scouts-l Mail Archive for September of 2000: Re: BSA Enrollment Increases
Mike Montalvo (mike_montalvo@YAHOO.COM
Tue Sep 05 2000 - 22:11:36 CDT
Letter to Washington Times:
Re: Boy Scouts grows to a record enrollment
The Boy Scouts are not being honest and trustworthy when it comes to
reporting their membership numbers in the media.
The following statement that appeared in your article is not accurate.
"During the last three years, we've grown by 7 percent," said Gregg
Shields, spokesman for the Boy Scouts, which finished last year with
6.2 million members - 5 million youths and 1.2 million adults.
According to the 1998 BSA annual report, there are 3,383,569 youth
"members" in the "Boy Scout" program (page 28).
Included in these numbers are 945,588 Boy Scouts (less than 1 million),
77,859 Varsity Scouts, 2,172,047 Cub Scouts & 188,075 Venturers (page
Secondly, the Boy Scouts of America runs a separate program called
"Learning for Life" which according to the same annual report has
1,373,615 youth "participants" (page 29).
The Boy Scouts and the media seem to have a propensity for merging
these two figures (see above examples) from separate programs that have
entirely different criteria for joining and leadership when discussing
It is important to note that the Boy Scouts of America have stressed in
court documents and their witnesses have insisted that Learning for
Life "participants" are not members. One reason for this could be that
Learning for Life does not have restrictions on gays being participants
or Leaders. Until a couple of years ago Learning for Life did have
restrictions on gays being adult leaders in this program, but that is
no longer the case.
It is especially noteworthy due to the fact that some BSA Councils are
now substituting their "separate" Learning for Life program, which does
not have "members", when encountering funding difficulties recently
with several United Ways.
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