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Civic Engagement and This Weekend’s March for Our Lives

March 23, 2018

Many youth in the region, including Scouts, plan to take part in the March for Our Lives protests this weekend in Washington, DC as students lead an unprecedented effort to address an epidemic of school violence. The march in DC will likely be the biggest in the nation, drawing nearly 500,000 people from across the country and filling the streets along the National Mall and White House with a multitude of demonstrations, displays, and notable speakers.

National Capital Area Council respects everyone’s right to engage in peaceful demonstrations and views such activity as a natural part of any vibrant democracy or republic debating an issue. For as the seventh point in the Scout Law clearly states, “A Scout is obedient: A Scout follows the rules of family, school, and troop. A Scout obeys the laws of her or his community and country. If a Scout thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he or she tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.”

With that in mind, we here at NCAC remind all of our Scouters in attendance to make your voices heard, but to also be respectful towards and cooperate with officials charged with maintaining order and safety during the marches. Civil debate is a part of your civic duty, and as many students have shown us by example in the past few weeks, productive exchanges surrounding even the most controversial issues are possible when cooler heads prevail. They’ve displayed the best of America’s children by not just providing ideas, but also by listening to those of others who may not hold the same beliefs as they do. And that, in and of itself, is significant progress within the current climate. It’s also leadership, and as Scouts, that’s something we all understand.

And lastly, be reminded that NCAC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a diverse membership holding a wide variety of opinions and beliefs. With respect to our organizational status, your fellow-Scouters, and governing rules, we ask that you please refrain from wearing Scouting uniforms or other Scouting-related clothing during any demonstrations so as to avoid any misrepresentations that could occur. Above all else, if you’re going on Saturday, be safe and Be Prepared. And no matter how you view the issues or what side of the debate you happen to be on, show the world your best by adhering to the Scout Law at all times and in all that you do: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.