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Focusing on the Mission

Click here to read the announcement. Click here to read a clarification of the BSA membership policy.

Scouts can be rightly proud of the role they have played in society - both as individuals and as members of one of America's most admired and respected organizations. Because of the important role the BSA plays in the lives of millions of young people and in communities across the nation, from time to time we receive questions about our membership policies. We want to take a moment to discuss those questions.

Policy regarding sexual orientation and/or disruptive behavior:

While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.

Our focus is on delivering the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Our mission does not include teaching young people about sex or sexual orientation, and we do not believe it is Scouting's role to introduce this topic in our youth development program. Also, it's important to note that beyond this topic, BSA holds volunteers accountable for any inappropriate behavior within the context of Scouting.That policy allows us to remain united in our mission as an organization, and while it doesn't accommodate every viewpoint, we believe it continues to be in the best interest of Scouting, overall.

We recognize that there will be a range of views on this topic, and Scouting's policy is not meant as a social commentary outside of our program. We respect everyone's right to have and express a different opinion and adamantly oppose the mistreatment of others based on any perceived difference.To disagree does not mean to disrespect, and we will continue to teach our members to treat everyone with courtesy and respect at all times to live a life that is consistent with the Scout Oath and Law.

Click here to read an explanation of this this policy in the Washington Post from Wayne Perry, National President and Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive.

We have a worthy mission. Thanks for all you do to help ensure our focus remains on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens as we prepare young people for lives of adventure, leadership, learning, and service.

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