Thirteen Things I Love About Scouting

This morning while I was drinking my morning coffee, this story hit the CNN airwaves. Now, I don’t know what other Cub Scout Packs do, but the idea that a parent complaint on a leader’s sexual orientation should NOT be a reason to be able to dismiss a man from Scout leadership.
The absolute worst thing? The tagline into the story was that Scouting teaches honesty and duty, but not tolerance. Greeeeat.
So, thanks for that Pack 70 in Park City, Tx. Thanks for screwing up our image with your bigotry.
But I refuse to let that be the last word. In my pack, we do believe in tolerance. In fact, several of us have put aside our personal feelings, our “prejudices” against others to continue to work together. Here’s hoping this Pack’s short sighted solution is not the norm.
1. It teaches kids responsibility
“Duty” isn’t often a word bandied around, but in Scouting, it’s integral.
2. It’s open to new ideas and concepts
The Cub Scout books section on religion addresses the varied belief systems of all Scouts. It encourages acceptance and toleration. (It’s some individuals that force the issue)
3. Scouting encourages patriotism

I’ve gotten seen my kids learn to fold a flag, a flag retirement ceremony, and present colors. It’s awesome.
4. Scouting has taught my kids to try
The Cub Scout motto is “Do your best” and we quote that all the time.
5. Scouting teaches “Leave No Trace”
In every single book, the kids have to learn to go in the outdoors and not destroy it/litter.

6. Scouting teaches tradition
Family, God, Country, is all covered in a great way.

7. Scouting encourages cooperation
Working together is a big deal.
8. Scouting helps teach leadership
In both the kids AND adults.
9. Scouting Gets Kids outside
camping, hiking, paying attention to nature.

10. Scouting Takes All Kinds
Misfit or Jock, it doesn’t matter. You belong. Which is why the above story pisses me off.
11. Scouting Needs Family participation
It’s a volunteer organization and mom and dad HAVE to be a part of it.
12. It’s community oriented
Being involved in the local community is huge.
13. Teaches kids to care about issues
Food For Scouting–providing food for the homeless. Military Donations–sending a taste of home to the guys in the military. This year, our kids are trying to do a fundraiser for Miranda’s Rescue for abandoned and abused animals.

I love Scouting. It’s going to be a fun year for us this year. I just hope other packs don’t follow Pack 70’s example.
Let me just add this. Scouting demands that each adult leader submits to a background check AND that all dens/packs follow “2 deep leadership” so no boy is ever left alone with ANY adult (gay or straight or whatever). There is NOTHING in any of the information I’ve read that says it’s required to be straight to be an adult leader. That’s ridiculous. And, IMHO, does not follow Scouting principles.
I hope that there is more to this story, more to the complaint by that parent, than the fact that this parent was a gay man. I really do. Because if they got rid of him solely due to his orientation, then it’s totally wrong.
Okay. I’m done now.

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21 Comments

Filed under Thursday Thirteen

21 responses to “Thirteen Things I Love About Scouting

  1. I’m glad that your group is showing commitment to deeper values and is willing to accept all sorts of people from all walks of life. It’s amazing to me how bigoted and short-sighted so many organizations are willing to be.

    • Jen

      It’s not the first time Boy Scouts has shown this side. Usually, as with any organization, it’s the individuals involved that create the issues.

  2. I wish I could have gotten The Boy into scouting, but he wouldn’t even consider it.

  3. I’m glad your troop is more accepting. I wish they all could be, but you do what you can and you start with your own children. I encouraged my boys to join, but baseball practice and basketball practice are the same night as boy scouts here, so I let them make the decision.

    Keep up the good work with your little men.

    • Jen

      I hear you! Our pack tries to work around soccer, football and other sports. It’s tough. All the parents involved are so busy, but we are committed to it.

  4. I haven’t seen this latest story yet, but this “intolerance” issue with Boy Scouts has always been a hot button for me. There have been a lot of stories like this over the years, with both leaders and boys being kicked out because of sexual orientation. Kudos to you and your pack for teaching acceptance and tolerance!

    • Jen

      There was a time when the idea of a female Scoutmaster was rejected. I can understand some of the policies, but with the advent of Youth Protection standards, parents who are on top of things will know instantly if there’s something “not right”.
      What in the world are these people afraid of? What totally sucks is the kid is going to take THIS away about Scouting.
      And it’s supposed to be about the kids.

  5. Sounds fun, though it wouldn’t be for me. I’m so not the outdoor type!

    *hugs*
    Paige

    My TT is at http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com

  6. I think Scouts are one of the great institutions in our country. It’s a crying shame that people have to be so intolerant.

    • Jen

      People are really weird about their kids. Frankly, if you’re not just dropping your kid off, you’re right there. And parents should be.
      If the guy said something inappropriate, or acted inappropriately, then address THAT. Not the fact that he’s gay.

  7. Ugh at that pack dismissing the leader because of his sexual orientation. Dismissing him for that reason alone doesn’t set a good example for the children at all. And that’s all I’m going to say on that, because it’s a sore spot for me.

    Anyways, it’ll be interesting to see what my boys will be interested in as they get a little older. I’ll be sure to present scouting as an option.

  8. I think the scouts are great. They teach kids so many good things. We have Girl Guides here for girls as well. You guys probably have the same. I never had a chance to join when I was a kid and felt I missed out!

    That’s sad if they dismissed a person for sexual orientation.

  9. Thank God for people like you who keep Scouting and Girl Guides alive for our kids. Thank you.
    Happy T13!

  10. I couldn’t agree more with all your great points. Great post! Happy TT, dear.

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