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An Open Letter to the Boy Scouts of America

Photograph by Getty Images

Dear Boy Scouts of America,

Let me start by saying, I'm a huge fan. Pardon my gushing, but there's no denying the fact that you have been more than a little instrumental in helping my sons become the successful young men they are today.

Because of their affiliation with the BSofA, they have exemplary leadership and project-management skills, and can maneuver quite well in the kitchen (as long as there is a Dutch oven available and their compass has a bearing that reads "dishwasher").

Due to the annual Christmas wreath fund-raising efforts, they got to experience the satisfaction of working hard for a good cause, and they learned how to build strong client relations, stay organized, manage money and rid our SUV of pine needles, post-delivery.

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Because of their extended stints at summer camp, they mastered skills that would allow them to survive in the wild, like orienteering, hiking and flag folding. By the time they headed off to college, we had no worries about our boys getting lost on campus, getting from one class to the other or keeping their clothes wrinkle-free.

Until the recent flap over whether or not to include homosexuals into your ranks, the only complaint I had against your organization was with those little round merit badges. You know, the ones that are coated in the back with hardened glue? I mean, seriously, have you ever tried to sew one of those puppies on with a needle and thread? Come to think of it, why isn't there a merit badge for sewing?

The membership requirement posted on your website only mentions a minimum age restriction. Why not leave it at that?

But, I digress.

The membership requirement posted on your website only mentions a minimum age restriction. Why not leave it at that? The legacy of your organization is that it has bettered the lives of boys from every race, religion and economic standing. Your public waffling over the decision to exclude certain types of individuals from your khaki-clothed populace seems to run counter to everything Boy Scouts stands for. Not that our local troop has ever excluded boys who have declared an alternate lifestyle, but apparently some troops have.

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I can only assume your hesitation stems from fear. Let me assure you, this lifestyle you’re frowning upon? It's not contagious.

That being said, I do hope you take the high road and allow every young man the opportunity to experience the benefits your organization has to offer, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Now, about those badges. I'm hoping there isn't a policy against affixing them with a hot glue gun or a stapler. Not that I've ever done that, but I've heard of people who have.


A Concerned Mom

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