SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Boy Scout leaders say business sponsors are not abandoning the scouts in the wake of membership controversy.
A Friday article in the Salt Lake Tribune quoted from an internal email that donations for the upcoming Scout-O-Rama were considerably down.
“$70,000 to $8,000” the headline said.
“We're still in a strong position of putting on a great event and meeting all of our expenses and meeting our goals,” says Dave McCammon of the Great Salt Lake Council. “(It) isn’t a true statement.”
The Scout-O-Rama is a giant fair held in May and showcases scouting in Utah.
What scout executives do know is their sponsorships for the Scout-O-Rama are on board.
McCammon says those sponsorships are signed during the months of December and January. He says they've already published a complete book of their sponsors for the upcoming event.
“Overall we're still in a strong position,” he says. “Our sponsorships are great this year. Some had to pull back a little bit but their reasoning was due to economic at the time. (It) had nothing to do with the membership standards.
Those membership standards are creating controversy.
In May, the national organization will decide if gays should be allowed in scouting. There has been a national public outcry criticizing the organization for refusing to allow gay members.
Those involved in scouting hope the public doesn't take it out on the scouts.
“The people need to support the scout councils and the scouting organization whatever that decision is,” says Richard Andrew, a Cub Scout master. “Having the boys suffer because I'm afraid of decisions being made that's wrong. That's hurting the scouts and the whole program. People shouldn't do that.”
Saturday, local boy scouts will kick-off their campaign to raise money for the Scout-O-Rama. They’ll be going door to door to sell tickets for the event and earn prizes.