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: 04-20-2012
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 10:45am
I volunteer with my son's pack, and it is not Boy Scouts' stance to discriminate any longer. I am not saying you won't still find it, but it is through the individual packs. You should base your decision on the immediate people involved. More than likely the people in your community, at least if you have been there a while, have similar feelings as you, as that is what tends to create communities, commong ideals.
Good luck in your decision.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2012
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 10:21am

I usually jsut read. But I wanted to join in on this discussion.

I have a Girl Scout. Who is in her 8th yr. I have a kindergarten Girl Scout. The scouting movement have been great for both these girls. Religion, sexual orientation, abortion doesn't come up. These are many of the things you hear in the past. I have been a leader starting my 3rd year. I am a district registar. And my 14 yr old daughter is a voting girl delegate for our county.

My son is in his 2nd year of Cub Scouts. I have been his leader for 2 yrs.

My son loves cub scouts. I have 2 Eagle scouts living next to us. They have been great help to him. The subject of religion when it comes up for his Wolf rank. I sent it home for the parents to do. This way I don't have to deal w any questions. Now next year it will have a religious book to do. But this is to do by the scout at home w his parent, religious leader. I only see the signed paper afterwards.

I know scouting has been great for both my son and daughters. I am glad that i'm involved w there scouting.

BE involved is the best way to know what is being taught.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 3:25pm
If you don't mind me asking, did he feel that the benefits of the program outweighed the fact that they didn't approve of his sexual orientation? Or did they not know that he was gay? I guess it could be seen the same way as homosexuals joining the military. Just because they don't approve doesn't mean you don't want to serve your country. (?)
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 10:18am

I think it's ironic because my gay brother was a Boy Scout for years and actually was a counselor at Boy Scout camp when he was in college--and there were several other gay scouts that were his friends--but they weren't "out" at that time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 9:45am
You reminded that the lady speaking mentioned that the cub scouts do many family activities and they were actually beginning to - "unlike girl scouts" - accept girls as members. It was all I could do to keep from saying "as long as they're straight!"
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Wed, 04-18-2012 - 2:40pm

If it makes you feel any better, you're not alone. My two sons are not in BS for the same reason, even though my two girls were in GS (they don't discriminate - for which they're now being villified: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/302200/20120221/indiana-republican-bob-morris-accuses-girl-scouts.htm

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Wed, 04-18-2012 - 12:34pm

Thank you all for the responses and support. I went to the meeting last night and don't feel any better about it. I actually feel more conflicted now.

I like the idea behind scouting and the fact that the kids learn so many things. My neice is a girl scout and she tells me about all the educational and fun things they do. I think for my son, who has anxiety, it would really help him ease into things that he's afraid of (camping outside at night) but I know he'd have fun doing.

On the flip side, I feel like I made a total jerk of myself to the leader. I waited until after the meeting to talk to her privately and say (in as nice a way as possible) that I'm interested, but a bit hesitant because of some of the things I've heard or seen in the news. She gave me a puzzled look, so I went on to say ask about the climate of the organization in this city and discrimination. Still a puzzled look. So I press on saying that Boy Scouts doesn't allow gay leaders or participants and there have been issues in the news about discrimination. She had no clue what I was talking about and started telling me a story about a kid with half a brain ("He had to have surgery when he was one and they removed half of his brain.") who's a scout and "they all really help him and don't discriminate against him." I felt like I was talking to a wall. It was so unbearably uncomfortable. At one point she even said "Well, it's not for everyone." in a "then don't join, I don't care" kind of tone. It all just left me with a weird feeling.

I put my name on the email list so we could get more information and we were all invited to attend/observe the next meeting. We don't have to join until fall, so we have time I suppose.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 3:07pm
Also, sometimes the best way to effect change is from within!

Gwen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 3:05pm

It really depends on the troop and the troop leadership.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2009
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 3:02pm

Dh doesn't like the Boy Scouts for the same basic reason-- and they also have had issues in the past with non-Christians also.




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