By mid-week at Boy Scout camp, it was usually pretty clear who was skipping showers. After all, it was close quarters in those dank tents. I remember spending a week every summer with hundreds of other prepubescent boys in North Carolina's great outdoors -- where home became a world of latrines, ticks and total lack of privacy -- and loving it. Every day brought Naked boy scout shower merit badge free-for-all that began with throwing on our starchy beige uniforms at Reveille and pledging allegiance before breakfast.
Scouts spent every waking and sleeping moment together during those annual campouts, and nowhere was this more evident than during afternoon Naked boy scout shower at the lake. More than a rule or expectation, the Buddy System was our one real duty: God help you if you weren't clutching your buddy's wrist when the lifeguard blew the whistle. The irony of the Buddy System wasn't lost on me this week, when a committee of the Boy Scouts of America affirmed its long-standing discriminatory policy.
This language sounds more direct and deliberately bigoted in a year when President Obama affirmed his support for same-sex couples who want to wed. While the leader of the free world says it's okay to love, the BSA insists there's no place for it. In my younger years, Scouting offered an incubator for becoming a Naked boy scout shower man.
When Dad volunteered as an assistant Scoutmaster for my troop, he taught us how to light a grill, Naked boy scout shower a pocketknife properly, and clean a cast-iron skillet. I'm sure he never expected to shoot pool with his son at a gay bar in West Hollywood years later. No surprise there -- he packs his schedule to capacity. When he's not overseeing student affairs at a major university, he's tutoring students prepping for their SATs.
Or squeezing in a disciplined CrossFit workout and the occasional reality show audition.
Scott once spent months traveling the country aboard a cruise ship, where he led an events team charged with entertaining tourists. He later earned his Master's in higher ed administration from Harvard -- they even named him class marshal.
LinkedIn seems to have been created for Scott. Yet in addition to my brother's laundry list of achievements, Scott also happens to be gay. A gay Eagle Scout, at that.
And though he once trained as a camp counselor, today Scott wouldn't be allowed anywhere near a campground, much less a Scout meeting.
This summer marks Naked boy scout shower milestone for Scott; he came out to the family 10 years ago, on June 18, While the news did not surprise me, it blindsided my parents. At the time we were a conservative, church-going family from the South just beginning to grasp and adapt to Scott's bombshell news.
When we spoke this week, I asked Scott to define "morally straight," one of the tenets of the Scout Oath we were made to recite as kids. Paid Scout executives are alienating the organization from fair-minded Americans.
Another milestone this summer arrives next week: It was a brief victory; the U. Supreme Court overturned the decision the following year. Boy Scouts of America et al. This has also included atheist Scouts and Scoutmasters.
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The arrogance and ignorance of this week's affirmation cannot be overstated. BSA executives have for years erroneously aligned being gay with being a pedophile, and this latest precedent a secret committee made official this week will do nothing to prevent more youth bullying and suicide.
Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, the son of two lesbian mothers, is petitioning BSA national president Wayne Perry and his staff to out the members of this unnamed committee. As of this writing, Wahls stands about 5, supporters short of his 50,signature goal through Change.
Is it not contradictory for the BSA leader to support the candidate opposing the president of the United States?
After all, Obama -- as has every president since -- serves as honorary president Naked boy scout shower the BSA. Perry and Obama, in a matter of speaking, belong to the same Buddy System. Scott and I earned our Eagle Scout award a few months apart. The rank requires longevity, dedication to a community leadership project, earning an eclectic selection of required merit badges, and doing it all before we get interested in girls -- or boys.
We Eagles knew our first aid, our knots, and could even make a life preserver out of a pair of jeans in the middle of a lake -- I'd be lying if I said I retained everything I learned. But the point of getting that far was to demonstrate our commitment to a well-rounded knowledge of personal responsibility, respect for others, smart financial decisions, fair leadership and independence in the world and in the wild.
I hold everyone to the same standard, and I expect the same from everyone. So I think I learned that from the Boy Scouts. It frowns upon those young men who want to engage peers of other faiths, cultures and identities.
The BSA's latest assertion to exclude interested applicants willy-nilly represents a truly broken brotherhood.
Scott's coming out a decade ago strengthened our family.