To The Editor:
With the recent press and attention that the Boy Scouts of America has been receiving on its membership policies, a number of parents and families have been looking for an alternative scouting organization to join that is more open and holds with their ideals and values. The good news is, there is such an organization, the Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA http://bpsa-us.org) and a new BPSA Scout Group exists here in Washington.
I am the group scoutmaster for the group; and, I am the national commissioner for the BPSA and a Washington resident. The BPSA offers a traditional, back-to-basics scouting program teaching outdoor skills and focusing on instilling the idea of service over self. The BPSA is also a coed (boys and girls) and inclusive organization, making scouting available to everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, religion or no religion, race or other differentiating factors. Scouting as a program for helping build character and responsibility through activities and progressive learning of outdoor skills should be accessible to everyone!
I want to encourage any and all families in the Washington and surrounding area to attend our upcoming organizational and Q&A meeting Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church. If you support the mission of the BPSA in providing this kind of program and want to make it happen here in our hometown, help me spread the word about our organization and upcoming meeting! Having a BPSA Scout Group in our area can make a real difference in our community through public service and other projects; and through providing a scouting program for youth in the context of an open and welcoming environment.
As a father of five, longtime scouter and now head of the BPSA, I want my children to be able to participate and enjoy those outdoor and service activities and accomplishments I had as a youth and young adult; but I want them to do so without having to check their integrity and common sense at the door while indirectly supporting an organization that discriminates and believes that some youth aren’t worthy of the same program and benefits they enjoy.
If you share this outlook and desire with me, help us make a difference in this community and across the country. Come see us Aug. 27, ask questions and begin to make a difference here in Washington!
Meeting details: 10th Daniel Boone, BPSA Scout Group, organizational meeting, Q&A and sign-up Monday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m. Peace Lutheran Church, Washington.