Welcome to the first “blog” (article, musings, thoughts, opinions, or whatever you want to call it) regarding the relationship between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Venturing program of the BSA (with a strong emphasis on the Western Region). I’m a bit excited, scared, unsure, overjoyed, and whole lot of emotions in-between as I begin this assignment. This is a new venture for me as I am NOT a blogger in any way, shape, or form. However, at this time there is a need to reach out to those involved in Venturing and build some bridges, communicate ideas, share information and best practices, and (hopefully) gain inspiration for LDS Venturing leaders.
The purpose of this blog is to provide a venue that can be used by all in some small way to work on strengthening the Venturing program within the Church, as well as help LDS Venturing leaders with some creative ideas and tools to enhance their program. The emphasis (i.e. focus) will be on those living in the Western Region. Why the emphasis on the Western Region? Simply because LDS wards sponsor over 85% of the Scouting units in the Western Region. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Scouting’s biggest customer in that region and their interests, concerns, and desires should be given some attention. But that doesn’t mean that the information shared within this blog is only for the Western Region. Not at all! The more people who share information, the better for all of us. I firmly believe in “R&D” (Rip-off & Duplicate). If something down the road that was shared either by me or others might work for you—go for it! Use it, adjust it to fit your needs, put on hold for now, or forget about it. It’s all up to you.
Let me give you some background on this assignment, and what I hope to see happen as we all move forward. This blog is being written as part of a newly developed Western Region Scouting assignment—“LDS Liaison to the Western Region Venturing Committee.” Critical background information contained in the job description for this assignment is as follows:
First and foremost it must be stated that this position is NOT an ecclesiastical position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the liaison has no authority to speak for the Church unless specifically authorized by the Church leadership on a case-by-case basis. It is a Scouting position which has been created with the intent of building stronger communication paths, strengthening relationships, and “building bridges” between the Church and the Venturing program within the Western Region of the Boy Scouts of America.
This liaison works to achieve mutual understanding and a unity of effort by coupling the Venturing program with the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood in order to build strong young men in all areas of their lives. The liaison is positioned to provide technical or subject matter expertise on all aspects of the Venturing program as it relates to and interacts with the Church’s Young Men program and purposes within the Western Region.
Venturing is an activity that, when coupled with the Church’s purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood, will bless the lives of the young men, their families, their respective quorums, and the community. The bottom line is to emphasize that the young men (ages 16 and 17) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are strongly encouraged to DO Venturing, continue on in their personal Duty to God, and to fulfill the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood.
There you have it. This is not “My Blog” but “Our Blog.” Nor is this the venue for rants or gripes. It’s going to be structured in such a manner as to build all of us up and to be able to move forward in a positive manner for the ultimate benefit of those we serve—the Venturers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
With all that being said, let’s put our shoulders to the wheel and move forward.
-David Wilson has been actively involved in Venturing since its inception back in the ’90s. He is dedicated to working on strengthening the bridges and removing the walls that occur between the Church and the BSA for the older young men in the Church. David continues to work to bless and serve through his involvement in multiple levels of Venturing (from national to the local council). He currently calls Orem, Utah, home. The views and opinions expressed in this message are solely those of the author.