scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: (no subject)
Wed Apr 12 2000 - 10:51:13 CDT
A Scouter named Karen wrote on the AOL scouting boards, in regard to the Dale
decision, "I personally was hoping the BSA would work this out on their own
before all this came to such a drastic conclusion."
I believe Karen is painfully correct. This (the Dale issue, like the girl
and God issues) is an issue which should have been negotiated, not left to
the courts. The law is an imperfect vehicle for dealing with philosophy, and
that is what the Dale question ultimately is. It is quite clear, at least to
me, that National has a siege mentality on these issues and it is a real
Consider that Scouting has changed over the years in so many other ways:
Scouting is now racially integrated (it didn't used to be); Scouting now has
completely eliminated any barriers to women Scouters; Scouting now
accommodates different models of troop organization, even to the extent of
paid leadership in certain underprivileged areas; we even tried kente cloth
neckerchiefs (though frankly that was a bit condescending and maybe even
culturally inappropriate since kente cloth was originally worn as an honor to
the wearer, not merely as an indicia of membership in a group).
There are other more subtle changes, differences in emphasis, urban vs. farm,
etc. Scouting has always accommodated changes in the national community. It
is time it began to accept these new realities. Scouting should not be the
captive child of any religious movement but should transcend all of them. It
is, after all, not parochial. It is in fact one of the very few
organizations which has consistently avoided parochialism.
In short, Karen was right. We should have negotiated this change. There is
still time to do so.
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet
Troop 156, Glenview, IL