Local Catholic Scouting leader doesn’t see big changes coming

| May 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Catholic parishes with Scouting groups don’t need to make big changes in light of the Boy Scouts of America’s future name change, according to Bill Davies of the Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting.

“It’s really not changing scouting; it just opened up another avenue,” said Davies, chair of ACCS in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Boy Scouts announced May 2 its name change to Scouts BSA by February 2019 as the 98-year-old organization will allow girls to participate in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts next year. The organization already has options for girls with its co-ed Venturing, Sea Scouting and Exploring programs.

Davies said parishes with Scouting groups function as independent entities and can decide of their own membership. He said the pastor or parochial administrator at a parish often have a say over scouting leadership. He also noted that Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts will have single-gender groups.

Davies, who has previously served with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting that advises Boys Scouts of America, said family involvement in Scouting was a major impetus in the decision to add girls since mothers volunteering in their sons’ troops often bring their other children, including girls.

“She would do the activities but couldn’t get credit for it,” Davies said about a girl being involved. “It’s been more frequent than we thought.”

The Boy Scouts’ decision elicited a response by the Mormon church nationally to discontinue its partnership with Scouting. Davies doesn’t see the same thing coming for the Catholic Church due to the U.S. Bishops’ support of Scouting.

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