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Forget gay Scouts, the real threat is clueless dads

May 23, 2013|By Paul Whitefield
  • The Boy Scouts of America has proposed allowing gay boys to be Scouts but to still not allow gay Scoutmasters.
The Boy Scouts of America has proposed allowing gay boys to be Scouts but… (Tom Pennington / Getty Images…)

The Boy Scouts of America is voting on whether to allow gay boys to be Scouts. Which is, of course, really stupid, because gay boys are already Scouts, and have been for many years, even if Scouting chooses to think otherwise.

Still, this is a serious issue. The future of Scouting may hang in the balance. Or not. After all, wasn’t it Groucho Marx who said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member”?

If I may, though, I’d like to suggest we may be ignoring the real problem with the Boy Scouts and other groups, such as the Indian Princesses. It’s not gays we should be worrying about; it’s regular suburban dads.

You think I’m kidding? You think the kids are safe, as long as they are with dad?

Moms, you want to know the truth? Well, you can’t handle the truth.

For example, a dad friend (who shall remain nameless to keep him from permanent doghouse duty) took his boys on a Scout kayaking trip to the Channel Islands. What could go wrong, you say? Ever watch “Gilligan’s Island”?

Fortunately, even though the weather started getting rough, the tiny lads weren’t lost, though they easily could have been because the fearless leader was a bit, shall we say, overmatched. Seamanship and judgment were the problems here, not sexual orientation.

And what about those dad weekends with their little Indian Princesses on Catalina? You call the IRS targeting “tea party” types scandalous? Then you haven’t been to Camp Run-a-mok.

Think that’s a peace pipe in Cabin 5?  Think those are smoke signals coming from the dads’ cabin? Think “fire water” is forever banned? Think what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?

I’ll bury your heart at Wounded Knee all right. And a lot of brain cells too. It was “The Hangover” before the movie. And probably the moms know, or at least suspect. It’s just a civilian version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

OK, seriously, I know: Scouting is wonderful. It has shaped many a fine man. It has allowed dads and sons to share many great experiences.  There are plenty of you who would say that Scouting made you the man you are today.

So go read James Dale’s Op-Ed that ran in The Times this week. Because Scouting helped make him the man he is today too.

And he’s a gay man.

And he probably knows enough not to take the boys kayaking with a storm brewing.


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