Skip to comments.Moving forward, together after the 2013 National Annual Meeting ( BSA Meeting )
Posted on 08/23/2013 5:08:30 AM PDT by bert
Moving forward, together after the 2013 National Annual Meeting
AFTER A LONG, THOUGHTFUL PROCESS, BSA MEMBERS AMEND THE ORGANIZATIONS LONGSTANDING MEMBERSHIP STANDARDS FOR YOUTH.
National President Wayne Perry announces the voting results, approval of a resolution amending the BSAs membership policy, removing the restriction excluding youth based solely on sexual orientation. National President Wayne Perry announces the voting results, approval of a resolution amending the BSAs membership policy, removing the restriction excluding youth based solely on sexual orientation.
IN A DIM BALLROOM, nearly 1,400 volunteer voting members of the Boy Scouts of Americaand about 1,000 additional onlookerscollectively hold their breath. Just a day earlier, the room echoed with the sometimes-tense vocalization of voting members opinions regarding a resolution set to amend the BSAs membership standards for youth.
National President Wayne Perry cuts the silence. Whatever this sayshe pauses, raising the results envelope in front of his green Venturing uniformwe have to come together. We love this movement. The BSA is too important to let anything in this envelope divide us.
The conclusion and the most-anticipated moment of the 2013 National Annual Meeting? After a careful count by third-party firm TrueBallot, 61.44 percent (or 757 members) vote in favor of the resolution amending the BSAs membership policy, removing the restriction excluding youth based only on sexual orientation. The adult membership-standards policy excluding gay leaders was not under review and therefore remains in place.
The results announcement takes a split second, but this was not a split-second decision. The vote embodies a months-long review of the BSAs membership standards, which involved a respectful and open discussion among registered members, parents, and youth. This family discussion guided the BSAs officers in drafting a resolution to amend the organizations membership standards. And now, the feedback gathered during the earlier stages of this process remains relevant as adult volunteers and parents work to adapt to this historic change, effective Jan. 1, 2014.
MANY OF THE THOUGHTS expressed during the BSAs survey period parallel those shared during the three-day meeting. At an information session the day before voting opened, the BSAs Key 3 took the stage. Perry, Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock, and National Commissioner Tico Perez each took time to discuss his personal feelings of conflict and his conclusions.
The Key 3National President Wayne Perry, Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock, and National Commissioner Tico Perezlisten during a pre-vote information session as voting members of the BSA vocalize their opinions regarding the proposed membership-policy resolution. The Key 3National President Wayne Perry, Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock, and National Commissioner Tico Perezlisten during a pre-vote information session as voting members of the BSA vocalize their opinions regarding the proposed membership-policy resolution.
Perry described his own arduous decision-making process. He then commended the BSAs historic comprehensive listening effort, which included a wide-ranging survey process with registered volunteers and parents, Scouting alumni, as well as youthboth current members and nonmembers. Its through this thoughtful polling that the BSA officers gauged the majority opinions shared by those influencing and delivering the Scouting program.
Among the discoveries, perhaps the most notable is a question posed in the Voice of the Scout survey, which gathered responses from registered volunteers and parents. The scenario asked: Would it be acceptable to deny an openly gay Scout an Eagle Scout Award solely because of his sexual orientation? The overwhelming response was no. While respondents expressed support for the longstanding membership-standards policy for adults, the survey reflected that these members were less likely to agree with removing a Scout from the program solely based on sexual orientation, as opposed to his behavior.
The polling also found that, among parents under 50, support for the current membership policy had waned. Additionally, parents, Scouts, and members of the Scouting community did not express their support for a local chartered organization policy. (You can read more about the in-depth findings of the BSAs listening phase by visiting bsamembershipstandards.org and clicking on Voting Information.)
Only after gathering this feedback did the BSA Executive Committee draft a resolution to be voted on by members at Mays meeting. Although the resolution called for an open policy among youth members, feedback from Scouting stakeholders did not support amending the membership standards for adult leaders. Therefore, this was not included in the resolution.
At the voter information meeting, Perry reiterated that it was with this feedback, as well as discussion within his personal-faith network as a member of the LDS church, that he arrived at his own opinion: Amending the membership-standards policy to include all youth is the right decision for Scouting.
After commentary from the Key 3, voting members were invited to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the resolution. One representative questioned the interpretation of morally straight in the Scout Oath. To this, Perry replied that, with the policy change, No matter the sexual orientation, Scouts cannot act on their convictions at a Scouting event. Perry went on to note that the proposed membership-policy resolution falls in line with major religious chartered organizations, as these groups do not expel members of their congregation for merely expressing a same-sex attraction but not acting upon it.
The tough questions continuedwhat about Youth Protection? Fundraising? Duty to God? This respectful family dialogue didnt come without tense moments, yet the varied opinions only reinforced each persons passionate feelings for the Scouting movement. Members kept calm, took their turns at the microphone, and returned to their seats to listen to others. One member remarked, Now, if only the U.S. Congress could have a discussion like this. A welcomealbeit briefbit of comic relief.
National Annual Meeting Rex Tillerson Rex Tillerson, former BSA national president and CEO of ExxonMobil Corp., addresses annual meeting attendees the day after the historic vote.
FAST-FORWARD 24 HOURS and this same crowd now knows the fate of the BSAs future: to serve all youth. And despite the differences among voting members, the group gathers yet again on the final day of the annual meeting for the closing session. This time on stage, immediate past BSA National President Rex Tillerson takes on the challenge of addressing the reverberating question: Now what?
Most of the reasons that organizations fail at change is pretty simple, he says. People dont understand why. They dont understand the mission. They dont understand what this means for them. They dont understand their role. Now, the most important job is to communicate with Scouting supporters back in each members home council, he says.
As the CEO of ExxonMobil Corp., Tillerson is no stranger to the task of making tough decisions or venturing into uncharted territory because of a change in course. Regardless of where you were on this decision, its also very normal for people to feel like there are winners or losers. Im here to tell you thats not true. There are neither winners nor losers. Whats left after we made the decision to change is the mission, and the mission has not changed. But how are we going to implement the change?
Tillerson says teams are now working to develop implementation and communications plans. But he also noted that it falls on the representatives attending the meeting to return to their councils and help talk about the change and answer the legitimate concerns and fears of others. He points back to the voter information session as an example of a chorus of opinions and perspectives. Im going to use those things I learnedperspectives I didnt haveand thats going to help me talk to others about [this change].
With the new membership policy going into effect Jan. 1, Tillerson reiterates that the interim will serve as an additional listening period to address the concerns of Scouting families and volunteers, as well as provide ample time for the BSA to arm members with the knowledge and resources needed to move forward.
From his personal experience, Tillerson says, You really do get swamped with whats changing. Its really useful to step back, look at everything, and also recognize whats not changing. Because more often than not, most things are not changing. The Main Thingserving youthremains the same, he says, citing all of the troops heading out for their weekend campouts and those who will continue to meet come Monday evening. None of thats changing. And none of that will change unless you do something that changes that.
And as for the future of Scouting, Tillerson says he has great confidence because the BSA has all of the ingredients that organizations would love to have when theyre going through significant change. We have a very clear mission statementto serve our youth; we have a very clear, common set of codes of conduct: the Scout Oath and Law. He also notes the BSAs trained leadership, resources for future training, a best-of-class Youth Protection program, strong investments, and youth programs. Whats more, he says, We have an unlimited customer base.
Most businesses, he says, have to define these factors for their employees and customers as a way to implement changeteaching the mission, the code of conduct, and more. But not the BSA. He says, We have an enormous amount of foundational capacity on which to be successful.
You got on a train to a destination we didnt know. We arrived and were at the destinationand the destination is were going to make a change, he continues. I know where this trains going. Its going to millions of kids that want to be served. We need every one of you to be on that train.
The New Standard The following membership standard for youth members of the Boy Scouts of America is hereby adopted and approved, effective Jan. 1, 2014:
Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth who meet the specific membership requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing programs. Membership in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.
National President Wayne Perry announces the voting results, approval of a resolution amending the BSAs membership policy, removing the restriction excluding youth based solely on sexual orientation.
I didn’t know BSA was a “movement”.
It’s a dying “movement.” My sister has two sons in Boy Scouts . The older one on verge of eagle will try to finish but the younger boy is no longer in scouts.
It’s the kind of movement you leave in the toilet
I’m sorry, but I didn’t read that in the article.
Expect gay couples with NAMBLA memberships to enroll their boys en masse
BSA will be dead in the water within 5 years due to sexual assaults by scout leaders and older gay scouts. I predict lawsuits that are staggering.
Cannot be done without violating the Boy Scout oath and it is abhorrent to GOD.
Well then read it again.
National President Wayne Perry cuts the silence. Whatever this sayshe pauses, raising the results envelope in front of his green Venturing uniformwe have to come together. We love this movement."
BSA can shove it. I have given to them in the past, based on their once courageous stand against sodomy.
They sent me an email survey with all sorts of “scenarios” with homosexuals.....I made it clear then that my finances will not support them if they happily embrace homosexual behavior.
They do, so my monies now go to the boys organization at
Already to weird. It’s the end.
Just a stepping stone to allowing openly homosexual chicken haw....er, scout leaders into the organization.
I used to donate $5 or $10 to every group of scouts I passed when they were out selling popcorn. I was also contemplating putting my son into scouts as I was a Boy Scout when I was young.
I'll never donate again and my son will never join.
You now stand for nothing. Your organization is doomed.
Sure made it a point to let everyone know in this fluff article er press release that it was a fair and honest vote count by an impartial 3rd party. Why do I get the feeling the amendment would have been approved regardless.
What does you son think on the matter?
My son is 7. He needs adults who have his best interest in mind making decisions for him, not groups that have been infiltrated and tainted.
Are you seriously defending this move by the Boy Scouts, Bert?
What's your motivation?
So, when these queer Eagle Scouts are ready to become scoutmasters once they become adults, who but the meanest of haters could deny their acceptance?
It was a difficult choice. My thought is that most who vociferously oppose BSA don’t know enough about the details of Troop management to understand
The change has to do with boys. There are no 7, or 11, or 13 year old queers.
It is not a problem with Cubs at all. Missing on the chance to be Cub could be missing a great opportunity. In 4 years and time for Weblos graduation to a Troop, the whole issue could be different. A decision at that point is still possible.
The problem is with older teenagers that advance to Eagle. The primary result will be that Queer boys can receive the Eagle award.
Almost no boys join scouting after 13. It happens but the likely hood is very small.
Then there are the boys. In strong troops where there are substantial numbers of older scouts, they will handle the problem. They will not allow sexual problems within the troop. As a matter of fact, the announced queer will likely be self ostracized because he knows they know.
In smaller, weaker troops, the presence of an older Scout that is an announced homo might disrupt activities to the point where is simply goes out of business. The weak two man leadership might just quit or the sponsoring institution might not renew the troops charter.
In my troop, we have a strong venture program. There are girls. They actively participate in all kinds of outdoor adventures. I am no longer associated with the day to day operation but the principle is the same. Any sexual (or drugs or alcohol) activity and you’re out of here. Although membership is accepted, bad behavior is not.
Locally, there is one troop, and old and strong troop that has announced the sponsoring institution, a medium sized Baptist church, has decided not to renew the charter. There is talk at other troops but no actual action. The Troop will not cease to exist however. A new Sponsoring institution, a Methodist church of similar size, will charter the troop.
I can not get a handle on the morally straight part of the oath when considering queers. I consider homosexuality immoral. The boy is swearing to the oath, not me. He apparently has different morals, even perhaps in his view, Christian morals.
There is a lot of talk here about lawsuits. It could not really be much worse than it already is. The cost to BSA for lawsuits is immense.
The question is leaders. Once a boy turns 18 as a scout or 21 as an explorer/venturer membership is over. Many 18 year old scouts continue briefly as registered adults, assistant Scoutmasters. Under the present arrangement, that will not necessarily be an automatic thing. They will be flagged by BSA and will not be permitted to go elsewhere and register as an adult. They have a dossier. This is very important. Problem leaders leave home and get job. They find a weak troop and become an assistant. The weak troop leader is very receptive to a former, well trained scout who wants to help.
It also remains to be seen if those who voted to allow queer boy members will vote to allow queer adults. My feeling is that they will not.
BSA has an extremely strong youth protection program that is mandatory for all adults and must be updated every two years. If implemented, most of the imagined bad things will not happen anyway. I have followed this program since the inception perhaps 25 years ago. Sometimes I think it is too harsh, but it is effective. Parents and new leaders readily accept it and are thankful for the program. (hint.... find out about it and the details before making a decision about Cubs)
I have the opportunity to see strong boy leadership in action. They are savvy in their perceptions and actions. They know what’s happening.
If there is a big problem, it will be in small, weaker troops. Large Troops already have self generated written policies on a long list of problem areas. I would think internal troop policy will be adequate to control problems.
-——who but the meanest of haters could deny their acceptance?——
They have come out. They have a BSA dossier......
Membership as an adult will be denied by the BSA council that approves all adult applications.
Yeah, right. Sorta like the Catholic church with priests overseeing altar boys.
If you believe that homosexual Scout leaders are not already imbedded within the Scouts then I have a bridge to sell you.
You mean sort of like Baptist choir directors?
(hint.... find out about it and the details before making a decision about Cubs)
I've already made, and stated, my decision about Cubs. I'm sure hundreds, if not thousands, of other concerned parents have made the same decision.
I don't think that bodes well for the continued existence of the BSA.
The only real information at this point is what it has cost the BSA to do this. That is, how are their donations compared to last year; how many boys and even troops have dropped out; and how many troops have lost their meeting areas in churches that have asked them to leave?
The true answers to these three questions will determine if their decision was a wise one, or foolish and destructive.
This text is self-contradictory.
This whole article is a plea to get right-thinking people to jump onto a fast moving train of homosexual sex-positive messaging, despite the deliberate gutting of the mission of the BSA. To accept that the "mission has not changed", one has to believe that homosexuality is moral, rational, and is not a sin.
The BSA is committing suicide.
The legality of the exclusion of homosexual adults rests in the now defunct restriction against homosexuality in the scouts. The BSA will be homosexually integrated by court order, just as soon as the first openly homosexual eagle scout decides to pursue the case.
This is an easily predictable outcome of this issue - and follows the patterns of incremental intrusion used by the homosexual lobby.
Ditto. Our son is 6 - 8 months away from Eagle, otherwise he/we would quit BSA. The 2/3 of voting members must be Democrat useful idiots...
“Membership as an adult will be denied by the BSA council that approves all adult applications.”
Do you believe that will stand?