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New BSA President Gates: ‘Time for blunt talk’ in Scouting

Robert M. Gates, the former defense secretary, will prioritize transparency, marketing, retention and recruitment, and continued program innovation during his two-year term as the 35th president of the Boy Scouts of America.

In his first speech to Scouters and Scouts since the 2010 jamboree, the Distinguished Eagle Scout and past president of the National Eagle Scout Association also expressed his support for last year’s membership vote.

Furthermore, he said he’ll oppose any effort to reopen debate on the issue during his term.

During his 27-minute speech at the BSA’s National Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Gates outlined his vision for the movement. A movement, he said, that has improved dramatically in the eight years since Gates was last involved as a volunteer.

“My bluntness may disturb some of you, but it’s part of the package,” he said. “And maybe it’s time for blunt talk.”

Case in point: He said that during his time as president of NESA and member of the board until 2006, “I was harshly critical of the way this organization was run. … Everything seemed scripted, and the volunteer leaders seemed to me to be largely figureheads.”

But since he returned to Scouting in February of this year, Gates said he has noticed a dramatic change in how the organization is run.

“I believe the volunteer leadership has assumed its proper role as the guiding hand of this movement. There is still room for improvement, but as someone who has not been involved for the past eight years, the difference between then and now is like night and day.”

I encourage you to read the transcript and watch the video of Gates’ full speech at Scouting Newsroom.

I’ve also selected some quotes from Gates on some issues of interest to Scouters like you, including transparency, marketing, recruitment and the membership policy.

On improving transparency and cooperation in Scouting

“The BSA is not the CIA. We should have no secrets from each other or from our volunteer leaders across the nation.”

“I know that the dedicated professionals on the National Council staff agree with the emphasis on local council support. I look forward to working with Wayne Brock and his team to review National Council procedures, policies and regulations to continue the effort to make our national headquarters a more effective and responsive service center for councils.”

“For the first time, the national president will have a full time, independent representative at Scout headquarters to help me be more effective for Scouting.”

On improving marketing

“A second priority is to improve our marketing, which in turn is closely tied to recruitment and to our reputation. … I think our marketing needs to be focused on local media — whether traditional local television and newspapers or social media.”

“Every day, in every district and every council, there are countless good-news stories about Scouting.”

On improving recruitment

“We must first stop the decline and then begin to address how we grow again. I don’t have any easy answers to this challenge.”

“I do believe it starts with emphasis on recruiting Cub Scouts. Teaching leadership and skills are important reasons for joining Scouts for all of us, but I suspect that for most parents of boys of Cub Scout age, what they want most of all is a chance to spend time with their kids.”

On the membership issue

The membership issue has left the Scouting family “divided, distracted and defensive.”

“In all candor, I would have supported going further, as I did in opening the way for gays to serve in CIA and in the military. That said, I accept the vote of a year ago, and I strongly support it. And, in its implementation, Scouting must provide a welcoming and safe environment for gay youth, a place where they can benefit from Scouting and not face bullying or disrespect.”

“I believe strongly that to reopen the membership issue or try to take last year’s decision to the next step would irreparably fracture and perhaps even provoke a formal, permanent split in this movement — with the high likelihood neither side would subsequently survive on its own. That is just a fact of life. And who would pay the price for destroying the Boy Scouts of America? Millions of Scouts today and Scouts yet unborn.”

“Thus, during my time as president, I will oppose any effort to reopen this issue.”

His view on Scouting

“We must move forward by focusing on what unites us: our belief that the Boy Scouts of America is the finest organization in the world for building character while teaching boys and young men to meet and overcome challenges, to cheerfully serve others, and to live lives based on the principles of the Scout Oath and Law.”

118 Comments on New BSA President Gates: ‘Time for blunt talk’ in Scouting

  1. Experienced Scouter // May 24, 2014 at 12:14 am // Reply

    In regards to his comments on the membership policy: A Scout is Brave. Why are we afraid to face the repercussions of doing the right thing? President Lincoln divided the union to ultimately end the injustice of slavery. Surely we can risk the division of Scouting to end the injustice of discrimination within our own ranks. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. It’s time for Scouting’s leadership to stand up and end discrimination in our program, which will ensure that Scouting becomes the preeminent moral leader is already claims to be.

    As stated in the 11th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, “A Scout is Brave. A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.” Please do not let the threats of a dividing the Boy Scout of America prevent us from doing what is morally right: ending discrimination in our program — Scouting will continue better and stronger than ever once equality is achieved.

    • Well said! Obtaining equality will also help with out public perception problem.

      Want to improve marketing and fix the public perception problem? End the inequality of ousting parents and dedicated volunteers based on sexual orientation. There was 27+ minutes of comments from Mr. Gates. What are all the news outlets talking about? The fact that he will not fix out broken membership policy and that Scouting continues to exclude gay adults. This is purely bad PR.

      Want to fix the recruitment problem? End the inequality of ousting parents and dedicated volunteers based on sexual orientation. Why don’t parents want their children in Scouting? Because Scouting has broken membership policy that exclude gays, and parents do not want their children associated with such a program.

      The solution is simple: end the membership ban. Good press will follow. Recruitment will follow. Successful marketing will follow.

      • Tiger Cub Dad // May 24, 2014 at 9:57 pm // Reply

        One step @ a time.

        Incremental changes.

        • Fred Cooper // May 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm //

          What do you mean? Is that what you are in favor of or do you recognize Progressive Activist deceit when you see it? Incrementalism is a favorite tool for them.

    • A Scout is Brave.

      I believe homosexuality is immoral and wrong. I believe that injecting sexuality into a youth organization is wrong. Right is right and wrong is wrong, that is correct. I believe the political movement to have homosexuality injected into the Boy Scouts of America is an immoral one.

      If someone is a member of an organization that had clear rules on its standards of membership, on what it is and what it stood for. Standards that reflected the traditions and values of its membership, reflected the morality and ethics of its chartered organizations. Then I say that once a person feels that such policies are those that they can no longer abide by that if they are people of moral integrity they would leave that organization. That they would have the moral fortitude to leave the organization and form their own organization that reflected their values.

      When a homosexual scout or scouter would turn in their Eagle rank I could respect that. But to stay in an organization knowing that they were against the value and ethics of that organization is immoral.

      I am still in scouting and still support it because last years vote takes me up to the limit of my personal values. I do not believe a minor, a boy, and a child should be concerning themselves with sex and that their introduction should only come from what their parents approve of. I am able to live with last years vote only on the expectation that if a boy becomes wrapped up in sex or the expression of their sexual identity that they would have the good sense to leave an organization that should be asexual.

      That by the definition of my religious and ethical beliefs that a child does not express a sexual identity, and thus that a child would not express themselves as heterosexual or homosexual. That at child upon wishing to embark into sexual expression is no longer a child and shouldn’t be part of an organization for children. So the idea of allowing homosexual youth I find to be a logical fallacy.

      My family does not participate in scouting to get a sexual education or indoctrination. Despite last years vote the standards remain that a scout should be in approved uniform and that discussions of sexuality, sexual jokes, and sexual references are not appropriate to scouting. If that ever changes then I would believe that scouting is not for my family.

      Homosexuals who feel that they are being discriminated against because other people find their lifestyle to be wrong have my sympathy. Unfortunately we live in a society where our actions, morals, and ethics are challenged every day.

      I find Dr. Gates comments on this matter to be disappointing.

      • David Payne // May 24, 2014 at 2:34 am // Reply

        I could not agree with you more on almost everything you said, except for the very last line… While I’ll admit I’m not completely up to date on every detail relating to the BSA’s ongoing dilemmas, since my last six years have been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems to me that Scouting has attempted to achieve the most balanced compromise possible between preventing youth discrimination (for older scouts), while at the same time preventing/prohibiting any chance of “sexual proselytizing” or indoctrination. Thus, Mr. Gates appears to be very much adhering to the vote and encouraging new focus and direction for the organization. In my humble perspective, that is not disappointing, but brave and loyal…very much in keeping with the traditional Scout Oath and Law.

      • Ktemaque Achowalogen // May 24, 2014 at 5:02 am // Reply

        JC Caron- you believe homosexuality is immoral and wrong? Might I ask what exactly is wrong with two consenting adults loving each other? I’m also curious as to which religion you follow that takes you to the belief homosexuality is immoral?

        I am also curious as to what gives you the authority to say what is right and what is wrong. The BSA has been losing membership and support over the gay issue. And, as an Eagle Scout, Vigil Member of Scouting’s Honor Society…I have to say I find the previous membership standard, as well as the new one to be…frankly out of line with the mission statement of the BSA. It is also out of line with the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. No where it is loyal, help, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, clean or brave. IT is not doing a duty to country, nor helping others at all times. It’s also not mentally awake.

        I also suggest you consider carefully the position the BSA enjoys. It enjoys a unique federal charter. IT also enjoys a special type of tax exemption. Gay people pay taxes that support the BSA. Being required to have their tax dollars support an organization that they are outrightly banned from participating in…while the BSA slanders them and intentionally tries to misrepresent homosexuals is downright offensive.

        I’m also going to point out something important. The fight for homosexuals to be allowed in Scouting is not about sexualizing the program. It’s so the gay 18 yr old adult leader, who is an Eagle scout may go out with his boyfriend out of his uniform- without worrying about who sees. A luxury his heterosexual counterparts enjoy.

        • Daniel Helfen // May 24, 2014 at 8:19 am //

          Really, you are actually asking what religion he is following?? Are you serious? EVERY religion including all Native belief systems. Just because you want to believe your lies doesn’t mean the rest of us will believe them too.

        • Yesterday's Scout // May 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm //

          I notice you significantly omit “morally straight”. Q.E.D.

      • Daniel Helfen // May 24, 2014 at 8:08 am // Reply

        Well said.

        • Scouter // May 24, 2014 at 9:33 am //

          My religion doesn’t discriminate. My God loves all people equally, and He doesn’t judge them. Evidently your God is different. I feel sorry for you.

      • Karen Zeller // May 24, 2014 at 10:11 am // Reply

        Allowing a gay parent who is married to a same-sex partner does not inject sexuality into the program any more than allowing a straight parent who is married to an opposite sex partner. The program is not about sexuality. But if you have a husband or wife, if you are a parent married or unmarried, your presentation of yourself is not “asexual.”

        • Fred Cooper // May 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm //

          He/she transgender is homosexual. We know it. He/she transgender just sexualized his/her transgenders Unit. How is that not true? How is that positive for children? Enlighten me.

        • Karen Zeller // May 26, 2014 at 10:54 pm //

          Those boys will giggle over you having a wife, too. Correct response: “Mind on your work, son. That bowline isn’t holding tight. Try it again.”

        • Fred, you really need to define what “sexualized his/her transgenders Unit” means. Because I have no idea how you sexualize a scouting unit.

        • Fred Cooper // May 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm //

          Nicholas, if you don’t know what can do to sexualize a meeting and are a parent, I can’t help you. If a Cub Scout introduces his/her transgender preference into a meeting, that will sexualize the meeting. Karen you may welcome your child coming out in a meeting or present when another comes out as homosexual but many do not. Open acceptance is BSA informal policy and recommended by Gates. I knew activists would do their best to extract masculinity from Scouting but did not think it would happen this way or expand masculinity to include sexually aggressive males for other males. I’m sure homosexual parents say go with what feels natural. Why would they not? Activists are claiming sexual orientation knowledge as young as Six. If that is what they believe, how could they not express it especially if they are encouraged?

        • Yesterday's Scout // May 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm //

          Karen writes, “Those boys will giggle over you having a wife, too.”

          No they don’t. Not in our unit. All our Scouts know that children come from mothers and fathers. Even the 11 year-olds are smart enough to know that two men or two women cannot produce a baby together. Come to think of it, so do all but the youngest of Cubs in our affiliated pack.

      • JC Caron, you are obviously not very educated in this matter. The boys who join as Cubs and work their way up the ranks to earn their patches and pins, and as teenagers decided they are not heterosexual should not be forced to leave and go to another organization. You might be surprised how many homosexual people there are around you, living their lives like the rest of us, if you only open your eyes!

      • JC: “My family does not participate in scouting to get a sexual education or indoctrination. Despite last years vote the standards remain that a scout should be in approved uniform and that discussions of sexuality, sexual jokes, and sexual references are not appropriate to scouting. If that ever changes then I would believe that scouting is not for my family. ”

        You should also realize that the majority of people supporting the membership policy change, including those who wanted the adult policy changed as well, fully agree with these statements. nothing about the changes would violate these ideas, or make them less able to be enforced.

        and your statements about youth sexual identity… last I checked puberty sets in between 10-12 on average. scouts can be scouts until they are 18. it is silly to expect that a child will not have developed a sexual identity by that time. The key point of the vote is that their ability to remain in scouting should have no relation to whether or not you like the outcome, just to whether or not they are able to act appropriately within the Unit. and for that there are equal expectations for all scouts.

      • D. Christoffersen // June 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm // Reply

        Well said. P.S. Scouting does not exist for the benefit of ANY adult, so ANY adult who decries his being unwelcome has no standing to complain.

    • S Plenkers // May 26, 2014 at 10:41 am // Reply

      There has never been discrimination in the program I have been involved in as a leader. Sexual preference or orientation is not a topic that is nor should be discussed with the scouts. If a scout wishes to be a part of the organization and he fulfills the obligations for membership, he has never nor will ever be denied entry. I don’t understand why we as adults feel the need to project insecurities on our youth. Most of them don’t even think about it until an adult brings it to their attention. Stop making it an issue and there will be not issue.

      • saddaybsa // May 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm // Reply

        here here

  2. OMG…I’ve been saying this since I left the dinner meeting Friday night. So were others — I was listening for their reaction…and it was the same. If anyone can “put a fire under the butts of this movement”, it’s Dr. Gates!!

    I found myself agreeing with everything he stated…although his impression of the old National office staff is different from mine. I thought that although they had to coordinate things with their bosses, the old National Office staff were people I could (and did) work with, who for the most part told me the plain truth although sometimes they didn’t want to come right out and say it (unlike now, when you’ve got team leaders telling you plainly “look, we — you and me — we’re not ready to go there yet…) and I found them “user-friendly”. But then, Secretary…er…Dr. Gates worked with those folks back in the early 2000s…

    I also found myself almost wanting to jump out of my seat and say “Go Bob Gates!!” at several times in his speech. Re-read please the comments he stated about marketing our programs. We’ve all been asking the questions “okay, where’s the marketing money going?” Now, WE — those of us locally — will have more say in how we market Scouting to our communities and families. We will be encouraged to have partnerships with local TV and radio and cable stations to provide more “good news stories” featuring our youth, their units and the chartered organizations which “has their backs”. So now, we have NO EXCUSES because the national teams will be backing our local efforts.

    Also please re-read his comments about transparency. It applies directly as to how we at the local Council level tell parents and communities about our makeup. Many Councils do this — but there’s a large number who have been refusing because of some aquatinted “policy” which stated that our key volunteers are not to be revealed to the public. Dr. Gates can start this by requesting that the names, cities and states of all of our National Executive Board members; the names, cities and states, and a brief (no more than 200 word) Scouting description of our Regional and Area key volunteers; and the names, cities and states, and a brief (again no more than 200 words) outline of our key professionals at the national, regional and area levels — be published on the BSA’s leadership page. This I feel will go a long way in dispelling the notion that the BSA’s professional staffs at the National and Regional level are “running things” and that the volunteers are just “stickmen and women”. It’s a bridge too far right now to post email addresses — there’s some concerns I have and I’m sure that those much smarter than I’d ever be will have about that. But I get email — lots of email — every day from parents and Scouters who just want to know “when you talk about the Regional President, who is that person — and what Scouting things did he or she do to get voted as Regional President, anyways?” and the same goes for the Commissioners…

    Again, OMG!!! I sure hope that that was not a “demo” to get our hearts pumping, only to be let down later. He’s right — we’ve been talking a great game.

    Now it’s time to do it.
    .

    • Please don’t use the Lord’s name in vain–especially when your photo shows you in uniform. Thank you.

      • Todd Kunze // May 24, 2014 at 11:57 am // Reply

        What?

      • Although, my SM would have sided with you, I’ve been told by pastors that the declaration in the context Mike issued it, would not have been considered a vanity according to Mosaic law. It’s a pretty modern cultural tradition among English speakers that declared uncouth reference to the Almighty in casual speech.

      • your Lord is named Gosh? well, that’s a new one. ;)

  3. Jim Kangas // May 24, 2014 at 1:15 am // Reply

    I fully support Robert Gates’ comments. Once the National BSA is on track, maybe he can convince councils not to lose paperwork or misplace records — almost a superhuman demand.

    • move to digital… solves so many of those problems.

      once our DE started accepting digital applications and award forms, the number lost went down to almost zero.

      • While they are at it, tell National to get some better software than CampMaster so units can sign up as a whole for activities like open shoot and not have to enroll up one Scout at a time.

  4. After reading Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War a couple of months ago, I became convinced that Robert Gates was the right man for the job. He took on the Washington bureaucracy, including the largest of then all, the Pentagon and we all, in particular the people defending our country are better off for it.

    Some things I took away from the speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaBbrNN5iSU) were he was going to focus on rebuilding the organization and making it more transparent. I know when I got back in scouting 2008, I was wondering who the local Board in the San Diego area was comprised of. I couldn’t find it and it still isn’t there today, just the paid staff http://www.sdicbsa.org/Contact I was told it was because they didn’t want the volunteers harassed which I thought was a pretty timid approach to things.

    As to the marketing of the organization, they definitely can do a better job. Robert Gates was right, we need to recruit new Cub Scouts better. I know when my son started, he was the only Cub Scout in his elementary school of close to 500 kids. On the National level I constantly see these recycled “Be a Scout” photos. Is that the best we can do to appeal to people? We can do far better!

    So let’s follow President Gates lead and have blunt talk at all levels of Scouting.

    • Here’s blunt talk: if your son is the only new Cub Scout in a school of 500, your pack is doing a poor job. Has nothing to do with the photo on the flyer.

      • Sorry, this was meant to be posted below.

      • No question, the Pack didn’t do a good job recruiting at my son’s elementary school back in 2008. I did help turn that around subsequently.

        By the same token, Scouting in general has not done a good job of making Scouting appealing on a broader level. My point about the “Be a Scout” photos, is that isn’t an effective marketing campaign to a broader audience.

        Here’s another good example; go the the National Boy Scouts YouTube site. http://www.youtube.com/user/BSA100years Most of the content on the home page was from when we celebrated our 100th Anniversary in 2010. As well, the site is not visually appealing. Considering we have a social media driven society, that is also not good marketing.

        • Karen Zeller // May 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm //

          I’ve seen this, too. And I have to wonder what is up with the new strategy in the Cub books of one boy who will be the symbol of Cub Scouts: Ethan. One white kid who gradually gets older through the books. Will Ethan make Cub Scouting more appealing to a broader base of boys in our schools? Sure, the pack will overcome that with its own outreach, but it would be nice if the vision from National included all the boys.

        • Good point Karen. But I have to ask, why does the program even need an “Ethan” of any color? One single boy should not be the face of Scouting.

  5. David Payne // May 24, 2014 at 1:37 am // Reply

    As an Eagle Scout who has spent many years working in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m very pleased with the decision to appoint Mr. Gates to the BSA Presidency. He is an exceptional, visionary leader with an extremely balanced moral and ethical foundation; however, beyond those outstanding characteristics he also knows how to effect positive, ground breaking changes that are more than just a façade, as we’re so accustomed to seeing and experiencing everywhere in today’s world. He is insightful, strategic and pointed – I just wish he would seek the Presidency of the United States, where his skills are arguably needed the most. I had the brief, but distinct privilege to meet Mr. Gates while he was in Iraq in September 2008 and I can wholeheartedly say the BSA has chosen very wisely. Welcome back Mr. Gates!

  6. Deaf Scouter // May 24, 2014 at 3:12 am // Reply

    How AWESOME it is to know what was said by Gates. THANKS for the script version of his speech. I’m looking forward to the changes under his leadership and feeling inspired again in BSA. time to move forward for our youth once again.

  7. Bill Baxter // May 24, 2014 at 6:38 am // Reply

    Fortunately our local troop decided not to adopt the change in membership policy. There is no church or organization in our village that would charter us otherwise so our local troop will continue to exist and flourish.

    • I fully support the local option as well. I wish National would support the local option.

  8. I would love to see Gates reaffirm the older BSA policy, and simply allow the units & their charter organizations to choose their own leadership. Scale back the national level requirements, and accept that the local Troop- and Pack-level volunteers can judge a person’s character much more accurately than a committee in Texas that has never met the person.

    To me, this seems like the compromise that the BSA needs to get past the whole issue of homosexual membership, and move on to things that actually focus on and improve the mission of the BSA.

    • Karen Zeller // May 24, 2014 at 10:08 am // Reply

      Yes. As it is, the BSA is deciding between churches that block gay people and churches that welcome them. It should not be the role of the BSA to decide what correct Christian doctrine is. The current stance elevates the BSA above religious organizations, saying which are right and which are wrong. That’s wrong.

      • Yesterday's Scout // May 26, 2014 at 9:44 pm // Reply

        It appears to me that BSA has already decided, and decided against traditional morality in favor of the new, politically correct, progressive morality. As years go by, the churches that remain faithful to Scripture will lose their units and the “anything goes” religious bodies will gain the units. It is an end run around traditional churches, and a stealth advocacy of homosexuality.

        • Karen Zeller // May 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm //

          Even when a nonsectarian organization agrees with you, it is not wise to let a nonsectarian organization be in charge of determining what Christian doctrine is correct and what isn’t. BSA says that what Buddhists and Muslims and Unitarians and many other faiths do in worship is on an equal plane with what you do in worship. That is not the group that should be examining Christian doctrine and affirming some and not others. Within your church it is totally expected that you might hold that your church has the way to God and all other organizations don’t. And it is wonderful for your church to charter a BSA unit for your youth or to offer a benefit to your community. But it is not wise, strategically over the long term, to tell BSA that it should be the guarantor of right doctrine for the other religious organizations that also charter units. Conservative churches, in the last 450 years, have often arisen in circumstances where they suffered mightily from outsiders determining what correct religious doctrine is. It’s strange that conservative churches, most of all, would be asking a nonsectarian organization to be the arbiter of true faith, deciding between them and other religious groups.

  9. Venturing Advisor, Mom of 3 scouts, // May 24, 2014 at 7:24 am // Reply

    Dear Mr. Gates,
    Please don’t forget that Scouting serves many young women via the Venturing program, when you mention program goals of teaching [boys] and young [men] to learn and live the values of scouting. The women, young and old, whom I see and experience in scouting, are just as committed to the values and the activities as the men. My daughter and others enjoyed Girl Scouts when they were younger, but found the stronger emphasis on “the outing in Scouting” (I.e, high adventure) and leadership in the BSA to be more attractive and rewarding.

    On another subject, I agree that the membership should go farther- open to all responsible and capable adults, but I also agree that this is not the time to reopen the discussion. As a parent, I have come to strongly understand that some emotional discussions need to be deferred to be more effective.

    Finally, I applaud your commitment to total transparency. I look forward to the effects of that.

  10. Well his comments just validated my related concerns leading to the decision to withdraw our family from the BSA after last year’s membership change. It WAS the first step in the organization’s inevitable embracing of and equivocating homosexual behavior to “morally straight”. Mr. Gates’ comments reaffirmed that it is only a matter of time before the organization allows open and avowed homosexual leaders as well.

    Withdrawing the family from the BSA was the toughing thing I’ve had to do as a father to date, but still glad I did it. Homosexual behavior is immoral (i.e., not morally straight).

    • Since when does anyone vow (as in “avowed”) to be gay or vow to be straight?

    • Yesterday's Scout // May 26, 2014 at 9:46 pm // Reply

      Pondering the same thing. Three generations of Scouting, but what now?

    • Fred Cooper // May 27, 2014 at 5:56 am // Reply

      I’m with you Joe. I believe once homosexuals become approved as leaders in a Unit, their lifestyle will become accepted as a positive lifestyle choice to present to children in Scouting. How do you not sexualize a Unit when your leader bases his/her transgender life on how to have sex. Nobody ever asked or wanted to know before. Under Gates. I fear we will have no choice. As a federal worker friend recently told me, his instructions at work are there is no room for criticism of LGBT people at work. You’ll get fired. Pick another group.

      • “Nobody ever asked or wanted to know before”
        but they were perfectly happy kicking people out if it was found out. What created the homosexual conversation in scouting was Scouts and leaders getting kicked out because of the issue. Those wanting to maintain the ban created the conversation. Pandora’s box.

        People need to stop making the disingenuous claim that “they just don’t want it to be a topic within scouting” but then mandating a ban based on sexuality be part of policy, and hence forcing it to be a topic within scouting. There is no ‘inject homosexuality into scouting agenda’. There is simply a ‘stop kicking people out for something that is supposed to be irrelevant to scouting’ agenda.

        How do you not ‘sexualize a Unit”?? by not bringing the topic up any more than heterosexual couples bring up the topic of their intimate details within the Unit. You apparently have a rather inventive mental picture of what day to day life would be like for an LGBT leader.

        and it’s tough to judge from the tone of your last statement… but you think your friend should be free to criticize LGBT people at a federal workplace? hoping i misinterpreted that. it’s like the “they’re taking away our rights… we can’t hardly discriminate against nobody no more…” joke.

        • Some History... // May 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm //

          Incredibly well stated.

          This was pretty much a non-issue from 1911 until 1978. The paper trail begins in 1978. The morality trail, however, does not begin until 1991.

        • Fred Cooper // May 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm //

          You are right Nicholas, there is no freedom of speech in the federal workplace. Criticism is automatically discrimination. I see. What a sad deceitful red herring to hide behind. Enjoy the understanding of free speech you have carved out for yourself. You have a lot of company on the Left. Speech is free as long as it does not offend protected classes. “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” GO. I see.

    • Then may I ask, what are you still doing here?

    • Some History... // May 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm // Reply

      Prior to the 1940s, the term “straight” as it pertains to sexuality was only prevalent within the gay community. Its current meaning did not gain popularity until the 1970′s.

      Oh, and this: “Morally Straight” never appeared in Baden Powell’s Scout Oath.

      • Karen Zeller // May 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm // Reply

        The handbook definition of morally straight is “To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.”

  11. Todd Kunze // May 24, 2014 at 9:32 am // Reply

    “FIRST, TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY IN THE VOLUNTEER GOVERNANCE OF SCOUTING. THE BSA IS NOT THE CIA. WE SHOULD HAVE NO SECRETS FROM EACH OTHER OR FROM OUR VOLUNTEER LEADERS ACROSS THE NATION.”
    Dr. Gates, how is this possible while maintaining the current de facto DADT policy?

  12. That took some serious editing to eliminate the word “gay” from your account. Every media story on Gates’ speech named “the issue” you chose to euphemistically reference. I look forward to bluntness, at least from Mr Gates.

  13. Let me start by saying that I think Mr. Gates is a good man and thank him for his service to this country . I Like the fact he wants to have a blunt conversation. National royally screwed up the membership change by opening this wound that will never be healed . Scouting was never about sex. Now it seems we are all consumed over it .The DADT worked. I could care less whether a scout or a leader was gay Just don’t wear a uniform to a gay pride parade just as I wouldn’t wear a scout uniform to a swinger club if I was so inclined. It is my opinion that BSA is fallen into the trap the left loves. If you don’t agree with our lifestyle you are an ignorant bigoted troll. The BSA should of stayed strong and said we are not about sexual orientation and we will not let any group no matter how vocal to drag us into this mess. Like it our not we are very divided now. Like it or not BSA is on a path many of will not follow. I loved the Boy Scouts and what it represented. My son and I have had many great adventures and memories from scouting that we wouldn’t of had otherwise. It’s a shame that the gay mafia has pushed their agenda on this once noble group.

    • Yesterday's Scout // May 26, 2014 at 9:47 pm // Reply

      Amen! (Am I still allowed to say that?)

    • once again the logical fallacy of trying to reconcile “we are not about sexual orientation” and “but we will kick you out if we don’t like yours”. DADT is what eventually exploded into the divided situation we have now. A scout is honest, but he better lie if the wrong person sees the wrong thing outside of scouting. And it’s not about agreeing with the lifestyle. No one cares if you agree. It’s about not denying opportunities to others because you disagree.

      • Fred Cooper // May 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm // Reply

        You missed the point entirely. We’re here because homosexuals wanted to violate the requirements to be an Eagle Scout and still be Eagle Scouts,Morally straight meant exactly that and did not include being homosexual as a proper moral choice, Through hard lobbying in a closed meeting, National got their way and expected both sides to be happy with half a cake. They get corporate money and Packs and Troops get same-sex attraction kids but not adult leaders. You can mentor kids. Well, neither is happy and National does not have all the money they want back. . .

  14. To respond briefly to Ktenaque Achowalogen Why have you left out reverent in the Scout Law and morally straight from the promise? Having asked this I know you did not say either of these completely. This is just a question not an accusation please treat it as such.
    Responding to Scouter: My Religion does not discriminate but it does judge. My God loves all as well but disciplines those whom are of his flock.
    I implore you to read, study and pray about what is meant in Romans 1 when it states “God gave them over”.
    Please consider these as questions. I am not authoritative. I am going by the Bible that is.
    My final thought is about the 2 year comprehensive study into the potential policy change that came to not. After less than 6 months the “key 3″ were calling for a reversal. Did they call for this study to occur? What happened in that time frame to cause there change on this policy? this is where we need the transparency and to be completely fair the previous 2 years as well.

    • Karen Zeller // May 24, 2014 at 11:51 am // Reply

      The handbook definition of “A Scout is reverent” is that the Scout is faithful in his religious duties, and he respects the beliefs of others. BSA is not a Christian organization. BSA expects that every Scout will learn the religious practices taught by his home and his faith community. This might not include the Bible, or it might include a different way of using the Bible than the way you were taught to use it. It is appropriate for you to make religious judgments within your faith community. But it is not appropriate to expect Scouting to make religious judgments that are the same as those made in your church; our BSA religious policy supports those other families in teaching their own children according to the faiths they practice. We are required to respect the beliefs of others in Scouting.

      • Very well said Karen!

      • Indeed. As it stands, affirming denominations such as the Episcopal Church of the USA (mine), the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and several Methodist branches – suffer lesser standing within the BSA, that of second-class religious citizens (and I haven’t even mentioned the Buddhists….).

        This status quo cannot and will not stand.

    • My God doesn’t judge. He loves all of His children for who they are.

      Men judge. Men discriminate. Men discipline. God loves all and accepts all.

      • Fred Cooper // May 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm // Reply

        Your God doesn’t judge? What God is that?

    • Fred Cooper // May 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm // Reply

      J Swododa, you have attracted the non-Christian members of the BSA as you can see from the responses. Lots of back-slapping going on. They place no faith in Romans 1 and especially no authority or guidance from the Bible. They do not respect your beliefs and represent a growing minority in Scouting that they would like nothing more than to be a majority and dictate followers of Jesus Christ leave the organization for being intolerant and bigoted. Stand by your faith in the Bible. BSA is not Christian and soon will not have any biblical values to encourage a parent to expose their sons to and feel safe. My son is an Eagle Scout and I would not join him today.

    • Yesterday's Scout // May 26, 2014 at 9:50 pm // Reply

      There are a number of questions that those at the top are refusing to answer. I wonder why? Maybe the good Mr. Gates, with his insistence on “transparency” can force the national leadership to tell all they know.

  15. towlebuth // May 24, 2014 at 2:11 pm // Reply

    #finishthejobBob!

  16. saddaybsa // May 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    well,at least issue is not being pushed for now.

    • Fred Cooper // May 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm // Reply

      They have to lay the groundwork through leadership. Look at the responses on this list. While a small vocal minority of the actual adult membership, they are working hard. I hope the majority will continue to speak out.

      • saddaybsa // May 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm // Reply

        so do i.

  17. Biggest problem with Scouting is that National and even Council really don’t do much to support local. They’re to busy paying for themselves.

    • Yesterday's Scout // May 31, 2014 at 9:28 pm // Reply

      Check out my post further down the thread. i was shocked to find out how much some of these professionals are paid.

  18. I am our Pack’s recruiter. We are down to 11 boys. The decline in recruiting cannot be addressed without revisiting “the issue”. Today’s parents of Cub Scout age boys were largely born between 1980 – 1991. From the perspective of these young parents, the BSA’s prohibition of gay leaders is an embarrassing anachronism that is no longer tolerated in any other community youth program – sports, dance, arts, etc. These parents are voting with their feet. If Secretary Gates is serious about increasing Cub Scout recruitment he will have no choice but to continue walking down the same path that he walked at DoD.

    • The idea that scouting has recruitment and retention issues due to a lack of homosexual leadership is wrong. Most parents I have worked with don’t educate themselves on BSA membership policy. However the charter organizations do. In addition BSA’s membership issue is not at the Cub Scout level. Cub Scout membership far out runs Scouting and Venture (http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/YearinReview.aspx). Now Gates and National would like to double down on Cub Scouts.

      The big leak in retention is the first year after a Webelos scout crosses over into boy scouts, and that folks has little to do with the homosexual issue. A family does not go through 5 years of cub scouting get too boy scouting and suddenly find a moral dilemma in whether the BSA accepts homosexual adults as leaders.

      Boy scouting should be a new adventure to a boy coming out of cub scouts. It should embrace the patrol method (http://www.greenbar.ws/index.cfm) and should encourage the PLC to go to fresh places to camp. But to often boy scouting simply looks to be another 7 year slog of Scouters dominating decisions instead of guiding them. Scouts ending up going to same old camp sites over and over again. New scouts being relegated to being the equivalent of Tiger scouts of the Boy Scout Troop.

      BSA would help their situation more if they:

      1) Made training even more accessible
      2) Made a better effort to train cub scout leaders, particularly the key 3.
      3) Improved communication about the historic benefits of scouting to Webelos scouts and their family
      4) Encouraged Troops to embrace the patrol method
      5) Made Woodbadge more accessible
      6) Improved Unit-Commissioner relationships
      7) Encouraged Mega Troops and Packs to organizationally split into several troops and packs of a reasonable size (30-50 boys maximum) while still being located at the same charter organization.
      8) Empower and support patrols as the key unit
      9) Make roundtables, pow wows, etc. more relevant.
      10) Mandated offering training and education for parents and leaders at all district and council level events.

      • Karen Zeller // May 25, 2014 at 10:43 am // Reply

        Membership bleed *used* to be especially at Web to Scout transition and at the high school transition, not Cubs. And your suggestions all make a difference, every one of them. As a trainer, Cubmaster, and Scoutmaster, they are all ideas that I push, too. But it is worth going back and reading the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 annual reports (all prior to the membership policy change). They are all available on the scouting.org site. I just checked what I remembered about the membership numbers on each of them, and it is pretty striking. Cub youth membership has been dropping between 2% and 4% each year, while Boy Scout age membership has been essentially holding steady. There has been a turn in recent years. On the ground, in the area where I live, I can tell you that young parents are saying that they don’t want their kids involved in a group that discriminates — those are the words I hear from them. People will see different patterns by region. But national statistics, outside of Scouting, show that the current generation of young parents thinks very differently about gay parents than the generation who currently have Boy Scout aged youth. And if the 2-4% bleed at Cub level continues, we will see it at Boy Scout level soon.

        • saddaybsa // May 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm //

          maybe that is the case in the northeast,but I have friends who will NOT join cubscouts now because of the “change”.

        • Karen Zeller // May 26, 2014 at 5:24 pm //

          There will be families who won’t join regardless of how things turn out. But for the record, those were national statistics in the annual report, and I’m not in the northeast. Town of 9,000 in the northwest.

    • Fred Cooper // May 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm // Reply

      Definitely a cultural difference here with young parents. Some young parents do not have the moral base and personal discipline because there parents did not teach them. Too much “If it feels good, do it” culture and acceptance of all with no standard for excellence or existence of moral character. They are teaching their kids to require nothing of others and hope for the best for Society at large. Homosexuality only expresses lack of moral disciples and indulgent character. I do not want this type of person mentoring young people. Nothing positive in that type of behavior. Love is blind but harming a child through homosexuality as an example is unforgivable..

    • To counterpoint Karen’s observations. About half of the young conservative parents I know are thrilled about signing their cub-age boys into Trail Life. (A couple of those “pro- justice for permanent unions biological imperatives renders one member unduly burdened with reproductive responsibilities” parents will make great leaders by the way.)

      Others see potentially homosexual scouts as a menace to their 7-10 year old boys, and are simply not signing their boys up for anything that may put them in “at risk.”

      Still others don’t want to see their little ones in the middle of a roiling debates that will not end if the national service center decides to ignore the majority opinion expressed by its members.

      So from where I sit the first “vote” seems to have already happened. The 2013 end-of-year stats produced the largest membership drop among cubs. Even if half of that were due to increased registration fees and general ennui towards scouting, that still leaves no small portion leaving in direct response to the BSA relaxing youth membership standards.

  19. David Payne // May 25, 2014 at 3:26 am // Reply

    I keep hearing references to how Mr. Gates helped address sexual orientation in the US military (though all members are over 18) versus the current dilemma facing the BSA. I shouldn’t need to remind anyone here that there is a huge difference between those two vastly different groups of people. Perhaps I’m narrow minded, but an organization dedicated to children and young adults hardly seems like the proper venue to address sexual orientation to such an extent. Those types of conversations and activities should be predominantly reserved for each scouter’s private home with their parents and religious teachers. Everyone seems to keep focusing on the “you have to respect me for my beliefs too” posture, which I believe is very valid, but is also the basis for this whole childish fiasco. Just like we have protections on religious freedoms we should have the same sexual freedoms; however, BSA’s core commitments to youth members (under 18) should not be focused on either of these often very divisive elements. This is the exact reason why wars have proliferated for centuries in some places around the world. For an organization which claims to mentor solid leadership values, the BSA “leadership” should take a very close, candid assessment of itself, since it appears tolerance and diversity are hardly emphasized to the degree that they should be. As an Eagle Scout I had the privilege to work with a newly formed Boy Scout Troop in Baghdad, Iraq and I was one of the only Christian leaders, but all of the Muslim Scouts could tie knots, field dress a wound or splint a leg just as good as I could, if not better, since many of them had seen the horrors of real war and some had even had to utilize their skills to save their own family members lives. Have you ever seen a 12 year old try to stop the bleeding and field dress a bullet hole in the chest of their younger sibling with their T-shirt? Trust me, you don’t ever want too. A couple of the older scouts were admittedly (albeit somewhat quietly) homosexual, but their orientation didn’t affect their ability to lead others or apply life saving first aid skills. What it did do was challenge me to be the best leader and Eagle Scout I could be, to mentor tolerance and diversity in all members without myself ever showing a bias or performing any act that could be perceived as such (that is the duty of a good leader). Did that mean I couldn’t openly admit that I didn’t share the same beliefs or religion? Certainly not, but I encouraged each scout to mutually respect what we all had to share, so they could better forge their own unique paths down the Scouting trail. Religion and sexual orientation played no role in mentoring those scouts and there was never any hatred, intolerance or discrimination directed at me for being Christian. Lastly, and most importantly, the 10 year old girl struck by a 7.62 round that collapsed one lung and shattered two ribs before exiting her side…survived…Insha’Allah and God Blessed. Tragically, a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device detonated in front of one of the ministry buildings, killed her brother less than a year later at the young age of 13. Each who reads this can be their own judge as to its relevancy to what is befalling the BSA, but I tend to see a strong connection…

  20. Hey Bryon, in the video Mr. gates mentioned his secretary through whom correspondence should be sent. Do you have his contact info?

    In addition to our concerns and ideas as adults, I think notes from some of the youth served would be of great encouragement.

  21. Steve Tipton // May 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm // Reply

    Dr. Gates clarity brings a clear message of purpose to our organization. Any distraction not focused on our youth in Scouting has no place in our organization. We must not be distracted from our mission.

    • Bill Baxter // May 26, 2014 at 5:38 pm // Reply

      Which is precisely why the membership policy should never have been changed. It has been fine for decades and all the change has done is cause trouble and division within the organization.

      • Yesterday's Scout // May 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm // Reply

        It just occurred to me – maybe this is what they wanted. All the turmoil, controversy, the more traditionally religious leaders, youth, and families leaving; I wonder if this isn’t part of some strategic plan to “liberalize” BSA by forcing out the members who are more traditionally religious (actually they are making changes that will be unacceptable to those people so they will take themselves out of BSA).

  22. Yesterday's Scout // May 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm // Reply

    “Thus, during my time as president, I will oppose any effort to reopen this issue.”

    I wonder what he’d have done if he’d been at the helm a couple of years ago when the bunch running this organization decided to reopen the issue. Promotion of homosexuality has no place in Scouting. Morally straight, indeed. But let’s get an accounting of how many corporations restored their funding to BSA. I’ve asked many times and I am still waiting. But then, I’m just a volunteer, I get it. Pay annual dues, contribute to Friends of Scouting, otherwise keep your mouth shut. Right?

    • Not Again // June 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm // Reply

      Stopping my FoS contribution is how I let my council know I was ticked off at them for going to TX and voting for this change. They did it despite getting no better than 50/50 support in one of the more liberal parts of the country.

      I suspect BSA has also seen a significant drop in gifts that outweigh the corporate donation losses.

      The youth change should never have been made.

      • saddaybsa // June 6, 2014 at 7:56 pm // Reply

        you are not the only one.

  23. Nelson R. Block // May 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm // Reply

    During last year’s discussions on the “Standards of Membership” issue, a number of people told me my 2012 letter was helpful to them and others. It can be found at:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/103841230/Letter-to-BSA-National-Executive-Committee

    BSA’s research in 2013 included an analysis by four experts in the area. The BSA report states:

    “All four experts were consistent in their findings and recommendations, including:
    • “The nearly universal opinion among sexual abuse authorities is that same-sex sexual interest or same-sex sexual experience, either in adults or youth, is NOT a risk factor for sexually abusing children.”
    • In regard to role modeling: “Most of the research on the effect on children of associating with self-identified homosexual adults has been done about homosexual parents. The clear conclusion from this research is that there appear to be no effects on children’s adjustment, mental health or sexual orientation.”

  24. Ray Nageuchsin // May 28, 2014 at 2:49 am // Reply

    I am hopeful that we who embrace the High Ideals of Scouting will listen to the words of wisdom from the BSA President Gates. He has asked us to unite and to work together to continue offer to the best Scouting program to the boys, young men, and young ladies of the 21st century. This will require Scouting to keep pace in the ever-changing world that they live in; yet, not to loose the meaning and purpose of our Scout Oath and Law. How do we do this?

    Lord Powell recognized one way of doing this was by giving an example of a Scout for others to see. The Tiger Cub want to be like their parent. The Cub Scout wants to be like their Den Chief. The Tenderfoot wants to be like his Troop Guide. The First Class Scout wants to be like the young men in the Leadership Corp. The Sr Patrol Leader wants to be like the Adult leaders. It is important that each leader does his best to do his duty because someone is watching them.

    Also Scouting needs to include all who want to join. This means knocking down racial barriers. This means reaching out to boys from single mothers who don’t know how to fit in because he has no Dad to bring with him. It may require knocking down financial barriers. How many do not join because they can not afford the uniforms and/or outings. Often times they give other excuses rather than saying I don’t have money.

    But Scouting must keep up with changing technology and new interests of today’s youth. Taxidermy was a required merit badge for Eagle in the early days of Scouting. Yet, how many of the young men today could build a computer system or set up a web site for their Troop or OA Capter? Scouting must forge ahead to open the eyes of new Scouts to the adventures that awaits them!

    Lastly, President Gates has asked us to unite. The time of debating membership qualitifications is over. The vote was taken last year with input from the youth themselves. The beauty of a democracy is that all voices are heard and common ground is found. Not everyone will be pleased; but, the majority rules. I thought President Gate clearly stated the vote has been made and it is time to move forward. Therefore, let us unite to move beyond this discussion to bring us together on building up the Scouting program rather tearing her down. I am appalled by the comments made on this blogged where individuals refused to follow our president and move forward. The debate is over! Further discussion tears our beloved Scouting down and gives her distractors ammunition to use against her.

    For the love of Scouting and for the boys, young men, young ladies, and families she proudly serves I ask that we unite behind President Gate to go boldly in a new and bright future. I hope
    that all of us that serve in adult roles will think of doing what is best for Scouting.
    I call on my fellow Eagle Scouts and brother Arrowmen to be of unselfish-devotion in service to Scouting. You made a promise long ago to be steadfast in irksome task and weighty responsibility. I hope that you do not see the task before us a such, but rather a task of cheerful service to our past, current, and future brothers and sisters of Scouting.

    It is time to tender the sparks, now the flames of the High Ideals of Scouting. It is time for us, the torch bearers of our generation to pass forward the Spirit of Scouting to a new generation.

    Yours in Souting service,
    Vigil Nageuchsin
    Eagle Class 1984

    • Yesterday's Scout // May 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm // Reply

      Vigil Nageuchsin,

      Who are you to tell me that I need to shut up about open homosexuality being pushed into Scouting? Who are you to tell me?

      You write that the time for debate is over. Well, mister, no one asked me my opinion. And when I gave it I was told to take a hike, essentially. I tried repeatedly to contact National and was rebuffed at every turn. I believe with all my being that this was a done deal way before the vote was taken. I saw the membership survey (someone posted it online) and the only region that was pro-homosexual was the Northeastern Region. So how did the measure pass?

      You write about the beauty of democracy. Democracy is one man, one vote. I never had the chance to vote. There was nothing democratic about that. And, in its purest form, democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. That is what happened here, in my opinion.

      It is easy for Mr. Gates to gloss over the lingering resentment. He was the facilitator of Clintonian social policy. For the love of Scouting, indeed. I’ve poured every spare moment into this organization for more years than I can remember. And now I have to fear for my sons’ safety like I never did before. Shut up, pay annual dues (increased just in time for the new membership rules), and write a check to FOS, right? Well, this year my check is half that of last year. That debate is over, for sure.

      A new and bright future? “Bright” being a term that some atheists use to describe themselves, just as homosexuals co-opted the word “gay” many years ago. I am not stupid, I can see where things are going next. And fear not, I predict that in five to ten years there will be open homosexual adult leaders in Scouting, if for no other reason than the corporations are going to withhold money until that change is made.

      Further discussion tears down Scouting, you say. Capitulating only a couple of years after Scouting made the statement that the Oath and Law were not negotiable is what is tearing down Scouting.

      It is both disingenuous and unwarranted for you to invoke the Eagle Rank and the Vigil Honor to attempt to give authority to your opinions. You have no right to call on me to violate the sanctity of fatherhood, my duty to protect my sons. I do not appreciate that one bit, my Vigil Brother. But since you’re flashing your Scouting credentials to give weight to your opinions, here are mine: I was an Eagle Scout and an Arrowman when you were still in Cub Scouts.

      • Nelson Block // May 29, 2014 at 5:12 pm // Reply

        Brother Yesterday – Why do you fear for your son’s safety?
        Nelson

        • Yesterday's Scout // May 29, 2014 at 9:47 pm //

          From what I am told, there will be no separate sleeping arrangements for heterosexual and homosexual youth, nor separate bathing facilities. The reason there are separate facilities for male and female members is to avoid sexual temptation, and the appearance of impropriety. Same-sex sexual harassment is likely to happen at some point. But I have been told that my concern about this is a “distraction” – I guess that is the buzz word the professionals are going to use to dismiss concerns of parents.

          And you should have written sons’ not son’s; I used the plural possessive.

        • Nelson Block // May 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm //

          Please see the Membership Standards Implementation FAQ at:
          http://www.scouting.org/filestore/training/membership/pdf/Unit_Implementation_FAQ.pdf

          As to bathrooms, on page 10 it states:

          Should there be special arrangements made for showering, swimming, lifeguarding, and changing areas?
          Personal activity involving bathrooms, showers, hygiene, and dressing are respected as private. A general move toward individual toilet and shower facilities is already underway and individuals needing additional privacy can take appropriate actions on their own or request others to be respectful of their needs. As always, the adult leaders have the discretion to arrange private showering times and locations, as needed. The privacy and security of our youth members is among our top priorities.

          As to tenting, on page 11 it states:

          What should the age difference be between youth tenting together?
          It is recommended that there be no more than a three-year age separation between Scouts tenting together. If a Scout or parent of a Scout makes a request to not tent with another Scout, their wishes should be honored.

        • Yesterday's Scout // May 30, 2014 at 4:42 pm //

          Oh, I saw. For example:

          “There are no plans for further review of this matter.”

          Until the homosexual adults want it and the corporations withhold their big bucks.

          “The resolution reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”

          And if two Venturers get married?

          “The Scout Oath begins with duty to God, and the Scout Law ends with a Scout’s obligation to be reverent, and that will always remain a core value of the Boy Scouts of America.”

          Like a man shall not lay with a man as he does with a woman for this is abomination?

          “This change in membership standards is not a youth protection issue. To consider it a youth protection issue would lead one to believe that sexual abuse and victimization is considered inherent to same – sex attraction. This is not the case”

          It is a Youth Protection issue because people who are sexually attracted to the same sex are sleeping and showering together. Can you guarantee a homosexual rape will never occur at a BSA event?

          “How does the BSA define sexual conduct?”

          Answer: The new policy does not, nor does BSA. All the document contains is platitudes and canned, focus group-tested talking points.

          “Your parents, guardian, or a sex education teacher can provide the basic facts about sex.”

          How many of you were in BSA when the Handbook discussed puberty, nocturnal emissions, and (obliquely) avoidance of masturbation?

          “Requests by units for special accommodation to camp/participate with others, or to be exclusive from others, is discouraged. We are all Scouts and are accepting of all members of the Scouting family.”

          And there it is, promotion of the acceptance and normalization of homosexuality.

          And finally:

          “Will there be any changes to current policies regarding sleeping arrangements on Scout activities? We know that separate ccommodations must be provided for members of the opposite sex in the Venturing program. Each unit’s leadership along with their committee will be responsible for working with their parents to determine appropriate sleeping arrangements.”

          That’s it, first force the local units to accept homosexuality and then put the responsibility on the local units to police the activity. Good way to cave ot the activists but keep yourselves out of the line of fire of lawsuits.

        • Nelson Block // May 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm //

          I see that you quote Leviticus. I interpret that verse differently than you do, in a way that would not exclude homosexual people from being part of things.

        • Yesterday's Scout // May 30, 2014 at 9:57 pm //

          Do tell. How do you interpret “shall not lie with a man as he lies with a woman”?

          While you are pondering Leviticus, consider also 1st Kings and Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. I’m curious to read your interpretation of those passages as well.

          You are in good company, though. The organization that charters the second largest amount of Scouting units, the United Methodist Church, may split over the issue of performing marriage ceremonies for homosexuals.

          http://www.charismanews.com/us/44000-united-methodists-may-split-over-same-sex-marriage-doctrine

          “We can no longer talk about schism as something that might happen in the future. Schism has already taken place in our connection….”

          Kinda sounds like the BSA today, and just like the UMC, BSA’s got lots of apologists for homosexuality attempting to paper over the differences. “It’s a distraction.” “It’s not Scoutlike.” Ad absurdum.

      • You “were” an Eagle Scout? When did you surrender your rank?

        If you “are” an Eagle Scout, address yourself in the correct context please.

        • Matt, if you were addressing “Yesterday’s Scout,” I think you either misread or misunderstood what he stated. He never stated that he was no longer an Eagle. He merely made the point that at the time Ray was a Cub Scout, “Yesterday’s Scout” “was” already an Eagle.

        • Yesterday's Scout // May 30, 2014 at 6:37 am //

          Kimble, you are correct. I had already earned my Eagle rank and I had already been inducted into the Order at the time Vigil Nageuchsin was a Cub Scout. I suspect Matt Mirmak deliberately misunderstood what I wrote.

          Matt Mirmak, I never surrendered my rank nor will I, unlike the pro-homosexual activists formerly within our ranks who did, sending their Eagle medals back to national, thereby choosing homosexual advocacy over Scouting.

    • Not Again // June 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm // Reply

      Don’t kid yourself that last year’s vote was a democratic poll. It was a rigged ballot.

      • Yesterday's Scout // June 7, 2014 at 10:34 pm // Reply

        I and some others of my acquaintance suspected as much.

  25. maketime4kids // May 29, 2014 at 2:18 am // Reply

    A decline in cub membership at our local level in the South has nothing to do with “the issue”. At our Roundup, we had over 20 boys eager to join and ZERO parents willing to step up as new leaders and they all left! It seems they wanted a drop off program. We even had veteran leaders willing to be their mentors and show them the ropes. They are too busy to take on one more thing, especially if any of their children are involved in any sports program in this area. The only Webelos that are crossing over are the ones not involved in competitive sports programs. Both of my sons have “lost” their best friends in scouting to sports activities due to the huge time commitment their frequent practices during the week and every weekend game schedules take up. We cannot even get enough parents involved to have a separate committee. The leaders ARE the committee. And they don’t have time to go to Roundtable or even any district-wide events. One of our Webelos dens has 12 boys! Most of the dads have to travel frequently for their jobs and are not available. Most of the moms have much younger siblings to tend to as well as households to run, elderly parents, or are also working and stretched to the max, or unemployed and can’t afford Scouting but won’t apply for help. It seems there are too many options available to make Scouting a priority for many families.

    • The Growth Initiative Membership Recruitment Project is looking for input on just these recruitment issues. They have a survey to fill out here: http://scouting.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0VamUnCqiyxKaBT

      • saddaybsa // June 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm // Reply

        Thank you

  26. Jeff Abernathy // May 29, 2014 at 1:59 pm // Reply

    I greatly enjoyed his speech and agree with the overall tone and direction. I do wish he had remembered that the Boy Scouts serves not only boys when he said:

    Boy Scouts of America is the finest organization in the world for building character while teaching boys and young men to meet and overcome challenges, to cheerfully serve others, and to live lives based on the principles of the Scout Oath and Law.”

  27. Angelique // May 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm // Reply

    The only reason the BSA changed it’s policy is because of MONEY. Instead of standing their ground and sticking to their guns, they let the almighty dollar talk. And those businesses that threatened to cut their funding, should be ashamed of themselves. It doesn’t hurt the BSA it hurts the young men that would benefit from such a positive institute. Oh, and maybe cause all the higher ups in the BSA to maybe have to sell 1 of their million dollar homes. If you wanted to save the registration of boy scouts, then maybe you should take a damn pay cut!!!! Then money would not have been an issue.

    • Yesterday's Scout // May 31, 2014 at 2:15 pm // Reply

      I could not find data on the current Chief’s salary but his predecessor did quite well indeed:

      “As CEO, Mazzuca earned total compensation of $1.2 million in 2009 (the most recent year available), including a base salary of $490,420, retirement and deferred compensation of $136,282, and “other reportable compensation” of $555,995, part of which was accrued under a qualified retirement plan with payments starting after an employee’s retirement.”

      http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/52624645-82/scout-salaries-executive-paid.html.csp

      I also found this little gem, right straight (sorry for using that term) from the BSA itself:

      “Details from the BSA 990 financial form:

      Employees who travel extensively are allowed to join the American Airlines Admirals Club.

      Spouses of key employees are required to attend meetings and their expenses are reimbursed by the company. The Boy Scouts of America is a family oriented organization requiring spousal participation. Their expenses are considered necessary to fulfill the business purpose of the organization.

      Employees traveling with volunteers or overseas are allowed to upgrade to first class to allow the employee to discuss business during the flight.

      The Chief Scout Executive and two Assistant Chief Scout Executives are reimbursed for club dues at the LaCima club [sic] which is used for meeting with potential donors, volunteers, and
      offsite meetings.”

      http://images.bimedia.net/documents/BSA_Statement_on_Executive_Compensation.pdf

      How do I get me a job on that there national staff? My wife pays her own way, or I pay for her. The base pay alone is multiple times what she and I make together – let alone the $692,277.00 worth of extra goodies. And that’s for the immediate past CSE, five years ago. I really hope Mr. Gates is going to increase transparency – I want to see who makes what. We’ve got millionaires pushing a pro-homosexual policy while our youth are selling popcorn and holding bake sales to be able to afford the program. Anybody else scratching his or her head?

      • The amount they earn for their position in Boy Scouts of America is REPULSIVE!! Baden Powell would have been sickened by this, and so should we!! There are thousands and thousands of good people volunteering hundreds of thousands of hours for absolutely no pay and paying all of their own expenses, and these guys are walking away with seven figure compensation, having their expenses paid, AND having their spouses expenses paid!! All while our Scouts spend countless hours fundraising!! These “leaders” should be ashamed of themselves!!

        • Yesterday's Scout // May 31, 2014 at 9:17 pm //

          It appears the cat is out of the bag. Now we know where all those corporate bucks are going. Come on Mr. Gates, more transparency. Let’s see an accounting of all compensation paid to all professionals in BSA.

  28. Yesterday's Scout // May 31, 2014 at 2:29 pm // Reply

    I just checked the web page for La Cima Club and their dues are $202.00 per month with a $500.00 initiation fee. Yes, ensuring that only the right sort of people join.

    • Yesterday's Scout // May 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm // Reply

      “As CEO, Mazzuca earned total compensation of $1.2 million in 2009 (the most recent year available), including a base salary of $490,420, retirement and deferred compensation of $136,282, and “other reportable compensation” of $555,995, part of which was accrued under a qualified retirement plan with payments starting after an employee’s retirement.”

      • Yesterday's Scout // May 31, 2014 at 9:22 pm // Reply

        Who else noticed this? “Their expenses are considered necessary to fulfill the business purpose of the organization.” So the purpose of BSA is business? I thought it was something more lofty, like “ethical choices”. Of course, when I joined over 40 years ago, the purpose was to develop men. That went by the wayside quite some time ago. Now the purpose is business. How comforting. BP would be proud.

        • The BSA, like any other organization is a BUSINESS. Their core purpose is to teach youth….. If it was not a business, as the IRS requires, then our youth and adults would be in a mell of a hess.

          Seperate operational aspects from the purpose.

  29. Most parents involved with the BSA arent going to surrender their son to the care of a homosexual or homosexual couple who choose to lead a troop and take scouts on overnight campouts.. Boy Scouts is a male organization for a designed purpose; honestly women should have no involvement with actually working with the boys on their development through the scouting program; moms should be hands off when a boy’s scouting. If homosexuals were leaders their agendas would most likely include pushing acceptance of their homosexual agenda to convince people homosexual behavior is normal; its abnormal sexual behavior and goes against natural and supernatural truths. Dont confuse boys more for feeling badly that they find homosexual behavior repulsive; its only natural.. Accept truths and tolerate my intolerance for homosexuals with an agenda to destroy scouts for everyone if they can’t be involved. Build your own organization; pattern it off the BSA if you feel they have something you want. Must not really be all that important to you or you would. Your inaction to build your own youth organization speaks volumes about your true agenda.

  30. The homosexuality debate has been debated, decided, and now that we are moving away from it – folks are still clinging on to it. Time to grow up. It is going to go no where.

    1.2% Remember that number. .35% Remember this number.

    1.2% is the number of Homosexuals that are in the United States. That includes all Men and Women who the census reports have claimed their sexuality as such.

    This number, in our society, is a problem. While 98.8% of the individuals in this world go on about their normal business, this grouping has created a divide in this nation in which this 1.2%, really less than that if you look at the overall number of Activists in this group – is causing all of the problems with society. We have allowed the minority of the group to dictate what the majority has to do.

    Some of the minority, of which I know – do not support at all – any of the activists methods to get homosexuality injected into Scouting any further. He said “I am afraid of an adult who is a Homosexual.” In discussing it further with him – he does not believe that a 34 year old homosexual man’s intentions are honorable.

    .35% – That is the number of youth in America that are in Scouting.

    So what really is the intentions on the Homosexual debate here?

    I support the YOUTH being in the program, as equal access to a YOUTH program for all YOUTH no matter any delimiting factor they may claim, and whatever hypenated American that they have.

    When they get done with Scouting, they are never a Hypenated American, they are all American. As Morgan Freeman said “we have to stop calling people White, Black…. you are Mike Wallace, and I am Morgan Freeman.”

    That is the only way we are going to start to respect people, is calling them by their name.

    Now, Move On.

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