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Brent....Atlanta. If gay leaders exist in my neck of the woods, then in Atlanta...need I say more? OK, there's a finite probability that I could be wrong. No, come to think of it, you're right...probably no gay leaders in your district, what was I thinking?

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Well, I haven't seen any of those ridiculous Scouting For All knots on anyone in my district, and I can't think of any single Scouters - the ones I know are all married. Are you telling me they are gay? This ain't New Jersey. I guess you will have to send me your GayDar so I will know for sure.

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Living in eastern Idaho, I am in a minority compared to all the LDS Scouters as an evangelical Christian. There are some reasons why LDS units will not participate, which took me a few years to find out the scoop.


LDS units use the Scout program as their male youth program. Thus, they prefer even more division of youth members by age, as the Scout program also includes religious instruction. This is why you have Varsity Scouting in the first place. They have Scouts aged 12 and 13, Varsity Scouts at 14 and 15, and Venturing for 16 and 17. Most LDS Churches in my area also have an "11-year-old" Scout troop with its own Scoutmaster (although I believe it is not really a separate chartered unit). Until the 1940's or 50's, you could not be a Scout until you were 12 in any troop, and the LDS kept that rule.


LDS boys, at a young age, have responsibilities every Sunday in the church. Thus, if an event lasts until Sunday, they will not attend that event. So, unless you tailor the event to have some kind of an end on Saturday afternoon, they will not be there. We have a Winteree that mainly ends the competitions on Saturday afternoon, so that the LDS troops can at least win some awards. They go home, and the non-LDS units continue the event. Everybody leaves happy.


Summer Camp in Idaho and Utah runs from Monday to Saturday just for that reason.


Youth Jamboree attendees actually have to get a special dispensation to go, since the Jamboree takes place over more than a week.


LDS adult leaders have a high turn over rate (1 to 3 years). That position is given to a certain position in the church bureaucracy, so when the male adult leader leaves that position, he leaves the job as Scoutmaster. These adults have varying degrees of committment to Scouting; some just play basketball every week, others actually run a true program. As you can expect, there isn't much experience out there with some adult leaders with that kind of turn over. There is a movement to change that, but LDS leadership is not quite on board with that.


LDS churches each have to run their own Pack, Troop, Team, and Crew. They are not allowed to merge at the Ward level, yet. This means that the children in that church are the only ones in that pack, troop, etc. Thirty years ago, when people were having big families, this still could mean at least small to moderate sized packs and troops. But even LDS families are not as big as they used to be. We have troops that consist of three boys in my home district. So much for the patrol method. I have heard that they are re-thinking this policy, but it is dictated by churchwide leadership, not to be altered by the local church leaders.


An LDS troop does not have elections. Leadership is appointed based on the position the youth has in the church's young mens' association.


LDS troop are also fully funded by the local Church, unlike most other troops that need to have fundraisers. But a church leaders' idea of "fully funded" depends on his interpretation. Sometimes they will only pay for the boys to attend the Klondike Derby OR the Spring Camporee OR Summer Camp, which means a pretty limited Scout experience. I think this is rare, though, to be that limited. But it has happened.


Finally, some kept bringing up the euphemism that the LDS church would leave Scouting if units were allowed to "set their own criteria" for selecting adult leadership. I am assuming that this person really meant that the LDS church would leave the Scouting movement if openly homosexual leaders were allowed. And they probably would. But so would many churches.

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This ain't New Jersey.


Your loss, Brent.


For whatever it's worth, I have never (to my knowledge) seen any "Scouting for All" knots here, either, nor have I known anyone who was (in real life) an "activist" on the issue. I have had a couple of professionals comment privately to me that they wish the policy would change, as it would make their job easier. Also, I recall a couple of unmarried (middle-aged) Scouters from when I was a Scout, and for about 10 years my son's troop had a middle-aged never-married leader who worked with the boys. I don't know anything about his personal life. Don't ask, don't tell.

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Hey, I know a few scouters from New Jersey and I take exception. Southern by the Grace of God, but when anyone dispargaes the south, heavens help us, but disparaging a state is fine.


Snooki and The Situation are from New York, they are the reason the residents call this time of the year "Local Summer" as all the bennies have left (People who come for the benefits of the sun)


Lets not judge New Jersey based on McGreevey, Danielle Staub or Teresa Guidice

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No one could refute the argument that the LDS is being used as a whipping boy for the gay issue.

Most Scout parents are on the same side as the LDS.

Since the posters who feel that having gay scout leaders is a requirement for our eventual enlightenment (Is this somebody's WoodBadge ticket?) didn't want to attack a majority opinion, they went after the LDS.

A few of us old farts didn't want to lend tacit approval to gratuitous LDS bashing, so we substituted ourselves as targets.

Nobody changed their mind.

End of topic.

Old Farts vs. Young Flatulaters: Old Farts = 1

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My chief problem with the LDS Church is not their attitude toward something so narrow as their position on membership. I come from an area where the LDS church is a sizeable percentage of the community at large, not to mention the Scouting community. This is what I have observed:


1) They tend not to participate at Camporees very much. When they do show up, they bring along a HUGE equipment trailer. They tend to keep to themselves through most of the festivities, and aren't exactly the poster children for "A Scout is friendly."


2) They have a whole week of summer camp reserved just for them. That's right. A whole week of summer camp is available only for LDS Scouts. I don't know what goes on during that week. All I know from the explanation I received from an LDS Scouter was that the LDS units have a "higher standard." Really?! I heard that several years ago, and the hair on the back of my neck still stands up when I think about it.


3) Quite a few LDS Scouters seem to come across with the view that somehow the rest of us aren't doing Scouting right. Maybe this comes from the "higher standard" belief, or maybe they are simply unable or unwilling to admit to their disorientation for fear that it might be misinterpreted as ignorance.


Compared to all of that, their stance on membership issues is neither surprising nor particularly appalling, as it fits in with their overall attitude towards Scouting.


There! I said it!

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