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That Eagle Badge sure does come in handy.>> We wrestled that conundrum and WON. (but the conundrum still flails) >>tupperware oots

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message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) That's awesome, but also scary. It's a good thing he was so experienced. Have you read Into the Wild? That was what led to Chris McCandless's death. He couldn't leave his campsite because he couldn't cross the river.

message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Are Eagle scouts related to Boy Scouts? The Boy Scouts are virulently anti-homosexual, so my children don't participate. Well, my kids don't participate for a number of reasons, but that's one.


message 4: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17347 comments Mod
Eagle scout is the top level of boy scouts. It is like being the five-star general.

message 5: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell My dad is an Eagle Scout. Thankfully, my older brother dropped out of scouting, so that made it easier for me to drop out as well. I'm sure we disappointed him. I also like to think I dropped out because of principles, but the whole anti-homosexual issue wasn't really around back then.

message 6: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments My Dad has been a leader in the Oregon Boy Scouts for more than 40 years, retiring this year, has attained the highest level of Silver Beaver, and created a Boy Scout "Sogus" Leaderhsip camp that is unique to our locale and much lauded.

He and I have had many talks about the inclusionism of the BS, must believe in God, can't be homosexual, etc. and most of it pertains heavily on the fact that the LDS (Mormon) church controlls the majority of it. He has made some exceptions in his own camps, mostly he reviews whether or not the boys will be good candidates to follow rules & be part of the team. But, they do have to pledge oaths & say the 'under God' stuff with the pledge of alligence. He quite simply doesn't understand why this could be offensive to someone, it isn't in his perception of the world.

If I had a boy I would be expected to have him participate (like all of my 8 nephews), but I wouldn't want to. I have more issue with the whole militaristic and blind obedience stuff than with just the issues about God & homosexuality. It reminds me of the Nazi's brown shirt boys.

But, in the defense of the BS, they do teach great skills in survival, discipline, teamwork & leadership... if it is instilled within that particular troupe. Much depends on the leaders. I just wish there was some alternative group that taught the good things in BS, to boys & girls, without the whole conservative, military-for-God take on it.

message 7: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17347 comments Mod
I did not know that the Mormon church controls the boy scouts. Hm. Interesting!

message 8: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Well... technically they don't (said the church leaders), but the majority of BS troups & local HQs are run by the local mormon churches. Same diff.

message 9: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell Penn & Teller did one of their Bullshit shows on the Boy Scouts. I forget what they said exactly, but they said the LDS Church is a big scout supporter and very influential.

message 10: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I'm sure this is a more complex issue than the homosexuality issue, I agree. And I'm in line with Dave in that I would have hated the Boy Scouts even if they welcome gays with open arms. The Boy Scouts, even when I was a kid, just weren't my thing. But if they are for others, well, that's they're choice, in the same way it's others' choice to skip the activity.

message 11: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Yeah, I can imagine, Buns. When I think of this issue it's less framed in my mind as "they won't gays lead" as much as "they wouldn't let Tim and Ed lead". When I have names and faces to connect to the issue, well, that's where I easily, very easily, draw the line.

message 12: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17347 comments Mod
Wow. My original tender sentimentality for boy scouting is taking a beating in this thread.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments The Girl Scouts are not part of the Boy Scouts' organization, and are proud to be inclusive and non-discriminatory. The "serve God" part of the Girl Scout pledge is optional, too.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments That's too bad, Bunny. I camped a lot as a Girl Scout, back when I still enjoyed camping.
But they never taught us knots, or survival skills, even so. I learned embroidery and some cooking, and mostly just had fun with the other girls.

message 15: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments The girl scouts always did cooler stuff. I could have been a girl scout.

message 16: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments all i know is that it takes the highest level of dedication, effort and fortitude to attain the eagle scout level. most of the boys that i know that got to that point (and one from our church did recently) turn out to be very motivated, giving and valuable assets in society. i think it has to do with a goal or target more than what they are actually doing. scouting gives them that direction ONLY if they have good leadership.

i tried scouting for like one weekend camp-out during which i was primarily concerned with burning stuff, melting stuff, throwing stuff and trying not to laugh at the dweebs who took it really seriously. i realize now they probably own the company i work for

message 17: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments agreed. mu youngest son went to a cub scout meeting once and didn't want to go back when the leader told him he could not to bring his swiss army knife back with him. he thought scouting would be cool outdoor stuff and this leader wanted it to be basically a cheesy classroom deal.

message 18: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 347 comments I have some tender sentimentality for Boy Scouts still, mainly because I can't think of another organization that gets kids into nature and helps foster a respect and understanding of the land. Also, I had to work my ass off to get to Eagle and something like that sticks with you. My family wasn't exactly brimming with hikers and backpackers, so Scouting was my first exposure to that sort of thing, which I love.

I hated the religiosity of the BSA and never went in for all the patriotic hullabaloo. The first troop I belonged to met at a Methodist church and we never had to pray or anything like that. But then the 2nd was at a Catholic church and every meeting opened with a prayer and a flag ceremony. Overall the BSA is a religiously neutral organization (in that they don't necessarily care which Christian denomination you belong to).

I was in Scouts when the decision to not allow gay scoutmasters was made and our troop was really upset by it. Of course, out of my 12 person troop two were already out of the closet and another two would follow in the next couple of years- we were probably the most progressive troop in North Idaho. My friends weren't kicked out but were definitely told to keep it on the downlow when we were at large Scout gatherings.

message 19: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Bun - it may be that the mormon influence is more of a western coast thing, but I got the impression that it was all over.

I have seen it be a great influence of many boys/men, but then the troups that I have exposure to were able to go to my Dad's leadership camps and these were exceptional. I do really think it depends on who's running it.

I also have to admit having a 'wanted to be a boy' complex and was extremely jealous that I couldn't join in the one activity that my Dad was so involved in. I've heard the Girl Scouts can be great, but ours sucked. They promised us a horseback riding campout at the end of the year. We fundraised our hinies off, and after a grueling year of this plus making various cookies & crochet crap (I knew how to cook & I hated crocheting), they handed out tickets to Skate Palace and said the trip was canceled. Kinda bummed me out to them too.

message 20: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Yes, but the LDS church is very careful about any kind of financial support. It comes from their members not directly from the church org, so they won't fall into taxable pitfalls & such.

In some ways the way the do this kind of bizness is amazing and really reaches a lot of people, on the other hand it can be downright underhanded and manipulative (prop 8).

message 21: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24389 comments Mod
After 2-year review, Boy Scouts decide to stick with ban on gays; critics voice dismay


message 22: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17347 comments Mod
I had forgotten about the link between the boy scouts and the mormons!

message 23: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17347 comments Mod
Great zombie thread resurrection!

message 24: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7147 comments Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "The Girl Scouts are not part of the Boy Scouts' organization, and are proud to be inclusive and non-discriminatory. The "serve God" part of the Girl Scout pledge is optional, too."

Same with Camp Fire. Inclusive as all get out. That's the route we took. My girls had a lesbian group leader with four kids and a ton of energy.

message 25: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11703 comments I was in scouting and many of my friends achieved the rank of Eagle. Like Kevin, I always appreciated the hard work these young men put in to reach their goal, and the spirit and motivation they showed in their lives. I thought scouting was a good thing; one that challenged boys to become better men.

Until I moved to Utah.

Having seen the effort put in by my friends, most of whom reached Eagle at age 17, I was shocked to see these young mormon boys getting the award at age 14, 13 or (once) 11.

If things are run as they should be and the proper standards followed, reaching Eagle by that age should be possible only for maybe 1 in 1000 scouts. I looked further into Utah scouting (my son might some day want to join) and found troops running "Eagle mills" to progress the kids faster. Sickening.

It's my opinion that, while it's possible for the letter of the law to be achieved at a younger age, the spirit is likely to be missed. Most of the mormon Eagle scouts I know were OUT of scouting as soon as possible. When I've asked why they aren't still participating, I've been told, "my parents wouldn't let me get my license until I got Eagle."

message 26: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17347 comments Mod

message 27: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments at my family reunion last weekend i saw a guy who i guess is on my aunt's side of the family (why was he there) who arrived in a full scouting uni. this was a saturday afternoon deal so not sure if he just wears it all the time or what. gotta tell you, unfortunately due to misconduct of scouting leadership and weird stories a grown man wearing a scouting uni (especially when not with any other kids wearing one) looks creepy and pervy. man i hate that but it's true

message 28: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7147 comments Exactly, Kevin. I know I got some odd looks last week at my reunion when I wore my best Star Trek uniform.

It's not a costume! It's a uniform!

message 29: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments I think a lot of people are thriwing the baby out with the bathwater by not allowing their kids to participate in scouting because of a stupid policy. Every organization has a few stupid, outdated policies. It is a part of life that sucks, but IS part of life nonetheless. They have to figure out how to follow rules they don't agree with and work within bureaucratic BS at some point or they will end up in jail.

So, tell your kids the policy is wrong, as is the bigotry behind it but to learn what they can; there are many great things to learn. Foster a good enough relationship with your son that he will ASK you about things he hears that seem wrong to him. Pay attention to the lessons so that you know what he's learning there. When he has to earn his Spiritual Formation badge, have him learn about several religions, not the one he's part of or the one that seems predominant in his troop...

My son has been involved in scouts in several locations over the years. Frankly, we had the best experiences with the LDS sponsered ones. Yes, the kids (Not the leaders) invite him to other church events, but don't hold it against him when he says no. He is proselytized to more at school because of all of the LDS band and choir kids than at scouts. But the Mormons WILL make sure your kid gets to go even if you can't transport him. When I asked for help at other locations I was told no because of potential lawsuit reasons... If you can't afford the uniform they'll find one for you. And in our area, boys are allowed to participate if they are openly gay, but they may have to have counseling (NOT with the church leader either. They just secure a parental commitment to have the boy see a mental health professional... regardless of the church's belief that homosexuality is curable, the counselor is unlikely to share that belief so counseling might actually HELP the boys become secure in their identity sooner than they would otherwise). I know that doesn't make it right, but in my opinion if you are doing your job as a parent your sons should understand that bigotry exists, it WILL be used against them, and how good of a person they are has nothing at all to do with the archaic policies of any organization.

message 30: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11703 comments Sure. Then we can march with the Klan and talk about the charitable works they do with their church when they're not burning crosses because, you know, bigotry exists and you have to learn to live with it.

message 31: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments That's a bad analogy. The boy scouts practice exclusion, not overt aggression and harm.

What I mean is that if the people who don't agree with the policies abstain from participation, there is no reason for anything to change. Teaching your kids that bigotry exists and that they can be a part of something despite it allows them to look at the whole picture and ultimately brings about change. This is an organization that didn't officially start allowing WOMEN leaders until 1988!... and still doesn't allow girls to participate, even though there's no equivalent organization for girls. Give them time! Change is slow because people have ridiculous fears. Trying to force people to change when their reasons are fear-based is always a lengthy, tricky process.

message 32: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments Participate! Advance in Leadership! Next time the BSA puts it to a vote be high-ranking enough to be able to vote for change!

message 33: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11703 comments They won't let me join. I'm an atheist.

By that logic then, I should join the Catholic church & become a bishop. Heck, that's the way to effect change. All that stuff about public pressure to change is bullshit. I need to be pope.

Here's a letter from Saturday's Salt Lake Tribune that sort of sums it up for me.


My grandparents fought their condo’s ban on Jews. My parents wouldn’t patronize a country that discriminated by race (South Africa). I won’t patronize social clubs that won’t allow women (Augusta National Golf Club) or stores that have a glass ceiling for women (Walmart). And I won’t support a social group that bans gays (Boy Scouts of America).

Most of us think that if we had lived in the 1940s we wouldn’t have patronized establishments that discriminated against blacks. Well, gay rights is our Jim Crow. Where do you stand?

Do you live with the wrongness, or like Eleanor Roosevelt with the Daughters of the American Revolution when it wouldn’t let black Marian Anderson sing in Constitution Hall, do you quit bigoted groups?

People with a conscience and a sense of fairness must find a venue for their sons other than the homophobic BSA.

T. Griffith Clark

message 34: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7147 comments "People with a conscience and a sense of fairness must find a venue for their sons other than the homophobic BSA."

T. Griffith Clark

My favorite thing of the day.
I love Phil.

message 35: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Amen. I mean . . . you know what I mean, Phil.

message 36: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24389 comments Mod
You love Phil in the agape way.

message 37: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments Girl Scouts is in no way the equivalent of Boy Scouts. They don't learn the same things at all, nor do they have anything like the Eagle Scout badge that can be earned and recognized by colleges and future employers as an accepted sign of hard work, dedication, and social consciousness.

message 38: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11703 comments ::gets some popcorn. settles onto the couch.::

message 39: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments Again with the overblown bad analogy. There are hundreds of thousands of leadership roles in BSA and advancing is not anything like the vows Catholic Priests have to take. I do wonder if Mr Clark boycotted BSA when they didn't allow women though .... or if he picks and chooses his special interest groups.

I don't disagree with the idea that people should find activities that agree with their values and ideals. Is there one that has everything BSA has to offer with the worldwide recognition that looks so good on a resume?

Really what it comes down to is that they decided that at this time they would lose more members by allowing it than they would gain. People still change troops due to female scout masters too... Things take time to change. When we as a society TRULY accept the LGBT community as equal, organizations like BSA will too. But really, we don't. We wouldn't have to deal with garbage health care for domestic partners, right to marry, etc if we did. We're getting there, but it's a big machine to turn.

message 40: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11703 comments Clackamas wrote: "Really what it comes down to is that they decided that at this time they would lose more members by allowing it than they would gain."

Disagree. The number of members isn't important to them, it's the purity of those who remain.

message 41: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments Bun Wat: I was a girl scout until I was old enough to be a BSA Explorer. In theory we learned outdoor skills but in practice we camped once a year, in a park. Most of the year we did activities that would teach us to be good wives.... crocheting, sewing, cooking, etc. We did do community service in the way of food drives and skits at the senior center. I have a Girl Scout Gold award but it certainly doesn't get the recognition that my male counterparts get with their Eagle Scouts. They aren't recognized as equivalent by society at all.... and frankly they shouldn't be. My Gold Award took way less work than my male friends' Eagle.

message 42: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) *yawns*

message 43: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11703 comments Clackamas wrote: "Is there one that has everything BSA has to offer with the worldwide recognition that looks so good on a resume?"

What is has to offer is very much dependent on the troop one joins. Some troops are very much involved in living the scout law and experiencing all they can, while others are just going through the motions.

In those run through the mormon church, the scout leader is fulfilling a "calling" (appointed by the bishop). Some are into it, some not so much. Some just do it because they can't bring themselves to say no to the bishop.

By the way, are you familiar with the BSA's "perversion files?" Maintained since the 1920s, the files track suspected molestation by BSA officials, but the organization did not follow-up on those cases, and refuses to turn them over to other investigators.

Yes, a truly classy organization that looks wonderful on a resume.

message 44: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments Phil: Maybe. That's what they say. I tend to look for the financial motivation for decisions like this. Our troop talked about it and aa bunch of parents said they'd pull their kids out if the rules changed. I'm a moderate but had the liberal view in that room
My boys and I had a long talk about bigotry afterward but they wanted to stay involved. Overall the boys think the 'old people' are being idiots. I don't disagree. They figure it'll change once they are in charge... Because every 15 year old thinks they're going to rule the world eventually :-)

message 45: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Clackamas wrote: "Bun Wat: I was a girl scout until I was old enough to be a BSA Explorer. In theory we learned outdoor skills but in practice we camped once a year, in a park. Most of the year we did activities that would teach us to be good wives.... crocheting, sewing, cooking, etc...."

That is entirely dependent on the troop you join. If you have an outdoorsy leader and an outdoorsy group, you learn orienteering and outdoorsy skills. There are badges for science and math and arts and also for the homemaking skills you mention. The Girl scout camps I worked at were no frills. Most of the kids I know who went on to senior projects and gold awards did worthwhile, intensive projects that they could point to with pride.
And best of all, it's a clear eyed organization that looks to the future and doesn't cling to outdated and exclusionary definitions of morality.

message 46: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17347 comments Mod
Hear, hear. It is impossible to generalize about a bohemouth like the Boy Scouts just like it is unfair to lump all Americans into a group of "gun-loving Yanks" or whatever.

message 47: by Clackamas (new)

Clackamas | 17 comments That's really nice to know. I got my gold in 91 in a very small town. I had to learn the outdoor skills independently. The leader signed EVERYONE off on the skills when I did my demonstrations. That made me so angry. And there was tons of bigotry and bias demonstrated by the leaders (The girl whose parents divorced was forced to quit. The girl whose dad was seen going to an AA meeting was ridiculed in front of the leader who did nothing until she left. The Jehovah's Witness girl wasn't allowed to join. There was no financial help for girls from poor families. Basically all of the girls who NEEDED a group like girl scouts were excluded)... maybe small town thinking more than organizational? or a sign of the 80's? My gold project was done in conjunction with the boy scouts who were working on their Eagles. I was the only girl to bother going for my Gold in my community, ever. I was glad to be done and promptly joined Earth Science Explorers through BSA. There was an openly gay guy in in my group and it wasn't a problem. We found and sold fossils to help pay everyone's dues and trip fees... overall it was so much more inclusionary than girl scouts. And it's why I'm certain that BSA WILL change. There are many people involved who are trying to change it. Scrapping an organization that's done so much for so many boys and families due to slow changing policies which aren't even being practiced in many areas doesn't make sense.

message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments It sounds like, as you said, that was an issue of your particular community and the leaders there. The Girl Scout camps that I worked at in my teens and twenties - one in rural NY state and one in Washington state - were very accessible to lower income families (given the communities they were in, that was a necessity), and were some of the most inclusionary environments I have ever been in.

message 49: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1679 comments I've been involved in countless interviews/search committees and I have not seen anyone gush over/mention Boy Scout honors, except one interviewee pointing it out. I think the reputation of the whole organization is questioned these days, and they have a lot of work ahead of them to make it right again.

message 50: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7147 comments Clackamas wrote: "Girl Scouts is in no way the equivalent of Boy Scouts. They don't learn the same things at all, nor do they have anything like the Eagle Scout badge that can be earned and recognized by colleges an..."


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