Click on one of the FAQs below to see the answer.

Q: Questions regarding involvement by LDS Scouts (boys registered in LDS troops and teams) in the Order of the Arrow (OA)

Q:  May LDS Scouts participate in the Order of the Arrow?

A:  Yes. The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting’s national honor society. Membership in the Order of the Arrow can give Scouts new and exciting ways to enhance their Scouting experience and more opportunities to provide service and learn leadership. The OA supports the teachings of the Church regarding cheerful service and brotherhood. Troops and teams may hold elections for their youth under the direction of the OA chapter unit election team. Adult leaders can be recommended for OA membership and may participate in OA activities.


Q:  How can OA chapter leaders encourage LDS Scouts and Scouters to get involved in the Order of the Arrow?

A:  Use the SURGE program developed by Section W-2W of the Western Region of the Order of the Arrow. Section W-2W includes chapters and lodges in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. SURGE stands for Supporting Units through Really Great Elections. It is specifically designed for outreach to units that are sponsored by wards and branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Q:  Why should OA chapters use the SURGE program?

A:  LDS units have lower than average participation in the Order of the Arrow. Sometimes an OA chapter’s unit election team is not well trained and could leave a poor first impression. If the chapter unit election team does not provide a really good election experience, newly elected Scouts might not complete the induction process. The SURGE program can help! Section W-2W wants to make SURGE available to OA chapters nationwide. For more information on how local OA chapters can use SURGE, visit http://western.oa-bsa.org/surge/.

Q: SUPERCEDED AUGUST 1, 2017, BY REVERSION TO PRIOR CAMPOUT REQUIREMENTS. How does the new First Class Scout rank requirement (six nights camping) affect eleven-year-old Scouts in LDS units?

A:  Eleven-year-old Scouts in LDS units will again be able to earn First Class rank before they turn twelve by completing three one-night campouts. Eleven-year-old Scouts in LDS units are still limited to three one-night campouts and will not be able to attain First Class rank before they turn twelve. HOWEVER, BSA transition guidelines allow boys who have begun working on Tenderfoot through First Class before January 1, 2016, to continue to work on the existing requirements and complete their First Class rank with only three campouts . For more details, click the link for Transitioning to the 2016 Boy Scout Requirements.

The May 2015 LDS Scouting Handbook contains the following instruction: “Eleven-year-old Scouts participate in rank advancement. They are encouraged to complete as many of the First Class rank requirements as possible before turning 12, with the exception of the requirement for six overnight camps. Eleven-year-old Scouts may participate in three one-night camps a year, which meets the camping requirements for advancement to the rank of Second Class” (Scouting Handbook for Church Units in the United States, Revised May 2015, 6.2; boldface added).

For a chart indicating all changes in BSA rank requirements (Scout through Eagle Palm) see 2016 Boy Scout requirements—parallel comparison

Q: Can a Scouting unit be created or rechartered with fewer than five boys?

A:  Yes, in some circumstances.

There must be at least five paid boys in a pack, troop, or team, and five paid youth members in a crew or ship. It is possible to register a unit with fewer, if special circumstances exist. The Scout executive may give permission to allow a unit to register with as few as two paid youth members. No unit can register with fewer than two paid youth members. Units with more than 100 members or fewer than five at registration time must be approved by the Scout executive. This approval should be in writing and kept in the unit’s historical file.  (Registrar Procedures Manual, Unit Requirements, #524-901, 2013 Printing, p. 33)

Q: How will the new (March 1, 2015) BSA registration policy work for Venturers in LDS crews who turn 18?

A:  Adult participants in LDS Venturing crews will be expected to follow BSA registration requirements if they continue in the Venturing program after they turn 18. NOTE: An “adult participant” is a registered Venturer between the ages of 18 and 21.

Follows is a summary of the applicable registration requirements:

  • All persons who turn 18 on or after March 1, 2015, whether currently registered with the BSA or not, MUST fill out an Adult Application in order to become registered or remain registered in a Venturing crew.
    • The Church’s Venturing program generally serves young men ages 16 and 17. However, there will be a number of 18-year-old young men who will not yet have graduated from high school and who will want to continue with their Venturing crew while still in high school and for a few months following graduation in order to participate in their crew’s summer activities.
    • They may do so but they MUST fill out an Adult Application and take Youth Protection training (Venturing version).
    • Adult participants will indicate “VP” (Venturing Participant) as the position code on the Adult Application.
  • A currently registered Venturer who turned 18 before March 1, 2015, does NOT have to file an Adult Application UNLESS he or she plans to attend a BSA high adventure base, turns 21, or serves on a BSA staff, such as camp staff.

Q: Are popcorn sales an appropriate fundraiser for LDS units?

A:  The Scouting Handbook for Church Units in the United States (May 2015) contains the following statement in section 8.15  “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.

Q: Can the Webelos rank and the Arrow of Light rank be completed in one year? (Answer updated in March 2017)

A:  (Answer updated in March 2017) Yes. The new rank requirements for both the Webelos and the Arrow of Light (AoL) have made it easier to complete both ranks within one year. Previously, under the “new” Cub Scout program (effective in June 2015), fourteen adventures were required. Now, effective December 2016, a minimum of eleven adventures must be completed for advancement (six for Webelos, five for AoL).  For details, see BSA Program Updates, and scroll to Webelos/Arrow of Light Addendum .

  • Webelos: 1. Cast Iron Chef;  2. Duty to God and You (with family); 3. First Responder; 4. Stronger, Faster, Higher; 5. Webelos Walkabout; and 6. one Webelos elective adventure (of the den or family’s choice). He must also complete the requirements to earn the Cyber Chip (must be completed annually to be current).
  • Arrow of Light: 1. Building a Better World; 2. Duty to God in Action (with family); 3. Outdoorsman (formerly Camper)—Option A (including a campout) OR Option B (including an outdoor activity); 4. Scouting Adventure; and 5. one AoL elective adventure (of the den or family’s choice). He must also complete the requirements to earn the Cyber Chip if it has expired.

Remember that boys can also work with their families on all of these adventures at home.

Q: Is earning the Webelos badge still a requirement to earn the Arrow of Light Award?

A:  No. There is no longer a requirement that the Webelos badge must be earned to complete the Arrow of Light requirements. Transitioning Webelos who have earned their Webelos badge prior to June 1, 2015, may complete the Arrow of Light requirements in the “old” book, if desired.

Since the duty to God adventures are completed at home, do we still need to use the Faith in God for Boys guidebook when planning our den meetings?

Yes. “Where Scouting is authorized by the Church, Scout activities take the place of activity days for boys ages 8 through 11. To maintain a gospel focus in Scout activities, leaders use the Faith in God for Boys guidebook as one of their resources. As boys fulfill requirements in the guidebook, they also qualify for religious awards in Scouting” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 11.5.3).

Is overnight camping required in the new program?

“No Scout-sponsored overnight camping should be planned for boys under age 11” (Scouting Handbook for Church Units in the United States [May 2014], 6.1).

“If your chartered organization [i.e. your ward or branch] does not permit Cub Scout camping, you may substitute a family campout or a daylong outdoor activity with your den or pack”   (2015 – 2016 Cub Scout Requirements [November 19, 2014], 10, 19, 30, 37).

Do members of the stake Primary presidency serve as unit commissioners?

The stake Primary presidency may register with BSA as unit commissioners, or the stake presidency may designate other members of the stake to serve as unit commissioners under the direction of the stake Primary presidency. In making this assignment, the stake presidency should be careful not to overburden members who have other obligations” (LDS Scouting Handbook, 3.4).

How do I handle the transition into the new Cub Scout program?

 See 2015–2016 Cub Scout Program Transition Information (March 2, 2015).

Pages four through seven contain specific ideas for Cub Scout dens and packs sponsored by wards and branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On January 17, 2015, the BSA presented several informative webcasts containing details about the transition period. There are webcasts for Cubmasters, den leaders, and leaders in LDS units. LDS leaders should view the Cubmaster or den leader webcast before viewing the LDS webcast. The recorded webcasts are available at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/programupdates.aspx). Scroll down to Cub Scouting: Orientation Videos.

A letter from the National Council was sent on February 20, 2015, to council Scout executives regarding “Cub Scout Program in LDS-Chartered Units.” The letter addresses the guidelines that have been approved by the BSA National Council. The letter is available at the following website: www.scouting.org/filestore/program_update/pdf/LDS_Transition_Guidancepdf.pdf

What is the transition period?

The BSA has said that units may begin the new Cub Scout program as early as June 1, 2015, but should be on the new program no later than the beginning of their 2015/2016 Scouting year, which is typically when school starts. Each unit will need to decide when they are going to start. The most important thing to keep in mind is the individual boy. In some cases a pack may decide to start the new program in June with the understanding that one or two boys may be finishing up their last few requirements for their current rank in July or August. That is just fine. Use your best judgment as we transition to a new and exciting Cub Scouting Adventure.

Can a boy start Cub Scouts at any time without having to make up missed ranks?

Yes, with the exception of the Bobcat rank. A boy joining Cub Scouts regardless of age must first complete the Bobcat requirements. He may then proceed to work on the requirements for the rank being worked on by the other boys his age.

What is the Cyber Chip award?

Today’s youth are spending more time than ever using digital media for education, research, socializing, and fun. To help families and volunteers keep youth safe while online, the Boy Scouts of America has introduced the Cyber Chip. In developing this exciting new tool, the BSA teamed up with content expert NetSmartz®, part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® and training expert for many law enforcement agencies. One of the requirements for rank advancement is to “earn the Cyber Chip award for your age.” In rare circumstances this requirement may be waived. For information about the Cyber Chip award, click here: http://www.scouting.org/cyberchip.aspx

Where can I find answers to additional questions I may have about the new Cub Scout program?

BSA Program Updates” has a web page that addresses Frequently Asked Questions. There are several general topics addressed (such as program development, advancement, and training) plus a section on LDS-specific questions.

Where should I search to find out answers to questions that pertain specifically to the Primary organization?

You may go to the LDS.org website to find information and answers to questions about LDS Scouting for Primary-age boys..

  • Click on Resources > Primary > Faith in God >Scouting in Primary
  • Click on Resources > Primary > Leader Resources > Frequently Asked Questions. > Scouting
  • There is a lot of information available right here on this website (ldsbsa.org) on the New Leader tab. Check “Cub Scouts: Pack (Primary), Eleven-year-old Scouts (Primary), Ward Leaders (Bishopric Members), and Ward Leaders (Primary Presidency) for detailed information. Also read how you can grow Scouting in your pack (Inspiring Stories and Ideas).

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