Friday, January 20, 2012

Why I will enroll my (future) boys in Boy Scouts

I recently learned, unfortunately, that the Boy Scouts do not allow gay, atheist or agnostic men to be in positions of leadership. I find this too bad, and very archaic of them.
It should be noted, that the reasoning behind this is that "a scout is reverent". While that explains the atheism and agnosticism, it does not excuse the gay stance, in my mind.

I am still going to enroll any future boys I have in Boy Scouts, despite my disagreement on this stance they take.
{I am also going to enroll any future girls I have in Girl Scouts, but that's not what we are talking about today.}

My reasoning is simple. Scouts has been an integral part in both Geoff and my childhoods. I joined Girl Scouts in the first grade, and Geoff joined Boy Scouts when he was 14. Both of us went as "high" as you can go in the ranks, and I received my Gold Award, and Geoff became an Eagle Scout. Scouting helped both Geoff and I developed and fostered important relationships with our father and mother, respectively.

What I want for my kids, is for them to learn the importance of nature, to learn to go camping, and to happily spend a week or two away from us, at camp. I want them to develop the self-confidence that scouting developed in us. Most importantly, I want them to learn to value the camaraderie that only a troop of all boys (or girls) can have.

So, despite a few rules that I disagree with, I believe that the Boy Scouts will offer more good than bad to my (future) boys. If the question or an issue with a gay man comes up, I will teach them what we believe, in our own home, where I believe they should be learning those sorts of things anyway. Meanwhile, they will (hopefully) enjoy their years of scouting, and I see many years of father/son bonding in their future. (Through an avenue that I feel more comfortable using than hunting together, for example. Mostly because I'm from the city, and people don't hunt there).

What do you think? Were you a Girl/Boy Scout? Will you (or have you) choose to enroll your children in scouting?

Please note that I'm not trying to rile anyone up, and I'm hoping that if you do choose to comment, that you will do so politely.

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