SFBAC Response to the recent LDS Church Announcement
On May 11, 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced, “the Church will no longer charter Varsity or Venturing units with the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada effective January 1, 2018. We express sincere appreciation and gratitude to all adult leaders who have supported young men in these programs and are grateful for our long-standing and continuing partnership with the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada. Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs will continue to be chartered through local wards and branches. Young men who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout or Queen Scout should be encouraged and supported in their efforts and should be properly registered as Scouts. Adult leaders who are assisting with merit badges or rank advancement with older boys should also be registered and complete required training.” You can read the entire statement and see the answers to frequently asked questions here.
The San Francisco Bay Area Council is and always will be committed to serving our community and chartered partners, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We offer programs and facilities that are geared toward helping LDS leaders “Be with [youth], connect them to heaven, and let them lead.”
The San Francisco Bay Area Council offers a variety of programs from Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to Sea Scouts, Venturing and Exploring – and our chartered partners are in the best position to decide which programs most appropriately meet the needs of the youth they serve. The LDS Church remains committed to using the Cub Scout and Boy Scout program, and we look forward to providing Scout programs to all interested youth, including those age 14 and older who are interested in participating in the Boy Scout program as they work to earn the Eagle Scout rank.
Scouting continues to fully support the LDS Church in their effort to “meet the spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual needs of young men.” We continue to work closely with our local stake and ward leaders to provide the resources they need to serve their youth of all ages.
Summary of key messages:
- We fully support the LDS Church and want to help them be successful in serving their youth. We are excited to provide activity support and outdoor facilities to youth of all ages.
- We will continue to expand our efforts to provide resources, including outdoor facilities that specifically serve older youth, to help local wards and stakes provide high quality programs for their youth classes and quorums.
- We look forward to providing Scout programs to all interested youth, including those age 14 and older that want to join, continue to participate, or are on the trail to Eagle.
- Varsity and Venturing programs become available to young men (and in Venturing, to young women) who are 14 years of age or older.
- While Venturing can be co-educational, many of our Chartered Partners including the LDS church maintain it as a single gender program.
- Nationally the Boy Scouts of America estimates that 130,000 youth members will be affected by today’s announcement.
- Locally 1.9% of SFBAC’s membership base or about 180 Venturing and Varsity youth registered with LDS partner units will be affected.
- 32 Varsity and Venturing units supported by SFBAC will be affected by today’s announcement or about 10% of units.