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Dear Charters, Scouters, Ministers and Scouting Team:

Since the called session of General Conference has finished its work, I have had several questions about whether there would be any changes to our Scouting Ministry. The bottom line is the Center for Scouting Ministries has not changed.

The United Methodist Church is committed to the Scouting Ministries because they work. We express the love of Christ to the world. We reach into the communities we have been placed in with care and partnership.

All Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, Camp Fire Clubs and Big Brother Big Sister Littles are at an age where sexual activity is not appropriate. Our partners and the UMC have Youth Protection Policies that must be followed by ALL Adults who are leaders.

Boy Scouts of America

Churches that sponsor a pack, troop, crew or ship own the charter for that unit. When the unit committee is formed, it should be formed with the values of the Charter church. This is a ministry of the church. We get to know the adult leaders and approve them for service through the Charter Organization Representative. We get to know the youth and support them in growing skills for life. We provide faith opportunities. We are in ministry with our youth.

Girl Scouts of the USA

The Girl Scout Council is the Charter Organization of the unit, not the church. As such, when a UMC congregation sponsors Girl Scouts, they need to be aware of this. An active partnership makes the program a ministry. Encouragement and involvement to support the girls is ministry. Let’s work on sponsoring more.

Camp Fire

There are Camp Fire Councils in 25 states. The Camp Fire organization has worked diligently to provide a systematic and proven program based on the highest level of research. “Thrive(ology)” works. The program opens the doors for community growth as well as the growth of the youth. If Camp Fire is near you, please be willing to share the opportunity.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

This individual mentorship program is a great way to pour into a child’s life. This is not a group setting. It is an opportunity that does not require a building or structured group. Anyone can share time and love with a child. What a powerful way to help protect potential.

Each partner has a specific opportunity. We must embrace the next generation with grace and courage. The partners offer a variety of ways to be in ministry to all youth. Find the one that fits your church and personal gifts.

Having a trained Scouting Coordinator in each church is so important. They help to interpret policies or seek answers for the local church so that we are all on the same page.

I hope that this provides some clarification about General Conference and our partners. There is no impact on our Scouting Ministries. Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Grace and Peace,

Steven S. Scheid
Director of the Center for Scouting Ministry | GCUMM
The United Methodist Church
Phone: 615-620-7261

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