National Jamboree 2017 – Day 9 Reflections
Reflections about SFE @ Jamboree, 7/27/2017
Day 9 of 10- Cate Readling
Two years ago today, hundreds of people waited to hear the result from a conference call meeting of the National BSA Board. They were deciding on the remaining ban on openly gay adult leaders. The ban on openly gay youth had been lifted the year before and for some that had felt like a setback. I remember at the time I felt generally positive about the progress. After all, I signed up as an adult leader thinking that my kids would be long aged out of Scouts before we could get the BSA to reverse this very detrimental decision and yet two years ago my oldest boys were still Cub Scouts!
This past weekend, when we were reprimanded by programming staff for overstepping our agreement regarding the content of our booth, I felt deflated. I felt as though maybe the organization I have put so much faith into would never live up to its own ideals. When doubt is the strongest, we must surround ourselves with the people who can help carry the load. Surround ourselves with those who will listen, let you feel those feelings and then remind you of the mission. Those who have been where you are, who remember how dark it can seem and have come back from that place. And then we do that for others.
Any effort toward progress that requires a paradigm shift is going to include setbacks. When I saw the Facebook reminder about this day back in 2015 and looked around at where I was: in an exhibit in the Duty to God and Country Tent at the premier event of the BSA, among supportive friends from many different denominations and hundreds of youth who visited and shared their answer to “What does Diversity mean to you and why is it important?” Remembering this, my faith was restored and I find myself ready to Scout On!
“The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.” ― James Baldwin