January 14, 2005

Joining Cub Scouts

Cub Scout Den 4, of Pack 174, had its first meeting this week. At the meeting were three seven-year-olds, one of whom was my son, and three dads, one of whom was me.

As an Eagle Scout myself, it is with mixed feelings that I reenter the world of scouting. The Boy Scouts of America is, in case you didn't know, somewhat selective about who they let in. Atheists, for example, are not welcome. Neither are homosexuals. I am neither. My son, as far as I can tell, is neither, although time will tell. So we're in. Signed up, registered, with our membership cards in hand; he as a wolf cub scout, I as the pack's chartered organization representative. It was easy, really. Our memberships were accepted. But others, I know, find acceptance harder to come by.

As a private organization, I believe that the Boy Scouts have the right to be selective about their membership. I also believe that all Americans have the right to vote and choose who they want to be president, or that TV stations have the right to air shows such as Desperate Housewives or Jerry Springer. But having the right to choose doesn't mean that the choice you make will be right.

The values that scouting teaches, and the activities of scouting, may be just what my son needs. We've tried sports --- t-ball, soccer, kuk sool won --- and none were the right fit. Scouting, I think, may be. It's fun, and it teaches kids about doing their best, and respecting and honoring God, nation, and all people.

I have hope that maybe one day, the scouting organization itself will live out the lessons it teaches.

Scouting for All

1 comment:

reverendmother said...

Amen to this one. I just blogged about this recently, sort of. I get asked to lead prayer at Scout Courts of Honor all the time, and it's with mixed feelings that I do so.