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Transgender policy change

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All of the virtues mentioned in your quote (do things for themselves and other, scoutcraft, patriotism, courage, self-reliance, etc), they aren't the exclusive domain of boys. Just bolding the word boys doesn't make them things that can only be taught to boys in an all-male setting. If you changed the word to "girls", the rest of it would read just as logically and realistically as it does for boys. 

 

Yes the BSA has been a boys' organization. But the core of the program has never been dependent on gender. If someone were to hypothetically sneak through the program as a boy when in reality they were female, all of the gains they made in going through it would still benefit them the same as if they were male. The same character-building, self-reliance, bravery, all of it. 

 

I stand by my previous statement. BSA is about character-building. Always has been, always will be regardless of gender and membership policies. 

 

 

No, they are not the exclusive domain of boys, but the stated purpose in the congressional charter is for the training of boys.  You are right that the program has never been dependent of gender, thought it has been geared towards boys since the beginning.

 

For me it is simple, the Boy Scouts is a place for boys to be boys with other boys, and to introduce girls, even those who live their lives as boys, will throw off the whole dynamic.

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For me it is simple, the Boy Scouts is a place for boys to be boys with other boys, and to introduce girls, even those who live their lives as boys, will throw off the whole dynamic.

 

 

And that is the point.  100%.  It's not about bigotry or hate, it's about keeping true to the original meaning and point of the Boy Scouts of America.

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Name calling. Nice. 

 

pchadbo was just referring to the tag I put above my Icon on here.  He's not calling me anything that I haven't called myself.  I felt that he was polite in his rebuttal of my rant.

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You have given us a few clues over the years, but just clues. Nothing definitive.  

 

If BSA is to become a values-neutral organization, that would be quite a change.  Yes, BSA provides a program and structure.  A pretty good structure, in my opinion.

 

BSA used to also provide scouts with a sense of shared values and common purpose.  A scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other scout. That is what we are losing.

 

Yes, my scouts can still benefit from scouting.  We can still use the scout program as a boilerplate upon which we can add our own values.  Recognizing that these are not shared values, we really won't have any common bond with scouts from any other unit, council, or country.  

 

A scout is a friend to all in our Chartered Organization, and a brother to every other scout in our unit.

 

Perhaps that is what scouting has come to.  Maybe that is what scouting must come to.  Every man for himself.  Very sad.

 

So you'd say you have no common bond with other scouts from across the world? If you and yours from BSA and me and mine from UK scouts shared a campout, and some of mine were female, say, or transgender, to stick to the topic in hand, would you not consider us your fellow scouts? 

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I'm not sure how this decision stops the BSA from meeting your needs. Perhaps you can explain it to Fred. The quips are witty, but they don't help anybody understand your perspective.

I thought his posts have been pretty clear. He's asexual questions that haven't been answered. If you go back and read the exchange I could follow him fine, it's Fred who has dodged the questions.

 

  

When you decide to serve a very small minority and alienate a much larger population (not saying all of the existing membership, but one certainly much larger than the new desired target), how is that 'serving the nation'? 

How is alienating far more potential member families and failing to reach more of our youth a positive way to 'serve the nation'?

How does declining membership, declining operating funds, new rounds of ridicule, and a diluted brand and message better 'serve the nation'?

 

Seriously. These are not rhetorical questions. These are the issues the BSA now has to face. And because of that,we, the locals, the volunteers, the believers, will have to deal with the eventual consequences. That or walk away.

Without effective and comitted volunteers to run and deliver the program, how is that 'serving the nation'?

This is the point.

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Putting on moderator hat. This is the most civil and polite discussion of this topic I've seen.

 

 

We like to fight politely.  :)

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From a religious and moral consideration, I know many Scouts, Scouters and CO’s have already voiced those concerns, but it is clear that not everyone will agree on those issues. I respect that different faiths, even churches within faiths, have different views on such matters. I have never been one for telling someone they are wrong in their faith, nor am I concerned when they tell me I am wrong about mine. So for a moment, let’s put religious and moral concerns aside for the sake of argument on other points. There is still plenty to be concerned with about this edict from National.

 

1.     First, it feels knee jerk, with little or no input from the millions of volunteers that do the hard work of implementing BSA programs. It feels as if they do not care or, that they believe they know what is best for the rest of us. Regardless of how you feel about previous policy changes, at least the rank and file where consulted. This bothers me greatly because it sets the precedent that we as volunteers have literally no say in the matters of the organization that we are the backbone of, not do the Scouts who are the heart and soul of the program. Creating at minimum, the appearance that our opinions and concerns are of no value to National.

2.     A Scenario – Samantha is born a biological female. At some point Samantha determines she should really be Sam and transitions to a boy and joins Cub Scouts. Sam eventually crosses over to Boy Scouts. Sam is an exemplary Scout, earning the rank of First Class, several merit badges, and so on. A year into Boy Scouts, Sam concludes that he really is a female and transitions back to being Samantha. And before someone says that will not happen, respected, peer reviewed psychiatrist and psychologist put the number of youths that will transition back to their biological sex at between 70-95%.

a.     Does the Charter Organization (CO) remove Samantha from the program? If they do, they likely face law suits, or at minimum a great deal of negative public opinion.

b.     Do they allow Samantha to stay and continue on to earn HER Eagle Scout? If so, what about Jessica, who is biologically female and identifies with that gender? Is she allowed in (not under the current policy), does her family sue if her application is rejected? After all, they will already have females in the troop and BSA.

c.     Does BSA open Boy Scouts up to girls? I have long been a proponent of BSA starting a parallel organization for girls. I have daughter that would love that opportunity and who is counting the days until she is old enough for Venturing. I also have a son who thinks Venturing being coed is great, but as he put it, he likes Boy Scouts, because sometimes he likes having a place to hang out with the guys.

d.     What if the CO denied Sam’s application to begin with? BSA policy and legal support does not guarantee the CO will not face legal action. Even if BSA can and does foot the bill for legal cost, the CO which is strapped for resources (people and time), can ill afford to spend the time required to mount a defense.

e.     What about YPT. I have seen a good many reference that coed works for venturing, but two deep leadership requires that a female adult be present when Venturing is coed. Will that now be the case with Boy Scouts? If the troop cannot get enough adult female support, do we cancel outings because Sam cannot go? Do we tell Sam “sorry, you cannot come on this trip?â€

f.      Do we allow/force Sam to tent with Brian? What if Brian is uncomfortable with that arrangement? Remember, these are 10-17 year old boys that we are struggling to teach the real meaning of the words of the oath and law. Transgender is a far more complicated issue for those young men to comprehend and for us as adults to explain with any degree of consistency.

g.     If we segregate Sam, then we as volunteers face accusations of discrimination. If we do not, we find ourselves in a legal quagmire. I can guarantee you if there is ever any issue, real or imagined, that someone feels they need to get an attorney involved in, this becomes problematic. A lawyer representing their client will not hesitate to point out that Sam is still biologically female, regardless of the fact they chose to be seen as a male, and the courts will almost certainly agree.

 

I am highly concerned about how all of these things will be viewed by CO’s, not just from a religious and moral perspective, but from a legal and logistical perspective. At some point the burden BSA places on CO’s may well become to high, even if they agree, with policy. At some point they may conclude that the baggage associated with BSA is not worth it and that there are other options for their youth missions.

 

I have always been a major supporter of our professionals. When I hear people complain, and many do, about professional Scouters, I am quick to jump to their defense for the huge amount of time and effort they put into the program and low amount the vast majority are paid. The way this policy change has been handled has made me lose any faith that remained in the professional in Dallas. Our local professional have been almost completely silent other than to say we are having conference calls with National, working on it and HOPE to release something soon. Clearly, National has left our local professional out of the loop and out on a limb that they were unprepared to deal with.

 

These issues, and many more, have been on my mind since the announcement. I could easily continue with a list of problems that we may encounter as volunteers, but this is plenty to chew on for now.

 

Hopefully leaving Helpful Tracks

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I was referring to the "ignorance" part. Nice, respectable attitude towards a differing opinion.

"Ignorance" is simply a lack of knowledge, it is not an insult. 

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"Ignorance" is simply a lack of knowledge, it is not an insult. 

I already had this discussion with the mods and they won't buy it. :rolleyes:

 

Barry

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c.     Does BSA open Boy Scouts up to girls? I have long been a proponent of BSA starting a parallel organization for girls. I have daughter that would love that opportunity and who is counting the days until she is old enough for Venturing. I also have a son who thinks Venturing being coed is great, but as he put it, he likes Boy Scouts, because sometimes he likes having a place to hang out with the guys.

 

Your whole post is excellent - I just picked this out because this is one of the big things bothering me (the other YPT issues).  WHAT THE CRAP IS WRONG WITH THE GIRL SCOUTS?????  They go camping, etc. and every time I speak with a Girl Scout leader I walk away impressed!  The GS is a great organization!!!!  So I guess - why would the BSA need to start a parallel org for girls ... let alone why does the BSA need to change to include girls???  

 

I keep thinking that this is the road we are going down - becoming a co-ed organization.  And many of the leaders I talk with think the same way.  HOWEVER - if BSA becomes co-ed, what will become of the GS organization?  Don't you think they would fight this decision?  Just curious.

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Your whole post is excellent - I just picked this out because this is one of the big things bothering me (the other YPT issues).  WHAT THE CRAP IS WRONG WITH THE GIRL SCOUTS?????  They go camping, etc. and every time I speak with a Girl Scout leader I walk away impressed!  The GS is a great organization!!!!  So I guess - why would the BSA need to start a parallel org for girls ... let alone why does the BSA need to change to include girls???  

 

Money and memebership. That's why. By all accounts they've been losing both for years if not decades. They might see it as the only way to survive.

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I keep thinking that this is the road we are going down - becoming a co-ed organization.  And many of the leaders I talk with think the same way.  HOWEVER - if BSA becomes co-ed, what will become of the GS organization?  Don't you think they would fight this decision?  Just curious.

 

That depends. Are they very close in what they do? I know in the UK Girl Guiding, like Scouting, is a broad church. Some do the chocolate badge (no really, no, the badge isn't chocolate) every year, some would put many scout troops to shame with their outdoor programme. There was some wailing from some leaders, I guess the HQs had a few conversations. There are always the grumble from guide leaders about scouts "stealing their girls". Was it the end of GirlGuiding? No. It's actually bigger than scouting in the UK, but I don't have membership numbers to know if they are growing or shrinking. They generally appeal to different sorts of girls.

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I already had this discussion with the mods and they won't buy it. :rolleyes:

 

Barry

OK, If anyone was insulted, offended, or felt I was un-Scoutlike in any way: Mea Culpa Maxima.

I am sorry.

Paul

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That depends. Are they very close in what they do? I know in the UK Girl Guiding, like Scouting, is a broad church. Some do the chocolate badge (no really, no, the badge isn't chocolate) every year, some would put many scout troops to shame with their outdoor programme. There was some wailing from some leaders, I guess the HQs had a few conversations. There are always the grumble from guide leaders about scouts "stealing their girls". Was it the end of GirlGuiding? No. It's actually bigger than scouting in the UK, but I don't have membership numbers to know if they are growing or shrinking. They generally appeal to different sorts of girls.

 

Both interesting and informative - thanks!  I guess, secretly, that I'll be sad that there will be a girl's organization and a co-ed organization...but no boy's organization in the end.

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