Group Grows Locally in Response to Gay Scout Policy

A new scouting organization is picking up popularity in the South Plains, as an alternative to Boy Scouts. Jan 1, 2014 Boy Scouts of America will now allow openly gay scouts.
by Victoria Price

LUBBOCK, Tx. -- Scott Scarborough says it was because of his son's enthusiasm after their first Boy Scout outing that he became a Scoutmaster.

"I said 'Hey Caleb, you have fun?' and he says 'Yeah Dad.' 'You like Scouts?' 'Oh yeah'.........that was it. I was in."

Starting New Years Day, the Boy Scouts of America will begin allowing openly gay members. When the BSA changed that policy, that's when Scarborough realized he needed to sever ties. He says there's an inherent dilemma with the new policy that puts Scouts at risk.   

"As a Scoutmaster, or a leader of these boys, we're responsible for their safety, for their protection," he says. "If I err on the side of caution, I'd be cast as a hater. If I err on the side of not being too cautious, I put a kid at risk."

Scarborough's now a leader in a new group called Trail Life. They say they're in many ways just like the Boy Scouts -- just more rooted in their Christian values.

"We at Trail Life, and I more importantly, believe that God decides what is right and wrong," he says.

The new organization has quickly grown in popularity, especially here in Texas. They say their policy on gay membership will be much more along the lines of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'
However, the group does take a strong stance against homosexuality.

"That doesn't remove me from loving that kid," says Scarborough. "That just doesn't have a place with us."

Right now, there's almost a dozen Trail Life troops in the High Plains and the Panhandle, and close to 100 statewide.


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