The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 2, 2013

Your View: Free Press mishandled Scouting story

Paul A. Wilkinson, Scout Executive/CEO, Twin Valley Council, BSA
Free Press Sports Editor

— One of the front-page stories in the Wednesday Free Press was “Local Scouts Consider Change — National Leadership appears ready to relax ban on gays.”

Twin Valley Council is not considering any change as this is an agenda item of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America. It is not a local decision.

As I have told The Free Press repeatedly, Twin Valley Council will always follow the policies of the National Council, Boy Scouts. We do not set policies on these issues.

The statement that “National Leadership appears ready to relax ban on gays” is also sensationalism, as this is a discussion item on the next National Council Board meeting agenda and a vote may or may not be taken at that time. The Free Press made it sound like this is a “done deal,”

The Free Press also quoted me as saying “This one caught me a little off guard.” I was caught off guard because of how quickly the issues came arose again. The Scouting Organization has been discussing this issue for years.

I am very unhappy in the manner in which The Free Press presented this story.