Posts tagged: Boy Scouts
The Boy Scouts of America has the authority to sell or swap Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho Supreme Court has ruled. The Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts has no plans to do so, and in fact it plans to invest in upgrades at the longtime camp. But when the council was considering moving the camp across the lake in 2011 and 2012, a group called Camp Easton Forever along with two local Scouts, Daniel and Matthew Edwards, sued the council. The plaintiffs argued that the 85-year-old donation of land that established the popular camp on Gotham Bay prohibited the council from selling or trading the land. The council’s attorneys argued that the land deed was unambiguous and contains no restrictions on selling the property, and a District Court in 2012 agreed. The Supreme Court affirmed that decision on Friday.
The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office let its charter of Boy Scout troop 911 expire at the end of 2013. Tim McCandless, CEO of Boy Scouts of America-Inland Northwest Council, said Northwest Backcountry Rescue is now chartering the troop, starting officially at the first of the year. Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said last year he was considering dropping the sheriff's office chartered troop when Boy Scouts of America ended its membership ban on gay youth. He said then that his Christian faith and the language in the Bible informed his view of homosexuality. “Boy Scout troop 911 is stronger than it has ever been,” McCandless said Friday. “It has great adult leadership, a strong charter, and it has been very active.” He said the troop has 22 active scouts and 15 volunteer adults. “The troop never stopped meeting,” he said. Wolfinger couldn't immediately be reached for comment Friday/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (File photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Four former Idaho Boy Scouts, including a Spokane man, filed a federal lawsuit in Boise today charging that they were sexually abused by scout leaders during camping trips and other scouting events in the 1970s and 1980s. The lawsuit, which asks for at least $75,000 in damages for each of the four men, charges that the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church, which sponsored three of the four scouts’ troops, failed to prevent the abuse and allowed pedophiles to continue in scouting roles. Secret files kept by the Boy Scouts, but made public as part of an earlier lawsuit in Oregon, documented cases of abuse, and directed, in some cases, that the offenders be excluded from scouting/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Candlelight Christian Fellowship in Coeur d’Alene has decided to end its charter of Boy Scouts Troop 291 because of the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to end the organization’s membership ban on gay youth. In a statement released Monday by Associate Pastor Buck Storm, the church said, “BSA’s vote to mandate the acceptance of the homosexual agenda has unfortunately put many charter organizations in a difficult position. Candlelight Christian Fellowship is a Bible-believing Christian church, and as such we obviously can’t link arms with the Scouts on this path they’ve chosen to follow.” The church said it loves everyone in the community without bias and welcomes all. “That being said, it’s important that we retain the freedom to follow God’s word as it’s written, and without a differing moral base being dictated to us,” the statement reads. The church also said the families of troop members agree with its stand/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Ben Wolfinger, the sheriff of Kootenai County, said he has not decided to keep or drop the Boy Scout troop chartered by the sheriff’s office. But he said his Christian faith and what the Bible says about homosexuality are weighing heavily on him as he struggles with the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to end the organization’s membership ban on gay youth. “I don’t think I can make any decision in my life without bringing my faith into it,” Wolfinger, an elder in the large, evangelical Real Life Ministries church, said in an interview Thursday. “My faith influences what I do every day.” Wolfinger indicated last week he was compelled to drop the charter with Troop 911, saying it would be inappropriate for the sheriff’s office to continue the association because Idaho’s “crimes against nature” statute prohibits sodomy/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (SR file photo of Sheriff Wolfinger in February)
Question: What would you tell the sheriff to consider as he reaches a decision re: the Boy Scout charter?
Item: Sheriff mum after meeting: Wolfinger may end Boy Scout charter after gay ban pulled/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: A meeting between the Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Kootenai County sheriff didn't appear to change anything Tuesday. Kootenai County Sheriff's Lt. Stu Miller said Sheriff Ben Wolfinger had no further comment on Friday's decision to pull the KCSO's Boy Scout charter. The sheriff announced he was pulling it because the BSA National Council passed a resolution last week that removed a ban against openly gay members in the scouts. On Friday, Wolfinger said “It would be inappropriate for the sheriff's office to sponsor an organization that is promoting a lifestyle that is in violation of state law.” He said sodomy was illegal in the state of Idaho.
Question: How do you think this will play out?
In this Feb. 6 file photo, from left, Joshua Kusterer, 12, Nach Mitschke, 6, and Wyatt Mitschke, 4, salute as they recite the pledge of allegiance during the “Save Our Scouts” prayer vigil and rally against allowing gays in the organization in front of the Boy Scouts of America National Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Under pressure over its long-standing ban on gays, the BSA announced today that it will submit a proposal to its National Council to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders. Story here. (AP Photo/Richard Rodriguez, File)
Camp Easton Boy Scouts of America has circulated an email to supporters, Scouts and contributors in lieu of the decision to end negotiations with Discovery Land Co. for the Lake Coeur d'Alene site. It reads in part:
We are now focused on upgrading the current Camp Easton site to make it the best and safest camp possible now and in the future. Over the past year, many members of our Scouting family have expressed strong support for Camp Easton and for that we are grateful. Camping is an essential element to the Scouting experience. This is why we will soon be launching a capital campaign for Camp Easton. Funds raised will be used to construct a tunnel under Highway 97 to connect both parts of our camp to create a safer and more functional environment for Scouts. We are also excited to make additional improvements to enhance the camping experience. Plans will likely include improved infrastructure, better staff housing, improved camp headquarters and new program features. More here.
The proposed land swap of a historic Boy Scout camp, a plan that had garnered litigation and a scout protest march, won't be happening. The Boy Scouts of America Inland Northwest Council announced on Wednesday that the council and a luxury developer have ended discussions over the proposal to exchange Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d'Alene for a new camp at a different site. “We were committed at every step to do our very best to make the right decision for our organization,” states a letter posted on the INC website on Wednesday from Tim McCandless, INC scout executive and CEO, and Barry Baker, council president/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Are you glad that the Boy Scouts will hold onto Camp Easton?
Boy Scouts from Troop 315 stand in front Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's jet after he arrives in Salt Lake City. Local Boy Scout troop leaders have been reprimanded after allowing a group of scouts to greet GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney at a Utah airport this week. Kay Godfrey of the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America says scouts are not supposed to take sides in elections, but noted many troop leaders aren't aware of the policy. Others, however, called the move an overreaction. “This is political correctness at it's pettiest,” says Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis. “The Utah Democratic Party is thrilled that a troop of Boy Scouts got an upfront visit with a Presidential nominee, right here in Utah.” (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Question: Do you see any problem with Boy Scouts from a flyover state for President Barack Obama to greet the Republican presidential candidate at an airport?
Freshman GOP Rep. Raul Labrador uses his online newsletter to describe a recent visit from his former Boy Scout leader, Bob Swift, who stepped in for Labrador's largely absent father. Labrador has spoken about his move from Puerto Rico to Las Vegas with his mother, when Labrador was 13. Joining the LDS Church and the Scouts were key formative moments, he has said. But his description of his relationship with Swift, offers a more intimate view, including Swift's role as a father figure. Writes Labrador: “I remember vividly father-son campouts that we went on in which my friends’ fathers would go along with them. Not having my own father around to accompany me, Bob stepped in. He was like a father figure to me. Because of him, I felt like an equal among my peers and shared in the goodwill that was fostered during those outings”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Wikipedia photo)
Question: Is there someone in your life that stepped in to fill an important role, as a father, mother, sibling, etc.?
After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America today emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, ruling out any changes despite relentless protest campaigns by some critics. An 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts,” the organization’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press. Smith said the committee, comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion — preserving a long-standing policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 and has remained controversial ever since/Associated Press. More here. (Wikipedia illustration)
Question: Do you support the Boy Scouts stand?
A Kootenai County judge on Wednesday ruled against legal challenges by area Boy Scouts and their supporters to halt the proposed sale of Camp Easton to a North Idaho development company. District Court Judge John Patrick Luster on Wednesday denied efforts by a group calling itself Camp Easton Forever to halt a possible sale of the camp, which has been used since 1929 as a summer camp for regional Boy Scouts. Last year the Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts — which governs the camp and regional scouting — described plans to swap the 383 acres at Camp Easton for a new camp along Sunup Bay on the west shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Opponents have rallied widespread opposition to the planned sale and swap, saying Camp Easton, on the lake’s eastern shore, is a unique site and too valuable to sell/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. And: Copy of Judge Luster's findings here. (SR file photo: Joe Farrell, 12, center, and Kris Blackwell, 12, hold signs outside the Boy Scout headquarters in Spokane Feb. 24 in protest of selling Camp Easton)
J.D. Meads, second from right, of Athol, Idaho, leads a group of scouts in a camp-style song outside the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Spokane Saturday. The scouts, and adult leaders, from North Idaho and the Spokane area were protesting the sale of Camp Easton, a scout camp on Lake Coeur d'Alene, to a private golf community. More here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Scout program leaders in North Idaho are pleading constituents not to cut off support for the Boy Scouts out of opposition to the Camp Easton land swap. Officials with the Old Mission District, which oversees scouting programs in Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties, say they have been contacted by a high number of volunteers and financial donors threatening to sever ties with the district if the proposed exchange goes through. “Some of our biggest contributors are saying, 'We're not going to be associated with scouting anymore,'” said district Chairman Ladd Livingston. Some have made significant donations to fund Camp Easton infrastructure, Livingston explained, with the understanding that the improvements would be used at that location permanently/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Photo from Saving Camp Easton Web site)
Question: Will this end badly?
The executive board of regional Boy Scouts voted in favor of pursuing a purchase option agreement with an Arizona developer on Wednesday, which could result in exchanging a historic Boy Scout camp for a new camp to be built at a different site. The Inland Northwest Council's executive board vote tallied 24 in favor, six opposed and three abstaining to begin negotiations with Discovery Land Company. “These (board members) that were there, they spent so much time investigating, meeting with people on their own, reading the 40 pages from the survey,” said Scout Executive Tim McCandless, referring to a recent survey to constituents on the project. “This was the most comprehensive decision I've seen an executive board make”/Alecia Warren, CdA Press. More here. (SR file photo: A Tiger Cub Scout gets help with a bow and arrow from his dad at Camp Easton)
Question: Do you support this decision?
A decision on whether to pursue a land swap that will give up a historic Boy Scout camp will be made in the next two weeks, according to a scout official, though it might not be as ironclad as some would prefer. The Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts will have two board votes in upcoming weeks, said Scout Executive Tim McCandless. The INC executive and foundation boards will only vote on whether to pursue a purchase of sale agreement with developer Discovery Land Company, McCandless said, which has offered to build a new and improved camp at Sunup Bay on Lake Coeur d'Alene, in exchange for the Camp Easton property further north/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo: A Nine Mile Falls Cub Scout and his father eat stuff apples they baked in a fire at Camp Easton)
Question: Have you ever participated in an event at Camp Easton?
Item: Scout survey: Majority OK with swap: Results will guide council's decision on Camp Easton/Alecia Warren, CdA Press
More Info: The written results are posted online at www.nwscouts.org under Council Camps, as well as a 52-page report replete with charts and graphs mapping out the response percentages. “We've provided every comment made, with no editing of any kind,” McCandless said. “We wanted to put it out there, and let people read it for themselves.” To the survey's chief question, asking whether folks want the INC board to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with Discovery and give up the current property for a new camp, 61 percent were in favor and 39 percent opposed.
Question: Do you agree with the survey results?
The Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts has sent out 10,000 emails asking supporters, Scout families and volunteers their views on selling Camp Easton. The goal, said Tim McCandless, the CEO of the Spokane-based regional Scouts group, is to help board members decide whether to sell or keep the historic camp on Lake Coeur d’Alene’s east shore about 20 miles south of Coeur d’Alene. Some Scouts and neighbors of Camp Easton reacted angrily in August when they learned of a plan to swap Camp Easton for a new Boy Scout camp to be built by a developer on the west side of the lake/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo: Archery practice at Camp Easton)
Question: Should the Boy Scouts sell or keep historic Camp Easton?