Re: Changes in Exploring -Reply
Bruce C Johnson (email@example.com)
Tue Feb 17 07:45:31 1998
Fellow Sea Scouters:
Boy, has this been a wild weekend? When I came in this morning, my
email inbox at work had four times the usual Scouting email traffic (and
that's on top of the traffic I've had in my Scouting email inbox.) Members
of the National Sea Exploring Committee have been following the discussion
on Seascout-Net and Explorer-Net about the demise of Exploring with great
interest. I'm certain that many of the insights you have had into the
whys, wherefores, etc. of this change WILL influence how we proceed from
I have a couple pieces of advice, and then a request, so please hear me
Advice no. 1:
Let's focus our comments on things that we can do something about.
BSA's decision about the disposition of Exploring is a done deal. Whether
it was a good or bad idea, whether it was done for the right or wrong
reasons, and how it was done is not history. Let's move on from here, OK?
Advice no. 2:
Actually this is a standing piece of advice for this list, as it is for
several other Scouting listservs: Let's stay off the two G's on this list:
God and gays. (On other lists, there is a third G: Girls.) I am sure that
all of us have very strong feelings on the subjects, but there is NOTHING
that any of us are going to be able to do about changing BSA's stance
vis-a-vis either. I have seen discussions about them on this list and
others get wildly out of hand. Let's not, OK?
Most of the discussion thus far has been from adults. I'd like to ask
the youth in our midst to get up the courage and give the National Sea
Exploring Committee some advice. Specifically, I'd be very interested to
hear what your feelings are about the possibility of changing the name of
our program. It would seem that there might be three choices:
(a) Leave it as it (i.e. 'Sea Explorers');
(b) Change it to 'Sea Venturers';
(c) Return it to our roots: 'Sea Scouts'.
I've spoken with both my own Ship's Boatswain and Boatswain's Mate-Program
and they had mixed feelings about this. Please let us hear what you think,
Oh yes, and one last piece of advice:
Advice no. 3:
Whatever problems we may have had over the past 49 years working within the
Exploring program (and from my perspective it has been a very mixed bag ...
some good, some not so good), they are all now totally irrelevant. All
that matters is where we want to be going from here, and how we get there.
Let's stay focused on our main goal: to serve as many young adults as we
can in the program that we all love so dearly.
Yours in Service,
>>> David Minasian <firstname.lastname@example.org> 16 February 1998 8:27 pm >>>
I appreciate your comments regarding my questions about the coming
changes. My questions, as you observed, focused on the two "hot" issues of
"God" and "gay". I don't believe anybody knows the answers yet as to
whether the BSA's position on these matters will change. One thing is
certain however, the attack by the ACLU and others will not cease.
As for "belief in God" as a requirement for membership, I really don't
know the precise terminology in use today, but you are correct in stating
that it should be broad enough to accomodate the various forms of religious
expression. "Religious life style" however, as you suggest, may be too
broad so as to include satanic worship, witchcraft and other forms of
religios expression which are clearly opposed to the traditional positive
characteristics of faith.
There is something here that we must preserve and encourage to be part
of the life of our members. It is in our oath and law, in our pledge of
allegience and even printed on our money. Do we have to define God in order
to continue the tradition?
I submit that God is better defined in the life of our members and our
leaders. We should reflect the presence of the living God and be examples
of His righteousness to our youth. It has been part of the BSA since its
inception and it belongs in the program now nmore than ever.
If we abondon Him, then He surley will abondon us.
David T. Minasian
Passaic Valley Council