MyCouncil®  |  Cart (0)  |  Join  |  Sign In

Share This

Unified Focus on Youth - Keeping the Kids our main thing

Scouting still remains focused on youth

by Angel Martinez for the Alamo Area BSA: Updated January 30, 2017

This article was created originally back in May 2013 as a resource page to provide our Scouting community the most up-to-date information, happenings, and statements regarding BSA's membership policy and how we consider youth in our program.

January 30, 2017

Today, the National Boy Scouts of America made an announcement regarding transgender youth in our program:

National Media Statement

"As one of America’s largest youth-serving organizations, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) continues to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible.

“While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.  Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.

“The BSA is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.”

Additional Resources:

ALAMO AREA COUNCIL'S STATEMENT:

"The Alamo Area Council is focused on directing our energy to all our youth and what we do best -- Scouting!  Our focus remains on delivering the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.  Starting today, the Alamo Area Council will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.  And, we will continue following the policies and procedures as a unified Boy Scouts of America with a unified focus on youth.  We will not deviate from the Boy Scouts of America's mission," said Angel Martinez, PR Director, Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Vision Statement

The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Scout Oath (or Promise)

On 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.

Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, 
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty,
brave, clean, and reverent.”


January 11, 2016

July 27, 2015

National Media Statement 

“Today, the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board ratified a resolution that removes the national restriction on openly gay adult leaders and employees. The resolution is effective immediately. Of those present and voting, 79 percent voted in favor of the resolution. 

“Chartered organizations will continue to select their adult leaders and religious chartered organizations may continue to use religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders, including matters of sexuality. This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change also respects the right of religious chartered organizations to choose adult volunteer leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own. 

“Moving forward, we will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth, helping them grow into good, strong citizens. By focusing on the goals that unite us, we are able to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.” 

For additional information, please visit http://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/key-topics/bsa-membership-policies/External Link

July 14, 2015

During the 2015 Boy Scouts of America National Annual Meeting in May, Dr. Gates encouraged the Scouting family to reflect on the challenges, primarily regarding adult leadership standards, facing the BSA and potential alternatives for addressing them.

As a result of the rapid changes in society and increasing legal challenges at the federal, state, and local levels, on Friday, July 10, the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee adopted a resolution amending the adult leadership standards policy. The resolution was unanimously adopted by those present and voting.

This resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation, continuing Scouting’s longstanding policy of chartered organizations selecting their leaders. The National Executive Board will meet to ratify this resolution on Monday, July 27. 

This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change would also respect the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own. The 2013 youth membership policy will not be affected and remains unchanged.

Scouting will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth to help them grow into good, strong citizens. By focusing on the goals that unite us, we are able to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.

READ: Effect of Changes in Adult Leadership Standards on Religious Chartered Organizations

READ: Dr. Gates Remarks at the 2015 National Annual Meeting

ALAMO AREA COUNCIL'S STATEMENT:

"The Alamo Area Council is focused on directing our energy to our youth and what we do best -- Scouting!  Our focus remains on delivering the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.  And, we will continue following the policies and procedures as a unified Boy Scouts of America with a unified focus on youth.  We will not deviate from the Boy Scouts of America's mission," said Angel Martinez, Communications / Marketing Director, Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Vision Statement

The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Scout Oath (or Promise)

On 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.

Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, 
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty,
brave, clean, and reverent.”

May 21, 2015

During the 2015 Boy Scouts of America National Annual Meeting on May 21st, National President Dr. Robert M. Gates delivered remarks encouraging the Scouting family to reflect in the days and months ahead on the challenges facing the BSA and potential alternatives for addressing them.

Dr. Gates's remarks were centered on the need for changing our membership policy for adult volunteer leaders. His words speak for themselves and the full text can be found at Scouting Newsroom at the following link:

http://scoutingnewsroom.org/blog/watch-and-read-bsa-president-dr-robert-m-gates-addresses-boy-scouts-of-america-national-annual-meeting/External Link

It is important to note that no decisions were made during the National Annual Meeting.  A decision is expected no later than the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board meeting in October 2015.  The BSA remains committed to working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training and will continue accomplish incredible things for the young people and communities we serve.

READ: National President Dr. Robert M. Gates Addresses Boy Scouts of America during National Business Meeting

Dr. Gates Remarks at the 2015 National Annual Meeting

Watch the Video:

April 2, 2015

“Today, a representative from the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council received a petition from Scouts for Equality and the Freeman family.  Scouting represents millions of youth and adult members in diverse communities across the nation. We treat everyone with courtesy and respect and value the freedom of everyone to express their opinion.

The BSA believes every child deserves the opportunity to be a part of Scouting and we do not seek to discuss the sexual preference of our adult volunteer leaders.  Scouting remains focused on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth development and leadership program,” said Angel Martinez, Communications / Marketing Director, Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council.


 

May 23, 2013

On May 23, 2013, there were 1,232 volunteer voting members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) that voted on a resolution that maintains its current membership policy for all adult leaders and states that youth may not be denied membership in the BSA on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone. The resolution passed with 757 votes, a 61 percent majority.

The BSA conducted the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history, gathering perspectives from inside and outside of the Scouting family. This remains among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today. To help move the organization forward and to refocus our attention on our mission, the BSA will approach this issue in both the short term and long term.

"A decision was made by BSA's 1,232 volunteer delegates and we must move forward. 

The Alamo Area Council, under the leadership of our national organization, is focused on directing our energy to our youth and what we do best -- Scouting!" ~ Angel Martinez, Communications & Marketing Director.

We understand the new policy may generate questions requiring a response. The following is meant to clearly articulate the new policy and the impact it will have on local units and members.

Amended Membership Standards Policy(s)

The adult membership standards policy was not under consideration and remains unchanged, as follows:


While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the youth membership policy is:

Membership in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.

What This Means

It is imperative to clearly understand what this policy means along with what does not change.

What has not changed:

  • The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Scouting’s vision is to serve every eligible youth in America, and this policy allows us to serve more kids and focus on their development.
  • The Scout Oath begins with duty to God, and the Scout Law ends with a Scout’s obligation to be reverent, and that will always remain a core value of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.
  • The BSA handbook defines morally straight as, “Scouts should be clean in speech and actions and faithful in religious beliefs,” and a clean Scout as “someone who keeps his body and mind fit, chooses friends who also live by high standards, and helps keep his home and community clean.”
  • Members must demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
  • The BSA has stringent polices that protect the safety and privacy of youth and adult members and has always worked to ensure that it is a supportive and safe environment for young people (www.BSAyouthprotection.orgExternal Link).
  • The organization will maintain its current membership policy for all adult leaders and within the framework of this policy chartering organizations have the right and responsibility to choose their own unit leaders. The Boy Scouts of America fully supports our chartered organizations.



Additional Resources:

Alamo Area Council, Boy Scouts of America Statement:

The Alamo Area Council’s focus remains to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.  The Alamo Area Council will continue following the policies and procedures as a unified Boy Scouts of America with a unified focus on youth.  The Alamo Area Council delivered a unified voice based on what the majority of our Scouting community indicated was their desire which closely mirrored the overall National BSA Voice of the Scout survey results.  The information our Council provided on this issue through the Voice of the Scout helped provide perspective to the proceedings, and we respect the integrity of the national decision-making process. While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. We believe good people can disagree and still work together to accomplish great things for youth. Going forward, we will work to stay focused on that which unites us - our children.” ~ Michael de los Santos, Scout Executive/CEO, Alamo Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.

 “The day in day out Scouting activities we’ve done in the past, we do in the present, and must do in the future to serve our youth continues to be our focus,” says Angel Martinez, Communications & Marketing Director, Alamo Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.

If you would like to share your insights with the Alamo Area Council, BSA, please

You can also direct your comments directly to the National Boy Scouts of America:

P.S.  Because this proposed resolution comes from the National Council about a national policy, please forward media inquiries to the national media support team at: 1-855-870-2178 or pr@scouting.org.  NOTE:  This is intended for members of the media only. 

About the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council

The Alamo Area Council BSA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, serves a 13 county area imparting the Scouting program to over 28,500 youth and 7,500 volunteer adults in South Texas.  The Boy Scouts of America continue to prepare young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training utilizing outdoor activity, citizenship and sports fitness.  For more information on the Alamo Area BSA, visit www.AlamoAreaBSA.org .

Videos Following the Vote:

  • BSA Press Conference Video
  • A special message video from Rex Tillerson, BSA past president 
Copyright © 2018 Alamo Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.
All rights Reserved. Web Site Powered By ScoutTools®