Boy Scouts Consider Lifting Ban on Gays – NYTimes.com. The US Supreme Court Decision upholding the Scout’s supposed “right” to define itself as an organization along exclusionary, homophobic lines was handed down during the summer of my sophomore year of high school, while I was working at Camp Daniel Boone in Western North Carolina. Camp Daniel Boone was and is one of the United States’ largest Boy Scout Summer Camps, and all of the staff there were aware at least peripherally of a few privately gay leaders and camp councilors. So, it was awkward to say the least when the Scouts’ Supreme Court “victory” was announced there to cheers.
The next year, when I received the Eagle Scout award, I gave a speech in front of my Troop, friends and family who had gathered to celebrate my achievement with me. In my speech I openly questioned the logic of the Scouts’ exclusion of gay members and leaders. I was beginning to question my own sexuality more consciously, and I couldn’t wrap my head around the supposed morality behind the Scouts’ decision. I didn’t know it then, but I later learned that the founder of the Scouting movement, Baden Powell, had struggled with his own (apparently unrequited) homosexual desire. There are also very complicated issues around Scouting’s attachment to concepts of national citizenship, which I still question. I wonder why Scouting can’t just be about the outdoors– which was always the best part of Scouting for me anyway.