Mr. Wayne Brock
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
Mr. Brock and the National Executive Board:
I am 1 in 100. Until today, when I thought back on the proudest moments of my life, I thought of only two instances – the first when I earned Eagle and the second when I was admitted into the Screen Actors Guild.
My path to Eagle chronicled my youth from Bear Cub through Webelo; and then as a young Tenderfoot with Troop 11 in Millwood, VA – a small but scrappy troop in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I eagerly awaited my summers at Camp Rock Enon where I’d get to test my skills, earn merit badges and of course make new friends. I still remember the incredibly hot summer when as a Star scout, under the supervision of the great David ‘Pooh Bear’ Winsatt, I shot a 48 on a rickety .22 Winchester in pursuit of my Rifle Shooting merit badge - a record that stands to this day.
I used to joke with friends and fellow Eagles that the only regret I had from scouting was that I didn’t earn my Eagle sooner so that the letter I received from the White House would’ve had Bill Clinton’s signature instead of George W. Bush’s. Yet reflecting on it now, it somehow seems sadly fitting that I received that letter from President Bush. With the benefit of hindsight, his hypocritical endorsement of scouting seems as empty as the ‘honor’ now holds for me. A President that would lie to a nation to lead US into an unnecessary war where numerous brave Scouts met their untimely demise is neither trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, thrifty nor brave.
And yet neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton were Boy Scouts; I was, and we Eagle Scouts must hold ourselves to a higher standard. Being a leader of men does not come with a ‘straight’ prerequisite. That the National Executive Board recently reaffirmed a ban on gay scouts and scoutmasters is deeply troubling. In the course of my career as an entertainer, I have met and worked with numerous members of the LGBT community – many of whom have told me it wasn’t so much a choice that they made as it was an affirmation of who they were. After all, no rational adult would choose a life of constant ridicule, harassment and rejection.
Further, the recent admission by the National Executive Board that the organization systematically covered up more than 500 incidents of unspeakable abuse on young scouts is beyond heinous. The decision to come clean and institute protective measures for children only after being exposed by a court case in Oregon and the subsequent media attention also lends testament to how the organization is being run. I refuse to be an apologist for an organization that unabashedly shields criminals while also prohibiting dedicated scouts like Ryan Andresen from attaining the rank that he has earned.
Enclosed you will find the same medal awarded to me on a brisk spring day in 2002. I fear my treasured memento will soon grace the bottom of a Texas landfill, yet should the Boy Scouts of America choose the noble path and become an organization of inclusion and tolerance, please then do another good turn and return it to me.
Mentally awake and morally straight,
Former Eagle Scout ‘02
Troop 11 - Millwood, VA