Dear LDS Scouting Families and Friends
Thank you for your participation in the Boy Scouts of America! Recently the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made an important announcement about the future partnership with the BSA. After December 31, 2019, the Church won’t be a charter partner for Scout units.
The following is a statement given by the Boy Scouts of America:
“The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) deeply appreciates the long-standing relationship we’ve had with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a chartered organization. While Scouting remains a beloved program for many LDS families, the Church has decided to pursue programming that helps it meet the needs of their increasingly global membership and will no longer charter units after December 31, 2019. We jointly express our gratitude to the thousands of Scout leaders who have selflessly served over the years in Church-sponsored Scouting units and wish the Church all the best as it prepares to introduce the new program in 2020.”
“There are many religiously-affiliated programs that are offered alongside Scouting, and as such, we are confident that many LDS Scouting families will go on to enjoy Scouting for years to come – continuing the legacy of LDS youth who have become Eagle Scouts and community leaders. For LDS families who want to continue the tradition of Scouting beyond 2019, the BSA will ensure a smooth transition to community-sponsored units that will welcome youth previously served by LDS-sponsored units.”
“At the same time, the Boy Scouts of America is excited about our future and the opportunity to grow by providing families more options for their children to benefit from the incredible character-building experiences we provide.”
Here are some quotes from Elder Holland
“Please know how grateful we are to the BSA. We are friends now and we will be friends forever. In 18 months when our charters are finished, we hope that many LDS youth who wish to do so will still choose to be in Scouting. It is just the charter part that we are separating from. We’re going to stay in close contact. And we are locked arm in arm and hand in hand for the next 18 months. Please keep your shoulder to the wheel. Let me stress again, ‘This isn’t a divorce.’ It’s growth. We’re not in any way disavowing any of those virtues of Scouting. This is about children. We hope that you keep serving. Let me say it again, ‘Keep Serving.’”
“Collectively and individually we are invested in this. My boys are Eagle Scouts and my grandsons are Eagle Scouts. There has been considerable anguish at the highest levels of the Church as we have made this decision. But we hope there can be comfort and understanding as we move forward.”
The Michigan Crossroads Council, Boy Scouts of America and its four field service councils are dedicated in providing a Scout program for every family who desires one. To this end, we wanted to write you to let you know we are already working on assisting your family to transition into a new Scout unit.
We have begun forming a task force that includes LDS Scout volunteers and church leaders to help keep you informed of the latest news leading up to December 31, 2019. This committee will be reaching out to other families and yours to determine Scouting needs. They will assist with connecting you with existing Scout units or with securing a new charter partner for your own Scout unit depending on the need or desire.
There will be more information coming soon. However, for now, please be assured that we consider your family’s continued participation in Scouting as important. We want to provide a transition that is as easy as possible.
For more than 100 years, the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America have partnered to provide the best leadership development program for young men. We know this is important to you and your family. We will do whatever is within our power to assist your son/family to continue benefiting from Scouting and preparing them for life.
We encourage you and your family to watch this brief video from former National BSA Commissioner Charles Dahlquist, II.
Feel free to reach out to me or your field service council if you have any questions or concerns. I may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 517-940-4210 ext. 1040.
Thank you for your continued involvement in Scouting.
Gary R. Gilger
Deputy Scout Executive, COO