Picture of Scouting undergoes changes

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, June 13, 2013

They were wearing early morning on their faces and hiking shoes on their feet, that July day in 2005.

The snapshot I took before they piled in vans piled high with pillows and Cheetos is revealing. The 18 young men look resigned. The nine accompanying dads look ready.

Perhaps the wise older guys had a better inkling of what a week their week on the Appalachian Trail would be.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I remember getting dew on my own non-hiking flip-flops as Anna Davey and I stood at the edge of that church parking lot, discussing good summer reads. Who would guess the motley crew we watched drive away included three future engineers, an accountant, a doctor, a couple of businessmen, a banker and a professor? We were just thankful they were in the hands of a leader whose rallying cry was “We’re raising men, not boys.”

That’s the picture, mingled with more than a decade of merit badges and Monday night meetings, that used to come to my mind as I thought of Boy Scouts.

Oh, and an odometer, too. You log a lot of miles transporting two sons to Eagle. A third now drives himself in pursuit of the rank.

But the picture of Scouting is changing these days, thanks to agendas and the powerful people behind them. High opinions are being affected by resolutions and votes and the organization’s fall to political correctness.

It’s really no surprise that the recent Boy Scouts of America (BSA) decision to allow openly homosexual members wasn’t enough to pacify dissidents. GLADD, which stood for Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation until three months ago, but now with no spell-out accommodates transgenders, vows to continue pressure to accept gay leaders.

And so, while uniformed Scouts were marching in Utah’s gay pride parade last week, a family pulled out of my sons’ Brookhaven troop. A friend’s Jackson troop made plans to disband. My nephew’s troop, way over in liberal Arizona, discussed the same.

I guess the New York Times would label these conservative reactions as bigotry, as it did in a recent editorial, saying such Scouts hold to “loathsome” beliefs.

Washington columnist Cal Thomas has another take on the Boy Scout issue and the Times, a publication he calls a “champion of all things gay.” His blog posted these conclusions: “Calling evil good is one sign of the end times. The persecution is now only in word, but soon in deed. Everything is on schedule.”

In an official statement released May 23, the BSA said it would “not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive and unresolved societal issue.”

Well, it appears the BSA won’t have to. Those with the agenda were happy to oblige.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at henderson7@juno.com.