"Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban." in Issues & Politics Posted February 9, 2017 · Edited February 9, 2017 by Builder I haven't posted here in a long time, but... As I recall, the average rate of decline since the late 90s was 2-3% each year. Since 2013 the rate has increased to 6-7%. The gay issue was announced in 2013. Then the adult gay issue in 2015. Happenstance that the decline accelerated since 2013? Correlation does not equal causation. An example which is obviously a non-sequitur: 100% of people who contract lung cancer breathed oxygen. Therefore oxygen causes lung cancer. Now, we all know that smoking causes lung cancer right? OK, explain these: My next door neighbor is a tiny lady who has smoked since she was a teenager. She's 88 years old, has more stamina than I do , lives by herself (she's a widow) and is sharp as a tack. The wife of a very good friend died 4-5 years ago from lung cancer at age 49. She never smoked a cigarette in her life. Yes I'm cherry-picking exceptions to prove my rule. Keep reading. The point: There is no smoking gun. One cannot point at one or two specific decisions/dates and state categorically that it/they were the cause of declining membership. Far greater forces are involved, mostly due to demographics (single parent families, over-extended kids and parents, etc.). I would also argue that BSA has become, at least in the public's eyes, a suburban rich kid's pursuit. It's not cheap to have a son in Scouting. BSA hasn't done itself any favors by increasing that cost -- registration, uniform, patches, summer camp, and much much more. Without help, to be an active member of an active troop could cost a family $500-1000/year and more. That cost, as well as yet another time commitment on the part of a parent, has far more influence on membership than any PC decision the BSA makes. [EDIT] The BSA increased it's membership fee from $15 to $24 for the 2014 charter year, IOW in 2013. Which decision had more influence on membership? I'm not arguing that those decisions had zero influence on membership. They did have influence. I know of one troop (made up entirely of home-schooled boys) that switched from BSA to TL a couple of years ago. But to blame a doubling of membership loss on one thing is cherry-picking a decision you don't like and applying it as that smoking gun. You see, boys join Scouting for 2 reasons: to play with fire and sharp pointy things (as a good friend of mine once put it). In other words, PROGRAM. If a Troop, Pack, Crew is not providing program boys vote with their feet. If the BSA is not providing a program that attracts membership the same applies -- PC decisions not withstanding.