Re: BSA National Update (Week...
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sat, 15 Oct 1994 19:45:29 +100
On Sat, 15 Oct 1994, Kathie Cerveny wrote:
> Norman --
> > Why is there a prohibition on non-US citizens holding positions as
> unit leaders.
> Actually no adult may register in our country's Scouting movement
> without written permission from their country of citizenship, AND the
> approval of the CR for the unit.
> Why? 1. It is in our rules (as it is in most countries) as we ask
Can you explain this please? Have you information about the policies of the
120+ countries of WOSM on this matter. To say that " most countries "
have such-and-such a rule implies that you have a knowledge of their
policies. Do you ? If so, what is your source, as I would be interested
in finding out more.
> our leaders to say the Pledge of Allegience to OUR flag (not some
> other country) and to be a "participating citizen" thus enabling each
> adult to be an example of the "participating citizen" (in this country
> - as that means different things in different countries) we are
> charged to teach each boy we work with or indeed near in Scouting.
I can explain the policy of The Scout Association in UK. We do NOT require
foreign nations to pledge allegiance. We do not have a " Pledge of
Allegiance " per se. As a Scouter I made a promise " ... to do my duty to
God and to the Queen ... " because I am a British subject. Any citizen of
a Commonwealth country with Her Majesty as Head of State could, in good
conscience, make the same promise. If a US citizen were to be appointed
a Leader s/he would make a revised Promise as provided in " Policy,
Organisation & Rules " i.e. " On my honour I promise to do my best to do my
duty to God <and to the country in which I am living> , to help other people
and to keep the Scout law. "
> It would be VERY difficult for me to lead a little boy in India in
> supporting his government, as an American, I do not know that
> government, culture, etc. The same holds true here and everywhere.
I am an Assistant Group Scout Leader of a group in the UK. We have kids
from several nationalities, including two Beaver Scouts who are US citizens.
I will certainly do my best to ensure that they are aware of their culture,
and will support their parents in this. I will discuss " citizenship " in
the context of their obligations as a United Kingdom resident and a US
citizen. They have certain duties as " resident aliens " to obey the law,
not undermine the lawful authority of the host nation etc. - all of which
are defined in International Law. They also have a duty as Americans to
discover their own culture and heritage so that they can be participating
citizens when (or if) they return to USA.
When they are older and working on their Cub Scout awards I will probably ask
them about the Pledge of Allegiance etc. In fact, I will probably have a US
flag when they are invested and invite them to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance
to the flag of the United States of America as part of the ceremony. ( I wil
even prompt them with the words if I have to !) And the other members of the
Pack will be there at the salute giving them moral support.
> > Is this a good policy? If so - why? If not - why not?
> Yes - if we plan to uphold our aims of the
> Boy Scouts of America program ---
> 1. Good character
> 2. Personal Growth
> 3. Participating citizenship (in our country---we can only hope that
> other adults and countries do not proport to know every country, and
> try to develop citizenship for lands unknown.)
I think you are missing the point here. I believe that having an
international membership is an <asset> to my group. We have kids who are
citizens of the USA, Malta , Irish Republic, Barbados, and probably others
I can't immediately think of. There are common principles which underly
" citizenship " however defined, i.e.
- duty to obey the law of the land
- duty to try to understand the system of government
- duty to participate in the community
- duty to respect the symbols of nationhood - flag, anthem etc.
of all nations, whilst reserving a special loyalty and affection
for your own
- an understanding of international organisations - United Nations,
UNICEF,etc. and international organisations such as Red Cross/Crescent.
On our next Cub Scout camp we will have Scouts from the Boy Scouts of
America acting as junior leaders. They will be helping my boys to earn
the " international Scouting " and " flags and nations " parts of their
awards, as well as demonstrating the reality of the World-Wide family of
Scouting. One of the BSA Scouts was a Cub Scout in a British pack before
joining the BSA Troop in London, and I am looking forward to his input.
Yours in the spirit of International Scouting,
Ian N Ford
Asst. Group Scout Leader
25th Greenwich Scout Group, London UK.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City