8 months… Where are you?

scoutlawbelieveitIt’s August, 8 months into the year 2014, 8 months into “The POLICY” Change that sent Scouters into a tail spin running for the hills and screaming that our values suddenly changed.  8 months since the “End of Scouting” as we know it.  Really?  Where are you?  What has changed?
I have yet to see an openly gay Scout.  I have yet to have to deal with sleeping arrangements and one boy hitting on another one.  Just has not happened and I hate to be that guy.. but I told you so.
I lost a good Assistant Scoutmaster over this non issue.  And 8 months later nothing has changed except for ink on a policy letter.
So where are you?  Where are all these gay boys that were screaming to get into Scouting?  Where?
Ok… drama aside…
Last night at our District committee meeting we were discussing the real issues, in particular membership and saving Cub Scout Packs.  The idea that people have turned away from Scouting because of this policy change came up.  The fact of the matter is that nothing changed, EXCEPT… now we are open to serve ALL young men.
So, this should open doors to new membership, right?  Wrong.  Boys that are attracted to Scouting will join Scouting.  So what do we need to do to attract them?  That is what we need to do to get them in our great organization.
Ideas floated around and you know it all comes down to what Scouting is.  A great values based outdoor organization that promises adventure and fun.  It appeals to parents and boys and always has.  The biggest issue is that we do a terrible job of selling that.  We get to wrapped up on political correctness and worrying what the public perception is.  If we just stick to the basics of what Scouting is.. they will come.  But we need to tell that story.
National is not spending the dollars during prime time to tell our story.  Local Councils do not have the budget to do it either, so it’s up to us to get out there and tell the story of Scouting.
Start by know what Scouting is.  Tell the story as often as you can.  Don’t be afraid of what people think, change their minds by what they see.
A policy to allow ALL young men the opportunity to join Scouting should not have sent anyone into a tail spin, it should have opened the door to talk about what Scouting offers in the year 2014 and beyond.  Instead an over reaction and a terrible  lack of action on the part of Scouters to get out in front and say.. NO.. We invite everyone, but the need to follow our rules.. it’s that simple.
8 months into this year of change and where are they.  Those that value Scouting and Scouting’s values are here, the rest left or have not joined.
So now what.  We have a crisis in membership at the Cub Scout level.  WE NEED TO GET MORE CUB SCOUTS!
Is this policy an issue?  NO.  So lets move on and sell Scouting.
Tell our story.
From the Boy Scouts of America website;  The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.
For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.
Is there something there that people have a problem with?  If so, move on and tell the story to someone else.
A Scout is Friendly, Courteous and Kind.

Get out there and tell our story!
Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Lot’s changed………..The breaking of the oath “Morally Straight” Damage to the image of BSA, just like your writings. You should leave this subject alone and move on.


    1. Morally straight doesn’t refer to sexual orientation. You’re just twisting the connotation of the words to fit your message. Go troll somewhere else.


    2. Who “Broke” the oath to be Morally Straight? Last Monday at our Troop meeting we said the Scout Oath and Law and the words Morally Straight were still there and since it is an Oath (promise), we still committed to one another that we would live that promise. I am not sure which Scouting you are in, but that is still the promise we in the Boy Scouts of America make.
      Hmmm… my writings are damaging the BSA? OK.. I’ll give you that I guess.
      I have been in Scouting pretty much all my life. I am very familiar with the program, what it stands for, and how it is supposed to be delivered. My guess is that you really don’t understand Scouting and promises. You obviously have not read the Boy Scout handbook and how the Scouting movement promotes and defines morally straight. You also think (I’m guessing) that the BSA is a religious institution. Again, you prove that you are not versed in the Scouting movement. Read the book Aides to Scoutmastership and learn about how Baden Powell set this up.
      Finally, I appreciate your comment, really I do. I stuck Scouting out because I believe in the program and feel that EVERY Young man deserves to be in Scouting. Your homophobic attitude is humorous to me. I bet you kicked all the gays out of your church too… and yes, they are there.
      A Scout is friendly, Courteous, and Kind. Thanks for your comment and please feel free to drop by any time and comment in the future.
      Yours in Scouting.


      1. Jerry
        You are so correct. To often in Scouting do we get wrapped up in the character development, book work, and politics of Scouting and instead focus on REAL Scouting. REAL Scouting is getting boys outside, getting dirty, camping, hiking, rough and tumble games, and finally just getting boys to enjoy the outdoors.


    3. Then leave! And leave those of US who are in Scouting for the boys alone. You can always go join Trail Life USA if the change makes you that upset.


  2. BSA is about halfway to joining the 21st century on this — it still needs to end its discrimination against gay scouters. BSA’s president Robert Gates said if it were strictly up to him, he would have ended the discrimination. Having integrated gays into the DoD and CIA, he has some experience on this topic. His next step should be to walk the talk at BSA.

    Currently, BSA’s policy is: you can be an officer in the armed forces commanding thousands of men and women in uniform to protect the nation in combat, BUT you don’t have what it takes to serve as an assistant Den leader in your son’s Cub Scout pack. Sure BSA is a private organization, but it has a very important public mission. It’s an American institution and it should not be a refuge for bigots of any kind.

    I’d encourage folks to read the opinion piece in Time magazine from a gay eagle scout who now has to leave scouting.

    LINK http://time.com/3080380/an-open-letter-to-robert-gates-the-boy-scouts-need-to-accept-gay-adults/

    BSA can address its membership problem by opening instead of closing doors to greater participation for adults as well as the scouts.


  3. Jerry can defend himself on his writings and musings, but if you don’t like it, don’t read. Simple as that.

    As for the “change”…2000 miles away, Jerry…and I am seeing (or not seeing) the same things as you. Lower level of Cub Scouts, but not due to policy, rather than getting out there and talking about Scouting, and what it does for kids.

    Kids are pulled in 20 different directions, with other groups competing for their time…mainly, sports. And parents are pressed for time. It’s easier to drop them off, and complain from the sidelines about the coach and the team, than it is to get trained, buy a uniform, and mold kids into good, healthy citizens.


  4. I agree with you it’s easy to drop kids off and I also see that as being a problem. As far as trained, I have been involved in Scouts as long as I can remember and a Scoutmaster and a past Cub Scout leader.
    If you post your views be ready for other to express there’s. If you do not like what I write don’t read it.


    1. John,
      If I did not like reading your thoughts and ideas I would not put myself out there with this blog and open comment section. I could easily block and close the comments. But what would that help. I do this blog to share. If my writing is hurting the BSA, or in any way hurting feelings than I think that it time for folks to look in the mirror.
      I often find that it is in the mind of the person reading to interpret what he or she wants to find in any given thing.
      I do not claim to read into anything… I call it like I see it.
      I know the BSA and it’s policies and agree to follow them.
      I am a Scouter that believes in this program and will not allow anything to separate me from it.
      I believe in Leadership in Service and this blog is an extension of that.
      I welcome everyone to join Scouting and follow me blog. If it becomes to much for you.. then you are free to choose whether to read it or not. I would hope you continue to read on.
      There is nothing in this blog that contradicts the National BSA policy or program like it or not.
      I have readers at every level of Scouting and by and large they agree that Scouting is still… change in policy or not… the Best Youth Organization out there… and most of them have sent me notes of thanks for sharing our Story.
      I don’t complain, I fix. I don’t argue, I debate and try to find resolution. I love Scouting, it’s that simple.
      Have a Great Scouting Day!


  5. I want to thank everyone that responded to this post. The moral of this story is that we need to focus on membership. Our Cub Scout ranks are dwindling and it is not because of the program, the gay issue, or cost. It is an issue of telling our story and letting America know that Scouting is still relevant. I know that I am preaching to the choir in this venue. But it is going to take all of us to pitch in and change this. I am a council Pack mentor working to fix Packs here in the Cascade Pacific Council. I believe in this program. WE are at the point were it is critical that we increase our numbers.. Allowing the opportunity for every young man to be a Scout.
    There are those that disagree with us in Scouting and feel that Scouting let them down by changing the policy. I hear you.
    The question that I have is simply this. Did your values change? Neither did ours. Because we in Scouting made a decision to allow all boys to participate did not change the values of the organization. I live in the Portland Metro area. I can not go through the day without seeing and being in contact with gay people. I work with many of them. They are nice and good to work with. Because, I am friendly and value their friendships does not change my values or sense of morality.
    This policy has not changed Scouting. The initial point of this post was to prove that.
    I have been a Scoutmaster for 10 year. My troop has never been better and the policy change has had ZERO effect on it.
    If has overwhelmed your unit, please share your story with me. I am curious.
    Thank you all for your comments and support of the blog.
    Have a Great Scouting Day!


  6. I have no issues with anyone. I do have issues by radical groups strong arming BSA to change policy. BSA folded under pressure, I accept that but regardless, it did hurt the image of BSA and It was never a problem, just radical groups are wanting more and more. What’s next…………?
    This may be one of the reason Cub Scouts and Scouts are on the decline. One boy gets hurt based on this decision, will set BSA on the down hill slope for many years to come. Spin it any way you want, but I am not alone on this, it stained BSA. I could really could not care less about your views during the day in Portland, outside of Scouts. What I do care about is BSA and it’s future and building future leaders.


  7. I noticed the BSA lost 6% in 2013 and just lost another 7% in 2014. At this rate, in 5 years the membership will drop over 50% since 2012! Down from a high of 6.5 million in ‘72. Lost 2 mil in the last 12 years. Sad times. Really now, why the loss of interest in Scouting? It’s not the gay issue, membership is still tanking. The great policy debate and all the emphasis on “more boys in Scouting so open up to gays” seems not to have been the answer.
    No one got what they wanted. Wanted a more popular BSA and more numbers? It’s not working. Those who wanted no change… obviously got out-voted. Those that said it’s just the right thing to do… came up way short; adult gays are specifically excluded. Those that said “it’s not going to change how we do business” are finding we might just lose the business. If we lose 50% in a few years – guess what? That’s a mass exodus; America’s leaving the Scouts.
    Whether including gay boys is right or not, the BSA is losing America. If the BSA wanted the policy change to fix the flagging numbers, it failed. They tried to fix the wrong problem. Or, if they took on that emotional, divisive issue just “because it’s the right thing to do”, they bet on a losing horse. (In fact, I question their motives. But let’s get back to fixing the Scouts.) Green Bar Bill got the BSA back a million more members in the 80’s by getting back to basics. He re-emphasized the basics of outdoors, leadership and Scoutcraft. Focus on what has always truly served the BSA best. The basics work because they meet a need in the boy. Anybody that wants you to focus on something else, doesn’t have a clue about true Scouting, or about boys. Scouting’s corporate leadership is way off and needs a course correction or the sinking ship will quickly disappear under the waves!
    By the way, I love your blog because you listen to other people and you say what you think. Great combo! You really know scouting and I like hearing from an expert. Keep up the great blog!


    1. Great Comment Joe! Thanks. You and I are singing the same song. I could really care less about the gay thing. What Scouting needs is another Green Bar Bill to right the ship.
      STEM will not fix this, nor will being all things to all people. When we do that we become nothing to nobody.
      The BSA is repeating a bad history of the late 60’s and 70’s to be sure.
      I have faith that they will wake up and realize what they are doing. Until then.. We stay the course at the unit level and keep doing Scouting the way it is supposed to be done.
      Thanks again for a great comment.


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