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100 Years of Scouting in the USA

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Postby SpiderSavage » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:46 pm

Clarification: Most Scouts and Scoutleaders I personally know in Los Angeles would welcome any gay members.

The Supreme Court thing was about "Openly Gay Adult Scout Leaders".

The BSA only adopted the ruling because the vast majority of Troops in the USA are franchised to the Mormon Church and The Unitied Methodist Church. I have nothing personal against these groups but there is your source on the "Gay" thing in Scouting.

Its funny that some think that it's a liberal thing that is against Scouting. It's actually religious conservatives who can't tell a gay man from a gay boy from an openly gay man from a pervert.

I believe it's actually just a mis-defined policy to keep perverts & pedophiles away from young boys. Note that the BSA has a much better record than the Catholic Church.

I have encountered several non openly gay men in Scouting. Good leaders. Thanks for the good work and help.

Openly hetrosexual men would be just as annoying have around. Talking about sex with women in front of the boys all the time sets a bad example.

So when are the openly gay men going to start a youth program? How about athiests? You'd get a ton of support.

So volunteer or quit complaining if you don't like it.

And now, back to the excellent kudos and reminiscing about the good side of Scouting.
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Postby mconnell » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:53 pm

squishy wrote:
truchas wrote:
It's sad that liberal activists are out to destroy the Scouts nowadays. I hope they survive.


What?

They are destroying themselves with throw back policies which are more common place in the Muslim world...

Seems like they are turning the organization into a religious club...turning good people away because they are ghey or atheist...they deserve all the criticism they get, and I was a proud boy scout once as well...

I have toyed with the idea of volunteering many times, but every time I am reminded of the following truths and really wish there were other organizations for the rest of the people who don't fit their mold...

They need to evolve or lose all federal funding, it's obviously an organization which does not believe in our countries founding principals...

Scout’s discriminate against women, gays, and atheists, yet they receive federal funding for their activities. Federal funding should stop. Let the Scout’s fend for themselves.

Why am I anti Boy Scouts? I am an atheist and therefore cannot be a scout leader. My ten year old son is interested in joining; only I would have to lie to participate. I am not going to lie, so no scouts for my son. Since I don’t want to subject my son to potential child molesters or religious conversion, I will not let him go it alone. In thinking deeper on the subject, I find myself asking, why do I pay taxes to support this organization? It is excluding members based on not having faith, yet virtually every other religion on the planet is in the Scouts. It seems like a clear cut case of discrimination. The federal government should not fund bodies that discriminate against people based on their (lack of) religion. It is time to cut the Boy Scouts loose, let them find funding from churches and corporate America. Perhaps Congress can fund an organization that is open to all Americans.


Yes, it's too bad that a religious boy's club won't accept girls and atheists. I'm sure my son would have been first in line to attend Girl Scout camp a couple years ago, but you don't hear people whining about them not allowing boys. And I should be the next Pope.

BTW, the last troop I volunteered with had an openly atheistic troop leader. Nobody except for one mother cared, including the local council. They defended him as leader when the mother complained. He understood that he was part of a religious organization, so he didn't preach or criticize so it didn't affect anyone.
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:04 am

mconnell wrote:BTW, the last troop I volunteered with had an openly atheistic troop leader. Nobody except for one mother cared, including the local council. They defended him as leader when the mother complained. He understood that he was part of a religious organization, so he didn't preach or criticize so it didn't affect anyone.


It's wonderful how flexible and respectful of one another people can be when they're not in a leadership position.

Reminds me of teaching Sunday school in a Catholic church even though I'm not Catholic. Everyone was cool.

Anyway, I'd love to see Scouting change with the times in a good way. I think they took a wrong turn on activities when they tried to be 'relevant' to urban kids. The point is to show kids something outside the city, not to be relevant *in* the city.

Having the whole organization follow a policy designed to keep the Mormon region happy, if that's what they're doing, is another bad decision. By all means let the Mormon troops do their thing but let the rest of us do ours.
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Postby SpiderSavage » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:03 am

Also, Scouting does not receive federal funding in any formal way. Your tax dollars do not go to the Boy Scouts of America. Except perhaps for trail maintenance supplies when we fix up trails on public lands.

In the past some politicians cozied up to Scouting by putting up some quarters as in the case of the San Diego Council. I see this as past political "baby kissing" in order to garner more votes by being seen as friendly to a popular group. Once the Supreme Court shit came down the line Scouting was kicked out of some public schools and other government supported places. Some politicos may have had better intentions but it is not right for the government to support private groups with tax dollars.

The United Way was a significant supporter of Scouting and they pulled their funds for the most part. The new charity: Friends of Scouting was launched to cover the shortfall and has been doing pretty well.

Some day the outdoor industry will wake up to the potential gold mine that Scouting creates for them. Many outdoor retailers do support Scouting with discounts but you have to ask.
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Postby butitsadryheat » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:52 am

+1 to the last four posts.

I ask, if here are so many opposed, why not start another organization?

Maybe the scouts are doing something right by being so rigid, and have shown that those who want to act and lead, do, and those who don't, don't? When they decide to, another version of the scouts will prevail.
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Postby simonov » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:20 pm

I owe my current love of the outdoors to Scouting; or more specifically my Scout Troop, Troop 12 in San Juan Capistrano; or even more specifically, our Scoutmaster.

Troop 12 was the best troop ever back when Mr Rainwater was running it. We were a backpacking troop. One outing every month, year round, including a week-long Sierra hike in the summer. The only car camping we ever did was the annual district camporee. We never once built a campfire, and to this day I don't have any experience building campfires without a supply of gasoline.

I have had a lot of subsequent experience with Scout troops, especially when I was patrolling the San Gorgonio Wilderness for the Forest Service. Most experiences were not good. The value and benefit of Scouting is all down to the adult leadership of the troops. Since there is little vetting or qualification going on (so far as I can tell), this means you can get a lot of bad troop leadership.

I was blessed. My Scoutmaster was entirely self-sufficient, he didn't have to rely on other parents for anything. He had a big motorhome that could easily transport all the kids and their gear to the trailhead, in one vehicle. If he needed another adult leader on the hike, he had his adult son come along. He could schedule whatever hikes he wanted, wherever he wanted, without having to defer to anyone else. All we kids had to do was show up at the Scout Hut at the appointed meeting time.

In later years I chafed at the religious focus of Scouting in general, and of course at how acute it was in some troops (for example, my old Troop 12 now calls itself "a uniquely Christ centered troop"), but as others have said, how religious you want to be is usually at the discretion of the Troop itself. There was nothing religious about Troop 12 when I was there in the 1970s (it was sponsored by the Lion's Club or some service organization like that). And my friend achieved Eagle (in another troop) while declaring his personal atheism.

While defending the right of any organization to choose its membership, I still don't like Souting's focus on religion. Their policy towards gays is also regrettable, though understandable in the face of the hysterical attitudes nurtured by parents. I remember one adult leader we had in summer camp who I am now convinced was gay. I am pretty sure he never bothered anyone.

When I was about 20 I provided some adult leadership for a troop in Laguna Niguel. I was not crazy about the uniforms and a lot of the silly rituals. These days Scouting sort of leaves me cold, though I am usually pretty happy when I run into Scouts on the trail.

So as some in this thread have suggested, I am starting a new youth hiking group in my community. We had our first meeting last night. All girls. Apparently it's harder to get boys to get out into the mountains to enjoy the wilderness.
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Postby Grampahawk » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:21 pm

I was always active in the outdoors as a kid, but I started becomming more focused when I joined the cub scouts. My Boy Scout leader really honed our outdoor skills with builing fires, compass use, backpacking and hiking. We did many winter camp out-outs also. Unfortunately, when I was about 22 I found out that he had been convicted of being a child molester. Although I never saw any indication that he was inappropriate with the scouts.
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:16 pm

redneck wrote:So as some in this thread have suggested, I am starting a new youth hiking group in my community. We had our first meeting last night. All girls. Apparently it's harder to get boys to get out into the mountains to enjoy the wilderness.


I'm also doing things to get youths into the wild. The key audience is people who have always wanted to experience camping/hiking/climbing/whatever but did not have any friends, families or youth groups to serve them. So you can have a real impact by providing that key experience.

Like your group, redneck, mine have been disproportionately female. Also, the women are more likely to be minority than the community as a whole, but the men less likely.

My working guesses to explain the patterns:
1) Scouting still reaches some guys; Girl Scouts don't get them outdoors.
2) Having outdoor dads is key, but dad & son are more likely to go outdoors than dad & daughter.
3) Guys don't want to admit they lack outdoor skills but gals don't mind being novices.
4) Urban African-American men are really hard to reach for lots of reasons, but see these good people: http://www.bigcitymountaineers.org/
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Postby mtybumpo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:41 pm

I love scouting and it is because of it that I love the outdoors. Much of who I am today is because of my experience as a scout. I'm grateful for the leadership skills and moral standards I learned there. Currently I get to give back to scouting by serving as a Scoutmaster for a troop.
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Postby AsianBigfoot2 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:08 am

I'm currently on a Scout committee (Outdoors activity) in my area.


I'm also a Woodbadge Alumni :D ! GO EAGLES !!
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