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About TomTrailblazer

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  • Birthday 03/29/1957

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  1. TomTrailblazer

    Methodists Ask for Delay

    Some people believe that homosexual behavior is more sinful than other forms of sex outside of marriage. I believe that all sex outside of heterosexual marriage is equally sinful, but that none of us are perfect. I would not reject a potential Scouter simply because he is gay. I would, however, prefer a straight man as Scoutmaster unless a gay Scouter was siginficantly better qualified.
  2. TomTrailblazer

    American Heritage Girls question

    Thanks for the responses. I was just a volunteer who showed up on the day of the event. It would be great if more girls could participate, but the event is already as big as the camp can handle. Here is a link for more information. http://www.longhorncouncil.org/Program/Orienteering-Events/CUB-O.aspx
  3. Our council has an annual Cub Scout orienteering contest on the first Saturday of the year. The event has always been limited to Cub Scouts and their parents. More than 1700 people pre-registered this year and several hundred registered on site. I was given the job of entering information into the computer for the more than 200 teams that competed this year, categorizing each as Tiger, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos. Two AHG teams came this year. They were told that AHG has an arrangement with BSA that gives them permission to participate in any age-appropriate Scouting event. I was the only one on the event staff that had ever heard of American Heritage Girls. We added a new category to the database and let them compete, but we think they may have been misinformed. What kind of agreement does AHG have with BSA?
  4. TomTrailblazer

    new vs. old

    RLDavis, My twin boys are in your troop and we think you are doing a great job. Everyone in town knows the old Scoutmaster. Many people will continue to think of him as the leader of the troop for years to come. I am an inactive ASM in your troop. I considered not renewing my menbership last year but the old SM encouraged me to stay. I have never been asked to do anything. There are usually a number of other adults at the meetings and I have never felt needed. I think the boys and adults respect you more than you know. Thank you and keep up the good work.
  5. TomTrailblazer

    National Anthem

    I worked a concession stand at the Super Bowl to raise funds for my son's high school band. During the National Anthem, a huge crowd of impatient fans wanted their pizza and beer before the kickoff. It did not feel right to continue working, but I could barely hear anything above the crowd and there were no flags in sight. Nobody around me paid any attention to the National Anthem. We also work concessions at Rangers baseball games. Our stand faced away from the field. During a regular season game, there were only a few people in line when they played the National Anthem, so I simply removed my hat, stood at attention and focused on a flag on a nearby building. Nobody seemed to mind waiting another minute for refreshments. What is the etiquette for this kind of situation? I think it would be great if everyone in the stadium paused to show respect during the National Anthem. Do any stadiums have this policy?
  6. TomTrailblazer

    A possible solution to the gay issue

    I think local units should be allowed to decide whether or not to accept gay volunteers. However a number of people in this forum have said that many chartering organizations would leave Scouting if local option were allowed. I have wondered for years (I am sorry about lurking for so many years without posting) if there is any way to allow a local option without losing the socially conservative groups. Packsaddle wrote "would like to see what you think would be a starting draft of the declaration that you propose. As is, it is kind of left to the imagination." It would be intentionally ambiguous, like the Declaration of Religious Principle. Some people believe the DRP excludes atheists, while others simply see it as a statement of one of the ideals of Scouting. I think it means that atheists are welcome in Scouting, and can be good citizens, but are not considered by Scouting to be the best citizens. The "declaration of family values" could say that Scout leaders need to be good role models to prepare boys to grow up to be good fathers and husbands. I know that "declaration of family values" is a terrible name, but "declaration of sexual principle" would be even worse. Thanks for your responses. You have have helped me decide that any form of declaration dealing with the gay issue would probably do more harm than good. I have decided instead to talk to the liberal minister of my wife's church about starting scout troop and/or pack. My boys received their religious award in the church while in Cub Scouts. The congregation is fairly liberal and has a number of gay members. It also has an active youth and family ministry. I will explain that even though gay church members may not register as official leaders, they will still be allowed to help at the unit level. I meet a lot of people who think it is wrong for me to be involved in an organization that discriminates. I try to explain to them that Scouting is a very decentralized organization and that local units have a lot of freedom. The best way for Scouting to shed its current image as a right-wing anti-gay organization is for more liberals to get involved.
  7. TomTrailblazer

    A possible solution to the gay issue

    Sorry, I probably should have said "I heard rumors that Unitarians, some Reformed Jews, and some local United Ways reduced their support of Scouting." I am simply expressing my opinion as a concerned Scouter and do not claim to be an expert on the topic.
  8. After the Dale decision groups such as Reformed Jews, Unitarians, and United Way stopped supporting Scouting. I was worried that Scouting would turn into a right wing organization. My boys joined as Tigers in 2003 and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Scouting had not changed very much since I was a Scout in the 60's and 70's. I have been reading these forums for about 6 years and am happy to see that there are many dedicated Scouters who respect each other even though they disagree about some political issues. I believe that homosexual behavior is unhealthy, but I also think the current BSA policy is wrong. Problems Some people think that the BSA is an evil organization that discriminates against people simply because of who they are. Some people believe that anything short of absolute, zero tolerance towards homosexuality is an unacceptable compromise of basic Scouting values. A possible solution Modify the policy so that Boy Scouts of America discriminates because of behavior, not orientation. Create a carefully worded "Declaration of family values" that new members need to sign. This will not prevent anyone from joining scouting, but will make it clear what behavior not allowed. Local units will never be required to accept gay Scouters, but some units may choose to accept help from openly gay volunteers if they sign the "Declaration of family values" and promise to live a morally clean life. Possible benefits of a revised policy Some charter organizations that left after the Dale decision will renew their support of Scouting. These organizations (religious and otherwise) are not necessarily pro-gay, but think it is wrong to discriminate against people with a condition they have no control over. Some familieswhoare bothered by theban on gay volunteerswill let their kids join again. Very few gay people will actually join Scouting. Only those who think being a Scouter is more important than being gay, and are willing to sign the "declaration of family values" will want to join. Socially conservative groups and individuals will have no reason to leave Scouting if the "declaration of family values" makes it clear that Boy Scouts of America is not lowering its moral standards. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)