Western Mass. Boy Scouts Against National Membership Policy

The Western Massachusetts Council of the Boy Scouts of America says it is forming an Ad-Hoc committee to study the organization’s membership policy. This comes after a recent decision by the national body to re-affirm its ban on gay scouts and adult volunteers. New England Public Radio’s Adam Frenier reports.


Larry Bystran is the Scout Executive and Chief Executive Officer of the Western Massachusetts Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He says many of its members are unhappy with the recent national decision and want it reversed. and He says, the committee, which will be made up of adults involved in scouting, will take a closer look at the policy.

“That’s going to be up to the volunteers that we have here locally to see what our stance is here regarding the national policy and to see what avenues might be available to us to provide possible input on encouraging its change or modification.”

Bystran says the Council does not follow the national guideline when it comes to its membership.

“We don’t even inquire into anyone’s sexual orientation, that includes both youth and adults. As far as the youth is concerned, we prefer youth to live as youth.”

Bystran says Scout officials in Western Massachusetts have let national leaders know they disagree with the policy. He says there has been no pressure from the national organization about not enforcing its membership rules. The Western Massachusetts Council represents more than seven-thousand Boy Scouts and more than two-thousand adult volunteers. For New England Public Radio, I’m Adam Frenier.