Scoutmaster Musings - Your Opinion on BSA Membership

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Your Opinion on BSA Membership
Opinion on Boy Scout Membership
Influence the decision by sharing your opinion with the national Boy Scouts of America leadership.

There are three ways you can get your opinion to the BSA folks working towards a decision on the national membership policy. As a member of the organization, in this democratic society, it's your responsibility to participate in the decision-making process. The BSA has set up these avenues for you to get your opinion to them - di it in the next couple days if you want it to count.

  1. Email

  2. Phone - call (972) 580-2000

  3. Web Form - complete the form at BSA Contact Us

Posted: 14:52 01-30-2013 942
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 Jan 30, 2013 - Bee Estes
Please keep the Boy Scouts Morally Sraight
Jan 30, 2013 - Maura Marcotte
Please, under no circumstances should the BSA change its policy regarding homosexual troop leaders and members.  The BSA is a wonderful, private organization that does so much good.  There is no reason why others can't simply start their own organization which has its own standards and ideals.  In a country such as ours, which the BSA so beautifully represents, it shouldn't be the case that a private organization is cowed into compromising its morals.  Thank you!
Jan 30, 2013 - Joe A. Nomous
As a former senior patrol leader, I'm disgusted with the betrayal of American kids by the BSA in recent decades.  Backwards theists have hijacked a previously good organization and instead of evolving have regressed.  Scouting needs to be for all including anti-theists/agnostics/atheists, gays, and transgendered.  Until the BSA does evolve to become a non discriminating internally consistently positive group for kids, I will advocate it's dissolution and the removal of all tax breaks, real estate, and privilege, they have in effect stolen.  
Jan 30, 2013 - Carmaker Hickey
End discriminatory regulations by allowing gay, bisexual, and transfengered kids and troop leaders into your ranks. Bigotry is not a moral value.
Jan 30, 2013 - F. Andy Seidl
I had a wonderful time as a scout; lots of great activities, trips, Philmont, friends, and fun.  But I'm with Joe A. Nomous's view above.  BSA has devolved--or minimally, has not evolved along with the rest of society.  Morally straight does not mean "straight christian".  Let the old bigotries go.
Jan 30, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Nobody is saying you have to be Christian.  DOZENS of faiths are represented in the BSA, but millions of Americans are SICK AND TIRED of being called bigoted because we see homosexuality for what is is: a choice, and a perverted one.  What about BSA's policy excluding those who do illegal drugs?  Should we admit them as the differently-dosed?  How about those with criminal records?  Admit them as the differently-housed?  This is not about excluding people, is about excluding low moral standards that we don't want our boys to see.  You can't yell the word BIGOT over and over and change our beliefs on the issue.  If anything, you entrench us more firmly because we see our beliefs as the only thing not being tolerated.  America should TOLERATE the BSA (and the majority of it's members of the decades) opinion already standing on this issue.  If you don't like it make your own scouting group.  What will gays say when millions leave the BSA and make our own new scouting group? Change it too?
Jan 31, 2013 - Roger Sinasohn
The BSA is a great concept -- that fails miserably in practice.  Leadership?  Nope.  Caring?  Nope.  How about bullying and hatred and discrimination?  

If you want to remain relevant, allow all boys, be they straight or gay, believer or skeptic, or anything else, to join.  

Because, after all, why is the BSA so very, very interested in the sex lives of their members and staff?

Jan 31, 2013 - Steve Burdick
As a life long scout and scouter, I would observe that Scouting has been a force for allowing young men to enjoy opportunities to safely test and challenge themselves and so bring themselves to honorable manhood. Throughout its history...countless attempts to get into the movement by these "wolves-in -sheeps -clothing" in the homosexual community have been stopped but too many others have succeeded. Young boys lives have been destroyed. And now major corporations want to usher in more destruction? These attacks by the homosexual agenda and their fellow toadies all seemingly lead by the obama administration, seek to destroy Scouting.
Let these corporate donors go on record to indemnify all future abuse claims. Let Obama guarantee the billions of $ for insurance claims... Let all trial lawyers become scout leaders, personally responsibile for all actions under their tutalidge.
I would rather scouting be morally straignt and poor than to destroy itself.
Jan 31, 2013 - David Weaver
Unfortunately truth does not change even as times do.  Just because society says something is OK does not mean that is truth.  Further, I cannot convince you there is in fact absolute truth.  One day you will know and all knees will bow to the one true God. That said the scout oath includes morally straight.

Morality is a differentiation between that which is good and that which is bad.  If you do not believe that there is right and wrong this concept of morals will escape you.  Many try to use revisionist history in redefining things based on societies morals which lack a Truth compass.  Meaning they change with the times.  BSA from my understanding was founded on Christian morals.  Is there not a reason that those who would endeavor to change this could not start there own organization?  

The bigots here are those that force those with Judeo-Christian beliefs to back down.

No consideration of the sleeping situations?  Allow girls in the same tents as well?

Do not change policy.
Jan 31, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Well said Steve and David!  Thank you.
Jan 31, 2013 - J Stevenson
Our troop leadership talked Monday night about the recent announcement from BSA considering to allow openly homosexual individuals to participate in scouting leadership.
While we respect each individual's choices in personal matters, we believe it is a violation of the long held basic scouting moral standards to allow people engaging in this behavior to be role models for our young men. The argument that individual troops can decide this issue is a grave mistake. The removal of our national covering in this issue will invite endless attacks and law suits on individual troops  many of whom will not be able to withstand the attacks of the ACLU and similar organizations. This will open Pandora’s box for churches and religious organizations that decide to not allow openly homosexual leadership into their troop. Look at the big picture and do not allow division starting at the national level to destroy one of the last bastions of morality and traditional values in America.
Jan 31, 2013 - Jennifer Howden
End this policy of discrimination. Homosexuality is not immoral and being homosexual does not make one a pedophile. I support the change in the membership policy.
Jan 31, 2013 - Yukon Jack
That's exactly my point Jennifer.  You don't believe homosexuality is immoral, but I (and millions of others) do.  Do we not have a right to our opinion, and to have a private organization to protect that right?  If you disagree, then you are being intolerant.  If you agree, then the ban should stand and gay supporters can make their own scouting organization.

And while not all gays are pedophiles, as I already said, 100% of men who molest boys (i.e. pedophiles likely to be found in the BSA) are gay.
Jan 31, 2013 - James T Colville
I am a Cub Master and my wife is a Den Leader, Treasurer ( an many other jobs as well) We joined Scouting 4 years ago and have enjoyed our journey on the Scouting trail. I believe that failing to take a stand on issues like the ban on gay leaders is failing to lead. Simply saying that it's up to the packs and chartered organizations to decide is a complete endorsement of gay leaders. It will make it impossible on Packs/Troops to exclude anyone without fear of litigation,rebuke...We will be slipping from tolerance to acceptance. We can not on one hand talk about "Duty to God" and " A scout is Reverent and faithful to his religious duties" and then tell them to ignore what Gods word teaches.
Chartered organizations will be forced not to allow Scouts to meet in many churches. Funding and participation in Scouting will be greatly diminished.
I respectfully ask that consideration to change policy be rejected.

Jan 31, 2013 - James T Colville
Yukon Jack- I really appreciate your comments. Do you believe that the decision has already been made and BSA released a statement ahead of time to downplay it ? or BSA is floating a trial balloon out to see what outrage they hear from the Leaders and Scout families ?
Jan 31, 2013 - Yukon Jack
James, I shouldn't speculate on this.  I doubt it though, as many on the national board are strongly opposed to this, and such a decision made in secret would be quickly spilled by its opponents.  I think they're testing the waters at best, possibly just a loner at national trying to get his 15 minutes by appeasing the minority group and getting a media stir.  Just from counting commenters here on this website, it seems like the opinion is 2:1 or even 3:1 in favor of the ban.  I don't think (or maybe I just hope) that National isn't so stupid as to ignore that hundreds of thousands of leaving scouts and scouters won't be offset by the few dozen they would appease...especially when it comes to $$$.  A big story a few months ago was that IBM stopped funding BSA over the gay ban.  I looked it up, IBM gave about $10K a year.  I know local church congregations (opposed to lifting the ban) that gave more, but of course, not newsworthy.  We shall see.
Jan 31, 2013 - Yukon Jack
I've made my opinion known to BSA, as have many of the 18 scouters and 46 scouts in my unit (we are unanimous just so you know, oppose lifting the ban).  I want to get back to talking about knots and awards and historical BSA insignia, which is one of my passions as a historian by education.  I'll leave you with this...

The BSA introduced a new award two years ago, the North Star Award.  It is equal to the council Silver Beaver for NON-registered scouting supporters and is WITHOUT quota (unlike the SB).  If the ban is lifted, I propose a grassroots movement to nominate all departing scouters (i.e. nonregistered) for this award.  A martyrdom medal for what its worth.  They served scouting better by sacrificing their love of the program to protest a morally watered down program.  I'd be curious to see how many get approved, given the records of many departers who gave DECADES to the program.

Fittingly, the medal is a silver star suspended from a BLACK ribbon.  Couldn't be more fitting!
Feb 01, 2013 - DEG
I think it's a done deal.  You don't reconsider something that you reaffirmed just 6 months ago and not go through with it.  This article from the Baptist Press seems to suggest as much as well.
Feb 01, 2013 - Mike Willey
I am thrilled that BSA is revisiting this policy.  I think that making this a Charter Org decision is the only one that makes sense.  There are many denominations, including mine, who believe that it is wrong to treat homosexuals as evil.  These denominations, and the boys and adult leaders in them are forced by the BSA under current policies to adopt a double standard to be part of this organization.

The current BSA policy DOES NOT RESPECT the beliefs of religions who do not sanction homosexuality. A scout is reverent, but BSA does not dictate how that reverence is expressed.  I believe strongly in the BSA program, but the organization should either evolve or declare that it is exclusive to christian fundamentalism.
Feb 01, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Given a choice, I'd rather see the BSA go to what you call 'Christian fundamentalism'.  Baden-Powell's father was a reverend and old BP himself said that you cannot be a good citizen without doing your duty to God.  While I know some religions differ on this, they are the minority.  Besides, If the BSA reverses the policy, you'll likely see a new scouting group formed that is Christian-based--just like the AHG in 1995.

The question remains, why must WE split from the BSA when we are the majority?  It's purely one of worldly status.  The gay agenda wants to take our 102-year legacy as their program lineage to try and appear more legitimate.  They know that if they broke off and started their own scouting program, no one (human nature, no fault of any person) simply would not automatically value the new top rank the same as the revered term 'Eagle Scout'.  If that wasn't true, they would have founded their own scouting program back in 2002 when the SCOTUS supported our current policy.
Feb 01, 2013 - Mike Hammond
Those who preach of tolerance need to swallow their own pill and tolerate the moral stand that exemplifies the BSA, a private organization. As a long time scout and leader, I can handle that their are those who's moral compass does not point north. What I detest is that others want to take away the moral compass the BSA offers to young men every day. Exclusion does not equal bigotry. It simply means one does not wish to associate with that ilk.

The BSA needs to stand as Daniel stood. One, alone, doing what is right, not aligning with the masses. I implore the BSA to do what is right and not to succumb to the pressure. Right will prevail in the end.
Feb 01, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Two things.  First, my apologies, it was Intel, not IBM that cut there paltry $10K funding last year.

More importantly, I agree completely Mr. Hammond.  The reasopn the BSA is so violently attacked on their ideology is that they ARE the last man standing!  If they go, all that is left are the churches.  If we create a boy-version of the AHG and outnumber the BSA, wanna bet they'll attack that too?  And how long before they attack the churches (more then they already are).  Time will tell.
Feb 01, 2013 - Yukon Jack
At the time of this posting, I have polled the responders (not posts, but distint individuals) to this and its parter thread in recent days:

*8 support changing the BSA policy.
*2 made unclear statements or only cited an article.
*18 oppose changing it.  Of these 10, 12 indicated they would leave or consider leaving the BSA.

So there it is.  Roughly 2:1 support (64%) of the current policy and about 43% of the 28 responders would leave in the change is implemented.  Unscientific poll I know, but still interesting nonetheless.

Also interesting is 0% of the 18 said anything of the sort that gay supporters can't or shouldn't make their own scouting organization, but many were called bigots by wanting a morally upstanding scouting organization to exist (even if it has to be remade elsewhere).
Feb 01, 2013 - Doug Johnson
I was SHOCKED when a district member sent me the petition to keep the policy. I had no idea the BSA would even consider this.

Just a FYI, Royal Rangers was started by a scoutmaster. If BSA changes the policy, at least there is an established choice/alternative.

I would suggest an alternate descision - allow 'homosexual' youth. Maybe it would help develop thier character in the correct direction. (The quotation marks are meant to mean that the youth claims they are, not that they neccesarily are, as I am sure that some have been told they are so much that they believe it)
Feb 01, 2013 - James T Colville
A must read article !!!!!!

James T Colville
Pack 145
Feb 03, 2013 - Flash
This discussion was something the BSA didn't want public until the decision on Wednesday.  The news media were leaked the info and planned to run the story with or without a statement from national.  Once it was publicized National has been bombarded with calls, emails, etc, in every manner possible and were surprised by the level of passion of the members.
I think there's a reasonable chance that the policy will stay as is.  No matter what, the damage has been done and rebuilding trust will take a miracle.  My council has already lost 10% of membership and units in 1 week.  More to come.  35+ years in Scouting for me.  So sad.
Feb 03, 2013 - Noemi Robinson
Did the ban prevent child abuse? Did the ban prevent sponsors from pulling their funding? Did the ban prevent gay teens from becoming Eagle Scouts?

If the military can accept homosexuals and atheists, then raising boys in anything less than an inclusive environment is terrible disservice.

I have been a Girl Scout for over 35 years, and I'm proud of their policies. I'd like to say the same thing for Boy Scouts.

Feb 04, 2013 - Bob
This is really the last stand for men & boys, fathers & sons. Every other organization has been pushed and bullied until the minority got their way in spite of the majority. Look at what happened to the Master's, it kept on getting attacked until they relented. Perpetuated by the media bullying tactics, the same is happening here. This is an easy out for national to deflect and put it on the local charters. I agree that all homosexuals are not pedophiles but most pedophiles are gay (same plumbing)but who want to gamble the odds on a boys innocence and when it gets destroyed. As far as Girl Scouts, can I take a shower in the same room with you? Can I share a tent with you on a camping trip? That is essentially what you are asking boys and leaders across this country to "Be Tolerant" of. I say stand tall, keep the ban in place.    
Feb 04, 2013 - Lori
As a former Den Leader  (4 years) and mother of 2 sons in Scouting, I believed in Scouting and the values it helps instill in them. If the National Board decides to throw out the no homosexual clause,my boys will leave. BSA is NOT the military and and we DON'T have to follow the Political Flavor of the day.  The Supreme Court said so, and if you don't like it, oh well!  
Feb 04, 2013 - Jennifer
My daughter is a member of the Girl Scouts. She is learning how to work with others, developing new skills, and having a great time. I'm sad to think that if I had a son, he would not be allowed to do the same in the Boy Scouts because of a misguided view that only believers in gods can be good citizens.
Feb 04, 2013 - Chris
If tolerance is the goal I could 'tolerate' a lesbian Den Leader before a gay male (and ONLY if the individual wasn't militant and made an issue of sexuality). The larger question is who's support is National more interested in?  The base membership or corporate sponsorship?  Is their money that much more 'special'?  What will we 'gain' vs what will we lose?
Feb 04, 2013 - Linda Goodman
The atheiest are waiting in line again to jump right in there.  Once BSA crumbles to this issue, God will be next.  Does no one in this world have the guts to stand up to a minority of people that think the world should be "fluffy".  I have gay friends, but gay has no place in a young child's world, not at that young impressionable age.  I thought we were to protect these kids.  We are not a baseball team, who publically play a game and go home.  We go to places like Philmont for a couple weeks in the back country, canoe trips for a couple weeks, etc.  As a scoutmaster I do not want to be responsible for something happening on my activities.
In BSA gives in, they will have sold our very soul.  We volunteer hundreds of hours for FREE.  They sit in their offices 9 to 5 and get paid.  Give us credit for knowing what is best for our boys, since they obviously do not....
Feb 05, 2013 - Bee Estes
I think it's hypocritical of corporations of not give funds to scouting for what it stands for, but will jump at the chance to hire an Eagle Scout because of what he stands for.
Feb 05, 2013 - Don Hess
As a scoutmaster I believe everything that scouting stands for will be lost if national does not keep the ban in place. This will be the downfall of scouting as we see it.I PRAY that national will not lift the ban. Scouting is everything a boy could ask for. I don't see how a boy could be proud of something if it not true to its belief. If national changes its policy the BSA will be just another place to hangout. It will not be the proud organization it is now. A BOY NEEDS SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF. If national does not have the guts to stand up for what is right, thousands of leaders and scouts may be lost from the ranks of scouting.I know of leaders that will not let their scouts go to scouting events if national does not take a stand for all scouts past and present. BSA is one place where a boy can go where he is safe for outside harm. A place where he can enjoy being a youth that will teach him morals. A place where a boy can become a man,WITH life skills and a good moral compass...
Feb 05, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Unofficial Poll of this Site.

Change the policy: 11 posters (27.5%)
Vague: 2 posters (.5%)
Keep the policy as is: 27 posters (67.5%)
Will leave if policy changes: 14 (35%)

So to summarize, at least a 2:1 ratio supporting the ban and a minumum loss of 35% of scouters if the policy is lifted.  Extrapolates to a MINIMUM of 1.3 Million scouts and scouters will leave out of 3.7 Million currently registered.
Apr 28, 2013 - Serge Decorte
Nobody stops the gays to start their own organization. Don't make us change our values because you want to join in. Jews don't ask to be able to join a catholic church, atheist don't ask to be able to join a religious group.
The question is : if BSA will change his policy, would you get your son join the organization knowing that there will be gay leaders amping out there and looking after you kid! I have gay friends, they are great people and I respect them. It is a choice that they made but don't force BSA to change their policies because of your sexual affinity. I have been ASM and SM for 10 years in my Troop and if BSA is changing his policy, I'm afraid that they will loose me and a lot of other members and the number of parents that will no longer consider  to enroll their kids in scouting will be staggering.

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