Scouts and politics

This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Wednesday's front page featured a large photograph of Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney meeting Boy Scout Troop 315 ("Romney in Utah: Help the needy — but not by wealth 'redistribution,'" Tribune, Sept. 19). The troop's scoutmaster needs to review the Boy Scouts of America Scoutmaster Handbook:

"Do not wear the uniform in situations that might mistakenly imply an endorsement by the BSA of a product, service, political candidate, or philosophy. Scouts and Scouters are encouraged to take part in political matters as private individuals but not while wearing the uniform."

And the official BSA policy on political activities states: "Uniformed unit members and leaders may participate in flag ceremonies at political events and may lead the Pledge of Allegiance; however, they should retire after the ceremony and not remain on the speakers' platform or in a conspicuous location where television viewers could construe their presence as an endorsement or symbol of support. In addition, photos of candidates or Scouts in uniform … are not allowed. … Strict observance of our long-standing policy against the active participation of uniformed Scouts and leaders in political events is mandatory."

Troop 315 is in violation of this policy.

Josh Clemens