Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Statement
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices based on the values set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Among those values are the obligations to do one’s duty to our country and to be helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind. Scouting must continue to promote these values by emphasizing the need to leave prejudice and injustice behind, and embrace a vision of a society that is inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible.
The Northeast Illinois Council is committed to ensuring that our programs and policies are designed to include all Scouts, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities, or religious affiliation. With this in mind, we have prioritized the following as part of our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) strategy:
- Prioritize recruitment of Scouts and Scout leaders from groups who have been historically under-represented in Scouting
- Ensure that our camping experiences are welcoming, inclusive, and accessible to all Scouts and Scout leaders
- Build relationships with other non-profit organizations in our service area to work together on issues related to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility
- Support Scout leaders at all levels of the organization with education and resources that allow them to embed IDEA principles in their local programs
- Find new ways to increase the scope and effectiveness of our outreach programs
- Promote and support religious education programs across diverse faith traditions
- Maintain a volunteer-based executive board position of Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility
- Continue to support the work of a council-level IDEA Committee, led by the Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility
Scouting is truly meant for everyone, and we are deeply committed to removing barriers that might stand in the way of anyone who wants to be a Scout, or a leader in Scouting. The aim of these efforts, and our future IDEA initiatives, is to increase awareness of the need for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility – not just in Scouting’s programs, but in the culture of the Scouting movement itself.