WatchSonoma Watch

Scolding Scouts and taking their cans

In response to my column on Sunday, a Scout leader friend told me a story of how her Tiger Cubs – 7-year-old boys – were going door to door in Sonoma County collecting for a food drive when one person turned the boys down, citing the organization’s membership policy on gays. And then moments later this person’s neighbor, whom the Scouts had already visited, came running down the street asking for his cans back. Apparently, the neighbor called him and alerted him that it was a Scouting activity. One wonders what these adults hoped to teach these 7-year-olds from all of that.

Another leader left me a note about how her group of Boy Scouts, during a local parade, were heckled at one point and told to “go home.”

On Sunday, I wrote about similar experiences I’ve had in selling popcorn and doing fundraisers with my son, 14, and other boys in his Boy Scout troop. My question: While the nation debated “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” we managed not to boo those in uniform at parades or slam doors in their faces. Why can’t we also recognize that 7-year-olds in Scout uniforms have nothing to do with setting national policy, which, in this case, is established by older men in Texas?

All this at a time when Scouts are being hit from the left and the right all across the country for changing its policy last month to allow gay youth – or not changing it enough. (The policy still prohibits openly gay leaders.) In my column, I refer to a bill in the California Legislature that seeks to punish the Boy Scouts by revoking its tax-exempt status. It’s already been approved in the state Senate and is now in the Assembly.

Here’s a link to my column, “Scouts caught in the middle.”

- Paul Gullixson

4 Responses to “Scolding Scouts and taking their cans”

  1. Skippy says:

    Only smug, snotty, arrogant liberals would accost a child and smear them with the perceived sins of their fathers. These are the scumbags that think all soldiers are baby-killers, from Vietnam to Iraq. Patriots and adults don’t do such things, only loving, tolerant progressive bullies. The answer is to stand your ground and don’t back down. Meet force with force. Demonstrate courage and your kids will emulate it. Grow a spine. Stand and fight!

  2. Steveguy says:

    Paul, first off I would like to ask what’s up with the page reset that erases well thought out words ? That said I will start over.

    I know a bit about Scouts, they even gave me the highest local volunteer award one year ( which left me on a committee for the next 2 years, alas). Cubmaster for 6 years, Asst Scoutmaster for about the same. I hope that I made a difference in teaching leadership skills to otherwise shy young boys and men.

    We HATED popcorn sales, and I still detest that approach. Our Troop made funds by serving a crab feed for our sponsor and running the parking at the Air Show.

    I do believe that we had at least 2 gay youth make it to Eagle Scout while I was around, and I would stand behind their achievements and attest to their leadership abilities besides being proud myself for any influence that I may have contributed to their lives. We didn’t care, period. We cared only about the youth learning and gaining skills for adult life. As a Cubmaster I tried to get the shy boys comfortable speaking in front of a large (50-70) group of people. Over the years those boys would go from shoe-shuffling mumbling to outright well spoken and meaningful presentations. I know that I/we made their future lives better. No doubt about that.

    It has been years since my 2 ‘boys’ went through the Scouting program, and I am right now house-sitting for one that is off camping and rafting with his wife and family with all of the gear and prep that goes along with that. Both sons are in leadership positions at their work that I can directly relate to their Scouting experiences. Same as other ‘boys’ that were in our Pack/Troop.

    The naysayers should be ashamed for spouting political garbage when in the REAL world the old white men in the National Organization have ZERO effect upon the local groups. Maybe the Mormon Troops, but they are separate in other ways. Great volunteers come from the Mormon Faith and I relished and loved working with them for the betterment of our youth.

    I hope that my sons have the opportunity to help the future young men learn skills and all that goes with Scouting. They do know camping and backpacking and so much more due to Scouts. It really is just a youth leadership training avenue, with badges.

    Probably enough said, but in my youth as a Scout and my sons experiences made big differences in other people’s lives. We/they give back to many people. Tangible results.

    Like I said, we had gay Scouts, so what ?

    Steve Mosher

  3. Robert says:

    The bottom line shows that some people can not resist the opportunity to acost a child. Many prey on the younger, less formidable people, to vent their hate. Sad. I am sure there was a great feeling of revenge for upsetting a child. Still people wonder about policies and how they came to be.

  4. Reality Check says:

    Extraordinary, the narrow mindedness of some people is breathtaking.

    While the reason for dividing scouting by gender may have begun with the now quaint thought that girls should master the “domestic arts” while boys learned about the great outdoors, does one really believe sex had nothing to do with it?