Sen. Bill Nelson sought to reassure Boy Scout leaders that they will continue to get some help from the military in spite of a legal settlement barring direct Pentagon sponsorship.
Nelson told the Scout organizers not to worry that all links between the two organizations will be severed. "For any concerns that you have, I just want you to relax because it's just not going to happen," he said.
The Florida Democrat said he is confident Congress would maintain Defense Department assistance. That includes allowing Scout troop meetings on bases and letting military personnel lead Scout activities without having to take leave time.
He met Monday with Scout leaders from eight counties in the Florida Panhandle and three in Alabama to discuss a Pentagon agreement that partly settles claims by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU contends the government has engaged in religious discrimination by supporting a group requiring its members to believe in God.