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Sentinel947

"Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban."

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What does the charter say?  Section 30902 Purposes: "The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916."

 

Patriotism, courage, self reliance and kindred virtues, using the methods of scouting.  I don't see "via the applicable religion" in there.  Sure, lambast the YMCA for not pushing Christian morals.  The BSA?  I have a LOT harder time with the BSA pushing stuff made in China than I did with banning gays.  One of those two things is flat-out unpatriotic.  The other is immoral only within certain religions, none of which one must be a practicing member of to be a scout. 

 

It used to be Young Men's Christian Association.  Then somewhere down the line Christian passed out of the picture, then somewhere down the line Men seemed to disappear.  Over the course of time Young got replaced by family.  It's more of a corporation today than any sort of association.  What they end up with is a gym called the "Y".  Without any real foresight, they wandered until this is where they find themselves today.  I wonder if that was where they wanted to go say maybe 50 years ago.

 

Journey's with out a clear path need no map or compass.  We passed the Boy mile marker a ways back, but there's more to the journey that isn't known.

Edited by Stosh

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Policy for a national volunteer organization with the size and visibility of the BSA isn't made with a magic 8-ball.  At least, we hope not.

Well, that would explain a few things wouldn't it?

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The BSA never expected membership to skyrocket as a result of the decision.

 

IMO, the decision to allow gays, and the coming decision to allow co-ed packs and troops, isn't because of membership.  It's because the BSA pitches itself as an organization that grows responsible members of the community, not the church.  Yes, the decision cost membership, but that cost was anticipated and deemed worth it to be primarily a community organization rather than a religious one.

 

I think you're right on target.  The leaders at national want BSA to be a community organization rather than a religious one.  They anticipated the membership loss, and they think it's worth it.

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Again, why should the KIDS join Scouting?   Why should the KIDS convince the parents to support Scouts?    It is ultimately not the membership "policy"   (we have no need to create a Sexuality Merit Badge)  , it is the PROGRAM.   Go read/write in the "Where is the adventure I was promised?"  thread.

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When one is in a downward spiral one has a few options to reverse it.  But first of all one has to quit doing what is causing the downward spiral.  Then either go back to what one was doing before the spiral started, or try something new to see what happens.  It's sad to say that the only one with a track record of working would be to go back to the way it was while it was fine before someone decided to "fix" it.  The other hand is a crap-shoot guess as to what might stop the spiral,  It may work or it may not.  It's sad, but one could keep trying to find new fixes, but by then it might be too late.

The trouble with this idea is that BSA can't just go back to what was working in its "heyday". There were many social factors that have changed-- BSA has to address those in some way.

People have referred to the increased popularity of camping in the 50s/60s vs today. There are more options for kids today as far as activities. An increase in the divorce rate and single parent homes means getting kids to adults ctivities is more challenging for some families. Our society has changed as far as gay/transgender individuals. In 1950 an organization could ignore that issue. By 1990, it couldn't. These things had to be dealt with.

Going back to what BSA was doing in p, say, 1955 isn't possible. They can do what they did then- but cultural changes have made it so that it wouldn't be the same program.

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Our society has changed as far as gay/transgender individuals. In 1950 an organization could ignore that issue. By 1990, it couldn't. These things had to be dealt with.

Going back to what BSA was doing in p, say, 1955 isn't possible. They can do what they did then- but cultural changes have made it so that it wouldn't be the same program.

Sorry but bsa COULD have ignored the gay and TG issue. Nothing was compelling them do change other than a minority opinion that change was "required".

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Sorry but bsa COULD have ignored the gay and TG issue. Nothing was compelling them do change other than a minority opinion that change was "required".

No, not changing your policy as cultural norms change is still a "change". Were there any "out" gay Scoutmasters or Scouts in the 50s or 60s? I doubt it. By the 90s/00s, there were. That had to be dealt with in one way or another.

Look at the Dale case. The BSA was taken to court over its policy. Once that happens, you can't ignore the issue.

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The trouble with this idea is that BSA can't just go back to what was working in its "heyday". There were many social factors that have changed-- BSA has to address those in some way.

People have referred to the increased popularity of camping in the 50s/60s vs today. There are more options for kids today as far as activities. An increase in the divorce rate and single parent homes means getting kids to adults ctivities is more challenging for some families. Our society has changed as far as gay/transgender individuals. In 1950 an organization could ignore that issue. By 1990, it couldn't. These things had to be dealt with.

Going back to what BSA was doing in p, say, 1955 isn't possible. They can do what they did then- but cultural changes have made it so that it wouldn't be the same program.

 

I'm not advocating returning to what it was, but at least take a serious look at what it was they were doing at that time that set them apart from all the rest of the youth programs out there.  Seriously?  We had our cars, we had our gals, we had our sports (conference champs year after year), we all played sports, we had our Boy Scouts, we had our Girl Scouts, we had Civil Air Patrol, we had rifle club, photography club, language clubs, chess clubs, pep clubs, band/music, orchestra, church youth groups.  We were as busy as the young folk are today.  No excuse for too much competition to the program.  Those that were in it, wanted it to be because of the program. 

 

With the schools taking their kids out "into the woods" it's because it is filling a void left by scouting.  We have a at least 6 or 7 different outdoor programs for youth besides the myriad of Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4-H, Trail Life/USA,Heritage Girls and the church supported "scouting" programs.

 

Scouting quit doing what it did best and others stepped in a filled the void.  I don't know what it needs to do now that the "product" is being sold elsewhere.  The competitive edge of the branding is gone.  Scouts are "demonized" by the competition, i.e. Scouting is dorky.  It took 50 years to get to this point, it f one were to go back to "the way it was" it's going to take another 50 years or a small miracle to fix.  All this bad press isn't doing anything to 'improve" anything for the BSA program.  Making other controversial "improvements" may fix one thing, but destroy something else.  It's a juggling act that BSA isn't going to win in the long run until they go back to the principles it once stood for.  That might be it's only saving grace.

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Sorry but bsa COULD have ignored the gay and TG issue. Nothing was compelling them do change other than a minority opinion that change was "required".

 

With the "gay issue", it was more than just a "minority opinion."  It was actually a majority opinion in parts of the country, including the Northeast.  The SE of my council was in favor of the change (both for youth and adults) and I suspect the same was true for the surrounding councils.  I think the BSA did not want to become the "Boy Scouts of Parts of America."   One of the councils next door to ours had already gone under financially.  The units (what was left of them) were absorbed by the neighboring councils, but that can only happen so many times before there are no councils next door to absorb the units.

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It used to be Young Men's Christian Association.  Then somewhere down the line Christian passed out of the picture, then somewhere down the line Men seemed to disappear.  Over the course of time Young got replaced by family.  It's more of a corporation today than any sort of association.  What they end up with is a gym called the "Y".  Without any real foresight, they wandered until this is where they find themselves today.  I wonder if that was where they wanted to go say maybe 50 years ago.

 

Journey's with out a clear path need no map or compass.  We passed the Boy mile marker a ways back, but there's more to the journey that isn't known.

 

I agree, but fact is, it is, and always has been, the Boy Scouts of America, not the Boy Scouts of Christianity.

 

Second, it is arguable that one should include young women when teaching boys and young men about virtues, as the community embraces, and then expects, gender equality in thought and deed.   So, passing the "boy" mile marker wasn't leaving the path, but rather staying on the path as defined by America.

 

The argument isn't just community versus religion.  The argument is if the Boy Scouts of America should set a path in stone and then attempt to move America in line with that path by training future leaders, or if America should chart the path and the BSA respond.

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No, not changing your policy as cultural norms change is still a "change". Were there any "out" gay Scoutmasters or Scouts in the 50s or 60s? I doubt it. By the 90s/00s, there were. That had to be dealt with in one way or another.

Look at the Dale case. The BSA was taken to court over its policy. Once that happens, you can't ignore the issue.

Yes, but the BSA won the Dale case, so it was dealt with, as you say. 

 

The gay issue pulled organizations and institutions that used morality as a basis for it's principle program into the debate because morality is the one world ideal that dictates behavioral decisions. A gay activist leader around 1992 told me that their goal was to confused the perspective of religious base morality. He said their activism was going after any and all organizations with a spiritual based guidance of morality. When the BSA program was mentioned, he said he didn't care what happens to the BSA or any other religious organization, they were intending to take them down so that a relgious based morality wasn't used for any lifestyle choice.

 

For any of those who have been following this for a while, the gays activism actually didn't get any traction at first with the BSA because they approached it at allowing "adult" gay scout leaders. The program is based on role models and even families who don't have trouble with the lifestyle struggled with the idea of their kids spending a week with gay  adults. But once the activist started going after admitting gay youth, the tide turned. 

 

My personal opinion is that the BSA has dug itself in a hole that isn't easy to get out of. In the big picture, girls is a very difficult road to take because it not only starts the program over again, it will also run into a feminist agenda. The cultural progressives (politically motivated) folks here naturally want to push what is one of the few bastions of conservative idealism into liberal world order. But the girl scout program has been supported by feminist contributors for a long time. As long as the BSA stayed out of their pot, they have left the BSA alone. Has anyone not noticed how quiet the GSUSA was during the gay attack on the BSA? 

 

I also agree with those who believe that the BSA is going to back off from it's present morality base to become more politically acceptable. But, personally I think it will take a lot of years to for the conservative moral stigma to fade and in the meantime will suffer membership wise as a result. 

 

I just don't see how the BSA can improve it's membership in the short term except to change the present internal problems. The new Lion program proves that National isn't going to go that direction. 

 

As for me, I'm one of those boys who thrived on camping with my male patrol mates. I was the only boy with three sisters and a father who traveled for his business. I needed scouts for a lot of reasons. I took what scouting gave me and gave it back to my scouts. I can honestly say that if girls had become part of the program when my oldest son was old enough for cubs, I would not have joined as an adult. I thrived on a program for boys and wanted the same for my sons. As for the gays and godless, well my scouts were guided by my interpretation of the Scout Law, which was instilled by my interpretations of my faith. Without a god to guide the adult leaders, the program is nothing more than a camping club. Leading a program of taking youth into the woods is too hard to not have a greater purpose of raising adults of moral character.

 

Can a once great youth scouting organization survive the progressive cultural agenda. Well the Campfire Kids and Canadian Scouts aren't showing much hope. If after school activities is all parents really want, there are a lot of outdoor activity programs that are easier to manage around.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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With the "gay issue", it was more than just a "minority opinion."  It was actually a majority opinion in parts of the country, including the Northeast.  The SE of my council was in favor of the change (both for youth and adults) and I suspect the same was true for the surrounding councils.  I think the BSA did not want to become the "Boy Scouts of Parts of America."   One of the councils next door to ours had already gone under financially.  The units (what was left of them) were absorbed by the neighboring councils, but that can only happen so many times before there are no councils next door to absorb the units.

It was a minority opinion among polled members. It was a majority opinion among council that voted for the change.

 

Funny because it's like the electoral college in that sense. The majority wanted no change but a bear majority of those who were in charge of representing their members wanted the change. Had it been a memebership referendum it would have failed.

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I agree, but fact is, it is, and always has been, the Boy Scouts of America, not the Boy Scouts of Christianity.

 

Second, it is arguable that one should include young women when teaching boys and young men about virtues, as the community embraces, and then expects, gender equality in thought and deed.   So, passing the "boy" mile marker wasn't leaving the path, but rather staying on the path as defined by America.

 

The argument isn't just community versus religion.  The argument is if the Boy Scouts of America should set a path in stone and then attempt to move America in line with that path by training future leaders, or if America should chart the path and the BSA respond.

 

The Food for Thought, thread addresses this issue.  It is also important that the moral teachings of the Christians are rooted in exactly the same documents as the Jewish and Muslim communities as well.   That covers a pretty good chunk of the scouting world.  What Scouting has done since it's inception is a whatever guess at a shot in the dark.  It's that first step in the slippery slope.

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I can honestly say that if girls had become part of the program when my oldest son was old enough for cubs, I would not have joined as an adult. I thrived on a program for boys and wanted the same for my sons. As for the gays and godless, well my scouts were guided by my interpretation of the Scout Law, which was instilled by my interpretations of my faith. Without a god to guide the adult leaders, the program is nothing more than a camping club. Leading a program of taking youth into the woods is too hard to not have a greater purpose of raising adults of moral character.

 

Well, first, I expect that even once BSA goes co-ed, COs will be able to have all-male, co-ed, or all-female packs and troops, just as they can crews and posts.  A dozen like-minded families = a all-male pack.  You don't want your all-male pack exposed to the co-ed packs?  Don't go to council events.  Your PWD winners don't have to go the district PWD.  Once in the all-male troop, they don't have to go to summer camps or OA events or high-adventure bases.  Boys can go from Lion to Eagle and never once interact with a co-ed pack or troop.

 

Second, nobody here or at BSA has said "no god".  The BSA has always stressed faith.  Point of fact, they stress faith so much that atheists are barred, regardless of what the CO wants, and they haven't discussed budging a millimeter on that.   What they have said is that the BSA's position on faith is 100% non-denominational.  Thus the new policy on gay leaders was to not "endorse" specific religion(s) which condemn homosexuality.    Adult leaders in a unit still serve at the discretion of the CO, so if the CO doesn't want a gay leader, it won't have a gay leader.  If it doesn't want the pack/troop/etc it charters to interact with units that may have gay leaders, see the paragraph above.  Nowhere in the program is a unit required to interact with other units.

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