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Can a BSA Scout participate in a Political Event

Date: 8/4/00

The question of Scouts at a political event comes up every time there are campaigns. My understanding is that the policy is that it is OK for Scouts to perform patriotic duties (like a flag ceremony) at a political campaign, but they cannot be seen endorsing a candidate or handing out political fliers.

Scouts are often seen with candidates of all political parties performing flag ceremonies. They should not be seen cheering on the candidate.

The policy is: Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, Art. IX, cl. 2 and 6:

clause 2.

    "The officers and leaders of the Boy Scouts of America shall, when praciticable, cooperate in connection with civic or other public gatherings of a nonpartisan and nonpolitical character which gives Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers [Ventures] an opportunity to render service in harmony with their training instead of merely taking part in parades or making a show of themselves in their uniforms."
clause 6.
    " The Boy Scouts of America shall not, through its governing body or through any of its officers, its chartered Councils, or members, involve the Scouting movement in any question of a political character. However, this shall not be interpreted to prevent the teaching of patrotism and good citizenship as required to fulfill the Corporation's purpose. This policy shall also not limit the freedom of thought or action of any official or member as an individual."
Cub Scout Leader's Manual:
Chapter 7: Uniform Rules and Regulations "The uniform may not be worn by either Cub Scouts or adult leaders when: Involved in any distinctly political endeavor."


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