Welcome to the LDS-BSA Blog!  We are currently collecting ideas to share with LDS Scouters & families and look forward to sharing them soon!

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  1. Paul Van Komen says:

    For years and years and years I have been told that the official scout advancement software is being updated, but have only experienced the software just getting more and more out of date and less and less useful.

    Also, rechartering from the Church should be almost fully automated by based the rechartering on the existing church membership records and allowing for the addition of any nonmember boys or leaders who to be included.

    Since the Boy Scouts of America don’t seem to be able to make any real meaningful progress, couldn’t the Church create its own interface to be included with the already existing membership software. It seems the investment of time by the Church in doing this would make it possible for the the volunteer scouters to free themselves from the unnecessary bureaucratic inefficiencies and actually spend time with the boys instilling scouting and church principles.

  2. Winsor says:

    Friends of Scouting methods and ideas. Statements of Church officials on giving financially to FOS.

  3. Christina Massingill says:

    I am cub master of pack 4418, liberty second ward. I would be open to any ideas to make a stronger youth attendance. I have one out of 5 boys that shows up on a regular basis and the others think it is boring. I was called three weeks ago, I would like to have help. Thanks.

  4. Gene Toler says:

    I have a version of the Scouting Handbook that was published in 2008. Does the new 2012 edition supersede this one now?

    1. Mac says:

      Sorry for the late reply. The LDS-BSA Relationships office just discovered there are questions on this site. They have asked me to reply to your question.

      Actually there now is a May 2014 edition of the Scouting Handbook. And yes, every revised edition will supersede previous editions.

  5. Don Johnson says:

    At present my ward has no Venturing program or leaders. Assuming we were to get leaders from the Bishop we would still have an on going issue of not having enough time to be able to complete awards in the venturing program. This appears to be a church wide problem, at least here in Southern California. Has anyone been able to make this work with only two years?

    1. MarlaThomas says:

      The Venturing Program and Awards have changed some in 2014. See the brand new 2014 Venturing program. Here are some information links:






  6. Chris says:

    I have a question from many members of my council–we could not find any official statement concerning the wearing of awards like the new Thomas S. Monson award. Many of our boys are excited about this award, but we as leaders don’t know if the boys only wear the medal during courts of honor or if they can wear it anytime they have the uniform on. Thanks!

    1. Mac says:

      Sorry for the late reply. The LDS-BSA Relationships office just discovered there are questions on this site. They have asked me to reply to your question.

      To my knowledge there is no “official” policy on this. The boys can wear the Thomas S. Monson Award whenever they wish. I, however, only wear my Monson Award and George Albert Smith Award at courts of honor.

  7. Carolyn Smith says:

    Is the member of the ward primary presidency that is over cub scouting also over the 11-yr old scout program?

  8. Donald Sonnefeld says:

    I get asked a lot of questions about fundraising and the “high cost” of scouting activities. Clarification of the church’s view of Council fundraisers (like popcorn sales) verses local unit fundraisers in light of the handbook instruction of “only one fundraiser per year,” would be an excellent topic and is generally needed. That may be an excellent topic for instruction on your blog

    1. Mac says:

      Here is the current policy regarding popcorn sales by LDS Units:

      The Scouting Handbook for Church Units in the United States (May 2014) contains the following statement in section 8.13 “Commercially produced or packaged goods or services should not be sold.” Popcorn is considered to be a commercial product and thus the sale of popcorn is not approved as an LDS Scouting unit fundraiser. However, the Church does encourage a young man to pay his own way to camp. Individual young men can sign up to sell popcorn under their BSA local council and sell in their behalf. This option (selling by individual Scouts) is only available to those Scouts whose councils offer this program. (http://www.ldsbsa.org/leader-resources/faqs/)

      Apparently “individual” LDS scouts can sell popcorn, but, apparently LDS “units” cannot sell popcorn.

  9. Keith Whiting says:

    Thank you for providing such a wonderful event for the Scouts in my unit to enjoy. I appreciate all of the time and effort it took to put on such an incredible production. Thank you for reinforcing the values of Scouting. May the Lord bless at those who participated.

  10. Marla Thomas says:

    Is it wise for a ward unit to register all levels of Young Men in the Boy Scout Troop and then separately multiple the same young men in each of their Aaronic Priesthood Quorums of Boy Scouts (for the Deacons Quorum), Varsity Scouts (for the Teachers Quorum) and Venturing Crew (for the Priests Quorum)? There have been comments that this is the only way young men will actually advance in ranks. Please post comments both PRO and NAY.

    1. Robert Bardsley says:

      I have three units in my YM group . (Troop, Team and Crew) All start off in the Troop and when they hit Teachers Quorum I register them in both the Team and Crew. They can still work on traditional advancement in the Team and in the Crew (as long as they are 1st class) but now have the added luxury of earning Varsity and Venturing advancement. I have two Priests who have decided to complete their Eagle this year under the Team instead of the Crew. If you run a good Scout program while they are 11 yr old and then in Deacons by the time they turn 14 they should be at least working on Life. then they run into the normal teenage issues that can slow down advancement. (sports, work, girls)

      When they turn 18 they are dropped from the Troop and Team but still stay registered with the Crew. That way they can still do Scout stuff if they are in their Senior year or participate in one last High Adventure trip before going to college or on a mission.

  11. Susan Harris says:

    I’m newly called Stake Primary President and I’m anxious to get registered and trained. We also have 3 new ward ward Primary Presidencies who will also need to do the same.

    1. Mac says:

      Sorry for the late reply. The LDS-BSA Relationships office just discovered there are questions on this site. They have asked me to reply to your question.

      If you haven’t already done so, contact your previous Stake Primary Presidency, your high council representative over primary, and/or your District Executive to get trained.

  12. Douglas W. Wilson says:

    why do es the church not recognize Scout Sunday?? arrangements could be made for MP to administer sacrament, and let all scouts(cub,boy)and leaders wear uniforms!!

    1. Mac says:

      Sorry for the late reply. The LDS-BSA Relationships office just discovered there are questions on this site. They have asked me to reply to your question.

      The sacrament meeting is the most sacred of Church meetings outside of the temple. The chapel is an ordinance room wherein members partake of the holy ordinance of the sacrament. Any ceremony, music, activity, or dress that detracts from that experience is discouraged.

  13. Darren Kelsey says:

    Can the young men still earn the Thomas S. Monson Award?

  14. Mike Tolman says:

    Several questions: We are an East Coast Troop but hear different things about scouting in Utah and other points west.
    1) We have been told that we cannot participate in Popcorn sales due to door to door requirements. But the flyer on here shows that the Rocky Mountain Council had popcorn sales. How ?

    2) Is there any way to get the old “buffalo” head awards for the Duty to God award ? Our boys are NOT motivated by a “certificate” at the end of six years.

    1. Mac says:

      Sorry for the late reply. The LDS-BSA Relationships office just discovered there are questions on this site. They have asked me to reply to your question.

      Question 1): See my answer above to the same question. Also, my Mac’s Message #32 on the LDS-BSA Relationships blog will explain ways to fund your LDS Scouting activities.

      Question 2): When the new Duty to God program was launched it originally did not have any award — not even a certificate. The reason was to stress that the process of learn, act, and share is a lifetime activity that a boy should do throughout his life to fulfill his duty to God. Therefore, there is no end to the “program” since it is not a program. Hopefully YM leaders will help boys to realize their Duty to God efforts are undertaken not to achieve an award, but to fulfill their duties as a faithful priesthood holder, What they learn by doing their Duty to God is an example of how they should learn, act, and share as a missionary, husband, father, and future Melchizedek Priesthood holder.

      Now, having said that, if you still want to give out the buffalo head award, you can search the closets of your ward building (I know my ward still has some lying around) or look on ebay to purchase some for your boys. Maybe there are some ward members who have one sitting in a drawer somewhere (as I do) that they would be willing to give to your boys.

  15. Robert Bardsley says:

    Newest edition always wins out.

  16. Marla Thomas says:

    Thank you for your reply. I just discovered that on July 31, 2014 you answered my November 10, 2013 question. I am an LDS unit commissioner to my own ward and have been for a long time. In addition, I am the district training chairman to both LDS and non-LDS adult scouters. This “registration situation” continues to be misunderstood in many LDS units. But, I, personally, do not usually see LDS units having any misunderstanding about the fact that cub scouts (of Primary) should be separate from the troop, team and/or crew. I do feel that the new Scouting Handbook for units in the United States dated May 2014 pretty much makes this a moot point because it does indicate that the registrations are done by quorums. The biggest obstacle is when I overhear adult scouters say, “I have never seen a Varsity Team work and function right.” When I hear this I realize that scouter has never had positive Varsity Team experiences! Sometimes I will remain silent and sometimes I will mention that I have had several experiences of both successful and unsuccessful Varsity Teams . . .(to be continued . . .)

  17. Trina says:

    Got it…

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