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Boy

Today I read the announcement from the BSA Board of Directors that they’re expanding the program to allow girls into the Boy Scouts. I’m saddened by this turn of events because I can no longer in good conscience support the scouting program. For me, the BSA is about teaching boys how to be good men. I believe in order to do this, the focus has to be on the boy. I believe adding girls to the program, no matter how well-intentioned, will inevitably result in a change to both the curriculum and the structure.

Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive, says,

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

This is a noble goal and I believe the values described in the Scout Oath and Scout Law” represent worthy attributes to develop in both boys and girls. However, executing on this content at the local level is where I see problems arising.

The Board of Directors say the rationale for the change is,

“Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family.”

Again, this is noble, but the Board of Directors says Cub Scouts Dens will remain single-gender, which means for families with boys and girls, there will still be separate meetings. The boy’s den will have their own activities and the girl’s den will have theirs. They may be working on the same adventures, but maybe not at the same time and they will each have their own activities. And if they’re different ages, they will be working on different adventures entirely. How is this supposed to help make things easier for single-parent households or allow communities to participate in activities as a family (incidentally, the BSA already allows this with family campouts, etc.)? I think the only way to achieve this goal is to make the dens co-ed…and that’s exactly where I think this is going. When this happens the social dynamic changes at the basic level and this is where the BSA will lose its identity.

The Board also claims,

“Recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.”

This is great! However, only 10% of boys in the U.S. are currently involved in Scouts. Instead of opening-up the program to girls, why not focus on the 90% of boys in America that could benefit from the BSA’s character and leadership development programs?

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Today’s adventure was Walt Disney World…and Splash Mountain! It was the last ride of the day for us. Alex was looking forward to climbing in that hollowed-out log ALL DAY LONG. After the log SPLASHED into the briar patch and we were on our way out, Adam said, “I’m so HAPPY!” He really, really wanted to get wet…and he did!

Splash Mountain

What I enjoy most about this ride is its themed after the Disney flick, Song of the South. Although there’s no sign of Uncle Remus anywhere, you see Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear in all the little stories Uncle Remus told in the movie.

Unfortunately, this movie isn’t available anymore from Disney because of the supposed racism it contains. Of course, the movie isn’t racist at all. Anyway, I recently obtained a a copy ripped from an old VHS tape and showed it to the boys. They enjoyed the movie and just loved Uncle Remus (just as I did when I was a kid). While we were winding our way through the Remus’ story, the boys are pointing out all the characters they know and singing along…

♬ ♬ Zip-A-Dee-Do-DAH ♬ ♬

It’s nice that despite all the stupid “PC” garbage these days, we can still find our “Laughing Place”

Song of the South

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Well, the soccer season is over and the coaches made the trophy presentations today. I’m really not sure how well we did because there wasn’t much score-keeping going on. After all, what’s most important is that the kids have fun, right? I suppose that’s okay for 4-year-olds being introduced to the game, but I hope this doesn’t continue into the “older” leagues. It’s important for kids to learn that you don’t always win…and that you can still enjoy the game when you lose!

Anyway, they were pretty proud of their trophies (even if they didn’t quite understand their purpose :-))

Adam's Trophy Alex's Trophy

And what better way to celebrate than a trip to the park? Which, incidentally, was a lot more fun for them than the trophy ceremony!

Adam spelled backwards is “monkey”…

Jungle Adam Adam runs across the platform

Adam loves to slide pose on the slide!

Alex on the slide Alex on the slide Alex on the slide

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Billiting

This week we’ve spent packing-out of our house, readying for our trip to our new home in Pennyslvania. The packers have done a great job so far, and will be loading the truck tomorrow. This evening we checked into billeting at Keesler AFB, where we’ll be spending the next two nights. We came in and set the boys down on the carpet, and after crawling around for less than 5-minutes, their knees, hands, and feet were filthy!! The carpets hadn’t been cleaned–shampooed–in who-knows-how-long!!!! The ambivalence of the lodging staff when I called to complain was a testament to the maintenance-level of this room. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at Adam’s knees and feet…

Dirty Billeting Room

Sad. So, sad.

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