Rick Busdiecker (rfb%CMU.EDU@CARNEGIE.BITNET)
Thu, 4 Nov 1993 12:48:35 -0500
Well, I'll follow suit here. I've followed SCOUTS-L on and off for a
couple of years, but have just recently subscribed (there's a
read-only newsgroup that carries the articles at CMU). I also follow
rec.scouting and I'm on the eagles mailing list.
I'm an `army brat' so my Scouting experience was quite spread out
geographically: West Point NY, Overland Park KS, Eatontown NJ,
Norfolk VA and Woodbridge VA.
I earned my Eagle Scout Award just before turning 18 in January 1981.
Troop 1390 Woodbridge, VA. I was an ordeal member of the OA, but ws
never very active with it. After turning 18, I was a Troop Committee
Member of my troop and helped out with my little brother's troop for a
while, I haven't done anything particular Scout related since 83 or
84. Especially when BSA started making a big deal about atheism and
sexuality, I was inclined to distance myself from the organization.
Since my kids are now approaching Scouting age, I feel compelled to
get involved and do what I can to help BSA to overcome its
organizational bigotry. GSUSA seems to be doing just fine. I know
that there are many individuals involved who know that intolerance and
bigotry are the moral issues here, not atheism and sexuality, and that
in time BSA will progress as it has with similar issues in the past,
but I can't sit on the side and wait anymore. As I mentioned in a
previous message, my daughter just joined Brownies and my son's got
about 3 years to go before he can start getting active.
As things stand now, it's doubtful that my son will be able to
participate. In general, my wife and I try to take the approach of
explaining situations to our children and where appropriate letting
them make their own decisions, and that's my approach in this
situation. -- although I suspect that he would choose not to join.
However, my wife is strongly inclined not to allow our son to join an
organization that is so openly bigoted about sexuality even if he
wants to. Several members of our extended family are openly gay and
we have many gay friends. It's hard for me to imagine trying to
explain to them why I would (or ever did) participate in such an
Fortunately for me, I can honestly say that things were different when
I was a member. I never remember atheism or sexuality being raised as
an issue throughout the time that I was a Scout. My reading of the
Scout Handbook suggested to me that being reverent could mean
different things to different people. While he wasn't really `out' at
the time, one of my former ASMs is gay. There were never any Scouting
related problems concerning his sexuality, certainly no witch hunts or
threats of expulsion.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City