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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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Unitarians set to give 30 acres to YMCA camp Church differences with Boy Scouts prompt change

By NANCY COOK, Standard-Times staff writer

ROCHESTER -- The Fairhaven Unitarian Church will symbolically sever remaining ties with the Boy Scouts of America when the church donates 30 woodland acres, formerly used by Scouts for camping, to the YMCA
SouthCoast. The deal should be finalized within the next month, said Kim Mitchell of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven. The YMCA plans to run a small summer camp for 50 to 100 children on the Rochester
site, located off Snow's Pond Road, YMCA SouthCoast President Gary Schuyler said. North of the campsite lies Snipatuit Pond Road, to the west sits the Mattapoisett River. The YMCA probably wouldn't start the camp
until the summer of 2007, Mr. Schuyler added. Through last year, the Boy Scouts camped on the 30 acres. But the church stopped grant-ing the Scouts' access -- and even stopped sponsoring Troop 55 in 2000 -- because
the Unitarians disagreed with the Scouts' national ban on homosexuals and on agnostic and atheist troop leaders, Mr. Mitchell said. Previously, the church had sponsored Troop 55 for close to 60 years. A church member, Clifton Hacker, originally willed the 30 acres to the Unitarian Church 47 years ago with the caveat that the land must be used for children's camping programs. Since the church "is not able to take on that responsibility, we called the YMCA," Mr. Mitchell said. The YMCA will own the property. Included in its land deed will be Mr. Hacker's stipulation, as well as a conservation restriction, Mr. Mitchell said. "It's a wonderful gift. The YMCA is best equipped to fulfill the wishes of Mr. Hacker," Mr. Schuyler said. "The land is very undeveloped and rustic. It provides a wonderful opportunity for children." The church has received a few calls from abutters concerned about the summer camp's possible noise and traffic and has taken the neighbors' concerns "under advisement," Mr. Mitchell said.




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