BSA Leaders Visit Church Sites to Strengthen Relationships

Scouting professionals and volunteers—from 12 councils and 7 states—gathered in Salt Lake City, Utah, September 28th through 30th for the LDS-BSA Relationships Seminar. Held each April and October, the three-day event coincides with the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The purpose of the seminar is to strengthen LDS-BSA relationships […]

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Scott’s Brotherhood Blog #20: The Ordeal

Muffled footsteps on damp ground signaled the approach of an expected group. From the darkness emerged a collection of young men along with a couple of adults, each outfitted in his own way for a night of solitary camping. In the shadows of our dimly-lit circle I could make out anticipation and apprehension on the […]

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LDS-BSA Jamboree News #3: Report on Jamboree from a Commissioner

WOW! That is the one word I would use to describe the 2017 National Scout Jamboree, attended by nearly 40,000 participants, volunteers, staff and visitors at The Bechtel Summit. In 2010 and 2013 I was on the Family Life merit badge staff at the jamboree. This year I went as staff to sub-camp C3 and […]

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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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Safety Moment: Will You Be a Rescue Statistic?

  The Boston Globe recently reported that from 2004 to 2014 a total of 46,609 people required search and rescue aid– and that is just in the country’s national parks.  The Globe further reported the death toll from those needing rescue was 1,578 with another 13,957 people injured and a rescue cost exceeding $51 million.  […]

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A Minute with Mark: Takeaways from Top Hands

Last week I attended the annual Top Hands conference for professional BSA leaders from across the nation. We gathered in Dallas, Texas, for five days of learning and collaboration. One of the significant things that Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, discussed with us was Youth Protection. Mike was passionate and adamant in his remarks. The […]

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Stake Leaders and Families Attend the Priesthood Leadership Conference on Scouting

On a Saturday afternoon in July, carloads of travel-weary but excited families drive up a tree-lined road at the Philmont Training Center in northeastern New Mexico. Members of the Young Men and Primary General Presidencies greet the vehicles of parents and children as they arrive at the Priesthood Leadership Conference on Scouting, a week-long training […]

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Scott’s Brotherhood Blog #19: The Vigil Honor

Weary but happy. That’s how the small group of young men in uniform looked as they smiled in the crisp sunrise air listening to bird calls and waves on the lakeshore. Along with the handful of other Scouts and Scouters present that recent morning, each of these new Vigil Honor members of the Order of […]

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A Minute with Mark – Thoughts from the LDS-BSA Relationships Director

This summer I spent time at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree held at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. The Jamboree was an incredible experience in many ways. Young men and women had exciting and challenging outdoor experiences. Adult leaders served in selfless and amazing ways. People from across our nation—and […]

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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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Scouting Moms #9: Scouts ISN’T Church—Putting the OUT in Cub ScOUT

“We meet each week for Cub Scouts in this church classroom on Wednesday nights,” I once overheard a Wolf den leader announcing to a new eight-year-old boy and his parents. “Aaaggghhh!” I wanted to groan out loud. It wasn’t the first time I had heard of Cub Scouts meeting in a classroom. Cub Scouts isn’t […]

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Mac’s Message #81: The New Teacher-Priest Activity Program

As an organizational development consultant specializing in strategic planning, I help company executives define their overarching strategic intentions, clearly understand what business they are in, and know why they exist. On May 11, 2017, the First Presidency announced that the Church will no longer sponsor Varsity and Venturing programs after this year. This has spurred […]

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