So, you’ve just been called as the ward’s new Cub Scout den leader or maybe the troop Scoutmaster. You’ve accepted the call, buttoned up your new uniform and you’re anxious to get started.
So what next?
It’s a fair question — particularly for members who are new to Scouting or perhaps haven’t worked on a merit badge in decades.
The answer is a mouse click away.
A resource-rich, user-friendly website, ldsbsa.org, is online to help priesthood and other leaders, parents and Scouts of all ages learn the ins-and-outs of the storied outdoor program for boys.
“We felt like we needed something to fill in any gap between Scouting and the Church,” said Mark Francis, the director of the LDS-BSA Relationships Office. “The intent of the website is to provide new [Scouters] with a clear process on becoming a leader.”
Instruction for new leaders in the Scout ranks — ranging from Cub Scouts to the priest-age Venturing — is readily available at the site. Sections are also found for ward and stake leaders to help them best support their local Scout units.
For example, if a man is called to direct the 11-year-old Scouts, he will learn how to register as an official Scout leader and where to receive his required training. Even a Scouting novice can, within weeks, be functioning as a well-trained, registered Scout leader.
It’s no coincidence that the Varsity and Venturing elements of Scouting, which serve the teachers and priests quorums, respectively, are prominently included in the site.
“The Church is doing a lot to strengthen the Varsity and Venturing programs,” said Brother Francis.
A section for parents also helps moms and dads learn about Scouting’s rank advancements, merit badges, Cub Scouting and anything else they need to support and assist their Scout-age sons.
Brother Francis added that the site is designed to be dynamic. Updates and new blog entries are added almost daily. Visitors can also use the site to sign up for the LDS-BSA Relationships’ Facebook and Twitter pages to receive up-to-the-minute LDS Scouting information.
The website also doubles as an archive for news articles and magazine stories that chronicle the Church’s relationship with Scouting that stretches back over a century.
“And we’re always looking for feedback to improve the website,” said Brother Francis.
[email protected] @JNSwensen