We, the Scouts and Scouters, the families and friends, the people and the community of the Hudson Valley Council, request that Council officially and strongly support membership policy reform.
We strongly feel that any policy of discrimination, nationally or locally, is unfaithful to the very Purpose and Principles - and Honor - upon which the Scout Movement worldwide and nationally are founded:
"The purpose of the Scout Movement is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities." (Constitution of the World Organization of the Scout Movement)
By denying any young person this opportunity, by denying any leader to take part in this development, individuals, the BSA, and the country alike lose out.
Whether we are Scouts, whether we are friends of Scouting, or whether we have been denied the chance to benefit from what Scouting offers, we believe that all Americans should have the chance to do their Duty to God and Country, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self, and to prepare themselves to be better citizens and leaders for the good of Americans and America itself.
We urge that the Hudson Valley Council do what so many other Councils, Troops, Packs, and Lodges nationally have done, by speaking out on the behalf of all youth and adopting a policy of inclusion, by working for a national policy change.
We are Eagle Scouts and Tenderfoot Scouts, Webelos and well-wishers, summer camp staff and Venturers, parents and families, who have seen first-hand the value of Scouting, who love Scouting for how it has benefited ourselves and our community, and for how it has shaped us into the strong people we are today.
The Hudson Valley Council declares this to be its mission: "[T]o prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." We simply ask that the Boy Scouts of America, at all levels, truly embrace and live by the principles it seeks to instill in American youth.
We encourage everyone to join this campaign, but if you're a current or former Scout or leader, please say so in the "Why People Are Signing" section. If you have a story about how Scouting has contributed to your community or your personal growth, don't hesitate to share it. Thanks!
Please consider calling or emailing council and national executives: http://www.hudsonvalleyscouting.org/contact-us/33986 for HVC contacts, http://www.usscouts.org/aboutbsa/bsanational.asp for National contacts, and http://www.scouting.org/ContactUs.aspx for a (National) contact form.