Statement from the SURGE Team
For more information regarding the future of the SURGE program, please read the following notice.
There is no question that there will be changes felt throughout the Scouting community as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints concludes its 105-year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America. Nowhere will these changes be more apparent than in Section W-2W, covering Utah and parts of surrounding states, however it is also true throughout the Western Region and the nation. The primary goal of the SURGE team will be to minimize this impact to the lodges and chapters of the Order of the Arrow. To achieve this goal, everyone will be needed to help, and do his or her part. This is your call to action. This is an opportunity as well as a challenge!
How does the LDS Church leaving Scouting affect our efforts? Simply stated, SURGE is now more essential than ever. The LDS Church has given us an opportunity to induct as many of their Scouts as possible through the end of 2019, when they end their relationship with the BSA. It is critical that between now and then that we identify and induct those Scouts in LDS units, found deserving by their peers, so they will have the opportunity to continue in Scouting and the Order of the Arrow. Even though The LDS Church will no longer sponsor units, LDS Scouts can still join a Scout unit chartered by another organization.
We know the OA is an incredible Scout retention program. This is particularly true for older Scouts who can take advantage of OA High Adventure, National Leadership Seminars and other fun activities the OA offers. Many of these Scouts will become the leaders of new units as troops reorganize and rebuild after 2019. We know if these new troops are OA troops that they are more likely to thrive. An OA troop is an active troop. LDS Scouts will benefit from Arrowmen, who can identify quality units in their community that they can join.
SURGE has never been more critical. It is imperative that our sections, lodges and chapters implement the SURGE program. We urge you to utilize the tools available at the Western Region website: https://dev.western.oa-bsa.org/surge. There you will find great resources including:
- A syllabus for teaching election teams how to conduct unit elections in troops chartered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an accompanying PowerPoint presentation.
- LDS Unit Election Video and LDS Unit Election Video “How-to” guide.
- Sample letters for LDS unit Scoutmasters and Stake Presidents.
- Myths – LDS Scouting & The Order of the Arrow.
- Information on the SURGE Recognition Device that election teams and Scouts in LDS units can earn now.
Together we can mitigate the loss of these LDS youth to the OA and the BSA, benefit our councils, lodges and chapters, and share the joy being a member of the Order of the Arrow brings to us with our fellow Scouts.
*SURGE stands for Supporting Units through Really Great Elections and is the Order’s national LDS outreach.