Being prepared, for national announcement in Open Discussion - Program Posted January 30, 2013 I would like to be prepared for the change that might come down the pipe if national says each unit is to decide for itself what it's stance is on gay scouts and adults. I live in a swing county of a swing state and I do not see an easy road for my troop. My goal is to find a good fit for every scout in my troop so they and their families are comfortable with their troop. There are assumptions and issues and I'd like to understand what they are and have some idea of how to steer my troop through this possible change. What I don't want to do is use this thread to change someone's opinion about what is the right thing for the BSA to do regarding gays. There are numerous (thousands?) of other threads that you can use for that. I'm just trying to do my job and play the cards I've been dealt. So, assumptions and issues, in no particular order (I want to know if there are things I'm missing, or how you might handle this): Assumption: Changing parents opinions. It's not going to happen. Some people are adamant about this issue. Everyone has an opinion but I'm not sure how many people are passionate about it. Issue: Civility. The problem I see is the same problem I sometimes see on this website, namely people getting uncivil. I think any discussion needs to be preceded by talking about our common goals for the boys, why we believe in scouts, and mention that anger and trying to change people is not permitted. Let's be civil while we go through whatever change is needed. Issue: "Everyone in the troop has the same opinion as I do." I know for a fact that my troop is spread across the spectrum. Many people I'm not sure about. Whether or not they are active in their place of worship has little to do with it. But I think there's going to be some surprise when people find out where everyone stands. Issue: Finding out where everyone in the troop stands on the issue. Eventually we need to ask, don't we? How do we ask while keeping things civil. If we ask in a big room it could easily get ugly. Everyone believes in what scouting can do and that's what holds us together. What happens when everyone finds out where everyone stands on these issues? Issue: Moving on. If we're going to split I want everyone to end up where they're comfortable and their boys can still get the best out of scouting. I assume it really depends on what parents want for their sons before we figure out where it might lead. It could be that the split mirrors national opinion (roughly 50/50) and we split the troop. It could be a 90/10 split and I need to find a home for the 10 (of which I might be a part). Issue: Parents in the middle. What if parents haven't really thought about it and are happy with the way things are now, don't really mind gays, but are uncomfortable with how an openly gay person might influence their sons. Change is hard, what is a way that might help that change? Issue: The CO's opinion and relationship with the unit. In some cases the CO runs the troop and owns the gear. So their opinion is important. In some cases, like mine, the CO only provides space. So if there were unanimous agreement within the troop but they don't agree with the CO then the troop has to find another CO. Issue: Tenting. Scouts can't be on their own. If boys and girls can't tent together in crews, can gay scouts tent together? Can a gay and straight scout tent together? I'm sure they don't care, but what will the parents say? Do we need permission from parents for who can tent with whom? This is a nightmare. Issue: Sexuality. I've always had the opinion that sex, at any level or type, is not appropriate in scouts. I don't care about orientation. If a parent starts bragging about his conquests I'll shut it down. There's enough crap on tv. Scouting should be free from it. Is this a reasonable approach? The bottom line is what's a process that will help this change while keeping everyone civil and doing the best for the boys?