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A Letter from BSA’s Chief Diversity Officer & Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion


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19 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

Apologies if this comes across as snarky,  but I would expect engineers  to report on Engineering, accountants on financial situations, what are the aforementioned racially and sexually defined affinity  groups supposed to report on?  

There are logistics involved with learning how to function optimally in an organization when you are defined as being in a racial or gender category or trying to survive as a member of.  I was involved with a Black student organization at university and they met to address everything from how to make sure students from families with no transportation could get home for winter break to dealing with overly attentive campus security. It's a problem when one kid heading to his dorm at night gets stopped six times while his friend heading the opposite way across campus doesn't get stopped at all. It's annoying. They want to talk about it and change it. There is nothing wrong with that.  It's stuff you or I can't even relate to. 

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I agree Fred, I  have never heard a kid say that they joined Scouts to learn leadership, responsibility, life enriching lessons, diversity or inclusion.  They want to camp out, play with fire and kniv

I am a lifer. Started as a Cub, earned Eagle and aged out. Was a Sea Scout for a bit while serving as an ASM. Not only did i not leave the movement,  but I also worked for it.  In my professional opin

This is a long-stated position of mine.   BSA needs to be careful about their messages to the adult volunteers.  Adult volunteers too often hear that BSA is about leadership.  Thus, their job is to

I'm afraid that after the reorganization the Boy Scouts will be far removed from what it was in the past and even what we see now.  It will be a culturally aware, sexually diverse, universally integrated group where every youth member earns Eagle and every merit badge, in two years.  The merit badges are all earned on line, and preprogrammed automated board of reviews are the standard.   IOLS and Sea Badge are currently virtual, and soon Woodbadge and NYLT will follow suit.  Leadership is demonstrated by online evaluations, and in the name of safeguarding the children, there will be no physical meetings and adult youth contact will be forbidden.  Every time it is suggested that a scout unit have a physical activity, an attorney must be consulted to interpret the rules and insure that they are in place and each unit must be bonded.  Won't that be just grand?

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The Boy Scouts is about a bunch of kids camping out, eating burned food, and having fun, or at least thats how it started.  It has nothing at all in common with corporate organization,  academics or social issues.   I try to maintain this prospective and not get involved with all this cow dung that is doing a great job of tearing the Scouts to shreds. 

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26 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

I'm afraid that after the reorganization the Boy Scouts will be far removed from what it was in the past and even what we see now.  It will be a culturally aware, sexually diverse, universally integrated group where every youth member earns Eagle and every merit badge, in two years.  The merit badges are all earned on line, and preprogrammed automated board of reviews are the standard.   IOLS and Sea Badge are currently virtual, and soon Woodbadge and NYLT will follow suit.  Leadership is demonstrated by online evaluations, and in the name of safeguarding the children, there will be no physical meetings and adult youth contact will be forbidden.  Every time it is suggested that a scout unit have a physical activity, an attorney must be consulted to interpret the rules and insure that they are in place and each unit must be bonded.  Won't that be just grand?

There is nothing, anywhere that suggest that a culturally aware, diverse, integrated scouts will be anything like you say.  Nothing.  Anywhere.  
 

and to your point that scouts is only about kids camping out, this is what scouts mission is: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.  

 

 

 

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As a youth and adult 50 this past June.  That explains the difference of opinion and prospective.  Thanks for the challenging and insightful dialog.  I have a little boy who is gender non binary; racially confused; and totally sociability inept whose name is Jake.  He is demanding immediate attention as he cartwheels and jumps around the living room.  He's fancies himself as being pretty and really is incorrigible.   But we love him and I guess we'll keep him, but all German short hair pointers act that way..  Scout on my friend!

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1 hour ago, Mrjeff said:

The Boy Scouts is about a bunch of kids camping out, eating burned food, and having fun, or at least thats how it started.  It has nothing at all in common with corporate organization,  academics or social issues.   I try to maintain this prospective and not get involved with all this cow dung that is doing a great job of tearing the Scouts to shreds. 

Though I want to avoid the baiting ... I do fully agree with you.  I daily think scouts has lost it's path.  At the tail end of twenty years ago where my wife told me to bring my first son to a cub joining event, I really question whether I'd do it the same again.  

I kept my son in it for the activities, the outings and the friendships.  We tolerated much of the rest as part of paying the price to be in scouts.  BUT, the price was a too much too many times.  I wanted my sons to camp, canoe, ski and get outside.  I did not bring my sons to be preached at repeatedly.

Edited by fred8033
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I am a lifer. Started as a Cub, earned Eagle and aged out. Was a Sea Scout for a bit while serving as an ASM. Not only did i not leave the movement,  but I also worked for it.  In my professional opinion, coming from both my training as an educator and experience working with youth for over 25 years the program had deteriorated.  Instead of quality, folks want quantity.

Youth want challenges. Youth need to make mistakes and learn the hard way,  albeit in a safe environment. Youth need responsibilities.  This is what makes  them grow and allows them to make ethical decisions. How do we help them if we do everything for them,  and give them everything? 

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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There's an old  saw that says before you would judge a man, one should walk a mile in their shoes  . Same thing here. The DEI training is meant, however successfully (or not?) , to get us old fogies (and future fogies) to realize the Comptons and Tuksa and Trail of Tears and Rosa Parks and Red Lining and such that we (WE) need to study and realize and acknowledge and accept ....  The history that was not taught , not shown.  Even the  problems that led to BSA's present troubles.  However inelegantly, however unneatly. 

I went thru Diversity training at my work before I retired. Part of my unconscious response was "of course", "I haven't needed to acknowledge this, but what about the rest? Oh, wait a minute. I am a part of that REST".   The various b'ack, late immigrant (Viet Namese and Cambodian, and Laotion, aong others) that I met, trained , worked and became friends with... The Guatamalan workers my son works with (learned to curse in Meso Americano Hispania)...   It needs accommodation and adjustment and personal smiles....

 

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I need to clarify, my last comment was regarding online MBs, BORs, everyone getting Eagle etc. Not DEI. I admit I am middle of the road when it comes to DEI. I know our country's past, but I also know the strides we have made. Do we still need improvement? Absolutely. Without growth you die.

That is why I like the focus on the Scout Oath and Law. If we were to live by the Scout Oath and Law, I do not believe the challenges we are seeing would exist. Sadly not everyone in uniform is a true Scout.

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I don't think it's enough to say that following the Scout Oath and Law will resolve these issues.

I joined Scouting in 1975. The last segregated council was integrated in 1974. That means that for the first half of its existence, segregation was permissible in the BSA. That means either the Scout Oath and Law permit segregation and are inherently flawed, in my view, or they were ignored/misunderstood across the board by the entire organization for over 60 years. Having affinity groups that can point out such blind spots is a net gain, in my view.

Integration doesn't mean homogenization, and having other groups bring cultural/thought elements to a white, straight, male organization isn't bad, in my view.

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23 minutes ago, KublaiKen said:

I don't think it's enough to say that following the Scout Oath and Law will resolve these issues.

I joined Scouting in 1975. The last segregated council was integrated in 1974. That means that for the first half of its existence, segregation was permissible in the BSA. That means either the Scout Oath and Law permit segregation and are inherently flawed, in my view, or they were ignored/misunderstood across the board by the entire organization for over 60 years. Having affinity groups that can point out such blind spots is a net gain, in my view.

Integration doesn't mean homogenization, and having other groups bring cultural/thought elements to a white, straight, male organization isn't bad, in my view.

It is not the Oath and Law that are flawed, but the individuals that choose to not adhere as most of us, "today", interpret it.  We come back to the idea that somehow we in this time in history are responsible for the misguided peceptions and attitudes of another era.  

And, even then, there were many groups that were able to welcome the Black youth in some manner, often having to buck local attitudes and so on.  It is never going to be "fixed" in the past, and human nature will never allow it to be totally "fixed" today.  That is on the individuals, not the organization.  

As is so well stated in the Saturday Evening Post article from 1935 I shared a few days ago, the positive far outweighs the negative, and over time, the overwhelmingly good effects on youth and communities far surpasses the bad of those that choose or chose, as individuals, to NOT adhere to the precepts that make the huge majority of youth, and adults, so worthy of positive reflection.

I continue to be annoyed and frustrated by those that have impossible expectations, especially in a society that has benefited so much overall from Scouting and its "best" actions.  Darkness is always dispersed by light if the light is allowed to shine.  

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