PAYETTE - In 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it would end its 100-plus year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and all scouting programs worldwide by 2020. This left Boy Scout Troop 6 in Payette scouting for a new home, as they sought to keep what they saw as a good thing going.
Stephen Farrow, charter organization representative for Troop 6, said he took up the scouts’ cause because of his commitment to the community.
“They approached our meeting,” Farrow told the Independent-Enterprise of troop members approaching the American Legion Post No. 33.
“I picked up the talk and presented it a little bit more because I thought this is something we should get involved in with the community,” he said.
Farrow said a motion was made by the post to sponsor the troop, and it passed. Afterward, he met with Gwen Cook, chairwoman for the Troop’s committee, then took courses to prepare for having children in the building weekly.
Farrow says the adoption also ties into the post’s strategy to engage the community.
“We’re trying to get this Post really active; [We’ve] talked about it for a long time, doing more within the community … I just figured, ‘This is a great way to start.’”
By adopting the troop, Farrow hopes to get more veterans involved and support the community. He notes that the scouts have already gotten involved at the post. The American Legion Post has a community breakfast the first Saturday of every month, which the boys have volunteered at already.
According to Cook, who’s kids got her involved in scouting, this partnership isn’t about getting back at the Church, rather to keep a good thing going.
“I have scouts, and we’ve been doing scouting and we didn’t want to stop doing scouting. We really enjoy the program, we really believe in the values and we wanted to keep going on,” Cook said. “I understand that any church has to be concerned with serving its members in the best way it can, and that sometimes means that they’re going to discontinue a program that maybe we thought was a great thing.”
Cook noted that traditionally the Boy Scouts have been involved with the American Legion.
“Scouting is a … scout-led — since girls are also welcome in Scouts now — endeavor,” Cook said. “Their goal, the Scouts, is to help the community that they’re living in, just like the American Legion.”
Scoutmaster Richard Winsor said the Troop also hopes to start a sister troop for girls, if enough girls express interest.
The Troop’s official charter is pending as of press time.