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Boy Scouts of America

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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby lostcoyote » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:44 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:Nothing changes with people. We once had people talking about these issues with woman's rights, then different races and now gays. And some day people will have the same conversation regarding some other issue to come up along the same lines.

The only reasonable defense you can give against someone who is gay in regards to boyscouts is the organization is religious and it goes against what their religion teaches. The same way you cannot be a boyscout if your an atheist. Is it right? Nope... It's what I have always called the tyranny of religion.


funny, cuz i was in a scout troop for several years and am an atheist - LOL
of course, i never said told them.... i just wanted to go camping - which is what mist kids want to do in scouting.... hang with a group & get in the outdoors.

it's really too bad that adult ideology gets in the eay of what kids want.
adults ruin everything.



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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby mokelumnekid » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:03 pm

I'm totally with Mav on this one. I came from a rural community in central California (south of Sacramento about thirty miles) and our scouting experiences were an amazing time to learn about the back country, how to work as a team, how to respect each other and get along, how to identify the qualities of budding leadership. I got to be Eagle, maybe because of my Dad's prompting, but at all times the whole experience was about respecting others and kind of a "don't ask, don't tell" in that everyone knew that there were diverse types out there and it was no one's business to bring it up. This was also because there were an amazing diversity of ethnic types as well. My country troop had East Indian kids, Hispanic kids, poor kids, country club kids, Japanese kids, Chinese kids, Pacific Islanders- the typical California agricultural blend. My scout master and his helpers (including my Dad) were all WW II vets who believed that character trumped everything: money, race, station, etc.

Eagle.jpg
Eagle award, Feb. 1968


But I think back then there was confusion about the differences between homosexuality and pedophilia. They are obviously two different things but often blurred in the public mind. Not to say there weren't problems in our little rural area: one scout leader was dismissed back then over a 'fondness' for boys and my seventh grade teacher eventually committed suicide over the fact he was about to be arrested for molestation. Point being that these things were on people's minds.

Hiram Meadow.jpg
My Scoutmaster, my Dad, another kid's Dad, Hiram Meadow, Highland Ck drainage, Ebbetts Pass area, July '68


But today I think we have enough public awareness to understand these distinctions. And I'll offer an completely uninformed opinion: that the LDS does exert undue influence on the look-and-feel of Scouting these days. If I had a kid of that age I am not sure I would encourage them to seek community in Scouting, sad to say.

Those interested in speaking out may want to visit the web site: Scouts for Equality
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby oldranger » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:37 am

I think mk got to the heart of the matter--distinguishing between pedophillia and homosexuality--not the same. My experience when Matt was a scout (earned his Eagle) was that there were significant safeguards in effect to protect the kids. He was in a great troop and rather than exclusively "boys" whole families were frequently involved in outings. It was a much better troop than my brief experience in the 50s with well meaning but outdoor ignorant leaders. I enjoyed my time with the troop as well as many of the dads were into dutch oven cooking on the car camping outings. Did miss evening cocktails but that was a small sacrifice for the benefit. My favorite experience is when I provided gear and taught a young man a few fishing basics and he caught his first fish--nice 12" rainbow. He was so proud and excited.

Mike
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby k9mark » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:27 am

Hey, if ya don't like the boy scouts don't join them. They area private organization with their the own set by laws, etc. To think your gonna change that is folly most likely. The scouts are dwindling as it is and prolly wont be around much longer. But the real heart of the matter here are people trying to force their views or beliefs on each other. Good luck with that. How about just getting along with people and accepting that fact the differing of opinions.
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:45 pm

We absoulutely do need to respect different views and opinions.

sparky wrote: Forcing others to conform to your beliefs is equal to them not allowing gays in my humble opinion. They are both wrong.


Well said Sparky.

We are a diverse group and the constitution protects all of our rights to free speech, religion, etc.

dave54 wrote:The issue is complex with far reaching long term effects......The values taught in Scouting are still relevant in this world, perhaps even more so now than in generations past. I would not be too quick in dismissing Scouting as outdated........I am more in favor in letting individual units decide. Church sponsored troops could have their own standards for leaders without impacting secular sponsored troops.


Again, well said Dave. Level headed thinking without bias in my opinion.

I am not all that up on the whole issue, but wasnt it the Scouts that decided to open the doors to all? Isnt that their right to do so if they wish? Or am I incorrect about the topic? Was this forced upon them?? The only news article I saw on the subject was a reference to the Governor of Texas indicating he would not let the change happen. Isnt that forcing ones own values and beliefs on others?
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby mokelumnekid » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:53 pm

k9mark:

The changes being discussed emerged from WITHIN the scouting organization itself. Having been a BSA for many years I regard myself as a stake holder in the conversation. No one is being "forced" to do anything. Perspectives change and evolve as people learn more about what it means to be "getting along with people and accepting that fact the differing of opinions." Scouting seeks as one of its founding principals 'fair play' and the recognition from WITHIN the organization that the rules enforced a fundamental bias motivated a lot of soul searching. This has now matured to the point of a proposed policy change. I predict that like all gender-and-sex based discriminatory practices, once they are swept aside it turns out everyone will wonder what the fuss was about anyway.

If scouting dies out, it won't be because of changes like this. It will simply reflect that the fundamental paramilitary approach (troops, patrols, uniforms, marching, salutes, rituals, etc.) is viewed by kids as an anachronism.
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby k9mark » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:48 am

For years now the BSA has been attacked by groups or individuals for their beliefs or by laws. Im sure this had lead to the fundamental change that is happening now be it forced or voluntary. We all have our own beliefs. But forcing our beliefs on each other is what causes more problems. Why arent groups like the KKK or BBP attacked as heavily as the BSA? Just sayin. But I digress, this board is about the outdoors, not political issues.
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby rlown » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:52 pm

BrianF wrote:The YMCA has a program called Adventure Guides. It is a Father/Son group and requires both must participate. It is for elementary aged kids and is not nearly as structured as Boy Scouts, at least in our area. My son and I were part of a group and the activities were all decided on by the group, so in our case we did alot of hiking and a couple of backpack trips, but other groups did nothing like that - it is all what you want to make it into. It was fun for my son and I to introduce the kids (and most of the fathers) to backpacking, my son started backpacking as a toddler so he was an old hand by then.


Funny! I was a member of the Y Indian Guides in '68 (as the son). Per this article, they decided to change the name to Adventure Guides in sensitivity to the Native Americans:

Come this fall (2003), the chanting will stop. So will the drum beating, wearing of feathers and most Native American-themed activities that have defined the Y-Indian Guides Program for 76 years.
"Indian Guides" will become "Adventure Guides," "Princesses" will be "Explorers" and "tribes" are to be known as "circles," as the program's curriculum shifts to a more generalized one based on nature.
Though the YMCA's national umbrella organization first announced last fall that, out of sensitivity to Native Americans, it would drop Indian themes from its popular program teaming parents with their daughters or sons, news of the change is only now trickling to some local Y parents.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Y ... z2KRA7UKGv


I went onto Cub and then boy scouts, and never really cared about policy. We were having a good time hiking, camping and learning some great skills. I still have my little Y Indian Guide vest and my boy scout medals and trappings in a trunk in the garage somewhere.

Never really mattered as long as you were there to participate.

Russ
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby gdurkee » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:37 pm

Scouting is highly leadership dependent. A troop is only as good as the people taking the kids out. I don't think it's in danger of dying out, however irrelevant -- even anachronistic -- many of their rules and baggage are. Between the mid-80s and late 90s, there was definitely a dip in scouts doing backcountry trips. The last 10 years or so, they're increasing again.

One of my disappointments is there are very few -- almost no -- groups that take girls into the backcountry. Not sure what the problem is, but you never see girl scouts. YMCA and some church groups are mixed and usually seem to be having more fun than too many scouts on death marches.

The other sad thing is the amount of lying that scout masters do to claim ignorance of a regulation. Some have actually coached the boys ahead of time to tell rangers etc. that, if asked, they only have xx people traveling together when it's actually over the limit.Nothing like setting an example of honesty. If they're going to somehow portray themselves as "pure" -- banning the corrupting influence of gays and atheists -- you'd think they'd hold honesty as an absolute. Alas, no. Not all troops, certainly, but a significant number.

I'm totally supportive of anything or anyone that gets kids into the backcountry and does so safely and responsibly and, one hopes, with a certain eaglelitarianism (heh, heh. Small -- very small -- play on words).

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Boy Scouts of America

Postby Ross939 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:38 pm

My thoughts are that BSA has seen a significant decline in their membership nationwide in the past 10 years, especially in more urban areas, largely due to the publicity of their gay ban. In addition, they have probably also seen a considerable withdrawal of funding from NPO's to the point that now their only funding sources are coming from fundamentalist Christian organizations. Scouting has much work to do to fix their problem. First they will need to lift the ban. Second, to survive they will need to pick up new major funding sources, as well as a new demographic of members, as they will surely lose probably 80% of their current funding sources as well as a huge chunk of their membership base, which, right now consist of conservative fundamentalist Christian families, and don't get me wrong, I am not attempting to degrade anyone's personal religious convictions, just stating that BSA has a pretty big uphill battle to survive this controversy.


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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:41 pm

It doesn't even have to be getting kids into the backcountry. Camping is a great start to get kids (both sexes) used to being "out there." I used to tag along with my Mom who lead a girl scout troop as well. Even short hikes around new areas were a good intro for them. Plus they learned about setting up tents, fires, and cooking.
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Re: Boy Scouts of America

Postby Scouter9 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:52 am

So, if you don't know, the potential change being considered by BSA-National was to be discussed in a February meeting, at which point the matter was put-off to May, 2013. This is to allow the vast number of lobbying groups to weigh in, and there was indeed a good deal of shrieking by conservative factions within Scouting. Of course, this is in the context of BSA's board of directors including major corporate entities that have openly and strongly advocated on the board for a modernization of the policies.

Also to be clear, the proposed change was specific: that BSA-National would drop its policy, but that the matter would be decentralized to each "Charter Organization" for each Troop. The Charter Org would have the discretion to set policy in either "direction" -- meaning status quo or more egalitarian approaches.

Not discussed often so far are two details to this approach:
--1) it's consistent with current practice, allowing Charter Orgs to form insular units that only admit persons of a particular characteristic, such as Islamic Temple Troops, Vietnamese-only Troops and the most common, LDS-only Troops;
--2) it shifts liability for discrimination suits to the Charter Organizations, and the Troops. THIS is the big detail that 's behind a great deal of concern: Yep, full-employment act for professional plaintiffs and lawyers seeking to sue BSA units, for easy cash where there is no legal defense fund. Church-based groups that might choose to keep rules consistent with their beliefs (in a manner established to be consistent with their rights under the Constitution of the United States, one should note) would now be singularly exposed to suits and attack, rather than "National" with its insurance policy and legal defense fund.

So, although I personally hope that modification of national policy comes to fruition, an examination of the realities in the situation might illuminate the decision-making process for persons actually involved in producing and supporting programs for their sons in their own community, and that it's not all about hate and bigotry. Some would prefer BSA-National simply adopt a broad, non-discrimination policy guideline and then carve-out an ability for Charter Orgs/Troops to deviate from that on particular issues other than those impacting established protected classes.

If you're actually involved in the Scouting program, supporting a youth program and making things better around you, then you're currently receiving information enabling you to voice your opinion to "National". I suggest, whatever your message, that you do so.
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