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With this vote, Scouting calibrates its moral compass

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  • #31
    something to throw out there from an outsider.

    Why does BSA need chartering organisations? If COs are a problem why not just run their own units with their own units. What is to stop them?

    Or am I being simple?

    Comment


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      I am just guessing here but it probably has something to with unit continuity. If it just a "parents of this group of kids" organization it can vanish rather quickly. The organization also supplies a core supply potential members. So ease of starting a unit is a factor. Also there without a established CO versus a virtual one, the district or Council would likely get sucked into more internal squabbles.

    • Pack18Alex
      Pack18Alex commented
      Editing a comment
      GSUSA is a totally different program because of the lack of CO. We're chartered by a quasi Parents of group and see what a lack of institutional support means.

      The PTA groups are filled with teacher leaders, the boys meet right after school, ANC they are flush with beads/belt loops. I don't know how many crossover, but a PTA program meant easy recruiting and leadership continuity.

      The big successful groups here are with large churches that give them resources and support. With decades of tenure, plenty of gear, they have a program to bring new leaders in.

      The programs strugjng to recruit scouts and leaders are those like ours without an installed base.

      GSUSA is mostly single age troops. A group of girls start in Kindergarten and bridge every two years. If one parent burns out, the might get a new leader or disband. They don't recruit... Maybe sign up a few friends in that grade as girls move or drop out.

      They are a smaller organization nationally and the units are largely too small to do much. They'll sell cookies and go on day activities when younger or a travel trip when older, but the outdoors component suffers because without continuity, you don't buy troop gear etc.

      Money is spent each year on operating costs. Nothing is spent on capital improvements.

      Multiagency interaction is at the core of the Boy Scout program and is pretty important to cubs as well. When I was a kid the pack was lame and all I remember is den meetings. My mother/den leader visited one of our campsites and was amazed at what we were doing, nothing like that when I was a kid. The stronger the pack part is, and hence the multi grade aspect, the stronger your outdoor program is.

      A real CO and community connection is a big contributor to pack growth and continuity.

    • ThomasJefferson
      ThomasJefferson commented
      Editing a comment
      For those saying that lack of CO's hurts the girl scouts - I'd just like to point out that they have more registered youth than BSA, and that their total registrered adults + youth is exactly the same as BSA - about 2.3 million.

      They are not having any more trouble than BSA, and lack of CO's doesn't seem to hurt them at all.

  • #32
    Originally posted by Cambridgeskip View Post
    something to throw out there from an outsider.

    Why does BSA need chartering organisations? If COs are a problem why not just run their own units with their own units. What is to stop them?

    Or am I being simple?
    Originally posted by Cambridgeskip View Post
    something to throw out there from an outsider.

    Why does BSA need chartering organisations? If COs are a problem why not just run their own units with their own units. What is to stop them?

    Or am I being simple?
    When the local public schools and PTAs no longer were willing to charter a Pack, we set-up a "Parents Of" Charter Org. Last year our Council eliminated the ability to recharter under a "Parents Of" group. I told our DE that THEY could find us a CO. We are now one of a handful of units under an American Legion charter. I have talked to them twice on the phone, and one of my Den Leaders has met them once. This is over 6 months. I don't know what they got by putting us under the American Legion, all it got us was a longer drive for signatures when we sign up new adults.

    Comment


    • DigitalScout
      DigitalScout commented
      Editing a comment
      We used to be chartered by a local Rotary group and our committee chair met with the CO rep exactly once each year: to get the charter signed. Some COs have very strict oversight of their units, others not so much.

    • AZMike
      AZMike commented
      Editing a comment
      COs commit to the following:

      Conduct Scouting in accordance with its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the BSA.
      Include Scouting as part of its overall program for youth and families.
      Appoint a chartered organization representative who is a member of the organization and will represent it to the Scouting district and council, serving as a voting member of each.
      Select a unit committee of parents and members of the organization who will screen and select unit leaders who meet the organization's leadership standards as well as the BSA's standards.
      Provide adequate and secure facilities for Scouting units to meet on a regular schedule with time and place reserved.
      Encourage the units to participate in outdoor experiences.

      That "providing the space" part is more difficult for parents' groups.

      My brother in the Army is looking into making his unit a defacto CO for a local troop (mostly soldier's kids), and seeks to get around the whole "no military charters ACLU agreement" nonsense by making their unit's Recreational Association (a private group) the CO rather than the military unit itself the CO. They will then be able to use, or steer the unit towards using, the military reservation's facilities, as federal law allows. Their CO (Commanding Officer, not Chartered Organization) is okay with it, their JAG office is okay with it, and apparently their local BSA Council is okay with it. The service members who came up with the idea may NOT be okay with it now (since Thursday), but that is a different issue. It is a good example of thinking outside the box to try to replace the COs that are terminating their relationships, maybe, over the first responsibility they agreed to, above.

  • #33
    Things, I think, are different on this side of the pond. My understanding is that in most of Europe, scout units own their own buildings. We need something the size of a gymnasium plus a couple of extra rooms. There aren't many buildings in my town that are big enough for us and that someone would let us use, without charging a lot of money. We're broke so we don't have the money to buy something. So we need a non-profit that will give us some space. The other issue is that the unit is not a part of the BSA. Legally, and for tax reasons, they are a part of the CO. That's not to say someone can't make their own legal entity but it's unusual. The space issue is probably the bigger issue.

    Hope that helps.

    Comment


    • #34
      Originally posted by dcsimmons View Post
      Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
      Charter Orgs and units do NOT have to accept you as a member. It's their choice still ...
      That's not what the guy leading the pre-vote conference call said. When asked this specific question his answer was "a scout cannot be denied membership....."
      A Scout cannot be denied membership in the BSA, but that does not necessarily mean that a unit has to take him. After all, that is a model we have allowed in the past...

      http://cjonline.com/stories/022700/kid_scouts.shtml

      But as a young black boy, Thompson wasn't allowed to join any of the all-white troops. It was 1918, and he was what they called a "lone" Scout, Thompson said. "You do things on your own," he explained, "and people at the Scout office check off your (accomplishments)."

      Comment


      • #35
        Originally posted by SCOUTER-Terry View Post
        The organization has voted to ban discrimination against gay kids, and compel all of nearly 100,000 local Scout units to be welcoming.
        Hey, believe what you want. The guy on the webcast specifically said, in response to the question "may a CO deny a gay scout based on their beliefs" with the answer, No scout may be denied membership on the basis of his sexuality. I've quoted Scouter-Terry's OP as he obviously has the same interpretation of the resolution. Compel being the key word and tricky phrase.

        Comment


        • fred johnson
          fred johnson commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't believe it. It sounds more like an answer to a different question than originally asked.

          The BSA model has NEVER forced units to accept scouts. Units are welcome to pick and choose members. Units usually accept everyone, but they don't have to do that. BSA may be compelled to accept all youth as scouts, but there is no way you can compel a volunteer charter organization to accept scouts or leaders that publicly oppose what they teach.

          The vote was about BSA membership. Not about unit membership. I supported the change because I don't believe BSA should reject as members youth that are qualified based on the teachings of the unit charter organization.

          If BSA values don't match the charter org values, BSA should not let them charter units. That was the issue before and would continue to be an issue if BSA "tried" to force units to accept members.
          Last edited by fred johnson; 05-25-2013, 11:28 PM.

        • moosetracker
          moosetracker commented
          Editing a comment
          Actually CO's are not to deny scouts due to their race.. This was set up after the big to do under similar circumstances during integration period, I believe it is still on the books.. So yes, there is forced compliance on some matters..

          That is not to say the CO's have not denied or kick scouts out stating other reasons for the decision, when everyone knows the reason..

      • #36
        Girl Scout units have no chartering orgs. They are as big as BSA and flush with money. I have no idea why a Boy Scout unit needs a chartering org and a Girl Scout Troop is able to run out of someone's house and everyone still has a good time.

        Wait... yes I do. BSA's national leadership are morons.

        Comment


        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          And when was the last time you saw a 50-yr-old Girl Scout unit (and I'm not making an innuendo there )? There've been over 5 GSA units that have come-and-gone in our shared meeting space in the past 15 years, they come long enough to spill fingerpaint and glitter all over everything and then they're gone just as quick. I can't even give you an accurate count because there's been some that came and went so fast we never knew they existed. In between those units, any girls that wanted to join are SOL.
          After 2 years the small group of friends with one gung-ho mom that started the unit have done what girls do and started backbiting and are never talking again, and the unit goes away because the leaders aren't invested in girls, they're invested in their daughter and her then-friends.
          Last edited by Scouter99; 05-25-2013, 01:32 AM.

        • Nike
          Nike commented
          Editing a comment
          Girl Scouts flush with cash? Please point me in that direction! Not having COs is a blessing and a curse. Not having a CO structure 100 years ago meant that the women running the organization at all levels did not have to ask permission of men to do things. In the beginning, many people feared that GS would bring about a dreaded outbreak of tomboy-ism.

      • #37
        The vote is passed. Now my attention is going to turn to making sure I help my unit through this change. Make sure that any Scouts who come out as gay under the new policy are treated with compassion and respect, the way brother Scouts should treat each other.



        I'm not going to get caught up debating ethics or theology with all of you wonderful people. I'm hopelessly outgunned in intellectual and emotional firepower.



        I'm disappointed in the wimpyness of the National Key Three, but proud that the delegates voted the way they did. I think Scoutings future in the near term is grim, but I see hope for the future of the movement in America.



        Yours in Scouting,

        Sentinel947

        Comment


        • #38
          Sentinel947, great approach. In this unit, I won't be surprised to see nearly everyone merely shrug and wonder what all the fuss was about. I'll remind them that now certain members can be open about who they are without fear of ejection. I expect them to respond with another shrug. Now....how about that clove hitch.

          Comment


          • #39
            For most units I think it is a non issue.....

            Comment


            • #40
              Sentinel947, I doubt if you see anyone come out, it's just that the odds are low. I'm guessing if they did before and told you, you'd do the same thing anyway.

              I don't think this issue has anything to do with theology so much as something deep in the subconscious formed by all sorts of experiences, religion of which is just one. My father in law, when he meets a black person, likes him just like anyone else, but talk about black people in general and he's a bigot. When he was a kid he had a rough time with blacks in his neighborhood, and that stuck. My father still won't drive German cars. People are the way they are. I try and love my relatives no matter what. It makes me better for it.

              I just hope that those scouters and scouts that stick around are all Courteous and Friendly towards each other. Everyone's still welcome at my campfire. And for those that leave, I wish them the best of luck.

              Comment


              • Sentinel947
                Sentinel947 commented
                Editing a comment
                Yea. I'd do the same things regarding a Scout that came out to me regardless of whether there was a ban in place or not. If that gets me in trouble for doing the right thing, I'm ok with that.



                But what amazes me is all the conservatives saying they will leave. Do they really think their kids School activities are free of open homosexuals? I was in Soccer and Marching Band during High School, 2009-2012, and I knew plenty of gay kids during High School. Are all these conservatives home schooling their kids, or are their heads just that stuck in the sand that they can't see that the gay people have been around them for a long time?

              • MattR
                MattR commented
                Editing a comment
                S947, you're too young, but right before Obama and Bush both won all sorts of people were going to move to Canada or split the country. They didn't. We'll see, but the scouts that leave will be less than anyone predicted. That's why I think it's important to be scout-like in how we treat each other.

                I won't put words in their mouths but things are changing and some things are not good. Personally, this idea of parents not being married bothers me a lot more than gays. Kids of single parents have all sorts of problems that I see in my troop. I get a lot of crying single moms that want help raising their sons. This used to not be nearly so prevalent. One of the parents in my troop is a shop teacher at the school and he's going to retire because he's tired of narcissistic kids. I can understand that people want to get their kids away from that. I also know that having a few of those kids in the troop is a good thing. They learn some good things from the majority of kids that are good and the majority of kids learn to deal with some of the problems that come up. Something about walking in someones shoes before speaking. Some kids are too much trouble and I've tried real hard to work with them and finally nudged them out the door. I think the conservatives feel gays are too hard to work with. It is what it is. We have different views. Hopefully time will bring us back together.

            • #41
              A lot of people genuinely believe that sheltering their kids from gay kids will prevent their kids from succumbing to the temptation to be gay themselves. Which of course is false, and that's not how being gay works, but nevertheless some people probably felt that Scouting was still one of the rare places they could continue to shelter their kids from homosexuality. Those people won't be convinced any time soon that there is no harm in having their kids interact with gay kids, so they'll probably leave. But I suspect that group won't be large in number.

              The rest are just like the people MattR mentioned, those who threaten to leave the country if so-and-so wins. They're mostly all talk, no follow-through. The same will happen with Scouting.

              Comment


              • #42
                A lot of stuff being bantered around on this thread, but I pose the proposition that nothing has really changed with the vote. Homosexual boys were part of scouting before the vote and will continue on now that the vote has been taken. Nothing's changed. I had a homosexual boy Eagle in my troop after discussing it directly with my council's SE. Now with the vote more boys may be more open about it, but it will still restrict them to units that will accept them just as before. It's just that BSA national won't be stepping in on the situation when it arises. They are now only able to encourage boys to join a unit that accepts homosexual boys. It's a no-brainer vote. We'll still accept your money and your registration if you find a unit that will take you. You may have to drive twice as far to get to the unit, but hey, we aren't going to say no.

                Comment


                • #43
                  There is all this moral outrage about homosexuality by some "morally straight" scouters. But where is their moral outrage when alcohol is served at the council annual fundraiser? Why isn't there any moral outrage when the council fundraiser includes a casino night with gambling? Drinking and gambling cause more societal problems than homosexuality ever will.

                  Comment


                • #44
                  Moral outrage? I don't think drinking is seen as a moral issue. After all for Christians I do know that Jesus participated in the drinking of wine. Abuse of alcohol might be an ethical issue, but not moral. Divorce causes more societal problems than gambling too. Lets toss in a half dozen other things like gossiping which is definitely a moral issue. Tossing in all kinds of other problems and saying they are worse, doesn't make the first issue go away.

                  Comment


                  • jblake47
                    jblake47 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    alcohol is used to sanitize things all over the world from pre-injection sites to hand sanitation. People have been using common cup for hundreds of years and the number of infective outbreaks are not really documented because of the lack of statistics (if there really are any of them.) While I wouldn't promote common cup for grape juice, I haven't heard of any problems with wine. It's pretty much accepted in the Christian community that the issue is more psychological than physical. They offer alternatives for those who are concerned with whatever issue. It always reminds me of the time I was visiting at Cape Canaveral and the moon rock was available to be touched by the public. The lady next to me in a very disgruntled voice said she would never in a million years touch something that has been touched by so many people of questionable cleanliness. I smiled and asked her if she touched the doorknob on the way into the building. It brought a quick halt to our brief conversation. I'm thinking one can get a lot worse infection/disease from the stairway railing than they would from a cup of alcoholic wine.

                  • jblake47
                    jblake47 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    alcohol is used to sanitize things all over the world from pre-injection sites to hand sanitation. People have been using common cup for hundreds of years and the number of infective outbreaks are not really documented because of the lack of statistics (if there really are any of them.) While I wouldn't promote common cup for grape juice, I haven't heard of any problems with wine. It's pretty much accepted in the Christian community that the issue is more psychological than physical. They offer alternatives for those who are concerned with whatever issue. It always reminds me of the time I was visiting at Cape Canaveral and the moon rock was available to be touched by the public. The lady next to me in a very disgruntled voice said she would never in a million years touch something that has been touched by so many people of questionable cleanliness. I smiled and asked her if she touched the doorknob on the way into the building. It brought a quick halt to our brief conversation. I'm thinking one can get a lot worse infection/disease from the stairway railing than they would from a cup of alcoholic wine.

                  • jblake47
                    jblake47 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    alcohol is used to sanitize things all over the world from pre-injection sites to hand sanitation. People have been using common cup for hundreds of years and the number of infective outbreaks are not really documented because of the lack of statistics (if there really are any of them.) While I wouldn't promote common cup for grape juice, I haven't heard of any problems with wine. It's pretty much accepted in the Christian community that the issue is more psychological than physical. They offer alternatives for those who are concerned with whatever issue. It always reminds me of the time I was visiting at Cape Canaveral and the moon rock was available to be touched by the public. The lady next to me in a very disgruntled voice said she would never in a million years touch something that has been touched by so many people of questionable cleanliness. I smiled and asked her if she touched the doorknob on the way into the building. It brought a quick halt to our brief conversation. I'm thinking one can get a lot worse infection/disease from the stairway railing than they would from a cup of alcoholic wine.

                • #45
                  Is "calibrates it's moral compass" a fancy way of saying, "a market-driven business decision?"

                  Comment


                  • BadenP
                    BadenP commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wakwib I agree with you 100% market driven= more money was indeed the impetus for this decision and those who doubt that need to get their heads out of the sand.
                    Money has always been Nationals #1 priority and with the corporate sponsors pulling out faster than ever this was just a desperate attempt to keep them on board and little else. The issue of gay leaders will still be a stumbling block for National and some corporate sponsors. It is also comical to me to read the comments that National was very concerned about gay youth not being able to join. If there had not been strong outside pressure from big money the BSA would have continued their 100 year old policy. All of us volunteers really need to look at this issue for what it truly is, a attempt by National to keep their little empire at National with overpaid professionals and wasteful spending intact, and nothing more and not an attempt to be more open and inclusive.

                  • ThomasJefferson
                    ThomasJefferson commented
                    Editing a comment
                    There is no such thing as a "100 year old policy" BadenP. The membership policy was formulated following the Dale event in the 90's. Before that, there was not one because BSA never really considered the situation.

                  • ghjim
                    ghjim commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Here is that 100 year old policy again. Keeps popping up. If this whole thing was an attempt by national to keep money flowing in, how is it that two-thirds of the councils voted for the change? Do the members in two-thirds of the councils have great respect for the national executive board?

                    This was an internal revolt from members who were tired of having morality laid down by edict.
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