We’re a Scouting family. My sons were Boy Scouts, my Eagle Scout grandson is at Scout camp right now. Collectively, my husband and I have 50+ years of professional and volunteer service with the BSA.
We support our local troops and the local and national councils. I am invested enough to say that I am livid at what Trump said at the National Jamboree this past week. He was vulgar, political, inappropriate; not surprising. I’m disappointed that the National Council would invite him knowing that most likely this is the kind of speech he would give to thousands of children.
Parents did not pay good money to have their sons exposed to inflammatory rhetoric. Just because presidents have traditionally been invited to the Jamboree doesn’t mean the national organization had to lie down and expose itself like that. And rather than Trump taking responsibility and the right action, one that would teach children how to own mistakes and grow from them, Trump is letting the BSA fend off the onslaught of criticism alone – again, not surprising. So be it. The Chief Scout Executive, Michael Surbaugh, is a big boy.
Years ago at a national training conference for professional Scouters, the keynote for a luncheon was a “comedian” who made inappropriate remarks in his effort to be funny. The Scout executive who invited him went to every afternoon workshop session and apologized to each of us, doing the right thing.
The original statement from the National Council earlier this week was wholly unacceptable. I commend Michael Surbaugh for finally doing what the executive did all those years ago and coming forward to acknowledge Trump’s remarks as inappropriate and completely un-Scout-like. BSA, this may not be doing your BEST but it is certainly better.