Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church, the oldest and largest charter organization of the Boy Scouts of America, will drop Scouting from its Young Men’s program for boys ages 14 through 17.

Today, about 1 in 6 American Scouts is Mormon. Effective Jan. 1, the move will carve as many as 180,000 Mormon boys from the Varsity and Venturing Scout programs in the United States and Canada, replacing the programs with activities created for boys in those age groups by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The church will continue to sponsor Cub Scouts for boys 8 to 10 and Boy Scout programs for those 11 through 13 in those two countries, but statements released by the church about the announcement signaled that it may drop those programs in the future.

The overhaul is stunning, because Scouting has been an indelible, seemingly inseparable, part of the LDS Church’s Young Men program for 104 years, but it isn’t a major surprise. Church leaders quietly have considered dropping Scouting from its Young Men and Primary programs for many years for multiple reasons.

“There has been talk or rumblings about the church leaving the Boy Scout program for years,” said Cory Macy, a former Scoutmaster in Vineyard, Utah. “There are a lot of merits to Scouting, but I just didn’t think the church had a lot to gain from being tied to the Boy Scouts for the Varsity and Venturing programs.”

To read the full article on Deseret News, click here

Also, read more about Elder Holland’s insights on this move:

Elder Holland: Scout leaders have been ‘understanding, kind’ regarding LDS decision to halt programs for older teens