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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Further Thoughts on BSA and Its Relationship with Its Learning for All Program
March 8, 2006
In the light of the revelations I outlined in "Learning for Life--The Cash Cow that Keeps Giving...and Giving,"
the question,"What should we do about this?" obviously follows. Let me begin by separating the facts
from the speculations. Facts are just that, facts, unquestionable, while speculations will always be influenced
by emotions. In addition, speculations cannot be proven in the face of the facts at hand.
Facts Regarding the BSA Learning for Life Program
1. The BSA has reorganized into two divisions, Traditional Scouting, and Learning for Life/Exploring.
2. All fees paid to either Traditional Scouting or L4L pass directly to the BSA.
3. Joining requirements for Traditional Scouting are discriminatory; joining requirements for L4L are nondiscriminatory.
4. L4L is a highly successful program serving 1,680,522 students in 20,000 schools across the US in 2004.
5. Traditional Scouting derives income from charitable donations, registration fees, the sale of literature, promotional
items, and recognition awards. Fees for activities, such as Philmont treks, pay the costs of those activities.
6. L4L derives income from charitable donations,licensing fees, registration fees, the sale of literature, promotional
items and recognition awards.
7. L4L is a very profitable venture for theBSA.
8. Participation in L4L is increasing year after year; participation in Traditional Scouting has been declining.
Speculations Regarding the BSA Learning for Life Program
1. Dividing the BSA into two divisions is a vehicle to separate a discriminatory program from a nondiscriminatory
2. United Way chapters are being asked to support the L4L program and not the Traditional Scouting program. If
this is the approach being used, it truly is a "scam." Obviously the L4L program is more than self-sufficient
and does not need charitable donations. The only way thismight not qualify as a scam is the situationin which
theBSA turns around and grants local school districts access to L4L "free of charge," applying United
Way grants to pay for fees and materials.Many would still call this ascam or "dishonest advertising."
The United Way is actually being asked to "buy" the L4L programfor use in the schools. At least the
public benefits from the L4L program in its schools.
3. Donors are not being informed that gifts to either L4L or the Traditional Scouting program go directly to the
BSA, to be used as it sees fit.
4. Income from L4L accounts for more than half the total income for the BSA. The numbers I quoted in my earlier
memo are merely for illustration. I don't know the actual number of L4L licenses the BSA has granted, or whether
or not there are special licensing arrangements for "large consumers." I also do not know the "markup"
on the sale of literature, promotional items and recognition awards.
5. The formation of the Learning for Life/Exploring Division is a "preemptive reorganization" that would
allow the BSA to "spin off" the division as a for-profit corporation, should L4L be declared a commercial
Is Learning for Life a Commercial Product or is ita Charitable Program?
I believe that L4L started out as a charitable program in much the same way that the various segments of Traditional
Scouting can be viewed as "charitable programs." As noted above, Traditional Scouting is supported primarily
by charitable donations. Limited additional income is generatedfrom modest registration fees andsales of literature,
promotional and recognition items. L4L, on the other hand, now charges a substantial licensing fee for the use
of the program. In my mind, that makes L4L a commercial product. I fail to see the distinction between L4L and
a clearly commercial product, like Microsoft Windows, which we all use and which we all pay a licensing fee when
we buy a computer.
I think that the BSA has created the Learning for Life/Exploring division as a clever marketing ploy. By being
a nondiscriminatory program, L4L is clearly more attractive to the schools. The BSA is also in a much better position
to "scam" United Way chapters and businesses into contributing to support a nondiscriminatory program
that benefits the community. The Learning for Life/Exploring division is also "in place" should L4L
ever be found to be a "commercial product." The BSA is a 501(c)(3) corporation.In my opinion, itcannot
offer commercial products. If L4L were found to be a commercial product, the BSA would be forced to decide whether
it wanted to cease to be a nonprofit organization or to "spin off" L4L as a for-profit corporation.
Clearly, the BSA doesn't want to be forced to make this decision. It's just "holding its breath" hoping
that someone like Scouting for All doesn't come along and uncover their little secret. Meanwhile its milking L4Land
the charitable public for all its worth.
The last two paragraphs are just my speculations. All this needs to be reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in
business law (both for-profit and not for profit).
Scouting for All Researcher