not in Primary anymore

faithful activism for female scouts!

An anonymous Mormon recently had a suggestion for some faithful activism! Read more here:

The church is celebrating its 100th anniversary of being associated with the Boy Scouts of America and as part of the celebration is offering a religious award with a pendant necklace.

Here is a quote from the Church’s LDS-BSA relationships office website:

“The Thomas S. Monson award may be earned by youth and adults of all ages.  It will be introduced at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, and will then be available for others to receive after July 2013.  Pre-orders are accepted immediately, and will be shipped August 1, 2013.”

What is notable about this is that there is no restriction whatsoever based on gender (There are LDS girls in Scouting in the form of Venturing for the 14+ group).  The idea is to generate a word of mouth campaign that encourages girls and women to complete the requirements and apply for the award.  There was a post on the LDS-Scouts Yahoo Group where someone said they called the LDS-BSA relationships office and was told there was no restriction whatsoever and anyone at all could earn it.

The requirements are posted below for your convenience, but are also found at the link above.  They are worded for Scouts, but their is no reason that girls can’t complete them.

I believe that if a sizeable number of girls earned and completed the award it would demonstrate to church leadership that girls want and need these same types of recognitions and gospel encouragement every bit as much as the boys.  I have concerns raising my daughter in a church that has such disparate allocation of resources between girls and boys (money, time, organizational support).  Where can I send my “Friends of YW donations?”  I view this similiar to the pants movement although smaller.  It doesn’t break any church policy and would draw attention to the disparity.  The argument for scouting has long been that it is to prepare boys for missions and that has helped justify the discrimination.  With girls leaving for missions in unprecedented numbers, they need similiar organizational training and support.

This is an area that many women in the church who don’t consider themselves feminists frequently complain about and this could help broaden the movement for equality with the church.

On having a conversation with ward leadership to request them to order an award for you-  some Bishops might think you have to be a scout or scouter to earn the award, and you don’t.  There might be discussions about the $7.  It might be awkward for them to deny paying for it for the girls when they pay for it for the boys. It’s possible in some ward they aren’t aware of the award until brought to their attention by a girl, especially at this early stage.  What a great way for a girl to show leadership.
There is a requirement to discuss what duty to God means to them.  That has the potential for some interesting conversations from a feminist young women speaking honestly about her role in the church.  I think each conversation should be authentic and honest, but could do a lot of good in this context.  Not every girl will or should be expected to fulfill that requirement by speaking to a leader, but I like the idea of some doing it.
Hopefully we can discuss more about getting people to feel comfortable that they are absolutely eligible for the award and have a right to expect leadership to fulfill the request and to give the girls/women enough information and confidence to push past leaders who will likely experience some confusion about a girl/woman wanting to receive an award that in their mind is for boys.
It’s possible to and certainly acceptable to order the award directly from the church and I don’t think you would get any questions for doing so, but I like the idea of going through the ward to get their awareness that one of the girls/women in their ward has achieved something and force them to decide what to do about recognition, especially if the boys receive it in some type of presentation.

To earn the Thomas S. Monson Award, complete the following two requirements and at least four electives.


  1.  Read “100 Years of Scouting in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” which is included on this card. With your family or a Scout leader, discuss two things you learned from this history.
  2.  Read “Run, Boy, Run,” which is included on this card, and write your feelings about this story in your journal.

Electives :

  1. Complete at least two requirements toward earning the Genealogy merit badge.
  2. Complete at least two requirements toward earning the Family Life merit badge.
  3. Memorize the thirteenth article of faith, and discuss with your family or a leader how this article of faith and the Scout Law support each other.
  4.  Meet two youth outside of your area and discuss with them how Scouting has benefited your life or the life of a Scout you know
  5. Share your feelings about doing your duty to God with your family, a friend of another faith, or a leader.


2 Responses to “faithful activism for female scouts!”

  1. Jenna

    If a girl is in Venturing, then she is not in a church-chartered Boy Scout troop. There is no reason the church should have to pay for any awards she earns. That is the role of either her family or the troop to which she belongs.

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