Re: BSA Policy and Politics
Thu, 29 Aug 1996 14:39:01 -0500
>On the subject of Boy Scouts and the Democratic Convention:
>It has come to my attention that President Clinton was asked to address
>the participants of National Jambo 1993. He declined and refused to send
>a representative because of the issues the BSA was dealing with at the
>This is the first time a President has not addressed the National Jambo.
>Slightly Hypocritical that he can't come to BSA festivities but our
>Scouts are invited to his festivities when it benefits him.
(*Placing BSA former ParaPro hat on*) Let's put this in the proper perspective,
first; the WSJ and other news outlets left out some key information here:
First, the President was NOT offered the invite until late in June. The
was in August. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the Secret Service to screen and
insure the President's personal safety during any kind of public appearance
is why even though the President can take this "great train trip", the SS
planning this thing for months!), so it wasn't possible to completely do all
planning it would take to get President Clinton there and to speak in front of
thousands of Scouts, Scouters and the PUBLIC.
Second, it STILL has not been explained to us Scouters WHY the BSA's national
leadership waited almost four months before extending the invitation in person
to the President. Normally, this is done, as it was done for Bush, Reagan and
Carter, during the Feburary "Report to the President" ceremonies. As many
Scouts and Scouters know, that ceremony is required by the BSA's federal charter
to take place....in 1993, well, it took place but because of the
President's stand at
that time on issues which the Chief Scout Executive and National President both
disagreed upon (particularily the stand on homosexuality as it related to
values", which the BSA was at the time de-emphasizing during it's "national
emphasis"), the BSA downplayed the event.
Third, the President, as the "Honorary President of the BSA", DID send a
representative to speak to the assembled body...he sent the National President.
If I'm not mistaken, Henry Cincinaros, the Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development also "dropped in" during the Jamboree and may have been sent at
the suggestion of the President to represent the administation and him.
I guess the point here is (and PLEASE, let's not get into this discussion
are just too many things there that we CANNOT change, no matter how much we
talk about it here!), is that we cannot expect our Presidents to visit our
or to attend our National Meetings unless it works out best for him or her
-- and the
program -- not just because we extend an invite.
Now, let's turn our attention to the comments about whether or not Scouts
and Scouters can participate in a *partisan* ceremony. No, they cannot, and
ALREADY been faxes and letters sent to National after the *first go-around*
(with the Republicans). The problem is that the Parties DID NOT ask a
local Council to do
the "honors"....a staffer from both parties went out and found other
"Boy Scouting connections" and said "Hey. It would be GREAT to get a Troop
of Boys in their uniforms and stuff and be background or flag bearers or
whatever. They'll be on TV and the Troop would be in the news!" and some
Scouter out there, unaware as Kathie mentioned and explained the EXACT
said (imagining him or herself being interviewed by Wolf Blizer (CNN's Senior
White House Correspondent)) "Sure!! I'll round the boys up!! What do you
want us to do??"
I am POSITIVE that your local Council will be reminding you and everyone else
in all three major parties the fact that "we're not for hire as background,
or soldiers....our job is that of developing good citizens and we can't do
being nonpartisan in what we participate in. Please don't put the program,
and especially our youth in a potential negative situation by accepting or
invitations to participate in any partisan political event, rally or
wearing the uniforms or displaying the flags of our organization".
The bottom line is that WE DON'T PARTICIPATE IN ANYTHING PARTISAN.
PERIOD. WE CAN, MAY AND SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN ANYTHING WHICH
WILL PROMOTE THE COMMUNITY AND NATION AS A WHOLE, NOT AS "SECTIONS OR
PORTIONS OF THE WHOLE". While this *sounds* like common sense, it isn't as
cut-and-dried as what those sentenaces in all caps for emphasis, not
For instance, your Congressman is running for re-election and speaks at a
festival. Your Troop is selected by the community to provide the color
you do it?? Yes, because your Troop is representing the COMMUNITY, not
Congressman Big Bucks. If the Congressman sponsers the rally, that's
and your Troop should NOT accept the invite.
So, did our President do the right thing by NOT participating in the
Jamboree?? If he
disagreed with the Chief Scout Executive and the National President on
policy, the answer is "yes, he did", and by not attending, yes, he made a
LOT of us very disapponted in our President, who is also a member of Alpha
Phi Omega, a national
service fraternity based upon the ideas of the Scout Oath and Law....but at
the same time, he did EXACTLY what we as Scouters should do when confronted
to place our
youth in front of a public (and press) to "support a cause or a person".
firmly decline the invite.
We should ALL be of supportive of our communities, nation and world. Not
causes or people.
Settummanque@HEY! (for the record, I'm a longtime Republican)
>My friend told me about this. She still has the article from the Wall
>Southbrook District Tiger Cub Chair, RT Staff, Unit Commissioner
>plus anything else I don't say NO to loud enough
>Potawatomi Area Council, Brookfield, WI
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 21st Theater Army Area Command
Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
personal inquiries via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
professional inquiries via email@example.com
-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City