Allow local control

That the Boy Scouts of America is now a private organization that can set its own membership rules is law. The BSA that we knew, supported, volunteered for and loved has changed. It now accepts the beliefs of the one church and forces those beliefs on all chartering units, be they another church with different views or a public agency or public school.

Little has been publicized about the Latter Day Saints church’s threat to remove 12 percent of all scouts from the BSA – which they now see as their youth ministry – if the ban on gays is not upheld. It is similarly not widely publicized that the BSA had $56 million in surplus funds in 1997, the last year tax information was available. United Way monies go to funding the councils and paid staff, not to the individual units. Otherwise the units would not have to be constantly raising funds door to door, with Christmas tree sales and the like.

I suggest that the national BSA cut their bureaucracy and allow local control of chartering units so volunteers, the backbone of the scouting movement, can decide for themselves who is fit to lead and to be a member. In the meantime, support local scouting units directly as they aren’t getting funding from their councils anyway.


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