The Boy Scouts of America’s recent decision to drive the final nail in its own coffin caused many moms a lot of heartache just in time for Mother’s Day.
The nation’s premier organization for boys is now dead, and the genderless carcass left behind will soon vanish into the ever-expanding cultural quagmire of sameness.
Mothers for more than 100 years depended on the Boy Scouts to help turn their raucous little boys into men of stellar character. As the mom of two Eagle Scouts, I can attest to the sheer joy and transformational power that marked the Boy Scouts before homosexual activists and feminists were allowed to strangle the organization.
There was something almost magical about Scout night each week. My little Cubs would excitedly scramble through their closets looking for the navy blue shirts and trademark golden scarves. While I would often holler that they’d better hurry up or we would be late, no one was ornery because we all knew the night would be a blast. After all, they would get to hang out with just guys, doing outdoor stuff — like learning how to use a pocket knife, build a fire, spot poison ivy, avoid getting blisters or administer first aid.
There would be lots of goofiness too. My goodness, did those boys have fun being boys. I still laugh at the memories of their zany skits, antics and mishaps they excitedly shared after adventurous trips. Like how they kept from freezing during an icy winter weekend. Or the sailing adventure in the Caribbean where they slept in cramped quarters and dove into warm ocean waters to cleanse their sweaty, smelly selves. Or the time our youngest son ate far too many Oreos around a smokey campfire during Halloween and awoke in the night puking orange and black gunk all over the tent.
There was a lot of meaningful ceremony, too. Award nights were incredibly moving through the years as our growing young men stood tall to receive hard-earned pins and badges. And through all of the public service projects, memorization of codes and pledges, and outdoor and organizational skill development — week after week, year after year — they also would listen intently about what it meant to be a trustworthy, reverent man.
By the time they were 16, the guys had become highly resourceful, tough, but courteous, gentlemen. They were nobody’s pushovers.
As they matured through the ranks during those teen years, my awesome husband continued to be involved with other good men who knew their greatest mission in life was to help turn their boys into good men, too. Scouting provided a fun framework and camaraderie in the mission, and this mom will be forever grateful.
For the single mom raising boys alone, the Boy Scouts filled a void and provided great solace. The moms knew that their sons would spend meaningful time with the male role models they so desperately needed.
For all moms, there was great comfort in knowing that our sons were forming strong friendships with the sons of other parents who valued the same principles. Our families understood that boys and girls are fundamentally different, each with their own unique but equally powerful set of intrinsic gifts and needs.
Our guys loved — cherished — the thought of being away from the gender-integrated setting of everything from school to neighborhood to church. There was something critical to their development to have a regular time each week where they could be mentored by men, in the company of only men, where there was no pressure to show off or compete for the attention of girls. For just a couple of hours a week, the guys had a protected place to learn “manly” things. In their minds, there was a hand-painted sign on the door that said “No girls allowed.” And they loved it.
But those days are gone.
Or are they?
Several years ago a visionary group of men — many of them former Eagle Scouts and Scout leaders — recognized that the BSA was headed straight for oblivion. So they founded an alternative organization based on eternal principles: Trail Life USA, defined as a “Christian outdoor adventure, character and leadership program for boys and young men.”
As the BSA constructed its own coffin, Trail Life membership grew quickly to more than 30,000 members with charters in 48 states.
When the Boy Scouts violated their time-honored code of requiring boys to be morally straight, the organization lost its moral compass. By allowing practicing homosexuals to be Scouts and Scout leaders, the BSA soon became hopelessly lost in a dark cultural forest of nothingness.
As the Scouts also lost their understanding of where they were headed, it only made sense to them to allow girls to join the organization. After all, the importance of masculinity and maleness had been sacrificed in the name of political correctness, so why not throw out gender specificity too?
A few days ago the BSA signed its “Do Not Resuscitate” order by deciding to kill “Boy” from its name.
John Stemberger, a founder of Trail Life and current chairman of the Trail Life USA board, describes the ghost the BSA left behind: “The stated mission of the BSA, which is rarely referenced by the organization today, is to ‘prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices’ What are we teaching boys about being ‘brave’ from the Scout Law when the adults in the program don’t even have the courage to do what is right and stand for the ‘timeless values’ the program was founded on over a century ago? Having fully joined the sexual revolution, the BSA has become merely a youth group with neckerchiefs further promoting moral and gender confusion in society.”
For all the moms who seek help in raising your boys to be courageous men of strong character, I have great news this Mother’s Day: Trail Life is ready to welcome them. To locate the chapter nearest you or find out how you can start one, check out traillifeusa.com.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at [email protected]
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