your membership card, log onto MyScouting.org (using the same log-in information as you used for My.Scouting.org), click on My Profile, and update the system by inputting your member ID number. This will link your Youth Protection training records (and your other training records) to your BSA membership.
Even though your ward leadership position doesn’t necessarily require regular attendance at the youth activity meetings, you need to have some idea of what the boys are doing in Scouting. The training courses listed below will give a good overview of the program for each specific age group. Fast Start training videos less than half an hour and will help you as you support the ward’s Scouting program.
- Cub Scouting: Ward leaders with stewardship over boys ages 8 through 10 should take the four training modules in the introductory segment of Cub Scout Leader Position-Specific Training, available at My.Scouting.org. This segment (Before First Meeting) replaces the Fast Start videos previously available for Cub Scout leaders. Click HERE to access “Take the Required Training for Your Cub Scout Leadership Position,” a guide to navigating the complicated route to the training courses.
- Boy Scouting: Ward leaders with stewardship over boys ages 11 through 13 should take Boy Scout Fast Start training. Go to my.Scouting.org > Home (upper left corner) > My Dashboard > Training Center > Boy Scouting > Fast Start: Boy Scouting > Take Course
- Varsity Scouting: Ward leaders with stewardship over boys ages 14 and 15 should take Varsity Leader Fast Start training. Go to my.Scouting.org > Home (upper left corner) > My Dashboard > Training Center > Venturing and Varsity > Varsity Leader Fast Start > Take Course
- Venturing: Ward leaders with stewardship over boys ages 16 and 17 should take Venturing Leader Fast Start training. Go to my.Scouting.org > Home (upper left corner) > My Dashboard > Training Center > Venturing and Varsity > Fast Start: Venturing > Take Course
As a member of the bishopric, the YM presidency, or the Primary presidency, you will probably be registering as a committee member. Currently the required training for pack committee members and troop committee members is offered online at My.Scouting.org. Team and crew committee members must take a live training course offered by the district or council. For more details, on this website (LDSBSA.org) click onto the New Leader tab (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, or Venturers) to learn how to take the required training for your Scouting position.
CUB SCOUT ROUNDTABLE, BOY SCOUT ROUNDTABLE, VARSITY HUDDLE, and VENTURING FORUM:
Ongoing training events (usually held monthly) sponsored by the district designed to help leaders carry out a successful program in their packs, troops, teams, and crews. At roundtable (in your specific age-appropriate session) 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. The training takes about 40 minutes to complete and is both age-appropriate and recommended for all adult leaders and for youth in Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturing crews.
- 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.
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