Comments about ‘Letter: Boy Scouts of America’

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Published: Thursday, June 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Excellent Letter Zachary.

There has been significantly more disruption over the "reaction" to the changes than by the changes themselves.

And you are exactly right. The latest issue is much more political than substantive.

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

Great letter Zachary,

Sounds like you have a wonderful legacy of scouting in your family.

A quick "ask" from me: as you aspire to earn your Eagle rank, remember that advancement is only one of the methods that scouting uses to engage the youth. Make sure to enjoy the other elements of scouting as you pursue your Eagle. And once there, help other guys understand if advancement isn't their "thing", that's okay and they still are and can be great scouts too.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

The BSA started the fight, and the BSA continues the fight. I would suggest that the young man complaining about politics consult with the administration of the BSA and ask them to stop fighting what seems to be both inevitable and good sense.

Having kids who self identify as homosexual does not "ruin" the Boy Scouts. The BSA fought this in court all the way to the Supreme Court, and won (call themselves a "private" organization, and not subject to public accommodation laws). Then the BSA recognized the stupidity of the decision and reversed itself. Just who played politics?

The BSA does not want adult homosexual leaders in the organization. I suppose that based on the legal notion that Boy Scouts are nothing more than a private club they are allowed to do so. However, this notion flies in the face of the majority of Americans. I also imagine they will rescind this decision in the future. So again, who is playing politics?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You are right Zachary. The Boy Scout program is about the boys, not the adult leaders.

The adults are there for support and to be a good example of what a man should be, but it's supposed to be a boy-lead program. So don't let the leaders take over your scout program.

The boys should plan the activities and use the "Patrol Method". Some patrols focus a lot on advancement, some don't. But it should always be fun, interesting, and educational. You can't blame adult leaders if it's not interesting (it's your program).

===

If your leaders haven't taught you about the "Patrol Method"... ask them. I'm sure they would be glad to teach you.

From the scouting manual...

"Patrols are the building blocks of a Boy Scout troop. A patrol is a small group of boys who are similar in age, development, and interests. Working together as a team, patrol members share the responsibility for the patrol's success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of patrol leadership. All patrol members enjoy the friendship, sense of belonging, and achievements of the patrol and of each of its members".

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Open Minded Mormon,

If you really think that's what those merit badges are about... I'm sure glad you're not a merit badge counselor in my area.

BSA is not about politics. It's not about teaching the boys your Progressive agenda.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"BSA is not about politics. It's not about teaching the boys your Progressive agenda."

True. However, it is not about teaching a conservative agenda either. I realize that you did not say that it was. Im just pointing it out.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

Great letter Zachary!

Unfortunately there are people in our society who hold the boys hostage to push their agenda. Perhaps your reminder that boy scouts is about the boys will help them realize this is not their forum. The boys should come first, and when the boys come first, they in turn do great things for us as a community.

Keep up the good work!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

JoeBlow,
It's not about teaching them either political agenda. But we do teach them extensively about the Constitution and our form of government (in Citizenship in the Nation). But it's best to keep partisan politics, partisan rhetoric, and political dogma, out of it. I don't know if some people are capable of that.

They do learn what it means to be "Conservative". I don't mean the political definition, I mean the classic definition. Where "Conservative" means "holding to traditional attitudes and values". We teach them to conserve the land, resources (including finances), and learn to live in concert with the land and live a sustainable lifestyle.

We teach environmentalism a lot (every week)... but not "Radical Environmentalism", like PETA or LDS Treehugger would teach the boys. We teach them to love nature, not to burn down housing developments and auto dealerships...

And religion does come up. How could it not when we pledge to do our "duty to God and our country" every time we meet?

But it's no place for political indoctrination... Either side (like you said).

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

@2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT
Open Minded Mormon,

I'm sure glad you're not a merit badge counselor in my area.

BSA is not about politics. It's not about teaching the boys your Progressive agenda.

12:15 p.m. June 5, 2014

======

Call it what you want,
I follow the official Scout HandBook, and the Merit Badge requirements.

World Conservative Award,
merit badges,
Leave No Trace Award,

Enviromental Science is req'd for Eagle.
Sustainability now also req'd for Eagle.

Scouting is more in line with my Tree-hugging,
In fact it molded me into the Tree-Hugging adult I am today.

We do not advocate the --
Burn Baby Burn,
Profit ahead of People,
Goblin Valley rock tipping,
God is going to swoop down and cleanse the pollution and mess we made.
ideologies of those who oppose those like me.

[Whatever happened to teaching personal responsiblity? What kind of an Earthly Father would put up with that, let along our Heavenly Father?]

FYI --
I've seen over 100 young men earn their Eagle Scout and Duty to God Awards under my leadership over my 32 years in Scouting, including all of my own sons.

How many have you helped?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The Boy Scout program is for boys, not adults. When an adult pats himself on the back, he violates every principle that Scouting stands for. Scouts are taught to do a good turn daily, without being paid or congratulated. The action is its own reward. The very basis of scouting is that the boys help each other, without public adulation. They're taught to be of service, not so that the public will note who they are, but so that service will be rendered when it is needed.

I know a lot of excellent Scout Masters who have helped boys all their life. If you ask them what they did, they will simply tell you how the SCOUT learned to serve, how the SCOUT learned to improve himself by earning merit badges, which give boys access to new ideas and to new experiences. Those Scout Masters never tell what THEY did, only what the boys did. Their attitude emulates everything good about scouting.

Zachary shows us what scouting is about. Adults have no business making it "their" program. A good leader is a sentinel. He points the way.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Open Minded Mormon,
I won't play your game. I've been a scout leader for a long time, but I'm not keeping score. And it's not about my politics...

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Scouts are taught to do a good turn daily, without being paid or congratulated. The action is its own reward. The very basis of scouting is that the boys help each other, without public adulation. They're taught to be of service, not so that the public will note who they are, but so that service will be rendered when it is needed.

========

Gee,

We sure wasted a heck of a lot of time and effort in all those Scout Court of Honors,
handing out all those badges, Skill Awards and Rank Advancements then...

No recognition?

I see nothing!
Casa Grande, AZ

I quit scouts at 16 to get a job, earn money and get a pilot's licence. That was the best decision I ever made but it sure gave some adults heartburn.

BSA is good but it's not good when forced on a kid that KNOWS what he wants to do. The BSA is all too often used for conformity over progress in some parts. Some people are far too concerned that a kid is cookie cutter than if he is good and seeking good things.

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