Diversity and Inclusion in Troop 259

Troop 259 strives to be a leader in diversity and inclusion of Troops in the Milwaukie area and beyond. It takes all of us to create a safe space for all scouts.

✅ Troop 259's chartering organization, Milwaukie Lutheran Church Elca, is clearly affirming of LGBTQ+ youth and adults in its church and all connected programs. What does this mean?

Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

Troop 259 celebrates diversity in all communities: Honoring the inherit uniqueness of all individuals, and embracing diverse backgrounds to build a stronger, more inclusive Scouting community. Together, we can create a space where inclusion and belonging are valued.

Inclusion: “The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.”

Belonging: “An affinity for a place or situation.”

The safety and well-being of our most vulnerable scouts and members is on the line, and we're taking action:

Using someone's correct pronouns has been shown to decrease the risk of possible attempted suicide by up to 65%. (1) Learn more below. Additionally, 78% of transgender students in K-12 education report harsh harassment. (3) Approximately half of those 78% report physical abuse. (3) Also, LGB youth are 4.5x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth. (3) 

This is why we must take action. 

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 How we're protecting our most vulnerable scouts and community members:

This page and policy has been created and maintained by previous LGBT-identifying troop 259 scouts (now current committee members) in an effort to create a more welcoming scouting environment for everyone. Troop 259 seeks to form a low-conflict sense of community, where all scouts are looking out for each other as well as their overall physical and mental well-being. We love what scouting has to offer, and we want you to be apart of it.

🎉 Troop 259 proudly celebrates the following BSA diversity milestones:

🏳️‍🌈 Using pronouns in Scouting:

🙋‍♂️ What is a pronoun?

✅  Pronouns are used in place of proper nouns. While you may not have heard of them before, you and those around you use them on a daily basis in regular conversation. If you ask Riley, "Where did Tom go? I haven't seen him for a while", you used a pronoun. Specifically in English, it is most common to use he/she when referring to someone. However, for transgender youth, this may create discomfort, increase anxiety, which can lead to increased risk of suicide.

🙋 Why are pronouns important?

✅  Recent studies have shown that using the correct pronouns when referring to transgender youth lowers depression and suicide risks significantly. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately. Troop 259 is committed to being a safe Troop for all youth. Using someone's correct pronouns is one of the most basic ways of showing respect for a person.

While it may seem odd to ask someone what their pronouns are at first, think about what your pronouns are. Now, imagine someone calling you by the incorrect pronoun. Again, imagine them continuing to use the same incorrect pronoun even after you have corrected them. How would you feel? Is the person calling you by the wrong pronouns being courteous?

🙋‍♀️ What if I make a mistake?

✅  Mistakes happen. The best thing to do when accidentally calling someone is to simply apologize and do your best to call them by the correct pronouns going forward. It may take some time to get used to, and that's okay. When in doubt, it is always respectful to use someone's name in place of their pronouns.

✅ Best Practices for Fostering a Safe and Welcoming Scouting Environment for Everyone

Credit: Scouts for Equality (2)

📚 Creating a Culture of Learning 

Learning how to advance inclusion and belonging when we feel surprised or confused is an important habit to acquire, but the Scout Oath and Law help us do exactly that. Doing our best to help others feel included and welcome means living the Oath and Law by cultivating an open, non-judgemental attitude about behaviors, identities, and personal expressions that differ from our own.

We must support each other in practicing these values. Creating a culture of learning and accountability among those who already feel like they belong in Scouting is vital for advancing inclusion and belonging for all.

We all make mistakes.

⚠️ Notice: If you or someone you know has experienced any form of discrimination during a Scouting event, please immediately call (844)-SCOUTS1. Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated by Troop 259 or Scouting America.