Christian-Based Program Forms as Alternative to Boy Scouts

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 05:03 PM

By Andrea Billups

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A coalition of youth groups is creating a national organization for boys as an alternative to the Boy Scouts of America, following the Boy Scouts' decision to allow openly gay members to join, The Washington Examiner reported.

The new organization will officially launch on Jan. 1, 2014, but will begin chartering new units around the country in November, according to a statement released Tuesday by the as-yet-unnamed group's interim executive director, Rob Green of Spartanburg, S.C.

Urgent: Should the Boy Scouts Ban Gays?

The group will be "distinctly different" from the Boy Scouts, with some similarities, Green said. For example, rank advancements from the Boy Scouts can be transferred. The group will offer "transition" plans for Scouting units who are interested in moving from the Boy Scouts of America, Green said.

"Our vision is to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens," Green said in a statement posted on the group's website.

"The new program will be an exciting and motivating outdoor-based program focused on leadership and character development for boys, and founded on principles and values that reflect a Christian worldview," he said.

Membership is open to all boys "irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin," Green said in the statement, noting that parents from all faiths were welcome to place children in the program.

"While boys may come from every religious background, adult leaders in the program — from the National Board level to individual unit volunteers — will adhere to a standard statement of Christian faith and values," he noted.

The group is working on a new name that reflects its values and mission. It plans to hold its first national convention in Nashville on Sept. 6-7.

The organization's focus will be on "sexual purity" and not orientation, Green said in the statement.

Language in its new policy will read: "The proper context for sexual relations is only between a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage."

Urgent: Should the Boy Scouts Ban Gays?

The new group's mission is "to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure," according to the statement.

Regional and national groups, including OnMyHonor.net, Faith Based Boys TrailHead USA, and Frontier Service Corps, will join to form the new organization. It will model itself on American Heritage Girls, with which it will work closely to provide "Godly, character building programs for our country’s young men and women."




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