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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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agle Scout Shares His Experience With The Boy Scouts of America

November 25, 2004
As an Eagle Scout from the Lone Scout Program, former Scoutmaster, Explorer Advisor, Wood badge holder, Camp Director, paid member of the Executive Staff of several councils etc. I read with interest the progress
Scouting For All has made with the help of the ACLU. As a man who happens to be gay I miss more than anything else my more than 15 years of participation in Scouting and what it can be for youth and adults alike.
I was part of one of what I believe was one of the first handicap 'In School Scouting' programs in Iowa back when the BSA was registering tombstones and non existing boys just to make membership goal records under a national program called "Boypower 76." As a District Executive I was told to register well over several hundred youth and even form Scouting units (Pack, Troop or Post) and falsify signatures, etc., on several occasions just to be a 'team player' and help my Service Area to meet its goals.

I as an Eagle Scout knew this was wrong from the start and that raising money through Century Club memberships and Scout family contributions and corporate contributions was actually in part going to fund the false registration at $2.00 each and $3.50 each for "Boys' Life" Magazine in addition to the $ needed to register a bogus committee of adults or to dual register existing committee people on another unit committee as also
serving on this phantom unit. Registering real kids in exciting programs in schools was an idea I tried and I felt better about it than falsifying so many memberships. Yeah, I was one of the whistle blowers in my own way.

However, even a nearly legit 50% density of boys being served in my area was not good enough...when nationally we had only one in 4 in some of the finest of councils the BSA nationally was looking at trying to serve 1 out of 3. Yes, I registered boys and girls in rural schools that could use Scouting to meet classroom needs and especially those handicap kids that SO wanted to belong and get their badges...boys and girls alike. And
registered women as leaders in Scout troops and Packs using names like Chris and initials that could be accepted as being male since only male leadership was acceptable...yet my leaders needed on mailing list and to get their program magazines etc.

One thing I recognized in doing thousands and thousands of questionnaires in various parts of the country...the results were the same. Kids of Cub Scout age would rather "be a follower' than their other choice of "being a
leader." Yeah know ... that changed somehow amongst the kids filling out the in school forms that were of Scouting age...or just slightly older by a year or was no longer ok to consider themselves as being
followers...they had made the change somehow to being leaders or ... was that society telling them that followers were somehow not ok? WE did not ask kids their religious background or their orientation. In fact, Eagle
Boards of Review (they became Progress Reviews) in two councils would avoid trying to 'eliminate' a Scout from Eagle who was possibly atheist or agnostic by asking him this one question. "Do you believe that there is
some natural order in the universe that cannot be explained as being more powerful than man?" (as I recall after all these years) If that Eagle Candidate answered 'yes' our advancement committee would recommend the
Eagle Badge be awarded. I do not recall any young man ever being denied Scouting's most coveted recognition when presented with that option to answer that question about faith...and Duty to God. Military facilities were most helpful to my districts and am sorry to see that Scouting would rather screen and limit its membership and discriminate against young men who are just learning what it is to have religion and what it is to become sexually aware and how confusing it is to not have anyone to talk with at home and church....some of us had Scout leaders who understood and cared...and were interested in us and we knew it to trust our secrets and get their protection at times. Yes, Scouting kicked kids out for being atheist and agnostic and yet were in units sponsored by Lutheran, Methodist and Mormon Churches that offered them a home....and even the
opportunity to discover God and Christ ... but we kick 'em out anymore before kids question what they have been raised with by family and society.

Yet, under "Boypower 76" it was ok for the BSA to knowingly falsify records of thousands and thousands of memberships and reward Executives and Field Directors and other staff members with promotions and salary increases and pats on the back to the local volunteers who unknowingly participated in one of the biggest scandals that never made the newspapers or the floors of Congress (that grants the BSA a national charter with the President of the US as the Honorary President...or is it Chairman? get the idea). Alden G. Barber resigned as Chief Scout Executive, the volunteer President of the BSA....resigned and Council Executives in many big councils from Chicago on....resigned or were transferred. Boypower 76 was no more....clean-ups were done in councils all over the US...but, by this time...many of us had quit and refused to 'play the game' and found other employment. "A Scout is Trustworthy." "A Scout is Honest." It is no fun when your boss comes in and tells you that if you don't play the game "we will find someone else who will....and IF you get caught, I will disavow that I know anything about this conversation." Enron, Adelphia, Mutual Fund Groups, insider trading tactics....where did Scouting go when America needed it most? Closets are for clothes...healthy people know who they aren't and even good leaders need a whole lot of good Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent followers behind them...or so it appears to me.




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

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