Big changes are coming for Utah’s Boy Scouts.
On May 2, the scouts announced that it would be renaming the organization Scouts BSA in February. The name changes comes as the Boy Scouts try to be more inclusive and admit girls into its ranks.
“We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”
RELATED: As girls arrive, Boy Scouts change name of flagship program
Meanwhile, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday, May 8, that it would be serving all ties with the Boy Scouts by the end of the year. The church will place its remaining 425,000 boys into a gospel-focused youth program it is developing.
The Mormon boys who will be leaving represent about 18.5 percent of the 2.3 million youth in the organization.
This is how you, the readers, reacted when we posted the story to our Facebook page. All comments are verbatim.
Lissa Andrews: It needs to be seperated. If you don't go to church there is little to no communication. Scouts it's for all boys not just Mormon boys. We were able to get him in even though he wasn't Mormon but this has been our battle for 6 years. And sadly our son is losing interest and the experience in it
Jon Beesley (in reply): I am a scout master and a Mormon. I have gone out of my way to invite non-member boys to come and join us. I know there are many other leaders that have done the same.
Greg Mason (in reply): At least half our scouts were non-members. Their fathers and mothers participated. The simple fact is that the LDS church had the strongest affiliations with the BSA and while there are I'm sure the occasional instances, (and where they occurred, please considering blaming the individuals, and not the organization) the vast majority of LDS scouting organizations are inclusive. And for all the whining and moaning about LDS Scout troops, I can also tell you that we have in our local area troops that have non member kids that actively participate, progress, enjoy all the benefits of a church affiliated troop, and at the same time those kids have parents that sit back and complain to others about the Mormons that go out of their way to invite the kids to participate and feel welcome. But we'll let that be about THOSE bitter angry hate filled unhappy people as well.
Matt Alverson: It’s funny how people who hate the church are so opinionated on decisions they make. Why do you care so much if you’re not a member and it doesn’t affect you? You all should try to be positive in your life and watch how much your life will change.
Shannon Misch (in reply): I personally didn’t see “hate” in these comments. Opinions yes just like the one you posted. And they care because it did affect them. If you scroll you will see instances of exclusion. Perhaps rather than cast stones and insinuate people being negative maybe look at the whole picture.
Patti Glenn: Scouting should have been for children ( not gender specified) from the beginning and should never have included any church affiliation! There truly is no reason to decide that boys learn different scouting skills than girls...we all know, thanks to the physical obvious, that boys and girls are different but why should Billy learn to build a fire while Susan learns to sew on Billy's badges? And what does any church have to do with that?
Sylvia Alice London: I don't want to upset anyone but most BSA troops did have non-members included with the Mormon troops and Cub Scouts as well. You can easily call the BSA office and they can tell you your choices for different troops that are not LDS sponsered. They are everywhere. They are in just about every city if not all cities. It is NOT hard to find one if your child wants scouting which is so beneficial to children and young adults. JUST CALL THE SCOUT OFFICE AND FIND OUT WHERE THERE IS A TROOP OR PACK FOR YOUR CHILDREN!
Bob Becker: Why should non-LDS scouts be limited in joining a troop by church ward lines? Troops vary greatly in, say, how often they go camping. Why should a non-LDS scout not be able to join a more active out-of-ward troop? I've never lived in a place where troop membership was defined exclusively by geography.