LDS Church Cancels Varsity & Venture Scout Charters
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) sponsors dozens of Venture and Varsity Scout Troops in the Mid Columbia. The church announced its intent to cancel these charters Thursday, May 11.
The church officially stated the cancellation was done to serve its own needs and not out of protest. The church did publicly disagree with the Boy Scouts of America's 2015 decision to accept openly gay leaders, but said at the time it was content the BSA would allow each LDS charter to choose its own leaders based on its own criteria.
The church will continue sponsoring charters for "Boy Scout" troops for boys ages 11-13 as well as Cub Scout Packs.
The LDS church created the Varsity program to give its youth groups for boys ages 14-15 something different to do from traditional scouting and then created the Venture programs for teens ages 16-17 to give units an alternative to the BSA's Explorers program. In recent years the church has continued to tweak its weekly meetings for teens ages 14-17 and many leaders are not surprised a complete separation was announced.
Young women the same ages already participate in a program created by the church exclusively for its teen members.