“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, Jan. 1984, 79–80
The following letter from President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve, about the implementation of the Varsity Scouting program, has been sent to General Authorities; Regional Representatives; stake, mission, and district presidents; and bishops and branch presidents in the United States.
Varsity Scouting is a program developed by the Boy Scouts of America for young men age 14–15. Certain councils conducted a “pilot” program and as a result of the positive success, Varsity Scouting has become an official program of the Boy Scouts of America. It has now been determined by the Church that Varsity Scouting will be the Scouting program for our teacher-age young men. Varsity Scouting will replace Venturing Scouting which has been the program for these young men. Following the implementation schedule correlated with Boy Scouts of America, all wards will be expected to sponsor a Varsity team for teacher-age young men unless they have a fully developed program that better meets the needs of their young men and is approved by the stake presidency.
Purposes and objectives of the Varsity program have the same strong traditional principles of the past. These include spirituality, self-reliance, love of family, service in the community, and loyalty to country. These principles are reaffirmed in the Scout oath, Scout law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan. Varsity Scouting will be a great new resource to strengthen the young men of the teacher quorum age. It is intended that as these young men participate in Varsity Scouting they will continue toward achievement of the rank of Eagle Scout.
Because Boy Scouts of America will be training its professional staff during the first few months of 1984, the program may not be available in your local Scout council until later in the year. Boy Scouts of America plans to complete training and implementation across the country by September 1984.
Please work closely with your local council and implement Varsity Scouting in the wards in your stake as soon as it is available.
We pray for continued blessings as you prepare the young men of your stake for missionary service, temple marriage, and a lifetime of service in the Melchizedek Priesthood. May you be strengthened and inspired to this end.