End of an era: Mormons part ways with Boy Scouts

The Mormon Trails District of the Heart of America Boy Scouts of America Council held its last ever awards ceremony. They will not renew their BSA charters.


Bob Clay receiving Lifetime Service Award from District Chairman Bruce Priday. He’s been involved with Boy Scouts for 71 of his 80 years. Photo Heather Wimmer

The End of an Era

By Heather Wimmer Photos by Kim Wells

On Tuesday, November 12, the Mormon Trails District of the Heart of America Boy Scouts of America Council  held its last ever awards ceremony. The Mormon Trails District serves over 4000 boys and leaders according to District Chairman, Bruce Priday. At the end of 2019, these units will not renew their BSA charters as the sponsoring organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launches a new youth program worldwide.

The Mormon Trails District has produced many Eagle Scouts over the years, but that is especially true this year. As of the date of the ceremony, there have been 46 Eagles awarded in 2019, and the District is on track to break the record of the highest number of Eagles awarded in a year.

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Bob Clay receiving Lifetime Service Award from District Chairman Bruce Priday. He’s been involved with Boy Scouts for 71 of his 80 years.

It was poignant to see the many years of service offered by many adult scouters. At the ceremony, awards were given to veteran scout leaders Gary Hunter and Bruce Priday, who have served in Boy Scouts for 40 years and Craig M. Reeve, who has been serving for 50 years. In addition, 7 District Awards of Merit, the highest honor a District can give, were given to David Whipple of Independence, MO, Ronald Hugh (G.R.) Gordon-Ross of Lawrence, KS, Ron Hupp of Independence, MO, Jeanine Fotheringhame of Kearney, MO, Norman L. Messner of Lenexa, KS, Michael Kelley of Harrisonville, MO, and J. David Martin of Belton, MO.  In addition, a lifetime service award was given to Bob Clay of Lenexa, KS. Clay has been involved with BSA for over 70 of his 81 years, starting as a 9 year old cub scout in 1947.

Although the formal ties with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is ending, the commitment to scouting will continue. At least five new units have applied for new charters, and many scouts and leaders will support other troops in the area.

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Mormon Trails District Leadership November 2019. Photo Heather Wimmer


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