Archive: Boy Scouts of America Scramble for Membership amid Declining Numbers

Be Prepared is the motto that millions of young men, including myself (proud Boy and Sea Scout), around the country learn and live by every year. For 107 years, the Boy Scouts of America have molded young men into leaders who have been at the forefront of business, medicine, politics, religion and a variety of other aspects of our society. When Boy Scouts was first created, it and its sister organizations were the premier youth organizations of the day and for the most part have remained so. As time has progressed, the BSA has had to deal with the challenge of competing for the attention of young men with inventions such as the T.V., the internet, computers, video games and a variety of other items and groups. This has resulted in the BSA struggling with membership for quite a while now.

Over the past 40 years, the BSA’s membership has been in a steady decline, with no sign of an end soon. In 2000, the BSA had 3.35 million total youth enrolled in all of its programs. As of 2013 that had fallen to 2.5 million youth and has continued to fall since then. Now, many organizations have had to deal with falling membership in the past but few as prominent as the BSA. The BSA has a program that is absolutely premier and has created some of the finest leaders the nation and the world have ever seen. Some famous former scouts include Neil Armstrong, Michael Bloomberg, President Gerald Ford, Robert Gates, Ross Perot, Donald Rumsfeld, Rex Tillerson, Mike Zinke, Rick Perry and many more.

President Coolidge said of the Scouting movement “The 12 articles in these scout laws are … affirmative rules of conduct. Members must promise to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. How comprehensive this list! What a formula for developing moral and spiritual character! … It would be a perfect world if everyone exemplified these virtues. … Boys are taught to practice the basic virtues and principles of right living and to act for themselves in according such virtues and principles.” How right he was. No organization has done a better job in building young men who are not just leaders but are men of character and principle.

Unfortunately, with declining membership has come a scramble to fix it. One of the first attempts came in 2015 when the BSA allowed gay leaders and youth to be admitted in the BSA. This was a very controversial change to their membership policy which has thus far strained relations with groups such as Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints which as of 2016 accounted for around 13% of BSA membership. This first change promoted the LDS to start a new organization called “Trail Life” which attempts to instill similar values to those of the BSA but still maintain more traditional family values. It has been relatively successful thus far already attaining around 20,000 youth members.

The BSA moved in 2017 to allow transgender youth to enter the program. They denied such allegations claiming that they would accept youth based on the gender they selected on their membership application. This move was the first in what many including the author believe is part of a greater scheme to totally make the BSA co-ed. By allowing individuals to select a gender of their choice, the BSA has essentially surrendered any traditional values it had left by allowing the admittance of girls into the program without any pushback being allowed. This was the last straw for the LDS and they announced they were pulling all youth from the program who were 13 or older. This accounted for roughly of 7% of the BSA’s membership disappearing in a puff of smoke. The BSA very effectively shot itself in the foot.

The BSA’s newest plan to increase membership has been one that has angered many across the scouting community. The plan is to try and start by integrating the BSA’s program for youth 7-10, Cub Scouts. Cub Scout Packs would have 3 options:

1. Have a traditional male only unit

2. Have a “Family Unit” pack where there are ‘dens’ of boys and girls that would interact minimally but would still be part of the same unit.

3. An all-female pack

TCN boy scouts.png

This has been seen as, and is nothing more than a precursor to allowing for the integration of traditional Boy Scout troops. Mike Surbaugh, the Chief Scout Executive proposed the above plan for discussion in addition to the topic of making an all-girls program for girls 11-18 under the pretense of providing girls who graduated Cub Scouts an option afterward.

Now, these 3 attempts to increase membership fall in line with social pressures from the left. The BSA is unquestionably an organization that holds very American and very Christian values and as a byproduct, very conservative values. Sir Baden Powell, the father of all scouting said of scouting in a piece of literature in the early 1900’s “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity.” This has expanded to all religions but nonetheless, it is an organization that does not fall in line with the narratives of the left. This can be seen in the fact that after the President came to speak at the BSA’s National Jamboree in late July, CSE Mike Surbaugh issued an apology for the president’s address. His apology was along the lines of apologizing to scouting families for how offensive the address may have been found. This was preceded by many mainstream media outlets labeling Trump’s speech as an equivalent to a Hitler Youth rally.

The BSA is losing youth on all fronts, from its primary program Boy Scouts, to Venturing, Sea Scouts and Cub Scouts. The BSA leadership is failing to address the problem. Instead of promoting their great program they are sacrificing their values for the sake of increasing membership numbers. While membership continues to decline, they would rather heel to political correctness and societal pressures then promote their great program. This is actually leading to groups like the LDS and 1000’s of dedicated scouts and Scouters who volunteer their time for the sake of the program to abandon it.

It could be said that the BSA leadership are fiddling as Rome burns. Ben Shapiro may have put it best when he was asked in a Q & A forum at a college, “Where is it written that you have to be a boy to be a Boy Scout?” and he responded simply “In the name ‘Boy Scout’”. I and millions of other scouts hope for the best for the BSA but unfortunately, its future may not be bright.

Trail Life: Boy Scouts of America Should Let Boys be Boys

This was published at the Trail Life USA blog

10/25/2017 1:00:00 PM by: Mark Hancock

Original article appeared on Fox News website on 10/20/2017

Do the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America understand the first word of their organization’s name?

With its recent announcement that it will admit girls, the Boy Scouts organization has not simply shown a profound disregard for its admirable roots. It has further abandoned boys to a culture that values them less and less.

Dressed in the language of equality and fairness, the move by the Boy Scouts may seem harmless enough. But I believe it’s unhelpful at best and damaging at worst – to both boys and girls.

However much some may wish it were otherwise, the reality is that males and females are fundamentally different in many ways – physically, emotionally and in their relationships. Pretending otherwise in the name of progress or permissiveness might be culturally acceptable, but it does both sexes a disservice.

One of those differences, in most cases, is the way boys and girls learn. Girls are more likely to do well in the quiet control of a classroom, while boys squirm and struggle.

Daring, action and competition – potential strengths that rival focus, reflection, and consensus – are qualities that need to be fostered and filtered. Boys know that rough-and-tumble play – like playing with squirt guns and laser tag – does just that. Restrictions on this are alienating and downplay the natural tendencies of boys.

Boys need strong male role models. They also need a place for adventure and opportunities to test themselves in pursuit of awards that challenge and channel their innate drive and daring. In this way they can be helped to grow into men of true strength, real character, and genuine conviction – not Hollywood’s distorted version of manhood.

Sadly, the Boy Scouts appear to have bought into the idea that rather than being something to be celebrated and championed, boyhood is something to be watered down. They are discounting a historically male-focused experience that made presidents, astronauts and leaders of mere men. Indeed, making the inclusivity announcement on the International Day of the Girl Child could be considered the ultimate put-down.

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not inferring that girls are lesser or inferior. The Boy Scouts message is actually that boys are lesser and inferior because their uniqueness needs to be denied rather than directed, stifled rather than strengthened.

While I’m clarifying something, let me also emphasize that my conviction that we must provide space for “boys to be boys” does not mean I’m advocating a breeding ground for a future generation of sexual predators.

Indeed, I believe one of the main reasons we see the sort of indefensible behavior by men in power – like the actions Harvey Weinstein is accused of – is a lack of the kind of mentoring and coaching that models true manhood.

I’m talking about instilling in today’s boys a culture of respect, honor and integrity. Properly guided, the drive and daring tendencies in boys will lead them to become the determined, focused, winning men of tomorrow who appreciate the uniqueness and dignity of women.

You don’t have to look too far to see that at every level of society we are losing ground in areas as basic as kindness, self-control, respect, honor and purity. These should be taught and modeled for boys in an atmosphere designed for their unique temperament under the tutelage of men with the mettle to guide, alongside their peers.

Robert Baden-Powell would not now recognize the organization he founded in 1910. But while the Boy Scouts may have lost their way, they are not alone. They are just another group favoring trendy political correctness over time-honored principled convictions.

The results of all this are sadly too evident when it comes to our sons. Boys are losing out in any number of categories, from heightened special education involvement and ADHD diagnoses to lower high school rankings and college attendance.

While my dismay at the Boy Scouts decision centers on what this means for boys, I am also concerned about its impact on girls. What’s bad for the gander is equally bad for the goose.

Girls, though wired differently, equally need an environment that caters to their unique traits and qualities. You can’t deliver a program at a character-changing level with any real effectiveness in the same style to two different types of learners.

As Baden-Powell observed: “Girls should … take a real and not a visionary share in the welfare of the nation.”

But they shouldn’t be squeezed into a Boy Scout uniform.

One size does not fit all.

Mark Hancock is CEO of Trail Life USA, a Christian outdoor adventure, character and leadership program for boys and young men, K-12. Chartered through churches in 48 states, the program centers on outdoor experiences and biblical values that build a young man’s skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader for his peers.


Mark Hancock

Chief Executive Officer, Trail Life USA

Mark Hancock began his career founding a national advertising agency and running it for fifteen years. His conversion to Christ led him into ministry as a Youth and College Pastor, Associate Pastor, Homeless Ministry Director and Global Event Director for an international ministry, organizing events on five continents. He holds two Masters Degrees in the Mental Health Counseling field, having spent a number of years in private practice, and has taught at secular and Christian colleges. An award-winning writer and conference speaker, he serves as Chief Executive Officer of Trail Life USA and lives near Greenville, SC with his wife of 27 years and two sons.

Flashback: Boy Scouts embrace ‘gender rebellion’: Critics blast policy welcoming transgender ‘boys’

Peter LaBarbera Follow Peter

February 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Boy Scouts of America continues its “progressive,” pro-LGBT, secular transformation, announcing January 30 that it will now admit “transgender” members – i.e., girls who adopt a “gender identity” as males.

This latest pro-LGBT shift in the nation’s oldest boys organization comes after the BSA first allowed openly homosexual boys to become Scouts, in 2013, and then allowed adult homosexual men to become Scoutmasters, in 2015.

The Scouts’ descent into sex-and-gender political correctness is driving up interest in Trail Life USA, the leading Christian alternative to the BSA. The group’s CEO told LifeSiteNews that unlike the Scouts, Trail Life USA’s “timeless,” “Christ-centered” core values do not bend to liberal shifts in culture.

In a statement, the Boy Scouts said, “Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application. Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.”

The statement noted that for more than 100 years, the Scouts “have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”

Pro-family and Christian conservative reaction was immediate to what is perceived as the BSA’s latest capitulation to the Left.

“The Boy Scouts of America sacrificed its last vestige of integrity on the altar of political correctness,“ writes conservative Fox News commentator Todd Starnes. “The BSA is also going to face some logistical issues. Will boys and girls be allowed to shower together? Will they be allowed to use the same camp dressing rooms? What sort of restroom accommodations will be provided for transgender scouts?”

“This is Exhibit A of the insatiable demands of those pushing this sexual anarchy,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins told Starnes.

“This political surrender to intolerant, doctrinaire leftists harms the girls who seek to become Boy Scouts in order to reinforce their false belief that they’re male,” said Laurie Higgins, cultural issues writer with Illinois Family Institute. “It also harms boys in that it teaches them the lies that one’s sex has no intrinsic meaning and that in order to be compassionate they must relinquish their privacy.”

LGBTQ Pressure Group Celebrates

Meanwhile, the homosexual-bisexual-transgender lobby group Human Rights Campaign celebrated the new BSA policy: “This marks a significant policy shift, and will allow transgender boys whose parents cannot change or have not changed their son’s gender on their birth certificate. … The news today comes as one New Jersey family has been fighting back after their son, an 8-year-old boy, was kicked out of the Cub Scouts because he is transgender.”

HRC approvingly noted that now both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts now allow transgender youth, saying that the two youth organizations serve four million youth combined. CNN reports that the Girl Scouts have allowed transgender “girls” (boys who identify as girls) since 2011; see the Girl Scouts’ social issues FAQ page here.

An Alternative to the BSA Is Growing

Linda Harvey, founder of the Ohio-based Christian group Mission America and a conservative expert on the LGBTQ agenda and youth, told LifeSiteNews: “The Boy Scouts of America continues to be oblivious to the realities of the emotional disturbance of gender rebellion in kids. The presence of these confused children in any troop is a risk to all the boys present, setting an example that can have tragic consequences.”

Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA, formed in 2013 in direct response to the BSA relaxing its moral opposition homosexuality—echoed that sentiment in an interview with LSN. Trail Life USA is three years old and has 26,000 members in 48 states. Its network includes 700 participating churches.

Hancock said he was “saddened” by the BSA’s embrace of “transgendered” members, and is concerned about its effects on boys, “psychologically, spiritually, and possibly even physically.”

He also voiced concern over the biologically female “transgender boys” who “could be subjected to compromising situations” under the new Boy Scout policy.

Hancock said he was surprised by how speedily the Scouts’ leadership endorsed the entire LGBT agenda, noting they were under no legal compulsion to do so. (The BSA’s initial capitulation on homosexuality essentially wasted its hard-fought 2000 Supreme Court victory in BSA v. Dale, which upheld the BSA’s constitutional right as a private organization to set its own membership standards excluding self-avowed homosexuals and atheists.)

“We thought they were braver than that,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Despite the claims by Scouts’ chief executive Michael Surbaugh that the organization still adheres to its old values, which include being “morally straight” and “reverent,” Hancock said, “We see how they have been redefining [Scout values] to accommodate the culture.”

In contrast, Trail Life USA adheres to “true, timeless values” rooted in the Bible, he said, as laid out in a Statement of Values: “God calls us to lives of holiness, being pure of heart, mind, word and deed. We are to reserve sexual activity for the sanctity of marriage, a lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman.”

He said Trail Life USA’s executive leaders originally used the word “boys” to define their eligible members, but then changed that to “biologically male children,” foreseeing just the sort of “transgender” pressure that led to the BSA’s shift.

Trail Life USA founder and Board chairman John Stemberger, a veteran Florida pro-family activist, said, “It’s simply stunning that a leading youth organization which parents entrust the protection of their children with has opted to again appease political activists rather than follow clear, common-sense best practices for child protection.”

“Aside from the fact they are now going to confuse literally hundreds of thousands of young men and boys – you are now going to have further youth protection problems,” Stemberger told Fox News’ Starnes. “Facilities and campgrounds are not designed for this type of thing.”

Hancock said Trail Life USA gets a big jump in inquiries and interest with each politically correct maneuver by the Boy Scouts.

“Our website was struggling” yesterday, he told LifeSiteNews, adding that those interested in starting a TrailLifeUSA chapter should go to the organization’s website, which Tuesday had a special notice about “high volume.” The group can be reached by calling 321-247-7761 or emailing: contact@TrailLifeUSA.com; see also its “How to Charter a Troop” page.

Flashback: The End of the Boy Scouts

We all knew this was coming. The Boy Scouts of America stood for over a century on its strong foundation of Judeo-Christian values, growing boys into young men, and young men into leaders.

By Russell Patten

However, in recent years the BSA has allowed cracks to form in that foundation.

From the lifting of the ban on openly gay boys from joining the organization, to the sanctioning of openly gay adult leaders, to the encouragement of so-called “transgendered” boys to join, the BSA’s moral foundation has been rapidly and steadily eroding into dust.

As soon as the BSA changed the definition of the phrase “morally straight” in the generations-old Scout Oath back in 2013, allowing for homosexual membership, we all knew that this first compromise would not be the last. We all knew that it was only a matter of time before the BSA compromised itself into oblivion.

That day has now arrived.

From the BSA’s website:

Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

This is incredibly disappointing news, but in light of the BSA’s changes over the last few years, it isn’t at all surprising. It does, however, mark a complete transformation for the organization. The Boy Scouts has always been exclusively for boys. As Ben Shapiro famously noted, it’s in the name.

There are plenty of organizations out there for all different varieties of youth. The Boy Scouts even have several co-ed programs for both boys and girls. The girls already have the Girl Scouts. If the Girl Scouts isn’t working, why not work to fix that organization instead? There is absolutely no need for the Boy Scouts to change who they are to be “inclusive.”

What now separates the Boy Scouts from any other youth organization? The BSA has now effectively rendered obsolete both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. If the Boy Scouts is a better youth organization for girls, why would any girl ever want to join the Girl Scouts?

More incredibly, I have to wonder why any parent would want their young teenage girls camping in the woods with young teenage boys? Who exactly is okay with this?

As an Eagle Scout myself, this is an incredibly difficult piece for me to write. My fondest memories from my youth come from my time in Boy Scouts. I learned a great deal about myself, about leadership, and about manhood in those years. The friendships I made with both adult leaders and fellow Scouts can never be replaced. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout in 2002 was the greatest achievement of my life at the time. Another honor was when my beloved Scout troop invited me back to town to participate in its centennial celebration earlier this year. My scouting experiences have guided me throughout my adulthood and will continue to do so.

I now see I was lucky to have been a Boy Scout at that time instead of today. Those experiences would not have been the same had the BSA not been so strict on its membership policies. It is important for boys and young men to grow together free from the distraction of girls.

I suspect the Almighty Dollar now motivates BSA more than the Almighty. Membership (and revenue) has been declining steadily for years. Suddenly membership eligibility is now opened to a whole new demographic. Draw your own conclusions there.

This is what the Left does best: target and destroy everything good in America. They cannot compete with us on ideas, so they have to eliminate everything that makes us who we are. If they were truly motivated to provide girls, homosexuals, and “transgenders,” with the same experiences Boy Scouts provides, then they would form their own youth organization. But it isn’t really about that, is it?

Rest in Peace Boy Scouts. You will be dearly missed.

Flashback: Broken promises: 5 reasons Christians should leave Boy Scouts

Broken Promises

When you can’t trust even Boy Scouts to keep a promise, you know our culture is in deep trouble.

By Ed Vitagliano
On May 23 more than 1,400 delegates to the Boy Scouts’ National Council meeting voted on a resolution that called for an end to the organization’s ban on homosexual membership. By a 61-39% margin, delegates said yes, although by a similar voting margin, the ban on homosexual adult leaders was maintained.

Many Christians were shocked by the vote to open membership to homosexual youth. As a result, AFA is calling for Christians to exit the 2.6-million-youth organization and find other alternatives for their young men.

Here are some reasons to say goodbye to a once trusted organization:

1. BSA failed to stand for traditional values.
According to the Scout Law, bravery is an attribute that is supposed to characterize BSA and its members. What the organization has demonstrated instead is cowardice in the face of a persistent opponent.

There can be no doubt that homosexual activists have badgered the Boy Scouts for decades to abandon its ban on homosexuals. A 1992 lawsuit was filed in New Jersey by scoutmaster James Dale after it became public that he was a homosexual. Dale filed the suit after the state passed a law forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Scouts narrowly won that decision in a landmark case, Boy Scouts of America v Dale (2000).

But activists refused to quit, constantly bringing pressure on BSA through more lawsuits, municipalities with non-discrimination laws, and funding cut off from non-profit groups and corporations.

Nevertheless, Christians and other moral conservatives expected the Boy Scouts to remain resolute. After all, in June 2012, BSA released the results of a two-year study on the issue that concluded that the ban on homosexuals was “the absolute best policy for the Boy Scouts of America.”

“Why, less than a year later, is this no longer true?” asked culture critic and writer Robert Reilly, senior fellow at American Foreign Policy Council.
That’s what everyone wanted to know.

Attorney John Stemberger, founder of On My Honor, a coalition of Scouting members who affirm the organization’s traditional values, said the BSA flip-flop demonstrates “that the organization’s values are not timeless, and instead they are governed by changing tides of polls, politics and public opinion.”

2. They have embraced moral relativism.
In its statement about the May 23 vote, the Boy Scouts said: “While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting.”

Deron Smith, BSA’s national spokesman, called the vote over the homosexual ban a matter of “personal preference.”
Is the controversy over homosexuality merely a matter of “personal preference,” akin to an argument over changing the color of Boy Scout uniforms? Bible-believing Christians don’t think so.

To state that the controversy was nothing more than the clash of “different opinions” reveals the triumph of moral relativism within the Scouts. It is to argue that all views are equally valid. That is a disappointment to the many Christian parents who expected the Boy Scouts to defend traditional values, not undermine them.

This is a stunning departure from the Boy Scouts’ defense offered in the Dale case, when it argued before the Supreme Court that BSA “teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight,” and does “not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”
Of course, that was then, and this is now. Apparently for BSA there is a time to stand for moral truth and a time to abandon it.

3. Homosexual men will soon serve as troop leaders.
Gary Glenn, president of American Family Association of Michigan, himself an Eagle Scout and the father of three Eagle Scouts, expects that the Boy Scouts will eventually be forced to accept openly homosexual adults as leaders.

He insisted in an opinion piece following the BSA vote that it will be a step that “will not be long in coming, whether by court order a few years from now or by vote of BSA officials themselves in a final act of moral surrender.”

The pressure to allow gay leaders has already begun with demands issued by homosexual activists.

According to Human Rights Campaign spokesman Paul Guequierre, the Scouts are “not on our good list yet.” He told Associated Press that HRC would deduct points in its influential annual equality rankings from any company that gave to BSA – until the Boy Scouts agreed to drop its ban on homosexual adults.

But the breaking point will probably come from legal pressure – i.e., lawsuits. When the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly granted BSA an exemption to New Jersey’s non-discrimination law, it was because the Scouts claimed they had a moral objection to homosexuality rooted in religious belief.
Since that defense has willingly been jettisoned, most observers believe BSA will soon be legally forced to allow homosexual men as leaders.
So what’s wrong with homosexual men serving as leaders in the Boy Scouts?

For Christian parents it will be problematic precisely because homosexuals will then be in a position of moral authority and influence in the lives of their sons. Those parents don’t put their boys into Scouting to have Christian values undermined by those whose very lifestyle stands in opposition to the Scriptures.

4. They will promote homosexuality.
The policy shift itself speaks volumes about the historic change in attitude within Boy Scouts of America. While the organization once viewed homosexuality as incompatible with BSA values, that is no longer the case.

In fact, the Supreme Court decision in Dale turned, in part, on this very issue: What message is sent by the presence of self-identified homosexual members in the Scouts, and how does that message reflect BSA’s actual moral views?

Writing in Dale’s majority opinion, then Chief Justice William Rehnquist said that the presence of homosexuals “would, at the very least, force the organization to send a message, both to the youth members and the world, that the Boy Scouts accepts homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”

Since BSA did not approve of homosexuality, the high court reasoned, then forcing them to admit gay boys infringed on the Scouts’ religious beliefs. The Boy Scouts would be compelled to send a message they did not believe.

All that has now been flipped. If a ban on homosexual Scouts sent a message of moral disapproval of homosexuality, then ending the ban does the opposite.

Once homosexuality has been accepted, there is no going back. There is only going forward into promotion, or at the very least, the suppression of disapproval.

If discussions around the campfire turn to current events – such as the controversy over same sex marriage – what will impressionable young men hear? Will they be subjected to the litany of one-sided arguments pushed by activists, as gay Scouts speak up?

The answer is clearly – and sadly – yes.

5. Boys will be placed at risk.
Along with all the sad consequences of the BSA vote listed above, the worst danger is “the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse,” according to Stemberger.

Ironically, Stemberger noted the Scouts have always been aware of this hazard. “BSA’s own Youth Protection videos indicate that ‘70% of abuse to boys is by teenagers,’” he said.

“The question is whether the safety and security of boys in general are better off with the ‘open and avowed’ homosexual boys living and sleeping with them in close quarters,” Stemberger said.

“Based upon personal and candid conversations with BSA officials at the highest levels,” he said before the May vote, “BSA is fully aware that this proposed resolution will absolutely increase the risk of boy-on-boy sexual contact in Scouting, and yet there has been no discussion or risk analysis done on this topic in any of the resolution reports or presentations.” (Emphasis in original.)

Some might argue that this is merely Christian hysteria, but parents should ask themselves these questions: Would I allow my 14-year-old daughter to sleep in a tent with a 17-year-old boy? How about with a boy her own age? Why not?

If sexual attraction and the power of hormones in the teen years are a potent mixture that creates great danger for heterosexual kids, it won’t change when homosexual boys are thrown into the mix.

. . . . .

There is no saving Boy Scouts of America now. Once it stood strong and unwavering, as evidenced by its courageous stance in the Dale case.

Now, however, it has quickly collapsed under pressure and departed irrevocably from its original foundations. Sadly, the Boy Scouts will undoubtedly go the way of the Girl Scouts into that gray relativistic world of moral mush.

Our young people are already choking on the secular sludge served up by many public schools, the media and even some churches. Where can our young people turn to get the pure, unadulterated truth?

Now at least we finally know: It won’t be in the Boy Scouts.

_________________________________

What should you do? Leave.

Thousands of adults and youth are expected to be departing from Boy Scouts of America over the next several years.

Gary Glenn said the example of Scouting in Canada does not bode well for the U.S. organization. “Canadian Scouting made the same policy change in 1998, and its numbers fell from over 300,000 to less than 75,000 today,” he said.

Stemberger agreed with that assessment: “The BSA’s own estimates are that a policy change [over the gay ban] would create a ‘significant membership loss of 200,000 to 400,000 youth.’” (Emphasis in original.)

He argued that his estimates suggest an even worse scenario for the Boy Scouts: “500,000 to 600,000 youth leaving over a three-year period as the negative effects of the policy become evident. These estimates do not even calculate the adult volunteers and parents who will leave also.”

Loss of revenue, camp closings, staff and executive lay offs will also follow, he said.

AFA is asking supporters to take these immediate steps:

1. If you are in Scouting or have a son or grandson in Scouting, show your convictions by resigning from the organization. Your dropped membership will send a strong message that your values are steadfast, faithful and unchangeable.
2. If your church charters a Scouting unit, contact the pastor and Scouting committee members. Urge the church to drop the charter based on the truth of God’s word and Christian values
3. Find an alternative to BSA. To help you in this endeavor, we have compiled a list of faith-based organizations that promote scouting-type activities from a Christian perspective, which can be found at www.Scoutingalternatives.com or call 662-844-5036 X226.250.

Flashback: Is Obama Creating a Pro-Gay Boy Scouts of America?

Read more at https://www.creators.com/read/chuck-norris/06/12/is-obama-creating-a-pro-gay-boy-scouts-of-america

By Chuck Norris

June 26, 2012 7 min read

A Boy Scouts of America national board member, James Turley, who is also global chairman and CEO of the accounting firm Ernst & Young, recently said he “will work from within to seek a change” to overturn the BSA policy that bans gay Scouts and leaders. But is Turley working on his own initiative, or has the White House prodded him with perks and favors?

Is it a coincidence that Turley came out swinging against the BSA’s century-old policy to ban gays from leadership and that he has such close affiliations with the pro-gay Obama administration?

Is it a coincidence that Turley and his wife, Lynne, were just guests at a state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House on March 14?

Is it a coincidence that Turley was nominated to President Obama’s Export Council in 2010?

Is it a coincidence Turley was granted a seat on an investment advisory panel that met with none other than Vladimir Putin in Moscow in October?

Is it a coincidence that Turley has been a global cheerleader for Obama’s economic strategies and an economic ambassador of sorts to other mogul business leaders, as is clearly seen in his Bloomberg interview from the 2011 economic summit in Davos, Switzerland?

If Not Even The Boy Scouts Can Celebrate Boys, They’re In Serious Trouble

If Not Even The Boy Scouts Can Celebrate Boys, They’re In Serious Trouble

In a world where masculinity is too often thought of as toxic and men disappear from the labor force and marriage, scouting was a place boys could be taught as boys, by men.
Lori Moylan

By

Every other Monday evening, a chaotic scene erupts at our local Presbyterian church. Young boys of all ages dart around, happily calling to each other across the room, alternating between sprints, tackles, and boisterous discussion of the latest update from Minecraft or their favorite YouTube star.

Eventually, a man in a tan shirt steps to the front, his hand held high in “the quiet sign.” A few minutes later, with the boys settled down, the ritual begins. It starts with the pledge, and is followed by the sacred words: “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

Next comes: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

When they are young, they struggle with the words, their faces scrunched as they try to remember the order. When they are older, they recite in monotone, the words slipping off their lips in a way that makes you wonder if they are internalizing the importance of the words.

Rituals for Becoming Men

The rest of the meeting slips by. If it’s just a den meeting, focused on one age group, the boys work on a practical skill with a moral backdrop. They might identify leaves and plants while learning the importance of conservation. Or they may practice whittling, learning the importance of care with a knife and the “blood circle” for maintaining a safe distance from others.

Regardless, each lesson provides each with an opportunity to speak up and share a story, serve as a group leader, and develop mindfulness in helping (or staying safe from) their fellow scouts. The meetings are loud, energetic, and more than a little disorderly. After eight long hours in school, the boys are obviously intoxicated by this one hour of hands-on, rough and tumble time with their pals.

Full pack meetings are different. They provide practice in public speaking, get the boys out of their comfort zones through funny skits and songs performed for all, and frequently have a program one particular den took responsibility for planning and practicing in advance. The boys always leave full of smiles, proud of their participation even if they are too cool to admit it.

As a mother and an assistant den leader, these bimonthly rituals have a place of sacred significance. I remember watching my older brother advance to Eagle Scout, admiring the practical skills, sense of greater responsibility, and strong self-motivation he developed. I eagerly waited for my son to come of scouting age, and relished watching him throw himself into the activities with reckless abandon.

In a world where masculinity is too often thought of as toxic and men disappear from the labor force, marriage, and self-sufficiency, scouting was our safe space, a place boys could be taught as boys, by men, on the importance of developing into strong leaders with outstanding moral character. I’ve watched the men who lead our troops sacrifice so much of their lives, hoping that their tireless work imparts some nuggets of wisdom to help these young men follow the right path.

The Costs of Adding Girls to a Boys’ Space

The Boy Scouts of America’s  decision to begin allowing girls raises many questions for me. The first are practical. Despite the directive to allow separate dens at the Cub Scout level and forced separation at the Boy Scout level, it’s hard to imagine enough young girls joining Cub Scouts to fill a tiger troop on their own. The Boy Scouts have struggled with declining membership, experienced even by our local troop as we’ve increased recruitment efforts at local schools and community events. Recruiting a few girls across a wide age range seems more likely to yield mixed dens at the young ages, similar to my son’s Little League teams, which frequently had one or two girls in the mix.

Even if it remains separate at the den level, will full pack meetings continue to be separate? If so, it seems to cut into the argument that the program wants to be an inclusive one-stop-shop for busy parents with separate meetings to attend, award ceremonies to photograph, and weekend activities, even assuming they occur simultaneously. It either will require the same additional parenting time something like Girl Scouts requires, or require the busy families and single moms the Boy Scouts claim to be catering toward to be in two places at once. It seems likely, then, in the end, for more things to be combined than not, both for practical reasons and because everyone knows separate but equal really isn’t equal.

Overworked leaders would find additional recruitment for separate dens, increased logistical challenges, and to some extent, additional burdens on the churches and community organizations that host these troops if everything runs on separate tracks. As an assistant den leader, the possible challenges to running some combination of separate and single tracks makes my head spin.

So, What’s the Point of Scouting?

But certainly our girls and the development of their moral character is worth some additional logistical challenge. That is, after all, why so many families already do both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, or put their girls into whatever program they think will best develop them into strong women capable of taking on the world. My parents chose both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as other mentally, spiritually, and physically enriching activities, from debate club to piano lessons to church clubs and soccer. The real question cuts to the heart of scouting itself, and its purpose in the modern age.

When my son was two, we moved hundreds of miles from home in Georgia to the DC area. I was excited for the many opportunities he’d have living in our nation’s capital. The good local schools, the countless enrichment activities, and the cultural experience would all provide him an excellent foundation.

But I was also nervous. Although my hometown had many individuals, especially men, experiencing failure to launch, I was also aware I was removing him from family and an established community for the unknown, and that I needed to recreate that community if he didn’t have grandfathers and uncles to pass along life lessons he’s less keen to learn from mom.

Scouting for me was an important part of that plan. The scout oath and law embody what I want my son to become, and stand in stark contrast to the path many men are following. To do his best to do his duty, rather than avoiding hard work and labor. To be trustworthy, loyal, and courteous rather than take advantage of those around him, especially women. To be thrifty, rather than indulgent. To be cheerful and brave, rather than giving in to hopelessness.

Maybe the decline of men in and of itself is a condemnation of the utility and marketability of the Boy Scout program. After all, the program is dedicated to turning men into leaders, not shirkers. Scouting numbers have dwindled in concurrence with men disappearing from social life. But with growing recognition of the problem facing men, scouting is well-poised to serve as one answer.

If Female-Specific Is Good, Why Isn’t Male-Specific?

We all acknowledge the importance of having a safe place for girls, where they can confront and discuss the unique challenges we face as women, learn to be strong and self-sufficient, learn to work together, and celebrate who they are and what makes them unique. The countless programs that have developed just for girls from STEM camps to girls-only running clubs to the Girl Scouts themselves have helped build a strong foundation for female empowerment.

We’ve learned as a society that having female-specific spaces and clubs aids in development. It’s not that girls don’t need to embody the lessons taught in the Boy Scout Oath and the Boy Scout Law, it’s that we know they face different challenges, and displaying those moral characteristics means different things based on different circumstances. Having a place to teach those virtues to girls, by women, creates a unique opportunity for discussion and bonding.

Scouts teaches boys how to process their feelings, channel their emotions, and tackle the world as men.

Boys deserve the same. We can’t simultaneously deride the disappearing man, moan the toxic effects of untethered masculinity, and demand virtue without providing a place to teach it in a way that’s tailored to boys’ learning styles and interests. Boy Scouts provides an outlet where boys push and learn boundaries in their pack, develop integrity and social responsibility, and practice effective leadership.

As I think back on my last five years as an assistant leader, I remember the countless times the boys tested themselves and each other. I remember the boy struggling with his parents’ divorce and the ramifications of new people in his life, I remember the boy who struggled in school with abundant energy and focus issues, the boy who moved so frequently due to his family’s military status, and how scouting gave them all a home. For a few hours a month, they could let loose and learn.

I remember how they opened up about things on their minds, how their forced boyish emotional guards would come down, even if just for a few minutes, as they worked and talked with their fellow scouts and leaders, and how the moments could come crashing down in laughter after very boyish jokes that make a mother cringe. My son has struggles of his own, and I saw scouting teach him to handle them wisely and bravely. Each moment was important. I was grateful such a place still existed.

Scouts teaches boys how to process their feelings, channel their emotions, and tackle the world as men. It teaches them to explore and question in a judgment-free zone. Behaviors too frequently shut down on a school playground are indulged within reason. They learn to appreciate themselves for who they are, but also how to be the best version of themselves. They can connect their impulses and desires to a grander good, and see their places in the social order.

Will that continue after this decision? It’s hard to say. But it’s difficult not to view the recent BSA decision as one that chips away at the most important part of scouting. I doubt the decision will much affect the rest of my son’s experience as he moves on to Boy Scouts. But if the BSA, of all organizations, fails to understand the fundamental importance of its original mission, it’s hard to imagine how we can tackle the problems affecting men in the long-term.

Lori Moylan lives with her family in the Washington DC area. Follow her on Twitter @Lori_SuLin.