While we forge ahead with creating our inclusive, outdoor-focused scouting tradition here in Cascadia, it is not lost on many of our leaders that a large debate lingers at the Boy Scouts of America. We are only tangentially involved, having made the decision to strike out and not wait for a long drawn-out evolution that many former BSA scouts and leaders still hope will occur. Waiting a decade, or perhaps more, for this process to yield co-ed, inclusive scouting is not an option for many of us who have scout-aged kids now, nor is the desired outcome a foregone conclusion.
Removed as we are in some respects, we are still part of the equation; as an alternative, and an example. Our sincere hope is that our scouts will form bonds with our BSA and GSA scout brothers and sisters in the years ahead and that we all will all rise above today’s political fray and manifest the fourth part of the Scout Law “A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother/sister to every other Scout.” We truly believe that is the path forward for the scouting movement.
So what’s with the patch in the photo? The BPSA uniform, being “uniform,” allows for little freestyle additions. A very welcome exception is the rainbow square knot from scoutingforall.org. The addition of this small patch above the left pocket (or chest on a Otter or Timberwolf shirt) is an approved option for those wishing to signal their solidarity with the ideal of inclusive scouting. For those within BSA, wearing the patch is a small form of protest, but happily BPSA scouts can wear it as an affirmation of what we stand for and support. Funds raised from patch sales go to a good cause.
NOTE: The larger patch also offered could be sewn on a blanket or on a backpack, and is not suitable for the actual uniform.