Guest Post: The Cost of Volunteer Hours in the Church’s Cub Scouting Program

uniformsby Nate Curtis
Nate is an economist and EmilyCC’s spouse and co-Cubmaster. He wrote this post as a response to her “Institutionalized Gender Inequality Starts in the Church at Age 8.”

Money is a standard measure for a unit of energy. It doesn’t matter who invests that money/energy, the fact is that the church standard is that the energy must be invested in the boys and not in the girls.

Keeping in mind that money is energy, lets take a deeper look at EmilyCC’s analysis.

Cub Scouts

Hard costs: $150 (this is a conservative estimate that does not take into account the number of lost books, outgrown shirts, neckerchief slides, neckerchiefs, and on and on). Some have argued that stakes and wards do not foot this entire bill. But, the Church has implemented a program that requires someone to pay for these items and does not ask anyone to do the same for girls.

Labor costs: The Church Scouting Handbook (search “LDS Scouting Handbook 2012”) calls for 14 people per ward for each cub scout pack.

Two den leaders per den (6 total) – Spend 12 hours per week (2 hours each) preparing and attending meetings

Two cubmasters per pack – Spend 6 hours per week (3 hours each) they attend both pack meetings and committee meetings.

Executive Officer (Bishop) – I allocated 15 minutes a week as they are not actually required to do anything, but still probably spend at least that much time talking and working with boys.

Charter Organization Rep (Counselor) – Attends committee meetings and Pack meetings (1 hour a week)

Cub Scout committee (BSA requires 4 to register a pack) – Meets “as often as necessary” according to the book. I had this job for 2 years and once a week is not enough time to fulfill the calling properly.

The committee is supposed to track progress, fundraise, set up and take down pack meetings, and register boys (that last one alone is at least a 40 hour a year job).

All in, that is 14 people expected to contribute approximately 101.5 hours a week or 1,263 hours per scout year (40 weeks assumes part-time summers even though the church requires us to maintain scouting throughout the summer).

The national average hourly wage for child care workers is $12.45 (Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Employment Statistics, SOC Code 399011).

$12.45 * 1,263 hours per year is approximately $50,540 per year, per ward.

Activity Days

1 leader planning and executing a meeting every 2 weeks (2 hours)

1 primary president contributing 30 minutes per week

1 bishop contributing the same 15 minutes per week that he does to cub scouts

Using the same assumptions for hourly rates, that equates to approximately $4,108 per year.

While the actual hard costs (uniforms, awards…) are shockingly unequal, the labor cost inequality is an astounding 12 times more or 1,230% more for cub scouts than it is for activity days.

The argument that the stakes/wards are not supposed to pay for hard costs requires a person to willfully ignore what the church does require, which is a labor energy investment of over $50,500 per ward, per year for cub scouts compared to $4,100 labor investment per year for activity days.

And anyone who thinks that kids don’t notice this, just go to a pack meeting and watch. All the scouts bright-eyed and shiny in the front row in askew uniforms eagerly waiting for their pretty praises and prizes while their sibling sisters sit on the back row, waiting for another cheer-session to end for their brothers.

I have presented several Arrow of Light awards in the last few months in our cub scout pack. It is an elaborate half hour ceremony where the boys receive face paint, a new compass, light candles, get a plaque with their name engraved, a hand-made arrow with painted bands that chronicle their cub scout careers. They get praised by their den leader, pack leader, bishop, and new scout master as they graduate from cub scouts to boy scouts. And lastly, their fellow cub scouters see them off with a group pack howl to let them know they will be missed, and they will always have a place in the pack.

I have teared up at the end of each of these ceremonies, especially as I see those cub scouts’ sisters sitting in the back row for their monthly lesson, learning once again that they are the less important sex.

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42 Responses

  1. anon says:

    Our ward has 4 activity days leaders–2 for each age group; sometimes our meetings are longer than one hour as well. And I drive one girl to and from activity days so at least in my ward we do contribute more time than your estimate. Although I challenge the notion that the primary president spends any time on activity days let along 30 minutes a week. At least in my ward the primary president is not a micromanager; if I need her she is available otherwise she lets the activity day leaders do their own thing.

    • anita says:

      I second Anon, we have 4 leaders but no Primary prez involvement. And the time is also greater, I’d say at least 10 hours per/month for the preparation, shopping, reminders for girls, pick ups, activity, drop offs, planning the next one. Not that comes anywhere close to the Scout approximation…

      • Em says:

        It is true that these estimates are conservative on that extra planning, shopping, reminder, pick up energy. But they are similarly missing from the boys’ count. If you add in that, the disparity remains the same. And even if you did add that energy for only girls, the disparity would be shockingly huge.

    • Libby says:

      Anon and Anita, it’s very true that mileage may vary. But Nate is comparing expected time and effort for Boy Scouts to expected time and effort for Activity Days, and the gap is quite frankly appalling.

    • Nate Curtis says:

      Yeah. I have never served as AD leader. I can plug in any numbers you want. If you up it to 4 adults working 10 hours a month each that is 40 a month or 480 per year or approximately $6,000 per year compared to $50,500 for cub scouts.

      Most wards don’t fully staff cub scouts the way the church or the BSA want them to. The point of the analysis is to show the inequality of the standards set by the church between cub scouts and AD. To add to this dualism is the line in the leadership handbook that reads something to the effect of, “the bishopric should ensure that the primary budget is equally split between activities for boys and girls.”

      That is great, except it is completely inconsistent and impossible to do with the other expectations being set.

  2. Brother H says:

    I don’t by any means disagree that there are striking and serious discrepancies between Scouting (either Cub or Boy) and programs for girls/young women, but I find the idealized numbers above a bit hard to swallow.

    Two den leaders for each of three dens? Hasn’t been my experience, although I know that’s what the handbook and good youth protection policy call for. Both of those folks spending two hours a week? Again, not my experience over many years. One of those two might spend an hour planning, and both of them show up for meeting. On a good night, both of them will show up.

    COR might attend both committee meeting and pack meeting, in a fabulous month. Fabulous in that not only would we actually hold both of those meetings, but that both would be attended.
    COR can (and usually does) dual register to also count as one of the required committee members. As memory serves, only three are required on the committee, but I haven’t looked it up lately and wouldn’t be surprised to be wrong.

    While I’d be thrilled with committee folks spending time doing the things you describe, that hasn’t been my experience. One or two generally carry the load, spending whatever time they can to keep things afloat. Some wards have been better than others, and some years than others, but I’ve never lived in a ward where the ideal has been the actual for any length of time, whether in a very heavily LDS community or “further afield”.

    Again, I heartily agree with the premise, (and being a very long term Scouter as well as a parent of multiple females, both sides concern me) but we need to be rational about what we’re comparing. I’ve seen upwards of four Activity Days leaders for large groups that get broken into age groupings, along with more involved Primary presidency member/s, but that hasn’t been the norm any more than idealized Scouting staffing has been.

    • Nate Curtis says:

      Agreed. Same is true for us. That is why I source the time requirements to the church handbook. The discrepency is in the standard being set by the church. Our collective failure to fulfill those expectations and meet those standards?

      I mean who really wants to talk about that?

  3. Ziff says:

    Interesting analysis, Nate. Tangentially, it gets me to wondering what a similar analysis would look like for all church organizations. I don’t know if there would be anything really surprising, but which organizations get the most time devoted to them by the most people?

    • Nate Curtis says:

      I have toyed with the idea of doing a similar analysis for the YM and YW programs and then a retention analysis to show that spending more money on kids is inversely correlated with retention rates through adulthood. If done right, that analysis would get alot of attention in SLC. There is a growing resentment to our collective coddling of the youth and the disconnect between the church we are raising our children in and the church we expect them to meaningfully contribute to in adulthood.

      I need more free time and motivation. Maybe if the Xbox breaks.

  4. Katie says:

    We don’t have a functioning committee. Or at least we have people called but I don’t know how to use it (as a new ish cubmaster myself). The previous leader didn’t really use the committee.

    We don’t have enough boys, so we combine 5 wards into 3 dens and 1 pack. Even then, fully staffed, it is a huge time commitment. And the message is just what you say; cub scouts is important and essential and you get ceremonies and awards when you graduate. Activity girls, not so much. The differences in attention and resources unfortunately just continue as kids get older. Ugh.

  5. heidikins says:

    I’m not sure how valid this comment is as I have never been in scouts, nor do I have boys in scouts, BUT my time in activity days is so long ago I doubt I have any concrete memories of ever attending. Which is probably something to consider, what 30-year old male had so few experiences or memories with scouting that he can’t remember a thing about his time as a Scout? My sisters and a few neighborhood friends started a Girl Scout’s troop (or rather, our mothers did), but even so, the time and monies spent for that activity–which was NOT sponsored or subsidized by our ward–is pitiful compared to what my brothers had with the boy scouts.



    • Rachel says:

      And I (nearly 30) can’t even remember if they had Activity Days in my ward when I was the eligible age, but, I do have many memories of helping my three brothers (two older and one younger) accomplish their Eagle Scouts, and a few lesser memories of sitting (and cheering) in their meetings.

    • spunky says:

      I vaguely recall Activity Days, but that was because my mother was the primary president, so we had to help her prep for it.

      I wholly remember scout activities, because we also all had to “help” my brothers to accomplish badges and do cars for the pinewood derby. I remember asking to make a pinewood derby car, and my mother said she would help, but I could only use it at home, and couldn’t bring it to the church for the pinewood derby with the boys. I call lettering awards in calligraphy for all the people who helped on a scout project, because my mother had asked me to do this as well. The funny thing is, I don’t recall that my mother EVER had a calling in scouts.

      Right now on my mind is the added emotional investment for families– clearly in my own family, the emotional investment was in scouts, and therefore, the boys. It is not a happy memory.

      • Nona says:

        I don’t even have brothers, but my dad was Scoutmaster for many years and I remember many many hours devoted to that. Our family devoted a lot of emotional energy to the scouting program without even having any sons.

        I don’t remember Activity Days either.

    • Em says:

      I also barely remember activity days. I remember my leader tried to make some achievement program that involved a printout picture of a girl and we affixed those stick-on earring jewels to parts of the picture when we completed some activity or goal. At least she tried, though you have to admit in comparison to scouting it is fairly sad.

      The other thing I remember is listening to an audio book about Nephi’s wife (improbably named Ariel in the rendition) that told the story of 1 Nephi from her perspective.

      So…not a lot of memories there.

    • Caroline says:

      I don’t remember Activity Days either. How sad.

    • BethSmash says:

      I only really remember two activity days events, that were actually super useful. In one, we learned how to sew on buttons and to do the whip stitch for fixing small problems. And we also learned how to make our own first aid kit and learned some basic first aid from our leader, who was a real life nurse. But… yeah, I went all the time for 4 years and that’s all I remember.

  6. emig says:

    If we’re doing a straight-across comparison with Activity Days (which goes from age 8 to when the girl turns 12 and joins Young Women), there’s also “eleven-year-old scouts” to consider since Webelos ends when a boy turns 11, but they don’t join Young Men until age 12. So another two leaders there, and then I believe they are under the Scoutmaster supervision instead of the Cubmaster, so there are even more people involved…

  7. Magpielovely says:

    There’s one other component that no one has mentioned but which I’ve experienced with both of my sons: the boys are ALSO expected to complete the Faith in God booklet, essentially the same booklet the girls work from for Activity Days (except it’s blue, of course). There are a handful of activities which overlap with Cubs (about 4, I think) but basically, it’s an entirely separate program of church-related boxes to check and it’s supposed to run concurrently with Cubs (from age8-12). This is sometimes incorporated into the scouting program, but usually the parent ends up doing it with their child individually.

    So basically, the boys have Cubs AND Activity Days, although Faith in God is not realistically well supported institutionally.

  8. JrL says:

    Time costs for Acheivement Days (well-run, even for units with few girls) are (I sincerely hope!) understated. Time costs for Cubs are based on a fully staffed program, fully tracking the non-LDS BSA model that is usually implemented, in my BSA district at least, with much, much larger packs than LDS units have. I’ve never seen that kind of staffing in an LDS pack in my many years of scouting in the church. And nothing in the Church scouting handbook referenced requires it.

    • Nate Curtis says:

      If you want to ignore the reality of this, go for it. AD numbers, even by the AD leaders who have posted here (4 AD leaders committing 10 hours per month each) is only $6,000.

      The numbers from cub scouts is the bare minimum you need to recharter your pack.
      2 den leader per den (6)
      1 Executive Director
      1 COR
      2 cub masters
      4 committee members.

      Without those slots filled, BSA won’t give you a pack. So yes, every ward with a cub pack has those people assigned. The Church handbook clearly tells wards to get their packs chartered, so this is the bare minimum they can assign. Again, I am fully aware that many people called to cub scouts don’t fulfill their callings, but this analysis is about the inequality revealed by the church’s standards for cub scouts and activity days. Sitting back and saying, “yeah, but Mormons are lazy.” is a straw man argument.

      Just for grins, I can compare our ward which is staffed bare bones in cub scouts and AD. We have 4 den leaders and 2 cub masters all of which participate regularly. We have 1 bishopric member who attends every meeting and we have no functioning cub scout committee. That is probably a slightly below average ward. The den leaders do 4 hours a month of meetings and 4 hours of prep. The cub masters do 4 hours of meetings and 10 hours of other work to cover for the missing committee. The bishopric member does 4 hours a month. 32+28+4 = 64 hours a month. I am one of those cub masters so the numbers are reliable.

      Our ward has 1 AD leader, I am her home teacher, I have asked, she spends about hours a month (2 meetings and 2 hours of prep) for AD.

      10 months and $12.45 per hour for both and you are looking at about $8,000 for cub scouts and $500 for AD. That is a 1,600% difference which is considerably more than it is for a fully staffed program for both cub scouts and AD. The problem in your argument is that even if you scale down the programs to a bare minimum staffing, the discrepancy increases because AD is already staffed so low.

  9. Ebeh says:

    I dispute your numbers. Hard Costs are born by families of cub scouts for the most part. The Scouting Handbook doesn’t mandate a certain number of people per den or pack. Two registered adults or one registered adult and parent of a participant are required for all scouting trips, outings, classes, and meetings. We have one “pack” made up of three “Dens” – Wolf, Bear, and Webelos. We have one adult leader per Den, so that’s three. We have a Cubmaster – there’s one more. We have a “super committee” that handles all of scouting, both cub and boy scouts, but even if you separate that out, that’s one Comm Chairman and 2 other Committee members for another 3 people. Therefore, I have 7 people as registered BSA leaders and the rest are parents. Pack meetings are held once a month. I don’t know of any Cubmaster who spends 6 hours a week planning/holding meetings. More like 3 hours a month for planning and actually carrying out the activity. If you needed to meet more than once a week to fulfill a cub scout committee calling then you are definitely the exception and not the rule. Then, factor in the fact that in most cases, people called to serve in cub scouts are actual parents of the boys, which then allows them to spend quality time with their sons, then I believe the “man hour” costs are well spent. I’ve had three daughters go to activity days, and they had wonderful time. Their ward budget was the same as that for cub scouts. True, they didn’t have a monthly “pack meeting.” However, there is nothing in the handbooks that say they couldn’t have met more often or held similar meetings. They simply chose not to. I won’t quibble over the fact that more attention is paid to Cub Scouts. The real question should be how to ramp up Activity Days by female leaders so it is a similar experience. And, don’t forget that once a girl turns 18 and goes to RS, she then participates in at least quarterly meetings for the rest of her life, where money and time and effort are spent on her. And what “activities” does a male participate in once he turns 18? None. Except for general and leadership priesthood meetings for the rest of his life where very minimal money is spent. It might just all come out a wash.

    • Nate Curtis says:

      Again, this is not intended to be compared from ward to ward, but what the church expects. In every registered cub scout pack, there are 14 adults registered with the BSA regardless of whether or not it is a Mormon pack. The handbook tells us to register the pack, so we have to come up with 14 people. All 14 of those people are supposed to be set apart in their callings. So if they are not fulfilling their callings, so be it.

      Notwithstanding, I crunched the numbers on your ward for you. 3 den leaders doing 4 hours a month (which only gives them 1 hour of prep. Most den leaders spend much more time than this) is 12 hours a month. Your cub master is supposed to attend den meetings and pack meetings in addition to running the pack meeting. That is a minimum of 4 hours a month in meetings, you wanted 3 total which gives the cub master one absence a month and no prep time. That is a pretty sloppy cub master, but I used 3 anyway. Your committee of 3 was assigned 1 hour a month which is also unrealistic since that is not even enough time to handle any one of the 4 responsibilities they have. And lastly, you are required to have at least 2 registered adults at each den meeting by both the BSA and the church. Your 2nd adult is a parent so that is 3 hours a month for 3 parents. All in that is 27 hours a month, 270 hours a year, and $3,361 of labor energy expended.

      Now if your ward is staffed that low for cub scouts, I am assuming you have 1 AD leader, who, if she is as involved as your den leaders, spends 4 hours a month on AD or $124.50 per year of labor cost That is a cost factor of 2,700%. Assume you have a super active AD leader who spends twice that much time on her calling and you are still looking at a cost factor of 1,350%.

      You were better off taking the fully staffed numbers for both programs rather than just looking at your ward.

      • Ebeh says:

        Here are the real numbers. 3 Den Leaders, a Cubmaster. 4 meetings a month times three leaders times 2 hours per den meeting (planning/attending/carrying out) equals 24. Cubmaster, even under BSA rules, only does pack meeetings. (Den meetings held weekly immediatlely after school – how can a working male cubmaster attend those? Even BSA material mentions only the monthly pack meeting.) Cubmaster puts in 3 hours a month planning/attending/carrying out the pack meeting. That’s a total of 27 hours. Sorry, but with a small pack, there isn’t a whole lot of “extra” planning that needs to be done. Now, we have two AD leaders, so that’s two times 2 times a month times 2 hours of planning/attending/carrying out for a total of 8 hours a month. You can either look at this as 19 more hours a month, or look at it as an exaggerated figure of 337.5%. Either way, it’s not a huge difference, and one that ebbs and flows when the cubs don’t tend to meet regularly during the summer (supposed to have the once a month pack meeting). In fact, if you knock out the three months of summer (12 meetings) but leave in the AD days, it’s much closer in parity. Either way, it’s not near the numbers that you’re laying out. When you have a minute, run the figures on a lifetime of RS meetings while you’re at it and compare it to almost zero meetings structured for PH. Twice a year leadership at stake conference? Once a year general stake PH meeting? Twice a year PH meeting at General Conference? Those are all fun and everything, but I think I’d rather get the budget and attention given to the RS “other meetings” any day. Budget for EQ or HP on a ward level? Almost nothing. Budget for RS to do their activites? 10 – 15 times as much. So, while the girls don’t appear to get the attention early on, they more than make up for it later as adult sisters.

    • Moss says:

      The first thing I would do to bump up the quality of Activity Days (assuming nothing changes institutionally) is get each advisor a Brownie Girl Scout leader handbook. Tons of great activities ready to go.

  10. Caroline says:

    Nate, this is brilliant. Thanks for pointing out the huge disparity in guidelines for money/energy between the BS and AD. The disparity is shocking.

    • Nate curtis says:

      19 hours more for cub scouts per month (AD takes breaks in summer too). * 11,839 wards in the United States ( * $12.45 per hour means that even by your own accounting, the church is spending $2.8 million more in just labor energy alone on cub scouts than on Activity Days every single year. This is ignoring the hard cost inequality discussed last week.

      As for your, “makes up for it adulthood argument.” Neither of us have any hard numbers on that, but I do conceded that RS gets more financial attention, activity, and labor staffing than the adult organizations for men. But I would also note that EQ and RS activities are not nearly as fun or enjoyable as cub scouts and activity days.

      Your argument is basically saying, “look, we do spend more on boys than we do on girls, but once those girls get to be adults we will let them work much harder and go to more meetings than the men so it is all square.”

      See the problem?

      • Nate Curtis says:

        I did the math wrong on that.
        19 hours more per month on cub scouts
        10 months per year
        11,839 wards
        $12.45 per hour
        19*10*11,839*12.45 = $28 million more on cub scouts per year, not $2.8 million (I forgot to convert the monthly discrepancy to annual).

        Again, I think it is much higher than that, but this is using your calculation, not mine.

        And I did a Freudian slip, I meant “concede” and typed “conceded”. 🙂

      • ANON says:

        Activity Days takes breaks in the summer? Not in my ward anyway :/

      • Ebeh says:

        “Your argument is basically saying, “look, we do spend more on boys than we do on girls, but once those girls get to be adults we will let them work much harder and go to more meetings than the men so it is all square.” No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, “Look, we do spend more on boys than we do on girls, but once those girls get to be adults, we spend more on sisters than we do brothers, so it is all square.” I’ve said nothing about letting anyone work harder or fun or enjoyment. After all, cub scouts has a gospel purpose, AD has a gospel purpose, and RS homemaking (now “other meetings”) has a gospel purpose. And I’m strictly speaking to things outside of the regular three hour block because we all go to SS and men/women go to PH and RS. Rough numbers, the RS in my ward gets $500 more than EQ/HP. Some years it’s actually more than that. Add in the “other meetings” coordinator, the RS counselor over “other meetings,” and 8 “board” members. They have activites every other month, so that’s 8 people who spend at least 2 hours each planning/carrying out/attending the meeting, one coordinator who spends about the same amount of time (2 hours) and then the counselor in RS presidency who spends 1 hour, for a total of 19 hours every other month per activity times 6 a year equals 114 woman hours a year on “other meetings” plus the $700 in budget. Now, look at the EQ/HP on a ward level. Maybe there’s an EQ social (which usually involves wives/kids). Planning? Three men at 2 hours planning/carrying out/attending each is 6 hours, with a budget of $100. The HP? A social, again usually involving wives, again three brothers at two hours each is 6 hours and the budget is $100. So, that’s 114 hours versus 12, $700 budget versus $200. Quite a disparity between what the brothers are doing and what the sisters are doing. And quite frankly, the only reason EQ/HP get as much as they do is because we know the activity will involve spouses. I’m not complaining. I’m not tied up in knots worrying about whether I’m being treated fairly. I wouldn’t care if we did away with our relationship with BSA altogether and both boys and girls did nothing but AD’s, and the YM/YW did Personal Progress and DTG. But if we did that, I wonder if women would be okay if we basically did away with all “other” meetings, along with the budget for same, and their only socialization would be what the brethern usually get. I’m not so much concerned about what is “fair” because, quite frankly, life isn’t about what’s fair. If my leader says tomorrow that women need to meet twice a month and three quarters of the ward budget should go to them, I would support that. You need to decide whether you support your leaders in the decision to link 8 – 12 year old boys to BSA or not. And if you feel like the AD girls don’t get enough attention, then work to remedy that in your ward, if it’s within your power as a parent and/or leader to do that. But as it stands now, over the lifetime of a sister, I would tend to say she comes out further ahead than a brother with respect to time and money spent.

      • Violet says:

        Emily & Nate, thank you so much for posting this.

        @EBEH – The church and youth organizations all over the world, including schools, agree that investments and decisions made in the early years are crucial – small hinges on which a lifetime turns, if you will. So more money is spent on adult women; okay, but it it is a different type of spending. When it comes to educating and developing young people, far more money and resources are *invested* in boys than in girls.

        The message they are sending is that boys are more important; they do more, become more, and are worth investing in; that there will be a larger payoff later (be that in service, commitment, tithing dollars, or general quality of life). I remember when activity days were instituted in my ward; it was the year I turned 8. My dad was the scoutmaster, and I watched what the boys did and learned, and then was disappointed and hurt to find that the new thing for girls which should be similar was completely unengaging, poorly prepared, and frankly boring. We made geckos out of beads – that’s the only activity I ever enjoyed, or can remember in any detail.

        Mormons are really good at symbolism. We know how to read between the lines. The message here is clear, and is the most compelling case for illustrating institutional gender discrimination in the church that I have ever seen.

  11. Corrina says:

    Interesting analysis. Going to pass this on to my dh who is a scout leader in our ward.

    I have a number of friends in my ward who really want our girls not to get the short end of the stick–as much as possible as we fight the uphill battle. (Ex. Our AD girls recently participated in their own Pine Wood Derby.) Despite these very grim figures, I’m going to try and see what we can drum up at the local level to get more stuff going for our AD girls–mine will be 8 next year. I think our Bish and Primary Prez will be supportive. But it’s just so exhausting to keep working at it at the local level and not see any institutional changes church wide. I know local changes won’t span the divide…

    Makes me want to move to Sweden, and not just for the paid maternity leave.

    • Nate Curtis says:

      Local initiative can and does lead to change in the church. The church’s fast-evolving position on homosexuality is largely due to allies of gays speaking up at ward and stake levels saying that the church’s exclusion of gays is wrong.

      The perpetual education fund started at the stake level.

      Even Activity Days was started at a ward level and was eventually adopted to the entire church.

      Of course, there are failures. I put immense effort forward to start a church-wide, grass-roots movement for “Manrichment” where the EQ would get together to play Xbox, watch UFC, fights, and attend hard-core PG-13 movies together. It was going strong for a few years before the Stake President shut us down.

      Win some, lose some. (in secret, a few of us still get together to play Call of Duty)

      • Moss says:

        And you may have have partnered with ward leadership and created a great, thriving AD program- maybe even with equitable funding. But you are always a week away from getting released -or the Bishopric turning over- and then it is back to square one for the next leaders.

  12. amanda says:

    I’m a cub scout leader and wish that we were able to spend less time on earning activity badges and more time on building gospel skills and testimonies. It’s frustrating at times to be teaching a lesson on the primary colors or how to tie a knot instead of Christ. We only have the boys for one hour a week outside of church-with all the extracurricular activities available to youth-wouldn’t it be great if we could devote that hour to implementing/discussing the lessons that the children are being taught on Sundays? Plus, if we focused our weekday activities on the gospel instead of scouting-the boys and the girls could/would be equalized in time and manpower.

    I’m not going to pretend that little boys and little girls have the same interests-I’m guessing actual activities would still differ. Goal setting and building skills should still be a part of the program. But what if the skills that we were teaching were gospel skills instead (learning how to study scriptures, exploring talents, practicing service, etc.)?

  13. R H says:

    Wow. This was a sad read. As I prepare each week to get my son to cubscouts, and each month for the committee mtg and pack meeting, I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the time that goes into the program.

    If your sons’ sisters are feeling left out, it is because of the attitude you are giving them. Girls 8-11 also have a program where they meet 2 xs a month to have activities. They are also greatly involved in our pack’s activities. My girls are happy that their activity girls’ classes are not on the same day as the pack meetings since they get to take part in the pack meetings, too.

    If your committee is meeting every single week and you don’t like that, you are meeting too often.

    Like all callings in the church, you put in a lot and may not see the good outcomes, but in the long run, it is worth your time.

  14. Mathy says:

    Now that the boy scouts allow female member I see two simple solutions to this:

    A. Discontinue Activity Days and just have a primary scouting program that the boys AND the girls attend together.

    B. Discontinue Cub Scouts and just have Activity Days that the boys AND girls attend together.

    There is not reason to gender the activities of the primary children and it would save the Church resources, while allowing us to be more effective. Our ward has a very difficult time finding enough people who are willing to accept calls to the scouting program to run the program effectively. Everything would run so much more efficiently if there was a single program to run and organize.

  1. June 12, 2018

    […] The Cost of Volunteer Hours in the Church’s Cub Scouting Program by Nate Curtis, The Exponent II, June 3, 2013 […]

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