National Boy Scout Day is on Feb. 28, which will mark its 104th year. The scouts organization has been much more relevant over the years. This is after it was on track to becoming an artifact of the past. They had some growing pains along the way but here are three things that have happened to put the Scouts back in the national spotlight.
This is the biggest thing the organization has done in terms of pushing back in response to negative attention. For many years, the Boy Scouts were like the armed forces with a "Don't Ask Don't Tell" philosophy, to push the issue under the rug. Allowing gay youth into the ranks is a good thing. It'll help boost their confidence and they will learn valuable lessons that they will carry into adulthood and what it means to be accepted by their peers. As the organization is now facing a firestorm of negative attention from churches and other organizations that are withdrawing support, they will have to rely on support from other avenues. This is the largest step in terms of growing up and practicing a true culture of inclusion and acceptance. The mere fact that this happened goes a long way to override any other recent news that would paint the Scouts in a negative light.
The Scouts are recognizing that obesity is a problem in the nation and they are trying to do what they can to stop it. The problem is that the organization handled it in such a way that many considered shortsighted and in poor taste. They hosted a camp with that only accepted participants based on their BMI (Body Mass Index). While the Scouts had good intentions, they need to do a better job of not making kids feel left out and even ashamed. The organization mentioned that there were plenty of activities that didn't involve this weight limit, but it was a bad precedent to set. It's definitely a work in progress.
Scout Leaders and Scouts in the News
So there were a couple of knuckleheads who knocked down a rock formation that was millions of years old, but that was the aberration compared to the many stories of selflessness and of scouts saving lives and setting good examples for everyone. There were teens who saved people from fires and choking and scouts who set up fundraisers to support various causes throughout the nation. There was also a story about a teen who gave the ultimate sacrifice. After driving his family's SUV out of the way of a tanker, he died after being thrown from the car due to having to unbuckle his seat belt to swerve the car. The Scouts are infinitely more relevant when people focus on the good that comes out of this organization.