Tag: Boy Scouts

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The BSA just can’t seem to help itself or scouting, assuming that is really what the national committee and council committees really want. I was on a troop committee meeting call last night and they were discussing the new BLM-inspired Diversity & Inclusion merit badge which will be required to earn Eagle Scout. Being on […]

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A Small Memorial Day Ceremony


This afternoon at exactly 3 p.m., a small group of Scouts from Troop 466 (where I have been as Asst. Scoutmaster for 20 years) gathered in the parking lot of Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church in Silicon Valley — joining Scouts around the nation — to hold a short ceremony. Troop 466 is actually quite large — 90 boys and, now, 10 girls in a sister troop — but at the local Council’s request, we kept it to a small group, masked and keeping the proper social distancing.

We began by taking turns memorializing veterans in our own lives. Needless to say, the parents mostly spoke. I mentioned that my family tree is filled with warriors, from the French and Indian War through almost every conflict in American history up to and including Afghanistan. I dedicated the day to my great-uncle John Collins, who died in the trenches in WWI.

We then held a brief flag ceremony. The troop has an elaborate historic US flag ceremony involving a half-dozen flags from throughout our history. But they are stored in the gym and church has been shut down and locked up now for more than two months. Instead, searching for a solution, I decided to bring my father’s funeral flag.

The New ‘Scouts BSA’ Troops Aren’t Going Co-ed After All


According to the Washington Times, the newly-rebranded Scouts BSA is not switching to co-ed troops. Instead, they’re creating new all-female Scout troops that co-exist alongside the all-male troops.

This sorta-kinda suggests that folks (myself included) may have been wrong to presume that this policy is all about watering-down the BSA to make it more girl-friendly. Instead, it really could be about creating opportunities for girls to get the sort of badass outdoor training and experience that helps foster values like self-sufficiency and individual responsibility that the Cookie Scouts of America seemingly refuses to provide, while still maintaining the benefit of single-sex troops.

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As a kid in the Boy Scouts we’d go camping occasionally at Fort Gibson. This, you see, was the name the eponymous Mr. Gibson gave to his extensive tract of land along the south fork of the Flambeau River. Being a firm proponent of the principle that Men are just Boys with bigger Toys he […]

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Are We Watching the Slow Death of the Boy Scouts?


Last year for the Federalist, I warned the Boy Scouts of the dangers of catering to the social justice warriors writing headlines and tweets instead of their actual constituency after announcing their decision to admit “transgender girls” to the Scouts. I compared the move to the Ringling Bros.:

Earlier this year, after operating for more than 146 years, the Ringling Brothers Circus announced its final tour and impending closure. This American institution and backdrop of countless childhood memories will no longer be a family attraction. Who do we have to thank? Animal activists and groups like PETA.

Just days after the Boy Scouts announced the decision to drop “Boy” from their name, after deciding to admit girls, becoming Scouts BSA, the Mormon Church may have just dealt a strong blow to the future of the Scouts in huge parts of the country. Deseret News reported today:

Boy Scouts to Admit Girls. Sigh.


As announced today, the 100-year-old organization will allow begin allowing girls into scouting. As a parent and former Eagle Scout, I can think of a hundred reasons why this is a lousy idea. Here are the first few that come to mind.

  1. Overnight co-ed camping trips.
  2. Overnight co-ed camping trips with adults.
  3. The Girl Scouts have a nice thing going.
  4. Modifying traditional scouting activities because girls won’t do that.
  5. Modifying traditional scouting activities because boys want to do that.
  6. Like co-ed dorms, girls don’t civilize the boys. Quite the reverse.
  7. This appears to be a push by BSA leadership to expand membership — so yet another non-profit abandons its mission to support growth goals and keep grown-ups employed.
  8. It will increase pressure on Girl Scout troops to shut down/merge
  9. One more duck peck in the effort to convince the nation that there is nothing different between boys and girls
  10. Yet another non-profit that abandons its core mission to try and be a social services agency
  11. It basically implies that the Boys Scouts are better, and that real scouts are in that organization, not Girl Scouts.
  12. It implies there is nothing positive about all-girl activities
  13. Or all boy activities
  14. Dating Merit badge?
  15. How about That’s Not Funny Merit badge?
  16. He Said-She Said Merit Badge?



Hey, Boy Scouts of America, did you really think knuckling under to the Social Left was going to enhance your viability as an organization? You’re losing membership, and the Girl Scouts (a left-wing cookie distributing organization aligned with Planned Parenthood) are warning you not to poach any girls to make up for the boys who looked at your transgender initiative and banning water gun fights and said, “Not for me.”

“I formally request that your organization stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not currently participating in Boy Scouts … and not consider expanding to recruit girls,” wrote GSUSA President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan in a letter sent this week to the president of the Boy Scouts of America, Randall Stephenson.

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My first reaction to Monday’s announcement that Boy Scouts will allow transgender children who identify as boys (to be clear, girls who embrace and identify as boys, not boys who identify as girls) to join the BSA was to retch. But perhaps there is a silver lining in this cloud. For the past decade or […]

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A Separation of Church and Scouts

pro deo et patria

An old-style “God & Country” scouting pin.

My congregation will not renew the Charter for the Cub Scout Pack that we have hosted for many years. This is a decision that took us over two years to reach. It makes me sad and angry to see this relationship come to an end. G-d does not like broken relationships. It was sin that caused the broken relationship between G-d and Adam, and our relationships with Him are broken by sin. In His mercy, He gave up His own Son to die so that a way was made possible to restore the broken relationship. And, though our hope rests in the restoration we look forward to, we still must live in a world that is corrupted by sin. We live in a tangle of broken relationships.

Can A Choice Be Free if it is Made Under Fear of Lawsuits?


280px-Boy_Scouts_of_America_corporate_trademark.svgAs suspected by many — including me — the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Committee voted unanimously to follow Robert Gate’s recommendation to end the organization’s blanket ban on gay adult leaders, leaving it to individual Scout units to set their own policy on the matter. This is probably the best of both worlds. It avoids having the national organization become the target of lawsuits while granting individual units the flexibility to reflect their values: some accepting gay leaders, some still banning, and some electing to make their decisions on a case-by-case basis.

While some will laud and others deplore this decision, my mind goes to the question of freedom of association. How much liberty does an organization really have if it feels compelled to make a decision out of fear of being sued by a raft of organizations with deep pockets? Does a decision like this really reflect the values of a national association of Scout leaders, or have they been bluffed into taking this position by rationalizing it as good stewardship for their organization? Or is there more to it? Are voting members living in fear of being singled out for special attacks, afraid of not being able or willing to defend themselves against charges of bigotry?

Why is it that organizations that actually have respectable records as defenders of high moral values are reluctant to defend those values, come what may?

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It appears that challenges from within — not necessarily from without — the Boy Scouts of America, are creating pressure on the organization to ‘chart a course toward full equality.’ Their own president, Robert Gates, is calling for an end to the organization’s ban on gay scout leaders. I see this as a short-sighted and […]

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