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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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Dave Rice
Scouting For All Dave Rice

  • Fifty-nine (59) years of Scouting
  • Fall 1938 - March 1941: Cub Pack 91, Oakland, California
  • April 1941 - June 1947: Scout Troop 41, Oakland, California
  • June 1944 - June 1947: Explorer Post 1, Oakland, California
  • Summers 1945-1950: Camp Staff Member, Diamond-O Camp, Oakland Area Council, California
  • June 1947 - June 1948: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 41, Oakland, California
  • September 1948 - April 1950: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 30, Oakland, California
  • May 1950 - August 1951: Scoutmaster, Troop 30, Oakland, California
  • September 1951 - September 1953: Military service, US Army
  • October 1951 - January 1952: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 74, Fort Benning, Georgia
  • Summer 1952: Camp Staff Member, Camp Nacimiento, Santa Lucia Council, San Luis Obispo, California
  • October 1953 - March 1962: District Scout Executive, Marin Council, San Rafael, California
  • April 1962 - March 1965: District Scout Executive, Verdugo Hills Council, Glendale, California
  • April 1965 - March 1969: District Scout Executive, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
  • April 1969 - February 1970: District Scout Executive, Sequoia Council, Fresno, California
  • Fall 1969 - August 1970: Committee Member, Cub Scout Pack, Fresno, California
  • March 1970 - August 1971: in transition, disability and education
  • September 1970 - June 1971: Committee Member, Pack 101, Petaluma, California
  • Summer 1971: Camp Director, Camp Oljato, Stanford Area Council, Palo Alto, California
  • June 1971 - June 1972: Webelos Leader, Pack 101, Petaluma, California
  • June 1972 - January 1973: Committee Chair, Troop, Petaluma, California
  • January 1973 - January 1976: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop, Petaluma, California
  • January 1976 - January 1978: Scoutmaster, Troop, Petaluma, California
  • January 1978 - September 1980: Merit Badge Counselor and Member Council California Camping Committee, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
  • Summer 1979: Program Director, Camp Masonite-Navarro, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
  • September 1980 - December 1992: Scoutmaster, Troop, Petaluma, California
  • January 1993 - 1998: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop, Petaluma, California


  • 1959: Woodbadge (#4585)
  • 1960: Vigil Honor, Order of the Arrow
  • 1982: Award of Merit
  • 1991: Silver Beaver

How I became involved in Scouting for All

In 1981 I first read the news accounts of Tim Curran's lawsuit against the BSA for being kicked out of Scouting. I recall at the time I said to my wife, "What would I do if a Scout or assistant Scoutmaster of my troop came to me and said he was gay?" I wrestled with that for ten years, but my immediate resolve was that I would not kick him out!

In 1986 I went to work for the National Park Service (NPS) in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and soon found myself on the Equal Opportunity Committee (EOC). As EO chair I was asked to draft the second policy memorandum in the NPS extending EO employee protection to include sexual orientation, and the first such policy in the NPS extending that right to NPS volunteers (including Scout troops and Eagle Scout candidates working on service projects).

In 1991 I heard a sermon saying that while there was no guarantee that our decisions were right, we still had a duty to act. I knew that I had to do something about gays and Scouting. "I'm there, I know, I can, I must!"

In early 1992 I read of the policy adopted by Troop 260 of San Jose. "We do not agree that sexual orientation is immoral. Sexual preference is a private issue. We don't believe it to be relevant in the selection of adult leaders or in the awarding of Eagle Scout rank." I wrote to Scoutmaster Mike Cahn supporting him.

Between 1992 and 1998 I gave testimony in three lawsuits: Dale v BSA, Richardson v BSA, and Geller and Pool v BSA, that the BSA policy against gays had not existed before about 1980. In the latter case the BSA entered testimony in March 1998 that I was not a Scouter, which was later repeated before the US Supreme Court in April 2000 as a reason for disregarding my testimony. Four days after the March 1998 BSA testimony I received the letter denying my registration with the BSA, which had then lasted for over 59 years. The ostensible reason for my dismissal was my supposedly talking to Scouts about supporting Scouting for All. The regional review committee meeting, which is required by BSA rules and which would have found that I had not talked to Scouts, has never been held.

In 1993 the first steps were taken to form Scouting for All, with Mike Cahn, Bob Smith, Ken McPherson of Forgotten Scouts, Don Henry of the NPS Western Region EO office (Eagle Scout), myself, and others. Scouting for All became moribund until Steve Cozza's letter to the editor in December 1997 attracted wide media attention and public support. Steven and his father Scott Cozza agreed to call their effort in taking a stand against the BSA's policy of discrimination Scouting for All thereby giving recognition to those orginal persons attempting to begin to advocate for change within the BSA. The rest is history!

More Information

I have been married 45 years to Mary; we met at my Scout troop paper drive in which her brother was participating. We have four children and six grandchildren.

My proudest award is an engraved Sierra cup given by my troop when we realized I had completed 20 50-miler backpacking trips with them, 1000 miles, from 1974 to 1996.

I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951, with an AB in Education. I received my California teaching credential with a major in History from Dominican College, San Rafael, in 1971.

I served two years as a lieutenant in the US Army during the Korean War, 1951-1953. I was a district Scout executive in four California BSA councils 1953-1970. I taught grades 4-5-6 in San Anselmo, CA 1971-72, and in Napa Valley 1972-1985. I worked for the National Park Service in Golden Gate National Recreation Area from 1986-1994, as secretary, in public affairs, as a park ranger, and as an editor, besides the collateral duty of Equal Opportunity Committee Chair. I retired in 1994.

I have been to five National Scout Jamborees, two with Scouting, and three with the NPS on the conservation trail.

I am a member of the United Church of Christ of Petaluma.

Hobbies: grandchildren, church, photography, hiking, natural history, though Scouting for All is taking up a lot of my time now.




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.

Any communications sent to Scouting for All or any Scouting for All representative may be published on the Scouting for All web site or in Scouting for All materials unless the communication specifically requests that it not be published.

Copyright 1999-2009 Scouting for All and its content providors.