Two weeks ago a colleauge of mine, whose sons are active in the Boy Scouts of America, told me that he had received a survey from the organization asking about members' attitudes toward the Boy Scouts' policy of barring members and volunteers who are openly gay. The goal, according to the email, was to "listen to our members' perspectives and concerns" as the BSA prepares to convene a national meeting in May to reconsider the membership requirements.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared,” but last week’s announcement caught everyone off guard: “Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” said the press release. As an Eagle Scout with deep family roots in the organization, I was among those who were surprised, even shocked, by the turnaround.
More than anything, I remember the tarantulas. As the older boys of Troop 291 poured out of our Suburban to claim the best spots for their tents, I lingered behind with my two best friends, Jeff and Sean. We were in the sixth grade, and it was our first overnight camping trip as Scouts. Hours earlier, as our caravan had pulled out of the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in Plano, I had been talking as if I were the reincarnation of Grizzly Adams.