Scouting in Canada

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a long history of involvement in the Scouts Canada organization. Scouting can help young men and boys enhance close relationships with their families and the Church while developing strong and desirable traits of physical and mental fitness, character and citizenship.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regularly participate as volunteers in area, council and national Scouting committees and activities, which help solidify relationships between Scouts Canada and the Church. As leaders work to improve the Scouting program, they create goodwill, mutual understanding and cooperation between the two partners.

Over a century ago, a contingent of early Scouters from the United Kingdom travelled to western Canada and met with Nathan W. Tanner, the bishop of the Mormon congregation in Aetna, Alberta. Bishop Tanner was impressed with what he learned about the boy-centred program of Scouting and the guiding principles of service, outdoor adventure and moral living. In 1911 he formed a troop in his area consisting of a few boys, including his 13-year-old son, N. Eldon Tanner, who later served in the First Presidency of the Church. The Aetna Scout Troop was the first Mormon group in the country, beginning a proud tradition of Latter-day Saint–sponsored Scouting in Canada. 

Scouts Canada has active groups in most communities across the country, with a current total membership of over 70,000 youth. Within Scouts Canada, over 7,000 young men and leaders are registered in groups sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The National Council of Scouts Canada is composed of representatives who come from 20 councils across Canada. Senior Church leaders are appointed to serve on a national Latter-day Saint–Scouts Canada relationships committee.

The basic principles of Scouting are the same around the world, but program and policy differences between countries are numerous. These often reflect differences in the laws and customs in each country, including in Canada such matters as:

  • The Scout Promise is “On my honour, I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and the Queen, to help other people at all times, and to carry out the spirit of the Scout Law.”
  • The Scout Law is “A Scout is helpful and trustworthy, kind and cheerful, considerate and clean, wise in the use of all resources.”
  • The Cub Scout program of Scouts Canada is based on “The Jungle Book” story of Rudyard Kipling.
  • Pinnacle Scouting awards within the Canadian programs include the Chief Scout’s Award and Queen’s Venturer Award.
  • Policies and procedures such as those that pertain to the recruitment, screening, appointment and training of adult volunteer leaders are set by Scouts Canada’s National Council.

In April 2011 Church President Thomas S. Monson was awarded one of Scouts Canada’s highest awards, the Silver Fox. The Silver Fox is reserved and bestowed upon “those deemed to have contributed service of the most exceptional character to Scouting in the international field, performed by persons who are not members of Scouts Canada.”

In July 2011, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first Mormon Scout group in Canada, over 2,000 young men supported by 1,300 leaders from western Canada gathered at Scouts Canada’s Camp Impeesa for Helaman's Encampment, a week-long Latter-day Saint Scouting event in southern Alberta.


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