Process Summary         Boy Scouts of America Values and Membership Standards ReviewBackgroundFor 103 years, the Boy Scout...
An Internal DialogueThe decision to maintain the policy began an even deeper dialogue within Scouting. Out ofrespect for t...
TimelineTo develop and execute a comprehensive plan leading to a vote at the National Annual Meetingby the national voting...
While Scouting engages its audiences in this important discussion, it will work to create anenvironment where people who m...
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BSA Membership Standards Review Process

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Timeline
To develop and execute a comprehensive plan leading to a vote at the National Annual Meeting by the national voting members while minimizing any disruption in the delivery of the Scouting mission, the following are the phases the BSA will undertake, including a brief description and the timeline for their completion.
Phase Description Timeline
Planning The BSA defines the desired process and intended Feb. 6–28 outcomes.
Listening
The BSA’s standing committees engage key stakeholders March 1–April 5 for input and develop a summary impact report.
Evaluating The BSA’s officers review the summary impact report April 5–17 and prepare a resolution for the consideration of the
National Council voting members.
Educating The report and resolution are shared with the voting April 18–May 24 members of the National Council.
Deciding The BSA conducts on-site information sessions for May 22–24 registered participants at its National Annual Meeting.
Implementing Based on the resolution and vote, the BSA will May 24–Ongoing determine and implement next steps for the
organization

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BSA Membership Standards Review Process

  1. 1. Process Summary Boy Scouts of America Values and Membership Standards ReviewBackgroundFor 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America’s focus has been on working together to deliver thenation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadershiptraining. Today, Scouting represents nearly 2.7 million youth and 1 million adult membersacross the nation, with diverse beliefs about a number of important issues.Scouting’s role has been to equip children with life skills so they can make their own decisionsabout important issues, while teaching members to treat everyone with courtesy and respect atall times, regardless of any perceived difference.Recently within the Scouting family, there has been significant discussion about the BSA’smembership policy regarding sexual orientation, including requests to engage in dialogue aboutthe current BSA policy.Scouting’s membership requirements are:The applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scoutsof America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also bethe correct age, subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle, and abide bythe Scout Oath or Promise, and the Scout Law.While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees,volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowedhomosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of theBSA.Scouting believes the Boy Scouts of America is not the place to resolve divergent viewpoints insociety and believes that if same-sex attraction is going to be introduced or discussed, it shouldbe with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the rightsetting—but outside of the Scouting program.In 2010, the organization’s leaders—the Chief Scout Executive and the president—convened acommittee of professional and volunteer leaders to determine whether the continuation ofthat policy was in the best interest of the Boy Scouts of America. The committee determinedthat, at that time, it was in the best interest of the organization to maintain the policy. 1
  2. 2. An Internal DialogueThe decision to maintain the policy began an even deeper dialogue within Scouting. Out ofrespect for the diverse beliefs of Scouting’s chartered organizations, the National ExecutiveBoard spearheaded discussions about the issue, including potentially amending the policy toallow chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to accept membership andselect leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.This created an outpouring of feedback from the American public, from both those who agreewith the current policy and those who support a change. This feedback reinforced how deeplypeople care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along withcomments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts ofAmerica’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, theorganization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.Moving ForwardThe Boy Scouts is committed to dialogue on this topic within the Scouting family at the localand national levels. To continue and expand this important discussion, the officers authorizedits committees, representative of Scouting’s members, to further engage representatives ofScouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns.The committees will review a number of issues and how they will impact the BSA, includingyouth, chartered organizations, parents, and financial, fundraising, and legal concerns. Thegoals of the committee’s work will be to: • Provide a channel where every voice can be heard • Receive feedback from the field • Educate Scouting’s members • Define core values • Identify members’ concernsThe committee’s recommendations will inform the officers’ work on a resolution regardingmembership standards. The voting members of the National Council will take action on theresolution at the National Annual Meeting in May 2013. 2
  3. 3. TimelineTo develop and execute a comprehensive plan leading to a vote at the National Annual Meetingby the national voting members while minimizing any disruption in the delivery of the Scoutingmission, the following are the phases the BSA will undertake, including a brief description andthe timeline for their completion. Phase Description TimelinePlanning The BSA defines the desired process and intended Feb. 6–28 outcomes.Listening The BSA’s standing committees engage key stakeholders March 1–April 5 for input and develop a summary impact report.Evaluating The BSA’s officers review the summary impact report April 5–17 and prepare a resolution for the consideration of the National Council voting members.Educating The report and resolution are shared with the voting April 18–May 24 members of the National Council.Deciding The BSA conducts on-site information sessions for May 22–24 registered participants at its National Annual Meeting.Implementing Based on the resolution and vote, the BSA will May 24–Ongoing determine and implement next steps for the organization.ConclusionAmerica needs Scouting, and our policies must be based on what is in the best interest of ournation’s children. The BSA realizes this topic and process will generate a great deal of interest,both internally and externally. 3
  4. 4. While Scouting engages its audiences in this important discussion, it will work to create anenvironment where people who may disagree on a variety of topics can still work together toachieve life-changing benefits to youth through its program.Going forward, everyone within the Scouting family must work to stay focused on that whichunites us, reaching and serving young people to help them grow into good, strong citizens aswe prepare young people for lives of adventure, leadership, learning, and service. With yourhelp, we can accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve. 4

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