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Mormons pull older teens out of Boy Scouts

12 Mai 2017

The church said the move was meant to shift focus to "spiritual, social, physical and intellectual goals outlined by the Church".

"The reason Scouting exists is to provide character development, citizenship, physical fitness and leadership training to youth", Farrer said.

The Boy Scouts' "Varsity" and "Venturing" programs for older teens had become hard to implement within the religion, Mormon officials said in a news release.

For years, the church has been working to create a scouting-like program it could use around the world, since more than half of its almost 16 million members are outside the United States. Varsity was designed for the LDS church and boys ages 14 to 15, Kirk said.

The Boy Scouts of America are one of the top organizations in the country and world for training young men to be model citizens. How the announcement will affect the Orem-based Utah National Parks Council, the largest council in the nation and the greatest concentration of LDS youth membership, is yet to be seen.

The Mormon church has chose to pull its older teenage boys out of the Boy Scouts Of America, opting instead to have them participate in a faith-based, church-sanctioned activity program. Mormons working toward the designation of "Eagle Scout" can continue to participate for now.

The Church "continues to work toward developing a program for young men and young women globally", according to the statement.

Another statement from The Boy Scouts said they "appreciate" their relationship and "recognize not all programs are a ideal fit".

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Although the LDS church previously expressed concerns about the Boy Scouts' changing openness to gay and transgender Scouts and leaders, church leaders claimed that didn't factor into Thursday's announcement. The programs, Venturing and Varsity, will not be a part of the church activities starting in 2018.

"The BSA has always allowed the church to operate its programs in ways that are consistent with our standards and beliefs, and they have been very supportive", the statement read. Older scouts will go to a variety of camps across the state, while the younger Cub Scouts will participate in day camp at the Fowlerville Fairgrounds from June 24th to the 26th.

The church and the Boy Scouts of America have a long standing relationship. He also has twin 10-year-olds who are Cub Scouts in Boise.

BSA spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said the organization is saddened about the decision but understands the need for the religion to customize its programming.

"Frankly, scouting is the most effective for the age groups that are still being served, so I'm not sure to what extent it'll be affected", Lockhart said.

Stephanie Buckley's 13-year-old son, Porter, earned his Eagle Scout Award this month when he installed a flag pole in front of the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center. That program is being restructured by the church.

"That's just the natural thing they do", she said.

Mormons pull older teens out of Boy Scouts