I think blog articles, like the one linked to above, help people catch their breath, stop and pray before making rash decisions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of press articles and blogs out there pushing “alarm” and “reactionary” messages to families who are trying to sort through their feelings about scouting and the radical turn it has taken.
- Is there a reason to continue to affiliate with scouting for most Christian families on a long term basis? No. (Unless perhaps, you’re operating the unit as an outreach program to the otherwise unchurched crowd and willing to take the gospel to them as part of the program)
- Must you leave by tomorrow? No. The new policy doesn’t actually go into effect until Jan 1, 2014 and most BSA units are “paid up through the end of the year” enabling scouts to complete projects and unit studies, attend summer camp, etc.
- Should your departure be from a scouting program or just from BSA in particular? I think that there are excellent alternatives in place now, and more being worked on right at this moment (faithbasedboys.org), but they need time to organize their resources, get computer systems in place, and so on. Leaving scouting-type organizations behind is throwing the baby out with the bath water. There are many benefits to scouting-like programs that simply are not duplicated in most typical church co-ed youth groups. Besides, (sorry to be blunt) look at the track record of those youth groups and retention of those young adults after their college years — they’re leaving the church (but not scouts/eagles per the recent Baylor study which showed adult, former scouts 55% more likely to volunteer their time at a religious institution than adult, never-scouts et.al. Adult Eagles clocked in at 66% more likely to volunteer than adults who were never scouts!)
If you feel compelled to leave immediately, remember that your son(s) can benefit greatly from other scout-like organizations such as Christian Service Brigade which are fully functional and have a 75+ year track record of discipleship and youth mentoring.