The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA operate on the basis of respect for all. This respect extends to our Scouts’ opinions.
Our Scouts get many opportunities to express themselves from the Best of America portion of the team meetings to discussion around a campfire. We instill creative and critical thinking in our Scouts and therefore encourage them to think about and explore topics which are of interest to them. We do not however permit the advocacy the promotion of any ideals or policies other than those of Adventure Scouts USA, and discussions are not intended to be platforms for debate. We do feature debate as an activity during appropriate times and places.
Controversial or Personal Topics
Occasionally our Scouts will bring up topics which might be controversial or personal to them. We do not censor our Scouts, as long as the discussion is time, place, and manner appropriate. The right of the individual to speak and the rights of the other Scouts to not engage in a discussion they do not want to engage in must be balanced. We achieve this balance through respect. So long as a discussion is civil and the Scouts are enthusiastic, the discussion may continue. However, once a Scout or Scouts have expressed a wish to not hear any more on a topic, that is the end of it. To continue to speak to someone on a topic they do not wish to discuss borders on force and verbal abuse. We instill in our Scouts respect for themselves, each other, their Team Counselors, Counselors, and others. Many disagreements are easily prevented by remembering to be respectful to all concerned.
If a Scout wants to have a private discussion with a Team Counselor or Counselor, they may do so while remaining in sight of the rest of the team. By using basic decency, respect, and common sense, we allow our Scouts their freedom while respecting that of others.
Occasionally a Scout may express an opinion that the Team Counselor or Counselor disagrees with. All Team Counselors and Counselors must respect our Scouts’ point of view and the point of view that was instilled by their parents. “I respect that is your opinion and/or the opinion of your parents. Some people feel that way; some people do not” is the appropriate response.