BSA Changes Membership Policy


BSA Changes Membership Policy

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

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. On Monday, July 27, it was ratified by the National Executive Board, making it official BSA policy.

“We support the national board’s decision,” says Les Baron, CEO and Scout Executive of National Capital Area Council (NCAC). “We are focused on our shared vision and common goals ~ delivering the foremost character development and values-based leadership training program for local youth.”

The resolution means chartered organizations will continue to select their adult leaders. 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, parents, and volunteers to choose 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. As always, to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be part of Scouting, NCAC staff will work with individuals and families to find a chartered organization that is a good fit for them. The 2013 youth membership policy is not affected by this resolution and remains unchanged.

Scouting will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth to help them grow into good, strong citizens. In the Washington, D.C., metro area alone, for example, Scouts performed more than 426,000 hours of community service in 2014, and collected more than 400 tons of food for local food pantries. By focusing on the goals that unite us, we are able to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.

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