I saw another story today that made my heart sink.
It feels like I've spent a lifetime defending the good bits of the program and explaining away the bad. I don't get paid for this; I'm a volunteer.
I became a Scout when I was 8 years old. I have not been out of uniform since.
I've been a Committee Man, Unit Commissioner, Webelos Den Leader, Committee Chairman, Cubmaster, and now District Training Chairman.
I'm a Vigil Member of my lodge...and just completed Woodbadge this past year.
I have devoted my life to this organization and all the good things it does for youth.
But now, we are teaching them that it's OK to discriminate, OK to exclude, OK to be hateful and bigoted.
It's been coming for over a year. I don't know that I can reconcile these two things anymore. Every story I see makes my heart sink a little further. I really don't know how much longer I can justify wearing the uniform myself if this is the course National is going to continue down.
My own son is a new Boy Scout, and he's headed for Tenderfoot right now. These are not the things I want him to know as he becomes a man. Talking about this with him, at least I am gratified that he "gets it". I don't know if any of his friends have "two moms", as it were, but he thinks it's stupid that those kids can't be Boy Scouts.
Nay, it's our generation that will have to evolve and accept.
I only hope Scouting survives long enough for a new attitude to take hold. I only hope I'm still involved to see it.
Big Al, JV, Geordie....these men taught me all I know about what it means to be a Scout Leader, and indeed, a good citizen. I'm trying to pass on what I have learned, but it's becoming increasingly difficult in the toxic, polarized, and politicized environment that the Boy Scouts has become.