Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Boy Scout Troop 4 finds a new home

SOUTH TAMPA — A decision to allow openly gay boys in Scouts rippled down to the area's oldest troop with an unintended lesson.

Troop 4 has met at a church by the base of the Davis Islands bridge for the past 60 years. But after the Boy Scouts of America changed its century-old policy, the troop was told by the church that it must leave. Some 70 percent of troops nationally are sponsored by churches, and some, like Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, pulled sponsorships following the change. Holy Trinity said the Scouts' policy goes against God's Scripture.

The boys were very disappointed, said Brian FitzGerald, a former scoutmaster with the troop. "We were very much in favor of the BSA's decision. It was just unfortunate that (the church) didn't see it the same way."

In the months following the news of the ouster, other area churches called troop leaders to offer meeting space. A parent committee visited eight churches and chose Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, next to Plant High School.

"That was a good step for our healing process, to have a big community step up," said Tim Glisson, an assistant scoutmaster. Troop 4 has 67 Boy Scouts and 82 Cub Scouts. They lost no members due to the policy change, Glisson said.

At a troop meeting this week, the boys discussed the new site, which has a movie room and a game room, calling it a really good fit.

The meeting was one of the last in the Scout Hut, which the troop built in 1963 in the old church parking lot. The boys sat on wooden benches while planning camping trips and Eagle Service projects in the block structure lined with knotty pine walls and ceilings, like generations before them.

Animal skulls and bottles holding dead snakes hang on walls mixed in with the Scouts' oath, law and motto and plaques listing former Scouts. The troop was chartered in 1916, six years after the Scouts began. In 1922, the Scouts started meeting in the attic of the church, then known as First Christian.

The troop plans to move out on Dec. 14, stripping everything including the knotty pine, but leaving the building as the property of Holy Trinity. The troop has until Jan. 1, when the policy goes into effect.

A website, friendsof4.com, was created to raise money to build a new hut.

Garrett Brooks, 9, joined Troop 4 in first grade and said he is "very glad" for the Scouts' policy change because he has gay friends.

"I feel like (the church members) have their own idea about gay people, but I believe they should be allowed to do anything anybody else can do," Garrett said.

At the same time, he respected the church's decision.

"It's the way that they think and I'm not going to destroy their freedom to think," he said.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3431.

Comments
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURG — Three people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the people arrived at a house in Childs Park, on the 41...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Making the case for more drones

Making the case for more drones

BLACKSBURG, Va. - They considered how well everyone slept the night before. They considered the chances a military jet might scream by on a training mission. They considered the farmer in the field.Then they considered some more.After making it throu...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

LEXINGTON, Va. - Stephanie Wilkinson was at home Friday evening - nearly 200 miles from the White House - when the choice presented itself.Her phone rang about 8 p.m. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Published: 06/23/18
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Published: 06/23/18

Strangers are coming together to honor two killed in Bayshore crash

TAMPA — John Reisinger has seen miracles since his niece and 21-month-old grand-niece were killed while trying to cross Bayshore Boulevard 30 days ago. Some, he says, are too painful to talk about. Others he’s still trying to make sense of, such as h...
Published: 06/23/18