GLEN JEAN, W.Va. -- Two months after a vote that accepted openly gay boys as Scouts, officials for the Boy Scouts of America say they've put the issue aside and are focused on their 10-day national Jamboree.
Some 30,000 Scouts and their leaders arrived Monday at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in southern West Virginia. Thousands more staff and volunteers have been at the 1,000-acre site since last week.
Months of divisive debate led to May's vote by the BSA's National Council to allow gay Scouts to participate while keeping a ban on gay adults. The policy change is effective next January.
"We don't see any changes in the way we do things at the jamboree at all," Wayne Brock, the BSA's chief executive, told The Associated Press. "We don't see where it would have any kind of impact."
With much negative attention directed toward the Boy Scouts in recent months, Brock said the hope is that the Jamboree proves to be a big, positive event.
"People are going to see kids getting together, having a great time and learning," Brock said. "That's what the public will see is what Scouting is really all about."
BSA national president Wayne Perry said Scouting leaders have been too active to reflect much on the decision.
"We've debated this issue, but we've moved on," Perry said.
As Scouts get settled into their tents on six base camps and dive into the dozens of amenities that include whitewater rafting, mountain and BMX biking, and rock climbing, national BSA spokesman Deron Smith said the organization is unaware of any openly gay Scouts attending the Jamboree, noting "we do not proactively inquire about the sexuality of Scouts, or leaders."
But Pascal Tessier, 16, of Kensington, Md., an openly gay scout who isn't attending the Jamboree because of prior commitments, said some of his gay friends who are Scouts are attending.
"I don't think they're too worried about anything happening there," he said. "They've already been accepted. But they're also not making a big deal about it. They're regular Scouts."
Tessier believes it's inevitable that Scouts will discuss the BSA's decision at the Jamboree.
"Not officially, but by themselves," he said.
Scout officials said they're unaware of any scheduled protests at the Jamboree. Rich Ferraro of GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said the media watchdog group has no planned events around the Jamboree and is continuing work to end the Scouts' ban on gay adults.
"The Boy Scouts took an important first step, but there's still a long way to go," Ferraro said.
Earlier this year, GLAAD led a successful campaign to get two musical acts – Carly Rae Jepsen and Train – to drop their planned appearances at the summer event. Jamboree officials have not announced the act for a July 20 concert.
John Paterson and John Bode from the Pikes Peak Council in Colorado Springs, Colo., helped bring 50 Scouts to West Virginia on Monday.
Paterson is at his seventh Jamboree. And it will be his last because of the vote to allow gay Scouts and the push to include gay adults and others.
"It will effectively change Scouting forever. It has," Paterson said. "And not just because of what the ramifications are. Eagle Scouts will be in next, and then gay leaders. It's a ripple effect. It will happen. It may take three years. I think it will happen pretty quickly."
Paterson said the parents of one of his Scouts also said they're dropping out of the organization over the vote.
Bode, who previous attended a Jamboree as a youth in 1977, said he'll stick with the Scouts – for now. He has younger boys in Scouting, so he'd like to see them continue into Eagle Scouts.
Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, an activist raised by lesbian mothers in Iowa, is executive director of Scouts for Equality, a group he started last summer whose membership has grown to more than 15,000.
Wahls said despite the policy change, "99 things out of 100 will continue to be the same for the Boy Scouts of America. And I think it's important for everybody to remember that. As far as our expectations, we hope it's a great Jamboree."
John Stemberger, a conservative activist and former Scout from Florida who led a group opposing the policy change, said he expects to see openly gay activism at the Jamboree. He questioned how leaders will handle the issue of tenting of "boys who openly announce their attraction to other boys."
Stemberger founded a national coalition of parents, Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts, donors and other BSA members working to create an alternative program to the Boy Scouts.
"For many of our members, this will be the last scouting event they attend before resigning from the BSA," he wrote in an email.
At an annual meeting in Houston last month, the Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution expressing its opposition to the new policy allowing gay Scouts, but it didn't explicitly call for churches to drop all ties with the organization.
"In terms of the Jamboree and summer activities ... really at this point nothing has changed," said Roger Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention. "Nobody should have concerns about (openly gay Scouts) at this year's Jamboree because the membership policy has not changed."
Associated Press writer Michael Felberbaum in Richmond, Va., contributed to this report.
Jennifer Tyrrell is forced to resign as den leader of her son's Tiger Scout chapter because she is a lesbian. "Throughout the year, my cubs performed volunteer service at a local soup kitchen, collected canned goods for area churches to distribute in food baskets, participated in bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, and, at the time of my removal, were working on a conservation project for a state park," she said in a GLAAD statement. "The revocation of my membership came shortly after I was elected treasurer of my pack and uncovered some inconsistencies in the pack's finances." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/boy-scout-den-mother-lesbian-_n_1434307.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
Tyrrell's supporters present a petition with over 275,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts during the organization's annual Florida meeting. On hand to deliver the petition was Zach Wahls, the Iowa-based student whose impassioned pro-marriage equality speech became YouTube's most-watched political clip of 2011 after going viral in the blogosphere twice. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/zach-wahls-boy-scouts-jennifer-tyrrell-lesbian-den-mom_n_1556395.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
Boy Scouts officials say they will review a resolution that would allow individual units to accept gays as adult leaders, but a spokesman says there's no expectation that the ban on gay leaders will in fact be lifted anytime soon, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/06/boy-scouts-to-review-ban-_n_1575694.html" target="_blank">the Associated Press reports</a>.
After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirms its policy of excluding gays, citing support from parents as a key reason for keeping the policy and expressing hope that the prolonged debate over it might now subside, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/boy-scouts-gay-ban_n_1679854.html" target="_blank">according to the Associated Press</a>.
A mother of a gay teen says her son was denied his Eagle Scout award because of his sexuality. “I want everyone to know that [the Eagle award] should be based on accomplishment, not your sexual orientation. Ryan entered Scouts when he was  years old and in no way knew what he was," the teen's mom tells NBC. "I think right now the Scoutmaster is sending Ryan the message that he’s not a valued human being and I want Ryan to know that he is valued…and that people care about him.” <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/ryan-andresen-gay-teen-eagle-scout-award-sexuality-moraga-california_n_1940939.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) lose yet another corporate sponsor angered by the organization's stance on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Following in the footsteps of Intel and UPS, the Merck Foundation announces it will suspend all funding to the Boy Scouts until the ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders is lifted. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/merck-foundation-boy-scouts-funding-gay-ban_n_2270863.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
A Maryland-based Cub Scout backs down on its non-discriminatory pledge toward gay participants after pressure from its regional council. As Mother Jones reported, Pack 442 of Cloverly, Md. had "anonymously voted and overwhelmingly approved" to adopt a non-discrimination statement, which declared that the group would not discriminate "against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/27/boy-scout-pack-drops-gay-_n_2561605.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
The Boy Scouts opt to delay a decision on whether or not to amend the anti-gay ban until May, citing "the complexity of this issue." Under consideration was a proposal to ease the longstanding ban on gays by allowing sponsors of local troops to decide for themselves on the membership of gay Scouts and adult leaders, the Associated Press reports. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/boy-scouts-gay-policy-decision-delay_n_2630508.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
President Barack Obama declares that gays should be allowed in the Boy Scouts and women should be allowed in military combat roles, according to the Associated Press. The president's comments come in a pre-Super Bowl interview on CBS. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/03/obama-boy-scouts_n_2612620.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
Ellen DeGeneres becomes the latest celebrity to push the Boy Scouts of America to reform their controversial anti-gay policy. "If the Boy Scouts start treating gays equally, they're going to become the first group to do it -- after the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard, all of the United Kingdom and Cher," DeGeneres quips on an episode of her daytime talk show. "They won't let their members be gay, or openly gay, anyway, but they're letting them wear neckerchiefs and green short shorts!" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/08/ellen-degeneres-boy-scouts-anti-gay-policy_n_2645936.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
An 8-year-old Cub Scout pens a poignant letter asking the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay participants, which goes viral on the Internet. The boy, identified in the letter only as Frank, writes, "Pleese suport gay pepel more let them in scouts. It's not like thir evil." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/frank-cub-scout-gay-letter-boy-scouts-of-america_n_2765781.html" target="_blank">Click here to read the full story</a>.
Lesser-known youth organizations -- from Bible-based programs run by conservative religious organizations to coed, inclusive groups, including one founded on the basis of pagan beliefs -- begin to "see an opportunity" in the wake of the furor over the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy, the Associated Press reports. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/boy-scouts-gay-ban-other-groups-_n_2717216.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
Madonna dresses up in a Cub Scout uniform at the GLAAD Awards in New York, where she denounces the Boy Scouts' ban on gay members before presenting Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award. "I think I should be allowed to be allowed to be a Boy Scout," the Material Girl tells the audience. "And I think they should change their stupid rules." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/17/madonna-boy-scouts-anderson-cooper-glaad_n_2894081.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
The Boy Scouts survey 1.1. million adult members over a potential change in policy. The survey reportedly allows adult Scouts to indicate a range of feelings, from strong support to strong opposition to the ban on gays, according to the Associated Press. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/13/boy-scouts-gay-survey-_n_2867012.html" target="_blank">Click here to read the full story</a>.
"Call Me Maybe" singer Carly Rae Jepsen and rock band Train drop out of planned appearances at the Boy Scouts' 2013 National Scout Jamboree. The performers had been slated to appear at the event in Mount Hope, W.Va., in July but decide to withdraw because of the Boy Scouts' anti-gay stance. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/carly-rae-jepsen-boy-scouts-concert-anti-gay_n_2811360.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
The Boy Scouts of America proposes to partially lift its long-standing exclusion of gays -– allowing them as youth members but continuing to bar them as adult leaders, the Associated Press reports. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/boy-scouts-gay-ban-youth-_n_3116532.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.
The Youth Equality Act, a bill aimed at pressuring the Boy Scouts to lift its ban on gay members by making the organization ineligible for nonprofit tax breaks, clears its first vote in the California Legislature. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/california-tax-bill-boy-scouts_n_3055458.html" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.