By Kent Larsen
SLOC Turns Down Scout Volunteers
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Scout officials at the Great Salt Lake Council of
the Boy Scouts were confused when they learned that Scout volunteers would
not be welcome for the 2002 Winter Olympic games. The officials have worked
with the committee under the assumption that Scouts could volunteer, as they
did at the Atlanta games, and were surprised when the SLOC made its decision
known and refused to talk with the Scouts about it.
Kay Godfrey, professional Scout executive of the council said, "For us not
to be involved is discouraging, considering the Atlanta games. The Scouting
council there was extremely involved." Given the size of the council, and
the presence of the LDS Church, Scouting's largest sponsor, in Salt Lake,
executives expected to be involved.
"We don't understand what's wrong," said the council's chief Scout
executive, Marty Latimer. "They just don't want us and won't talk to us." He
told NewsMax's Bresnahan that SLOC president and CEO Mitt Romney wouldn't
return calls from a number of scout officials. Romney's involvement is
particularly troubling because as an LDS Church member he was a Scout and a
Scout leader at various times in his life.
Nor are Scout officials the only ones ignored by Romney about the issue. He
wouldn't return calls to NewsMax's Bresnahan, and even had a public affairs
functionary return calls from Utah Congressman Chris Cannon.
Some executives have worried that the SLOC's decision was based on recent
protests by gay activists, who have challenged the Boy Scouts' policy to
exclude gays from troops and leadership. However, a spokeswoman for the SLOC
told NewsMax that the Scouts were turned down because of age limits, "The
reality is we would love to take those volunteers, but we have an age
requirement of our volunteers. I believe it's 18," she said.
2002 Salt Lake Committee Bans Boy Scouts From Olympics
NewsMax 18Dec00 S1
By David M. Bresnahan