SAINTS & SCOUTS
Latter-day Saints Family participating in SDIC Scouting Programs
On January 1, 2020, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) formally commenced a new Personal Development program for Children and Youth. The introduction of the Parents and Leaders guide states: "Working together, parents and leaders help children and youth deepen their conversion, become worthy disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and become men and women of integrity."
Participation in Scouting can be a part of the goals set by LDS children and youth. The images below demonstrate how a youth or child participating in the new Church program can select Scouting activities in the areas of Spiritual, Social, Physical and Intellectual. As always, the values of Scouting combined with the teachings of the Church can help our children and youth stay focused on the Savior, develop resiliency, and "become men and women of integrity."
In the September 2019 issue of the Ensign, there are several articles related "Raising Resilient Children". In an article titled "Resilience - Spiritual Armor for Today's Youth", Elder Robbins describes the need to strengthen our youth so they are more likely to finish a tough first year of college, or complete a full term of missionary service.
Resiliency can come through doing hard things, such as meeting a demanding work schedule while attending High School, or trying new things, such as mastering a musical instrument or team sport. Inherent in the Scouting process are many opportunities to develop resiliency, such as completing a week-long backpacking trip, or navigating the process to become an Eagle Scout. Completing four years of seminary will help our youth develop resilient testimonies of Jesus Christ and His restored Church.
Over the years many LDS families have participated in Scouting with local community Cub packs and Scouts BSA troops. You can easily find a welcoming Scout unit near your home at BeAScout.org.
Or if you are interested in organizing a new Cub pack or Scouts BSA troop own your own, then feel free to contact us for assistance.
With special authorization from the Church, Vanguard International Scouting Association was organized in early 2020 to represent LDS Families around the world who desired to continue their participation in Scouting. This group will organize LDS Scouting cohorts and exhibitions and ongoing national and international jamborees.
Another important project of Vanguard is the distribution of a new set of LDS Scouting Religious Awards known as the Light & Truth Award for Cub Scouts and the Vanguard Award for older Scouts and adults. This award includes many religious activities to help today's youth set and pursue noteworthy goals just as intended by the Church's new Children and Youth Initiative. More information about this activity can be found at vanguardscouting.org/religious-awards.
Scouting provides many other FUN learning and character-building activities that would be of particular interest to families of the LDS faith. These include merit badges for Genealogy, Family Life, Music, Public Speaking and Gardening. Many families enjoy exploring the original route of the Historic Mormon Battalion Trail with the valuable lessons taught there to early church pioneers.
The chart below shows the many ways various Scouting activities can help families pursue the ideals of the Children and Youth Initiative.