To our Nashua Valley Council family:
For the past several weeks our council, and Boy Scout councils around the country have been engaged in an internal dialog about our membership policies. We thank all of the members of our Scouting family who took the time to share your thoughts and concerns as part of this dialog. We read all of your emails, and we listened to your thoughts at our town-hall meeting. Many of you took time to answer the online surveys. We deeply appreciate your input, and thank you for keeping this process courteous, kind, and friendly.
On March 20, our board of directors passed a resolution asking the National Council to strike the sentence from the qualifications for membership that forbids Scouting membership and participation by “open and avowed homosexuals.” Read the resolution here.
Scouting, like the communities we serve, is a vibrant patchwork of individuals and organizations with a broad diversity of beliefs. Each of these chartered organizations commits to “conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the Boys Scouts of America.” The council commits to “respect the aims and objectives of the organization and offer the resources of Scouting to help in meeting those objectives.” To be true to these commitments, and to our Law, we must respect the beliefs of all of our chartered organizations. We must trust them, as we have for more than a century, to select leaders who will use the Scouting program to reinforce the beliefs and values of their organization, and who will serve as positive role models for the youth of their communities. Our chartered organizations are much better suited to judge the quality of an individual’s character than an institutionalized national policy.
Our board of directors understands that not everyone will agree with our position. The feedback provided by our members was not unanimous. This is a divisive, emotional issue with strong feelings on both sides. This is also an opportunity for Scouting to shine. This is our opportunity to show the rest of our country how to move through a difficult, emotional process deliberately, respectfully, with spirited debate, and to emerge stronger for the effort. At the end of the day, we all want our youth to grow into participating citizens, leaders of industry and government. We want to give them a moral compass so that they will make good choices, help their neighbors, be true to their own faiths, and become role models in their own right. We want them to enjoy outdoor adventures, and become responsible stewards of our environment. We all want to see Scouting be a thriving part of our communities. Although some of our beliefs may differ, and sometimes divide us, it is these shared goals that bind our Scouting community together, now and in the future.
This is not the end of the process. This resolution represents the position of Nashua Valley Council. It has been sent to the National Executive Board to become a part of the feedback from the hundreds of councils around the country. The National Executive Board will craft a resolution that will be presented for a vote at the National Meeting in May. We will receive that resolution in mid-April, and we will share it with you. Our voting delegates will be attending the National Meeting, and have pledged to support the position of our council.
Thank you again for your feedback, your dedication to Scouting, and your commitment to our youth.
|Jim Ganley||Craig Williams||Gary Savignano|