BSA: It's Time to Look Elsewhere
One of the finest organizations for boys used to be the Boy Scouts of America, which provided parents with amazing help in raising young men of character and responsibility.
But with the sad announcement last week that the Boy Scouts will no longer be the Boy Scouts, the organization now is going to treat boys just like another girl.
My husband and I will always be grateful for the years our sons spent in scouting and the lessons they learned on their way to achieving the Eagle Scout rank.
In addition to the hard work and community service required in scouting, the camping, camaraderie and sometimes goofiness that occur when a bunch of boys hang out together were a real hoot to observe.
I’ll always cherish the magical years of watching my husband and the other patient Scout leaders corral the often scatterbrained, hormone-driven, hysterically funny boys as they learned to focus and complete manly tasks. Awards ceremonies for individual achievement of various milestones were punctuated by the expressions of pride on the young, freshly scrubbed faces as little men stood at attention and received their patches and pins.
By doing manly things, boys became manly in their own minds, a critical component in actually becoming a man. The Scout program was successful because it helped boys truly believe that manliness was something to be achieved and treasured.
Sorry folks, but you just can’t do that when you throw a bunch of girls into the mix.
The “manly” things they did, like learning to find their way out of a dense forest with only a compass in hand, build a fire from twigs and stones, and dress themselves in a clean uniform subject to inspection, were coming-of-age rituals designed to make boys learn to be independent.
Yes, yes, yes, of course girls can learn to do those things too. But there’s something really special and important about guys roughing it on a camping trip and jumping from rope swings into a swimming hole without having to worry about what the girls might be thinking.
The major focus of Boy Scout instruction has been on the impressionable years of 11 to 16, when minds and hearts immersed in goodness, adventure and the company of men who fully embrace their masculinity can mold a boy into someone he could be proud of becoming. The opposite of today’s politically correct little cabal, a Scout troop was the crucible where a boy became a man.
And not just any ‘ol man, but a man with the character traits that our nation and families need. Consider the Boy Scout Law, enforced in every activity and which boys were required to memorize and live by in order to advance. It is a recipe for creating a chivalrous man if ever there was one: “A Boy Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
Reflect for a moment on the Boy Scout Oath, which I’m willing to bet anyone who spent even a year as a Boy Scout can still recite to this day:
“On my honor, I will do my best
"To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
"To help other people at all times;
"To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
Several years ago, however, the Scouts abandoned its time-honored principles of teaching fidelity and helping support boys to be “morally straight” when it decided to open its troops to openly homosexual leaders and students.
When the BSA decided to become “politically correct” by pandering to the homosexual activists and abandoning its principles and the families that believe in them, it was only a matter of time that it would decide to further destroy the mission of the organization by allowing girls in too.
Of course, the next step will be the removal of a pledge to God and country. Believe me, it’s coming.
Those who seek a genderless, homogenous society where everyone and every group is forced to be the same are celebrating the demise of the Boy Scouts.
But for parents who still strive to help their boys grow into men and their girls grow into women, and to celebrate the beautiful differences found in both genders, it’s time to look elsewhere for help.
Check out Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com) for your sons, and American Heritage Girls (AmericanHeritageGirls.org) for your daughters.
Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.