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Old 04-18-2012, 08:14 AM   #1
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As parents, we have the crappy job of making decisions regarding our kids. Most of the time, these choices are super easy -- like if they'll buy lunch that day, or if they should wear a jacket.

Other decisions are trickier, like if they can play at Joe's house even though his dad has guns, or if they'll attend private or public school.

It's hard as hell, and I could ask 100 different parents and get 100 different answers.

The fact is, there is no right answer, only your answer. One you often make in a caffeine-induced stupor and three-day-old underwear, surrounded by little people you wish would just shut up for five f*cking minutes so you could have a coherent thought that's not set to the tune of a Yo Gabba Gabba song, although, admittedly... all my sex dreams are now done to the soundtrack of Try It, You'll Like It!

I would say, overall, I have a 70/30 parental success rate, which sounds low, but it's not. I mean, there are no books on this... all right, yeah, there are actually tons of books on this, but seriously, who has time to read them? They're incredibly dull and if I want to feel bad about myself, I'll go into an Anthropologie and try to fit into stuff.

Andy and I make decisions for our kids together, turning to Google if we need a third party moderator, which we seldom do. His level-headed nature and my flamboyant idealism usually produce decisions that don't end in death or loss of custody or permanent body modifications.

Yesterday, Jude came home in a tizzy of excitement about campfires and pizza and BB guns and catapults, which, admittedly, all sound awesome. Where on Earth can you get all those awesome things? Boy Scouts. For $12 a year plus uniforms and badges and other random fees, you can have camping and dirt and building things and shooting stuff and boys and debauchery and fun.

I was a Girl Scout for years, and had the pleasure of working for the organization after college, and I am chomping at the bit for Gigi to be old enough to join. They have a great message, they stand for and teach amazing things, and they sell cookies that I like to eat.

Win, win, win.

But when Jude asked to join Boy Scouts, my heart hurt... because I knew we might have to tell him no. In fact, in my head, I was already screaming no, no way, absolutely not, not happening. But, I have this almost-6-year-old beautiful boy in front of me, who's bursting at the seams to see his friends at meetings and get a free mini catapult for joining.

And suddenly things got harder. I remember my brother was in Boy Scouts for a year or two, and he would go away to camp and participate in the Pine Wood Derby, and I know, deep down, that is stuff Jude would love.

But, I also know that Boy Scouts of America has an explicit anti-gay policy. And while he may not understand all that in the grand scheme of equality and civil rights and humanity, would he understand that it meant that his friend's dad couldn't be his leader? That one of his relatives couldn't participate? That some of our dearest family friends would be unwelcome?

Do I pause all that in lieu of a pizza party and BB guns because it's easier, neater, less of an OMG TANTRUM APOCALYPSE?

I know Jude obviously won't go to meetings and get indoctrinated into an anti-gay mindset. He'd probably learn a craft and play a game and sell ridiculously overpriced stale popcorn that nobody ever wants to buy, leaving me to pick up the tab.

But, we'd also be one more family making it ok for an organization to stand for ideals we just don't agree with.

For us, the answer was no.

I've had to teach my kids lessons in the most unexpected places, usually when I am completely unprepared, and almost always while I have food in my mouth, and it sucks most of the time. Explaining life is hard, especially when you have to use clean language and Dora the Explorer analogies.

This post originally appeared on BarefootFoodie.com.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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Now that's how to parent!
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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Yeah, it's hard as hell. How do you explain such things to children that young, especially when children that young should not ever have to know about such things. It's a delicate balance and very difficult.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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Oh I agree, but how is that any different than subjugating children to racial tendencies?

I love how the sword falls sharper on the ones that are following the righteous path, yet the intolerant pricks get away with their behavior. Then again, typically those wandering the righteous path are also intelligent so they might actually think what they're doing. But I may simply be underestimating the intolerant...for all I know, they could be the next Pat Buchannan.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
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Ok, I will take real issue with this individual who has most of her facts incorrect.

First of all, her 6 year old son would be a Cub Scout not a Boy Scout. Big difference because until they become a Boy Scout, the adult leaders can be women as well who are allowed to lead camping trips, packs, etc.

Secondly, there is not an anti-gay policy in Boy Scouts. My son has been in the program for 8 years and is a Troop leader.

Let me clear up the issues. About 10 years ago, the Boy Scouts had multiple instances of pedofile activity including boys sleeping in the leaders tents and going alone on camping and overnight trips with a single leader. In addition, there were active homosexual leaders who were so called recruiting individuals. (this involved several high profile legal cases where these individuals admitted to the fact so it is not heresay).

As a result, the BSA changed many of their policies. Primarily these two, the leaders must stay in a separate tent that is designated for adults only. Secondly, any activity must include two or more leaders. In addition, every potential leader must pass a security clearance profile. With regards to women, they can go on the activity but for overnight camping, they must stay in their own campsite. Obviously, another point is that the showers are individual as much as possible and no leaders are allowed in the facility if a scout is showering.

Now fast forward to today. There are currently three Scoutmasters nationally who are openly homosexuals. This initially caused a stir but they are good leaders who teach the fundamentals of scouting and responsibility. In our troop, we have one child whose parents are lesbians and they are free to go to any activity.

This doesn't sound like a blatant anti-homosexual policy. What they did try to do was eliminate the predators that enter into scouts and/or make their access to the scouts more difficult than in the past. Think about it, if The Second Mile or Penn State instituted this policy, there would not have been the multiple cases against Jerry Sandusky.

I get upset when people state bullshit instead of understanding the facts. The BSA addressed their issue and might have gone a bit the other way initially but it is always safer to err on the side of caution initially until a better policy can be made.

The person Sphinx posted might have been a blogger who had no clue as to what they are stating because there wan't one fact presented.

One last point, I am sure that the three leaders had to go through hell and back during their time in scouts to become leaders, but their convictions of leadership won out. Frankly, for some troops this might be an issue but it is one that is on an individual basis at this point.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:44 AM   #7
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Please explain Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the SCOTUS ruling.

May be 12 years old, but it set such a splendid precedent.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:17 AM   #8
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There are many things that changed the Boy Scouts in the past twelve years including the parents who sued the BSA over the pedafile activity for negligence. There was a difficult balance.

The Dale activity occurred almost 20 years ago and the ensuing court actions took 8 years to complete. That was a local troop who made the call and at this point local troops can make the call like the three who have openly gay scoutmasters.

Don't discount the points in my prior post that progress has been made but first and foremost the rights of the Boy Scouts themselves need protected which is what has happened with the new rules and regulations put in place to limit accessability at least under the BSA watch.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:26 AM   #9
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No, I agree the rights need to be protected. And I agree progress has been made. However, I believe seeing the entire picture here is worthwhile. I am not discounting the Boy Scouts, nor am I labeling them as homophobic. In truth, I have neither the time nor will to research their past/present actions. My pulling up of their court case was a simply justified reminder that they once - and potentially still do - discriminate along sexual orientation lines.

Frankly, I think that woman is brilliant. I believe it's called "taking a stand" for what you believe in. Plenty of people take a stand based upon their perceptions, so I fail to see how this is any worse. Because it's not based in the latest facts? There's still plenty of anti-gay sentiment in the United States to last plenty of decades - obviously, we still haven't moved past the 60s. And the fact is: the Boy Scouts once did pursue anti-gay policies.

*shrug*

I think anyone worth teaching their children to be tolerant and such is good in my book.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
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My problem is with people in society who automatically believe, because a male is gay, that they are also a pedophile. (ie. Jeff/Big Brother/Harry Potter incident) A majority of the time, this is not the case. Could it happen? Sure. However, it's usually the homophobes and mentally disturbed that are the culprits. Instead, to be on the safe side, the Boy Scouts make it immensely harder for a Gay man to be a leader. Have they made progress? Sure. But there is still much more progress to be made.
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