Local Scout council respects national decision
CHAMPAIGN — Varying opinions on the decision by the Boy Scouts of America national council to allow openly gay youth to be accepted in Scouting won't affect local troops' mission, Prairielands Council Scout Executive Tim Manard said.
"While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting," Manard said Thursday evening in an email to The News-Gazette. "We believe good people can disagree and still work together to accomplish great things for youth. Going forward, we will work to stay focused on that which unites us."
Manard said the Prairielands Council's focus will continue to be character development and values-based leadership training for area young people.
"The information our Council provided on this issue helped provide perspective to the process, and we respect the integrity of the national decision-making process," Manard said.
"I believe this update to our policy will allow all kids who sincerely want to be a part of Scouting to experience this life-changing program while remaining true to the long-standing virtues of Scouting."
He said the Prairielands Council serves 3,000 young people in nine counties of East Central Illinois and western Indiana.