The Boy Scouts of America is a great organization

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Mat Pellegrino

A story was published last week about a former area Cubmaster who was charged with two counts of child molestation.
The story sparked a lot of controversy and backlash against the Boy Scouts of America in our comments section on our Facebook page (and on other news organizations’ Facebook pages that published the story)
I never had the pleasure of joining Boy Scouts. Let’s face it, I’m not an outdoorsy guy. But the Boy Scouts is a great organization. Just because one individual— who happened to be a former Cubmaster— allegedly molested two children does not mean all Boy Scout leaders are bad people. And all people are innocent until proven guilty.
Last year, I was invited to cover an Eagle Scout ceremony at the Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church Soundside campus.
Only 4 percent of Boy Scouts earn the Eagle Scout recognition.
These Scouts have built park benches for the City of Gulf Breeze, they’re landscaped walking trails, they’ve given back to area churches….the list goes on and on. Things that many people wouldn’t even consider doing.
Without these local Boy Scouts, our community wouldn’t have a lot of what it has now. And these Scouts do these projects with little help and sometimes on their own dime.
In the past, Boy Scouts of America has gotten a lot of backlash in all different areas. But what’s with all the negativity? How about we look at the positive things these young men have done not only in the area, but what they’ve gone on to do after graduating from high school.
I don’t condone anything that was mentioned in the arrest report, but I also don’t condone people blaming the Boy Scouts or stating incorrect facts like “this happens all the time in Scouts”. Statistically, no, it doesn’t.
Cubmasters and Scout leaders are volunteers. They don’t get paid. Just because one alleged incident happened doesn’t mean it happens on a regular basis.
It’s 2017, news corporations cover everything, and typically (sadly), blow things out of proportion. Just like teachers getting arrested for having sex with underage students. It happened all the time in past decades, but it appears as though it “happens more often” now because that’s what news organizations typically go after news wise to pull viewers or readers in.
I’m not saying that this man is innocent or guilty, but if he is guilty, shame on him. That is something no child should go through. But don’t blame the Scouts for his behavior. They have no influence on how a person acts.
They assist Boy Scouts on camping trips, help with volunteer projects and spend many weekends going on Boy Scout outings. Weekends that they could be spending with their wives or children.
The young men in these organizations look up to these Scout leaders. And one day, like many have locally, those Scouts will go on to become Scout leaders themselves.
It’s shameful that people are bashing a great organization, but it is 2017 and people have freedom of speech…especially when it comes to anything posted on social media.
Let the man have his day in court, but don’t bash such a great organization that has crafted many young boys into leaders over the years — especially here locally.
Had I joined the Boy Scouts when I was younger, who knows, I could have done a lot more with my life and for my community. I could have built a bench for a local community or contributed to a local church.
Let’s look past his “former” duties and look at what our Boy Scout leaders are doing now and how much this organization is giving back.