On Tuesday, May 8, the Church announced it will be launching a new worldwide initiative for youth and children and will be leaving Scouting at the end of 2019. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions the Church published on Mormon Newsroom about these changes.
Why is the Church changing its children and youth programs?
Over the past several years, the Church has been conducting an extensive review of all existing children and youth activities and personal development programs. As a global church with millions of children and youth, we need to address diverse needs and fortify all children and youth with gospel-centered growth and learning experiences now more than ever.
The focus of this new approach for children and youth is to help young people strengthen faith in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This approach is intended to help children and youth discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills, participate in outdoor activities and service opportunities, and strengthen their ability to fulfill their divine roles as daughters and sons of God.
In the new experience, children and youth will be encouraged to focus on setting and achieving goals to develop spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually as they seek to follow Jesus Christ. This approach is intended to reduce burdens on families, with greater flexibility to adapt to the needs of individuals and families around the world in many different circumstances.
Will Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts be offered after December 31, 2019?
The Church will no longer sponsor any Scouting programs after December 31, 2019.
During this transition period, will things stay the same with Scouting?
The intention of the Church is that all Scouting units will continue to be chartered until December 31, 2019. During this time, the Church will continue to register all boys ages 8–13, those 14 and older working on rank advancement, and adult leaders associated with those youth. All adult leaders should continue to receive Youth Protection and other required training for their position. Camps, regular activities, and Friends of Scouting will all continue until December 31, 2019.
Will this change the annual rechartering for 2019?
The intention of the Church is that all units in the U.S. will continue to be chartered with BSA until the end of 2019. Rechartering should follow the process outlined in this resource: BSA Online Rechartering and Updating Rosters for LDS Units. The Church will continue to fund chartering activities through December 31, 2019.
Does this announcement affect affiliations with local and national organizations outside the U.S.?
Yes. All affiliations with Scouting will be discontinued as of December 31, 2019.
How does the Scouting Handbook apply during the transition?
The Scouting Handbook has been updated, and is now titled Scouting Guidelines. It is now available online and should be used until December 31, 2019.
What other programs may be affected by this change?
Beginning January 1, 2020, activity and achievement programs may be affected, including Faith in God for Girls and Boys, Activity Days for Girls and Boys, Personal Progress, and Duty to God. Until then, we encourage children and youth, parents and leaders to remain fully engaged in these programs.
What do I do until the new initiative is available beginning January 1, 2020?
Children, youth, and parents should continue to fully participate in and enjoy the growth and development associated with the existing Primary and youth programs worldwide.
How do I learn more about the new children and youth development initiative?
Components of the new initiative are being tested in various parts of the world. Details will be provided at childrenandyouth.lds.org as implementation approaches.
How can I be of help to children and youth?
The children and youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide are precious. The personal influence of parents, families, teachers, and leaders has great effect. Continued heartfelt service will provide significant opportunities to contribute to their growth and development.