Boy Scouting and the high cost of standards...

Boy Scouting and the high cost of standards...


Ever since I was a little boy I wanted to be a Boy Scout. When our first son was born in 2004 I was super excited because I would finally get to do Scouting! My wife was quite upset when I drew a mustache on him and tried to pass him off as a first-grader with an over-active pituitary gland when he was only three. So, I waited until he started first grade… My wife teared up as he trotted off to his first day of school and I sobbed like a baby when he got his Tiger rank. Judge me all you like, I’m amazing. Regardless of your judgement, I was none too happy when the BSA decided to change their position on gay leaders.

I don’t think homosexual folks are bad people, I just disagree with their life choices on a fundamental level. Additionally, I would have a problem with letting an alcoholic work at a liquor store… but that’s not saying that I believe all gay people want to molest children. I also wouldn’t let a fat kid work in a candy store, and I wouldn’t let Casey Anthony babysit. I use the former analogy to state the obvious fact that the more access and power you give to people, the greater opportunity there is to do the wrong thing with that access and power. I’m sure no one goes into teaching thinking “hey, I can’t wait to score with an underage student of mine.” That’s ludicrous! And as the American public we’re still genuinely appalled when it happens and we see it on TV. Access and power, it’ll corrupt the best of us, and no one can argue that.

Even with all of my flaws and imperfections, I still want to raise my son with open views on everything, but not being flagrantly and ignorantly accepting of everything! I want him to be aware that people have different lifestyles, religious beliefs, hair styles, what they think is cool, etc., and be strong enough to be confident in who HE is without caving to the societal pressures of what “they” want him to be. Lots going on here but keep up, it’s worth it…

The +Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have recently amended their policy previously banning girls from Boy Scout Troops. An official from the BSA said that in 2018, “Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, which are larger and include a number of dens, will have the option to welcome both genders if they choose.” In 2019, a program to allow “older girls” is expected to start and will enable girls to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts of America defends this position by stating, "This decision is true to the BSA's mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women." This is a true statement and I totally agree, and while this isn’t an “atrocity” on the surface, the problem goes much deeper.
             
I’ve talked about how excited I was to finally have a boy and get to participate in Scouts, I’ve “gay-bashed” and related access-to-power with the abuse-of-power, I’ve commented on what I want my son to BE, and wrapped up with the BSAs most recent decision to say this…

Why not leave the girls to the Girl Scouts?

You might answer that by saying to me, “why be so intolerant of homosexuals and women?” To which I’d reply, “I’m NOT intolerant but I DO have my own opinions which I am entitled to, and what’s wrong with maintaining a healthy balance of power and access in an institution littered too much of both, and leaving the girls to an institution that was founded in 1912 for the purpose of developing girls into young women and improving THAT program without making it a cookie factory for pointless crafts and actually develop girls into young women that young men of character would look to as help-mates and someone to complement their character rather than compete with it!” Yes, I’m well aware that it was a run-on sentence. Thank you for noticing. But really, what does this sudden shift of girls into Boy Scouts really signify?
              
If one institution is “better”, what does that make the other? “Not better”? In this case I’d overwhelmingly agree. I can’t tell you the multi-page drama that is my “Norman Rockwell” life, but I can tell you that I’ve always believed in the BSA and Girl Scouts of America (GSA) as “American institutions.” Maybe it was a “postcard mentality” where I envisioned polite young ladies in pressed uniforms with tired, but ever attentive, mothers standing by them while they sold cookies in their booth. Quite contrarily, I’ve witnessed nightmares running in front of elderly-person’s carts abruptly stopping them to ask if the wanted to buy cookies. When they didn’t, you’d think a Cartel was
unleashed! Further, every GSA unit my daughters have been part of was always in constant need of markers and construction paper. What the deuce for? We sold $12Billion in cookies! Buy your own construction paper! Besides all that, what else do you do?!! Oh, that’s right, from the top-down it’s an institution run by a bunch of women who make too much money who do absolutely nothing to support their community or neighborhood. Don’t believe me? Just Google “Girl Scouts of America salary” and tell me what you find that isn’t contrary to this. Conversely, yes, the BSA lost 75% of its funding and had to push that cost off onto the members. But that’s because several businesses withdrew their funding support because they wouldn’t allow a gay scout to earn his Eagle award. Not now, we’re talking about something else… The BSA has never had a bake sale to fund a summer camp, then again, my daughters have never sold less than $1.3Million in cookies and I paid less than full price for camp. Of course the numbers are a little skewed, but the point is there. Bottom line: the GSA is a grossly, if not criminally, mismanaged organization that operates to the detriment of young ladies everywhere. To me it’s clear why girls would want to join the BSA. It makes perfect sense! The twist is that the Girl Scouts still won't allow boys unless they "feel" like a girl, as is the case in a 7-year old boy in Colorado. So as long as there's a double-standard every can look the other way. If you recall, this is exactly how the spiral started... Gay scout in California not awarded Eagle, corporate funding withdrawn, BSA financially stranded until they caved, BSA still not recovering but, hey, you can be an openly-gay member/leader now. AND you can be a girl, medically, not just "identify as a girl", but literally a girl, thanks to a young lady already involved in BSA's Venturing program who wasn't satisfied with thatNBC news reported that "...57 percent disagree with the move to allow girls to join the Boy Scouts, with 37 percent voicing strong opposition."
So where is all this "support" coming from?


I was recently sent a survey by from the BSA which asked, “If there was one thing that I would suggest to improve my Scouting experience, it would be..." I thought about it for a minute and replied…
Leave Boy Scouts to the Boys. Pressure other organizations to improve their programs. Quit "caving" to the 1% and societal expectations. Maintain the system that has worked for over 100 years to develop young men into moral guideposts for their communities and not banners for individuality that tear the fabric of American culture apart.

           But this is precisely the mentality that some people are known for; the mentality that “if you don’t like it, go somewhere else and make them conform.”


When President Trump was running there were several people who swore they’d leave. None of them did but their message was clear, “If I don’t agree then you’re wrong!” Likewise, if I didn’t vote for Obama, I suddenly felt like a racist! My point is that as a group we have to agree on 51% of things. As individuals we can disagree on 100% of things, but as a group we have to agree on at least 51% of things for the organization to succeed. For over 107 years the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have been making “boys” into “young men”, in my opinion, and not folded to the societal expectation of the approximately 1% of homosexuals in America who pressed the issue of membership, nor to the various women’s organizations. They stood strong for values that 51% of the group supported and agreed upon instead of allowing a media-sensationalized event take control and dig-up the very roots of everything 107 years have provided.

I may be “old-fashioned” but I’m okay with that, I’ve been called worse. But if old-fashioned means that I should be integral to the upbringing of my son, I’m definitely okay with it. I also believe that my wife has a job taking care of our children and her home. Yeah, maybe I am old-fashioned, but my children will be raised by both parents in the same home who respect their positions in society and respect the opinions of those around them without having to cater to them.

One of my wife’s professors said “acceptance isn’t accolades.” She meant that we have gone from “accepting” things to “celebrating” them. You can’t just be a homosexual, and that’s okay; you have to be a homosexual, and we all have to stop and celebrate your lifestyle and accommodate you in every form and fashion. You can’t just be a strong woman, which is great; you have to be a feminist and stand up for years of oppression under the tyranny of men (Girl Scouts are definitely a beacon of success there). OR, you have to be some psychotic fitness freak that takes well-being to a ridiculous level of unhealthy and unsustainable. You’ll be a great mother (as long as you don’t gain weight and have your baby early so you don’t get stretch marks), and we have to celebrate how skinny you are instead of praising the countless women throughout history who have made contributions to science, medicine, and their countries!

We’ve gone from “you’re black, Cool.” to “you’re black, OMG I’m so sorry! Please take (blank)!” Accepting differences and diversity is integral to who we are as Americans. Celebrating differences that run contradictory to the institution’s intent is not okay. Bottom line: it’s okay to be different; it’s not okay to make everyone else change the way they operate or co-exist to singularly accommodate you.

The BSA’s goal is “to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations.” Does that include girls? Damn right it does, but not in the Boy Scouts.

Girl Scouts, fix your own broken ride and quit mooching off our successful program. Homosexuals, can’t you play nicely without everyone having to know that you’re gay? No one gives a crap! Especially in an organization that exists to “train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations.”


To any other individual or organization looking to infiltrate and fundamentally change the BSA, don’t. You DO have a place in the BSA as long as 1)you’re a boy, and 2)you want to join because you want to “train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations.” If you don’t “identify” as a boy, answer me this; were you born with a penis or do you ascribe to the dominant physical profile of ‘male’ as described medically (meaning you have, or should have, a penis)? If you answered ‘yes’, you’re in! If you’re not sure, go see a doctor. Otherwise, enjoy Venturing or Girl Scouting.
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