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Maybe I’m having a senior moment or just blocking something, but I honestly don’t remember the subject of sexual orientation coming up when sitting around the campfire with fellow Boy Scouts at Slippery Falls in the late 1960s.
Slippery Falls was a Boy Scout summer camp in southern Oklahoma, it may still be open, I don’t know. I remember being taught how to track wild animals, wash dishes with dirt and how to split watermelon seeds in two before spitting them into someone’s ear, a lesson that was not part of the official camp curriculum, but still comes in handy today.
All these life skills and more were part of the Slippery Falls experience. For some reason, adults back then, at least the ones I was around, didn’t think 12-year-olds needed to be bothered with discussion about same sex attraction or same sex marriage. I don’t think they even wanted us talking about sex. Period. For some reason adults back then were more concerned about Scouts learning how to tie a triple knot or steer a canoe straight, something I could never seem to get right. Adults then seemed to be more focused on our agenda instead of theirs.
These thoughts popped into my head last week when officials with the Boy Scouts of America chose to put off deciding whether to end a ban of not allowing people with same sex attraction tendencies to be part of the organization, either as a member or a leader.
I have to admit I never realized there was such a ban to begin with. It didn’t come up at Slippery Falls and if it did, I don’t remember hearing about it. Maybe I was too busy digging watermelon seeds out of my ear.
I wish kids today had the same problem.