Part of our goal when we went camping this past weekend (besides celebrating The Dude's birthday) was to totally disconnect from the "real world" for a while. Luckily, this goal is pretty easy to attain out at the lake because cell phones are really nothing more than paperweights in the entire area. Making a call is impossible and getting online is even more impossible. About the only thing that even sometimes works is a text message here and there - but even that is iffy.
I kept checking online to see if the Boy Scouts had publicized the results of the vote on whether or not to allow kids who are gay into the organization, but nothing had been posted by the time that we left town. I figured I'd hear about it one way or another during the weekend because I had already planned to make at least one or two trips back into town.
(Just in case you're new here, this is a subject that I've written about a couple of times. You can find those posts HERE and HERE.)
I'm not sure what time we got out there Thursday evening - we picked the boys up from school and still had to do a few things around town before we even got to leave. We were still unpacking our stuff when suddenly my phone went off in my pocket. Surprised, I pulled it out to look at it, and it was a text message:
Not sure if you're disconnected from the internet but they passed the allowing gays thing
I let out a happy yell and showed the phone to The Dude, who also smiled. I managed to fire off a thank you text to the messenger before my signal totally died and I put my phone away for the weekend.
Granted, I wish that the ban was totally lifted and that adults who are gay were also allowed - but to me, this is a step in the right direction. And it makes me feel better about allowing Alex to continue to participate in Scouts. He and I had a long talk about it and while he doesn't understand all of it, he still thinks that it's pretty cool that ALL boys are allowed in now and that it was "pretty stupid" that they weren't before.
So because of this, I did use my phone as an alarm clock to wake the two of us up at 6am on Saturday (ugh) to go back into town to meet up with a bunch of the local Scouts to put flags up on the graves of the veterans at the local cemetery. This was a new experience for both of us, as we walked around our section of the cemetery with a bag of flags, a notebook with a map, and a list of names. He had a blast, and we talked about the different wars as we placed flags on graves of men who had fought in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, and Korea. He loved looking at the dates on the stones, and I kept getting distracted by the stones in general since I love old cemeteries.
At the same time, it also made me realize that I really need to brush up on my history because I had to struggle to remember details that he asked about some of the wars. Leave it to a kid to make me realize how little attention I actually paid during some classes in school!
I'm glad that we got to do this, and I'm glad that the vote passed. I know that it is going to have some immediate effects on his pack because there are several people who had already made it clear that they would leave the organization if it passed - but at the same time I can now feel more comfortable with him (and soon, Daniel) participating. I believe that they can learn some wonderful lessons (with 'tolerance' being one of them) and participate in some great activities and that it will be a great thing for both of them.