July 13, 2015


To:  Friends of Andrew Jackson Council, BSA

From: Andrew Jackson Council, BSA Executive Board


Re: Adult Membership Standards


In late May we advised you that BSA National President Robert Gates, in a speech to the BSA National Meeting, called for a change to BSA Adult Leadership Standards.  Dr. Gates (who is a former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA) did not ask the BSA National Board to take specific action in May, but said that he felt BSA must reconsider its membership standards for adult leaders by: (1)  eliminating the blanket prohibition on homosexual adult members, but (2) ensuring the right of charter organizations that sponsor Scouting units to determine their own standards, including sexual orientation standards, for adult leaders in their units. 


Today we learned that on Friday, July 10, 2015, the Executive Committee of the BSA National Board approved a resolution amending the adult leadership standards policy as suggested by President Gates.  While that resolution is pending ratification of the National Board on July 27, we believe the new membership standards will be ratified.


 In sum, as the BSA message linked below says, “This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change would also respect the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own. The 2013 youth membership policy will not be affected and remains unchanged.”  For more information, follow this link:  http://scoutingnewsroom.org/blog/update-on-adult-leadership-standards/


We ask for your continued support of Andrew Jackson Council as we work diligently in our task:  “Preparing Young People For Life!”  Given that churches will be able to set their own adult membership standards, we believe this change will make no difference as we seek to deliver Scouting’s message and program.  We intend to keep our focus on that work, giving boys unprecedented opportunities for learning, leadership, self-reliance, and adventure.  Thank you for your faith in Andrew Jackson Council to do just that, and for your partnership with us that allows our work to continue.