What to do with your 11-year-old Scouts this summer
On December 14, 2018 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made an historic announcement that youth will no longer progress to new quorums/youth groups on their birthday but rather in January of each year. This means that boys who would’ve participated in 11-year-old Scouting will have moved into their deacons quorum. This has lead to many questions, so let’s try to clear them up.
So how does this impact 11-year-old Scouting?
For those who have participated in Scout units charted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you’ve probably participated in or heard of 11-year-old Scouts. But did you know that this is a unique “program” that is only done within this faith? In fact, it’s actually not considered a separate program by the Boy Scouts of America; it’s an extension of the flagship program, Scouts BSA (formerly known as Boy Scouts).
But how do these changes impact your 11-year-old Scouts? It means awesome opportunities for them!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said regarding this change that “Boys continue to join Cub Scouts and 11-year-old Scouts and to progress between dens on their birthdays. However, when they move from Primary to Aaronic Priesthood quorums, they leave 11-year-old Scouting and participate in Scouting…” [“Age-Group Progression for Children and Youth” FAQ] This means that 11-year-old Scouts who have progressed into a deacons quorum may attend a traditional summer camp in 2019.
For those interested in participating in a Great Salt Lake Council summer camp, I invite you to look at our camps webpage.
New Scouts & First Year Camp Experiences
Our goal at the Great Salt Lake Council is to provide opportunities for Scouts that best suit their needs. In anticipation of the many changes that are coming to many of our members in the upcoming months, our camping department has been working on first year camper programs. Outside of Utah, this is a typical aspect of any weeklong/resident camp as it allows Scouts who are experiencing summer camp for the first time an opportunity to adjust and grow in an environment uniquely designed for them.
For example, Bear Lake Aquatics Base will be introducing the all-new Skippers program which will catered to the needs of these new Scouts. First year campers can sign up to participate in Skippers which will encompass the entire week of camp.
The focus of this program will be adventure activities sprinkled with rank advancement and a few required merit badges. Scouts will spend their first week at summer camp becoming familiar with what Scouts BSA is and discover how to succeed at summer camp.
While this is an historic change to the way Scouting has been done by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we were prepared here in the Great Salt Lake Council. Camp directors had begun creating first year camper programs several months prior to this announcement. Those in charge of Millcreek Canyon Camps had adjusted the number of sessions available at Camp Tracy. And many other things will continue happen to ensure that the best outdoor adventures are offered to you and your Scouts in the future.
If you have additional questions on how your 11-year-old Scouts can continue participating in Scouting, leave a comment below, or give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer them.