Overweight advocates decry Boy Scout Jamboree policy

July 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM
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MOUNT HOPE, W.Va., July 19 (UPI) -- An advocacy group for the overweight has come out against the Boy Scouts of America's policy of banning obese scouts from the Jamboree in West Virginia.

Deron Smith, director of public relations for Boy Scouts of America, said those with a body mass index of 40 or more were banned from the July 15-24 Jamboree because of the physically strenuous activities involved at the gathering, CNN reported Friday.

"This policy is not meant to keep anyone out at all, and it's just to make sure that they're safe," Smith said. "We offer thousands of summer camp experiences [that] do not have this requirement."

However, the nonprofit National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance announced it "believes that this decision promotes bias and negative attitudes and furthers the discrimination against boys of larger body size."

The organization said it hopes the Boy Scouts "reconsider their discriminatory practices and admit camp attendees NOT based on their physical fitness, NOT based on their body size, but based on their active status as a boy scout."

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