The Unfortunate Boy Scout

These days, it’s pretty hard to see the good in scouting if you’ve never been a part of the organization or the culture.

Every summer there are groups around the country that go out and get lost in the backcountry, only to make national news; the last few years there have been controversies over the “moral dilemmas” facing the organization as it attempted to “address homosexuality” across the ranks of its membership.

But now, just when scouting was finally in a lull of sensational hatred from the rest of the country, these idiots besmirch the organization that has provided so much for so many.

I’m not sure if it’s the adorable “Wiggle it” ditty that accompanies the video, or the fact that these guys think what they did protected somebody and therefore think it’s a justified action, but to know that these guys are even associated with Boy Scouts is embarrassing.

One of the first sets of principles that scouting teaches for enjoying the outdoors is to follow the tenets of Leave No Trace, an organization dedicated to educating outdoor enthusiasts about responsibly enjoying the outdoors.

As you can see in the video, the defense for the act is that the rock formation was potentially dangerous…

Life is potentially, if not inherently, dangerous!

Just like the groups that get lost on backpacking trips, or individuals that find themselves in situations that they can’t get themselves out of, there is an assumed risk when entering the backcountry. To say that this same level of potential hazard is justification for knocking over an ancient rock formation is asinine.

Again, the unfortunate character of this story is the Boy Scouts of America, despite their wise decision to dismiss the gentlemen from their roles as scoutmasters.

At some point the organization has to catch a break, and I’ll always defend them against the individuals that don’t understand they represent something much larger than themselves. When I reached the rank of Eagle Scout, I was told that I was a marked man, a person with eyes always watching me, and I think that it’s a principle that the organization’s leadership should be reminded of.

Individual opinions and “moral” guidance have their place, but they should not be the sole governance of an organization created to develop stronger leaders and better men.

I feel a great deal of empathy for the Boy Scout of this decade, what I’ll call, the unfortunate Boy Scout because of the adversity that faces him.

Featured Image Courtesy of Tom McKemie

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