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Plenty of Boy Scout Alternatives; But Few for LGBTs

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by David Crary
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The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Pathfinders
Dating back more than 60 years, the coed Pathfinders program serves about 35,000 boys and girls ages 10 to 15 in the U.S. and Canada, according to James Black, the church’s director of youth ministries for North America.

Black said the program resembles the Boy Scouts in many respects, with an emphasis on camping, plus an array of honors and patches that the youth members can work for.

Unlike the Scouts, however, the Pathfinders operate as a church-based ministry, with a priority placed on community service. However, Black said boys and girls are welcome to join even if not from Seventh-day Adventist families.

Amid the Boy Scouts’ turmoil, there’s been an upsurge of inquiries from parents about possible participation in the Pathfinders, Black said.

"We don’t want to gain off of someone else’s misfortune - but we want to be there as an available option for healthy, meaningful programs," he said. "We wish the best for the Boy Scouts. ...Our hearts and prayers go out to them."

The Calvinist Cadet Corps Cadet Corps

Founded in 1952, with a headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich., this is a non-denominational but staunchly religious scouting-style program.

Office Manager Kathy Door said the corps currently serves about 9,900 boys in 550 clubs in the U.S. and Canada, with strong bases of support in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and the Pacific Coast.

"When someone who hasn’t heard of us asks questions, we tell them we’re sort of along the lines of Scouting but we are much more conservative," Door said. "There are Bible lessons at every meeting."

Most of the participants come from churches with Calvinist roots, such as the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church.

Door said the Cadet Corps was not trying to capitalize on the Boy Scouts’ current predicament, but had received inquiries in recent days from leaders of several local Boy Scout units interested in learning more about the corps.

The Knights of Columbus’ SquiresColumbian
This organization for Roman Catholic boys and young men ages 10 to 18 was founded in 1925 and claims a youth membership of more than 25,000, including some in units in Mexico and the Philippines.

The Squires, says the program’s Web site, "is an athletic team, a youth group, a social club, a cultural and civic improvement association, a management training course, a civil rights organization and a spiritual development program all rolled into one."


Next page: Secular Programs



Comments

  • WayGay, 2013-02-19 09:12:21

    BSA is like slavery in America. That was popular too in its day. Now it’s as outmoded as BSA’s hypocritical stance that publicly bans gays, but privately protects pediphiles. You’d think the Catholics ran BSA. BSA if going to survive is going to need to update their primitive viewpoint.


  • Anonymous, 2013-02-19 09:36:04

    I would love to great more about your mention of BSA privately protecting pedophiles. i personally don’t believe that’s true.


  • WayGay, 2013-02-19 19:43:56

    Really? You don’t think they’ve shuffled away indiscreet scoutmasters when they’re caught with their pants down? You don’t think BSA covers that up?


  • klownpoet, 2013-02-19 22:16:51

    Boy Scout ’perversion list’ reveals extent of alleged abuse | NJ.com just gollge it and read it is well documented


  • klownpoet, 2013-02-19 22:18:44

    sorry i missed the spelling i have a physical disability sometimes i jerk or tremor


  • Dillon Amstrong, 2013-02-20 00:15:14

    Bsa isnt all bad my troop accepted me after they did throw out anyone who was suppected of. I was so much into it my troop needed me because I was a good asset. But i belive its been a consent trobule with my council therefore As Im a scoutleader at age 18. I was always againsit the hate never took part in it, i would always correct scouts if they used any slurs towards me and if they didnt listen well it was delt with. But the whole Morally Straight thing I myself never said it.


  • klownpoet, 2013-02-20 04:48:49

    i don’t think that any thing is all bad or all good. I just think to deny the one side good or bad doesn’t get any thing accomplished. And you said something I totally agree with you are usually treated the way you treat others and you dealt with it... I do not believe anything is all or nothing when making any judgement ....I tell people if you find a twenty dollar bill in your wallet that isn’t real, you wouldn’t throw out all you money, you would search through it to find the good. I believe in this if it is an organization or people, etc. don’t judge on color, sexual orintation, age , nothing. You have to let the other person show you who or what they are and then decide if they belong in your lifee or you theirs. again hope i didn’tt makke to many mistakes thanks for the input


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