Mormon church pulls older boys from Boy Scouts programs

The change becomes effective January 1, 2018, and will allow youth leaders to implement a simplified program that meets local needs and provides activities that balance spiritual, social, physical and intellectual developmental goals for young men, according to a Church statement release on Thursday, May 11.

Four LDS leaders sat on the National Executive Board at the time, including lifelong Scouter President Thomas S. Monson; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve; Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, General Primary President; and Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President.

The Mormon church is pulling older teenagers from the Boy Scouts as the religion takes a step toward developing its own global scouting-like program.

Church Spokesman Doug Anderson said the decision was based on the inability of teen Scouting programs to appeal to older members who achieved top ranks and merit badges early.

Boy Scouts of America Spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said that, of the 330,000 scouts in the LDS Church, about 130,000 members between ages 14 and 18 could be leaving as a result of Thursday's decision. "I don't think the world's ending", said Farrer, an Idaho Falls resident who became an Eagle Scout in 1974 and has been involved in scouting for most of his life.

Is this due to changes in Scout policy in the past few years to allow gay and transgender Scouts and leaders? There are now more Mormons living outside of the United States, than in it.

Dahlquist said the Varsity and Venturing programs that the church is dropping were effective. There were 2,076 Cub Scouts, 1,673 Boy Scouts, 823 Varsity youth and 897 Venturing youth.

It's obvious the Boy Scouts of America has gone through some colorful changes over the years, but this might be the kind of "change" the Mormons aren't quite feeling.

Guy Aydelotte, who grew up in Boise, said that as a Mormon teen, there was already less emphasis on Boy Scouts after he turned 14.

The timing of the church's withdrawal has some people looking toward a policy change the Scouts made in 2015, when the organization chose to allow gay troop leaders.

Van Putten said the biggest question she receives from parents is about the cost of Scouting.

The Mormon church announced today it is no longer participating in two Boy Scouts of America programs for older teenagers. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will continue to be supported by the LDS Church, according to the statement. Numerous troops are sponsored by churches or the American Legion.

The church did not provide a timeline for the rollout of the program for younger age groups.

"Somebody once said that if a leader isn't trained in the Scouting program, they default to the program of their youth".

In 2013, the church put on an extravagant theatrical production inside its 21,000-seat auditorium in Salt Lake City to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the faith's alliance with the Boy Scouts.

  • Leroy Wright