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"Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban."


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#41 UncleP

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 03:32 PM

I am speaking as an interested outsider to scouting, so I am speaking out of ignorance and about to make a fool of myself.

I have read the other comments and agreed and disagree with parts all of them.  When my nephew got interested in scouting I did a great deal of research on the organization.  Obviously I did not look on things as a scouter or even an ex-boy scout – having never been one.  I look at it from an organizational level, and as someone deeply concerned about the way boys are treated in our society. 

First the treatment of boys:  In my impression boys today are all treated like criminals who have not yet been caught.  An episode of “The Simpsons” titled “Girls Just Want to Have Sums” satirized this attitude.  When the elementary schools is split between boys and girls.  The girl’s side is all unicorns and flowers, and the boy’s side looks like “Mad Max”:

https://www.youtube....h?v=5vpiMo4FEAA

Oddly, Lisa when she pretends to be a boy uses the last name “Boyman”, and boy man was a term used to describe Baden-Powell in some of the literature I read about scouting.

I think that the problem that most people have with the Boy Scouts is not so much the issues of gay scouts, but with boy scouts.  I noticed that in all the discussion on BSA’s gay issues, was that what was best for the boys themselves was seldom if ever discussed.

I think the issues is not opposition to boy scouts, but opposition to boys.  Unfortunately, the BSA can do little if anything on this issue.

Organizationally:  BSA faces one of the greatest challenges an organization can face.  To adapt with times, without losing its core mission.  Doing either one is hard, but doing both is almost impossible.  As an example of an organization that adapted, but loses its core, look at the store “Abercrombie & Fitch”.  A&F started out selling outdoors clothing and equipment to professional outdoorsmen.  The store was the outdoors goods store.  It was used by Teddy Roosevelt, Admiral Peary, Charles Lindberg, and Admiral Byrd.  Today it exists and is profitable, but is basically associated with anything but the outdoors:

https://en.wikipedia...crombie_&_Fitch

The BSA from my research maybe making a similar decision.  I recently read about the STEM Scouts.  The article cited as its big selling point that the program would be co-ed and would help eliminate the gap in women’s employment in STEM fields.  Boy Scouts main goal is to help girls?  What about helping boys?

How the BSA can resolve this issue without either becoming extinct or changing beyond all recognition, I do not know.  I would be interested in what others think.  I know that a continued commitment to a strong outdoors program has been mentioned in previous discussions.  How this can be done in a world of over-scheduled boys with decreasing familiarity with the outdoors I do not know.

Finally, to get back to the original issue – is boy scouts thriving.  I hope so, but think it is too soon to say if the change in policy will have any effect.  I think ending the controversy increases the potential that scouting will thrive, but not make that happen all by itself.

 

 


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#42 Hedgehog

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 04:54 PM

 

How the BSA can resolve this issue without either becoming extinct or changing beyond all recognition, I do not know.  I would be interested in what others think.  I know that a continued commitment to a strong outdoors program has been mentioned in previous discussions.  How this can be done in a world of over-scheduled boys with decreasing familiarity with the outdoors I do not know.

 

 

There really are two optons - to expand the program in the STEM area (which most likely will work as well as the expanding Explorer Scouts to include career exploration did in the 1970s) or to double down on the essential parts of the BSA brand.  If you ask people what the makes a boy a Boy Scout they will most likely mention camping, integrity and leadership.  A pretty good brand if you ask me. 


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#43 MrBob

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 05:31 PM

 If you ask people what the makes a boy a Boy Scout they will most likely mention camping, integrity and leadership.  A pretty good brand if you ask me. 

 

As important to our future as strong education is Mathematics and Engineering is, I don't believe I have ever met a youth (or a parent) who joined Scouting for its STEM presence, or for the sedentary pencil-twiddling that is the first four requirements of just about every merit badge now.


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#44 desertrat77

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 06:38 PM

As important to our future as strong education is Mathematics and Engineering is, I don't believe I have ever met a youth (or a parent) who joined Scouting for its STEM presence, or for the sedentary pencil-twiddling that is the first four requirements of just about every merit badge now.

 

Right on the money, Mr. Bob....

 

STEM is vital but there is a point when a scout needs to dump the book bag, pack a sandwich and an apple, fill the canteen, and hit the trail.  

 

Going back to the classroom on the weekends for more academics will not be an appealing thought for many scouts--even those with STEM interests.  

 

At best, BSA STEM will always be a side show, and not the big recruiting draw National thinks it will be.

 

The most positive thing I can say about BSA STEM:   check out the STEM treks at Philmont.   STEM in action!

 

http://www.philmonts...g/stemtrek.aspx


Edited by desertrat77, 25 July 2016 - 06:39 PM.

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#45 Stosh

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 08:09 PM

When I was in the ministry every fall I would get this annual complaint that they don't have enough Sunday School teachers.  They "asked everybody!!!" Even the regular school teachers won't step up and teach! 

 

So, we have a person doing teaching 5 days of the week and doing extra work on the weekend to do the next five days.  So now the church wants them to add another on their "day of rest?"  I don't think so! 

 

Boys sit 5 days a week in school, and with any religious instruction maybe Saturday confirmation and Sunday school, and now BSA wants to put them in a classroom..... Yeah, right.  I don't blame the boys one bit for balking at such nonsense.  Tables and chairs should be outlawed in Scouting!  A stump and a stick to poke in the fire is all a boy needs.


Edited by Stosh, 25 July 2016 - 08:10 PM.

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#46 qwazse

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 09:31 PM

Well, what are the actual figures?  The article said membership is "stabilizing".  I hope they're right.


Some cheap seat math here:
http://blog.scouting...needs-scouting/

So Gates referenced membership loss of less than 3% last year, compared to more than 6% in each of the previous two years.
If the trend holds, BSA will be back to it's usual bleed.
My definition of thriving in this climate: 1 or 2% gains over a number of decades.
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#47 walk in the woods

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 05:03 AM

Hmmmmm, the day is coming......

 

Christian worship services are open to anyone wishing to come... thus it can be defined as a public place.

 

Christian pastor reading from scripture about such things as sin, will soon be held accountable for promoting hate speech and be arrested.

 

This is how the intolerant work to silence free speech.  Free speech in America is no longer a basic freedom in the Bill of Rights, the others will fall one by one after that is successfully implemented.

You're already late to the party Stosh, https://www.adflegal...illegal-in-iowa


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#48 Stosh

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:20 AM

Not really.  :)

 

"The lawsuit is known in legal circles as a “pre-enforcement challenge,” a lawsuit that allows citizens to challenge a law—in this case, a law that threatens First Amendment freedoms—before the government enforces it against them. For example, organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood routinely file such lawsuits against laws they oppose."

 

The emphasis is my addition to point out that no one's been dragged out of the pulpit....yet.  It's a sad day in America when we see the slow train wreck coming from a long way away.  It's even sadder to think that this possibility even exists in America. 

 

Once they try and take their Bibles and their guns, the silent will not stay silent. 

 

The war has already started.  It's just that history hasn't figured it out.  Was it Nat Turner, John Brown or P. T. Beauregard that really started the war?  Or how many people were killed by Gavrilo Princip's one bullet?


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#49 Prepared

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:24 AM

I have seen no one leave because of the ban. I know it was an issue, but then died out. People my area seem to not care about it. Personally, I do not know why it was a big deal...then again I grew up with people who were gay.


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#50 Stosh

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:32 AM

Tim Jeal


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#51 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 09:19 AM

I have seen no one leave because of the ban. I know it was an issue, but then died out. People my area seem to not care about it. Personally, I do not know why it was a big deal...then again I grew up with people who were gay.

 

Back when DALE was announced it was going to SCOTUS, I had a CO tell me they would no longer charter a pack. I had until the end of the School year, about 4 months, for the pack to find a new CO as they would no longer be allowed on the property.

 

When BSA changed the youth membership standards, we lost a bunch leaders, donors, and an entire troop went to Trails Life. In fact, it was the troop my son first visited and wanted to join. Our membership number in my district have dropped, and it looks as if we may have to merge with another district because we do not have enough youth members to justify a DE.

 

When BSA changed the leadership standards, the CO of my pack had a meeting with the CM and SM about how they will not allow any homosexual leaders in the troop, and that if they are forced to take them, the units would be dropped I a heartbeat.

 

So it's affected my area.


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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#52 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:39 AM

I have seen no one leave because of the ban. I know it was an issue, but then died out. People my area seem to not care about it. Personally, I do not know why it was a big deal...then again I grew up with people who were gay.

There were several local COs around here that left because of the change, but we got several new ones to replace them (some that have been waiting in the wings for years until the ban was lifted - some of which had been COs pre-dale) so the total number of units is now about the same. But I'm not sure what the effect has been on the number of scouts. I know that it made recruiting and selling popcorn easier. Lots of schools that used to say no to recruiting flyers and such now are saying yes. Plus more businesses are open to allowing popcorn sales on their property.

 

When the ban first got back into the news (when the BSA first floated the change), lots of parents in our cub pack (and scouters in my district based on discussions at round table ) were unaware of the ban (and many were bothered by it). Also a lot of COs and sponsors appeared to have been unaware of the ban. Several businesses dropped their sponsorship of the local council at that time saying they didn't know the BSA was discriminatory.

 

The sad part is that now that the ban is over, many people and organizations don't know it yet. I hear from people at the council that they still run into the "we can't support you because of your anti-gay policies". I guess it took a boat load of news stories and publicity to establish the "BSA is anti-gay" reputation, and it's going to take an equal boat load of news stories and publicity to get rid of it. Only the membership policy is out of the news (as it should be), so it's going to take a while.


Edited by Rick_in_CA, 26 July 2016 - 11:43 AM.

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#53 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:58 AM

Not really.  :)
 
"The lawsuit is known in legal circles as a “pre-enforcement challenge,” a lawsuit that allows citizens to challenge a law—in this case, a law that threatens First Amendment freedoms—before the government enforces it against them. For example, organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood routinely file such lawsuits against laws they oppose."
 
The emphasis is my addition to point out that no one's been dragged out of the pulpit....yet.  It's a sad day in America when we see the slow train wreck coming from a long way away.  It's even sadder to think that this possibility even exists in America.

The problem is that they are suing to prevent something that is not going to happen. The law has been in place since 2007 and has not been used to force a church to do anything. Plus the law clearly exempts churches unless they are doing something not related to religion (such as acting as a poling place or running an outside business). But we can't let the facts get in the way of generating fear. This is not a campaign to protect churches, but a tactic to overturn LGBT protections all over the state (their argument is basically: "since it might be applied to a church, it shouldn't be applied anywhere").


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#54 Merlyn_LeRoy

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:59 AM

 

The emphasis is my addition to point out that no one's been dragged out of the pulpit....yet.  It's a sad day in America when we see the slow train wreck coming from a long way away.  It's even sadder to think that this possibility even exists in America. 

 

 

 

I won't hold my breath waiting for such a rightwing fantasy to happen, just like those imaginary FEMA death camps.


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#55 Merlyn_LeRoy

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 12:02 PM

 

Only the membership policy is out of the news (as it should be), so it's going to take a while.

 

There's still the ban on atheists, and yes, atheist organizations do and will object to recruitment in public schools.


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#56 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 12:03 PM

Sadly a SM I know from Polk County who I went through OA Ordeal with told me his entire Troop of 18 boys disbanded over the policy. It was a Baptist sponsored unit out of a small church and the adults let the boys discuss with no adults in the room. He said 3 of the 18 went to a BP unit but it surprised him.

 

I also know two adults who left (but were kind of fading out anyway) and one new parent who came 'in' because of it--that was our unit. 


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#57 David CO

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 12:05 PM

It depends on which numbers you're looking at.

 

My unit hasn't had any significant change in registration numbers due to the decision, but we have changed where we go camping.  We don't go to BSA council camps anymore.

 

The council camps were hurting before this decision.  I wonder how they are going to do now?

 

I have personally had a major change of attitude in regard to the rash of campground closings we have seen in recent years.  I was previously very much opposed to closing the camps.  I was very vocal about it.

 

Now that we won't be using them anymore, why should I even care?


Edited by David CO, 26 July 2016 - 12:08 PM.

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#58 walk in the woods

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 02:47 PM

The problem is that they are suing to prevent something that is not going to happen. The law has been in place since 2007 and has not been used to force a church to do anything. Plus the law clearly exempts churches unless they are doing something not related to religion (such as acting as a poling place or running an outside business). But we can't let the facts get in the way of generating fear. This is not a campaign to protect churches, but a tactic to overturn LGBT protections all over the state (their argument is basically: "since it might be applied to a church, it shouldn't be applied anywhere").

Well, that's not clear.  The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has removed the document from their site but the relevant paragraph from the story I quoted is:

 

As the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa explains, the commission published its position in a publication titled “A Public Accommodations Provider’s Guide to Iowa Law.” In a question-and-answer section, the document asks, “Does this Law [the Iowa Civil Rights Act] Apply to Churches?” The guide answers the question by saying, “Sometimes." Iowa law provides that these protections do not apply to religious institutions with respect to any religion-based qualifications when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose. Where qualifications are not related to a bona fide religious purpose, churches are still subject to the law’s provisions. (e.g. a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public).

 

​The argument is the church is a public accommodation as soon as the service is open to the public.


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#59 Stosh

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 03:26 PM

The clergy in our area have already been warned that saying homosexuality is a sin constitutes hate speech.  I suppose reading that out loud from Scripture in a public forum, i.e. Sunday Worship, will cause reason for arrest.  These are not just murmurings, they are published documents from major church sources.  We are that far down the slippery slope.


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#60 NJCubScouter

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 05:04 PM

The clergy in our area have already been warned that saying homosexuality is a sin constitutes hate speech. 

 

Warned by who?  And warned how?  In writing?


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