Category Archive 'Boy Scouts of America'

06 Jul 2008

Forest Service Cancels Boy Scout Outing In Favor of Rainbow Family, Riot Ensues

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a previous Rainbow Family Gathering

The US Forest Service unexpectedly canceled a week-long Boy Scout honor society service project planned since 2004 in favor of a suddenly “spontaneously announced” Rainbow Family “Gathering of the Tribes” at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Western Wyoming.

The decision to pull the plug on the Boy Scouts in favor of the counterculturalists was made by Mark E. Rey, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the Department of Agriculture.

The Boy Scouts’ event was part of a program of 5,000 elite boy scouts donating 250,000 hours of time for construction, repair, and reclamation work in five National Forests. The scout volunteers intended to camp out in Bridger-Teton, build a trail at Teton Pass and remove a quarter of a mile of obsolete sheep fencing as well as three miles of fenced enclosure at an altitude of 8000 feet.

WorldNetDaily reports that the Forest Service booted the scouts in favor of the hippies, rather than go to the trouble and expense of law enforcement.

The conflict arose with the Wyoming location and dates, because Rainbow Family participants announced they would meet in the same general location as the Scouting work was to take place. The Rainbow Family events are not organized, there is no official website, and the makeup of the assemblage varies. Their activities grow to a peak over the July 4th weekend and then taper off, but the cleanup from the estimated 25,000 people expected to invade Wyoming’s Sublette County, population 6,000, is expected to take the time the Scouts otherwise would have been doing repairs.

Mary Cernicek, a spokeswoman for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, told the Casper Star-Tribune federal officials will look for other work in another location to substitute for the Scouts.

“We’re heartbroken, but we’re committed to giving the Boy Scouts a good experience and providing them with the education and leadership skills they’re seeking,” she told the newspaper.

Bousman said it’s fairly simple: The Scouts applied for permission for their project, filled out forms, went through red tape, and got permission. Then came the announcement from Rainbow members they’ve chosen the same location.

Mark Rey, the federal undersecretary supervising the U.S. Forest Service, met with Rainbow Family members recently in Pinedale, and urged them to move their gathering, the Star-Tribune said. They refused.

Rey told WND he thought the decision to move the Scouts to somewhere else and leave the Rainbow Family alone was the best under the circumstances. He said the government allows the Rainbow Family to bypass its regular permit requirements in favor of an “operating plan” but the bottom line was that the government didn’t want to be arresting hundreds or thousands of people.

“They couldn’t be expelled without a fairly significant amount of law enforcement activity.”

But law enforcement activity took place anyway.

The Forest Service, for reasons it won’t divulge so far (probably drugs), made an arrest, a second individual was then arrested as well for interfering with the first arrest, and as the fedral officers led the suspects away, they were attacked with sticks and stones by a crowd of 400. Eventually more than 60 police were required to control the mob, and rubber skugs and “pepper balls,” i.e. paint balls containing pepper spray, were fired at the crowd. Ultimately five people were arrested, and the ACLU is threatening retaliation.

The Casper Star-Tribune blames the police.

24 Dec 2007

Punishing the Boy Scouts

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Al Knight on the left’s political crusade against the Boy Scouts.

Some topics are best left both out of sight and out of mind. The American Civil Liberties Union’s war on the Boy Scouts is not one of them.

The ACLU, in a rational world, might well have been expected to champion the First Amendment rights of an organization like the Boy Scouts. After all, the First Amendment to the Constitution (so dear to the ACLU) protects both speech and the right to associate.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 upheld the right of the Boy Scouts to select members and leaders without regard to state laws that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation.

That ruling hasn’t stopped the ACLU. It has simply shifted tactics away from the courts and focused its energies on local and often mean-spirited campaigns to deny the Scouts places to meet and the ability to raise funds.

Sadly, the campaign appears to be working. Earlier this year, the Philadelphia City Council caved to pressure from the ACLU and gay and lesbian groups to end a 75-year-old, $1-a-year lease on the Boy Scouts headquarters. The lease was originally granted to run “in perpetuity.”

But now, the Scouts will have to pay almost $200,000 a year in rent. Not only that, but the city’s Cradle of Liberty Boy Scout Council, after years of resistance, gave in to pressure and essentially agreed to the demands of gay and lesbian groups. And more bad news: The left-leaning Pew Charitable Trusts and the United Way in Philadelphia have stopped funding the Boy Scouts.

The youth of Philadelphia need the Boy Scouts as much as ever, but the City Council is too cowardly to stand up to the unreasonable and vindictive demands of special interest groups.

These campaigns against the Scouts can no longer be disguised as efforts to end discrimination. They have only one purpose: to punish an organization that has performed countless good turns for a century.

At this point, it is unclear what can be done to convince the American public that actions like those taken by the Philadelphia City Council pose a risk to the nation and to the common good. Today, the Boy Scouts may be the target, but tomorrow the same shabby tactics could be aimed at the Rotary Club or any other private civic group.

After all, what this country really needs is an active self-affirming homosexual presence in an organization for boys.


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