Monday, January 30, 2017

Boys' Life Explains What Makes A Good Leader - UPDATED

I had a chance to glance at the January 2017 Boys' Life magazine while waiting for my granddaughter at the doctor's office.  (Just a routine post birthday checkup.)

I sometimes forget about the huge impact the Boy Scouts had on my life.  The organization gave me lots of opportunities to go camping.  I got leadership training at Philmont in New Mexico and Sequoia National Park.  I learned how to plan, organize, and run a meeting as a teenager.  There are a lot of good skills I learned with them.

And I had a subscription to Boys' Life too.

But in recent times the Boy Scouts have had some issues with their stand against gay scouts that have cast an unfortunate (though not unjustified) cloud over the organizations.  So I paged through the magazine.

One of the first articles was an "Ask Pedro" column.  (I didn't find any old Boys' Life magazines in my mom's garage so I can check my memory, which thinks maybe Pedro was answering questions 60 years ago.)

Here's the way the head of the Boy Scouts describes the quality needed for leadership that's published in the January 2017 Boys' Life magazine.
"You want to be a leader others want to follow, and you always need to put the other person first."
The Boy Scouts is NOT a liberal organization by any stretch of the imagination.  As I thumbed through this issues 52 pages, I saw mostly white boys.  All group pictures were white kids.  There were two girls pictured.

The only faces of color were a kid with an Hispanic name who had helped clean up Louisiana after a flood,

and two dark skinned comic faces - one teaching a white kid how to compost, the other used to show how to make a balance board.      

Most of the boys pictured looked like this.  I know there have to be black boy scouts, but they didn't have any actual photos of them.

There was also an ambiguous picture (another cartoon who was maybe Asian, maybe white, maybe Hispanic) who was identified as an electrical engineer. You can judge for yourself.  But given that "everyone knows Asians are good at math" . . .

The point here is that even the boy scouts -  known as a pretty conservative organization that seems to have trouble finding actual photos of kids of color, but makes an effort to include a few in Boys Life, even if they are cartoons, has a description of a leader that essential say Trump is not the Boy Scouts' image of a leader.

[UPDATE Jan 31, 2017 - The Boy Scouts announced yesterday that they are changing their policy to accept transgender scouts.

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