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Gay Boy Scouts: Local Reaction

Change would give local sponsors authority to adopt new policy 

Though Westbury and Carle Place Boy Scouts officials declined to comment on whether they’ll allow openly homosexual Scouts and leaders to join, the choice may not belong to them in the near future. 

Boy Scouts of America is considering altering its longstanding policy of disallowing openly homosexual Scouts and leaders, though local Boy Scout sponsors would have the final say whether to adopt the change.

According to Deron Smith, public relations director for Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the policy change under discussion would allow the “religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue.” 

BSA, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010, is one of America’s largest and oldest private youth organizations. BSA may decide to enact the new policy this month following the BSA National Executive Board meeting. 

BSA board members James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, along with Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, noted they both wish to seek changes for the current policy. 

David Kilmnick, executive director, Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc., backs the policy change but noted a potential caveat remains. 

“Either you end discrimination or you don’t. This isn’t like a reality show where we’re voting someone to come back or be a wild card – because the wild card here is whether the chapters adopt the non-discrimination policy,” said Kilmnick. 

Westbury United Methodist Church supports many events for Westbury Troop 233, while American Legion Post 1718 charters Carle Place’s Troop 305. As the BSA mulls its final decision, several local Scout leaders and parents declined to comment. 

“There is no basis for discrimination against people whatsoever other than for them to keep their own power and superiority. The bottom line is that America is better when we are all equal and all have an equal chance to participate in our democracy and our communities,” said Kilmnick. 

Jamie Bogenshutz, executive director at Massapequa’s YES Community Center Director believes the potential change is a positive one. Nassau County’s Boy Scout headquarters, the Theodore Roosevelt Council, is based in Massapequa. 

“We’re always supportive of any policies that are inclusive rather than exclusive. There are always implications for kids who are excluded from things regardless of why they’re excluded and it doesn’t make for healthy development,” said Bogenshutz. 


Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.


In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.


“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 


Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 


The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.

Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.


Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


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