Jul 17 2012

Scouts

Posted by Chris in Chris
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The Boy Scouts has been making big news today with the announcement that they had a super secret committee to study whether to allow gays in Scouts. And unsurprisingly the outcome was a big fat no. I could talk about all of the clear flaws in their reasoning. That since the committee was super secret it would have been impossible to get input from diverse view points and therefore the output of the committee was determined before it even started. Or that the reasoning talking about gays should be left to the mom, dad, and their spiritual advisors even though simply letting gays into Scouting would not force a discussion about gays in scout meetings. Here is a very good article about why the BSA’s release today is a complete sham.

But what I actually want to talk about is a more personal story. I am an Eagle Scout, and Boy Scouts had a tremendous impact on who I am today. If I were not in Scouts I do not believe I would be as self sufficient, responsible, or as far along in my career as I am. Therefore I really care about Boy Scouts, even though I vehemently disagree with the leadership. Honestly, if the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America actually followed their own Scout Oath, I would probably still be involved in Scouting today.

So anyway, a couple weeks ago I was eating dinner with some acquaintances and one of them brought their son along. Their son just started in Boy Scouts a few months ago and is a very good kid, even if his mom does not want to admit it. I started talking to her son and we talked about Boy Scouts and he was all excited about summer camp which he had just gotten back from. It came up that I am an Eagle Scout.

His mom heard me saying that I am an Eagle Scout and got really excited and wants me to mentor him through his Scouting career. She is a single mom and her ex-husband is not one that would help him out in Scouting. This left me in an awkward situation. I am happy to talk to him outside of the Boy Scout setting on Boy Scouts, but due to their policy I will not actively participate in his troop. I am unwilling to hide the fact that I am gay, just to help kids gain life experiences through Scouting. As I said, if it were not for BSA’s policy I would be actively involved in Boy Scouts today.

The issue of me participating in the troop did not come up in the discussion, she indicated she just wanted to be able to have him call me and talk to me about Scouting. However, it brought to the forefront my desire to help an organization that I cannot help.

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