The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


To Scout or Not to Scout?

Boy Scouts has become a big part of my family’s time.  My husband hated Boy Scouts as a kid.  His pinewood derby car ended up being a block of wood with wheels.  The other kids, the ones who didn’t have divorced parents, had carved out sleek racing cars with painted stripes.  Peter begged his older brother for help, but did so only half an hour before the big event.

I remember the conversation about Cub Scouts when our boys were little.  We said we’d never support an organization that could exclude the gay population, or any other group of people.

Then our son became intrigued.  He was interested in nothing, but Cub scouts had him raising a single eyebrow: “Well, maybe that sounds good, Mom…”  

He  probably liked the soldier-like feeling of the uniformed pack of boys all in one place.  Then, of course, our second son wanted part of the action.

I have a dear and wonderful group of women, some who are gay, some who are old enough to be my mother, and a couple of them are mothers like me.  We meet once a month on Sunday mornings, and we drink tea while pouring out our souls around the kitchen table.  Hearing my angst about Cubs Scouting, they suggested that I check out something called “Indian Guides.”  I went online, only to discover that they were probably a good organization, but they really didn’t exist in my area.  I gave up on that idea, and for the sake of convenience, was back to scouting again.

Our pinewood derby cars are sort of respectable.  They are somewhere between a block of wood and a lacquered racing car.  Even though I might grumble about the sawdust flying and tools left out everywhere, I am happy to have all my boys working on this project on a Saturday afternoon.

But bringing me back to reality, my husband, my quite, gentle, engineer husband, broke down and had to buy for himself the dreaded “official scout shirt.”  He had been assisting so much with the kids (a really, really good thing, right?) that the other leaders asked for his help.

How did this happen?

But our kids love the hikes and camping.  They don’t go much for team sports, but this is the kind of individual stuff they like. 

We remain conflicted, my husband and I.   We want to support the interests of our kids, but not an organization that excludes.  (I do like the fact that there is one lone girl in the pack – no rules against that, I guess?)

So what do we do?  By the time we figure it out, our children will either lose interest -- or move out of the house. 

By Maria Dudley

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Good original piece. We debated about Scouts also but I have not seen any writing on this.

Marianne Lonsdale
great blog. nothing is ever simple.
on a separate note: once-a-month sunday morning tea with wise friends is an intriguing concept....
Ahh, the pinewood derby. My parents weren't divorced, but with 5 kids were distracted enough. I remember my brother's car bumping down the raceway, since my dad and he hadn't even shaved down the plastic bumps on the wheels. He won the "most worked on by scout" award. In Sweden, scouts are for boys and girls, not separated.

I totally understand the dilemma, but if it's a positive influence, and your kids like it, I say go with it.
Thanks for writing this. I agree with Kristy that if Scouting provides a positive influence and your kids like, then go with it. My husband worked tremendously hard to acheive the rank of Eagle Scout and rightfully is honoured to be one. It's this legacy that I would never want our son to miss out on, if he wants to join Boy Scouts.
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