The Boy Scouts have made their decision, so now what?

We’re back from a much needed vacation. Despite a handful of challenges, like my makeup bag being left at home, we had a wonderful trip. I’m just now catching up on all of the news and blog articles from the last week. One of the biggest stories, was the decision by the Boy Scouts allowing homosexual scouts. Our local council voted against the change, but the vote did not go in our favor. As a mom of three boys, two of whom are currently in scouting, I’m now faced with the question of what to do.

Perhaps the best article I’ve read on the subject is this one by Rick Phillips. In his “Advice to Christians and Churches Involved in Boy Scouts,” Pastor Phillips makes two recommendations. First, Christians should not stay in scouts after the change in policy takes effect in January, 2014. Pastor Phillips discusses how the change in policy affects the principle of being “morally straight” and shows moral cowardice. He also discusses the critical issue of safety:

Safety: The bottom line is that starting in 2014, BSA will send 11 year-old boys into the woods with 17 year-old boy leaders who are practicing homosexuals. This policy is made even more alarming when one realizes that teenage boys are those most likely to molest a younger child. Now older teens who are practicing homosexuals will be put into tents with younger boys. This is unconscionable. Even if local troops think themselves unlikely to experience this problem, Christians cannot remain affiliated with an organization that at the level of policy would put the young boys under its care under this kind of safety risk.

Second, Pastor Phillips answers the question of when to disaffiliate. He acknowledges that for many parents there is a desire to cut all ties immediately. He suggests, however, that we wait until the change takes place in January:

Alternative Scouting Organizations: I have no doubt that Christians in leadership positions at the regional council and national level will make arrangements for a new organization into which Christians boys and troops will be able to transfer more or less intact. But the troops must be still intact for this to happen. Troops can continue to meet, can pray, and can follow through with summer scouting plans in anticipation of godly alternatives to BSA. (To this end, I would urge Christians in positions of leadership at regional councils to be busy now in forming or allying with alternative forms of scouting into which troops may transfer.)

I think Pastor Phillips advice is worth considering. I know that our family will not continue in scouts once the change has been made. Our pack leadership will be meeting soon to consider what to do. I pray that a good alternative will be found quickly, and I mourn the loss of scouts as an opportunity for my boys.

I would love to hear what your pack or troop is planning to do.

6 thoughts on “The Boy Scouts have made their decision, so now what?

  1. Cara says:

    “Now older teens who are practicing homosexuals will be put into tents with younger boys.”–Pastor Phillips

    This is apparently a frequently held belief, but is is false.

    1-Older scouts do not tent with younger scouts. Never (even before this recent decision) would it be acceptable for an older scout to tent with a younger scout.

    2-Scouts chose who they want to tent with and generally that is one of their buddies in their age segregated patrol.

    • Ron L. Goddard says:

      This may be true in some troops, but not all! As an adult volunteer of over 48 years, I can truthfully say that B.S.A. is on it’s way out. The gay adults themselves say that this decision is only a foot in the door, that it’s only a matter of time before gay adult leaders are allowed to join, as a matter- of-fact, California has already started by introducing a bill making the restriction illegal. I just resigned as District Vice Chairman for our local council because I refuse to erase God from my life and that’s what this is all about .

  2. darrelltoddmaurina says:

    If your local Scout group is church-affiliated, please give some serious consideration to the Calvinist Cadet Corps. Although it began as a Christian Reformed organization objecting to the Boy Scouts’ lack of specific Christian commitment, which was a problem all the way back to Baden Powell, the group is nondenominational, has a number of United Reformed and Orthodox Presbyterian churches involved, and its leadership includes a number of people who would be very happy to see more involvement by conservative Reformed people.

    Especially if you have enough OPC or PCA congregations within driveable distance, you may be able to create a Cadet Council and have a regional ministry offering most of what Scouting offered with the addition of not just generically moral or nondenoinationally Christian values but specifically Reformed doctrinal teaching.

    The Calvinist Cadet Corps is not perfect. I know that. But the influx of a large number of PCA and other Reformed people right now could take an existing organization and use it for what the Assemblies of God and Southern Baptists are doing with their Royal Rangers and Royal Ambassadors programs, which are likely to grow dramatically in light of the Scouting decision.

  3. Timothy says:

    Thanks for condensing his work. I just haven’t been able to get my mind around this one here of late. I like his reasoning for pulling out. I remember as a young teen and older teen who was gay, attempted to make such a play for me. By God’s grace, I never allowed him into position to take advantage of me. This was at a sleep over, something that we need to be very careful about when it comes to our children because this is an area the predators try to take advantage of others as well.

  4. sedgegrass says:

    His reasons are sound. In response to the first comment, I would say that a tent is not in the least way necessary for molestation to occur with young boys away from their parents on overnights anywhere. Staying with the camping topic, this is missing the forest for the trees.
    In my opinion, this is the equivalent of opening the Catholic priesthood up to homosexuals. It is a tragedy.

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