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(RNS) As the Boy Scouts of America gets ready to admit gay youth, one Missouri organization has already broken away. Oak Scouts is designed to be a safe space for everyone, regardless of faith or sexual orientation.


  1. Trail Life is the self-aggrandizing enterprise of John Stemberger who seems wed to the notion that sexual orientation is contagious. The only difference between Trail Life and the Boy Scouts is that, some of the gay participants in the BSA will be openly gay while the same proportion of gay boys in Trail Life will all be in the closet. Which do you think is healthier?

    It is sheer ignorance to suggest that being around gay boys is going to make their child gay. By the time they are in scouting, that hand has been dealt – one way or the other.

    When these kids grow up they are going to have gay co-workers and maybe a gay boss. The companies that they work for are going to have gay customers and gay suppliers. Chances are pretty good that they already have a gay uncle, aunt or cousin. Which group will be better prepared for the future?

  2. Richard VanMetter

    Best wishes to the fledgling Oak Scouts. The underlying ideas and ideals of Boy Scouting were first set down by Baden Powell. They were not constrained by the dogmatic religious motives of the current Boy Scouts organization.
    Powell had written training materials for his military troops in India, who he realized were not capable to taking care of their own basic needs in the field. Finding that his books were being used with enthusiasm by young boys back in England, he modified them to remove the military elements while retaining those skills necessary for self-sufficiency in the field–camping, hiking, etc.
    This was the seed from which scouting has grown. Please be sure to consult his vision as you form your won for the Oak Scouts. Good luck and best wishes.