Steven Cozza's Eagle Project Review: Comments?
Mike Montalvo (psibolt@YAHOO.COM)
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 08:18:43 -0700
A few observations first:
Steven is currently saying the Scout Law and Oath.
Neither Steven nor his father were made aware of this problem prior to
the project review - Stephen's father did anticipate this problem due
to things that have occured and that's why he was present.
Steven's not saying the oath out of protest was clearly known and
stated (personally and in publications) - it was on record that he did
indeed believe in the Scout Oath and Law.
This was even reiterated previously when two fellow Scouts chose him
during his Life Badge ceremony to say the scout law and it was very
Steven's Coat of Arms Ceremony 2/17
"They, the troop, were all aware that Steven has said publicly that he
doesn't say the Scout Law because the BSA doesn't practice it when
they discriminate against gay youth and adults."
Steven presented his Eagle project last Thursday.
He was told the Eagle project looked good.
They then placed the project aside and told Steven they have read his
web site and wanted him to explain what he was doing. Steven replied
by saying that he did not believe that it was appropriate to discuss
that subject at his Eagle project presentation.
He was absolutely correct.
They backed off and then took another approach.
They told him that he did not believe in the Scout Oath and Law. And
because of this he would not be approved to be Eagle.
Steven's reply was that " Who told you that".
Their reply, "Your scout master told us and we've read it".
Steven "Well, thats not correct. I have always believed in the Scout
Oath and Law. I just don't say the scout Law because the BSA doesn't
follow the Scout Law when the BSA discriminates against gay people. I
believe in the Scout Law that is why I'm protesting. I'm doing what a
good scout should do. It is the BSA that is not following the Scout
Law and I'm ashamed of that. I'm just trying to help improve the BSA
so they don't reject anyone. The BSA is a
great program that should not kick out any kids."
They kept telling Steven he didn't believe in the Scout law or Oath.
His father finally jumped in and asked them to listen to what Steven
was saying. He reminded them that Steven has said repeatedly that he
believed in the Law and Oath, that he lives by the Scout Law and Oath.
And that Steven has always said the Oath. that wasn't even an issue.
They replied by telling Steven that by not saying the Scout Law he was
being a poor role model for other scouts. And that he is causing
problems in his
Steven replied by saying " I have done nothing wrong. I've been a good
scout. Scouts in my troop have told me they support me. It is a few
adults in my troop that are causing the problem. How can I be causing
a problem in my troop when I don't say anything in my troop about what
I am doing outside of scouting. I don't talk about the gay issue in my
His father then said "Steven has been a model scout. He helps other
scouts at meetings. He is a patrol leader and instructor in his troop.
He has been a
model for other scouts. It sounds like the concern here is that Steven
does not say the Scouth Law out of protest. Since that seems to be the
then Steven will agree to say the Scout Law at meetings and protest in
Steven replied by saying " sure I'll just say the Scout Law if you are
They replied by saying "that no you have to want to say it"
Steven's reply " I believe in it and follow it so it won't be a
problem for me to say it at meetings"
They then told Steven "that was fine." And told him they were just
trying to help him so he can get his Eagle.
They then focused on his Eagle Project and told him that even though
he had the proper signatures he would have to get several more
signatures. They told
Steven that since he would be donating books at several places he
would have to get signatures from more then just one place. And they
Steven they were trying to help him.
Well Steven worked very hard to secure the additional signatures. He
met with the advancement committee chair on Sunday 5th to get his
approved and signed off.
So Steven has agreed to say the Scout Law while in uniform. He
believes that since he follows the Scout Law it would be proper to say
it and to protest in other ways against the harmful policy of
discrimination against gay youth and adults.
Scouting for All!
Dallas Morning News 2/16/98:
"Greg Shields, spokesman for the Scout's national organization, said
leaders are aware of the effort and "will take a look at" the petition
when it arrives. He's not going against Scout policy," Mr. Shields
said. "He's working within the system, and that's not unacceptable."
>From previous Petaluma News articles:
Steven's admirers include Steve Venckus, president-elect of the
Redwood Empire Council of Boy Scouts, representing 6,400 youths from
Petaluma to the Oregon border.
Steve Venckus, who facilitated the meeting as president-elect of the
Redwood Empire Council of Boy Scouts, said that Steven's freedom of
speech, which he called "paramount," and Scouting's policy on
homosexuals were two separate issues.
"Raising the issue is very healthy," Venckus said. "Learning about
diversity and homosexuality is certainly a good thing."
DO YOU YAHOO!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City