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Board Letter Membership Policies Update April 19, 2013






April 19, 2013

Dear Officers, Board members, and Advisory board:

Thank you for your continued support of Scouting. Your service and commitment to our organization help deliver important services for young people throughout the seventeen Counties of the Winnebago Council. As an integral part of the Scouting family, I want to take this opportunity to update you on the status of our membership standards policy review process.

In February, the Boy Scouts of America embarked on the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history to consider the impact of potential changes to its membership standards policy on the organization and gather perspectives from inside and outside of the Scouting family. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.

Scouting’s review confirmed that this remains among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today. Even with the wide range of input, it is extremely difficult to accurately quantify the potential impact of maintaining or changing the current policy. While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting.

For this reason, the Executive Committee, on behalf of the National Executive Board, wrote a resolution for consideration that would remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone and would maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America. The voting members will take action on the following resolution during the Boy Scouts of America’s National Annual Meeting next month:

The following membership standard for youth members of the Boy Scouts of America is hereby adopted and approved, effective Jan. 1, 2014:

                 Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth who meet the specific membership 
                  requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing programs. Membership
                 in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the
                 values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the
                 Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level
                 of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath
                 and Scout Law. No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual
                 orientation or preference alone.

The resolution may be viewed in its entirety here: External Link Link.

Recognizing that you may have questions and you will likely receive questions from key stakeholders and media regarding this announcement, we assure you the Winnebago Council will support you. We can provide you with talking points to help you navigate these conversations. Since this announcement is related to a national policy, please feel free to forward local media inquiries to me at 319-234-2867, as we will be able to route them to the appropriate contacts at the national office to answer their questions.

America needs Scouting, and our policies must be based on what is in the best interest of our nation's children. Throughout this process, we worked to stay focused on that which unites us, reaching and serving young people to help them grow into good, strong citizens. Our priority remains to continue accomplishing incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.



Todd A. Wordel
Scout Executive

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