The children and youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide are precious. They represent the future, and ministering to their needs is a significant focus for the Church.
For years, Church leaders have been preparing a new initiative to teach and provide leadership and development opportunities to all children and youth, to support families and to strengthen youth everywhere as they develop faith in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This new approach is intended to help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills and fulfill their divine roles as daughters and sons of God.
The initiative is designed to allow local leaders, families and even the young people themselves to customize their efforts, while providing service opportunities and activities, fostering healthy relationships and supporting communities. Details will be shared at childrenandyouth.lds.org as the implementation date approaches.
As announced publicly today in a joint statement shown below with the Boy Scouts of America, effective on December 31, 2019, the Church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world. Until then, the intention of the Church is to remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8–13.
All youth, families and leaders are encouraged to continue their active participation and financial support of Scouting until that date. See a list of frequently asked questions below.
The Church honors Scouting organizations for their continued goal to develop character and instill values in youth. The lives of hundreds of thousands of young men, along with their families and communities, have been blessed by Scouting organizations worldwide.
Joint statement from the Church and the BSA
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America have been partners for more than 100 years. The Scouting program has benefited hundreds of thousands of Latter-day Saint boys and young men, and BSA has also been greatly benefited in the process.
We jointly express our gratitude to the thousands of Scout leaders and volunteers who have selflessly served over the years in Church-sponsored Scouting units, including local BSA districts and councils.
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. 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. We have jointly determined that, effective on December 31, 2019, the Church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world.
Until that date, to allow for an orderly transition, the intention of the Church is to remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8–13 and encourages all youth, families, and leaders to continue their active participation and financial support.
While the Church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after December 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting’s continuing and growing success in the years ahead.
FAQ for New Initiative for Children and Youth Development
The following FAQ addresses a new initiative from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its children and youth development.
- 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.