A recent article in the Deseret News indicates that a change is likely coming for leadership opportunities in the Boy Scout program. Despite reluctance from many of the sponsoring organizations, the National leadership seems bent on allowing openly gay men (and I presume women) to become leaders in the local units of the organization.
Scouting has been a part of my life since I was a boy. It has been part of the LDS Church Young Men activities for much longer than that. My life is better because of the things I learned and practiced as both a Scout and a leader of young men in Scouting. All of my sons are Eagle Scouts and I truly believe that, despite some thoughts to the contrary, this particular award is one of the defining achievements of their young lives.
But (you knew that was coming didn’t you) as an organization, the BSA has marched down paths that seem counterproductive to their survival – and frankly, to their stated mission. This current issue with gay leadership is not the only reason for their struggle. Financial decisions on the local and regional level have alienated parents and donors to the program. A lack of support for local and regional units in the face of civil suits has left a bitter taste in some mouths. And a number of other issues in recent history have alienated former members and advocates to the point that they have ceased or greatly reduced supporting the BSA (judged by my experience with fundraising efforts in my local area).
With this new, expected change, I believe that many sponsoring organizations will finally feel the need to divorce themselves from an effective, long-time source of training for young men. Groups, especially many of those connected with religious entities, will likely determine that having their youth led by those who practice behavior opposed to their moral code creates too great a risk and will cease support for the Boy Scouts of America.
What a loss this will be for the young men who grow up in the aftermath of so much confusion. They deserve better.
Things just can’t be easy in this ‘ole world.
I’m sorry for what seems to be coming but I expect that this is just the first of many losses we will incur as the world changes.
BTW, for those who know, I am a Beaver.
I will miss having that mean something.
P.S. I hope I am way off with these thoughts. Scouting is a good thing for all involved.
We can only hope.