It Gets Better
Derek – Boy Scout Camp Staff – It Gets Better
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[Derek - Boy Scout Camp Staff - It Gets Better]
[Derek - Boy Scout Camp Staff - It Gets Better] Source: LYBIO.net
Hi! My name is Derek. I’ve served ten years on the Mataguay summer camp ranch staff working my way up from Outdoor Skills Instructor all the way up to Program Director and I am gay.
Boy Scout camp is the one place in the world that I have felt truly at home. Camp is this strange microcosm of the world where the rules of real life don’t apply and time accelerates at breakneck pace. The amount of work we do in one day at camp from sunrise to well past sunset would rival any forty hour work week, and yet I love that environment. My best friends are all people I have met through camp I’ve travel hundreds of miles to attend my camp friend’s Eagle Courts of honor, college graduations, and even weddings.
I live with camp friends, I attend school with camp friends, and I go out drinking at night with camp friends. And yet have had to keep part of my life secret from them. The little things are the most frustrating. For instance, I can’t giggle when a boy texts me at camp, I can’t comment on how cute an actor looked in a movie we went an saw on the weekend, and I can’t share with them the emotional roller coaster everyone feels when they fall in and out of love. I’m open to all my friends and family in “real life” but the people I truly feel closest to I’ve had to remain distant. Which is why I chosen this moment to open up to them and to every other staff member of the Boy Scouts of America who is in the same position I am in.
The only way we will ever change the Boy Scout’s discriminatory policies is if those of us who are on the front lines representing them to thousands of Scouts every single summer start engaging in some open dialogue on this issue. Lawsuits from the ACLU or confidential reviews by the Boy Scouts are not going to change policies. The first step to coming to agreement on this issue is to drop the old pretenses and stereotypes and to start actually talking.
At my camp we give Scouts the opportunity to shoot guns, ride horses, trek into the wilderness, and starting this summer learn to drive ATVs. Our Scouts
literally hold each other’s lives in their hands on our ropes course rock walls, and they attempt to understand the complexities of the universe in our
nature and astronomy classes, and yet the Boy Scouts of America still thinks that this group is not mature enough to handle discussion on sexual orientation. The opportunities given to me by the Scouting program have changed my life. The skills I learned while serving on staff directly influenced the major I chose in college and allowed me to finish both a bachelors and masters degree without taking out any student loans.
My room is littered with memorabilia from camp. These photos taken in 2004 while being chased out of camp by by a wildfire represent the first time I’ve truly felt what fear feels like. This rock given to me by our Director of Camping after my second year as program director always will proudly sit on my desk. And while I have the highest respect for everyone who has returned their Eagle award in protest, I’m keeping my Eagle because I am damn proud of the work i did to earn it and I hope to once again wear this badge with honor without having a hide who I actually am.
[Derek] Source: LYBIO.net
There are many things I’m proud of accomplishing at Mataguay over my 10 years on staff. However, I want my legacy to be more than just the programs I created or changed. When the time comes, because I know the time will come, I want our staff at Mataguay and the staff at every other summer camp across
the country to be the first part of the Boy Scout program to openly accept LGBT staff into their ranks. I hope that those staff who have worked with myself and others who’ve come out before me and been fired understand how much the Boy Scouts is losing by openly discriminating against homosexuals. If you are currently an LGBT staffer, know that there are many of us who’ve been in your same shoes. It has taken me many years since first coming out to finally be able to speak up against the Boy Scout’s policies.
I hold everyone who continues to work at camp in the highest regard, and I encourage you to do so for as long as you can. Until the time comes that I can again work at summer camp without having to hide who I am, this uniform will proudly hang in my closet waiting for things to get better.
Derek – Boy Scout Camp Staff – It Gets Better. I want our staff at Mataguay and the staff at every other summer camp across
the country to be the first part of the Boy Scout program to openly accept LGBT staff into their ranks. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.
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