BSA General Policies
The National Office of the Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, sets all of the overall policies of Boy Scout troops in the United States, including such things as rank and merit badge requirements, uniforming, and joining requirements. These national BSA positions are:
Belief in God.
Virtually every religion is represented in Scouting. Each Scout must pledge to live by the Scout Oath (…do my duty to God…) and the Scout Law (A Scout is… reverent). The Boys Scouts of America has interpreted this to mean that a Scout or adult Scouter cannot be an avowed atheist or agnostic. The choice of religious preference by a Scout or adult Scouter is of no consequence to the Boy Scouts of America and Troop 451, so long as that religious preference includes a belief in God. The Boy Scouts of America and Troop 451 do not define nor interpret the term, “God.” Interpretation of the term, “God,” is the role of the Scout’s family and religious advisors. However, you should be aware that the National BSA requires several letters of recommendation accompany each application for the rank of Eagle. According to national BSA policy, an Eagle candidate should demonstrate the same excellence in this area as he would in merit badges or leadership positions in the troop.
An Eagle Scout candidate must do one of the following:
1. If the Eagle Scout candidate is a member of an organized religious institution, he must list on his Eagle Scout Application a religious reference who knows of the candidate’s fulfillment of his duty to God, and the reference must provide a letter on the candidate’s behalf.
2. If the Eagle Scout candidate is not a member of an organized religious institution, his mom or dad must write a letter to the attention of the Eagle Board of Review stating that the family has no church affiliation at this time and outlining the reason(s) why. The letter should state whether or not the candidate has a belief in God, and how he fulfills his Duty to God in his daily life.
Gender and Sexual Orientation
1. The Boy Scouts of America have approved a resolution to remove restrictions on leadership positions on the basis of sexual orientation. Please read this announcement for more information. Westminster Presbyterian Church is the chartering organization for Troop 451. July 2015.
2. The Boy Scouts of America have approved a resolution to remove restrictions on youth scout membership on the basis of sexual orientation. Please read this page for more information. May 2013.
3. Female leaders must be over the age of 18. Female adult leaders are welcome at ALL levels of Scouting, including Scoutmaster, and high school age female youth are permitted in the Venturing Program.