LDS Scouting Handbook revised for 2014

cub-to-missionary-high-resolutionThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has updated its “Scouting Handbook” for 2014.

The May 2014 version, available online (PDF), “outlines guidelines and policies relating to Scouting programs” in the LDS church.

It specifies places where BSA policy and church policy differ and helps leaders more effectively administer Scouting in their ward.

The 2014 edition includes updates in two sections: Section 3, “Stake Leaders’ Responsibilities for Scouting” and Section 8, “Church Policies.”

The full list of sections below gives you an idea of what’s inside the eight-page document:

  1. Introduction
  2. Training and Development
  3. Stake Leaders’ Responsibilities for Scouting
  4. Ward Leaders’ Responsibilities for Scouting
  5. Scouting in the Aaronic Priesthood
  6. Scouting in Primary
  7. Awards and Recognition
  8. Church Policies

See also

Find tons of LDS Scouting resources here.

H/T: Thanks to Mark Francis, Director of LDS-BSA Relationships, for the tip.


  1. I am thrilled that they have added in that Stake Primary leaders may be registered as Unit Commissioners. The prior handbook gave that direction to Stake Younng Men’s presidencies, but left out the Stake Primary Presidencies. In highly populated LDS districts that lead to some confusion! And even as a former Stake Primary President in a low LDS populated area that designation would have clarified my role with ward scouting units so much.

  2. Hi LeAnn, well said and appreciated. I know at one point, BSA was recommending only 3 or 4 units per commissioner. With our stake having 8 wards and 32 units, it was a bit of a head scratcher to figure out how 3 Stake Young Men’s presidency members were supposed to service 32 units if they only had 3 or 4 units assigned. We reached out to the Stake Primary presidency and a few Stake High Councilors to fit the assignment. Nice to now see it in the manual. 🙂

    • The District Commissioner is still the person who approves those registrations, and should have been in the middle of getting more Unit Commissioners. I see the issue more as a lack of understanding on both sides as to how those UCs are utilized and who should be getting them into position.

      • As a Stake Primary President, a decade ago, I stood in front of a group of COR’s and asked them to forward names to our District Commissioner of people who could serve as Unit Commissioners. In a 300 mile stake with 4 buildings and one branch out on an island, I was hoping to get some representatives in each ward building that were not members of that ward. They rolled their eyes at me and told that I was asking too much of people. I would gladly have served as a Unit Commissioner … what does the Unit Commissioner training say the role of a UC is … a friend, a representative, a doctor, a teacher, a counselor … pretty much the role of the Stake Auxiliary Leader.

  3. Thank you for sharing how your Stake has solved having enough Unit Commissioners. We are still working on this! My Stakes Primary UCs are good about using the UVTS (Unit Visit Tracking System). The SYM leaders are good about offering basic training. Both are involved with various camps.

  4. I would personally like to see the church’s chapters on young ladies in scouting whether its Girl Scouting or the BSA Varsity/Venturing Scouts. It seems there are a lot of chapters missing in the aforementioned text book. I have met many young ladies that are in scouting in Girls Scouts and BSA and it is totally unsupported by the LDS church but strictly by the parents involved. With that said, I see many non-LDS young men in scouting that are only supported by the chartered organizations and not much other than baby sitting dump offs by the parents. BSA has a wide ranging program which much of is missing in many places. I love the LDS church’s support of scouting-all scouting with of course the obvious pick and choose mentality. The number of leaders I have met who have expressed a desire to execute a scout program the way it is defined by BSA, well lets just say, I have lost count.

    I respect BSA, GSU, my country, and the flag complete with all the inherent freedoms to do what you are free to do. I will understand if I never receive a real answer to my questions or points. Silence will be an assent that in these cases your faith rules. It is okay, I do not question your faith, Baden Powell, not to mention our Lord, would not state otherwise or expect that I should.

    I, for one, will never forget the leader who filled out a camping/activity/diversity goal with me and my troop only to lecture me why they could not be camping on a Sunday (even with a scout devotional and service after being taught one at WoodBadge) – seems diversity wasn’t the goal of the goal. My only response was from the Woodbadge director’s wife sitting next to me who responded after he left, that he just didn’t get it. Interestingly enough, her daughter or daughter-in-law, not sure which, was a Venture scout. Well, there are those pesky parents again – and a WoodBadge family as well.

    I actually realize when I type my email address in the window below I will get a litany of responses. Lets just remember all the tenants that Baden Powell established the program on and what it means to Wear a boy scout uniform representing scouting. The same applies to my esteemed compatriots in the Girl Scouts.

Join the conversation