Boy Scouts of America
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scout Organization works with boys from seven to eighteen years of age. Their mission is to develop physical fitness, to train boys to become good citizens, and to build good moral character. In order to become a member of the Boy Scouts, one must agree in writing to adhere to the values of the organization, which were delineated in 1911 in the Scout Law and the Scout Oath.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country; To obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Famous Boy Scouts
110 million Americans have been Boy Scouts, including eleven of the twelve men who have walked on the moon. Famous Boy Scouts include John F. Kennedy, Walt Disney, John Wayne, Bill Gates, Hank Aaron, Bill Clinton, Sam Walton, Harrison Ford, Paul McCartney, Bob Hope, Norman Rockwell, Gerald Ford, John Glenn, Walter Cronkite, Jimmy Stewart, Nolan Ryan, Michael Bloomberg, Henry Fonda, Joe Theisman, Mark Spitz, and Rick Perry—just to name a few.
Boy Scout Activities
Boy Scout activities include volunteer work for the community, educational opportunities, hiking, and camping. A boy who has been a scout for five years is twice as likely to earn a college degree. 100,000 mentally or physically impaired boys participate in the Scouting program at the present time.
Boys can participate in over 100 programs, in which they may earn Merit Badges with the Boy Scouts. Here are some that I found particularly interesting: Veterinary Medicine, Surveying, Scuba Diving, Sailing, Plumbing, Oceanography, Life Saving, Law, Home Repair, Geology, Gardening, Forestry, First Aid, Fire Safety, Electricity, Dentistry, Cooking, Computers, Canoeing, Camping, Automotive Maintenance, Astronomy, Architecture, Archaeology, and Archery.
The ACLU Vs the Boy Scouts
The adult Scoutmaster is an important figure to the boys. As the Homosexual Movement gained strength during the 1980s, many homosexuals volunteered to be Scoutmasters. From 1986 to 1991 alone, parents filed a total of fifty lawsuits against the Boy Scouts because Scoutmasters across the country had sodomized their sons. The cost to the Boy Scouts of America for these fifty suits is estimated at over $60M.
As a result, in 1991, the Boy Scouts codified what had always been assumed, that avowed homosexuals were not acceptable as Scoutmasters. This began what has been twenty years of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts, including the 14 that have been filed by the ACLU, for alleged discrimination. They have never lost one of these suits, but the cost of constantly defending them has been enormous.
American courts have repeatedly held that the Boy Scouts of America, and all private organizations, have a right to set membership standards in accordance with the First Amendment protected concept of Freedom of Association. In Boy Scouts v. Dale, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts of America have the Constitutional right to Freedom of Association, and granted them the authority to expel an openly homosexual Scoutmaster.
The ACLU, in its ongoing effort to destroy the Boy Scouts because of their traditional American values, has shifted its attack to filing, or threatening to file, lawsuits against the 10,000 schools and municipalities who associated with the Boy Scouts through making available to them rooms or parks in which to meet. The cost of defending these lawsuits is prohibitive, and it is easier to cave in and move on. Nearly the entire state of New York has turned against the Boy Scouts rather than fight the ACLU.
To give one example, the ACLU filed the Barnes-Wallace lawsuit against Boy Scouts and the City of San Diego in 2000, to force the City to discriminate against Boy Scouts because of their constitutionally protected membership policies. Ten years later, the case is still ongoing.
The City of San Diego leases two park properties to San Diego-Imperial Council, Boy Scouts of America, which built a campground on one and a youth aquatic center on the other, each of which is open to the public. At Camp Balboa in Balboa Park, the Council built nine campsites, a swimming pool, and meeting facilities that are used by a wide-variety of groups in the San Diego area.
In a 2001 renewal lease, San Diego-Imperial Council agreed to spend over $1.7 million of its funds to further improve Camp Balboa. At Fiesta Island in Mission Bay Park, the Council spent $2.5 million of its funds to build an aquatic facility at the urging of virtually all of the youth organizations in the metro San Diego area. The Youth Aquatic Center has a variety of aquatic equipment and watercraft, all of which are available for use by any youth group.
Boy Scouts have paid millions of dollars to provide these facilities and services to the public while San Diego taxpayers pay nothing. The City has over 100 leases to community organizations on similar terms as the leases to Boy Scouts.
The United Way turned on the Boy Scouts in dozens of major cities by withdrawing all of its funding. Many corporations that had been regular donors, such as Chase, Levi Strauss, CVS Pharmacy, Fleet Bank, and the Pew Charitable Trust have also cancelled all of their donations to the Boy Scouts.
Many states and cities have also abandoned their support of the organization, preferring the approval of the Homosexual Movement, as opposed to helping their urban youth overcome fatherless homes by learning skills and being exposed to the values necessary for young men to become productive citizens.
The other major criticism of the Boy Scouts comes from Atheists who have repeatedly challenged—and lost every time—the right of the Boy Scouts to have their own oath. The founder of the organization, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, put it this way: No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys his laws.
Support for the Boy Scouts
Thankfully, the American government continues to be overwhelmingly supportive of the Boy Scouts. The House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2004, by a vote of 391 to 3, recognizing the amazing record of the organization in its service to the youth of America.
The House passed another resolution in 2005, more narrowly this time (418 to 7), in support of the activities of the Boy Scouts. That same year, the Senate passed the Support Our Scouts Act by a vote of 98 to 0. Congress passed the Boys Scouts of America Equal Access Act in 2001. Every American President from Taft to Obama has been the honorary President of the Boy Scouts.
Boy Scout Quotes
The Boy Scout movement is distinctly an asset to our country for the development of efficiency, virility, and good citizenship. It is essential that its leaders be men of strong, wholesome character; of unmistakable devotion to our country, its customs and ideals.
The Boy Scouts have not only demonstrated their worth to the Nation, but have also materially contributed to a deeper appreciation by the American people of the higher conception of patriotism and good citizenship. Every nation depends for its future upon the proper training and development of its youth.
If every boy in the United States could be placed under the wholesome influences of the Scout program and should live up to the Scout Oath and rules, we would hear fewer pessimistic words as to the future of our nation. Not only is it based on the fundamental rules of right thinking and acting, but it seems to embrace in its code almost every virtue needed in the personal and social life of mankind.
As one who has been interested in Scouting over many years it has been most heartening to have so many evidences of the practical values of Scout training. We must remember that next to active military service itself, there is no higher opportunity for serving our country than helping youth to carry on in their efforts to make themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The Boy Scouts of America has contributed greatly to the character training of our youth. What a greater nation this would be if the principles of Scouting could be woven more closely into our daily lives. The Boy Scouts of America is making a vital contribution to the character building of our boys and young men. Let us work together to make the program of the Boy Scouts available to every American boy.
Harry S. Truman
I urge you to rededicate yourselves to the ideals of the Scout Oath, and to reaffirm your obligations to your God and to your country. In so doing, you will contribute to the strengthening of America's heritage and thereby to the realization of our common goals in the Great Society.
Lyndon Baines Johnson
I applaud your many efforts and programs encouraging character development and leadership among American youth. By sponsoring many useful physical, mental, and social activities designed to promote self-responsibility, the Scouts strengthen the cornerstone of individual freedom in our nation. These programs develop the youngster's confidence in his ability to deal with nature, society, and a challenging world.
Times and challenges change, yet the values of Scouting will never change. Scouts of any era would recognize every word that you live by today, because those words have always defined Scouting. The goodness of a person and of the society he or she lives in often comes down to very simple things, and the words found in the Scout Law. Every society depends on trust and loyalty, on courtesy and kindness, on bravery and reverence. These are the values of Scouting, and these are the values of America.
George W. Bush