Boy Scouts of America has finally lifted the ban on gay adult leaders…well kind of. I’ll circle back to the “kind of” part in a minute you’ll just have to bare with me for now. I am glad that national got it together and has extended the opportunity to all adults to be part of scouting regardless of sexual orientation. There are a handful of former scouts whom I hope to see become active leaders again now that the ban has been lifted. Far too long have they been gone from what they once loved and enjoyed.
All I can say is that I am sorry that the powers that be shunned you, but please come back. I know there is much that the youth can learn from you. You may be the difference that helps a boy make it on his trail to Eagle. Alright, lets circle back to the “kind of”.
After rereading the comments from BSA’s President, Robert M. Gates, I have concluded that this move to stop the ban was not done for the right reasons, but to avoid what would probably turn into a costly and lengthy legal battle. Wanting to avoid that legal mess makes sense to me, but the decision to lift the ban should have been done in a better light. None the less, the right decision has been made albeit for probably the wrong reasons.
The national council has also left a sizeable loophole. If a scout unit’s charter organization or committee finds that allowing gay leaders to be a part of the troop to be a violation of their own religious rules they can still enforce the ban. If you look at the percentage of scout troops whose charter organization is normally a place of worship you would see that a large percentage could still potentially enforce the ban. I honestly don’t foresee many actually doing so, but the potential is there.
From my religious studies I was taught that we should always love and care for one another. At no point in time was there ever mention of there being an exception that you don’t have to because said person bats for the other team. To further my point here, I believe that in order for scouters to truly follow the tenants set forth in the scout law we need to be accepting of all people from all walks of life otherwise we are failing miserably to uphold the spirit of scouting.
If you disagree with nationals decision that is your right. However, you can either tow the line and get with the program or get out. I know that runs counter to a lot of what I just said but we either work together to make scouting better each day or part ways. I also accept that fact that it may be me who is shown the door as well.
Today was our districts annual First Aid meet. During the event the boys are split into their respective patrols and rotate between stations having their first aid knowledge tested. As always it was a great turn out and some fun was had.
During the event one of the leaders I am in the same unit with pointed out that there were a few female adult leaders. Not an uncommon site, but one was wearing the rank insignia of Scoutmaster and this is not very common in Boy Scouting. Not unheard of because occasionally there just isn’t a male leader capable or willing to step up to the plate so one of the moms will.
The leader I was conversing with would then go on to say he didn’t think females should be allowed to be leaders. I agree with him to the extent that they shouldn’t be Scoutmasters, but I don’t have an issue with them serving in other leadership capacities.
During cub scouting I had some pretty damn good Den Mothers growing up and glad I had them. However, after crossing the bridge into Boy Scouts I only ever had adult male leaders and while currently serving as one I am glad for it. At this point in their lives boys are starting on their trek into manhood and by the natural progression of the things , from my perspective anyway, begin separating from their mothers trying to gain more independence.
I’m not say females aren’t capable of being excellent leaders, but the person at the top of the pyramid should be a male. There are just certain things in life that a young man going through adolescence just aren’t going to ever be comfortable discussing with a female. It also goes without saying that having a female in camp creates the need to create extra accommodations for both protection and privacy reasons.
Having said all that, somewhere down the road and honestly probably sometime when my children become old enough to join scouting as a young adult Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting as we know it today will not exist. The sad reality of it is that both of our numbers have been dwindling despite an uptick in the local area of the scouting population. I can honestly say that at some point in the future there will e an integration of boy and girl scouts and we will just become scouts. If this transformation of scouting does occur I am hoping that national will quickly realize that there will always need to be a chief leader for each unit and that regardless of who it is that there will need to be a primary assistant of the opposite gender. It will literally be the epitome of two deep leadership.
This could parley out into a much more involved discussion, but this is all I am currently willing and able to put out into the fray for now.