Skip to comments.Boy Scouts of America Sees 6% Decline in Membership; Stands Firm on Banning Openly Gay Leaders
Posted on 06/02/2014 9:32:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Boy Scouts of America held its national annual meeting in Nashville last week, one year after announcing the inclusion of openly-gay members, and despite a decline in membership over the past 10 years, the organization says it continues to serve nearly 2.5 million youth.
"The BSA has seen, in its past 10 years, some years with a decline of 2 to 4 percent in members each year with some years being flat. At the end of December, we had served nearly 2.5 million youth members and close to 960,000 adult members. This is a decrease of approximately 6 percent from the same time in 2012," Deron Smith, director of communications for the BSA, told The Christian Post.
He continued, "To put that in perspective, from 2011 to 2012 membership declined by 4 percent, so we saw additional 2 percent decrease from the previous year."
Smith also noted that it's difficult to determine exact membership numbers at any given time because recruitment occurs year round. "There are many factors that go into a family's decision to join Scouting and it's impossible to point to any single factor that influences our membership numbers."
"In 2013, we engaged in a discussion with our scouting family about our membership policy, and ultimately, scouting voted in favor of a new policy that allows us to serve more kids. That said, we're pleased that the strong majority of our scouting family remains committed to scouting," he stated.
Last May, BSA delegates gathered for their national annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, to vote on a resolution to change their membership policy. The delegates voted 61 percent to 39 percent in favor of a resolution allowing openly-gay males to become scouts while maintaining the ban on openly-gay scout leaders.
The BSA's national policy change was denounced by several socially conservative groups and the Southern Baptist Convention voted last June to approve a resolution that expresses the denomination's "opposition to and disappointment in the decision of the BSA to change its membership policy" to allow openly-gay members.
While the SBC's resolution didn't require churches and families to sever their ties with the BSA, it did ask that they "prayerfully assess their continued relationship" with the organization. If they continue their partnership with the BSA, the resolution asks churches and families to "work toward a reversal" of the membership policy.
In his speech on the last day of the BSA's National Annual Meeting on May 23, Robert Gates, former secretary of defense and former director of central intelligence and the organization's national president, said that while he would've also supported the inclusion of openly gay scoutmasters, he believes the issue is contentious and would only lead to a further fracturing of the BSA, following last year's vote to lift a ban on openly gay students becoming members.
"Given the strong feelings involved among our volunteers on both sides of this matter, I believe strongly that to reopen the membership issue or try to take last year's decision to the next step would irreparably fracture and perhaps even provoke a formal, permanent split in this movement with the high likelihood that neither side would survive on its own. That is just a fact of life," Gates asserted.
Smith reiterated Gates' comments and the BSA's stance on not succumbing to pressure from LGBT advocacy groups, such as GLAAD and Scouts for Equality, in their quest to see the organization lift its ban on openly-gay leaders.
Based on its leadership policy, in March the BSA revoked the charter of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church in Seattle, Washington, and two scouting units, Troop 98 and Pack 98, for refusing to remove openly gay scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath.
Smith, according to Time magazine, said the BSA "had no choice but to withdraw the church's charter as it refused to follow the terms of its chartered-organization agreement and policies."
McGrath, Time notes, is the first openly gay adult to have his leadership status revoked by the BSA.
"He acknowledged his sexuality to the BSA in March after an NBC story about the troop's inclusiveness prompted the scouting movement to inquire about his orientation," Time reports.
Speaking about this issue, Smith told CP that the BSA does not, and never has, tracked information about scoutmasters' sexual orientation.
"We don't proactively seek this information and unless individuals choose to discuss it during the application process, or unless they otherwise inappropriately interject it, we have no way of knowing," he explained.
One concern for those who support opening the BSA to include openly-gay scout leaders is the impact the adult leadership policy will have on scouts when they become 18, because in 2015, those older than 18 will no longer be considered youth members, and will have to meet the adult membership standards.
This policy is one that both supporters and opponents of opening up scout membership to openly-gay youth agreed at last year's national annual meeting as being inconsistent, and a future problem for the BSA, because openly-gay youth would be inelligible to become scoutmasters or volunteers once they become adults.
In February, the BSA's National Executive Board made the decision in a resolution lowering the eligibility age in such programs as the high-adventure co-ed Venturing program, Sea Scouts and the Order of the Arrow, the Boy Scouts' National Honor Society.
"When a member is no longer a youth participant, he or she must apply to serve as an adult scout leader and meet the necessary requirements," Smith said.
Even though Smith declined to comment on Trail Life USA, the Christian alternative to the BSA that was created by former scoutmasters, scouts and volunteers following the outcome of last year's vote, he did say that "every child deserves the opportunity to be a part of the Scouting experience."
"While people have different opinions about the BSA's policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting," he said.
The Orlando, Florida-based Trail Life USA is described by its leaders as an "unapologetically biblical" alternative to the BSA and has reported major growth since its launch in January.
Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA, told CP in a recent interview that the organization already has 370 troops that are up and running, operating and holding meetings in more than 45 states. And 300 troops that are in the chartering process.
The Christian Post contacted Rainier Beach United Methodist Church in Seattle for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Let’s see....homosexual adult male, impressionable young boys.
What could possibly go wrong?
Guess the term “boy scout” has an entirely new meaning, not?
In any case, I no longer give a smelly Obama about them.
If the BSA were really âstanding firmâ against gay troop leaders, they wouldn’t have elected a new President who said he would have voted to ALLOW such leaders. Although Gates says he’s going to leave the issue alone, I don’t believe that for a second. The gay lobby is planting in-the-closet gay leaders who will come out and then squeal like stuck pigs when they are kicked out. (This just happened.) There will be an outcry every time this happens and eventually the BSA will be worn down and allow gay troop leaders. Count on it.
This is just the initial seep. The policy didn’t officially go into effect, and Trail Life didn’t launch, until 5 months ago.
Next year is likely to see triple that decline, if not much more.
Good! Cull the herd of the sicko’s and the rest will grow strong.
Let the Faggots form their own group - Gay Scouts of Amerika.
The Scouts I belonged to as a boy no longer exists.
BSA will cave. Watch.
Birth rates are down too-——that may explain some of it.
Gee how about we let the transgender boys join the Girl Scouts? s/
“BSA sees 6% Decline in Membership...Stands Firm on Banning Openly Gay Leaders”
And from the article:
, one year after announcing the inclusion of openly-gay members
Why is the Christian Post running propaganda?
The headline implies...one would reasonably think there were a lot of BSA members and their families who were protesting the non inclusion of gays.
And that’s tremendous, because there is a low single digit percentage of gays in the population, as always has been.
And one would assume it is a tenth of that within organizations dedicated to formation of boys to men, that is for at least a decade until it is completely taken over as would appear to be the goal.
But not one year.
Here’s the first line:
“... one year after announcing the inclusion of openly-gay members”
Which is actually the cause of the decline, one would reasonably think.
Is the Christian Post an anti Christian propaganda outlet?
This is so insultingly blatant, it was difficult to read on.
The absolute truth. The current organization is just an insulting parody of the Scouts of my youth.
"Given the strong feelings involved among our volunteers on both sides of this matter, I believe strongly that to reopen the membership issue or try to take last year's decision to the next step would irreparably fracture and perhaps even provoke a formal, permanent split in this movement with the high likelihood that neither side would survive on its own. That is just a fact of life," Gates asserted.Translation: We'd do it if we thought we could get away with it.
I had several people tell me they wouldn’t let their youg sons join the “gay” scouts. Back 40 yrs ago or so, I used to hitchhike across america to see the country. It never failed that around dusk some faggot would offer you a ride. Fortunately, I jumped out of a few cars and never got directly accosted by these deviates. If being homo is so natural, now why do they seek to draw young boys into their despicable lifestyle? Oh, that’s right, they can procreate on their own!
“Next year is likely to see triple that decline, if not much more.”
If so, or when, look for propaganda media to run with such a headline:
“BSA Sees Steep Decline in Membership; Stands Firm on Banning Openly Gay Leaders”
You know, to sway the casual headline reader into thinking the gay population takes up over a quarter% of the population and are protesting the BSA for not accommodating them.
The personal survey results conducted in 2013 showed by a 2 to 1 margin that the membership of BSA wanted to KEEP the “don't ask, don't tell” policy with regards to homos.
Then the Councils went and selected their delegates and in many cases (WLACC and other lib enclaves) denied access to these delegates by the membership so their voices/preferences could be heard and then supposedly, vote accordingly.
That the delegates then voted 2 to 1 in favor of changing the policy says just about all one needs to know.
The deck was stacked from within the mahogany halls of BSA National...
I do not understand how the BSA brought in a president who has publicly stated that all entities, not just the BSA, should allow openly gay leaders to lead children and people. He has publicly stated that he wants the BSA to have openly gay leaders.
This country has embraced the sick perversion of homosexuality as normal, that we go on to celebrate this sickness and promote it, and then we go on to create hate crimes or create an environment where people lose their jobs if they disagree with this sickness.
Homosexuality is a judgement on America and this president of the BSA is a tool to further the judgement.
This needs to be pointed out consistently - homosexuality will not bring judgement upon our country; homosexuality IS the judgement. Romans 1:26 starts with For this reason and continues God gave them up to vile passions. ..men with men committing what is shameful; so this is a judgement upon our society.
It also continues and says that they give approval to others for more and more evil acts. We see this today with our legislatures accepting homosexual marriages and the teaching of it as acceptable in the schools.
Note also that Romans 1:32 points out that those who approve of such conduct are just as guilty as those who engage in it.
Get your children out of the BSA (and out of the public schools.)
I’ve often wondered .... Is same-sex attraction pedophilia to be classified as a type or sub-set of homosexuality too?
Or is it in a class by itself?
Wasn't there a short-lived effort a number of years ago to combine the BSA and Girl Scouts into a single organization? Sort of like the Camp Fire Girls did back in the '70s?
Same here unfortunately.
Unfortunitaly I believe that there has been one example of this.
No doubt that the Scouts have been pussified to a large degree.
The problem (as I see it) is that back when you an I were scouts, the leaders were men, and in fact almost all were WAR VETS from WW2 and Korea. Today’s ‘Nam Vets, Desert Storm Vets and the like, are just not as numerous. And, there are a lot more women involved in boy scouting than before.
Forget the whole faggot thing for a minute, and realize that the more women you have involved, the softer things will get. More single mothers, who simply have no idea what boys are like when they are with 30 or 40 other boys.... They don’t like what they see when their boys are with other boys. The rough-housing, the pecking order, the peer pressure to toughen up, the boisterousness, show-off, guns, archery, knives, and so forth.
The Boys Scouts needs MEN, to make boys into men, not women making them into...
I remember when “Scouting for Boys” meant ‘Scouting, for boys’.
Now it has an entirely different, predatory meaning.
Seen it happen in Cubs/Webelos...we will get kids that haven’t earned their Whittlin’ Chip (knife safety, use and care) while in Cubs because the women either don’t know or are scared (had one admit this) to teach the boys because “knives are sharp”.
Excellent points! I agree with all of them.
Mitt Romney, who has supported gay scout leaders since at least 1994, took action against the anti-gay Boy Scout volunteers during the 2002 Winter Olympics that he headed.
I( guess he can be detail oriented when he wants to be.
Ban queers from Scouting period and watch your numbers go back up. Keep your “open (back) door” policy and watch them continue to dwindle until you become irrelevant.
Corporate money always corrupts.
Back when I was a Cub Scout Leader (see my tagline to know what uniform I wear now) I taught Whittling Chip as one of our last meeting for the year. The next fall I asked my den how many of them used their pocketknife over the summer. They all raised their hands. Then I asked how many cut themselves. Same response. Everybody laughed.
anyone with a kid still in the BS’s
should please, please
remove him TODAY!
there ARE, in many places, other boys clubs... some very good ones.... tell your friends,
Sorry to say it, but Scouting is over and done for.
This is a TRUE story...I taught some new Webelos (our son was one) their Whittlin’ Chip and right after the meeting, our son pleaded with mom to use his brand new, never opened Swiss Army knife to carve on a bar of soap.
Cut himself within 5 minutes and the wife was mad...”Hey!” I told her, “at least the knife was clean and all we have to do is a butterfly bandage and a bandaid.”
She was NOT amused...to this day, our son is proud of that scar.
In my Cub Scout troop alone, we've seen a 50% reduction, year-over-year. And I've heard the same thing anecdotally from other troops.
The real kicker is going to come during recruitment drives. The local school board has decided to *not* allow the Cub Scouts to recruit at the schools, starting this year. We're trying to figure out alternative plans, but I think that this will be the death knell for our local pack.
I feel sorry for the kids, but I don't blame the School Board for their decision, either. Actions have consequences.
They are. Actually, the sharper they are, the safer they are, but that would be lost on people who don't know/don't care.
And, I'd add that all it takes is one good slice on your finger to break the habit of not being careful.
It’s what I drill into the boys’ heads...”sharp knives are safe knives.” Sounds like an oxymoron, but you nailed it in saying that it’s lost on people who don’t know or care.
I’d venture to say that there’s probably not a man or kid around (who isn’t “pussified”) that has used a knife and doesn’t bear some scar(s) from doing so.
I have mine...in my mind, badges of honor from a bygone era when boys were boys and men were men...
It’s easy to say that...the reality is far different.
For the family that isn’t too conflicted over homosexuality being a sin, it’s an easy choice. There have been those, who being so close to Eagle, walked away from the BSA over this decision.
For the more secular or PC indoctrinated...not so easy...especially for those who are close to finishing their Eagle...
Believe it or not, the Eagle award will still mean something to a vast majority in America for a while.
It’s an icon and these boys have worked hard to earn it.
As angry as I am over the failed leadership at National, my heart is broken for the BSA...I just don’t have the “fire in my belly” for it any longer...I’m simply going through the motions, running out time until my resignation on 31 December.
I’m only going this long to honor my commitments to Scouts and parents to take Scouts to Philmont, see a couple through to Eagle and transition the Troop to a new SM.
I was in your position last year. My oldest son earned eagle in December. It pained us all to leave but it was the right thing. My other son is life. He may return to finish eagle but only after he earns Trail Life’s pinnacle award, the Freedom Award. It’s harder to earn.
His Eagle ceremony was two weeks ago. It hurt to not wear my uniform. We barel mentioned trail life because it was his day to honor his achievement as a Boy Scout.
Our involvement is BSA was deep. I was founding scoutmaster of our troop. The whole troop less one kid moved to trail life USA. It was by far a great decision.
But,but,but,,,didnt all the new gay members make up the differance in new mwmbership?Wasnt this the arguement to allow gay scouts so we would have more members in scouting?
How much of a reduction in financial contributions has the organization seen?
I was getting non-stop calls from our local Scout Council begging for money until late last year when I told them to take me off their list and call their Sodomite backers instead.
I recall you were basically on the advance team with Trail Life...
Congratulations to your son and your family...regardless of how we feel about the BSA, the Eagle Scout Award is still one award that a boy can earn that is nationally recognized and held in high esteem by just about any who encounter an Eagle. It’ll be interesting to see how long that lasts.
The journey itself is what helps make a boy into a man and I suspect from the requirements I’ve seen in Trail Life, they’ve taken that component of Scouting and improved upon it. BSA doesn’t have exclusivity on that...
Regrettably, I believe that you are right.
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Correct me if I am wrong, but the policy change was because it was feared that membership would drop if the Scouts lost corporate support.
Now that membership has dropped because of the change, the fact that it will not be reconsidered indicates that the original reason was bogus. The leadership wanted to change no matter what the consequences.
Scouting Law says that a Scout will be Reverend and moral. These are values of a Higher Power. The Higher Power that I obey tells me that homosexual activity is a sin. Scout leadership is violating its own Law with this policy.
RE: Scouting Law says that a Scout will be Reverend and moral.
In a relativistic world with no fixed foundation, The word “moral” can mean anything one wants it to mean.
For those whose world view is relative, the truth means anything they want it to. Indeed, reality itself becomes malleable and plastic. Up is down, right is wrong. Gay is no different than straight.
Good to hear. Standing on principle can be hard to do, sometimes.
So glad that there is a conservative alternative gaining traction. My hubby and son were both Scouts. We’d NOT participate, like we used to, today.