B ACK IN THE EARLY 1970s when I was a kid, I was one of the 6.5 million American boys who belonged to the Boy Scouts of America. Actually, I never made Boy Scout. I was the scouting version of Beetle Bailey. He was a perpetual private. I never got past Cub Scout.
The Boy Scouts got to go on fun camping trips, earning Merit Badges for stuff like canoeing, whittling, not dying, weenie roasting, parachuting, rappelling, and building shelters the size of elephants. In Cub Scouts we focused mainly on gluing macaroni to tin cans and pouring Kool-Aid down one another’s pants.
But it was fun, because we got to do stuff with our friends, when we weren’t getting in trouble for accidentally setting our friends on fire. We went to meetings at the Scout Hut in Mason, Texas, which consisted mostly of our Den Mother telling us to stop that.
After the meetings we were free to play outside, as long as we didn’t go near the creek that ran behind the Scout Hut. We spent all our free time in the creek.
My one regret in life is that I never made Eagle Scout. Well, that’s not technically true. I also regret never having been the first human to climb Mt. Everest. Edmund Hillary beat me to that one in 1953, so Everest is out. But there’s still hope for the Eagle Scout thing.
There’s hope because the board of directors of the Boy Scouts of America recently voted to allow girls into the organization.
Now, before you get ahead of things here, let me point out that I’m not, at present, an adolescent girl. Nor do I plan to make any drastic changes in that department. But I figure if the BSA is going to allow girls to join, it’s only a matter of time before they relax the rules even further, and throw out the age limitations.
Before long they’ll have a geriatric contingent, and the Cub Scout meetings will be held in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. “Now, Bill, remember what I said about turning off Frank’s oxygen bottle? You just concentrate on your own macaroni pencil holder.”
So, I intend to take another shot at scouting in the near future. This time I’ll try to be more careful with a hatchet because toes don’t grow back.
The board’s decision to admit girls into the Boy Scouts is fantastic—except for the fact that it’s insane.
Girls, for those of you who haven’t noticed, are not boys. Despite the progressive attitude that there is no difference between boys and girls, and they’re all basically the same except for a few minor plumbing variations, the genders are not interchangeable.
Once girls are inducted into the BSA, it won’t be the BSA anymore. I have no idea what it will be, maybe the NSA, the Neuter Scouts of America. That’s probably the direction the progressives want us all heading, anyway.
Unfortunately, there’s already an NSA. They’re the people reading your mail and listening to your phone calls to protect you from terrorism. Pity they don’t protect us from dingbatism.
To be honest, I saw this coming a long time ago, when parents forced their daughters onto boys’ little league baseball teams. That idea was just as wrong as this one. Girls mature faster than boys, and some girls are really great at ball games. That’s wonderful, but they need their own league.
Little boys have enough problems without losing their position to girls. And we wonder why some boys grow up to become dysfunctional men. Duh.
Now, before I get a lot of unsolicited, spittle-flecked hate mail written in crayon, I’d like to point out that I’m no misogynist. Some of my favorite people happen to be women of the female gender, including my wife. I’m also thankful—abundantly thankful—that women are so very different from men. And I don’t mean just physically, either.
The reason Robert Baden-Powell started the Boy Scouts in 1908 to begin with, was because he could see that boys needed time to be boys, to do boy stuff, and hopefully survive to become men. They still do, and the BSA provides that environment. Or it did, until now.
Sure, a lot of girls also like camping, and gluing macaroni to tin cans, and chopping down trees with hatchets, but they don’t have to join the BSA to do those things. That’s what the Girl Scouts are for. Well, that and providing me with some great cookies.
Before you whine about those things not being offered in the Girl Scouts, let me say that, if they’re not offered, they could be.
Besides, Kathy Hannan agrees with me. She’s the president of GSUSA, and she’s almost as disgusted with the BSA as I am, calling the decision “dangerous” and “reckless.” Granted, she never saw me using a hatchet, but she’s got a point.
OK, now you can start sending me the hate mail. But bear in mind that I reserve the right, as a Cub Scout, to pour Kool-Aid down your pants.
Email Kendal Hemphill at firstname.lastname@example.org