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: 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.

Flashback: Gates, Gays, and the Boy Scouts

from National Review
by Kevin D. Williamson 
May 24, 2015 1:45 PM
@kevinNR

Screenshot-2017-12-28 Gates, Gays, and the Boy Scouts
Would you trust this man with your sons? Your daughters?

The soul of a bureaucrat

Robert Gates has long been surrounded by men in uniform, first as secretary of defense, now as president of the Boy Scouts of America. His time at DoD coincided with the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexual soldiers — a repeal effectively imposed by the courts — and as the leader of the Boy Scouts he is calling for a repeal of that organization’s policy banning homosexual adults from serving as troop leaders or in other leadership roles.

Gates, whose likeness appears in Webster’s with the entry for “bureaucrat,” says that the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuals is “unsustainable.” He warns that attempting to maintain it would mean “the end of us as a national movement.” This sentiment expresses a great deal of what is wrong with the leadership culture of the United States.

Read more at: NR: Gates, Gays, and the Boy Scouts

Girl Guides: grown males to sleep with their girls?

From Eowyn at the superb Fellowship of the Minds blog comes this lunacy from mother England.

Madness: British girl scouts to allow adult ‘transgenders’ share toilets & beds with girls

In the UK, girl scouts are called Girl Guides or GirlGuiding— a 107-year-old organization founded in 1910, with a total membership of 553,633 in 2013.

The Girl Guides recently updated its rules that are a boon for pedophiles.

According to the new rules, male-to-female (MtF) “transgenders” will be allowed to share toilets, changing rooms and beds with girls. Since Girl Guides members are aged 5 to 25, that means adult biological men will share toilets, changing rooms and beds with little girls.

The Telegraph reports, November 26, 2017, that the new guidelines, published on the Girl Guides’ website, say that because “the use of gendered facilities,” including showers, toilets and changing rooms, “can cause anxiety . . . members are allowed to use the facilities of the gender they self-identify as.” That is because “girl” is “based on gender identity. This means that any child who self-identifies as a girl should feel safe and welcome in our girl-only space regardless of the sex that they were assigned at birth.”

Girl Guides’ CEO Julie Bentley said the organization follows the requirements set out in the UK’s Equality Act 2010, which states that organizations providing single-sex services must treat people according to their acquired gender, and allow people to legally challenge their gender without facing “demeaning” rules that force them to undergo a formal medical diagnosis.

Bentley said:

“In line with our values of inclusion, we welcome any young person who self-identifies as a girl or young woman. If a young person doesn’t feel comfortable sharing accommodation, for whatever reason, we encourage them to talk to their leader about alternative accommodation and facilities.”

There are concerns, however, that sharing accommodation and personal facilities will threaten the safety and privacy of girls, especially as.

The guidance states that it is not “best practice” to inform parents that a trans person will be attending a residential event, and so parents of younger Girl Guides members would not be automatically told if their daughter will be sharing facilities with people “who self-identify as girls” — that is, with biological males who claim to be females.

David Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth in South Wales, told The Mail: “If transgender girls who are physically male are going to be sharing facilities, it’s going to make some girls threatened and uncomfortable and the Guides shouldn’t be doing that.”

It is not known how many “transgender” members are in the Girl Guides.

~Eowyn

#EpicFail: Americans don’t want girls in the Boy Scouts

UPDATE: Would those millenial democrats be the same millenials who think Communism sounds pretty chill?

#EpicFail

The only segment clearly in favor of this move is “millennial democrats” who are the absolute least likely ever to consider joining the Boy Scouts. Clearly, market appeal had nothing to do with this decision because any half way competent survey would have revealed the exact same result.

How many of you remember “Scouting/USA”? It was the first go at unisex, un-boyed, un-Americanized scouting in 1972ish.  It even featured a new red logo, red being the standard issue color of the international socialist revolutionary movement i.e., communism.  The handbook was stripped of scoutcraft, community organizing, “child rearing”(!), drug use, and trendy conservation taking its place.  Membership collapsed and BSA had to hire back the hated Green Bar Bill Hillcourt to pick up the pieces.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/majority-opposes-boy-scouts-decision-allowing-girls-join-n815691

 

Oct 31 2017, 5:07 pm ET

Majority Opposes Boy Scouts Decision Allowing Girls to Join

by Carrie Dann

A majority of Americans oppose the decision by the Boy Scouts of America to start admitting girls next year, a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal shows. But, as with many other issues in the current polarized era, political ideology has a lot to do with how the public views the new policy.

Nearly six-in-ten Americans — 57 percent — disagree with the move to allow girls to join the Boy Scouts, with 37 percent voicing strong opposition.

Read the rest here

Epic Fail