An alternative to Boy Scouting is growing in awareness among Unitarian Universalist congregations. Robin Bossert, a UU from New York City, brought his Navigators USA program to General Assembly in June in Charlotte, N.C., and says he had conversations with more than 50 people at his booth in the Exhibit Hall.
Bossert said there are currently nine Navigators chapters, four in New York City, and others in Binghamton, N.Y.; Durham, N.C.; Belmont, Mass.; Costa Mesa, Calif.; and Fort Collins, Colo. Many of the chapters were started by UUs. He said 60 people, in 24 states, are communicating with him about new chapters. Navigators is co-ed and nondenominational and is open to any group that does not discriminate.
Bossert led a Boy Scout troop in New York City sponsored by the Unitarian Church of All Souls, but the church terminated that relationship in 2002 because of BSA’s discrimination against boys and leaders who are openly gay. Many other UU congregations also terminated relationships with the BSA. Bossert went to work to create a new group. Last fall he published a Navigators guidebook, and that has led to a surge in interest.
UU World wrote about Navigators in March.