Former scout bits farewell to the BSA

At least for me personally. I was a Life scout, actually had everything required for Eagle except my project. The troop I belonged to required 5 times as many hours for the Eagle project as BSA norms, and the summer before I would have done it I got a car, dated girls…things that seemed a little more important. I wish now that I had gone ahead and just completed the project, but hindsight is 20/20…

Scouting was a very positive experience for me. My troop was quite active, with campouts every 2-3 weeks and 2 weeks of summer camp. We had our own camps too, never going to BSA ones. Just last week I was lashing a tiki tourch to my porch railing, and realized that was a skill I learned in scouts. I cherish my experiences as some of the best of my teen years.

However…while reading this thread(and I would have put this there, but it had been closed by the time I found it), I realized that positive personal experiences or no, I can no longer support an organization that publicy holds on…no, clings to a bigoted ideal and holds such bigotry up as if it is a positive thing. When I have children, I will not encourage an interest in scouts in my sons. This means that they will miss many of the good times that I was lucky enough to enjoy. This pains me, but I can not in good consience do otherwise. Unless and until the BSA reverses their descriminitory position towards gays, I will have nothing to do whth them. And that is a damn shame. I wonder how many children will be deprived of what is, on the troop level, generally a wonderful organization because of the intolerance of the BSA councel?

Sorry to hear about the consequences of your decision. On the other hand, I commend you for standing up for what you think is right.

That’s a damn shame, Dave. Perhaps by the time you have kids, you can tell them about the time that the Boy Scouts were so very, very wrong and then had the courage to admit and rectify their mistake.

Perhaps you can tell them this story on the way to a troop meeting.

I’m sorry that you’ve been put in this position. It’s unfortunate that politics has come to play such a major role in what should be a simple, benevolent organization.

I too hope that some day the BSA will review their policy, and re-evaluate their definition of “morally straight”. That way, extraordinarily moral people like yourself will again feel that they can put their support behind the Scouts.

I have very mixed feelings about the whole bruhahah. For me this played out just like the PGA vs Casey case. I believe in both the cases the BSA and the PGA had the right to take the positions they did, but should not have taken those positions.

A few years back I used to proudly state that I was an Eagle Scout. It was a difficult achievement. I loved the BSA. It was a great and uplifting experience. Now I wouldn’t mention my past association to anyone. The last thing I need in my life is to be associated with a bunch of bigots.

My plan for my son is to introduce him to the Civil Air Patrol. The associated youth groups are great. Not only do you get to do many of the same things scouts did. You have the opportunity to fly planes and look for lost people. I would have loved that as a 12 year old ;).

Sadly I fear my opinion will not matter to the BSA council. I understand that fund raising has gone up significantly in the wake of this decision. So Weirddave I don’t think they care much about the two of us.

Are there this many bigots and homophobes in the US? That this would happen even after the government and at least on major corporate donor have backed out?

I’m at a loss for words.

Star Scout here, all the way up through the ranks from Cub Scouts. Like Weirddave, I can’t in good conscience support the organization anymore.

I absolutely believe that they have the right to make the policy they’ve made. However, I think that means I have the responsibility not to support them if I disagree with it.

Dr. J

One of my closest friends is a District Executive for the BSA in central New Jersey, just moving there after being in central Pennsylvania for several years. Even back in the middle of Pennsylvania, he’d noticed a drop not only in funding but also in people who were willing to donate time/resources to his council. It made it very difficult on him, being the lead guy in the office to line up that sort of support for the council. He’s mentioned that it’s gotten even worse for him now that he’s in New Jersey. He had trouble staffing the summer camp this year. Admittedly, he wasn’t exactly paying a princely salary, but he mentioned that there was a significant change in the number of applicants from pervious years. Personally, I’m not nearly so surprised about the results in Jersey as I am about the problems he had in central PA.

As difficult as it is on the kids who still depend on the Boy Scouts for the support and guidance they provide, it’s still heartening (at least to me) that there are consequences for the National organization after taking the actions they have.

Oh yeah. The religious groups have picked up on fundraising big time. The majority of funding has always been local and religiously oriented. So the Supreme Court ruling was just the start of some serious fundraising. Nothing like make some people feel that their ‘way of life’ is being attacked to get them to rally round a flag.

I hear you, brother. I was a Life Scout too, Order of the Arrow, all that jazz. In exercising their right to be bigots, the BSA lost any support I might once have given them. That is a damn shame, because I have fond memories of my time in Scouts. But as it turns out, their idea of “morally straight” is profoundly different from mine.

I am an Eagle Scout. Three palms. Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow.

I spent many years in the scouts, and I loved it.

Unfortunately, the Scouts have proven themselves to be a bigoted organization. They’ll get no more of my time, until they change their policy.

Let’s not even get into their policy on atheists. Lo, I am disqualified.

For those that want to be more active in trying to get the Scouts to change, whether or not they stay in the organization (as I intend to), there is the group Scouting For All. Their website has information about organizations that have or have not withdrawn their funding of the Boy Scouts.

In the northeast, California, and Michigan-Minnesota area, it seems most United Ways have withdrawn funding, which has really got to hurt. For those that want to [emeril]kick it up a notch[/emeril], these companies continue to fund the Boy Scouts.

Props to all of you and a big hug especially to Dave (whom I won’t hug here because he’d probably kick my ass).

waterj2, great link. I’m going to post it (and some of the sites off it) to the GOLP (Gay, Out, Loud, Proud) board at TMF.

There are not many organizations left with even anything close to the quality, dedication, universality, and sheer goodness of the Boy Scouts and I’m damn sick of these ‘urban rangers’ type of things designed to teach kids to use quarters to get a soda out of a machine instead of a crowbar.

BTW: Ex-scout here and ex-scoutmaster and Police Explorer. Served with pride, determination and sheer bullheadedness. Learned more than I can express in the limited space here and am proud to say that in my town, I had the first and possibly still only black and white, integrated troop and I still keep track of ‘my’ kids when I can.

Today, I’d not want to be a Scoutmaster what with all of the fuss over molestation’s, homosexuals and whatnot. I’d need a damn lawyer and probably get sued for making a kid actually wade knee deep into a lake when he did not want to 'cause he was tired. Some idiot would probably get mad because I made him sand scrub his mess kit and boil it out instead of letting him pack it away dirty and accuse me of ‘inappropriately touching’ him and I’d have to spend a few grand clearing myself.

I don’t know about the homo bit, but I figure they are boys and that’s what Scouts are for but I certainly would not be interested in adjusting the teachings for ‘homosexual needs’. They’d learn just what everyone else needed to learn.

Heck, I helped build the counsel camp in Sebastian Florida and had been going there since it was a spot in the swamp. Now it’s a big counsel camp and I need a Scout Card to even set foot on the locked grounds and can’t even go up there without permission to spend a day or so camping and reflecting. I don’t have a card anymore, since I left the scouts 10 years ago, but now and then I get called back to Camporees to spin them some horror tales at the Counsel fire.

Hopefully, Scouts will survive this for they survived the 60s, when even the hippies were snickering at them, and they survived the 70s, when something besides pot was starting to go around. They have survived right up to now and their teachings are invaluable because so many parents refuse to teach honor, loyalty, right and wrong, discipline, respect and justice, preferring to gloss it over in a gray area.

I was a cub scout and my folks were active in the system, my Mom being a Den Mother, my older brother a Den Chief and my Dad being a Scout sponsor and general handy man for the troops. We went right through the system, all of us boys being scouts from cubs to explorers. My younger brother made Eagle, though I never did. None of us kids even today are unprepared when we hit the sticks or something happens, thanks to the Boy Scouts. I can still make a fire out of almost nothing and while watching an English survival show Sunday, found myself telling the contestants what to do before they did it! Scout teachings might fade, but never die.

My younger brother still likes camp cooking and so do I and we still camp and use Scout training to set and strike camp, police the grounds and respect the forests. I shake 'em up a bit on council camps though because I show up wearing my old bowie knife from my tenderfoot days, and ‘new’ scouts here are not allowed knives. (DAMN! A Scout without a knife is like a car without gas! Morons!) I’ve turned down several requests to get back into scouts because, to tell you the truth, I’m not willing to risk my reputation, job, home and bank account on some little prick getting mad at me and claiming I touched his scrawny butt or something when we were alone. Plus, if you get real involved with the kids, the folks will start looking at you like you might be Chester the Molester or something. Sorry, but it’s not worth it anymore but my hat’s off to those who still do serve.

BSA forever!

Well, gol-dayum! Yee-ha!

DS, if you re-read my OP, I was not bashing my experience in the scouts, or the way local troops are run. I have problems with the (follow me closely here) Policies of the national council. What your post had to do with that I have no clue.

And speaking of ignorance… :rolleyes:

DreamSpinner, try doing a little more research before foaming at the mouth. Your personal experiences are fine, but you made some really weird leaps of logic in that post. Might wanna stick to your medication.

Dave, I can only imagine how hard your decision must have been. As I said elsewhere, I’m torn between the fact that my nephews are getting so much out of scouting, and the discrimination the organization teaches. The best I can do is be an active part of their lives to teach them that, in some instances, the BSA is wrong, and to get the best lessons they can out of it without buying into their discrimination (and I know at Jamboree, where one of them went last week, the scouts were actually discussing these topics, so it’s not like they’re not aware). Fortunately, both my sister and my brother-in-law are in agreement with me, and also teach them carefully at home their values, which do not include discrimination (especially at his own uncle).


You’re a good man, Weirddave. I don’t care what iampunha says about you behind your back. :slight_smile:

“What your post had to do with that I have no clue.”

      • Well, try this on for size: your kid gets molested by a gay scout leader while on a camping trip.
        Do you:
        -call up that scout leader and give him a good talking to, and make him promise not to do it again?
        -or sue the boy scout council for letting someone who was a high-risk individual be alone with your son? This is America, after all. - MC

I admire you for your decision. You’ll be telling someone other than the anonymous us?

In my eight years of scouting my reaction to the screwy pronouncements of those in authority, and they’ve always been good for screwy pronouncements, was to roll my eyes and go on with my duties as if management didn’t exist. It served me well both in scouting and professionally. Now it is easier since I have no sons.

I posted this in the other thread, and was promptly ignored, but what the heck. The Boy Scouts aren’t the only game in town. Camp Fire Boys and Girls welcomes scouts and masters of all persuations, without regard to “race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or other aspect of diversity.”