Timeline of the LDS Church and Boy Scouts of America

Contributed By Scott Taylor, Church News Managing Editor

  • 8 May 2018

Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Following is a timeline of the LDS Church’s century-long relationship with the Boy Scouts of America:

Scouting movement is founded in England by British General Robert Baden-Powell.

The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated as an organization; later that year, the first Scout unit in Utah is formed.

The Church officially joins the Boy Scouts of America as its first charter organization, adopting the program as the activity arm of its Mutual Improvement Association.

The Church designates Scouting as the official activity program for young men ages 12–16.

The Church announces Primary will sponsor Cub Scouting, with 11-year-old Scouts a part of a Guide Patrol under the Primary’s direction.

The Duty to God Award is created for boys ages 12–18.

The Venturing program is created for young men ages 14–15, while those 16–18 are Explorers.

LDS leaders in Utah develop the Varsity program to eventually replace the Church’s Venturing program in 1983 and become a BSA program in 1984.

The Church drops Scouting’s Varsity and Venturing programs from its Young Men program for boys ages 14 through 17, effective January 1, 2018.

Sources: Deseret News Almanac,ChurchofJesusChrist.org, and Deseret News archive.