A local leader of a new Scouts-like group said it will likely draw people who oppose the Boy Scouts of America's decision to end its ban against openly gay Scouts.
However, Mike Flowers, of Edmond, said there will be no Boy Scout bashing at a meeting set for Saturday to discuss the new faith-based organization called Trail Life.
Flowers said the gathering at Memorial Road Church of Christ, 2221 E Memorial Road, is for people interested in the mission, ranking system and other information related to the new group.
Flowers said he is a former Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Explorer Scout, plus he organized the Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops at the church, serving as a Scout leader for 15 years. He said he is a former district commissioner for the Eagle District that included about 65 local Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops in the metro area.
With such heavy previous involvement in the Boy Scouts, Flowers said he has great respect for the organization, and Saturday's gathering will be absent of any trash-talking about Boy Scouts.
“They're not going to hear any negative things about Scouting coming out of us,” Flowers said.
He said he will share information from the inaugural On My Honor National Leadership Convention he attended this month in Nashville, Tenn. Started by a Florida attorney, the On My Honor convention was held to unveil the name of Scouting alternative Trail Life, along with details about the new program.
Flowers said the Trail Life organization bars openly gay Scouts and leaders.
Flowers said Oklahoma was well represented at the event, with about 24 leaders from across the state in attendance. He said numerous Oklahoma churches, like his own, are maintaining their Boy Scouts' charters until the end of the year, with plans to switch their affiliation to Trail Life at the beginning of 2014.
“It gives them an opportunity to wrap things up in a positive manner,” Flowers said.
He said the Oklahomans who met at the Nashville convention formed a pilot committee to help troops make the transition from Boy Scouts to Trail Life. Saturday's meeting will give the committee members an opportunity to share details with the general public about the program and what it has to offer, he said.
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