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As prices for summer camp soar, so do adventurous options

By Kathleen Kingsbury BOSTON (Reuters) - Ah, summer. While warmer weather may still feel far off for most Americans, for parents, late February and early March has become the official start to the race to find ways to keep their kids educated and entertained once school lets out for vacation.

Boy Scouts ready for move to allow gay scouts from 2014

By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - The Boy Scouts of America will allow openly gay scouts for the first time as of January 1, with the century-old group facing conservative dissent from within for making the change and criticism from rights groups for not going far enough.

US Boy Scouts welcome gays

The Boy Scouts of America are starting the new year by officially welcoming openly gay youths into their ranks, but not everyone is pleased with the change. For more than two decades, the iconic youth organization known for its "be prepared" ethos has explicitly barred homosexuals, in contrast to the more LGBT-friendly Girl Scouts of the USA. Last May, the Boy Scouts' national council voted 61 percent to no longer deny membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation -- although it retained a ban on gay and lesbian adult Scout leaders.

Lockheed halts Boy Scouts donations over gay rights

By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp, the top U.S. defense contractor, has halted donations to the Boy Scouts of America because of the group's policies on religion and to exclude some gays from its ranks, it said on Thursday. Lockheed's decision makes it the latest corporate sponsor to pull its donations from the Scouts, which voted to end a ban on gay scouts effective at the start of 2014, but has left in place a prohibition on gays serving as adult Scout leaders.

Robert Gates, ex-U.S. Secretary of Defense, to lead Boy Scouts

By Lisa Maria Garza (Reuters) - The Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday chose former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA director Robert Gates as its next president, who will face the task of repairing divisions in the organization from a heated debate over accepting gay scouts. As Defense Secretary, Gates supported President Barack Obama's withdrawal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Congress repealed the ban in 2010 and it was lifted in 2011.

Scouts' U.S. plantation sale nets $2.2 million for cash-strapped group

By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - A historic Southern plantation in the United States sold for $2.2 million at auction Friday, giving some financial relief to the strapped local Girl Scout council that has owned and used it as a camp for girls for almost five decades.

Splinter group to start Boy Scouts rival in wake of fight over gays

By Robin Respaut NEW YORK (Reuters) - A conservative group said Tuesday it will form a rival alternative to the Boy Scouts of America, in the latest sign of backlash against the Scouts' recent decision to admit gay youth. The splinter group, OnMyHonor.Net, said the new organization will offer an outdoors-oriented character-development program for boys similar to that of the Boy Scouts, while also focusing on "sexual purity" and adhering to "a standard statement of Christian values."

Boy Scouts, Mormon Church sued in Idaho pedophile case

By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Four men sued the Boy Scouts of America and its largest sponsor, the Mormon Church, on Monday accusing both organizations of failing to protect them from sexual abuse by adult volunteers when they were children at scouting activities in Idaho. Three of the men said they were abused as members of Boy Scout troops affiliated with the Utah-based church, two of them by a scout leader previously identified as a molester in a complaint brought by a parent.

Summary of problems, and Girl Scouts' response

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Girl Scouts of the USA faces an array of problems at present. Here's a summary of major issues, and what the organization had to say about them in a statement to The Associated Press: ___ — A decline in youth membership, which has dropped by more than 20 per cent in 10 years.

Amid an overhaul, Girl Scouts cope with fiscal woes, declining membership, grass-roots dismay

Given the friction and financial woes facing the Girl Scouts these days, perhaps it's time for a giant friendship circle. Under that long-standing tradition, a ring of Scouts clasp hands and give a little squeeze, accompanied by a silent wish of good will.
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