Thursday, May 17, 2012

The New, New Green Book

On May 10th, there was a General Young Men Leadership Training broadcast in which a new, new “Green Book” was introduced. I haven't seen the training (I'm a Primary guy, after all), but I’ve looked over the new manual and here are the changes (all in the first two pages, except for the last one):
  • Sections and paragraphs numbered for easy reference 
  • Referenced materials are hyper-linked, useful if you’re reading it online, especially for accessing training. 
  • Sec. 2.0, Training and Development added the following statement: “adult leaders are considered trained when they complete the following training:” YPT, Leader-Specific Training, Intro to Outdoor Leadership Skills, and Troop Committee Challenge (new in this version) were then listed, with hyper links where appropriate. Gone are references to “Fast Start” and “This is Scouting.” The section as a whole more clearly implies an expectation that those called and set apart - at all levels - will get the necessary training as a part of their service (training beyond those listed would probably be considered magnification).
  • Para. 2.2, Priesthood Leadership Conference (Philmont for Stake Presidents) was moved to the end of the section for emphasis.
  • Sec. 2.4, LDS-BSA Relationships Committee changes the language from BSA Councils to Coordinating Councils as the entity which each LDS-BSA committee works. 
  • Sec. 3.1, Stake Presidency was reworded to make the entire presidency – not just a counselor – responsible for the organization and functioning of ward Scout Troops. 
  • Sec. 3.3, Stake Young Men Presidency emphasizes Troops, Teams and Crews, as opposed to Troop-centric Scouting (the done-with-scouting-at-14 model). Also a paragraph was added about the SYMP receiving appropriate training, participation at roundtables, and building relations with the local BSA district. 
  • Sec. 8.13, Funding Scouting added more Handbook 2 references, and the following: “Commercially produced or packaged goods or services should not be sold.” 
It's mostly clarifications and updating to conform to current BSA literature/policy, but at the same time, there's a pretty strong training bent to it all.  I feel that it more clearly shows that BSA governs Scouting, and the Church has some MINOR adaptations mostly dealing with how Scouting, done properly, serves and provides a robust developmental program for LDS boys and young men, ages 8-18.  For example, the Aaronic Priesthood section (Sec. 5) is still just five paragraphs long. This is a pretty good indication that the Green Book expects those serving in such capacity to go to the BSA materials as the authoritative source to learn how to run their respective programs. The Green Book describes how to run the program within Church strictures, but expects you to do some anxious engaging of your own.

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