ANALYSIS/OPINION: One of the finest organizations for boys used to be the Boy Scouts of America, which provided parents with amazing help in raising young men of character and responsibility. But with the sad announcement last week that the Boy Scouts will no longer be the Boy Scouts, the organization now is going to treat boys just like another girl. My husband and I will always be grateful for the years our sons spent in scouting and the lessons they learned on their way to achieving the Eagle Scout rank. In addition to the hard work and community service required in scouting, the camping, camaraderie and sometimes goofiness that occur when a bunch of boys hang out together were a real hoot to observe. I’ll always cherish the magical years of watching my husband and the other patient Scout leaders corral the often scatterbrained, hormone-driven, hysterically funny boys as they learned to focus and complete “manly” tasks. Awards ceremonies for individual … [Read more...] about The New Boy Scouts: Treating our boys like one of the girls
Boy Scouts salute during a “camporee” in Sea Girt, N.J. on Oct. 11. (Mel Evans/AP) In the latest of high-profile moves to open up its membership, the Boy Scouts of America announced this week that it would allow girls and young women to participate in more of its programming. Many see this as a big step forward for girls; another wall keeping young women from certain opportunities has fallen. And for some young women, the chance to participate in Boy Scouting programs will give them a chance to pursue their goals in exciting ways. But the new policy isn’t a straightforward win for girls. Initial reports on the Boy Scouts’ policy indicate that small groups for young members (known in the Boy Scouts as Cub Scout dens) will continue to be single gender, so girls will still have access to leadership opportunities in a single-gender environment. But there’s a difference between being in a girl-led group within a larger entity whose entire history and mission … [Read more...] about Girls don’t need the Boy Scouts’ approval for their achievements
Editor's note: The following column originally appeared on The Resurgent. We all knew this was coming. The Boy Scouts of America stood for over a century on its strong foundation of Judeo-Christian values, growing boys into young men, and young men into leaders. However, in recent years the BSA has allowed cracks to form in that foundation. From the lifting of the ban on openly gay boys from joining the organization, to the sanctioning of openly gay adult leaders, to the encouragement of so-called “transgendered” boys to join, the BSA’s moral foundation has been rapidly and steadily eroding into dust. As soon as the BSA changed the definition of the phrase “morally straight” in the generations-old Scout Oath back in … [Read more...] about Eagle Scout: RIP Boy Scouts of America. You were great for 100 years
On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. (Jake May/ AP) The thing with culture wars is that they never end. There's the temptation to claim victory prematurely while not realizing that another battle awaits. President Trump's high value of traditional American norms perhaps understandably gives him a sweet spot for the Boy Scouts of America. He said as much when he spoke to the Scouts last summer about the “patriotic American values” the organization taught to many of his right hand men including Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Tom Price, who was Trump's health and human services secretary before ethics concerns about a possible misuse of government funds later led to his resignation. Each of these leaders will tell … [Read more...] about Trump previously praised Boy Scouts for being an icon of traditionalism. But times change.
Enlarge this image A close up detail of a Boy Scout uniform. The organization has been exploring expanding its programming to girls. Tony Gutierrez/AP hide caption toggle caption Tony Gutierrez/AP A close up detail of a Boy Scout uniform. The organization has been exploring expanding its programming to girls. Tony Gutierrez/AP The head of the Girl Scouts is accusing the Boy Scouts of America of a "covert campaign to recruit girls," as a way to boost flagging membership, according to a scathing letter published by BuzzFeed News. "We are confused as to why, rather than working to appeal to the 90 percent of boys who are not … [Read more...] about Boy Scouts ‘Exploring’ Co-Ed Programming Provokes Girl Scout Ire
Badges are seen on the vest of a member of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. (AP/Patrick Semansky) Long plagued by declining membership, the Boy Scouts are considering a campaign to recruit in a previously untapped market: Girls. The Girl Scouts aren’t having it. A feud between the two largest scouting organizations broke into the open Tuesday when the president of Girl Scouts of the USA called the Boy Scouts’ “covert campaign” to recruit girls “reckless” and “unsettling” in a letter obtained by BuzzFeed News. A Girl Scouts spokesperson confirmed the letter in an email to The Washington Post. “We were disappointed in the lack of transparency as we learned that you are surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents,” Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan wrote in her letter to Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson. “Furthermore, it is inherently dishonest to … [Read more...] about Scout wars: Girl Scouts accuse Boy Scouts of recruiting girls to increase membership
ANKLAM, Germany — Because this is Germany, where militarism is taboo, many Scouts in this far-northeastern region forsake a traditional pledge. But they are on the front lines of a battle for the hearts and minds of young people — in a part of the country where the contest over nationalism and democracy still rages. Their leader is Michael Steiger, who heads a Scouting division in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a federal state deep in the former communist east. His life’s work, inserting politics into Scouting, is what landed President Trump in hot water last month, when the Boy Scouts of America apologized after the president turned an address at the organization’s National Scout Jamboree into a political diatribe, gloating about his electoral victory and lashing out at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. [Trump’s Boy Scouts speech broke with 80 years of presidential tradition] Steiger, a heavyset man with a bald head and bushy eyebrows, said it … [Read more...] about In Germany, a Boy Scout leader on the front lines against the far right
President Donald Trump gestures with former Boys Scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, W. Va., on July 24. (AP/Steve Helber) I am a Cub Scout leader, and more important, a dad. As a leader, I work, along with other parents, to try to teach boys many valuable lessons in Cub Scouts, lessons that reinforce the “Scout Law” that says, “A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.” We emphasize the importance of faith, serving your community, honoring country and learning about nature and science. And as parents and scout leaders, we try to model these traits for our kids. It’s more than unfortunate that our own president has difficulty exhibiting these traits when he speaks publicly to a national gathering of the Boy Scouts of America. During Trump’s recent … [Read more...] about I’m a Boy Scout leader. Here’s what Trump doesn’t get about loyalty.
(The Washington Post) Lavinia Falck had spent six days at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, getting to know teenagers from around the world. Then, she and her friends gathered on the grass to hear from a special guest: the president of the United States. “By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a Jamboree?” President Trump said during a rambling speech Monday in which he used harsh language, recounted election-night victories and New York cocktail parties, and attacked his political opponents. “Everyone around me was booing,” said Falck, 17, a member of the co-ed Venture Scout program run by the Boy Scouts. She remembered looking at her new friends and wishing she’d been allowed to stay at her bunk, noting that the booing for Obama was particularly upsetting because attendees had been directed not to jeer Trump. “Scouts are supposed to be courteous and friendly and all these things, and it was really un-Scoutlike … [Read more...] about Trump’s speech to Boy Scouts irks some in ‘nonpartisan’ organization
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Visitors from around the world have listened to a recording at the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center of Nathan Watson explaining the partnership between the Boy Scouts of America and the National Elk Refuge. The then-9-year-old talks articulately about how Scouts pick up elk antler sheds each year and then auction them off. It’s like Scouts help manage the refuge, he said. “To me community service means an average person in the community goes out to do something that helps the community as a whole,” he said on the recording. Watson, now 18, carried a set of antlers to the podium for the 50th annual Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction in May, his last year at ElkFest with the Scouts. He waved the antlers around, hamming it up for the crowd as the bid rose from $14 per pound to $22.26 per pound. He was clueless as to how much the pair went for. “I was too busy pleasing the crowd,” he said with a smile. Watson … [Read more...] about 18-year-old Boy Scout enjoys his last ElkFest antler auction