California girls fight to become Boy Scout members

Four months after the Boy Scouts of America made history by allowing gay adults to become leaders, its local chapter in Northern California is facing new pressure from girls, asking to become full members. They call their group "The Unicorns." The six young girls teach themselves things they didn't learn in the Girl Scouts, like building a campfire. "I got jealous of what my brother got to do because he's a Boy Scout ...," said 10-year-old Ella Jacobs. Jacobs and her friend, Allie Westover, decided they were more interested in what the boys were doing. So last fall, they started participating in activities alongside a local Boy Scout troop. "I really like competitions and I really enjoy competitive nature and also working in teams and so being in Boy Scouts gave me the opportunity to work with boys and girls alike in a competitive nature," said Westover. They got so good at competing with the boys, this past spring they won second place in a major scouting competition with other Boy Scouts groups. "I think they were all a little surprised that we could do the same things that they could," said Jacobs. News of the girls' participation reached the local Boy Scout council, which last month, barred them from further scouting activities. "They're just being discriminatory and not nice," said Jacobs. "Because we're girls, they're saying because we're a different gender we shouldn't be allowed to do the same things boys can." Jacobs' mom, Danielle - herself a Boy and Girl Scout leader - helped the girls formally apply to become Boy Scouts. Last week, they were rejected. "I don't think that having girls join and having a co-ed program necessarily destroys that tradition," Danielle said. In a statement to "CBS This Morning" the Boy Scouts of America said, "We understand that the values and the lessons of scouting are attractive to the entire family. However, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs for boys and young men." The girls claim the local scout Continue Reading

CBS News Logo Trump swipes at Obama, jokes about HHS Sec. Price at Boy Scouts national summit

Last Updated Jul 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT In his address to the National Boy Scout Jamboree, President Trump delivered a speech that strayed into partisan politics several times, which is unusual for the venue. Presidents who have addressed the venue going back 80 years, to Franklin Roosevelt avoided politics in their speeches, the Washington Post observed. And at the beginning of the speech, it seemed as though Mr. Trump, too, would eschew a partisan message when he said to the 40,000 attendees in West Virginia that he would "put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, DC," because "who the hell wants to speak about politics when I'm in front of the Boy Scouts, right?"But he went on to talk about the vote to "repeal and replace Obamacare," joking that he would fire Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price if he is unable to get enough votes on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act."By the way, you're going to get the votes?" Mr. Trump said, turning to Price, who stood near him during the remarks. "He better get 'em. He better get 'em. Oh, he better. Otherwise I'll say, 'Tom, you're fired.' I'll get somebody."He complained about the "swamp" of Washington.  "I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp," he told the scouts. "And it's not a good place.  In fact today I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or, perhaps, to the word sewer.  But it's not good.  Not good."And he swiped at the media, which he predicted would say his crowd at the Jamboree was smaller than it was."The fake media will say:  President Trump -- and you know what this is -- President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today," he said. The president also recalled winning the presidential election, talking about the states he won -- "We won Florida.  We won South Carolina.  We won North Carolina.  We won Pennsylvania," and deriding opponent Hillary Clinton for not Continue Reading

More Boy Scout camps will be open to girls this summer

The Boy Scouts of America is putting out the welcome mat for girls, too, at more of its summer camps this year. The changes follow a decision by the Scouts last fall to admit girls into more programs. For some camps, like Cub Scout Camps, this will be the first summer that girls can participate as full members, not just as tag-along sisters. Other BSA programs with summer camp options, like Venturing, have been coed for years. Girls who have experienced the programs say they can be empowering. "When I joined Venturing, I was a shy and afraid little 14-year-old," says Maddy Agers of St. Louis, now a high school senior and Venturing president for her area. "Since then, I've learned to repel off a cliff backward, go on overnight trips in the wilderness, go mountain climbing and mountain biking, lead overnight canoe trips and brave zip lines. But learning leadership skills has been my favorite part of Venturing." "I'd say the best thing to do, for girls who think they're interested, is just jump in," she continues. "It's not all guys. There are women who've been in Scouting for 40 years. I really hope if I have a daughter she'll jump in just like I did." Agers first experienced Cub Scout summer camps when she would visit her brother at one. She's now working on a Summit Award, the Venturing equivalent of Eagle Scout, and has earned a college scholarship for community leadership thanks to her role in Venturing. Cub Scouts, geared to first through fifth graders, just started opening up to girls this year through an "early adopter program" slated to roll out nationwide on June 1. Girls who take part in the early adopter program and who sign up for summer camp will learn the same outdoor skills, go on the same adventures and, for the first time, get the same rank advancements as boys. Girls' and boys' programs will be separate. Boy Scouts, which is for sixth through 12th graders, will not be available to girls until next year. But girls ages 14 to 20 are welcome in Continue Reading

Boy Scout Troop 761

John [email protected] Published 12:31 am, Saturday, February 3, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-8', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 8', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Image 1of/8 CaptionClose Image 1 of 8 Members of Boy Scout Troop 761 salute the flag during a troop meeting on Friday, Jan. 23 at First United Methodist Church. (Katy Kildee/[email protected]) Members of Boy Scout Troop 761 salute the flag during a troop meeting on Friday, Jan. 23 at First United Methodist Church. (Katy Kildee/[email protected]) Image 2 of 8 Members of Boy Scout Troop 761 listen to their troop leader during a troop meeting on Friday, Jan. 23 at First United Methodist Church. (Katy Kildee/[email protected]) Members of Boy Scout Troop 761 listen to their troop leader during a troop meeting on Friday, Jan. 23 at First United Methodist Church. (Katy Kildee/[email protected]) Image 3 of 8 (Left) From left, Dakotah Fischer, 12, David Hasse, 14, Josh Whittington, 14, and Dylan Wedge, 14, laugh together while filling out a planning sheet for an upcoming trip during a meeting of Boy Scout Troop 761 on Friday, Jan. 23 at First United Methodist Church. (Right) Josh Whittington, 14, holds up his Scout sign while reciting the Boy Scouts oath during a meeting of Troop 761 on Friday, Jan. 23 at First United Methodist Church. (Katy Kildee/[email protected]) less (Left) From left, Dakotah Fischer, 12, David Hasse, 14, Josh Whittington, 14, and Dylan Wedge, 14, laugh together while filling out a planning sheet for an upcoming trip during a meeting of Boy Scout Troop 761 ... more Image Continue Reading

The annual Boy Scout food drive is Saturday in Mecklenburg County

The annual Boy Scouts food drive for Mecklenburg County’s low-income households is Saturday. Scouts will go door-to-door in neighborhoods throughout Mecklenburg County collecting non-perishable food items for Loaves & Fishes. Last year's Scouting for Food drive collected 240,000 pounds of food to help feed hungry neighbors in need. Scouting for Food helps restock pantry shelves that were depleted during the busy holiday season. Loaves & Fishes uses the food to provide a week's worth of groceries through its network of 30 emergency food pantries in Mecklenburg County. In 2017, Loaves & Fishes fed over 75,000 people, 48 percent of whom were children. Priority needs include canned meat, canned fruit, canned pastas, corn muffin mix, cereal and 100-percent fruit juice. There are multiple ways to participate in the food drive: Mecklenburg County Boy Scouts have distributed grocery bags provided by Harris Teeter in neighborhoods throughout the county. Fill the bags with non-perishable food items and leave it outside your home by 9 a.m for pickup on Saturday. Drop off food donations at any Mecklenburg County Harris Teeter Feb. 3-11. Food collection barrels will be located in all Mecklenburg County Harris Teeter stores. Drop off food donations at various Scouting for Food collection sites Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Trucks will collect food donations at various locations throughout the county. Boy Scouts will be on hand to collect donations at these locations Saturday and Sunday. Visit for a complete list of collection sites. Bring donations to the Charlotte 49ers home basketball game Saturday at Halton Arena. Charlotte IMG Sports Marketing and Harris Teeter are partnering to host Harris Teeter Assists during the men's home basketball game Saturday against Middle Tennessee. For every Charlotte 49ers assist, Harris Teeter will donate $50 to the Boy Scouts of Mecklenburg County's Scouting for Food Continue Reading

Can you be good without God? Boy Scouts face the question

In 2013, the Boy Scouts of America rescinded its ban on gay members. Two years later, it voted to allow gay adults in leadership. By 2017, the scouts announced that transgender boys would be allowed to join. And in October, the scouts announced that girls can become members. The one group still excluded by the Boy Scouts? People who don’t believe in God. “That was a cornerstone to growing developmentally as youth do, that they need to have a belief in a higher power,” said Brian Nastase, scout executive for the area Quivira Council. “And a belief in God means we are open to all faiths. We have Jewish scouts, we have Muslim scouts, Christian scouts, Buddhist scouts. It’s probably the most diverse organization in the city of Wichita, maybe even the country.” For Jerusha Lofland, that still excluded her son, who is now 14. Several years ago the organization came to her son’s school and invited him to a community event, which he attended. He was curious about scouting, Lofland said, but she had to have a discussion with him. “As we were becoming less religious at the time I realized it wasn’t going to be a good fit for him,” she said. “It does bother me that they’re trying to convince boys that they need a higher power, belief in a deity, that they are somehow superior to those who can’t believe that way.” Some say the exclusion of atheists boils down to a simple question: Whether you can be good without God. In some ways, the Boy Scouts are a microcosm of wider changes in society. As society became more accepting of LGBT individuals, so did the scouts. Now, the number of people who believe you can, in fact, be good without God is also on the rise. Good without God The number of adults who say you don’t need to believe in God to be moral is currently at 56 percent, compared to 49 percent in 2011, according to a study released by Pew Research Center in October. Part of that Continue Reading

Ex-Boy Scout volunteer arrested for molesting boys 30 years after complaint filed with Boy Scouts of America

It took nearly three decades for an ex-Boy Scouts volunteer in Arizona to face criminal charges after a confidential complaint to the Boy Scouts of America peeled away at a sex house of horrors. Police arrested William Challberg, 66, on Thursday on suspicion of sex crimes against several victims including a teenager he met in a Phoenix troop and groomed for sexual relations over several months, according to a complaint filed by the victim’s father in 1986. Charging documents identify at least five victims of sexual abuse in a case against Challberg and his longtime roommate, Julian Mendoza 51, who police arrested as well for alleged sex crimes. The unnamed victim described in the 1986 Boy Scouts of America complaint is now 45-years-old. Phoenix police arrested William Challberg, 66, (left) and his longtime roommate, Julian Mendoza, 51, (right) for dozens of alleged sex crimes against minors spanning several decades. Documents show Challberg, a former bus driver in Phoenix, met his victims after he joined the Boy Scouts of America at 29 to video tape events for local troops. The encounters detailed in the complaint didn’t start until 1983 when Challberg was at a conference in New Jersey and tried to hypnotize the victim and other children. The brunt of the assaults took place at Challberg’s home over several months in 1984 where drug and alcohol-fueled parties led to naked showers and massages as other children watched. When the victim spoke to investigators nearly 30 years later, he described a particular night where he watched pornographic films as Challberg performed sexual acts in front of him, the Arizona Republic reported. The victim claimed there were dozens of Polaroid pictures taken of him and scattered around the house. He even recognized several acquaintances from his old troop in the photos and home videos. During the last visit at Challberg’s home, Continue Reading

Montini: Why didn’t 40,000 Boy Scouts walk out on Trump?

It would have made a great picture, and would have honored their oaths, if the adult leaders of the Boy Scouts had turned their backs on President Donald Trump and marched all 40,000 or so scouts away from the stage Monday at the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W. Va.Trump was using his invitation to the jamboree to deliver a highly political, occasionally bizarre, rambling speech in which he trashed Hillary Clinton, his own attorney general, former President Obama and the news media. And delivered a partisan rant on his ideals about health care reform, and his personal analysis of his win in the Electoral College, all as if it was a campaign rally.And instead of doing the right thing, the scout leaders appeared to be leading the cheers.The “policy on Scout participation in political events” is pretty clear.It reads: Uniformed unit members or leaders may participate in flag ceremonies at political events and may lead Pledge of Allegiance; however, they should retire after the ceremony and NOT remain on the speakers' platform or in a conspicuous location where television viewers could construe their presence as an endorsement or symbol of support. In addition, photos of candidates or Scouts in uniform or BSA marks and logos are NOT allowed in political materials of any kind. The Boy Scouts of America does not endorse any political candidate. Care must be taken to not make implications that we do.Meantime, there was Trump, railing about the last election, complaining about the process. Saying, “So I have to tell you what we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for Make America Great Again."Not recognizing – or not caring – that the crowd is made up of kids who are way too young to vote.“You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp,” he Continue Reading

Exclusive excerpt from ‘The Last Boy’: Mickey Mantle struggled to deal with son Billy’s illness

In this exclusive excerpt from Jane Leavy's new book, "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood," the author takes you on a bumpy ride  with  an American hero. Atlantic City, April 1983 In the backseat of a limousine, I made Mickey Mantle cry. We were headed to the airport in Philadelphia for his next flight in a life of endless flights. "Still looks like winter up here," he said, peering at the world through another smoked glass window. "I always thought Atlantic City was right by New York. Someone told me it's right on the Mason-Dixon Line." Disorientation was the inevitable consequence of a life long divided into road trips and home stands. And that hadn't changed, except that now the destinations weren't always big league. He figured he was making ten to twelve appearances a year, gigs that paid a minimum of $5,000; he wouldn't take less. Still, he worried that he was pricing himself out of the market. They only pay so much to lead an apple harvest parade. The Claridge was planning a couple of card shows with Whitey, Billy, and Rog, his three favorites, maybe Willie and The Duke, too, and there was talk of an autobiography. "To get even with Bouton," he said. He got to thinking about how much things had changed, which led to a discussion of women in the locker room, an indignity he was spared by retiring before people like me barged in. He grinned. "I told you - they called me Pee Wee." Turned out I had remembered all too well his parting words by the elevator when I said I wasn't going upstairs with him. He was good at cutting himself down to size. He shrugged. "You can't be worse than what's-her-name." Whats-her-name - Diane Shah, a pioneer among female sportswriters - had dared to quote him accurately in a 1980 profile in New York magazine. He had been a hero to her as well, and she, too, was nervous when they met, blurting the first question that came into her head. "Do you still hunt and fish?" "Yes," he Continue Reading

Scouting values: Leaders call on Boy Scouts of America to end ban on openly gay adults

Were all the merit badges for naught? For Brian Peffly, a life teaching eager Boy Scouts to tie knots, start fires and build their character ended with a phone call. The vague communique told him that the Boy Scouts of America didn’t want a gay man in their midst. “I didn’t learn that discrimination was a scouting value when I was growing up,” said Peffly, 35, who has been both scout and scout leader for the better part of 20 years. “Being told I can’t be a part of my family is very devastating,” Peffly said of Troop 192, the Westerville, Ohio, group with which he has been active for much of his life. Two years after the storied organization amended its standards to prevent the expulsion of any youth member on the basis of his sexual orientation, openly gay adult members and volunteers are still in a bind. The organization made an explicit distinction between youth and adults, and leaders from the Boy Scouts of America have said there were no plans to subject the membership standards to further review. That doesn’t stop Peffly and others from praying that the topic comes up for discussion this week when more than 1,000 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America National Council converge on Atlanta for their annual meeting. “We’re really hoping that’s the case — we’re thinking and hoping and crossing our fingers that’s what they’re doing with their silence,” said attorney Josh Schiller, whose openly gay client Pascal Tessier, 18, has been hired by the Boy Scouts’ Greater New York Councils to be a camp counselor this summer. The Boy Scouts provide only a broad outline of their agenda for the private council meeting, which begins on Wednesday, and none of the proceedings will be public, but recent scrutiny of the organization’s practices has renewed activists’ expectations that the topic will be broached. I didn't Continue Reading