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Tell me about Cub Scouts... - Page 2

post #21 of 46
It goes completely against our beliefs to participate in or support an organization that discriminates against gays and athiests. I would no more allow my son to join the BSA than I would let him join an organization that discriminates against blacks. Would you let your child join an organization that is for whites only? (Even if they did, like, really cool crafts and camping trips?) If not, why do you think gays are less deserving of rights and respect?
post #22 of 46
^^ this^^

As well as their position on atheists and agnostics keeps us from letting our boys join.
post #23 of 46
We recently let our son join and he loves it. It's a perfect fit for him. He loves the adventure aspect, camping,etc. My husband enjoys doing these activites with him. Our den meets at the local elem school and all the boys in his den are from his school.

Addressing the above posters--
The den/pack does not make any comments about sexual orientation. It's not a conversation that has even come close to happening at any meetings or activities or in his handbook and I can't see it coming up or any reason why the den or pack leader would be discussing sexual orientation with my child. My children learn about it from home, I'm the ones that teach them.
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMommy View Post
We recently let our son join and he loves it. It's a perfect fit for him. He loves the adventure aspect, camping,etc. My husband enjoys doing these activites with him. Our den meets at the local elem school and all the boys in his den are from his school.

Addressing the above posters--
The den/pack does not make any comments about sexual orientation. It's not a conversation that has even come close to happening at any meetings or activities or in his handbook and I can't see it coming up or any reason why the den or pack leader would be discussing sexual orientation with my child. My children learn about it from home, I'm the ones that teach them.
But you are still supporting an organization that discriminates against LGBTQ individuals and atheists and agnostics. It doesn't have to be talked about during the meetings, when you can be darn sure that any LGBTQ youth will be prevented from gaining the full scouting experience (he won't be permitted to do any leadership work later on) and Atheist/agnostic youth won't even be permitted to join at all.
post #25 of 46
We tried to be part of scouts, and I have to admit, I was never comfortable with their discrimination against the LGBTQ community. I also had a hard time with them getting together in a church when there are several other options in a community (like a school cafeteria, library, etc). The meetings were always at 7pm, which is late when your kid goes to bed at 8pm.

So, I was really thankful when my son couldn't handle it and kept throwing fits. We quit.

Now he's interested again, but we're looking at Spiral Scouts which is supportive of anyone regardless of religion, or who their partner is.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMommy View Post

Addressing the above posters--
The den/pack does not make any comments about sexual orientation. It's not a conversation that has even come close to happening at any meetings or activities or in his handbook and I can't see it coming up or any reason why the den or pack leader would be discussing sexual orientation with my child. My children learn about it from home, I'm the ones that teach them.
Like MD said - the issue for me is not whether they teach discrimination directly,the issue is supporting an organization that discriminates. I feel like I would be teaching discrimination directly by supporting an organization that is proudly discriminatory just because it suits my current purpose. I wouldn't let them join an organization that discriminated on a national level based on race just because the local organization kinda sorta ignored the rules. Aside from any of that - either one of my boys could be gay. It's too soon to know. I wouldn't want them to later have to choose to either hide who they are or get kicked out of an organization they have a lot invested in and feel like crap about themselves in the process. Oh, and my openly atheist 9 year old probably wouldn't last long anyhow.

But the biggest issue is to teach my kids that standing up for what you believe in and what is right isn't always the convenient or fun or easy thing to do - it's just the right thing to do.
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMommy View Post
We recently let our son join and he loves it. It's a perfect fit for him. He loves the adventure aspect, camping,etc. My husband enjoys doing these activites with him. Our den meets at the local elem school and all the boys in his den are from his school.

Addressing the above posters--
The den/pack does not make any comments about sexual orientation. It's not a conversation that has even come close to happening at any meetings or activities or in his handbook and I can't see it coming up or any reason why the den or pack leader would be discussing sexual orientation with my child. My children learn about it from home, I'm the ones that teach them.
Your son might not currently realize that he's participating in a discriminatory, homophobic organization, but at some point in his life he will, and at that time he'll receive a powerful values lesson as he reflects on his childhood participation in the BSA. Are values of equality something you stand behind in your home, or is it okay to look the other way as long as you're having fun and the truth is swept under the rug? Which lesson do you want him to take into adulthood? Either way, your actions will make a stronger impact than your words.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
Just a quick question, I emailed our local chapter? of boy scouts, it seems all the meetings (groups) are held at 'chruches'... Please forgive my ignorance... are the boy scouts tied to religion? Maybe I am handicapped on the website but it seems to be lacking tons of info. scouting.org whatever seems to have general info and tons of fluff but nothing specific to it.
I did not see where anyone answered you, so I will make an attempt. at it. Most packs are either supported through a church or a school. The BSA(boy scouts of America) is based in belief in God, so you will see the meetings being held a lot of times at churches. Every pack I have encountered welcomes boys of all religions, and some do have more relaxed rules then others about how strong your belief in God has to be. I really do not know of a good website to really get the facts about the BSA.
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ancoda View Post
I did not see where anyone answered you, so I will make an attempt. at it. Most packs are either supported through a church or a school. The BSA(boy scouts of America) is based in belief in God, so you will see the meetings being held a lot of times at churches. Every pack I have encountered welcomes boys of all religions, and some do have more relaxed rules then others about how strong your belief in God has to be. I really do not know of a good website to really get the facts about the BSA.
You would really have to call your local Pack Leader in order to get a feel what each group will find as acceptable.
post #30 of 46
Girl Scouts and Cub/Boy Scouts are different organizations.

Girl Scouts are great. I'd love to see my daughter as a brownie.

I think involvement in the Boy Scouts can be rewarding but my son won't ever be a part. We will not participate in discriminatory groups and I'll fight hard to prevent my charter school from being involved with them. They have a right to discriminate affirmed by the Supreme Court and do so actively.

Lots of group bends the rules but they don't actually have a right too. A few years ago they forced out a kid who should have been an Eagle Scout who they booted for not saying their prayer. His local group hadn't seen it as a big deal. Can you imagine all the work that poor kid did and then to be kicked out?


Canadian boy scouts don't discriminate. And we aren't going to belong to organization that actively discriminates and wants to discriminate and has fought and fought and fought to discriminate so our son can tie a few knots. It is a lousy values lesson.
post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
Just a quick question, I emailed our local chapter? of boy scouts, it seems all the meetings (groups) are held at 'chruches'... Please forgive my ignorance... are the boy scouts tied to religion? Maybe I am handicapped on the website but it seems to be lacking tons of info. scouting.org whatever seems to have general info and tons of fluff but nothing specific to it.
BSA is not techinically Christian but most members are. The Scout Oath mentions god and is required. A few years ago a kid (who had done all the work) was not allowed to be an Eagle Scout because I was an aethists and didn't want to say god. Aethists and Agnostics are not welcome. A small amount of information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Sco..._controversies
post #32 of 46
This was a topic I was struggling with, too.
I knew about the discrimination ban against adult leaders, but I didn't know they would kick out children that were gay or had families didn't adhere to the BSA "ethics" .
That makes the decision clear for me now. No way am I going to support an organization that would kick out (and thereby publicly humilate) children/teenagers because they are gay.

What about the YMCA's adventure guides?
post #33 of 46
my dd just became a brownie and so far we are loving it. the boy scouts and girl scouts are quite different however. i completely understand the issue of discrimination and supporting organizations that practice this, even if it's not blatantly. with girl scouts, they say God in their oath but the girls are encouraged to put in any word they are comfortable with and religion never enters into it. if it was discriminating in any sense, then we would never let her join.

i think a pp said above to call your local troop or chapter leader and maybe discuss their views with their particular troop. i know it can be a rewarding experience for kids, but it's an individual choice as to whether you are comfortable enough with the overall organization.
post #34 of 46
I'm torn. DH was in scouting as a kid and had a great experience. But their "official" stance on religion and LGBT issues is just not something I want to support.

It's so hard, because, at the younger ages and at the local level, the LGBT stuff is pretty much a non-issue. But the religion... day-to-day stuff often involves mention of a deity. But... scouts are FUN! And that's the hard thing. Spiral Scouts aren't an option where we live (and we live in TWO towns; they're not an option in either).
post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post
I'm torn. DH was in scouting as a kid and had a great experience. But their "official" stance on religion and LGBT issues is just not something I want to support.

It's so hard, because, at the younger ages and at the local level, the LGBT stuff is pretty much a non-issue. But the religion... day-to-day stuff often involves mention of a deity. But... scouts are FUN! And that's the hard thing. Spiral Scouts aren't an option where we live (and we live in TWO towns; they're not an option in either).
OP here. Thanks so much for all of your opinions and thoughts on the subject. Their stance on LGBT is what I was (and am) struggling with. I didn't know anything about their stance on athiests/agnostics - but I find that troubling as well because we are an athiest (DH)/agnostic (me) family.

I quoted the above, because it is pretty much how I'm feeling....there is so many ways my DS would benefit from scouts, and yet, I do feel that it sends a poor message that is contradicts everything that we want to teach our kids. I know that in our community there are many den/pack leaders who are gay/lesbian, and for whatever reason, I'm holding onto that to make it better in my own mind (yeah, I know).

I've looked for alternatives to boy scouts in my area (south central Wisconsin - if you know of any PLEASE let me know!), and there are not ANY - the nearest group is 5 hours north.
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoTnT View Post
OP here. Thanks so much for all of your opinions and thoughts on the subject. Their stance on LGBT is what I was (and am) struggling with. I didn't know anything about their stance on athiests/agnostics - but I find that troubling as well because we are an athiest (DH)/agnostic (me) family.

I quoted the above, because it is pretty much how I'm feeling....there is so many ways my DS would benefit from scouts, and yet, I do feel that it sends a poor message that is contradicts everything that we want to teach our kids. I know that in our community there are many den/pack leaders who are gay/lesbian, and for whatever reason, I'm holding onto that to make it better in my own mind (yeah, I know).

I've looked for alternatives to boy scouts in my area (south central Wisconsin - if you know of any PLEASE let me know!), and there are not ANY - the nearest group is 5 hours north.
Ooh, where North? We live part of the year in Stevens Point.
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoTnT View Post
OP here. Thanks so much for all of your opinions and thoughts on the subject. Their stance on LGBT is what I was (and am) struggling with. I didn't know anything about their stance on athiests/agnostics - but I find that troubling as well because we are an athiest (DH)/agnostic (me) family.

I quoted the above, because it is pretty much how I'm feeling....there is so many ways my DS would benefit from scouts, and yet, I do feel that it sends a poor message that is contradicts everything that we want to teach our kids. I know that in our community there are many den/pack leaders who are gay/lesbian, and for whatever reason, I'm holding onto that to make it better in my own mind (yeah, I know).

I've looked for alternatives to boy scouts in my area (south central Wisconsin - if you know of any PLEASE let me know!), and there are not ANY - the nearest group is 5 hours north.
If your family is atheist and agnostics, the scouts may make the decision for you. The official stance is that someone who doesn't believe in a God of some form cannot be morally straight and therefor cannot be a good scout.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
If your family is atheist and agnostics, the scouts may make the decision for you. The official stance is that someone who doesn't believe in a God of some form cannot be morally straight and therefor cannot be a good scout.
My son doesn't believe in God and has had no issues whatsoever in scouts. And another member in our den is in the same boat.

Yes, the oath says "God" in it but so does the pledge of allegience. I just explain to my sons that many people believe in God and he is not to disrespect others beliefs, but that he can believe whatever he wants.

I think it is great for him to learn about what others believe in and for him, it has taught him tolerance and that just because he believes something, doesn't make him right and everyone else wrong.

And gay/lesbian has never even come up in our pack.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
If your family is atheist and agnostics, the scouts may make the decision for you. The official stance is that someone who doesn't believe in a God of some form cannot be morally straight and therefor cannot be a good scout.
This is true, though at the functional level many of these decisions are made by local leaders (who are generally just parent volunteers) who just choose to ignore or not ignore stuff. So yeah, people might not have issues at a local level, but I still feel weird supporting such practices.

And it's sad, cuz they do such cool stuff.
post #40 of 46
Quote:
It makes me very very sad, because I always wanted my boys to join scouts. But we have made a family decision that we will never join an organization that would not welcome members of our chosen family who are gay and would discriminate against them and their children.
Wow, do they really discriminate in the US? I am only familiar with Scouts Canada, and not only are we co-ed, but anyone willing to subscribe to the scout promise is welcome. There is no discrimination. The Scout promise does include "duty to God", but God is not used in the sense of a Christian God, more as you do have to believe in a "higher power", we have members of all different kinds of religions here. Maybe if you are atheist you might have an issue with that, I can see that.
Our group does meet at a Church, mainly because they are considered "our sponsor", they don't make us pay for using the meeting space, some groups meet at schools or community halls, we are not "affiliated" with the church we meet at, though we do have a spiritual component to the program (but not a specifically Christian component).
I volunteer as a Cub Scouts leader this year, and was a beaver leader the past three years. I absolutely love the program.
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