Homepage Forums General Scouting Participation of Uniformed Scouts at Political Rally in Belgrade, MT – 11/3/18

  • This topic has 5 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 9 months ago by Scouter.
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    • #164636
      Karen Blumst

      I was exceptionally disturbed today to switch on the news and see coverage of the political rally today in Belgrade, Montana lead by President Trump featuring prominently in the background 2 uniformed Boy Scouts. I was taught that without exception Boy Scouts in Uniform are never to participate in a political forum. With the possible exception of providing a Flag Ceremony at an event(and I would read the fine print first) but then not to be featured in anyway political. Scouts don’t take sides. That’s right isn’t it? What happened in Montana??

    • #165116

      It’s not a problem as long as they follow the guidelines as explained here:

      Can packs, troops or crews participate in political rallies?

      • #165154

        Agreed, but that’s not what the original poster was stating. Out of curiousity I went to youtube and looked up Trump’s speech at Belgrade MT and found this link.

        Pretty easy to spot the Boy Scout wearing his uniform (including a merit badge sash) in the background. At about 11 seconds into the video you can see the young man’s sash clearly to the President’s right but before the teleprompter (his face is covered at that time with a “FINISH THE WALL” sign). By about 30 seconds in you can see a second Boy Scout in uniform standing directly to the first Scout’s left. By the reading of the article Bryan re-shared several days ago, this is violation of BSA policy.

      • #169341

        I completely disagree. Absolutely NO violation of BSA policy as these boys are NOT “on stage” with President Trump, they are merely “spectators” in the audience. They are not holding up any political signs, they aren’t wearing MAGA hats, and they aren’t speaking or in any other way rendering services “on behalf” of the BSA. They are merely there watching the President, who is also the Honorary President of the BSA.

        This would be no different than seeing Boy Scouts in uniform when the President visits them during Jamboree.

      • #209570

        From the article:

        Q: Could a pack, troop or crew provide a color guard flag ceremony for a candidate’s public speaking event or rally?

        A: Yes. But, BSA Policy requires our adult and youth members in uniform to leave immediately after the presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. Should they want to stay they must do so as individuals, not Scouting representatives. That means they would have to change out of their uniforms.

        Q: So Scouts and Scouters can’t stand on the platform for the remainder of the speech or presentation?

        A: No, they should not remain on the speakers’ platform or in a conspicuous location where media could construe their presence as an endorsement or symbol of support.

        The scouts should not be there in uniform other than for a flag ceremony. (Must change cloths afterward.) As for Jamboree, that is a sanctioned Scouting event in which the president is invited as a guest by the BSA.

    • #208053
      Terri Kirkland

      I don’t know about the policy but these days given that there is a president who will happily use the Boy Scouts as a political prop and rally opportunity, I do think it leaves a bad taste to having the Boy Scouts visibly behind the president while he rants and raves and disparages other people. He does not reflect the values of the scouts nor any kind of leader that the Boy Scouts would select from America’s population of citizens. Given the president’s performance at the national jamboree in 2017 and that my son was there, I was completely disappointed in what transpired. I would never have thought that in my lifetime I would be opposed to my son being able to watch the President of the United States address any crowd, regardless of his political affiliation. I would’ve always expected the president, no matter the party affiliation, to represent attributes of leadership. It is unfortunate that any affiliation with this president taints the reputation and the brand value of the Boy Scouts. If the Boy Scouts organization had a Boy Scout that depicted the consistent unacceptable and amoral behavior of this president, I am quite confident that the Boy Scout organization would bar him from participation.

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