Can't decide about Boy Scouts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Can't decide about Boy Scouts.
20
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 11:44am

Hi everyone, I used to post over on the Kindergarten board and was hoping to get some advice here, or just a place to vent.

My son wants to join Boy Scouts. My husband and I have always been against it because they discriminate against homosexuals, which doesn't fit into our belief system or morals or whatever you want to call it. Before becoming a parent though, I never thought about how I'd explain that to my child if he wanted to join. He sees it as a fun group that goes camping and does cool things and I'm feeling like I don't want to ruin that for him, or force my beliefs on him. (Though I do hope he grows up not discriminating against someone because they're gay.)

It's feels like a big moral dilemma to me. Do I just keep my mouth shut and let him join, or make him sad by saying no and explaining that they don't accept everyone?

There's an informational meeting tonight, so I'm planning to attend to get a feel for everyone involved. DS says that "all the boys in his class" are joining.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-1999
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 11:36am

My son is a Boy Scout working toward his Eagle right now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2012
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 12:43pm

My son was in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, he was very active.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:10pm
Thank you browniethegremlin; I'm glad that you joined in the conversation. It's good to know that matters of religion are sent home to be done with the family. Our community isn't very diverse when it comes to religion and I'd assume it's split about 60/40 with 60% going to one of the local Christian churches and the other 40% not really being religious. We are not religious, so I appreciate knowing that nothing in particular will be forced on my son. I don't mind him learning about different religions though.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:22pm
fly_away_wren, I tried to find information online but it's a bit unclear. It sounds to me like they've adopted more of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies#Position_on_homosexuality

I couldn't find anything on their website about it. Like you said, I would hope that those in our community would have similar feelings.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:24pm
lam42, Those are all the things that I want him to learn (outdoors, sports, first aid, leadership, etc.). Of course they are things that we try to teach at home as well, but I think it's good to have it reinforced and come from many different sources. That's why I am still on the fence, as opposed to just saying "no, it's against our morals" outright.

I'm glad to know that there is high parental involvement the first year. That would at least give us the opportunity to see and hear about all that is going on. It would also ease him into it, with us by his side. As I mentioned earlier, he has high anxiety, so that's a big plus.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:25pm
Oh no, see those are the stories that worry me. :(
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2012
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 10:24pm
If you stay involved. That is the BEST way to know what is being taught.

I had my daughter's middle school have the day of silence for the gay and lesbian movement. My daughter thought it was weird. She knows she has cousins who were gay. But she didn't like the fact that they forced it upon the students. So she refused to wear the colors that was decided on. She was asked why. She said she didn't believe in it.

She was offended that she couldn't take a stance on creation/darwinism. But the teacher thought her answer for chicken and the egg was great.

I refuse to be a parent that drops off their child at scouts. Speaking as a leader. I don't like it. The boys have their parents drop in at any time. Which is great. We are making a sibling group for the younger girls and boys. So that will help me I have a kindergartener. My 14 yr old in the fall is joining venturing. Which is boy and girl together in a boy scout group. I feel that it will be good w her Girl Scout experience. She comes and hangs out anyway w the Boy Scouts. So why not.

So far have seen 3 yr of the religious and books in whole. I haven't seen anything to worry about. FYI as a leader you can attend district and pack leader meetings. So you have pulse on the boy scouts.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 9:45pm
Is your son doing other stuff, like say, soccer or t-ball? It becomes very easy to organize time, to do the things that all the other kids are doing, and then realize that you as parents only get to see your son alone when driving to some meeting or sport.

If you have reservations about this particular activity, don't do it. Feel free to give yourself a break and allow him to not join in, especially if he is doing other activities or play dates. You and your husband can help him get these other skills in other ways. Enjoy your time together, and don't fret that he is not doing this particular thing. Allow him time to explore and learn on his own too - get and read "The Dangerous Book for Boys" and do the things together. Make a point to go camping and do the things that he wants to do.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2012
Mon, 04-23-2012 - 6:13pm
Have you tried other alternatives for the boy scouts. Our local YMCA has a program called Indian Guides that basically do the same stuff or there is also an organization called the Campfire Kids which are like the boys scouts but they are coed. I haven't checked to see if they discriminate, though.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 12:37pm

Did you see this story today?

Boy Scouts Feel a Mother's Wrath
http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/24/opinion/granderson-gay-den-leader/index.html?iref=obnetwork

It sounds as if the local packs may feel one way, but that the national association can still make the decision.

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