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Scouting in my day

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By Allison Shepherd

  There’s something you may not know about me. 

I’m an honorary boy scout. Yep, me. Allison Shepherd, not the Publisher of the paper, but Baby Owl, (that was my CB handle name and the name my Mema called me).  

You want to know why? My dad was a Boy Scout Master and troop leader in a little town called Clay, KY when I was growing up. The troop met in the basement of the Clay United Methodist Church. Brother Charles Kiser was the pastor. I was young, 6-10 years old. I remember those times and meetings very well. 

See, I was the only child at the time, and my mom was not a well person, and a lot of times, I had to go with Daddy to his troop meetings. I watched my Daddy mentor those boys, make them behave, explain to them about being a man, and saw for myself the respect those boys showed my daddy because he never made them less than what they were, and encouraged them to be something more. Oh yes, I can tie a mean knot, I know how to put up a tent, I played with tractors while carrying my Drowsy doll around, and I learned to put my hand over my heart, respect the flag, God and my elders. I didn’t learn that at the meetings, I learned that from my daddy at home, and then saw it in action at the meetings. I was one of the lucky ones. 

All of this to say, I’m against the announcement that girls should be able to be in boy scouts. Scouting is all about honor, duty and integrity. The Scout Oath says “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.” The Scout Law is also steeped in virtue: “A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent”.

I decided to go out to the Boy Scouts of America website and see what they had to say about their announcement.  “This decision is true to the BSA’s (Boy Scouts of America) mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.” 

As Paul Harvey would say, the ‘rest of the story’ is I also grew up a Brownie and a Girl Scout. Those ladies nurtured me and my troop to be girls that would become mothers, girls that became leaders, girls that married and fostered children, girls that cared for their parents, girls that loved themselves, God and others.  If parents want a program like Cub Scouts, they should look at Brownies. Boy Scouts, look at Girl Scouts. 

I’m a 52 year old busy wife, mother, Granny A, publisher, etc woman. I have two children of my own; and two step children, and four grandchildren.  I never want my busyness to cloud my obligation to show my son what the love of a mother looks like, and my daughter to see the importance of being  loved and adored by her father. I want to be able to demonstrate the virtues of mothering and grand mothering to my daughter and granddaughters, so they can be great wives and mothers when it’s their time. 

I thank God everyday that there were women in my life that stepped in to be the ‘girl scout’ leaders in my life, and for all the ladies that still mentor me daily, long after my scouting days past. I’m thankful for the role my father was to the ‘boys’ that made up his troop, and to the many that called him ‘Pappy Jack’ even long after his troop days were over. I’m thankful for my life even the way it was back then, because it’s my life, and it’s who I am.  

As we look deeper into the reason stated for these changes, the need is the same; love and support. There are many programs outside of scouting that do just that. I’m sad to see the day that numbers and funds are dominating the purpose and purity behind these decisions. So leave boys in boy scouts, leave girls in girl scouts, and utilize family programs for families, and let’s rally around people in need and get to the root of the problems, not create more by changing fundamental programs based on numbers and dollars. Let’s teach boys to be men, girls to be women, and families to be families. There’s something you may not know about me.

I’m an honorary boy scout. Yep, me. Allison Shepherd, not the Publisher of the paper, but Baby Owl, (that was my CB handle name and the name my Mema called me).

You want to know why? My dad was a Boy Scout Master and troop leader in a little town called Clay, KY when I was growing up. The troop met in the basement of the Clay United Methodist Church. Brother Charles Kiser was the pastor. I was young, 6-10 years old. I remember those times and meetings very well.

See, I was the only child at the time, and my mom was not a well person, and a lot of times, I had to go with Daddy to his troop meetings. I watched my Daddy mentor those boys, make them behave, explain to them about being a man, and saw for myself the respect those boys showed my daddy because he never made them less than what they were, and encouraged them to be something more. Oh yes, I can tie a mean knot, I know how to put up a tent, I played with tractors while carrying my Drowsy doll around, and I learned to put my hand over my heart, respect the flag, God and my elders. I didn’t learn that at the meetings, I learned that from my daddy at home, and then saw it in action at the meetings. I was one of the lucky ones.

All of this to say, I’m against the announcement that girls should be able to be in boy scouts. Scouting is all about honor, duty and integrity. The Scout Oath says “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.” The Scout Law is also steeped in virtue: “A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent”.

I decided to go out to the Boy Scouts of America website and see what they had to say about their announcement. “This decision is true to the BSA’s (Boy Scouts of America) mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.”

As Paul Harvey would say, the ‘rest of the story’ is I also grew up a Brownie and a Girl Scout. Those ladies nurtured me and my troop to be girls that would become mothers, girls that became leaders, girls that married and fostered children, girls that cared for their parents, girls that loved themselves, God and others. If parents want a program like Cub Scouts, they should look at Brownies. Boy Scouts, look at Girl Scouts.

I’m a 52 year old busy wife, mother, Granny A, publisher, etc woman. I have two children of my own; and two step children, and four grandchildren. I never want my busyness to cloud my obligation to show my son what the love of a mother looks like, and my daughter to see the importance of being loved and adored by her father. I want to be able to demonstrate the virtues of mothering and grand mothering to my daughter and granddaughters, so they can be great wives and mothers when it’s their time.

I thank God everyday that there were women in my life that stepped in to be the ‘girl scout’ leaders in my life, and for all the ladies that still mentor me daily, long after my scouting days past. I’m thankful for the role my father was to the ‘boys’ that made up his troop, and to the many that called him ‘Pappy Jack’ even long after his troop days were over. I’m thankful for my life even the way it was back then, because it’s my life, and it’s who I am.

As we look deeper into the reason stated for these changes, the need is the same; love and support. There are many programs outside of scouting that do just that. I’m sad to see the day that numbers and funds are dominating the purpose and purity behind these decisions. So leave boys in boy scouts, leave girls in girl scouts, and utilize family programs for families, and let’s rally around people in need and get to the root of the problems, not create more by changing fundamental programs based on numbers and dollars. Let’s teach boys to be men, girls to be women, and families to be families.   

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