BH Mom is proud to feature Guest Blogger Joel Ordesky
I am a Boy Scout. A 35-year Boy Scouts of America (BSA) veteran and an Eagle Scout who holds the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow honor society. Don’t hate me.
To be clear, the BSA’s published literature does not list heterosexuality as criteria for membership. I, along with my many of my fellow leaders, disagree with a policy that excludes anyone on the basis of sexual preference. Unfortunately, while the BSA does not ask about the sexual orientation of employees, leaders or youth, they have expressed a position against openly gay people.
Suffice it to say that even the US military has reversed itself on this policy.
Despite the BSA’s misguided policy, I defend against those who say scouting is bad, fosters intolerance and rewards bullies. The argument that states an organization which makes any unwise decisions must be abandoned makes no sense.
Do you claim you’ve never disagreed with your country’s decisions or policies?
Those who disagreed with the US military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy did not flee America, refuse to pay taxes or raise their children abroad to protect them from what many (myself included) consider to have been wrong. In most cases, it’s important to have multiple perspectives in any group or government.
The good of scouting far outweighs the current narrow-minded policy by the few and does not justify abandoning or damaging an organization that helps so many.
Tell that to people who have been saved by rigorously trained scouts. The next time you’re choking on food or even suffering a heart attack, chances are the person who comes to your rescue is a scout.
It’s no accident that many great leaders learned to lead as part of their scouting experience.
There are gay scouts and leaders. I have worked with both.
Thankfully, many in our society are working toward overturning discriminatory policies. On the local level, several councils have adopted non-discrimination policies and national board member James S. Turley, global chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young, announced he dissented from the exclusion policy and hoped to “encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”
Change must come from within an organization just as change has come from within our own country.
Scouting is not perfect; however, it stands out as a unique program that fosters a sense of responsibility for the boys like my son who are lucky enough to be in it.
Camp Emerald Bay
The scouting experience has positively touched far too many people for it to be shot down as just another extra-curricular activity that can be cut out of a kid’s life simply because, as an organization, we still struggle to resolve what it means to be morally straight.
Joel Ordesky, Beverly Hills Scout Dad
Scoutmaster, Beverly Hills Troop 33