Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
fred johnson

Fear that expanded Duty To God requirement drives us out of schools ... AGAIN ...

Recommended Posts

My oldest son joined Cub Scouts three months after Dale vs BSA and I've dealt with the ramifications of that for the last 14+ years. Kicked out of schools. Teachers throwing away flyers. Scouting became the bad guy. It has not been fun being the on-the-scene representative of a politically unpopular organization.

 

Finally though, it has been changing. This fall's recruitment brought a smile to my face. 20 new cubs. It was exciting. Principal let us put posters up in the school again. Had someone in the cafeteria with pinewood derby cars to talk with cubs. I think the big change is that BSA has been out-of-the-press. No recent abuse or discrimination stories.

 

"I FEAR" though that like Dale v BSA, the 2015 program changes will drive us out of the schools again. BSA is picking a fight with the new in-your-face approach to Duty To God in the cub scout program. I just don't see we can promote in public schools with the expanded Duty To God requirements.

 

As it is now, it's a gray line that we can smile at. I find it useful because I want my kids in a program with a faith component.

 

But, expanding the faith component is going to drive us out of the schools AGAIN. I really fear this is going to re-open the debate.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scouting includes duty to God as a core component. To hide that duty under a rock just to gain access to a meeting place would be rather disingenuous. It's really not a matter of "debate."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scouting includes duty to God as a core component. To hide that duty under a rock just to gain access to a meeting place would be rather disingenuous. It's really not a matter of "debate."

So we should also have a mandatory question about his finances?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scouting includes duty to God as a core component. To hide that duty under a rock just to gain access to a meeting place would be rather disingenuous. It's really not a matter of "debate."

 

The opposite of what you call hiding under a rock, I call shoving it in another person's face to piss them off.

 

Except LDS/Mormon, effectively all cub scouts are recruited through organized recruiting structured around their elementary school. Other than a passing comment or statement, I've never seen structured recruitment at a church.

 

I have my faith and I love my Church. But this will only hurt membership in the long run.

 

===================================

 

Scouting has always lived in the space between secular and organized religion. And, that's the place scouting needs to be. Many scouts through the subtle scouting program rediscover their faith. Many families don't want to emphasize the faith component or join a church youth group and schools can't support church groups. ... But they will join scouts. That's what we want !!

 

===================================

 

When it comes up, I'll advise my packs and our district Cub Scout leaders to let the Duty To God requirements be wholely at the discretion of the parents. Only deal with it if they feel think they can do something meaningful in a comfortable way.

 

And no matter what NEVER NEVER NEVER make it a do-or-die advancement issue. If everything else is done, cubs earn their ranks. Boy Scouts advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scouts should be welcoming and friendly to religion and beliefs. You know, Reverent. Unfortunately that level of diversity and inclusiveness makes Scouting inhospitable to many. I have always felt if what someone says or does is a threat to your faith, you have some bigger problems to deal with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KDD If the scout says "My relationship with god is not relevent the important thing is that I am at peace with myself" does he get advanced?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KDD If the scout says "My relationship with god is not relevent the important thing is that I am at peace with myself" does he get advanced?

 

Is his self God? Maybe if he builds a rock so big he can't move it! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we should also have a mandatory question about his finances?

 

Don't we have requirements where they need to track their spending and finances? We are talking about cubs so most of their income is going to be limited to their allowance and birthday gift money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the original post, I don't that most schools pay that close of attention to the actual program enough to see the increased emphasis on faith. I think that the homosexual member position will continue to be a driving factor in BSA access to schools and to corporate donations.

 

I think that the increased focus on religion could impact retention. I don't think most units recruit based upon the faith aspect. I have been involved with 2 units and neither of them had faith as a topic of the tiger recruiting, it was about activities, character development and a little citizenship. So I think that if they continue to recruit w/o discussing the faith piece but then add it once the scout are in the program you will get some parents that will think it was a bait and switch. But to be honest I don't think most units will actively add a lot of the religion, I think (at the cub level) it will still end up a lot with the parents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been involved with many cub round ups in my involvement in the district. In every one of them, we say "Scouting is a faith-based program. You must believe in a higher power to be part of this program." Perhaps we lose some scouts because of it but so be it. The program is what it is and pretending it is something it is not is disingenuous, as I stated. To hide the "Reverent" part of scouting, and the "Duty to God" that is a clear and unequivocal part of the Scout Oath simply to gain access to facilities and recruiting would indeed be a "bait and switch."

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"You must believe in a higher power to be part of this program." Perhaps we lose some scouts because of it but so be it.

 

That scares and saddens me. Scouting has always been the safe ground between a religious program and a secular program. It's the same as the pledge of Allegiance. Kids all over the U.S. say it in a secular environment. That's scouting. It has been the safe middle ground where faith can be expressed without shoving it down someone's throat. ... and ... one thing that I like is that some kids actually feel safe to start thinking about faith because they are in scouts. But if we shove it down their throats, they are just going to leave or never join..

 

 

The program is what it is and pretending it is something it is not is disingenuous' date=' as I stated. [/quote']

 

Ya know, you are wrong. The new program is not what it is currently. For example, the 2015 onward program for Webelos effectively requires PRACTICING a faith. Not just having it. You either earn the faith emblem or you are required to do 3 of 4 other reqs. Two of which are planning a faith service or practicing the faith for a month. That is very different than current requirements.

 

IMHO ... the "Duty To God" changes are about spitting in the eye of others because the people who wrote the requirements feels the need to force the issue. The finesse is gone. It's in-your-face faith religion.

 

I'm Catholic and I love my faith. I try to attend each Sunday. I hope to develop the same faith in my kids. But scouting is a different program. Sunday school is Sunday school. Scouting is supposed to be the safe harbor where the secular world and the world of faith can work together.

 

 

 

I think that the increased focus on religion could impact retention. I don't think most units recruit based upon the faith aspect. I have been involved with 2 units and neither of them had faith as a topic of the tiger recruiting' date=' it was about activities, character development and a little citizenship. So I think that if they continue to recruit w/o discussing the faith piece but then add it once the scout are in the program you will get some parents that will think it was a bait and switch. But to be honest I don't think most units will actively add a lot of the religion, I think (at the cub level) it will still end up a lot with the parents.[/quote']

 

You are dead on right. I know of zero units that recruit scouts based on the faith aspect.

 

My favorite point is that Boy's Life the magazine has few articles on faith or religion. The magazine is about canoeing, climbing and getting outside.

 

================================================== =====

 

Faith has an important place in scouting, but continual escalation will just lose members.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, let's start with the basics: Define God. Once you've done that, this whole thread is a lot easier to deal with. Then once everyone has their definition and that will be different for everyone, then one as to pick the one they're going to use to measure the boys in the program. All this discussion does is stirs the pot and makes everyone upset.... but then maybe that's the point.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scouting is nonsectarian in its stance on which god the boys have been taught to worship. Schools in the US are open to people expressing their faith, so long as it is not school led or dictated. I'm not sure how the (unfortunate, in my opinion) change to a higher focus on duty to god will change anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all schools are open to people expressing their faith (Ward Melville HS, Long Island, NY for instance). Intolerance for Christians is on the rise which in many respects is a good thing because they have flourished and grown under such circumstances.

 

It's always difficult for the schools to have their diversity day event and then hypocritically proclaim their zero tolerance policies. Even students in the lower grades see this ingenuousness. If the 3rd graders can see this, why can't the school administrators?

 

How are Scout units going to fair against such hypocrites? It didn't work in Communist Russia and isn't working in Communist China. It isn't working in Islamic Middle East and it isn't working in the US.

 

If a grade school girl can stand up to the school board and embarrass them for their no ChapStick policy and a 17 year old high school boy can make the news by challenging his school policy on Christian clubs, then the BSA, if it really believes in its own Laws, shouldn't have any problems. Only when it sells itself short does it seem to loose its once honored status in the community.

 

The Chapstick grade schooler, the 17 year old high school club member and thousands like them are our future, trust them, they will replace the zero tolerant hypocrites some day and things will be a lot more tolerant for everyone. BSA should be building those people one scout at a time. If not, it's going to take a lot longer to get done.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's kind of funny that, for all the complaining that goes on in these forums about boys supposedly not really practicing all this scout stuff and pencil-whipping their way through the program, it's all okey-dokey to kinda sorta overlook all this messy God stuff just to get folks in the program. OH NO! Please don't emphasize any of this "Duty to God" stuff even though it's right there front and center in the Oath! As long as we say it really fast and scouts are kinda sorta ok with it even if they don't really believe it that's just ok and we won't really bring it up too much in case we annoy people or lose our meeting space.

 

We should just go down the line of stuff and take out all the objectionable bits:

 

"Honor" and "Doing my duty?" No way, we don't want to scare kids off with all that honor and duty stuff. And "Duty to Country" really sounds militaristic...scares off all kinds of people and might not appeal to certain demographics. Let's start talking about "rights" instead.

 

"Helping other people at all times?" Meh, that's so old-school.

 

"Physically fit." I guess we better stop complaining here about all the overweight scouts and scouters, and so?

 

"Morally straight." Well, we've already shown that morality is malleable in the program. As kids like to say, "Don't judge."

 

There, wasn't that easy? Now we can recruit all kids of kids. It's gonna be awesome!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×