Dear Board, Leaders, & Scouting Partners
Just a short while ago, you probably heard the announcement through multiple media outlets regarding how we consider transgender youth in our program.
Although we have provided the media with statements they have incorrectly used the term of “changing policy”. Please be assured our Council nor the National Organization ever had a policy regarding membership with transgender youth, nor has there been a policy adopted. The National Organization recognizes that each State and municipality treats gender identity differently and birth certificates may or may not be used across all cases. This is not a battle for the Boy Scouts to decide. The objective is for each chartering organization to continue to provide youth with a quality program in a safe environment that meets their individual organization's preferences. The official statement released by the National Organization follows:
As one of America’s largest youth-serving organizations, the Boy Scouts of America continues to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families, and communities as possible.
“While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports, and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.
“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application. Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.
“The BSA is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.”
We understand that you may have questions about this announcement and that you may receive questions, and I want you to know that the SAC is here to support you. Please feel free to reach out to the Key 3 at (540) 662-2551 or one of the emails above so we can assist you with your needs.
We thank you for your commitment to empowering our nation’s youth and look forward to working together for many years to come.
J. Michael Williams | Council President
Shenandoah Area Council, Inc