Even without LDS Church support, local council believes Scouting still has future in Utah
OREM, Utah – The largest Boy Scout council in Utah is assessing how the announcement from the LDS Church that it will no longer sponsor scout troops after 2019, will impact Scouting’s future in Utah.
“We have 19 months until the Church drops Scouting,” said David Pack, the executive with the Utah National Parks Council.
The council has more than 87,000 boys registered as scouts in Central and Southern Utah. Pack says the council will begin reaching out to other organizations who may be willing to charter scout troops.
“We will be working with schools, service clubs, other churches, to find local neighborhood sponsored scouting units,” Pack added.
Pack expects many LDS parents will still want to keep their boys involved, just as they do with community recreation and sports programs.
“We believe there is a significant percentage of LDS families who still want their sons to be part of Scouting.”
The scouts also believe their camp facilities will receive a lot of use, not only from scout troops, but from LDS wards and stakes.
“We had over 8,000 girls in our camps last summer that were part of girls camp and activity days, day camps and we offer our facilities for any church activity,” Pack added.
Scout enthusiasts believe Scouting will still offer many opportunities for those Utah families who choose to continue with the tradition.
“I think Scouting is still prepared for many families in our community to support their needs and what they would like to see their children get, our facilities are available for the entire community to use so I think Scouting will still be a very viable option for many families in our communities,” he said.
As part of the transition, the LDS Church will still register boys ages 8 to 13 through the end of 2019. The Church says it is encouraging members to fully participate and to financially support the Boy Scouts of America, until then.
“The Church is still encouraging everyone to still do Scouting for another 19 months and that is an eternity in the life in of a teenager, and that makes a big difference in their lives, so if we back off and wait for more information or better things to happen, it won’t happen for some teenagers and it will be too late,” Pack added.
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