Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
PO Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
August 31, 2012
To Bob Mazzuca, Wayne Brock, and the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America:
I became an Eagle Scout in 1967. Scouting was a huge part of my early years and helped shape who I am today. Though Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Order of the Arrow, I learned leadership, and how to be resourceful. I learned about standing up for my principles. I learned so many physical skills and so many of life’s lessons. Some of the happiest memories of my youth were the summer weeks I spent at Adams Pond Scout Camp. After receiving my Eagle Award, I was an Assistant Scoutmaster for some years, trying to give back a little of all that I had received through the scouting program.
I grew up in a community that was very similar in ethnicity and religion. It was a wonderful community, just not very diverse. It was through scouting that I first met others of different backgrounds, religions, races, physical abilities, etc. And it was my scout leaders who showed me how to treat everyone the same and not to judge others because of their differences; how to look beyond the differences and at the real person. My scoutmaster was both a teacher and a role model in treating everyone equally.
But now I learn that the Boy Scouts of America wants to treat a certain population very differently. In fact, the BSA declares that these people are not fit to be members or leaders of their organization. But even worse, the BSA has made an exception to their ruling. If these people are deceitful and keep their secret to themselves, they will be given all rights in the Boy Scouts of America and treated as equals. Did we not learn anything from, “Don’t ask, don’t tell”?
In my heart I will always be an Eagle in the true spirit of scouting, but I must return this Eagle Award given to me by an organization that I can no longer respect.