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Politics

Florida Conservative Poised to Launch Alternative to Boy Scouts

August 26, 2013 - 6:00pm

Next week, John Stemberger, one of the leading social and religious conservatives in Florida, will play a prominent role in launching a conservative alternative to the Boy Scouts of America.

With the Boy Scouts voting earlier in the year to allow gay youth to participate, Stemberger, the president of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) who had been an Eagle Scout in his youth, announced back in May that his family was leaving the organization. Stemberger launched a website calling for the creation of a new alternative to the Boy Scouts which would follow traditional Christian teachings in regard to sex and sexuality.

Stembergers OnMyHonor.Net will team up with Faith Based Boys, TrailHead USA and Frontier Service Corps, as it prepares to launch a new organization next week. More than 1,000 Scout leaders from almost 40 states are meeting in Nashville from Sept. 6-7 to form the new group. On Tuesday, Stemberger promised the new name of the organization and its logo would be unveiled in the days to come.

The new national boys youth adventure program that the Florida Family Policy Council is leading the team to create is becoming a reality, Stemberger insisted on Tuesday. And this reality is one that will leave a legacy of leadership into the next generation, long past our lifetimes.

This new organization will not be just another Christian club for boys, Stemberger added. Nor will it just mimic the Boy Scouts program without the homosexual agenda. This program will be an exciting, robust and masculine outdoor program focusing on character, leadership and adventure for boys ages 5-17. Since May, dozens of seasoned Scoutmasters all across America have been working every night on committees creating the elements of this new Christian scouting program. Additionally our entire staff has been working quite literally around the clock to meet deadlines for the launch of this exciting project.

Stemberger expressed high hopes for the new group. It humbles me to hear others tell me that they believe over time, this new organization could be a major cultural force for good, to strengthen our country for generations to come, he maintained. And, as a father of four children under the age of 12, I have to agree. I absolutely believe it has this potential.

Back in July, at a media event in Washington, D.C., Stemberger announced that Rob Green, who has two decades of experience in leading Boy Scouts inFlorida and South Carolina, would be the interim executive director for the new group.

Stemberger said at the media event in Washington that the new group will be launched in early 2014 and he did not change the timetable on Tuesday. The next four months are really critical as we work to launch the new organization at the convention, start chartering units in October and officially begin the program for the boys by January 2014, Stemberger insisted. We are very sad about the poor and dangerous decision that the Boy Scouts of America made but we are also very excited about what is ahead for us. A new chapter in the history of the scouting movement in America is being birthed right now.

While the new scouting project has taken much of the FFPCs focus in recent months, Stemberger pledged to transition back again into the more customary culture war work of the FFPC later on in 2013 and early next year.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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