May 15, 2017


TO:                  Volunteers, Charter Organization Reps, Executive Board Members

FROM:            David A. Grooms, Council President

                        Daniel J. Zedan, Council Commissioner

                        Joseph E. Wiltrout, Scout Executive/CEO


On May 11, 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it will no longer utilize the Venturing and Varsity Scout programs of the Boy Scouts of America, effective January 1, 2018. The Church made this change to best address the specific needs of young men beyond the age of 14 in their educational programs.  It is our understanding that the Varsity and Venturing programs will be replaced by programs and activities run by the Church.  This change will affect 22 units and 122 youth currently registered in the Three Fires Council, which serves approximately 15,000 youth and families in the Kane, Kendall, DuPage, and DeKalb Counties.  The Church remains committed to using the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs.


Although this is not a significant impact to our local council, it can be a significant impact to an individual or family as they try to achieve the highest rank in Scouting, the Eagle Scout award.  The council leadership and other charter partners stand at the ready to serve and support all those that this may affect.


We anticipate that many youth from the LDS Church will continue to participate in Scouting beyond the age of 14.  As currently happens, the Three Fires Council will work with all families to make sure their boys continue on the trail to Eagle even after the age of 14, if they choose, through Scout troops offered by the LDS unit to which those boys belong.


The Three Fires Council values its ongoing partnership with the LDS Church in our local communities in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting programs.  We look forward to our continued efforts to extend the benefits of Scouting to as many youth and families as possible.


The Boy Scouts of America offers a wide variety of programs from Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to STEM Scouts, Exploring, Venturing and Sea Scouts.  Our charter partners are in the best position to decide which programs most appropriately meet the needs of the youth they serve.  The benefit of offering a variety of programs is that our partners can find the programs that work best for them.


If you have further comments, questions, or concerns please call the Three Fires Council Volunteer Service Center at 630-584-9250.