In 2017, the organization then called the “Boy Scouts of America,” which had been formed in 1910 under a federal charter, adopted a major change in its policy regarding membership, a full 2 years before its most recent change in membership and the formal change of its name to “Scouts,” to recognize that it was starting to recruit young girls into its programs.
As an apparent result of its most recent changes, one of the two religious groups that traditionally and for many decades had been major sponsors of Boy Scout and Cub Scout units announced its withdrawal from the Scouting program and its intention to establish for the first time its own, independent youth program that more closely adhered to its principles.
Although I had been proud to have been personally very active in the Scouting program for many years, and that my son achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, I felt that I could not continue with the organization after its adoption of its major policy change in 2017. So, I sent the following email to the staff and members of the Board of the Daniel Webster Council, which is responsible for the Scouting program in New Hampshire, on which I served:
“Most of you really do not know me or my background in Scouting. Before moving permanently to New Hampshire in 2012, I lived in the Miami area for 40 years. When my son, who is now almost 35 and is an Eagle Scout, was about 8 years old, he and I joined Scouts. Since then, I served in a variety of positions in the South Florida Council, which has been responsible for the Scouting program in the 3 most Southeasterly counties in Florida, with a total registered youth population in the range of 30,000 – 40,000. Starting out as a Webelos Den Leader, I later became a Cubmaster, a Scoutmaster, a merit badge counselor, a member of the District Committee, a unit Commissioner, the Council Advancement Chair, and ultimately the Council President for 3 years. I also served as chair of the Council’s Investment Committee and as a member of its Audit Committee for many years.
As Council President when the US Supreme Court issued its Dale decision (with which I agreed), I was on the front line of the battle with the area United Way over defunding of Scouts, and I was personally involved with a producer for Leslie Stahl of “60 Minutes” to tone down dramatically and successfully their “exposé” of Scouting in America after the Dale decision.
In the South Florida Council, I was privileged to receive numerous awards over the years, including the Silver Beaver and the Distinguished Citizen of the Year. I successfully completed Wood Badge course SR-243, completed my ticket and was beaded. I was also inducted into the Order of the Arrow.
While I have seen Scouting change over the years, it always seemed to me to stick to its core principles, at least until now.
Scout leaders are usually not psychologists or psychiatrists, nor are they trained in handling issues of sexuality, whether called sexual identity or gender dysphoria or otherwise. As I always have told people, as Scout leaders we have trouble enough teaching our Scouts how to pitch tents, tie knots, build fires, and act responsibly. Sex is not, nor should it ever be, a part of the Scouting program.
We do not ask an applicant who wants to join Scouts to submit to a physical examination to determine either their sex or their external sexual characteristics. Nor do we ask about their sexual “orientation.” Nor do we ask about any of this after they join Scouts. Sex is not, nor should it ever be, a part of the Scouting program.
A couple of years ago, I attended a Daniel Webster Council Board meeting at which we discussed the upcoming National Meeting at which it was expected there would be a vote on whether to change Scouting’s membership standards. At that time, I urged that the standards not be changed and said that if they were changed, it would only be the first step of the Political Correctness police, allowing the camel to put its nose into the tent as it were, and we could thereafter expect more PC changes to be demanded of us. Unfortunately, my prediction has now come true.
The PC Police have started out with our public schools on their march for “transgender rights” in restroom facilities, and now they have come to Scouting.
I assume, without actually knowing, that this latest change in policy came down from on high from the National Board of the BSA. I had not heard anything about its being proposed or being voted upon, nor was our Council asked for its views on the issue. I wonder if the members of the National Board who led and/or voted for this change in policy ever actually led a Pack or a Troop.
I presume with the newly-announced policy that Boy Scout leaders will be expected to deal with youth members who “self-identify” as male, but who have female external sexual characteristics, including developing breasts, when they go camping or other Scouting activities. And I assume that the Girl Scouts will also be expected to deal with “self-identifying” females who still have male external sexual characteristics. I would not want my own son, or a daughter (if I had one), to be in any such a youth program, nor would I want to be an adult leader in any such program.
As one of my favorite philosophers once wrote, the way to avoid victimhood is to refuse to give the oppressor the sanction or consent of the victim. In other words, do not sit back and take it and allow yourself to be a victim. That only encourages more oppression.
So, it is with a very heavy heart that I announce that I cannot continue to be a part of the Scouting program with which I have been associated for many years and that I have previously enjoyed immensely, served and loved.
Therefore, this is my formal notice that I hereby resign from all positions in the Daniel Webster Council, including, without limitation, as a member of its Investment Committee, its Audit Committee, and its Executive Board. And I will find some other organization or organizations with solid principles to which I will turn my financial contributions in the future.”