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Brigham Young Offers Degree In Scouting

by Newscenter Staff

Posted: October 21, 2003 11:53 a.m. ET

(Provo, Utah) Brigham Young University has begun offering a degree program in Scouting Education. The Mormon school says it is the first such program in the country, and is aimed at encouraging greater LDS participation in the Boy Scouts of America.

The university says it developed the four year program with the help of
the BSA.

Mormon Scouts make up nearly 10 percent of the more than 4 million Boy
Scouts nationwide, but only about 6 percent of the professionals running
the organization are members of the Later Day Saints faith.

"We are very interested in bringing that figure to parity," Brian Hill,
chairman of BYU's Recreation Management and Youth Leadership Department
told the Deseret Morning News.

BYU started offering some Scouting classes in the 1950s but never
offered a full degree until now.

"This is a more intense and full-fledged effort to prepare our young men to work in Scouting," said Hill.

Students in the program are required to take classes in finance, computer applications, leadership and philosophy. Graduates would be likely candidates to work for the Boy Scouts of America. Hill said these types of jobs usually focus on recruiting new Scouts, fund-raising and working with volunteer adult leaders.

Hill said the BSA ban on gay scout leaders fits in with both BYU and Mormon principals. The controversy contributed to department's decision to develop the new degree, he said.

"Scouting has stood fast to its moral principles, and we are anxious to provide professionals who will hold fast to those principles in years to come," Hill said.

"Scouting has withstood some storms, and we're anxious to support it in years to come."

©® 2003

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