After realizing the Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory policy banning gays and lesbians wasn’t going to die quickly enough, a number of agitated families across America have started joining Navigators USA—a new organization that “welcomes all people.”
Contrary to the dwindling enrollment numbers reported by BSA since last year, the Navigators have more than doubled their chapters around the nation in the same amount of time, from only 19 in 2012 to the current 45 chapters across 21 states (up to 600 children total).
Children enrolled in Navigators USA enjoy many of the same activities that Boy Scouts do, including camping, farming, hiking, and community service, but instead of promoting a hateful agenda, the “Navigators Moral Compass” promotes a “world free of prejudice and ignorance,” and urges youngsters to “treat people of every race, creed, lifestyle and ability with dignity and respect.”
Though the organization is the brainchild of disgruntled parents, children are the ones deciding to make the switch. “We told our 8-year-old son, Nathan, what we thought of the official BSA rule on excluding gays,” says Bryan Freed, a father whose family recently joined a Navigators chapter in Losa Altos, CA, “and we let him decide.”
The Navigators are also helping to combat the anti-gay agenda by educating youngsters on LGBT issues in an age-appropriate manner.
Camp Fire USA is also non-discriminatory, and they’re open to boys (which sometimes comes as a surprise to those of us old enough to remember the “join the Camp Fire Girls” song).
Here’s a wonderful op-ed, “It pays to be inclusive,” from Cathy Tisdale, president of Camp Fire USA…
Navigators USA is an organization whose time has come… twenty years ago! I am so proud to hear of this and the right-thinking people who started it. No more Boy Scout popcorn for this family! Absolute best wishes, blessings, peace and joy to the new venture!
GMMelby, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain
Awesome! Maybe this will persuade the BSA to lift their silly ban. From what I understand about the survey, an overwhelming majority of people wanted the ban lifted; however, in Utah, where the Mormon church funds the BSA very heavily…an overwhelming majority wanted the ban to stay. Maybe enough families will leave the BSA that will become a regional organization???
I have gone out of my way to support the Girl Scouts over the last two years because of their stance on equality, but I will never support the Boy Scouts.
I am glad that other groups, such as this one, are springing up to handle the Boy Scouts in the best possible way… competition.
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