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[rec.scouting.issues] Commonly asked questions (FAQ 2)
Section - I thought the BSA did not teach about sex, why should it make any difference if the Scoutmaster lives a lifestyle

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Top Document: [rec.scouting.issues] Commonly asked questions (FAQ 2)
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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Jan 31, 2001
   that some do not consider sexually moral?

The Scoutmaster Handbook states:
Page 132, Chpter 11: "Scoutmasters should keep in mind that boys should
learn
about sex from their parents, guardians, or others empowered by their
families to guide them. No Scoutmaster should undertake to teach Scouts,
in any formalized manner, about sexual behavior. If a Scout comes to you
with questions of a sexual nature, answer them as honestly as you can,
and
whereever appropriate, encourage him to share his concerns with his
parents or guardian, spiritual leader, or a medical expert."

This says to answer any questions of this type as "honesty as you can"
and then, wherever appropriate, encourage the Scout to share his
concerns with a parent or other appropriate person.

In the Boy Scout Handbook at the bottom of page of 377 the Scout is
encouraged to
talk to Scout leaders (among others) on questions about growing up,
about
relationships or about sex.



---------------------------------------------------------------------Subject: 
   What is the BSA position on girls in Scouting?
Date: 16 Sept 1998

Q.   What is the BSA position on girls in Scouting?

A.   The BSA is a coed organization with some single gender programs
   and some mixed gender programs.   Coed programs include: Learning
   for Life (all school aged youth), Exploring (14-20),
   Sea Scouting (14-20), and Venture Scouting (14-20).
   Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Varsity are for young men.
   Adult Leadership positions in all programs are open to both
   genders.

   From a BSA Position Statement issued 6/6/91:

   The Boy Scouts of America is chartered by Congress "...to promote...
   the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to
   train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage,
   self-reliance, and kindred virtues..."   The Girl Scouts, U.S.A.,
   operates under a similar Congressional charter for the benefit of
   girls.

   The Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs were designed to meet the
   emotional, psychological, physical and other needs of boys
   between the ages of 8 and 14.   Boys in this age range
   seek out and enjoy group activities with other boys.
   The Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs were carefully developed
   with these considerations in mind.

   The Exploring program, however, is designed to provide a
   variety of programs for both boys and girls between
   the ages of 14 and 21.   Approximately 40% of the nation's
   more than one million Explorers are female.

   There are no plans to restructure Cub Scouting and
   Boy Scouting to allow for the registration of girls.

   JSsd
   6/6/91

Doyle, Kevin
Thu, 17 Sep 1998 08:38:12 -1000

xxx was able to recall enough of the discussion where he heard about
the possibility of a BSA task force of co-ed Cub Scouting (thanks, xxx)
for me to go back to the source (a Philmont Training Center discussion
group
Q&A) and get the scoop. I spoke with Rick Williamson, director of BSA's
Cub
Scouting division and here's what I learned:

There is no task force or committee currently looking into, or studying,
co-ed Cub Scouting. The National Cub Scout Committee does have, as part
of
its long-range plan, a plan to establish a task force in 2002 to look at
Cub
Scouting and the family to see if we are meeting their needs. This may
involve changing our program to better accommodate family needs. One of
the
recommendations may or may not be that we need to be co-educational to
better meet the needs of the family. There could be a lot of other
changes
or no changes recommended at all. Whether or not that is even an issue
will
be determined by the Family Needs Task Force in the year 2002.

As most of you are aware, the National Cub Scout Committee regularly
uses
task forces to look at all aspects of the Cub Scouting program to see if
Cub Scouting is meeting current needs. These have included task forces
on
uniforming, advancement, CS Trainer wood badge, camping, etc. The task
force on family needs will provide a welcome assessment of how we are
doing
in this area and recommendations for doing better.

Kevin Doyle
Aloha Council


---------------------------------------------------------------------Subject: 
   What is the position of the BSA as related to God and
religion?
Date: 8 Feb 2002

The BSA owns two organizations: Learning for Life/Exploring and the BSA
traditional Scouting programs.   Learning for Life/Exploring holds
all of the vocational training programs within the BSA effective
August 1, 1998 (e.g., Law Explorer Posts) as well as its program
for school aged youth. There are no youth requirements in
Learning for Life/Exploring (LFL) pertaining to God and religion.
Leadership criteria in LFL/Exploring is set by the chartering
organization.
Learning for Life/Exploring participants are
not required to adhere to BSA membership requirements.
For more information on Exploring, see:
http://www.learning-for-life.org/

The following policy is for members of the BSA, that is
the participants of programs within the BSA Scouting organization:
Cubs, Scouts, Sea Scouts, Varsity & Venturing.

A Press Release in Feb of 2002 the BSA Executive Board stated:
“In affirming its existing standards of leadership, the board also=20
agreed
that duty to God is not a mere ideal for those choosing to associate
with
the Boy Scouts of America; it is an obligation, which has defined good
character throughout the BSA's 92-year history.“
   -BSA Board Affirms Traditional Leadership Standards
         http://www.scouting.org/media/press/020206/index.html

Note that the BSA does not define what constitutes belief in God,
but does define what Duty to God is.

From the Bedrock of Scouting Values Speech
"The bedrock of Scouting's values is literally and figuratively ... duty
to
God
.... "On my honor, I will do my duty to God and my
country ..." To Scouting, the question is NOT: Can a person be honorable
without a belief in God? Rather, our commitment is that no
child can develop to his/her fullest potential without a spiritual
element.
The Boy Scouts of America is not a religion ... it is an
organization with strong religious tenets. It is a movement that is
committed to developing the entire child ... spirituality is very
important in that total development. That is why we hold to duty to God.
Whether it is the Judeo-Christian ethic; or a Buddhist,
Protestant, Mormon, Catholic, or Native American ethic; or that of any
of
the other great religions of our world, the Boy Scouts of
America is committed to the proposition that no child can develop to
his/her fullest potential without a spiritual element in his/her
life.
       In looking ahead to their adult years, Scouting is in accord =
with
the teachings of the world's great religions and is committed to
the concept that sexual intimacy is the providence of a man and a woman
within the bonds of marriage.
       Also, consistent with the world's great religions, the Boy =
Scouts of
America is committed to respecting the dignity of individuals
or values with which we disagree. In four places in the Scout Oath and
Law
....
when you read the descriptive terms ... you will find
comments related to respect. But, respect doesn't mean abdication of
one's
values. Nor does it mean the forced inclusion of others'
values in your life. What it does mean is the recognition of the right
of
people to have opinions, values, and lifestyles other than
yours and for all to be tolerant of each other's differences. When the
Boy
Scouts won the United States Supreme Court case, you didn't
see us "celebrating in the street." The issue was not to vanquish a
young
man
who is an inappropriate leader within Scouting. The
issue was the maintenance of our constitutional right and our commitment
to providing those faith-based values to our
constituency in a respectful manner.
       Scouting has never sought to impose its values on anyone. We =
welcome
all who share them, and we respect the right of others
to walk a different path. We don't expect everybody to agree with our
standards and values ... but we do think it's fair to expect
others to respect them."
http://www.scouting.org/excomm/values/bedrock.html


From the BSA National Executive Board, June 12, 1991:

Reaffirmation of the Position of the Boy Scouts of America on Duty to
God.

   Be it resolved that the following reaffirmation of the position of =
the
   Boy Scouts of America relating to the duty to God be, and hereby is,
   enacted that the bylaws, rules and regulations, and literature of =
the
   Corporation reflect this reaffirmation accordingly.

   In 1985, America celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Boy
   Scouts of America.   Since 1910, eighty million Americans have
   subscribed to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, which have stood the
   test of time.

   The National Executive Board of the BSA proudly states, through its
   mission statement, that the values which the organization strives to
   instill in young people are those based upon the Scout Oath and
   the Scout Law.   A Scout pledges: "On my honor I will do my
   best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout
   Law...."

   The first Boy Scouts of America *Handbook for Boys*, published
   in August 1911, declares that "..no boy can grow into the
   best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation
   to God." (page 215)

   The latest edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, published
   in 1990, reads: "A scout is reverent toward God. He
   is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs
   of others." (page 561)

   While not intending to define what constitutes belief in God,
   the Boy Scouts of America is proud to reaffirm the Scout
   Oath and its declaration of duty to God.

   The following statements are additional information
   on the BSA position:

   The Boy Scouts of America has always been committed to
   the moral, ethical, and spiritual development of our youth.
   Scouting is not a religion, but duty to God is a basic tenet
   of the Scout Oath and Law.

   Scouting does not seek to impose its beliefs upon others
   who do not share them.   Virtually every religion is represented
   in Scouting, and the BSA does not define or interpret God.
   That is the role of the Scout's family and religious advisors.

   Scouting respects those who do not share its beliefs and it would
   not ask others to alter their faith in any fashion in order to
   become Scouts.   They too are free to follow their own beliefs.
   Rather, the BSA membership believes that the principles set forth
   in the Scout Oath and Law are central to the BSA goal of teaching
   the values of self-reliance, courage, integrity, and
   consideration to others.   Scouting may not be for everyone, but
   for eight decades, Scouting has provided meaningful programs
   and adventure to more than eighty million young people
   in the United States.

[end of letter]

For more information on BSA organization's leadership requirements see:
The Cub Scout Leader Book and The Troop Committee Guidebook

The BSA organization teaches Scouts that the First Amendment religious
liberty
principles are our national "ground rules" for living with our
deepest differences. Scouts are taught the "3Rs" of religious liberty
-- rights, responsibilities, and respect.   What it means to recognize
that everyone has the inalienable right of religious liberty. Why is it
important that citizens take responsibility for guarding that right for
all others, even those with whom they disagree. And how we can
learn to debate our differences with civility and respect.

The BSA organization is a member of the World Organization of the
Scouting
Movement (WOSM).   The BSA holds to the fundamental principles
of the movement.   Duty to God is a Fundamental Principle of the
WOSM (see below for more on the WOSM).   The WOSM has testified at =
court
cases in the United States in support of the BSA (see Walsh vs. BSA).

The Learning for Life/Exploring subsidiary does not have any restriction
in
this
area for youth, or adult leaders.   Leadership criteria in =
LFL/Exploring
is set by the chartering organization.   Youth are considered
participants
and not members.

A history of the BSA on this point can be found at:
http://www.umcscouting.org/reverant/HISTORICAL_PERSPECTIVE_REVERENCE.htm

Recent press releases from the BSA on this subject can be found here:
http://www.scouting.org


There are a number of organizations who take issue with the
BSA policy.   Some information on their positions can be
found at:
http://www.infidels.org/~nap/index.bsa.html

There are a number of organizations who agree with the
BSA policy.   Some information on their positions can be
found at:

The Claremont Institute
http://www.claremont.org/1_naturallaw.cfm

The War on the Boy Scouts
http://www.capitalresearch.org:80/trends/ot-1298.html

Concerned Women for America
http://www.cwfa.org:80/

National Review
http://www.nationalreview.com:80

---------------------------------------------------------------------Subject: 
What is the Declaration of Religious Principles (DRP)?
Date: 31 Oct 2002

The BSA owns two organizations: Learning for Life/Exploring and the
traditional
BSA Scouting programs.   The following policy pertains only to leaders
in the BSA Scouting programs (not Learning for Life/Exploring), that is
the leaders within the BSA Scouting organization:
Cubs, Scouts, Sea Scouts, Varsity & Venturing.

The Declaration of Religious Principles (DRP) is a term used
to describe the BSA policies and definitions surrounding
religion.   It is a definite position on religious principles.

The DRP was first published in the original Boy Scout
Handbook in 1911 and written by John Alexander (see
the chapter on Chivalry).

The following excerpt of the DRP is taken from the Adult
Application:

The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow
into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation
to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element
in the training of the member, but is absolutely
nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training.
The Boy Scouts of America's policy is that home and the
organization or group with which the member is connected
shall give definite attention to religious life.
Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration
of Religious Principles and to the Bylaws of the Boy
Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of
leadership.

When an adult leader signs the adult leader application
they declare that they subscribe to the DRP.   The DRP is printed
prominently on the top of the instruction page in the adult leader
application and is also on the youth applications.
The full DRP can be found in the
BSA Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide and the
Cub Scout Leader Book.   The DRP
section of the bylaws date back to the founding days of the BSA
and was printed in the 1911 Boy Scout Handbook.


Youth members of the organization are not asked to
understand or subscribe to the DRP.   Parents are advised on the
Youth application that the leadership is restricted to qualified
adults who subscribe to the Declaration of Religious Principle,
the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.   The BSA recognizes the
importance of religious faith and duty: it leaves religious
instruction to the member's religious leaders and
family.   Members who do not belong to a unit's religious
chartered organization shall not be required to participate
in its religious activities.

Note the following while reading the DRP:

The DRP does not require nor forbid a belief in a Supreme Being.

The DRP does not talk about being a 1st class or 2nd class
citizen, it talks about the quality of citizenship a member can obtain.

The BSA does not define what constitutes belief in God or the
   practice of religion.*
The BSA does not require membership in a religious organization
   or association for enrollment in the movement but does prefer,
   and strongly encourages, membership and participation in the
   religious programs and activities of a church, synagogue, or
   other religious association.*
The BSA respects the convictions of those who exercise their
   constitutional freedom to practice religion as individuals
   without formal membership in organized religious organizations.
   Scouting believes in the right of all to worship God in their own
way.*
Throughout life Scouts are associated with people of different
   faiths.   Scouts believe in religious freedom, respecting others
   whose religion may differ from theirs.*
   (* indicates this is taken from further notes on the DRP in
           the BSA Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee =
Guide)


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