The 118-year-old organization, Boy Scouts of America recently announced that they are changing the name of the group to be more ‘welcoming’ and ‘inclusive’ to all youth.
Early last year, the Boy Scouts group announced that they would start letting girls into their organization, and in 2019 would allow them to become Eagle Scouts.
Last week, the Boy Scouts of America released a statement explaining the name change, citing a campaign called “Scout Me In” as their main reason.
Many families and members have been upset with the name change and the rule changes, as they believe it is wise to have the boys and girls separated.
Only one week has passed since the Boy Scouts of America announced their name change, and already 425,000 boys have dropped out of the organization thanks to one large church cutting ties.
This past Tuesday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that they were parting ways with the organization. They released a statement announcing they would all phase out by December 31, 2019, and their reasoning.
The statement was issued both by the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America, in which the church stated they need a more global approach, as their membership was global.
“In this century of shared experience, the church has grown from a U.S.-centered institution to a worldwide organization, with a majority of its membership living outside the United States,” the statement read.
“That trend is accelerating. The church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing it will be necessary for the church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA.”
The Mormon church did not mention the name change as the reasoning, but the cutting of ties came at the same time.
Many are citing the Mormon’s departure as their discontent with the constant policy changes that are taking place within Boy Scouts of America.
Over time the organization has become progressively more liberal, which many Mormons find fault in.
A Salt Lake City newspaper, Deseret News, stated that “signs of strain of strain began to emerge years ago.”
Tension began to build five years ago when the Scouts altered rules to allow openly gay boys to become part of the organization. This goes against the Mormon’s beliefs, which made matters worse.
Two years later, the Scouts voted to allow gay Scoutmasters, which also perturbed the Mormon church.
The church said that they would stay because the organization recognized “the right of all religious chartered organizations to select their Scout leaders in accordance with their religious beliefs,” the Deseret News reported.
Dramatic changes began last May, when the Mormon church dropped the Scouts organization from their programs. In the past, they had advertised Scouts for boys ages 14-17 in their church programs. This took place at the same time that the Scouts decided to allow transgender boys to join the organization.
The broken relationship between the Church of the Latter Day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America seemed inevitable to most.
As they have slowly phased out over the past couple of years, the church will withdraw all children by 2019. With that, the Scouts will loose one fifth of their membership.
The 105-year partnership will come to an end, and the Latter Day Saints will advice boys to join other groups.
In Utah, one Scout leader said the announcement from the church to break with the Boy Scouts of America, was expected but came quicker than he thought it would.
“It’ll be a blow. We can’t say that it was a total surprise. Maybe the timing is a surprise, but we knew the church was working on a program for a worldwide church but that any changes would be based on the need to do the same program in Paris, France, as they have in Paris, Texas,” Mark Griffin said, president of the BSA’s Great Salt Lake Council.
It will be interesting to watch as the Mormon church fades out, and the Boy Scouts of America numbers continue to drop. We wonder if any other religious groups will urge their members to withdraw from the progressive organization as well?