Council News

Merger of Councils

On March 21, 2005, both the San Gabriel Valley Council and the Los Angeles Area Council have approved the merger of the two councils into a new, joint council. The joint council will solicit permission to merge from both the State of California and BSA National; both of these entities are expected to allow the merger to complete.

We will strive to keep everyone informed of the process and what lies ahead of us at the District and Unit levels.

In the meantime, please contact your unit commissioner or the district committee with any questions.

BSA Membership Policy Statement and FAQ

Q. What is the current membership policy?

A. The current BSA policy is: "While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA."

Q. Why did the National Executive Board decide not to change the policy on February 6 and when will it be discussed again?

A: After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.

To that end, the executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting's membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers' work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.

As always, our guiding principle is to do what's best for the organization, and after careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, it is clear that no single policy will accommodate all viewpoints within the Scouting family on the issue. The BSA can't sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. The BSA believes that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to achieve life-changing benefits to youth through the program.

Q. Who are the 1400 voting members of the national council and how are they selected?

A. Each chartered organization appoints a volunteer as its chartered organization representative to represent it as a member of the district committee and as a voting member of the local council. At the council's annual business meeting held in April of each year, chartered organization representatives and council board members vote on an executive board slate that includes the national council members.

There are approximately 295 local Boy Scout councils. The duly elected president and council commissioner of a local council are members of the National Council. Each local council in addition may elect one if its members as a member of the national council for every 5000 youth members. Consequently San Gabriel Valley Council has a total of 5 voting members. San Gabriel Valley Council will send the 5 voting members to the National Meeting in May.

Local Council Representatives to the National Council Voting members have a responsibility to represent the point of view of the local council, members, and their Chartered Organizations and vote as to what is in the best interests of Scouting and what accomplishes the purpose of Scouting.

Q. Can local councils set their own membership policies?

A. Scouting represents millions of youth and adult members in diverse communities across the nation who have a variety of beliefs about this issue. The membership policy is a national policy, and all local councils agree to follow BSA national policies. We fully understand and appreciate that not everyone will agree with any one position, but we do expect everyone to respect and follow it.

Q. Do you want to give your opinion on possible changes to the BSA Membership Standards?

A. Did you submit updated email addresses with your recharter?

If so, you should be receiving a Voice of the Scout Survey sometime between March 8 and March 15. As a part of that survey, all adults will be asked some questions about possible changes in the BSA membership standards, as well as their opinions about Scouting programs.

If you are a current member and you have not received a survey, you may register your member ID number and receive a link for the survey after your information has been verified. Parents of Scouts can also use this link to get a survey. You should use your child's ID and indicate you are a parent and input your own demographic information.

Mandatory Direct Contact Leader Training Initiative

National BSA studies have shown that on the whole, Scout units led by trained adult leaders present a higher-quality program that retains boys longer in Scouting. This is key to our Council's desire to have a positive impact on our Scout's values and character.

BE IT RESOLVED that the San Gabriel Valley Council will require Mandatory Training to all "Direct Contact Leaders" to be phased in starting in 2011 in order for a unit to recharter or charter with the San Gabriel Valley Council.

  • December 2011 Cubmasters, Scoutmasters and Crew Advisors complete Basic Leaders Training for their position.
  • December 2012 Committee Chairs to complete the Troop Committee Challenge Training for their position prior to the end of the year.
  • December 2013 All "Direct Contact" Leaders must complete Basic Leaders Training for their position by the unit's rechartering date, or the Council will not register that individual.
    • "Direct Contact" leaders for the Cub Scout Packs include: Tiger Cub Den Leaders, Cub Scout Den Leaders, Webelos Den Leaders, Cubmasters and Assistant Cubmasters.
    • "Direct Contact" leaders for the Boy Scout Troops include: Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters.
    • "Direct Contact" leaders for the Venturing Crews include: Venture Crew Advisors and Associate Crew Advisors.

Resolved, that every Scout in the San Gabriel Valley Council will be led by a trained leader. Limited exceptions may be considered based on individual circumstances. This policy may change to be more in line with the National BSA Policy, if needed.

Resolved, that the president and the secretary of the corporation are hereby authorized to execute this action.