New scouting alternative for displaced Baptist Boy Scout troops

New scouting alternative for displaced Baptist Boy Scout troops

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"It was sad. We had a one last hurrah campfire and went our separate ways," Terry Lee said. "It was sad. We had a one last hurrah campfire and went our separate ways," Terry Lee said.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – When the Boy Scouts made its decision to allow openly gay boys to take part in scouting, it caused a national controversy.

Locally, several Baptist churches decided to dissolve their troops on moral grounds.

Now there's a new option for the churches that dropped out. It's being marketed as a more sexually or morally pure version of Boy Scouts.

The organization, still in its planning stages, will launch in 2014. They have a big convention planned in Nashville in September.

At Callahan Road Baptist Church, they said goodbye to their Boy Scout troop three weeks ago, a troop that was overseen by Terry Lee.

"It was sad. We had a one last hurrah campfire and went our separate ways," Lee said.

Their decision was in direct response to the Boy Scouts of America's decision to openly gay boys into their troops.

The new choice for churches is backed by the Southern Baptist Association.

"We will build a program that is morally consistent and based on Christian values. We owe nothing less to our nation's future leaders," said the group's executive director, Rob Green, about what they believe in.

The new scouting alternative, that's yet to be named, will accept youth of same-sex attractions, but members will have to live a life of sexual purity.

"I think it's a great thing. If they are in disagreement, it opens up a void. I think it's nice someone steps in and fills that void," said Lee, about the moral conflict.

At his church, he says the decision whether they'll join will largely be based on what programs the new group has to offer.

"They have not come up with a release of what type of program they have. Like with Boy Scouts you have backpacking and hiking, rope tying," Lee explained.

While the operational details still have to be ironed out, displaced boy scout leaders, seem happy about the new option.

Lee says he likes that the group is being formed by former Boy Scout troop leaders.

Because of that, he feels there's a good chance it'll be much like Boy Scouts, with a difference in views when it comes to sexuality.

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