Category Archive 'Boy Scouts of America'
27 Jul 2021
Lost in London’s fog in 1909, William D. Boyce was aided by an unknown Boy Scout doing his daily good turn. Impressed by the Scout’s devotion to principle, Boyce founded the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910.
Mark Pulliam wrote a grim, and just slightly in-advance of the complete end, obituary for the Boy Scouts of America, once a widely popular boyhood rite of passage, imported a little over a century ago from Britain.
Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the hero of the Siege of Mafeking, dismayed at the lack of idealism, physical weakness, and unfamiliarity with the Out-of-Doors of Boer War recruits drawn from British industrialized cities, created an organization for boys specifically designed to inculcate manliness, virtue, and outdoor skills. Boys were encouraged to model themselves on the experienced and skilled frontiersman able to guide and reconnoiter for military forces in the Wild, on super-human figures like Frederick Russell Burnham, on the Scout. Boys should additionally be developed into patriots and Christian gentlemen of spotless honor, making a point of doing a good deed every day.
Baden-Powell invented the Scouting Movement specifically to oppose the negative influences of Modernity: moral relativism, effeminacy, cynicism, sloth, weakness, and self-indulgence. A bit over a century later, the BSA’s corporate leadership proved itself to be exactly like the rest of America’s national establishment: a pack of spineless, air-headed sheep ready to surrender quickly to the Sodomy and the Left’s Gramscian Long March Through the Institutions. It’s very, very sad.
While overall membership peaked in the early 1970s, the participation rate—the percentage of age-eligible boys who were members of the BSA—began to decline a decade (or more) earlier. The effect of this decline was disguised by increases in the U.S. population and expansion of the traditional scouting program. The heyday of the BSA coincided with the demographic bubble of post-WWII births—the Boomer generation. As this cohort grew up, the attention of American youths was distracted by other cultural influences: greater affluence, competing recreational activities, the proliferation of organized youth sports, the ubiquity of suburbia and its rich array of creature comforts, growing demographic diversity, and—in the past decade—the advent of computer games that now consume the interest of many boys.
The Boy Scout Law—with its embrace of religious faith (“reverence”) and heterosexuality (“morally straight”)—faced hostile headwinds in an increasingly secular and “tolerant” society. And, to be honest, in a youth culture increasingly sensitive to what is fashionable—a norm rigidly and relentlessly enforced by social media through the omnipresent smartphone—the Boy Scouts in recent decades was regarded as unacceptably “uncool.” In the 1950s and 1960s, peer pressure went in the opposite direction, reinforcing the attractiveness of scouting. Norman Rockwell’s cover illustration for the February 1965 issue of Boys’ Life depicts two parents proudly watching as their clean-cut son—standing at attention in a crisply-pressed uniform—receives his Eagle medal. Alas, times change. As the BSA’s membership began to decline, the national organization tried to remain “relevant,” adapting to America’s abrupt cultural and demographic shifts with responses that were sometimes clumsy and even counter-productive.
After decades of litigation brought by atheists and homosexuals regarding the BSA’s exclusionary membership requirements—which were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) as the exercise of the BSA’s First Amendment rights—the BSA reversed itself by allowing gay youths full participation in 2014 and allowing openly gay adults as leaders in 2015. Instead of stemming BSA’s membership decline, the national leadership’s acquiescence to atheists and homosexuals—some believe due to pressure from major corporations whose financial patronage had become indispensable to the organization’s operation—only accelerated it.
With recent moves more closely resembling the actions of a Fortune 500 HR department, the BSA now has a Chief Diversity Officer, boasts a Diversity and Inclusion Statement, and in 2020 even proposed an Eagle-required merit badge requiring mastery of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to achieve scouting’s highest rank. This last innovation was apparently too much for traditionalists to swallow, and the proposed merit badge has been put on hold pending further study.
In the corporate jargon of the BSA’s national leadership, “The introduction of the proposed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is being delayed to allow for the careful consideration and evaluation of feedback received from a wide variety of commenters on the draft requirements.” The New York Times reported that “The nonprofit also joined a growing number of organizations announcing public support for racial equality and the Black Lives Matter movement.” Earlier this year, the BSA’s century-old official publication, Boys’ Life, was renamed Scout Life in order to be gender-neutral.
22 Feb 2020
In Gilwell Park, a Scouting reservation in the ancient Epping Forest bordering northeast London, there stands a statue of a buffalo. That statue does not commemorate any actual bison. It is a tribute to the memory of “the Unknown Scout,” who was responsible for bringing the Scouting Movement to America.
Legend holds that a Chicago publisher named William Boyce, visiting London in 1909 on his way to hunt on safari in British East Africa, lost his way in one of that city’s famous pea soup fogs. The hapless Boyce was rescued and guided to his destination by a young boy. Mr. Boyce tried to tip the boy, but the boy refused to accept any gratuity, explaining that he was a Boy Scout and this was his good deed for the day.
Fascinated by the encounter, Boyce subsequently made his way to London’s Scouting Headquarters, where he met with Sir Robert Baden-Powell, hero of the Siege of Mafeking and founder of the Scouting Movement. Inspired by what he had learned, Boyce went home and founded the Boy Scouts of America, 8 February 1910.
Since its founding in 1910, 130 million American boys participated in Scouting. Tuesday this week, the Boy Scouts of America declared bankruptcy. Like the Roman Catholic Church, Joe Paterno and his Penn State Football Program, one more conspicuous source of traditional masculine values has been scapegoated and deemed worthy of extraordinary punishment being supposedly culpably responsible for failing to prevent homosexual access to adolescent boys and sleazy lawyers and opportunistic inverts are now lining up to sue for alleged damages.
(When he gets home from the Gay Pride Parade, Bruce gets down to work on the brief explaining how being recruited in his youth to homosexual activity has ruined his life.)
Ironically, it was not very long ago at all, that the BSA’s cowardly establishment board of directors surrendered to essentially the same adversaries, opening up the Boy Scouts to females, gays, and atheists, and allowing open homosexuals to become Scout Masters. There seems to be a moral here: Give in, do everything they demand, and they’ll ruin and loot you anyway.
All this is one of the more disgraceful and offensive episodes of our dark, dishonest time. If you look closely, I think you can see a tear in the eye of that Epping Forest Buffalo Statue.
Ann Coulter had a few choice words on all this:
I wonder if any liberals are re-thinking their insistence that the Boy Scouts allow gay men to take 13-year-old boys on overnight camping trips.
HEADLINE: Boy Scouts Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the Face of Thousands of Child Abuse Allegations
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have long been on the leftâ€™s hate list. Any organization that has the temerity to train young men in the virtues of integrity, patriotism and self-reliance is putting itself on the fighting side of liberals!
At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, a little group of Boy Scouts took the stage as part of the opening ceremony — and were promptly booed by the delegates.
For decades, the BSA has fended off lawsuits demanding that they embrace the holy trinity of G’s: girls, gays and godless atheists. (If only it had occurred to the plaintiffs to start their own organizations! They could have given them names like â€œThe Girl Scouts.â€)
Why would any liberal want to join an organization that was, according to them, sexist, Bible-thumping and bigoted? They didnâ€™t. The lawsuits were kill shots.
For the left, whatâ€™s not to hate about the Boy Scouts? Their oath is: â€œOn my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.â€
Nearly 200 NASA astronauts were Boy Scouts. The great outdoorsman, Teddy Roosevelt, was such a BSA booster than he was made the one and only â€œChief Scout Citizen,â€ a scout for life.
A Louis Harris & Associates study in 1996 found that men who had been scouts placed a higher value on honesty than those who had not.
But now the lawsuits have killed them. Congratulations, Democrats, The New York Times and corporate America. (I hope all their future employees steal from them, after being raised on â€œGrand Theft Autoâ€ instead of the Boy Scout oath.)
06 Jul 2008
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
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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