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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Boy Scouts and the Mormon church

Like me, you may have lots of questions about the change in Boy Scout program in the "Mormon" church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  I did, and I have been looking for answers. Here is what I've found.

As of January 1, 2018 The Church will replace the Venturing and Varsity Scouting programs in the United States and Canada for young men ages 14 to 18 with a new activities program. Here is a link to the new program https://www.lds.org/youth/ymactivities?lang=eng#resources . Pretty impressive! 
Not only do they have links to all the old Venturing and Varsity Scouting activities (except aviation), but there are loads of ideas to help Youth develop Spiritually, Socially, Physically, and Intellectually. Besides the opportunity for balanced growth and development, I like that it coordinates with the Young Women's Program. No longer will the Young Men have more activities and receive more funding than the Young Women do. They will be now be equal. 

By using the Church based activities program, the Church hopes to better meet the needs of the Young Men of the Church. The Boy Scouts has always struggled with keeping boys in Scouting after the age of 14 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Boy_Scouts_of_America). Though the Varsity and Venturing programs were developed to help keep the young men involved in Scouting, it has had limited success. An added problem in keeping "Mormon" young men progressing in scouts has been that most of them earn their Eagle Award by the age of 14 and feel "done".

Though there are plenty of fun activities and outdoor experiences in the program, I like that this new program will focus less on Scouting advancement and adventure and more on developing the skills and understanding that will help them enjoy their teen years more and better prepare them for their future roles. Young Men need more than hikes and awards to make it in today's world. I think this new Activity program will give the Young Men what they need. 

Here are places for more information.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Does Obeying the Commandments of God take away my Freedom?



Some people have had enough of the immature and prideful accusations from people who use religion as a club. Beating upon others, they declare,"You did that. You are bad!", and, "I keep every rule, so I am better than you!" I almost expect next to hear the childish taunt of, "Na, na, Na, na, na", ending with, "I'm going to tell Mommy on you!"  Fed up, some people, understandably, want nothing more to do with the commandments of God.

Being a parent and grandparent has given me an interesting perspective on rules, yes, even commandments. When a child is young you can try and reason with them and try and convince them of the wisdom of doing as you have told them, but it doesn't work.