Building Capacity for Diversity

Building Capacity for Diversity at New England Base Camp-let me give you some background as to why I think this is important. My family has been deeply committed to the Scouting program for several years.  My husband and I have served as Cub Scout Den Leaders for both of our children (since my oldest was 6-now he's 17) as well as holding various other Pack, Troop and District positions.  We  have given so many hours to the Scouting program because we value the family building  and character development that benefits all of us as individuals and our communities.  And we have had a lot of fun doing it!

I have had the pleasure and pride of watching young boys develop from eager and excited Tigers into caring, thoughtful young men who epitomize the Scout oath and law, and the added benefit of meeting so many wonderful families.  Over the years, I have watched the BSA begin to catch up with our rapidly changing society;  although our local council has been ahead of the curve for many years. I am so pleased that with their most recent vote, Scouting will now be open to everyone

Why does this matter to me?  Last year, my youngest child Chris came out as transgender and started high school as Claire.  At the time, she was already a Star Scout on the verge of earning her Life rank.  Even though her Scout friends and the Troop and Council leadership were supportive, until now no girl has been allowed to earn the rank of Eagle.  While that may not be something Claire decides to do, we are thrilled that now she (and girls all over the United States) has that option.  

What is "capacity building?" How does it relate to girls as full participants, women in leadership and diversity in general with regards to the Boy Scouts?  Capacity Building has a simple definition when we think about the physical accessibility of our camps and resources. The physical changes include things like separate sleeping quarters for girls, separate shower facilities, and better accessibility for disabled Scouts and participants.  But the real capacity building, the real weight of the work, comes in the way we think, govern, and interact.  In order to effect a culture change in the BSA, we need to expand our capacity to truly welcome and embrace new families, not just sisters of current members. This is NOT JUST a story about girls welcomed into Scouting, it’s a shift to embrace families from all walks of life into Scouting, and we need the capacity to do it right!

New England Base Camp wants to expand its offerings for LGBTQ families, Latino families, families with special needs, immigrants, and so many other families who would appreciate the Scouting program.  The camp itself is "powered by Scouting” - but - you don't have to be a Scout to attend.  Everyone's invited. This camp is located 7 miles from Fenway Park, 10 miles from the Freedom Trail and in the middle of the 8,000 acre state park called the Blue Hills Reservation. Base Camp has organically been a melting pot, and has also become a test kitchen for program ideas and feedback.

Opening its doors to the public, Scouting has inspired new ways of looking at this hundred-year-old proven curriculum. Base camp now provides service to homeschooling families, houses a competitive swimming team, and a rock climbing association. They have hired a diverse camp staff and sponsored spotlight days celebrating diversity in spirituality, culture, ethnicity, ability, gender and identity. All of these activities and people can find roots in the Scouting curriculum. 

The camp and its leadership are dedicated to respecting and maintaining the long-term participants that Scouting has always served effectively, while expanding to reach diverse families.

Please join US in supporting the capacity building and diversity initiative launched by New England Base Camp.

Please Give Today! A generous and anonymous donor has agreed to match contributions made before November 11 or up to $10,000 whichever comes first! Also, when you give, please be sure to leave a comment, and consider volunteering for one of our spotlight days . Volunteering for an afternoon will give you a chance to see Scouting in action!

Please take some time to see what we have been up to by visiting us here .

  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Bernard Gunther 
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Jamie Langowski 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Barbara Anthony 
    • $30 
    • 46 mos
See all


Annette Donahue 
Quincy, MA
Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA 
Registered nonprofit
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