Still Scouting: Bailing or Building?

Are we bailing water on a sinking ship?


I get asked questions like this all the time as an Assistant District Commissioner and as an admin for two social media pages for Latter-day Saint Scouting leaders.


My answer, of course, is a resounding, “No!”

In May 2018, the Church stated that we would, “remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting” until Dec. 31st, 2019.

This statement has power in it. We are not bailing water, we are to continuing to build character! Building is much different than bailing.

We have been given our assignment. Our work–which will never stop–is to raise boys into amazing men.

Let’s each of us recommit ourselves to this goal by setting the example for those around us who may be floundering and who are focusing on bailing rather than building.

There are boys who need quality activities, parents who need Boards of Review to happen and boys with a Life rank that are so close to the great accomplishment of earning their Eagle Scout award.

Do we want to be that leader who turned their back on these boys in the 11th hour?

Not me! As for me and my house we will serve the Lord however and where ever he calls us to go!

During my Scouting service I have suffered both a brain tumor and two aneurysms. Even during my difficult health issues I have found joy in my Scouting service.

I will show the Lord that I can be entrusted with these souls who have value beyond earthly measure.

Who knows how long each of us has on this earth? I am glad that I have a legacy of helping youth along the trail.

I invite you to join me in building–not bailing–as Latter-day Saint Scouters in the 4th watch upon the tower!!


-Submitted by Roseanne Service
Assistant District Commissioner, Agave District, Grand Canyon Council
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  1. Michael says:

    Great commentary! Thank you for sharing. The title and topic brings such vivid images. Unfortunate that some choose to start bailing by not magnifying current callings and opportunities all the way through to the end. They are just drifting with the false hope that the future program will be ever so much easier to endure. I wonder why they think their attitude and commitment level will be any different next year? The youth suffer, opportunities are wasted, and blessings are missed!

  2. Pinki Mimi says:

    I believe in Scouting, in following the methods of Scouting. I have been a volunteer for more than 10 years. It breaks my heart to see how the boys and YM in our Ward not participating to the very end, because the YMP has decided not to do Scouting this year. What if the RSP decided not to assign any ministering sisters, because it is just too hard?

  3. David Freeborn says:

    it is really hard to continue when ward or stake leaders offer zero support. It is doubly hard when you offer to help and provide activities and programs and are ignored. I applaud those who are successfully continuing and am grateful to those leaders who are still supporting their programs.

  4. LeAnn says:

    I struggle because as leaders we have committed to providing a quality program clear till the end, but the parents have bailed … which means so have many of our scouts.

  5. Michael Dean says:

    Question: I suspect there will be a population of LDS young men and women that want to continue and/or join Scouting going forward. Most non-LDS troops camp on Sunday. Do you see an option for LDS sponsorship of troops for adults and youth that want to participate on a volunteer (rather than called) basis outside of the YM/YW activity program?

  6. Greg Kearney says:

    So here is some interesting questions to consider. In many of our chapels there are plaques with the names of all the young men who are Eagle Scouts.

    In January 2020 do we remove these?

    Do we continue to add names to them for boys that earn Eagle Scout after January 1, 2020?

    What if they earned it in a community troop?

    Will we add the names of girls who become Eagle Scouts in the future?

    Are LDS families that continue scouting after 2020 going to be viewed as suspect, particularly if their daughters are in scouting?

  7. Rick Chappell says:

    I appreciate the thought, but in all honesty, the BSA part is not required for building young men. We’re going to have some challenges in about 7 months. We’re going to have to function without the Eagle Scout.
    I’ve been a highly involved leader for more than 30 years and it’s painful to see this change, but it’s coming. It’s much better for leaders to focus on delivering a program that builds young men whether or not it involves BSA.

  8. Jody Fox says:

    You go, Girl!
    LDS Women in scouting, unite!

  9. koohlman says:

    This has been something that I have been trying to pass to the leadership in our stake. The stake last year took on the scouting program to help the boys feel more involved since many of the wards only had one or two boys. Once the announcement came out many parents stopped giving support to the scouts and bishops started to also pull their support from the program, making it so that the boys wouldn’t be able to attend the camp that was planned and initial payment made. These last five months many of the scout leaders have stopped coming to weekday activities and we have been told that the remaining activities are just to be fun and not scout centered.

  10. J. Mick Epperson says:

    Bailing or Building?!?!? What a great article and testimony that service never fails. Service always pays off when helping the youth.
    So now what? How do we go from NOT bailing and continuing to build?
    I still see Young Men and Young Women having meaningful Mutual evenings where they are learning a gospel principle. I see them still going on fun and meaningful outings and having those great Stake and Multi-Stake Conferences. I still see Young Men and Young Women taking hiking trips of 5 Miles and 10 miles for a one day or one night trip. I still see YM and YW doing 25 and 50-mile outings to learn that there is NO TURNING BACK once you get halfway there – no matter how much they miss their Mom, video device or girlfriend/boyfriend.
    There will be the Scout Troop sponsored by one of your friend’s organizations so those who want an Eagle Scout Award can get it. There will still be opportunities to earn religious and YW of Promise Awards. Duty to God now becomes an experience with a goal in mind and not just a booklet to check off.
    Brothers and Sisters in the leadership of our Youth – do not bail on anyone. Especially yourself. Tell the Bishop you want to be the camp director or the trail boss. Don’t quit building. We need YM and YW who are ready to serve and return with honor. Not YM and YW who don’t know much more than the screen of a video game.
    My son, a Scoutmaster in the Crossroads District of the SDIC BSA, continues to build. He won the Top Troop Award at the Camporee this year. He has four YM who will earn their Eagle before December. He helped me to get my Wood Badge beads this year.
    We will never bail on any Youth.
    Now, go figure it out. Go figure out how to do activities that will stretch the imagination and build character and challenge them physically. GO!
    J. Mick Epperson
    Dad to six. Grandpa to 18+
    Proud to call our sons Eagle Scouts.

  11. Robert says:

    This is a great article, however, those who need to read it are not going to. Why? Because they don’t know about this website and, most likely, really don’t care about Scouting. Those of us who do care about Scouting are already giving our time and talents to our callings (as well as other assignments in scouting that are not church related – such as serving in district or council positions)

  12. Glenn says:

    I worked with boys outside of the church in great supported programs. I was given the calling in our ward as scoutmaster. I had no support from YM presidency, bishopric, or parents. Our ward did not care about scouting or the youth getting Eagle or learning the valuable skills tought.

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