The Carlington Summit
by David Darwin.

September is the traditional time for Beaver, Cub, Scout and Venturer groups to hold their registration nights. Carlington is lucky to have had several groups operating for the benefit of the youth and the community.

However, the scouting-related Internet newsgroups have been humming with comment and debate regarding the arrival of a new scouting organization. The Baden-Powell Scouting Association of Canada (BPSAC) represents a back-to-the-roots sentiment which has attracted many scouters who are unhappy with the direction being taken by Boy Scouts Canada (BSC).

Rather than a warm welcome, BSC has been cool to the idea of a competitor and even successfully challenged the new organization's use of the word ‘Scouts' in its name as it is protected by copyright.

The actions of Scouts Canada have infuriated many present and past scouters. A recent Internet post by Randy Kilmer provided an informative summary of the conflict. The edited discussion follows:

“I have been watching for some time now as Scouts Canada tries to bully its way around the Scouting community in Canada. It upsets me to no end to see how poorly they are acting towards the BP Scouts.

“One of the things that I like about the BP Scouts is their return to the basics, the fundamentals as laid down by our Founder. With that in mind I have reprinted a copy of the original 10 Scout Laws (Geez, I hope I haven't broken any copyright that Scouts Canada may hold on this too). Perhaps the executive in Ottawa should re-read these again in light of their current actions.

  1. A scout's honour is to be trusted.
  2. A scout is loyal.
  3. A scout's duty is to be useful and to help others.
  4. A scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout.
  5. A scout is courteous.
  6. A scout is a friend to animals.
  7. A scout obeys the orders of his parents, patrol leader or scoutmaster.
  8. A scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
  9. A scout is thrifty.
  10. A scout is clean in thought, word and deed.

“I won't go so far at to break down which ones of these very simple yet meaningful laws were broken or ignored by Scouts Canada in recent months. I think we all can see for ourselves.

“Perhaps by reviewing these though someone at the National level may be enlightened and decide that BP Scouts should be embraced and supported in much the same way that we support other scouting organizations around the world.

“Scouts Canada may hold the monopoly on the various terms and names but they do not hold a monopoly on the spirit of Scouting. Best of luck to BP Scouts, regardless of what you decide to call yourselves.”

It's unknown how many Ottawa-area scout groups may move to the new organization, but it appears that at least some have already made the change.

For the Carlington area, the challenge is to find sufficient leaders to operate a program, not to which national organization to subscribe. There are lots of kids who could benefit from Scouting, but there just don't seem to be enough adults willing to commit to this rewarding program.