Dear Boy Scouts of America,
Well, well, well. Your 2017 Jamboree was a thing, huh? Talk about missing the point.
Now, let me be transparent here. My “scouting career” came to a sudden (and predictable) halt during my “Weeblos Scouts” stage (that’s the place between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) when I and the “scouting administration” had a disagreement as to what truly constitutes an “unfair advantage” when it came to designing my Pinewood Derby racing car. Apparently using military grade things like fighter jet paint and other materials I acquired living on an Air Force Base wasn’t looked at with the cool that I was expecting from a group a young boys.
Anyway back to the issue at hand. The recent visit from the President of the United States turned… well let’s just call it. Super inappropriate. It became a cross between a campaign rally and something out of the Dictator’s Guide to Youth Group Motivation. Some gave it a more staunch term (something in the WWII-era feel, but I’d rather not go to that extreme… but can see where the it’s coming from).
First to the President… sir, you are tone deaf. Your sense of place and moment are a confusing as the physics of how you hair is set in place on your head. You are at the National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America… this isn’t a place for a bash-fest of people on your “enemies list” or some kind of “Love Trump Indoctrination Camp.” The Office of President need to know this, be aware of the moment, speak accordingly, and feel the weight of historical value place upon you, the office, and the words used in the moment.
Second to the Boy Scouts of America… folks, you need to see what’s happening in front of you. Yes, it seems to make sense that inviting the sitting President to your event goes without rationale or needless justification. But POST-speech… you need to see what happened, and how much this moment was unrepresentative and truly ANTI what your organization alleges it stands for. You are a nonprofit organization, which is the reason I am posting this piece, and from my seat at a distance from the centerpoint, you now have a PR and VALUES problem. You non-response response statement to this incident isn’t winning over anyone. To suggest your nonpartisan basis cleanses the situation or neuters the rhetoric from your perspective in some way is foolish, dismissive, and kind of tone deaf as well. Appropriate for POTUS to be there? Sure. What happened then? Unacceptable.
Back when I was in the scouts, right up to my splitting due to “creative differences,” moments were always “teachable moments” in the scouts. Challenges were faced, addressed, worked on, and learn from – whether positive or negative. But here at your most pubic of national events, with thousands and thousands of scouts, scout leadership, and Americans of all stripes in attendance.. you have chosen NOT the high ground. You have chosen NO ground for that matter. No teachable moment to address your scouts as to why what was said and done had negative connotations or perceptions. No teachable moment that we, as the BSA, expect much MUCH more from leadership – whether it’s a Scout unit or a country.
There’s been a lot of “justification” as to why and how President Trump’s approach to the Presidency isn’t evil or nefarious; it’s simply due to his inexperience in political office. This is banter back and forth in the national political dialogue like some kind of elixer to solve the question of “What is he DOING?” Well even if this is true (it isn’t in my opinion), then surely he needs people and institutions to help advise and “educate” him on such matters.
Like….leadership. And…tact. And….appropriate behavior in and around young men and women. And surely…in understanding the role and responsibilities of leadership like President of the United States.
YOU, Boy Scouts of America, you could have given him a need dose of reality and education. Not to gain political points or begin yet another “Twitter beef” with @realDonaldTrump… but to show him how very much he doesn’t know, or get… but MUST learn.
We deserve a better President, and this moment and your leadership could have been an answer.
We deserve a better Boy Scouts of America, and your inaction & placating move you off your organization’s perch of developing strong “responsible citizenship” and “character development.”
Remind yourself about your Oath… then LIVE IT. Words aren’t enough.