Updated 4/17/2016 NEW items in red.
“There is no more significant work in this world than the preparation of boys to become men of capacity, of strength, of integrity, who are qualified to live productive and meaningful lives.” (Gordon B. Hinkley, Ensign, April 1985, p.76).
On this page bishopric counselors with stewardship over Young Men and Scouting will find:
- primary responsibilities
- what to do first
- ongoing duties
- thoughts on how to properly extend a Young Men/Scouting calling
Your primary responsibilities for Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting can be found in:
- Handbook 2: Administering the Church (specifically sections 1, 2, 3, 8 and 13)
- Green Scouting Handbook for Church Units (specifically sections 1.0, 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, 5.0, 7.0, 8.0).
- When reviewing the Purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood (section 8.1.3 in Handbook 2) search for how Scouting can assist in achieving those purposes. Prayerfully review these sections regularly.
- A clear summary and fantastic article that clearly summarizes and articulates the duties of Bishop, Counselors and the Chartered Organization Representative.
Bishopric counselors have a critical role in seeing that Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting are properly administered in the ward. Among other things, you:
- represent the Bishop and assure that his vision and goals for the young men in the ward are achieved.
- work closely with the young men presidency to see that they are holding presidency meetings and that quorum presidencies are holding presidency meetings.
- work closely with the young men presidency to see that scouting leaders are trained, that scouting is implemented in all 3 quorums and that calendars and activities are prepared with priesthood purposes in mind. You and other members of the bishopric should regularly attend these meetings and activities.
- in scouting terms, as a bishopric counselor you are the “Chartered Organization Representative”, or COR, and as such regularly attend scout committee meetings, including the monthly District Committee Meeting held monthly on the 3rd Thursday at 7pm in the FC building (section 4.2 of the green scouting handbook)
- along with the Unit Commissioner and Scout Committee Chair, you are one of the “Key 3” for each unit in your ward, which includes the cub pack, the scout troop, the varsity team, and the venture crew. This position gives you certain administrative abilities within the my.scouting.org website which is a primary repository of adult BSA training records. You should attend these committee meetings.
- See section 4.2 of the green scouting handbook
To more effectively fulfill your stewardship, and assist others with theirs, it is important that you become familiar with the duties and responsibilities of–and necessary training required for–all positions within Young Men and Scouting. You should also be familiar with church and BSA safety policies and see that the advisors and leaders and properly following them. A list of many of those policies can be found on this website by clicking HERE.
What do I do first? As a newly called bishopric counselor you should do the following:
- Review the sections listed above in Handbook 2 and the green Scouting Handbook.
- review the Duty to God and Come Follow Me pages on this website and assist the young men presidency with their efforts in both of these areas.
- Create an account at my.scouting.org and confirm that your profile and completed BSA training is accurate.
- Submit a hard copy Adult Boy Scout Leader Application (including the Disclosure Form that authorizes a background check) and submit it to the District (via your unit commissioner, scout committee chair, or Stake YM Presidency) with your position listed as Chartered Organization Representative (COR). You’re technically COR for the pack, troop, team, and crew so at the top of the application check each of these 4 boxes and place a sticky note on the application that states, “make copies for Shared Services and submit for all 4 CR units and CM for all 4 units” and the District will know what that means. Also include a copy of your Youth Protection Training certificate as part of your application–see next bullet. The entire process outlined above is necessary even if you are already registered with the BSA.
- Part of submitting your application is to take Youth Protection Training through your my.scouting.org account (e-learning section) so take that if you haven’t already.
- NEW Refer to the LDS BSA Relationships web page for bishopric counselors to see a listing of BSA training you should take. We strongly encourage you to take all of these courses. For the online courses, go to your my.scouting.org profile select “E-Learning” on the left rail. You will see several tabs appear which is where you can take and track your personal BSA training. A couple of clarifications. You are likely a member of 4 committees–Pack, Troop, Team, and Crew.–and will need to take the Committee Challenge training for each. Pack and Troop are available online through E-Learning. Team and Crew are currently in-person training only. See the Training Calendar for upcoming dates.
- NEW As a member of the Venture Crew Committee you should also take Venturing Youth Protection Training through E-Learning at my.scouting.org.
- Review the BSA Document summarizing duties of a Chartered Organization Representative. Some of these duties are implemented differently in LDS units but the basic responsibilities are the same.
- Review and become familiar with general church and BSA policies outlined on the Policy page of this website, found by clicking HERE. Return as needed to review these policies.
- Plan on regularly attending your ward’s Scout Committee Meeting and see that scouting activities, safety and training are administered properly and according to the Bishop’s vision and goals.
- Update or acquire a scout uniform with the Chartered Organization Representative patch and your unit’s numbers sewn on the sleeve.
- You may have stewardship specific to the cub scout pack and the primary presidency should be able to assist you with applicable training and duties.
- After doing the above items, you should feel more confident in your stewardship!
What are my ongoing duties?
The items under “Primary Responsibilities” at the top of this page.
If this is the first time you registered with BSA you will receive your BSA ID card in the mail or an email confirming your application was processed by BSA. Once you have your BSA number you should set up an account at my.scouting.org As a Key-3 member of the 4 scouting units in your ward you have certain administrative capabilities that are accessible from this site. Primarily, you can run training and YPT aging reports to see which leaders need to be trained and confirm that your adult and youth rosters are accurate.
Though it appears you have two silos of responsibilities (Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting) the reality is that they are linked together. Scouting is a tool used to fulfill the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood. Scouting and the Priesthood work together to mold young men into worthy Melchizedek priesthood holders with many characteristics that will help them as adults. Going forward you should provide guidance to the quorums as they work on Duty to God, as they teach the gospel through using Come Follow Me, and you should generally be an ambassador for and a champion of scouting in your ward. Show enthusiasm and excitement for scouting in Primary and all three Aaronic Priesthood quorums.
Where possible, see that the principles contained in Preach My Gospel are taught to all 3 quorums. The young men need to clearly understand and be able to articulate the restored doctrines of Jesus Christ. Reviewing Preach My Gospel does not replace quorum instruction which should be based on Come Follow Me, but it can supplement it.
Weekly mutual activities should be specific to the quorum’s scouting unit or joint/combined activities with the young women. It is not necessary to have Preach My Gospel “activities” during mutual. Preach My Gospel can reviewed separately through a Missionary Preparation course with Bishopric oversight and integrated into weekly quorum instruction on Sunday.
See that safety guidelines are followed by all of your quorums, and submit the necessary LDS Activity Plans and BSA Tour Permits as necessary. (see Policies) This is primarily accomplished through the Committee.
Encourage your scouting units to receive free rank advancement patches by qualifying as Gold or Silver levels within the Journey to Excellence (JTE) BSA program. By following principles in JTE, units are more likely to be administered properly and more effective in providing a quality experience for the boys.
NEW–Work with Bishop to recognize adult Scouters through the On My Honor Award, a church recognition for scout service.
NEW–See that scouts are recognized with the On My Honor Award, the church’s religious award for Boy Scouts.
Work through your ward Sunday School Presidency to regularly train the Young Men Advisors how to properly teach quorum lessons.
Help your ward clerks keep MLS records current as changes within Young Men and Scouting are made.
Once a year in February BSA conducts a fundraiser called “Investment in Character”. You will receive specific guidelines from a member of the stake High Council each year on what to do.
Additionally, you should:
- Encourage unit leaders and committee members to take basic required training and ongoing training as needed.
- Promote well-planned unit programs.
- Encourage the recruiting of new members.
- See that boys transition from unit to unit.
- Help with the charter renewal, annually in January.
- Encourage the unit committee to hold meetings.
- Encourage outdoor program activities.
- Emphasize advancement and recognition.
- Utilize district help and promote the use of district personnel and materials.
- Encourage recognition of leaders.
- Cultivate resources to support the organization.
How do I extend a call?
First, in following instructions in the green Scouting Handbook 8.2, 8.6 and 8.8 before an individual is sustained to a calling that has a scouting position, that individual needs to be properly registered as an Adult BSA Leader (specifically, we are waiting for the results of the background check). An application should be submitted to the Arapahoe District and you should wait a minimum of 2 weeks to hear back from them. If you hear nothing you may proceed to sustain that individual in sacrament meeting.
NEW—Review this file for an outline of suggestions of specific responsibilities to discuss when extending a call to a young men advisor and scout leader.
Potential young men advisors in your ward should understand the importance of being an example of a worthy Priesthood holder and their role in helping young men learn and fulfill their responsibilities as Aaronic Priesthood holders–that they are assisting young men to prepare to receive the Melchizedec Priesthood, serve full-time missions, and live worthily to attend the temple.
They should be prepared to participate in quorum instruction using the Come Follow Me resource created by the church (description found by clicking HERE) and by assisting the young men in achieving their Duty to God award (details found by clicking HERE).
Those called to serve in the young men organization will also likely have a leadership position in scouting. This file outlines the relationship between young men callings and BSA positions, along with expected training. In addition, potential young men advisors should understand some specific expectations as it relates to scouting:
- they need to understand the requirements and expectations of serving in the young men organization: BSA training, meetings, activities including outdoor activities, guiding and training young men, personal worthiness, etc. HERE is a high level overview of expectations you should review with each member who would service in a BSA position.
- they must register as an Adult Leader in the BSA
- they must become fully BSA trained in applicable scouting position (position specific, ITOLS, YPT–basic overview found HERE)
- they should continually attend ongoing BSA and stake training (priesthood and scouting) as appropriate
- they should properly administer a troop (Deacon), team (Teacher) or crew (Priest). This will include regular camping and outdoor activities.
- they should wear a scout uniform when appropriate