Scouting has a long history in the Lutheran church. According to the BSA National Office, one of the 15 oldest troops in the United States is Troop 2, chartered to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, College Point, NY.
Scouting began to flourish in Lutheran congregations in 1943, when representatives of eight (8) US Lutheran church bodies organized the Lutheran Committee of Scouting and produced a manual entitled “Scouting in the Lutheran Church”. The Lutheran Committee of Scouting established one of the first religious emblems for Lutheran youth, the Pro Deo et Patria recognition (1943).
Over the years, the work of facilitating relationships between participating Lutheran church bodies and Scouting was conducted by joint committees of various names, representing the youth ministry of the participating Lutheran churches. In November 1966, this responsibility passed to the Department of National Youth Agency Relationships (DNYAR) of the Lutheran Council in the USA (supported by the American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and later, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches).
A forum of Lutheran Scouter Associations (LSAs) met in Chicago in 1978 to consider establishing an association to serve as a support arm of the DNYAR. This resulted in formation of the National Lutheran Association of Scouters in 1980, with Ronald L. Adolphi, PhD as president. The DNYAR and NLAS worked cooperatively to develop and implement the Lutheran Living Faith recognition, which has now been replaced by the high school level God and Life religious emblem (developed and approved by the participating Lutheran churches and administered by P.R.A.Y.).
DNYAR phased out in the late 1980s due to the merger of three-of-the-four member-bodies in the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Official liaison with BSA continued through the Lutheran Committee on Civic Youth Agency Relationships (LCCYAR), jointly responsible to the youth ministry departments of ELCA and LCMS. NLAS became an individual membership organization (rather than an association of local LSAs) in 1994. In 2005, LCCYAR and NLAS merged to form the National Lutheran Association on Scouting. Today, the NLAS Board includes members from both ELCA and LCMS and relates to civic youth serving agencies including BSA, the Girl Scouts of the USA, American Heritage Girls, Campfire, and 4-H.
Source: “Historical Outline of Scouting in Lutheran Congregations”, edited by Ronald L. Adolphi, Ph.D. (08-04-2012)