Monday, June 18, 2007

Boy Scouts

Let's see, John has been rafting with a bunch of boy scouts in Moab. I spent some time with our boy scouts out at scout camp last week. Probably most, if not all, of gay Mormon's were in boy scouts as youth, and many are likely Eagle scouts.

I can't help but be amused by the irony that a bunch of us gay dudes are working with boy scouts. And, I'm sure this phenomena is probably not unique to LDS scouting units.

I wonder what they would do if they knew.


Sean said...

as much as i enjoyed the scouting program as a kids i've done my best to avoid being involved in it as an adult. i fear being accused of wrongful doing. it literally keeps me awake thinking of it. i know absolutely nothing would ever happen but it is a very prevalent fear that i have.

however i very much want to share my much out door skills. i can play sports or use a hammer, but my camping skills are really quite impressive. if i can toot my own horn here. :-)

Sean said...

unfortunetly i can put english words together if i tried either. LOL

it should read..."share my many outdoor skills. I CANT play..."

geesh! you think some in a profession like mine i should be able to write!

Abelard Enigma said...

i fear being accused of wrongful doing

As long as you follow youth protection guidelines then you have nothing to fear. All adult scouting leaders are required to attend training in youth protection (it can be done online).

Youth protection includes things like: Two-deep leadership, recognizing signs of abuse, etc. and are really designed to protect adults as well as youth.

MoHoHawaii said...

Good for you!

I think gay scout leaders are great. They can be empathetic and more patient teachers.

Gay people have always been part of the everyday social fabric. What's changing is that we're talking about it more.

Kengo Biddles said...

I'm quite happily _not_ an eagle scout, and am sick-to-death of people equating "achieving" one's eagle with faithful membership in the church.

At least half the guys in my ward had their mom do most of the work and their leaders the other half.

No. No scouts for me. Thank you very much.

Stephen said...

Well, in my boyscout council one of our camp directors (there are only three in the council) happens to be openly gay, and the council just kind of pretends like they don't know about it. I happen to be gay, and the council really doesn't know about it, but I'll still spend the next eight weeks working with the Boy Scouts. I agree with Hawaii; we're just plain better at it.

I do, however, agree with Kengo. Earning your Eagle Scout should have no reflection on your faith in the church. In fact, they really don't. People who earn their Eagle Scout as a matter of course, or who have their mother do it for them, or who do any other such despicable thing really have no place in scouting.

Abelard Enigma said...

At least half the guys in my ward had their mom do most of the work

I think that is a lot more difficult to do these days - at least in our scouting district. I typically work with older youth (Teachers & Priests) which is when most of the boys earn their Eagle. So, I have a lot more experience helping boys earn their Eagle rank than I do working on merit badges. I've also served as a district representative on a number of Eagle board of reviews. When I'm working with a boy I won't talk to his parents. I tell them to have their son come talk to me. When writing up the plan for an Eagle project, the standard our district uses is that it needs to be detailed enough that it could be handed off to someone else to perform the project.

Of course, it may be a bit different for us since I live in the shadow of the BSA National council (we have several members of our ward who work at the National council office).

Earning your Eagle Scout should have no reflection on your faith in the church.

Gosh, I sure hope not because I only made it to 2nd class myself.

I do think the stance the BSA took against gay scouters is kind of silly. The chartering organization is responsible for finding leaders; so, I think they should be the ones who set their own standards for the kinds of leaders they will accept. As it stands, the BSA is facing more and more schools and other organizations who will no longer allow them to use their facilities. We used to have a number of schools and service organizations that chartered their own scouting units - but no more. Now, virtually all scout units in our council are chartered by churches. I live in a very conservative area; and, our school district will not even allow cub scout dens come to the elementary schools to recruit boys for cub scouts. As a result, cub scout enrollment is down. Over the next few years, that decline in enrollment is going to hit the boy scout troops.

gentlefriend said...

I was a scoutmaster for many years and we had many eagles. I didn't ask for the calling, but I tried to do my best. I spent more time individually helping boys progress than their moms. I am glad that all of the "protective" rules weren't in place at that time because I had quality time with them as I worked with them alone. I did a lot of counseling. Our boys were the wildest group in the stake when I took over. Many adults were shocked when most of my wild (energetic, mischiefly creative) boys became eagles. They were a challenge. They knew I loved them. We had a few non-LDS. Almost all of the members served on missions and are temple married or are looking for a worthy spouse. Some of them are now working as young men leaders. I laugh as they struggle with their boys as I did with them.