Our Scouting Initiative

This Project has been suspended

In September 2015, Restore Our Humanity submitted an application to the local BSA Great Salt Lake Council for a charter to sponsor a scout troop. Over 95% of the scout troops in Utah are sponsored by the LDS Church. This means that it is nearly impossible for a young man to join the BSA in Utah without being subjected to capricious LDS doctrine and unwanted participation. Undoubtedly, a young man in an LDS scouting program, cannot even advance in scouting ranks unless they yield to the LDS precepts. There are an estimated 50 to 70 thousand young men in just the Salt Lake area, who could benefit from the scouting program but do not wish to participate in the tenets of the LDS Church.

We proposed an open, welcoming and affirming BSA troop and offered our resources and commitment to these young people. As of now, our application has been refused and we have had no response from either the local or the national representatives of the BSA.

Although we work as a human rights organization, we can only conclude that our application will not be approved because of our history in fighting for LGBT rights in Utah. In doing this, the BSA is forwarding a dangerous and hostile message to the community. The supposition that LGBT people are in some way a threat to young people is the primary weapon that hate groups, religions, and extremists use to attack and to disparage LGBT people. These are lies and they must be addressed. The BSA is just as guilty as anyone for continuing to forward this hostile and contentious presumption.

For this reason, we have suspended our efforts to obtain a scouting charter.

The Cover Letter submitted with our application

Mr. Rick Barnes
Boy Scouts of America
Great Salt Lake Council
Sept. 25, 2015

"The level of community service is a good indication of the health of any society. Scouting has, from its inception, been deeply rooted in the concept of doing for others. Do a Good Turn Daily is a core scouting precept. Scouting encourages young people to recognize the needs of others and take action accordingly."

There is no difficulty in seeing that Restore Our Humanity’s primary goals are in alignment with the B.S.A’s own precepts.

Restore Our Humanity is a small all-volunteer non-profit organization that was incorporated in Utah in July, 2012. We received our 501 (c) 4 non-profit status from the I.R.S. in Feb. 2014. R.O.H. has a board membership of 6 in which I serve as the director.

R.O.H. is most known for our work in civil rights and public education campaigns which are mostly fixed on civil rights issues. Although to date, the majority of our work has been based on LGBT rights, our mission is to advocate for and work towards civil rights issues for all marginalized and disadvantaged groups in our communities.

As a result of our work, we have become more aware of the critical needs that exist in many areas of our community. Significant members of our population are not afforded the same opportunities that many enjoy. A substantial portion of these who are the younger and more vulnerable for various reasons, have come to feel disregarded by many community and civic organizations. It is no secret that if made available, opportunities could very likely become a both a pivotal and a fundamental part of their lives.

Restore Our Humanity is committed to recognizing these needs. With our best efforts, we work to bring inclusion and opportunities to those with the most critical needs, and those who face marginalization or disenfranchisement. As a community, we must step up efforts to offer these young people the same chances and encourage their participation and provide support.

Restore Our Humanity is eager to step up to the plate and offer opportunities to these young people who may feel excluded from some of the richest and most fundamental establishments available to young people today. A prosperous and enlightened society abandons exclusion and provides possibilities to all. It is time for organizations such as Restore Our Humanity, to take a role in affording these chances for those who would benefit so abundantly from these efforts.

Restore Our Humanity has received endorsements for this application from the following community leaders;

  1. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
  2. Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker
  3. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill
  4. Rev Curtis Price of The First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City
  5. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski
  6. David Kirkham President of Kirkham Motorsports
  7. Rabi David Levinsky

We have received tremendous response from the community since we made the announcement last month. We are reviewing applications from many qualified citizens for Scout Leader positions as well as merit badge counselors including Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams who wishes to serve as a civics merit badge counselor.

I am enclosing a list of some of those who have shown interest in our troop. As per your suggestion however, we have not yet accepted any official applications;


Restore Our Humanity is committed to this challenge. I am accepting applications for a new board member to serve as Director of Scouting. We have garnered community support and we have no doubt that this new chapter for all of us will serve our community and all of our families.

If you need further information please contact me at your convenience.

Best Regards
Mark Lawrence
Restore Our Humanity