I am an Eagle Scout. And, I am a journalist. I am not a Boy Scout, or a Girl Scout. Boy Scouts don’t belong to a “Den,” they belong to a “Troop.” Cub Scouts belong to “Dens.” “Eagle” is a rank, not a “badge.” Like earning a college degree, an Eagle Scout retains his rank after he has left scouting. So, if you’re a journalist, please get his right from now on, because, I probably won’t weigh in on this topic anymore.
I was in Scouting back in the day during the big changes that were meant to urbanize scouts in the ’70s. The changes weren’t too bad, but I was at the middle Rank of First Class, and the changeover meant some redundant requirements and the need to satisfy a different set of requirements to get up to speed. It was an interesting transition because all of the changes were right in front of me and were all totally relevant to the future of my scouting career. I knew the old program, and I had to know the new program. Ultimately, the transition turned out to be sort-of a clep system and mostly it was just a matter of applying credit for previously earned achievements to different contexts. Nothing was really lost.
The attempt to citify scouting wasn’t, however, fatal to the outdoor program. Or at least, it didn’t have to be. Most of the requirements that were freestanding for rank still ended up encapsulated in merit badges and skill awards with major requirements for advancement being about equal but allowing for a bit more flexibility in terms of choosing one’s own path. The older guys bitched about it all, but because the core of the program was till intact, while still allowing more flexibility for Scouts with less access to the great outdoors, it seemed ok to me.
I never did weigh in on the more recent changes to the scouting program because it really didn’t seem expedient to belabor what was already being driven into the ground. In fact, I have always wondered why the Alt Left wants so badly to push it’s agenda until in backfires on them, which I have warned about for as many years as I have been an Eagle Scout. The exact rules of scouting membership may or may not have ever been strictly enforced. Troops back then all had their own personality and character, and in my perception, there were likely “gay” boys in scouts, and there were likely gay chaperons, if not necessarily gay “leadership.” And, not necessarily my own troop.
That seemed good enough to me. Boy Scouts isn’t about sexuality per se and so the recent big push to include “gay” boys and “gay” leaders really seemed to unnecessarily push the envelope. If it were up to me, all boys would be allowed to join scouts, and gay chaperons would be allowed, not leadership. Scouts is a masculine endeavor, and in my opinion “boys” shouldn’t be making permanent life altering decisions about their “sexual identity” when they are not yet, or just barely, at puberty. In scouts, it isn’t about “being in the closet” it’s just a matter of propriety when it comes to that discussion. Boy Scouts has given generations of young men the opportunity to grow and explore masculinity without the constraints or expectations which may have become embedded at home or at school or even church. I’m not suggesting “reconditioning” or “cure” for orientation, all I am saying is – give a boy a chance.
And that’s why I’m saying, accepting girls into the Boy Scouts isn’t just a mistake, it is in fact likely to be the fatal blow to the core values of the scouting program. Oh, it’ll start off just fine, no special accommodations or changes, well except… And the first except will lead to the next and then to why don’t we just make these changes and… Little by little the program will change, and it will be feminized, and it will by fatally citified and the Boy Scouts as a safe and healthy environment for boys to grow into men will cease to exist. With it, the values of independence, self-sufficiency and conservation will also cease to exist.
At face value, it can’t be overstated, when girls enter the equation, the dynamics change, and the boys that are younger, or less socially adept, or less tough, or less sexy, get lost in the shuffle. The attention and the competition then becomes about catching the attention of the girls, and male bonding or mentoring amoung the scouts will cease to exist. Many boys have found solace and relief and escape from that social tension which they already find themselves combating at home or school or Church. The safe haven for growth will be gone for many of the boys.
The basic argument for the admission of girls into the scouts has what has become an all too familiar ring. “Families want a convenient…” The description ends up in some sort of code-speak gobbledygook for “single mom needs a cheap, quick and easy daycare for ALL her kids.” Can’t be going to two different programs. And ironically, a program that has previously strengthened family values and individual character, will become yet another codependent crutch propping up broken families and dysfunctional culture, and not because of the “gay” factor, but because of the feminist factor, which in turn will add yet another positive to the alternative global warming loop. Interestingly enough, we used to call that kind of thing a “cluster fuck.”
As it is, if and when girls do join the Boy Scouts in substantial numbers… the boys won’t. And, neither will the girls. The programs will die a long and agonizing death. Another irony since money and funding has also been suggested as motivation for allowing girls which theoretically will grow the program. What’s the point of growing the program if the program ceases to exist and if whatever is leftover has no integrity?
I say, maintain the integrity of the Boy Scouts and let the program do it’s best to live, or die, honestly.
© 2017 – Jim Casey
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