My Boy is a Bear

Yesterday, the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift a ban on openly gay youth. Read the article by Miranda Leitsinger and Jason White of NBC News by clicking the link above.

Scouts is a huge part of our life. My boys are still very young so we are involved in Cub Scouts which is for first grade through fifth grade boys. At the end of fifth grade, Cub Scouts cross over and become Boy Scouts. We love the values and skills that Cub Scouts teaches as well as the friendships and fun it offers!

I was David’s Tiger Den leader when he was in the first grade and I am now the committee chair for our pack working to coordinate the dens, plan pack events and keep paperwork in order. It adds a bit to my already full plate but it is worth it. I love my boys and I love what they are learning through Scouts. I love Scouts.

I also make the cupcakes.

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Nathan isn’t officially a scout yet but he loves “Hub” Scouts and can’t wait until he becomes a “Tiger” in first grade.

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I can’t imagine someone telling him he couldn’t be a Scout because he was different or he wasn’t what they deem acceptable. His heart would be broken.

This post is not about debating morality or gay rights.

It is about compassion.

I am thankful and proud to be an American. I believe in the constitution and the principles this nation was founded on and am deeply blessed to enjoy the freedoms that we have in this country.

Those freedoms are for ALL. Whether we agree on everything or not. You can disagree with me. It is okay. Many people I love and respect will disagree. I will still love and respect them. My heart is led to err on the side of compassion and love. To welcome and walk along side my neighbor. Some details I will leave to God.

America needs Scouting! Boys need Scouting. We need to be reaching out and sharing the adventure, not pushing people away.

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David and some of his “Wolf” buddies.

Tico Perez, the BSA national commissioner summed it up well when he said “there were divisions about how to serve kids. If we have disagreement, if we have discomfort, we are going to talk through it. America needs Scouting. Our singular focus moving forward is serving more kids in Scouting, and we believe this resolution is going to do that.”

One parent had this to say “we’re very disappointed. I will compare it to a funeral.” His son expressed concern about being allowed to remain a Scout. “I hope I can continue,” he said. “It depends if my parents feel safe to let me stay.” I find that so unfortunate and very sad and I hope very much that he gets to continue on his journey as a Scout.

A boy scout who is gay is not a threat to my boys.

Allowing my boys to think they have a right to be exclusive or elitist or can turn their backs on people because of differences is the threat.

It is my job to teach my children what we believe and it is my job to teach them to walk in love.

It is my job to “show” others what I believe in the way that I act and live my life.

I will teach my children about a dream where people are judged by the “content of their character”. Remember that dream?

I will teach them to be compassionate, even in disagreement.

Every night at the dinner table we ask each of our kids “how did you show your Jesus today?”

How did you show love, compassion, humility, grace, mercy, hope?

How do we “show our Jesus” if we exclude, push away and turn our backs?

I think yesterday, the Scouts “showed their Jesus” and I may just start sportin’ one of those “I’m proud of my Cub Scout” stickers on the bumper of my ride.

Which is a mini-van. Oh yes, I am a Scout mom.

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And I make a mean cupcake.

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Last week, my boy became a Bear. He completed all of his achievements and graduated from the second grade rank of Wolf to the third grade rank of Bear.

Here are a few photos from our Advancement Ceremony …

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David receiving his recognition and awards from the Wolf Den leader, Eileen. I like to call her Ethel – take a look at my Scout Halloween Party post if you want to know why.

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Part of the Wolf badge ceremony. I sure wish I had a picture of the looks on their faces when they had to drink wolf’s blood. Well it was V-8 juice but I think it may have actually been more palatable to them had it been actual wolf’s blood. I truly thought it was coming back up with a few of them – which would have made the ceremony all the more exciting.

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Our Cub Master and our youngest Scouts, The Tigers, getting ready to become Wolves.

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Our Bear Den getting ready to move up to the rank of Webelo.

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We didn’t promise it would be without peril.

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I love that members of our local Boy Scout Troop conducted our ceremony. They help us out with a lot and it is good for the younger boys to interact with the older Scouts.

If you have a boy of scouting age, I hope you will consider Scouts. The boys can join anytime and will automatically be placed in the appropriate rank for their age. Don’t worry if your boy didn’t start as a Tiger, there is a place for him and he will transition in easily.

If you are interested in learning more about Scouting, please visit the BSA Website or contact your local Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Troop. There is also Venture Scouts which girls are welcome to participate in. I promise you, adventure, friendship and fun awaits!

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Look, my boy is a Bear and is beyond excited to leave soon for camp with his dad – who will be the Assistant Cub Master next year because his wife volunteered him.

Lucky for me, he’s a good sport and loves Scouts too.

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25 thoughts on “My Boy is a Bear

  1. fawn

    I agree with everything you wrote in your blog. The Boy Scouts is a great way for young boys to learn a lot about nature and the world around them. I think it’s a wonderful way for boys to learn to become the best they can be. Kindness and compassion are two of the best qualities we are capable of offering to the world around us. Whether it’s to other people, animals or mother earth herself.

    Gay is not synonomous with bad, flawed, defective or dangerous. It’s a human condition that is shared by roughly 10% of the population. To reject a boy based upon his perceived sexual orientation is to support bigotry and hate. I applaud your courage in expressing your compassion for ALL people, not just the ones who think and act like you! Your family and your pack are lucky to have you and your Assisstant Cub Master/hubby!

    Reply
  2. Kathleen

    As a past scout leader your dedication to the program and their future is a learning experience for all that will be long remembered. As they move forward in the program that trail to eagle is mind boggling at times, but the young men who persue this are listed among the elite, both now and in their future. Enjoy your time, and know those adventures will be memories of a lifetime.

    Reply
  3. musingmar

    Hear, hear. We need more inclusion, not exclusivity. When my children were young I talked to them about what it means to be gay, and about issues of discrimination. They knew from an early age that I would love them, straight or gay. Would that the world would just think of us all as human, and forget all the other qualifiers that cause some to feel superior to, or fearful of, others.

    Reply
  4. Suzanne

    I completely agree with everything you said, good for you and your boy(s) It would be a shame to provide a child, any child of the opportunity to be a scout. I was a brownie and then a girl scout and learned so much and I can’t imagine having to tell a child they cannot participate. What fun everyone must have had at the ceremony, great photo’s.

    Reply
  5. Keep Calm and Eat On

    There is so much about this issue that I can write about. So much! But I do believe in one quote that stuck with me ever since I read it and my belief is in it: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. The Boy Scouts of America is a winner!

    Reply
  6. lerskin

    Thank you Danielle for your insight. You are right, some details are best left to God. Our job is just to love everyone and to show them that Christians have compassion for all.

    Reply
  7. denise and sandy

    Bravo, Danielle. I come from a family of scouts-my father and all three of my brothers are Eagle Scouts but I had to pull my own son from Scouts when homophobic things were said repeatedly on camping trips. it makes me happy that that wouldn’t have to happen moving forward.

    Reply
    1. Welcome Company with Danielle Post author

      What an incredible accomplishment for you dad and all of your brothers and I am so sad to hear that you had to remove your own son from Scouts. We are moving forward and I for one will teach my sons (as will my husband) to walk along side others with compassionate hearts.

      Reply
  8. April

    This is beautifully written! Seriously, I love this! I couldn’t agree more. We had an entire HUGE Pack lose their charter over this. They just decided not to endorse scouting any longer. ELEMENTARY KIDS? What do they know about homosexuality anyway? They’re not in it for any reason other than to have FUN. I wish they would not have brought a very adult issue into a children’s program. It’s just… sad! I agree with you. We teach our boys love and respect and compassion and to walk the walk and talk the talk! Period! Be good. Do good.

    That being said! I WOULD LOVE to hear more about your bridging celebration where the boys go to a new rank. I want to liven ours up a bit! 🙂 Suggestions? I would love to know what all you did. I LOVE the idea of having them drink maybe — flavored koolaid to get the “bear blood” or whatever going in their system. I think it’s FUN! 🙂 So share with me! 🙂 I love new fun ideas! (I’m a Scout mom, too! My oldest is about to become a Life Scout. My middle is a Bear currently and my little one just turned four. 🙂 I’ll be in Scouts a while!) My e-mail is adriggers@gmail.com

    Reply

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