Fourteen boys received the highest honor in Boy Scouting at a Feb. 1 banquet at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bangor. The presentation most likely set a record for the number of Katahdin Area Council scouts earning the Eagle Scout award at the same time.
In an ironic twist, however, the boys received their awards a month after their troops’ affiliation with Boy Scouts of America had ended.
That’s because the troops were chartered through the LDS church on Grandview Avenue in Bangor. And the LDS denomination, based in Salt Lake City, announced in 2018 that it was severing its ties with the Boy Scouts of America after a 105-year partnership over the Boy Scouts organization’s decision to admit gay and transgender scouts.
The LDS church teaches that homosexual relationships are sinful. Its separation from the national Boy Scouts group took effect Jan. 1.
That looming deadline spurred scouts in Troops 13 and 31 to finish their Eagle Scout projects by the end of 2019. To earn the award, scouts must plan, develop and lead others in a service project that benefits a religious organization, school or local community. The boys also must receive approval from scout leaders and the group their projects aim to help and raise the needed money to carry them out.