Thursday, March 14, 2013

BSA Future....things to think about

I haven't really weighed in on the BSA/gay issue well because I still don't think it is the right time.  I have read some interesting perspectives and had some half interested conversations (I can only hear the same things so many times before I am Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............).  In Canada LDS Scouting units, this isn't even an issue.

An Hour a Week....left after Scouting has an interesting perspective that I haven't before including how can the BSA possibly ban atheists from Troops now after the possibility of allowing membership standards to be defined by the Chartering Organization.  An interesting perspective.  Deseret News article and Dallas Morning News article on survey.  Tory over at Accidents and Adventures also has some great thoughts here and here.

One perspective that I haven't heard a lot but is interesting to contemplate is that if the BSA allows CO to set its membership standards, the CO will become solely responsible and legally liable for any actions of its leaders and Scouts.  This means more insurance and hence the price of Scouting will go up again.  It already isn't cheap people.  I don't think the BSA is going to be able to be nailed to wall by a lawyer if they have no say in the membership rules but I am sure some ambulance chaser will sure try (that isn't a statement on lawyers but a certain type of lawyer).  This is probably good for the BSA from a financial perspective but bad from a CO perspective unless you are members of a "rich" Troop or Crew.

I do find it extremely upsetting that some local LDS Church leaders throughout the Church over Scout Troops, Teams and Crews have told LDS Scout leaders not to take BSA surveys.  This makes me think a few things.  This actually perpetuates the "here today, gone tomorrow" Scouting leaders view at the Stake level.  You don't get to give your opinion because you won't be here long so your opinion doesn't matter.  This also makes me cringe when I think about leaders who think they are the voice for all things in area - good leaders listen to those they lead; they may not follow what they hear but they at least hear them out.  While I understand the direction of God's communication fully, the great and powerful OZ doesn't always see the boots on the ground (my Stake being a great example - SP is awesome, his counselor over the Scouting/YM organization is so disconnected from the handbook to the actual Unit(s) application)**.  At times there are huge disconnects when we go from the CO (Ward) to the Stake level of leadership.  Second, my God given agency gives me the right to fill out a silly survey to discuss my concerns or my desire for Scout leaders of all shapes and sizes and Scouts of all shapes and sizes.  Lets not put our heads in the sand.  They are already here.  I am not scared.  And I don't really care for the most part unless it distracts from the program.  Additionally anyone that thinks Fishgutts speaks for the LDS Church by filling out a survey is not only a fool but a dang fool.

This statement isn't just about Scouting - I do find it interesting that all people want to be unique but yet want all the same "entitlements" and "rights" as everyone else.  How can we be diverse if everyone has everything the same?

This statement is about Scouting - the Normal Rockwall, Baden-Powell view on Scouting is dead for the most part.  Not that that is a bad thing all in all (though I will miss it) but lets return to basics here.  Lets not get distracted here.  It is about the boys.  It was about the boys and I hope to God it is always going to be about the boys.  Scouting isn't everything to all boys and to think it can be is silly.  So everyone take a deep breath, don't say anything you might regret and enjoy the ride we are on.  It isn't the final destination but the road along the way.  Lets for sure make sure we learn something from all of this.

This was meant to be short.  It isn't.  I am sorry.  An uneducated opinion.  I sort of see both sides here.  I don't have any skins in the game so what do I know?

**There is a reason the Church tries things in small areas for a reason before implementing Church wide - to see how it works.  Revelations is crucial but every jot and tittle isn't always explained.  For example, 60 miles east of here is a ward that is being used to try a more community outreach approach to all they do (we should already be doing this as Christians!).  They are getting more involved in everything in the community which on paper is a WONDERFUL idea but it is taking time away from the family (#1 unit of the Church) if it is your sole purpose and members are becoming largely overwhelmed.  Great idea but we need a different way to enact it.

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