Boy Scouts: Why I’m Leaving
This guest post by frequent Son Rise Morning Show guest Taylor Marshall originally ran as “Why I’m Starting a New Boy Scouts: My Catholic Scouting Manifesto” on his blog, canterbury tales.
I am an Eagle Scout and I loved being a Boy Scout – all the way from Cub Scouts to Eagle. I want my sons to become Scouts and share that tradition with them…but I can no longer support the Boy Scouts.
I’ve been thinking and worrying about the Boy Scouts for months. I knew this decision was coming and I knew that the Boy Scouts would go the wrong way.
I also knew in my heart that I would have to do something about it when it actually happened…
So here’s my manifesto on why we need Scouting, but why we now need an alternative Scouting organization for Catholics: The Scouts of Saint George.
In 1908 Robert Baden-Powell wrote a book for boys about reconnaissance or scouting titled Scouting for Boys. Baden-Powell was a lieutenant general in the British Army.
He developed an ideal for young men about being a “Scout,” an ideal that included mentorship, camping, woodworking, backpacking, sports, and most important of all: virtue and the art of being a man.
Baden-Powell was an Anglican and he chose the fleur-de-lis as the emblem of Scouting. The fleur-de-lis is an ancient symbol of virginity and the Blessed Virgin Mary – rather fitting in my opinion. (Regrettably the BSA has trademarked the fleur-de-lis.)
Scouting spread to America and across the globe and it always possessed a religious element. We are now at the moment when this integral feature has been denied.
So we need to create a new organization for the old tradition. Here’s what I’m going to do about it, and I need all the brave souls that I can get. This will be an “Eagle Project” of a lifetime!!!!
We are going to make Catholic Scouts happen: the Scouts of Saint George.
Here’s the mini-manifesto in 7 points:
- The Scouts of Saint George must be Catholic and acknowledge every jot and tittle of the magisterium of the Church – and be in full communion with the Holy Father.
- A personal relationship with Christ and the growth in manly virtue will be at the heart of the Scouts of Saint George.
- The Scouts of Saint George will be like the Boy Scouts of America with hiking, fishing, camping, merit badges, and a highest rank (equivalent somehow to Eagle Scout). Same format and structure. The Scouts of Saint George won’t reinvent the wheel. Traditional scouting works. Why change it? We’re just going to preserve the tradition and import a Catholic identity.
- The Scouts of Saint George must have protection from government interference, which means it must be grassroots. Otherwise, we are under government regulation and pressure in the years to come. We must avoid influence from lobbyists and governmental powers to compromise (as has happened with the BSA).
- The Scouts of Saint George will be free and open-source. Like the original Baden-Powell, all you’ll need is the book, uniform, and badges. That’s it. The rest is grassroots. Fathers and sons organize and simply register or seek recognition from the other Scouts of Saint George.
- The Scouts of Saint George is global. My goal is to get Pope Francis to approve it and recognize it.
- Why Saint George? I have a devotion to him and he’s the exemplar for young men in the categories of courage and virginity? We need young men to slay the dragons of our era. Wouldn’t you agree?
Okay, who’s in? I need thousands of collaborators on this one. This will be a great project to get in on the ground floor: Sign up now to get involved with the “Scouts of Saint George.”
Dr. Taylor Marshall is a former Episcopal priest who is now a Catholic layman. The author of several books on Catholicism and history, he is a “rock-ribbed Thomist” and appears often on Catholic radio and television. He lives in Irving, TX, with his wife and eight children. To join Dr. Marshal’s email list for information about the Scouts of St. George project, click here.
For a different view, “Boy Scouts: Why I’m Staying” by Frank Feldman, click here.
Click here for “Boy Scouts: Two Views” for a look at both sides of the issue, alternative Scouting organizations, and more.
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