Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Merit Badge in Huh?

Forgive me if this seems insensitive, but what the f&*k is wrong with the Boy Scouts of America these days? Bad enough that four scout leaders die while pitching a tent (sounds like the beginning to some How many ___ does it take to screw in a lightbulb? joke, doesn't it), but just a couple of days later, something like three hundred scouts and Jamboree attendees were treated for "symptoms resulting from the 100-degree afternoon heat" with at least thirty hospitalized for more serious heat-related symptoms.

Granted, it was really really hot and there were like 42,000 attendees, give or take a thousand (no out gay scout leaders there, however,* natch), but even the 30 of 42,000 proportion seems a bit high for an organization that carries its mission to train American boys to be upstanding men in substantial part by teaching them skills directed at responsible conduct out of doors and in 'nature.' Is a proper respect for sun and heat not implicit in all of this? These are children for whom supposedly responsible adults are accountable during the course of the Jamboree.

The whole thing is almost surreal, if you ask me. And of course tragic. Truly.

* Speaking of which, what's up with BSA's statement of 'diversity:' "We hope that our supporters will continue to value the Boy Scouts of America's respect for diversity and the positive impact Scouting has on young people's lives." That's like the Bush administration saying "We hope that our supporters will continue to vale the administration's respect for tax and spend liberalism." How dare they wrap themselves in the cloak of diversity when one of their founding principles -- one to which they staked their reputation and a great deal of money in litigation expenses -- entails the avowed proposition that homosexuality somehow doesn't comport with the values they wish to instil in young scouts. Why hasn't anybody called them on this?


Anonymous binky said...

And then this today. If I were meaner, or more, ah, devout, I'd say we were starting to get into real Wrath of God territory.

4:51 PM  

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