August 14, 1991
SUBJECT: UNITED WAY/MT. DIABLO COUNCIL
From: Ben H. Love, Chief Scout Executive
To: Scout Executives
The ongoing funding issue between the Mt. Diablo Council and the united Way of the Bay Area has been receiving much press over the past few days, some of it erroneous. As a result, many of you may be receiving media calls. This letter will help clear up any questions that you may have, and
provide a position statement on our new Learning for Life program (see attached) .
Last week, the united Way of the Bay Area requested that the Mt. Diablo Council issue a joint announcement on reaching an accord over the BSA's standards of membership and leadership. When the council received a copy of what the United Way wished to release to the media, they found it unacceptable. Most blatant was the United
Way taking credit for the formation of our new subsidiary, Learning for Life, which, as you know, is totally false.
Further, the united Way's scheduling for the announcement was also unacceptable. It did not allow us enough time to prepare our Scout Executives for media questions; in fact, most councils hadn't even received their Learning for Life information packages at the time of the press conference.
In summary, the BSA did not approve nor support the United Way announcement. The attached statement will help you in explaining the true BSA position.
We also suggest that you send a copy of this letter, as well as the attached position statement, to your Board of Directors and key financial supporters. You should include any other
information you deem appropriate.
August 14, 1991
The Boy Scouts of America In-School Scouting program began in 1982. Over the nine years of its existence, the program has grown to serve nearly one million youth across the United States. In 1988, a complete review of the program was begun. This study resulted in
the formation of a new BSA subsidiary called Learning for Life. In October of 1990, the National Executive Board approved formation of the program, and it was introduced in September 1991. Learning for Life separates the traditional programs of the Boy Scouts of America from its non- traditional In-School Scouting programs.
The one major aspect of Learning for Life that remains the same as
traditional BSA programs is that adult leadership in Learning for Life must meet the standards of traditional BSA programs, standards which have not changed.
There are numerous aspects of Learning for Life that make it non-traditional and different from traditional BSA programs:
(a) Learning for Life is the new subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of
America. Learning for Life is designed to be a "partner in education" It provides supplemental curricula to support schools in their efforts to educate students. Learning for Life has been designed to be both age-appropriate and grade-specific.
(b) Learning for Life is designed to respond to the needs of young people in a classroom setting.
(c) This new non- traditional program will be available to all young people. However standards of membership for youth in traditional BSA programs -- Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Exploring -- will not be changed. Ethical decision making is an integral part of the Learning for Life program.
(d) Learning for Life is not intended to compete with traditional BSA
programs. Rather, it adds an additional dimension to the service the BSA provides to young people.
The program is designed as a community outreach effort, to be implemented at the discretion of local councils. It is not a mandatory program for local councils. It is the prerogative of the local council executive board to determine the scope of involvement. Each local
council determines its own amount of community outreach, educational support, and budgetary involvement.