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Helping Scouts With Objections

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  • Helping Scouts With Objections

    A dear friend came to me about a scout (age 17, on track for Eagle) who wants to quit the BSA because of the new membership policy. I offered to meet with the boy. If it transpires, I'll let you know what happens.

    If you've had to handle a situation like this (youth of any age or sex), how did you do it? Results?

  • #2
    Why does he want to quit. Becuase the gays are allowed in? or because gay adults are not?

    Comment


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      Because gay youth are allowed in. But, if you're dealing with a youth who objects for the other reason, it might help us to hear about it.

  • #3
    As best as I could, I would answer any questions he had. If he asks my opinion/perspective, I would offer it. But I don't think I would try to talk him into or out of anything. At 17 he can make up his own mind about being in Scouting regardless of the reasons.

    Comment


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks 2C,
      That's my plan. I'm generally of a conservative ilk, so I guess my friend thinks this kid wouldn't feel like I was trying to foist an unwanted agenda on him. I had a crew member talk to me about this issue last month, but I don't think he was planning on making a move. So, I have the talking points down if I need them, I think.

      Just posting here in case someone beats me to the next conversation and has something worth my borrowing.

  • #4
    Tell him he'll never agree 100% with any organization he is involved in.

    Comment


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      Brew, although very true, I'm not entirely sure a home-school kid would get that. (Although most who I've talked to seem to have a better grasp of public opinion than you would expect.) We adults make compromises pretty routinely. So, yes, that would definitely be a key point in, say, a scouter-to-parent discussion.

  • #5
    I would remind him that gay scouts have been in scouting for years. No one ever noticed because no one "came out of the closet". The vote by national is only smoke and mirrors. Now the only difference is that National is off the hook and puts on a good public perception to the society in which it exists. Individual units can still keep out openly gay scouts, but all that means is they won't have their registration revoked by National. All they need do is find another unit that allows gays. If the boy can't find one, no big deal, National still hasn't said he isn't allowed in.

    I would suggest to this individual they form their own home-school scout troop/pack and then they don't have to worry about it. If the boy is not home-schooled, then he attends school with openly gay students all the time. Is he planning on quitting school, too? From the initial post, I'm thinking there is more to this 17 year-old's quitting scouts besides the gay issue vote.

    Stosh

    Comment


    • #6
      My answer would be a combination of jblakes answer and Brewmeisters answer. I would also follow it up by reminding this young man that the troop loves to have him as a member and really hopes he continues with the program. Trying to conceal our own personal biases is somewhat important to this effort, unless the Scout asks us what our opinion on the matter is.



      Ultimately people will quit for both reasons on this issue, and all we can do as adult leaders is try to encourage them to continue with the program.



      As an administrative disclaimer, this thread doesn't need to become another Issues and Politics Thread. ok?



      Yours in Service,

      Sentinel947

      Comment


      • Sentinel947
        Sentinel947 commented
        Editing a comment
        Qwazse. Would you like me to remove the thread in issue and politics then? Unless you think there is some merit to have two threads open. I'd PM you this, but I can't send them with more than 10 characters.



        Sent947.

      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh jeepers, I love the responses in both threads. If you could move the replies there to here, that would make you a really super moderator. Otherwise, let's leave things as they are.

      • Sentinel947
        Sentinel947 commented
        Editing a comment
        Then I will let them both live. If another admin removes one, it wasn't me.



        Yours in Scouting,

        Sentinel947

    • #7
      I think you have a big brother sort of chat with him.....

      I wouldn't delve into his thoughts or beliefs on sexual orientation.


      But ask him to look back and remember the enjoyment he has found in scouting.. Ask him to look at the Eagle scouts he knows and if he would like to join them in the brotherhood.

      Comment


      • #8
        The scouts focus is wrong. I had this same discussion with a scout who didn't want his eagle because the BSA didnt accept gays. The values Learned from the scouting experience aren't about judging the haviors of others, instead the values are how the scout himself behaves to "all" others. Ask the scout to slowly say the Scout Oath. Then do the same with the law. Then ask the scout which individuals the scout should do his best. Then ask what it means to do his best. Being an Eagle is setting the example of living the scout oath and law to all people. We all judge behavior everyday, but Eagles by their example show those around themselves how to behave around others despite their behavior. Shift his focus off National and on to how he sets the example of doing his best to live the values of the oath and law.

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