ARCHIVES: The Boy Scouts’ ‘Gay Pride’ Merit Badge


The Boy Scouts’ ‘Gay Pride’ Merit Badge

The Heterophobic Gender Deniers and the Future of the BSA

Mark Alexander · Jun. 6, 2016

“[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” –George Washington (1790)

“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” (Oath, Boy Scouts of America)

In January of 2013, in a letter to an Eagle Scout, my son, I responded to his dismay over a proposal by the Boy Scouts of America National Board to remove the membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. As a long-time BSA Council member, Troop leader and father of another young man about to attain his Eagle rank, I shared my older son’s dismay – to put it mildly. My younger son is also on an Eagle Scout track.

In May of 2013, the Left’s relentless campaign of cultural degradation and devolution, specifically their crusade to undermine the “third pillar of Liberty,” faith and family, succeeded in a decade-long strategy to do to the uniformed ranks of the BSA what Barack Hussein Obama and his heterophobic gender deniers have done to the uniformed ranks of the U.S. military (and the rest of the nation).

At its annual meeting in May, the BSA’s National Board, under the “leadership” of wealthy corporate-types completely out of touch with grassroots Scouting values, promoted and implemented a national policy to invite open homosexuals into Scout troops. In doing so, they intentionally opened the door for a much broader “gay agenda.” Many of those elitist BSA board members have already implemented that agenda within their own corporations, so they fully understand and eagerly anticipate the consequences of this BSA policy change. That such people have been elected to the BSA National Board is a disgrace.

Predictably, in May, 2015 the BSA’s national board announced that it was surrendering to the “gay lobby” and would open its ranks to adult homosexual leaders.)

Predictably, in 2017, the BSA’s national board announced that it will open its ranks to transgendered “boys.” And so it goes…

As you might recall, one of Obama’s earliest campaign promises was to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” proscription against open homosexuality in the military ranks. On December 22, 2010, Obama signed that repeal after it had been passed by his outgoing NeoCom House majority. This occurred just weeks before Tea Party Republicans, who decimated the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections, took over the House.

Consistent with his assault on the moral fiber of our military, Obama quickly gave this verbatim endorsement of homosexuals scouts and leaders in the BSA: “I think that, uh, you know, my attitude is, is that gays and lesbians should have, uh, access, and, and, opportunity, uh, the same way everybody else does, uh, in every institution and walk of life, and, um, you know, the, the Scouts are a great institution, uh, that, are, uh, promoting, uh, young people and exposing them to, uh, you know, opportunities, and, and…” ad nauseam.

As dictated by the laws of gravity, the political effluent from Obama’s pathological narcissism, and the most faith-intolerant administration in the history of our Republic, flows downhill. On May 23, it swamped the BSA with its fetid waste.

The BSA national board’s 2013 decision to advance the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered ilk’s so-called “gay pride” agenda (“gay pride” is an oxymoron), is a case study in how the LBGT crowd infiltrates and undermines great American institutions with its degenerate pathology. But the case study really begins much earlier.

For two decades, the BSA has been stacking its national board with elitist execs, because they hobnob around in wealthy circles and can collect money for national BSA projects. While most BSA regional Councils like the one I serve are self-supporting, and in fact send a small percentage of locally raised funds to support the BSA corporate office, the national BSA board has obligated itself to major real estate developments that are seriously underfunded – thus, a Faustian Bargain – attract affluent board members who can raise a lot of money, but who also bring agendas which are antithetical to the fundamental principles of Scouting.

The BSA is, first and foremost, a faith-based organization, and the idolatry of wealth inevitably repels faith as oil does water. Consequently, stacking the national board with corporate elitists has resulted in the same decay in the BSA that it has in other once-great institutions across the nation. Indeed, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” And that evil is greatly amplified when such men are in positions of power, because, in the words of Lord Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

In a national survey conducted in 2013, tens of thousands of BSA leaders registered their objection to a BSA policy change on homosexuals, by a 61 percent majority. While I would rather the majority have been larger, in political terms, that’s known as a landslide. Now, my moral compass is not determined by popular opinion, but this national polling did reflect the grassroots moral compass of the BSA. It’s interesting to note that the more experienced the Scout leaders were (e.g., Boy Scout leaders compared to Cub Scout leaders), the greater was the opposition to the BSA board’s proposed change.

But at the national meeting in May of that year, a much smaller group of 1,200 delegates voted to approve the policy change. That change would have been resoundingly defeated but for one person: Wayne Perry, the National Board President. Perry, a Mormon, convinced many of his fellow LDS Church members – one of the larger voting blocks of Scout Troop chartering organizations – to support the policy change, suggesting that it would be better to bring young homosexuals into the tent to surround them with sound moral and ethical teaching than to exclude them.

That sounds marginally logical on its face, but two decades ago, I fought a losing battle against a detached elite at the helm of the Episcopal Church USA, which promoted the acceptance of homosexuals under a similar doctrine, “love the sinner.” However, no sooner had the first homosexual bishop, Vicky Imogene Robinson, been seated than the old doctrine was converted to “love the sin,” which has undermined the moral foundation of the Church. The result has been the World Anglican Communion’s condemnation as apostate what’s left of ECUSA. The USA church is wealthy, however, and it can sustain itself materially if not spiritually.

For the record, the same foundational principals provoke my objection to the “gay agenda” infiltration of the BSA as that agenda in the Episcopal Church. I do not stand in judgment of what consenting adults want to do with each other behind closed doors, but I do object to the institutionalization of sexual behavior, which violates the most basic tenets of nature, and nature’s God. The tragic irony is that many of the loudest voices promoting the “normalization” of sexual deviation, including homosexual adults in “leadership roles” with young boys, are the voices of those who were subjected to sexual predation when they were young.

For the BSA, the misguided Mormon vote, combined with large representative voting blocs from the left coast and New England states, provided majority support for the homosexual policy change and the overturning of the “morally straight” clause of the Scout Oath. Many of those regional Scout Councils are, like the Episcopal Church USA, wealthy enough to be self-sustaining, but when this policy takes effect on January 1, 2014, the net effect will likely be similar to Canada Scouting. In that country, membership dropped more than 50 percent in the decade after a similar policy was adopted.

The Southern Baptist Convention, a major BSA faith-based chartering group, announced that it plans to cut ties to the BSA. In addition, one of the nation’s largest churches, Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, announced that it will not renew its Troop charter. Additionally, the first Scout Council Executive, Rob Green, submitted his letter of resignation, with others to follow.

And if you have any doubt that the “gay agenda” has far greater aspirations for infiltrating the Boy Scouts, look no further than the California State Senate, which passed a bill to revoke the tax-exempt status of the state’s BSA councils, accusing them of discrimination against homosexual adults – “gay” Scout leaders.

Obama once again proclaimed the month of June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month,” as he has done in each of the first four years of his abominable administration.

Obama declared, “For more than two centuries, our Nation has struggled to transform the ideals of liberty and equality from founding promise into lasting reality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and their allies have been hard at work on the next great chapter of that history – from the patrons of The Stonewall Inn who sparked a movement to service members who can finally be honest about who they love to brave young people who come out and speak out every day. … We have a long way to go, but if we continue on this path together, I am confident that one day soon, from coast to coast, all of our young people will look to the future with the same sense of promise and possibility. I am confident because I have seen the talent, passion, and commitment of LGBT advocates and their allies, and I know that when voices are joined in common purpose, they cannot be stopped.”

Apparently, according to Obama’s American history text, our Founders’ fight for Liberty, and that of generations since, was all about “gay rights.”

In the wake of two devastating Obama terms, the institutional and cultural damage done by his leftist cadres is wide and deep.

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” –George Washington

439,000,000 reasons why BSA Inc screwed America’s boys


The much touted “The Summit” BSA facility located in West Virginia and home to the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree, is perhaps the single-most compelling explanation for BSA Inc’s capitulation to the homosexual agenda and militant gender feminists?


BSA spent a whopping $439,000,000 on The Summit ? ? ?


ALMOST HALF-A-BILLION DOLLARS which was financed by long-term corporate debt in the form of BONDS.

BONDS WHICH MATURE IN 2020 and 2021 ? ? ?

Reuters had an article on the boondoggle in 2013:

Special Report: A $439 million camp adds to Boy Scouts money crunch

Reading it, we find this gem:

The Summit gives us the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to America and raise $1 billion for the best youth development in the world,” says a slide from a June 2010 presentation on the project.

It gets worse:

It isn’t panning out that way. Costs are rising. Initially budgeted at $176 million through 2013, the Summit’s cost is now estimated to reach at least $350 million by the end of this year and $439 million by the end of 2015, according to Scouts documents reviewed by Reuters. To keep up, the Scouts issued new bonds last year – more than doubling their previous borrowing for the project.

The Scouts’ efforts to pay for the Summit are off target, too. Internal financial updates show that the Scouts’ national organization, based in Irving, Texas, was $108 million behind its capital-raising goal for the Summit as of the end of March. That was 32 percent shy of its projection of $342.6 million.

Do you think it can get worse? You’re right:

The bonds were issued in the name of Fayette County, West Virginia, where the Summit is located. The county received a $100,000 fee to issue the bonds on behalf of the Boy Scouts, but it is not responsible for payments, according to bond documents and the Scouts’ 2012 annual report.

From Bad to Worse:

Still, spending has grown faster than revenue. The nonprofit’s financial statements show that revenue from membership fees and product sales grew 21 percent from 2003 to 2012, to $229 million. But spending on salaries, insurance, and programs nearly doubled in the same period, to $212 million.

The Scouts board of directors, led by Perry, is unpaid. But the paid executives who manage the organization earn significantly more than their peers.

In 2011, the average compensation and benefits for the top five Boy Scouts executives totaled $696,862, compared to $550,673 for the top five Girl Scouts executives and $351,714 for YMCA officials.

Oh and in case you wondering why any of this matters, consider this:

The Summit shortfall is part of a broader financial crunch facing the Boy Scouts as the organization shrinks. That decline has been exacerbated by the protracted gay-membership battle. A compromise adopted by Scout leaders in May – allow gay youth, but not gay adults – appears to be doing little so far to ease the pressure.

Do you think Wayne Brock or Robert Mazzuca gave a damn about your sons’ safety, well-being, or developing sense of manhood mattered when they were desperate to obtain a bailout from SJW-converged corporate America?  Do you think this is why useless Randall Stephenson — who was never a scout and who has no sons but who is CEO of dodgily financed ATT — was made BSA president?

Ya think?

Flashback: Tillerson’s Assault on Scouting

Originally published in December 2016 at The American Thinker

In case you forgot — or didn’t know in the first place — so-called “eagle” scout Rex Tillerson, the former president of BSA Inc., is single-handedly responsible for emasculating the Boy Scouts which, as you might also infer, led directly to its deceitful and dishonorable decision to allow females to register as, well, #FakeBoyScouts.

Tillerson engineered this accomplishment as a member of the BSA’s National Executive Committee, as a task greatly faciliated by his BSA successor, Robert Gates.

Robert Gates is perhaps best known as defense secretary appointed by president George W. Bush then retained by Barack Obama, who decriminalized homosexuality in the American armed services, and mind-bogglingly, imposed women into the U.S. Navy’s submarine service.

(Did I mention that Robert Gates was a master CIA spy first recruited in 1996, later appointed to be the agency’s director by president George H.W. Bush?)

It appears even the humble and patriotic Boy Scouts of America was targeted for regime change — and wholesale democide of the movement’s flesh-and-blood members and alumni — by the very best swamp creatures and spooks the D.C. “deep state” could supply.

Dear God in heaven, show mercy on thy flock wearing the uniforms of the Boy Scouts of America and remove from them the soul poison that is LGBTQPA and Third Wave feminism. Amen.

Tillerson’s Assault on Scouting

When I was a boy I swore an oath, one I take seriously to this day. It went like this:

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Inherent in this oath are not one, but two moral issues – my duty to God and my oath of remaining morally straight.  These are inextricably linked, and both preclude sexual immorality, among other things.  My duty to God is to obey the laws set down for us by Him.

And that was what Scouting was all about.  While it was not sectarian in nature, it was deeply rooted in America and the Judeo-Christian heritage that informed our culture in bygone days.  Lord Robert Baden-Powell, one of the founders of the Boy Scouts, stated:

Where does religion come in? Well, my reply is … it does not come in at all. It is already there. It is the fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding.

And in his 1908 book Scouting for Boys said, “No man is any good unless he believes in God.”

James West, who headed the organization in its early days, added:

Boy Scouts of America believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.

While there is no litmus test on how one believes in God, there is that matter of duty to Him.  Now, all three Abrahamic religions hold that morally straight means sexually pure, or at least sexually restrained, and all three consider homosexuality an abomination.  So does the Bahá’í faith.  So too Zoroastrianism.  Hinduism frowns on it, as do Buddhism and Sikhism.  Unless one takes a “Progressive” view of his faith or adopts some fringe religion, homosexual activity is forbidden.  If it is forbidden, how can one be “morally straight” or do one’s duty to God while embracing it?

President-Elect Donald J. Trump recently announced he is considering Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department.  Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, was, among other things, the former head of the Boy Scouts of America and one of the people responsible for opening the BSA to homosexuals.

It was Tillerson who lobbied to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the BSA.  According to a Dallas News story:

Tillerson was instrumental in lobbying the Scouts’ board to accept openly gay youths, said John Hammer, president of the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, of which Tillerson is a board member.

“I can’t get into the intimacy of these conversations. But he agonized over this. He prayed on it, and ultimately he came to the conclusion the only thing that can guide him here is what’s best for the young boys,” he said. “I think he became a key leader in helping the group come to a consensus.”

Tillerson pushed the change at the meeting.

“Most of the reasons that organizations fail at change is pretty simple,” he says. “People don’t understand why. They don’t understand the mission. They don’t understand what this means for them. They don’t understand their role.” Now, the most important job is to communicate with Scouting supporters back in each member’s home council, he says.

As the CEO of ExxonMobil Corp., Tillerson is no stranger to the task of making tough decisions or venturing into uncharted territory because of a change in course. “Regardless of where you were on this decision, it’s also very normal for people to feel like there are winners or losers. I’m here to tell you that’s not true. … There are neither winners nor losers. What’s left after we made the decision to change is the mission, and the mission has not changed. But how are we going to implement the change?”

So resistance to change is tied not to a moral absolute, but rather to a lack of understanding, and there are no “winners or losers.”  The boys lost, but Tillerson fails to see it.

How is opening an organization that involves young boys in close proximity to open homosexuals in the former’s best interest?  Will Tillerson next seek to recruit hookers for them?  These are boys in their early teenage years, after all, and as such, one must question their self-identification as homosexual.  If they do fall into that category, the purpose of an organization like the Boy Scouts is to lead boys away from such things.

The gays and Tillerson got their demands met last year.

This is the classic slippery slope.  The BSA pulled out a thread, and this is where it has led – and it is headed for far worse.  The Canada Scouts followed this route back in the late 1990s with the result that membership dropped off 50%.

As Eagle Scout and former U.S. representative Richard T. Schulze stated:

… [w]hat kind of a message are we sending to our young people if the very leaders who are teaching Boy Scouts to be brave cannot even find the courage to stand firm and avoid caving in to peer pressure from Hollywood and political activists?

Indeed, the cowardice is worse than the original act.  Doing one’s duty to God requires moral courage – something that appears to be lacking in Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson is a committed Christian, which would normally be a happy development.  However, Tillerson is a member of the notoriously left-wing Congregationalists.  He is also known to be squishy on global warming, favoring some sort of carbon credit trading and having supported the 2015 Paris Agreement.

It also appears that Tillerson is a globalist.  In a speech to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations Tillerson stated:

Should the United States seek so-called energy independence in an elusive effort to insulate this country from the impact of world events on the economy, or should Americans pursue the path of international engagement, seeking ways to better compete within the global market for energy? Like the Council’s founders, I believe we must choose the course of greater international engagement… The central reality is this: The global free market for energy provides the most effective means of achieving U.S. energy security by promoting resource development, enabling diversification, multiplying our supply channels, encouraging efficiency, and spurring innovation.

Sounds more like Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, doesn’t he?

This, in many ways, explains Tillerson’s support for opening the Boy Scouts to homosexuality.  It is the international norm, and if he supports a largely borderless world, sacrifices in old-fashioned cultural norms are going to have to be made.

Trump says he wants to scale back these big international deals, and yet he wants to make a globalist his chief diplomat.

I fear that this pick leaves the stagnant water in the swampland.  Tillerson strikes me as just another establishment type in cowboy boots.

Read more from Tim and friends at The Aviary (

Flashback: Boy Scouts of America Scramble for Membership amid Declining Numbers

Be Prepared is the motto that millions of young men, including myself (proud Boy and Sea Scout), around the country learn and live by every year. For 107 years, the Boy Scouts of America have molded young men into leaders who have been at the forefront of business, medicine, politics, religion and a variety of other aspects of our society. When Boy Scouts was first created, it and its sister organizations were the premier youth organizations of the day and for the most part have remained so. As time has progressed, the BSA has had to deal with the challenge of competing for the attention of young men with inventions such as the T.V., the internet, computers, video games and a variety of other items and groups. This has resulted in the BSA struggling with membership for quite a while now.

Over the past 40 years, the BSA’s membership has been in a steady decline, with no sign of an end soon. In 2000, the BSA had 3.35 million total youth enrolled in all of its programs. As of 2013 that had fallen to 2.5 million youth and has continued to fall since then. Now, many organizations have had to deal with falling membership in the past but few as prominent as the BSA. The BSA has a program that is absolutely premier and has created some of the finest leaders the nation and the world have ever seen. Some famous former scouts include Neil Armstrong, Michael Bloomberg, President Gerald Ford, Robert Gates, Ross Perot, Donald Rumsfeld, Rex Tillerson, Mike Zinke, Rick Perry and many more.

President Coolidge said of the Scouting movement “The 12 articles in these scout laws are … affirmative rules of conduct. Members must promise to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. How comprehensive this list! What a formula for developing moral and spiritual character! … It would be a perfect world if everyone exemplified these virtues. … Boys are taught to practice the basic virtues and principles of right living and to act for themselves in according such virtues and principles.” How right he was. No organization has done a better job in building young men who are not just leaders but are men of character and principle.

Unfortunately, with declining membership has come a scramble to fix it. One of the first attempts came in 2015 when the BSA allowed gay leaders and youth to be admitted in the BSA. This was a very controversial change to their membership policy which has thus far strained relations with groups such as Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints which as of 2016 accounted for around 13% of BSA membership. This first change promoted the LDS to start a new organization called “Trail Life” which attempts to instill similar values to those of the BSA but still maintain more traditional family values. It has been relatively successful thus far already attaining around 20,000 youth members.

The BSA moved in 2017 to allow transgender youth to enter the program. They denied such allegations claiming that they would accept youth based on the gender they selected on their membership application. This move was the first in what many including the author believe is part of a greater scheme to totally make the BSA co-ed. By allowing individuals to select a gender of their choice, the BSA has essentially surrendered any traditional values it had left by allowing the admittance of girls into the program without any pushback being allowed. This was the last straw for the LDS and they announced they were pulling all youth from the program who were 13 or older. This accounted for roughly of 7% of the BSA’s membership disappearing in a puff of smoke. The BSA very effectively shot itself in the foot.

The BSA’s newest plan to increase membership has been one that has angered many across the scouting community. The plan is to try and start by integrating the BSA’s program for youth 7-10, Cub Scouts. Cub Scout Packs would have 3 options:

1. Have a traditional male only unit

2. Have a “Family Unit” pack where there are ‘dens’ of boys and girls that would interact minimally but would still be part of the same unit.

3. An all-female pack

TCN boy scouts.png

This has been seen as, and is nothing more than a precursor to allowing for the integration of traditional Boy Scout troops. Mike Surbaugh, the Chief Scout Executive proposed the above plan for discussion in addition to the topic of making an all-girls program for girls 11-18 under the pretense of providing girls who graduated Cub Scouts an option afterward.

Now, these 3 attempts to increase membership fall in line with social pressures from the left. The BSA is unquestionably an organization that holds very American and very Christian values and as a byproduct, very conservative values. Sir Baden Powell, the father of all scouting said of scouting in a piece of literature in the early 1900’s “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity.” This has expanded to all religions but nonetheless, it is an organization that does not fall in line with the narratives of the left. This can be seen in the fact that after the President came to speak at the BSA’s National Jamboree in late July, CSE Mike Surbaugh issued an apology for the president’s address. His apology was along the lines of apologizing to scouting families for how offensive the address may have been found. This was preceded by many mainstream media outlets labeling Trump’s speech as an equivalent to a Hitler Youth rally.

The BSA is losing youth on all fronts, from its primary program Boy Scouts, to Venturing, Sea Scouts and Cub Scouts. The BSA leadership is failing to address the problem. Instead of promoting their great program they are sacrificing their values for the sake of increasing membership numbers. While membership continues to decline, they would rather heel to political correctness and societal pressures then promote their great program. This is actually leading to groups like the LDS and 1000’s of dedicated scouts and Scouters who volunteer their time for the sake of the program to abandon it.

It could be said that the BSA leadership are fiddling as Rome burns. Ben Shapiro may have put it best when he was asked in a Q & A forum at a college, “Where is it written that you have to be a boy to be a Boy Scout?” and he responded simply “In the name ‘Boy Scout’”. I and millions of other scouts hope for the best for the BSA but unfortunately, its future may not be bright.

Trail Life: Boy Scouts of America Should Let Boys be Boys

This was published at the Trail Life USA blog

10/25/2017 1:00:00 PM by: Mark Hancock

Original article appeared on Fox News website on 10/20/2017

Do the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America understand the first word of their organization’s name?

With its recent announcement that it will admit girls, the Boy Scouts organization has not simply shown a profound disregard for its admirable roots. It has further abandoned boys to a culture that values them less and less.

Dressed in the language of equality and fairness, the move by the Boy Scouts may seem harmless enough. But I believe it’s unhelpful at best and damaging at worst – to both boys and girls.

However much some may wish it were otherwise, the reality is that males and females are fundamentally different in many ways – physically, emotionally and in their relationships. Pretending otherwise in the name of progress or permissiveness might be culturally acceptable, but it does both sexes a disservice.

One of those differences, in most cases, is the way boys and girls learn. Girls are more likely to do well in the quiet control of a classroom, while boys squirm and struggle.

Daring, action and competition – potential strengths that rival focus, reflection, and consensus – are qualities that need to be fostered and filtered. Boys know that rough-and-tumble play – like playing with squirt guns and laser tag – does just that. Restrictions on this are alienating and downplay the natural tendencies of boys.

Boys need strong male role models. They also need a place for adventure and opportunities to test themselves in pursuit of awards that challenge and channel their innate drive and daring. In this way they can be helped to grow into men of true strength, real character, and genuine conviction – not Hollywood’s distorted version of manhood.

Sadly, the Boy Scouts appear to have bought into the idea that rather than being something to be celebrated and championed, boyhood is something to be watered down. They are discounting a historically male-focused experience that made presidents, astronauts and leaders of mere men. Indeed, making the inclusivity announcement on the International Day of the Girl Child could be considered the ultimate put-down.

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not inferring that girls are lesser or inferior. The Boy Scouts message is actually that boys are lesser and inferior because their uniqueness needs to be denied rather than directed, stifled rather than strengthened.

While I’m clarifying something, let me also emphasize that my conviction that we must provide space for “boys to be boys” does not mean I’m advocating a breeding ground for a future generation of sexual predators.

Indeed, I believe one of the main reasons we see the sort of indefensible behavior by men in power – like the actions Harvey Weinstein is accused of – is a lack of the kind of mentoring and coaching that models true manhood.

I’m talking about instilling in today’s boys a culture of respect, honor and integrity. Properly guided, the drive and daring tendencies in boys will lead them to become the determined, focused, winning men of tomorrow who appreciate the uniqueness and dignity of women.

You don’t have to look too far to see that at every level of society we are losing ground in areas as basic as kindness, self-control, respect, honor and purity. These should be taught and modeled for boys in an atmosphere designed for their unique temperament under the tutelage of men with the mettle to guide, alongside their peers.

Robert Baden-Powell would not now recognize the organization he founded in 1910. But while the Boy Scouts may have lost their way, they are not alone. They are just another group favoring trendy political correctness over time-honored principled convictions.

The results of all this are sadly too evident when it comes to our sons. Boys are losing out in any number of categories, from heightened special education involvement and ADHD diagnoses to lower high school rankings and college attendance.

While my dismay at the Boy Scouts decision centers on what this means for boys, I am also concerned about its impact on girls. What’s bad for the gander is equally bad for the goose.

Girls, though wired differently, equally need an environment that caters to their unique traits and qualities. You can’t deliver a program at a character-changing level with any real effectiveness in the same style to two different types of learners.

As Baden-Powell observed: “Girls should … take a real and not a visionary share in the welfare of the nation.”

But they shouldn’t be squeezed into a Boy Scout uniform.

One size does not fit all.

Mark Hancock is CEO of Trail Life USA, a Christian outdoor adventure, character and leadership program for boys and young men, K-12. Chartered through churches in 48 states, the program centers on outdoor experiences and biblical values that build a young man’s skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader for his peers.

Mark Hancock

Chief Executive Officer, Trail Life USA

Mark Hancock began his career founding a national advertising agency and running it for fifteen years. His conversion to Christ led him into ministry as a Youth and College Pastor, Associate Pastor, Homeless Ministry Director and Global Event Director for an international ministry, organizing events on five continents. He holds two Masters Degrees in the Mental Health Counseling field, having spent a number of years in private practice, and has taught at secular and Christian colleges. An award-winning writer and conference speaker, he serves as Chief Executive Officer of Trail Life USA and lives near Greenville, SC with his wife of 27 years and two sons.

Flashback: Is Obama Creating a Pro-Gay Boy Scouts of America?


By Chuck Norris

June 26, 2012 7 min read

A Boy Scouts of America national board member, James Turley, who is also global chairman and CEO of the accounting firm Ernst & Young, recently said he “will work from within to seek a change” to overturn the BSA policy that bans gay Scouts and leaders. But is Turley working on his own initiative, or has the White House prodded him with perks and favors?

Is it a coincidence that Turley came out swinging against the BSA’s century-old policy to ban gays from leadership and that he has such close affiliations with the pro-gay Obama administration?

Is it a coincidence that Turley and his wife, Lynne, were just guests at a state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House on March 14?

Is it a coincidence that Turley was nominated to President Obama’s Export Council in 2010?

Is it a coincidence Turley was granted a seat on an investment advisory panel that met with none other than Vladimir Putin in Moscow in October?

Is it a coincidence that Turley has been a global cheerleader for Obama’s economic strategies and an economic ambassador of sorts to other mogul business leaders, as is clearly seen in his Bloomberg interview from the 2011 economic summit in Davos, Switzerland?

If Not Even The Boy Scouts Can Celebrate Boys, They’re In Serious Trouble

If Not Even The Boy Scouts Can Celebrate Boys, They’re In Serious Trouble

In a world where masculinity is too often thought of as toxic and men disappear from the labor force and marriage, scouting was a place boys could be taught as boys, by men.
Lori Moylan


Every other Monday evening, a chaotic scene erupts at our local Presbyterian church. Young boys of all ages dart around, happily calling to each other across the room, alternating between sprints, tackles, and boisterous discussion of the latest update from Minecraft or their favorite YouTube star.

Eventually, a man in a tan shirt steps to the front, his hand held high in “the quiet sign.” A few minutes later, with the boys settled down, the ritual begins. It starts with the pledge, and is followed by the sacred words: “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

Next comes: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

When they are young, they struggle with the words, their faces scrunched as they try to remember the order. When they are older, they recite in monotone, the words slipping off their lips in a way that makes you wonder if they are internalizing the importance of the words.

Rituals for Becoming Men

The rest of the meeting slips by. If it’s just a den meeting, focused on one age group, the boys work on a practical skill with a moral backdrop. They might identify leaves and plants while learning the importance of conservation. Or they may practice whittling, learning the importance of care with a knife and the “blood circle” for maintaining a safe distance from others.

Regardless, each lesson provides each with an opportunity to speak up and share a story, serve as a group leader, and develop mindfulness in helping (or staying safe from) their fellow scouts. The meetings are loud, energetic, and more than a little disorderly. After eight long hours in school, the boys are obviously intoxicated by this one hour of hands-on, rough and tumble time with their pals.

Full pack meetings are different. They provide practice in public speaking, get the boys out of their comfort zones through funny skits and songs performed for all, and frequently have a program one particular den took responsibility for planning and practicing in advance. The boys always leave full of smiles, proud of their participation even if they are too cool to admit it.

As a mother and an assistant den leader, these bimonthly rituals have a place of sacred significance. I remember watching my older brother advance to Eagle Scout, admiring the practical skills, sense of greater responsibility, and strong self-motivation he developed. I eagerly waited for my son to come of scouting age, and relished watching him throw himself into the activities with reckless abandon.

In a world where masculinity is too often thought of as toxic and men disappear from the labor force, marriage, and self-sufficiency, scouting was our safe space, a place boys could be taught as boys, by men, on the importance of developing into strong leaders with outstanding moral character. I’ve watched the men who lead our troops sacrifice so much of their lives, hoping that their tireless work imparts some nuggets of wisdom to help these young men follow the right path.

The Costs of Adding Girls to a Boys’ Space

The Boy Scouts of America’s  decision to begin allowing girls raises many questions for me. The first are practical. Despite the directive to allow separate dens at the Cub Scout level and forced separation at the Boy Scout level, it’s hard to imagine enough young girls joining Cub Scouts to fill a tiger troop on their own. The Boy Scouts have struggled with declining membership, experienced even by our local troop as we’ve increased recruitment efforts at local schools and community events. Recruiting a few girls across a wide age range seems more likely to yield mixed dens at the young ages, similar to my son’s Little League teams, which frequently had one or two girls in the mix.

Even if it remains separate at the den level, will full pack meetings continue to be separate? If so, it seems to cut into the argument that the program wants to be an inclusive one-stop-shop for busy parents with separate meetings to attend, award ceremonies to photograph, and weekend activities, even assuming they occur simultaneously. It either will require the same additional parenting time something like Girl Scouts requires, or require the busy families and single moms the Boy Scouts claim to be catering toward to be in two places at once. It seems likely, then, in the end, for more things to be combined than not, both for practical reasons and because everyone knows separate but equal really isn’t equal.

Overworked leaders would find additional recruitment for separate dens, increased logistical challenges, and to some extent, additional burdens on the churches and community organizations that host these troops if everything runs on separate tracks. As an assistant den leader, the possible challenges to running some combination of separate and single tracks makes my head spin.

So, What’s the Point of Scouting?

But certainly our girls and the development of their moral character is worth some additional logistical challenge. That is, after all, why so many families already do both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, or put their girls into whatever program they think will best develop them into strong women capable of taking on the world. My parents chose both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as other mentally, spiritually, and physically enriching activities, from debate club to piano lessons to church clubs and soccer. The real question cuts to the heart of scouting itself, and its purpose in the modern age.

When my son was two, we moved hundreds of miles from home in Georgia to the DC area. I was excited for the many opportunities he’d have living in our nation’s capital. The good local schools, the countless enrichment activities, and the cultural experience would all provide him an excellent foundation.

But I was also nervous. Although my hometown had many individuals, especially men, experiencing failure to launch, I was also aware I was removing him from family and an established community for the unknown, and that I needed to recreate that community if he didn’t have grandfathers and uncles to pass along life lessons he’s less keen to learn from mom.

Scouting for me was an important part of that plan. The scout oath and law embody what I want my son to become, and stand in stark contrast to the path many men are following. To do his best to do his duty, rather than avoiding hard work and labor. To be trustworthy, loyal, and courteous rather than take advantage of those around him, especially women. To be thrifty, rather than indulgent. To be cheerful and brave, rather than giving in to hopelessness.

Maybe the decline of men in and of itself is a condemnation of the utility and marketability of the Boy Scout program. After all, the program is dedicated to turning men into leaders, not shirkers. Scouting numbers have dwindled in concurrence with men disappearing from social life. But with growing recognition of the problem facing men, scouting is well-poised to serve as one answer.

If Female-Specific Is Good, Why Isn’t Male-Specific?

We all acknowledge the importance of having a safe place for girls, where they can confront and discuss the unique challenges we face as women, learn to be strong and self-sufficient, learn to work together, and celebrate who they are and what makes them unique. The countless programs that have developed just for girls from STEM camps to girls-only running clubs to the Girl Scouts themselves have helped build a strong foundation for female empowerment.

We’ve learned as a society that having female-specific spaces and clubs aids in development. It’s not that girls don’t need to embody the lessons taught in the Boy Scout Oath and the Boy Scout Law, it’s that we know they face different challenges, and displaying those moral characteristics means different things based on different circumstances. Having a place to teach those virtues to girls, by women, creates a unique opportunity for discussion and bonding.

Scouts teaches boys how to process their feelings, channel their emotions, and tackle the world as men.

Boys deserve the same. We can’t simultaneously deride the disappearing man, moan the toxic effects of untethered masculinity, and demand virtue without providing a place to teach it in a way that’s tailored to boys’ learning styles and interests. Boy Scouts provides an outlet where boys push and learn boundaries in their pack, develop integrity and social responsibility, and practice effective leadership.

As I think back on my last five years as an assistant leader, I remember the countless times the boys tested themselves and each other. I remember the boy struggling with his parents’ divorce and the ramifications of new people in his life, I remember the boy who struggled in school with abundant energy and focus issues, the boy who moved so frequently due to his family’s military status, and how scouting gave them all a home. For a few hours a month, they could let loose and learn.

I remember how they opened up about things on their minds, how their forced boyish emotional guards would come down, even if just for a few minutes, as they worked and talked with their fellow scouts and leaders, and how the moments could come crashing down in laughter after very boyish jokes that make a mother cringe. My son has struggles of his own, and I saw scouting teach him to handle them wisely and bravely. Each moment was important. I was grateful such a place still existed.

Scouts teaches boys how to process their feelings, channel their emotions, and tackle the world as men. It teaches them to explore and question in a judgment-free zone. Behaviors too frequently shut down on a school playground are indulged within reason. They learn to appreciate themselves for who they are, but also how to be the best version of themselves. They can connect their impulses and desires to a grander good, and see their places in the social order.

Will that continue after this decision? It’s hard to say. But it’s difficult not to view the recent BSA decision as one that chips away at the most important part of scouting. I doubt the decision will much affect the rest of my son’s experience as he moves on to Boy Scouts. But if the BSA, of all organizations, fails to understand the fundamental importance of its original mission, it’s hard to imagine how we can tackle the problems affecting men in the long-term.

Lori Moylan lives with her family in the Washington DC area. Follow her on Twitter @Lori_SuLin.