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Is your troop/pack in danger?

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  • Is your troop/pack in danger?

    I know of 3 troops and 1 pack that are sponcered by a religious organizations will be disbanded in my area if the scouts remove the ban on gay scouts/leaders. Mine is one of them!
    Are you in danger of loosing your unit?

  • #2
    No. As a matter of fact I expect an increase in membership. Plus at least one troop and pack has NOT been formed because of the existing policy. None of the other troops in this area are going to quit and some of the leaders have already written letters to the SE in support of the change.


    • #3
      I expect an increase in membership as well. There are several families who I approached who said they would love to have thier sons in scouts but won't join because of the stigma of being associated with the BSA and their discriminatory policies.

      NH195SM: I don't understand why you would disband. Firstly, your religious organization could to opt continue their ban gay leaders and scouts. Secondly, you can take your pack/troop and find another religious organization, business, community group, private school or any other group to be your CO. You would just be changing your meeting place.

      I think there is a lot of blustering going on right now by volunteers, councils and COs. When the tires hit the road if the local option is enacted, I think most will stay onboard not only because in reality not much will change but because they won't want to abandon the youth that they serve.

      Many soldiers and politicians thought that our military would collapse because soldiers would leave in droves because of the repeal of DADT. That never materialized. I don't suspect Scouters will leave in any appreciable numbers either. It's mostly hot gas right now.


      • #4
        I think a lot of it is geographic. All I've heard locally is negative. I know if I were in a less conservative area, I'd hear different things. That said, I don't see what the problem is as long as they leave it up to the CORs/units.


        • #5
          Agree with Perdidochas about it being regional. Many units in my neck fo the woods have privately expressed that things not change as they fear families will go elsewhere.

          Was doing food collection recently where someone said they would fill the bag larger if BSA "made the right decision", of course they did not say what they considered to be the "right" decision. When I told them that BSA could make a decision to end the ban but our CO (now given the power to do what they want) could keep the ban, it seemed to be news to this person. I don't think they really understood what BSA was doing. They were not ending the ban, per se, but merely leaving it to the COs. We know this, but I suspect the general public may not.


          • Papadaddy
            Papadaddy commented
            Editing a comment
            Did you ask the person how they thought punishing the hungry would influence the BSA memership policy decision?

        • #6
          The IH of my organization is an eagle scout but it is someone higher up than him to make the final decision. I have a friend who is the scoutmaster in the town south of me who's troop is being disbanded because his IH said that the scouts have lost their moral code allowing gays to join.
          If we do loose our sponsor we have a civic organization who is willing to sponsor us.


          • #7
            @Pappadaddy...I really wanted to have a decent conversation with the guy but he was a bit confrontational, the boys were around and personally I would have likely disagreed with his position so I thought it best to thank him for his help and wish him a good day. The irony here is that his stated political leanings were very much toward the liberal spectrum and yet, as you point out, his beliefs about the BSA were hindering the accomplishment of one of the basic pillars of his ideology (feeding the poor).

            The money response came from a new Scout in my car, "That guy should watch less TV and help the poor more like us. I mean, his house must cost like a million dollars!! HE can afford a few more cans of food." (Fact is, the Scout was not far off.) ;-)


            • #8
              I don't think our unit would be affected much. Might allow us to recruit some families who have in the past avoided scouting due to the membership policy. Our CO is a "Welcoming" Methodist congregation and would accept a gay applicant if one were to show up and there was no other reason not to sign them up. There have been one or two local units that have had to scramble to find new COs because of the current policy. There have been other potential COs that have refused to sponsor units due to the current policy. (The COs in question have been churches.) So overall I'm not aware of any units that are in "danger" and it's likely there would be more churches and other organizations that would be willing to be COs if the policy were to change to local option.



              • #9
                Yah, we will net lose units in our council, no question. And net lose members. After da initial losses nationwide, which might be fairly severe, I predict continued gradual decline. There just really aren't that many folks like packsaddle describes, and most of them are relatively well-off folks whose kids have lots of other opportunities to choose from. Scoutin' is just one activity of many, and will keep just one kid of many.


                • #10
                  Change is hard. There probably would be an initial drop but nobody knows how much. A lot of people said they'd move to Canada or secede right before the last two presidents were elected and I'm not sure either did.

                  I suspect there are a lot of boys out there that would like what we have to offer but don't really know what that is because it's filtered by their parents who also don't know. National recognizes this and has said they don't control the message. They're right about that. Right now the message is gays. It doesn't matter what side you're on. For outsiders that want things to stay the same they see Boy Scouts as the last place they can put their kids. For outsiders that want a change they see it as a place with bigots. They're both wrong. For most of us that volunteer we see it as fun with a purpose, nobody talks about gays. I'd like to see the message get back to fun with a purpose.

                  If the boy scouts can gain control of the message I think the membership will rise. Right now, the message couldn't be worse.


                  • AZMike
                    AZMike commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Scouting is an activity that attracts old-fashioned people. Some of them are conservative, some are liberal. Even the liberals tend to be old-fashioned - the sort of aging hippies that still have the Whole Earth Catalog on their bookshelf (next to all the Foxfire books) and can fix their VW van with baling wire and duct tape make some of the best scouters I've met. Actually, all the liberals in scouting are conservatives as well - Scouting focuses on conserving the wild places of the Earth, and old-timey skills that most people don't care about - lashings, and fire-starting, and what have you. Scouting says that just because a skill seems pointless, like starting a fire with friction,maybe we should still practice it because it might be fun, or even useful again some day.

                    I think old-fashioned people are less common these days, sadly. And on Beavah's comment, combined with the loss of troops, scouts, and scouters that the New Model Scouting will likely cause, there are just going to be fewer people who want to spend the time and effort to do scouting, especially if they feel their morals are being ignored. On the left or the right.

                  • bnelon44
                    bnelon44 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    AZMIke, if we left it up to the boys, the policy would change today

                  • MattR
                    MattR commented
                    Editing a comment
                    AZMike, I agree that scouting likes old fashioned skills. No doubt using cast iron is nothing to brag about at school. But I don't know any parents that wouldn't like their kids to know responsibility, teamwork, being selfless, how to take care of yourself, service, problem solving, .... Service is a popular thing now with younger people. Both my son and daughter are going to central america over spring break to help out. Two very different programs. They just want an adventure and someone else is willing to pay for it (nope, not me). Adreneline junkies like the outdoors. Hiking the grand Canyon is flat out cool. Tall ship sailing is so much better than a movie. Kids find more fun with the oddest things in the outdoors. To paraphrase a movie, we have the right stuff.

                    The churches can be the flash point of the culture war. It's not for me. I want to be able to walk into any school and be welcomed by all the teachers as someone that can help their students. Now, I can't even borrow a school parking lot for two hours while we collect food for the foodbank without the principal complaining.

                    We may have to agree to disagree on a few things, but there is a future for scouting.

                • #11
                  Best post of the day! You really got me to laugh, AZMike. Some of us really are old-fashioned hippies with Whole Earth Catalogs next to out Firefox books and practicing old-timey skills that most people don't care about. That's pure forum gold!


                  • #12
                    AZMike, me too on that liberal conservative thing.
                    " starting a fire with friction,maybe we should still practice it because it might be fun..."
                    I remember fondly the gasps as the boys watched my daughter produce flames with her spindle and bow in less than a minute. Then they all pounced on this challenge to become as skilled as that little girl, lol. I don't spare my students either, using polar planimeters and similar non-electronic methods to solve practical calculus problems. It takes a little longer but they sure learn the strategy of how it all works.


                    • #13
                      I talked briefly with my UMC minister this sunday. His position was he loves having a large Troop in a small church. And he says he can be welcoming to Gays at the church and at the Troop while not embracing the lifesttle. BUT his main concern was, in a small cash strapped church, the fear of a local option leaving the local church on its own to spend $$$ to defend itself from litigation from either disgruntled side. So he is waiting on National Methodist leadership to figure that out. But he was worried and he is a pretty level-headed pragmatic minister.


                      • bnelon44
                        bnelon44 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I don't know of any suits of a troop allowing homosexuals attend. And I don't know on what grounds such a suit would be raised. As long as the troop was following BSA policies, the BSA will defend them and the CO.

                    • #14
                      My dad is a health insurance salesman and he is really struggling right now. He's very liberal and was excited for the new healthcare program, but now admits healthcare is more in a mess than ever and people are scared. But, he said, the biggest problem he is seeing is folks are just plain tired of talking about it. They just want the discussion to go away. That's what concerns me, folks are just plain tired of hearing about the BSA and leaving or not joining is the easiest way of staying out of the conversation.

                      As I said before, other scouting organizations in North America took big hits when they changed their policy to accept gays, and athiest for that matter. However, I've been wondering if the BSA drama could help those programs now, or make it worse for everyone. Is youth scouting in general on it's way out leaving it to local sponsors to use as youth programs?



                      • #15
                        Replying to what bnelon said, I would assume that the Dale decision applies to other private, non-governmental organizations as well, allowing them to set membership standards. Suing the chartering organizaition (a scout unit is not a legal entity), would be akin to a Jewish kid suing the local Catholic church because they won't let him be an altar boy. It's a non-starter.