Last week I got a little worked up about the Boy Scouts of America going out of their way to reaffirm their position on homosexuality, so I’ve got to say that it was a little comforting today to find that many others who achieved the rank of Eagle just as I did in my youth now feel exactly the same way…
Eagle Scouts Stand Up to the Boy Scouts of America
I don’t know if I could go so far as to renounce the award that I worked the better part of my teenage years to achieve myself, but nonetheless I stand with these other Eagle Scouts with the same anger and disgust that this beloved organization that taught us so much and helped mold us into the men we are today continues to latch onto select primitive policies that even go against the very words that we all would recite over and over again in the Scout Oath and the Scout Law before and after each troop meeting.
There’s nothing honorable in excluding someone just because they’re different, whether it be for their sexual orientation, the color of their skin, or how many matches it takes them to light a campfire in the rain. We were taught the virtue of remaining forever mentally awake and morally straight, but if there’s one important thing that I’ve learned since in my adult years, it’s that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being gay and from then on it’s always bothered me that this righteous organization that did so much to help form even my own character still at its core harbors values of hatred and bigotry that future generations simply don’t need any part of.
I have countless memories of the years I spent both as a Cub Scout and later in Boy Scouts as I became a young adult. I earned the highest ranks available in both groups, and also was elected by my peers to take part in the Order of the Arrow, a subset of the BSA focused on camping and service. My very first job was working as a staff member at our local scout camp, where I then spent the next five summers teaching other scouts about nature & ecology until I spent my last years managing other staff members as an area director as well. Multiple trips down to the Florida Keys with my patrol and later my venture crew ultimately lead me to want to relocate down to Florida permanently. Nearly all of my best friends throughout my childhood, I met and subsequently shared adventures with thanks to the Boy Scouts of America…
It’s in recounting all of these pivotal moments in my youth that I know in my heart that the BSA is better than this. A friend who I worked with at camp commented last week that though all of these same ignorant views existed when we were in scouts as well, for the most part it was really only those at the very top who ever really supported the BSA openly refusing gays, and even if that may still be true today, to me that’s all the more reason why it’s time for these antiquated men at the BSA Executive Office to step aside and allow someone else to lead our organization who’s truly aligned with the morals that Scouting stands to represent for our nation’s youth.
The days of pretending that the BSA isn’t really against gays are a thing of the past, and as a proud Eagle Scout from Troop 1 of Gaylord, Michigan, I say that it’s high time that the Boy Scouts were represented by leaders at the national level who preach of moral equality for everyone.