May 31, 2006

Cub Scout Camp

What a great time Camp Lindblad was. It's a cub scout family camp where the boys can participate in crafts, woodworking, archery, first aid, nature hikes, and campfire skits. The counselors are terrific people who interact really well with the kids. All in all, a great time.

I have known peripherally about the controversy over the Boy Scouts' homophobic policies. In a nutshell, there are two Boy Scout policies with which I disagree:

  • Scout leaders must believe in God. Agnostics don't count. That is, if you're agnostic, you can't be a scout leader at any level.
  • Neither scouts nor scout leaders may be homosexual. The policy does not mention homosexuals per se but does say that scouts and leaders must be "morally straight," and BSA makes it quite clear that homosexuality does not fall within the boundaries of moral straightness.
The FAQ on the policies can be found here.

Now, I entirely 100% without misgiving support BSA's right as a private organization to set their own policies. I do not feel they should be compelled to accept athiests or homosexuals any more than they should be compelled to accept sheep or goats. These policies, however, deeply offend my sensibilities... to the point that I frequently consider removing my kids from scouting because of them.

Scouting ends up being so much fun most of the time, though, that I keep the kids in it and hope they continue with it. They do learn many useful skills and leadership qualities, and I feel that the homophobic, discriminatory, small-minded, paranoid policies of the BSA organization can be overcome with patient and wise parenting and an inclusive and diverse approach to life.

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