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Poll shows decline in support for Boy Scouts

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  • Poll shows decline in support for Boy Scouts

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/commu...boy-scouts.ece
    The Boy Scouts’ image, once defined by idyllic Norman Rockwell paintings, has suffered during the contentious debate over whether gay youths and adults should be allowed to participate in Scouting, according to a public opinion poll.
    Rasmussen Reports, an independent polling firm, asked the following question in a telephone survey: “Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of the Boy Scouts of America?”
    According to the poll, 59 percent of American adults have a very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of the Boy Scouts. That’s a 6-point drop since last May, and a 14-point drop since February 2012.
    The Rasmussen poll did contain some good news for the Boy Scouts: Eighty percent said Scouting is good for young people.
    Twenty-one percent of respondents said they had a very favorable opinion of the organization — down from 40 percent two years ago.
    Fran Coombs, managing editor of Rasmussen Reports, said the polling data shed no direct light on why an increasing number of Americans seem to be developing negative feelings about the Boy Scouts of America.
    But he added, “As a lay person, the only thing I see about Scouts that has risen to the surface is the gay issue.”
    BSA leaders voted last May to amend their long-standing membership policy and allow openly gay youths to participate in Scouting. But the new policy still bars openly gay adults from becoming Scoutmasters or serving as paid staff at BSA councils throughout the nation.
    No one really liked the new policy. Conservative critics wanted to hold the line against including gays, period. Gay-rights advocates resented the continuing discrimination against gay adults.
    BSA executives declined to be interviewed about the poll.
    But Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national headquarters in Irving, said: “Our findings indicate that the BSA enjoys very strong good will and is seen as the organization that offers life-changing experiences youth cannot get anywhere else.”
    Perhaps the most important question raised by the poll is whether an increasingly unfavorable opinion of the Boy Scouts portends continued membership declines. It’s not an easy question to answer.
    Over the past 10 years, BSA’s membership rolls have decreased in some years — usually by about 2 to 4 percent — and remained flat in others, according to Smith. At the end of 2013, BSA counted 2.5 million youth members and 960,000 adult volunteers, a decrease of approximately 6 percent from the reported number in December 2012.
    Smith acknowledged that gay-inclusion issues have divided the 103-year-old organization and have been difficult to navigate.

  • #2
    Well we rate higher in favorably than Obama, Romney, and Congress, but equal to Hillary, so go figure.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/...9451392997784/

    Comment


    • #3
      Americans don't trust our institutions anymore. One of the few institutions left that Americans really trust is the Military. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1597/conf...titutions.aspx

      The Gay issue is not going away and I expect the numbers to keep dropping as more people begin to accept gay marriage.

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      • #4
        Sentinel947, what is the connection between gay marriage and the membership policy?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
          Sentinel947, what is the connection between gay marriage and the membership policy?
          People who are supportive of gay marriage probably not going to support the current membership policy. As more Americans become supportive of gay marriage, they will probably not support the membership policy. Therefore, those Americans will not view the BSA favorably.

          Gay Marriage and the Membership policy are not connected, but people who support gay marriage will not support the BSA's membership policy, and more and more Americans are supporting gay marriage.
          Make sense now?

          Comment


          • #6
            "Make sense?" Not really. But the entire issue makes no sense, and hasn't from the beginning. As noted numerous times, if simply left to allow local unit leadership and membership policy, as was the case until about 1990, it would not have been a particularly big issue and over time would evolve to align more with the general public view. But, because certain groups have felt it needed to be a political weapon, and for some reason National found it necessary to go away from what had to that time worked in some kind of illogical reaction to the political hacks, it grew to the monster it has become. But, it really makes very little "sense".

            Comment


            • #7
              Even without the gay issue the BSA number would be dropping. At least in East coast urban areas the BSA is becoming less popular.
              I will say that the BSA really messed up with how they handled the gay issue. They did enough to get people angry and leave over their policy change, but didn't do enough to get people to like the BSA more. They should have either let all gays in or none.
              Skeptic, I agree people from both sides of the political spectrum took advantage of this issue to further their own goals. Of course National doesn't make many good decisions. They seem to go from one blunder to the next.

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              • #8
                Yes, it's possible that a decision as good could have been made by a bucket of nails. Does anyone ever wonder why those guys get paid? I mean, really, outside of the summer camps, what part of the work of scouting is not done by volunteers? Not much.

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                • #9
                  Locally, even summer camp is really volunteers, though they are paid for the summer. Really nothing but leaders that step forward to try and make the program happen each summer. Right now we are fortunate to have some really dedicated gentleman as camp director and program director; they have stayed on now for four summers, and the consistency in program and returning staff has really improved the overall summer program. We went through a period of revolving key camp people, and it almost killed us. But, our council so far appears to be behind keeping camp going and doing improvements as they can. Our real problem is simply water, dryness, and small capacity. Last year our reservoir went dry, and not likely to be there this year either; so boating is out. Supplemented with a good mountain bike program and more trails being added in a newly arranged area above camp that belongs to a mining company. That area also is going to get a few small back country camp sites.

                  Reality is though that it is unlikely we ever can hope to reach previous levels. Most of us that joined in the fifties had few other distractions, and the entire country was still riding the WWII patriotism stream. Vets were parents and grandparents in very large quantities, and leaders were almost all war vets, including the president. Little League was just getting a foothold, and soccer was almost non existent, as were all the other youth sport programs. No computers, black and white TV with few channels (if you had one at all), less neighborhood paranoia about kids being attacked or something. Vietnam really hurt any uniformed group in the late 60's and early 70's, and patriotism began to split into the two polar opposite camps of pro and con military and flag respect.

                  On the other hand, even with lower numbers, scouting still offers more outdoor opportunities, and many are superior programs. We have at least a dozen council troops that have large numbers and run monthly backpacking AND drive in programs, and also various options for high adventure in summer and sometimes at Easter break.

                  I am often a bit confused as to why there seems to be so many posters on the forum that "appear" to simply not recognize the huge amount of positive things we still have, even with the professional issues. Yes, much needs to get redirected and National needs a serious shake up in many areas. But even they DO offer a lot of good opportunities, and there are many good people in the hierarchy that are working in the background much of the time to stabilize and improve. It never happens overnight, and our "instant news" via electronic media exacerbates things too often with partial stories with political slants.

                  If most of us continue to work the local units to the best of our abilities, drawing on old and new technologies and skills, we will survive and remain a factor in improving our youth. Bang the "good drums" loudly; feather the "bad drums" as much as feasible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by skeptic View Post
                    But, because certain groups have felt it needed to be a political weapon, and for some reason National found it necessary to go away from what had to that time worked in some kind of illogical reaction to the political hacks, it grew to the monster it has become.
                    As usual, Skeptic has it wrong. James Dale was kicked out due to National's "no gays" policy in 1990 by the Monmouth council, not by Troop 73, the troop he was an assistant SM for. About the same time Elliot Welsh was told that his son couldn't join because they were atheists. Neither Dale nor Welsh did this for political reasons -- they didn't realize that the BSA excluded "their kind" until it happened. Since the BSA had been acting like a public accommodation for decades (most notably by having public schools chartering about 10% of their units), both Dale and Welsh sued.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So they sued. It's America. Satan was sued here as well - in U.S. District Court. The case was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over Satan, the District Court holding that the Roman Catholic Church had not been named by Satan as his agent for receipt of service of process. So anyone can, and has sued over about anything.

                      Mr. Welsh had been a Cub, Scout, and Explorer, and someone wants you to believe he had not noticed that "Duty to God" thing and was "Shocked! Shocked!" to discover B.S.A. wants you to agree to its policy. And Dad convinced an eight-year-old that he was an agnostic.

                      The kid was a stalking horse. Dad was something else.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mr. Welsh noticed the flyer saying the cub scouts were, supposedly, for "all boys". You're just trying to blame the victim, tahawk.

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                        • #13
                          Enough of the navel gazing!

                          A quick google search on "Decline in Youth Organization Membership" showed articles on membership decline as far back as 2010.

                          Groups included:

                          GSUSA
                          BSA
                          Pop Warner Football
                          Baseball, soccer, basketball, football programs
                          sports in general
                          youth ministries of the churches
                          service club memberships
                          church attendence
                          4-H

                          So how is the gay issue related to any and all of this. There is a general trend for youth not to be involved in any and all activities as they once were. It has NOTHING to do with their sexual orientation or belief in a god.

                          BSA is going to lose membership just like all the other youth organizations in America. Get over it. Provide a good program for those that haven't dropped out and ignore polls that are doing nothing more than pointing out the obvious.

                          Stosh

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Merlyn_LeRoy View Post
                            Mr. Welsh noticed the flyer saying the cub scouts were, supposedly, for "all boys". You're just trying to blame the victim, tahawk.
                            You will not change the subject so you must try to change the facts.

                            The child, being a cat's paw for his father, was the victim - of his father. I do not blame the victim.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
                              Enough of the navel gazing!

                              A quick google search on "Decline in Youth Organization Membership" showed articles on membership decline as far back as 2010.

                              Groups included:

                              GSUSA
                              BSA
                              Pop Warner Football
                              Baseball, soccer, basketball, football programs
                              sports in general
                              youth ministries of the churches
                              service club memberships
                              church attendence
                              4-H

                              So how is the gay issue related to any and all of this. There is a general trend for youth not to be involved in any and all activities as they once were. It has NOTHING to do with their sexual orientation or belief in a god.

                              BSA is going to lose membership just like all the other youth organizations in America. Get over it. Provide a good program for those that haven't dropped out and ignore polls that are doing nothing more than pointing out the obvious.

                              Stosh
                              And bowling
                              And garden clubs
                              And PTA

                              Comment

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