Think of the Boy Scouts and images of the Hardy Boys jump to mind. An institution, a rite of passage, a place to learn skills and values that will last a lifetime. On the surface a winning formula full of good intentions. Founded 1908 by Robert Baden-Powell in Great Britain, within a few years it told hold in the United States and around the world.
In an era before Dateline caught predators, ignorance was bliss, and the sex offender registry didn’t exist it was the Boy Scouts that turned our boys into honourable, problem solving young men. Perhaps this is why my father was a Boy Scout and no force on earth would convince me to enrol my boys. You need not be a genius to figure out the type of “predator” they would attract. For any man interested in young boys the Boy Scouts must have seemed like Christmas morning.
Today the Boy Scouts of America announced they are set to release 20,000 pages of files detailing inappropriate behaviour or sexual abuse within their ranks, I’m not shocked, I’m angry. I can understand wanting to protect your image. I do believe that most people within the organization are well meaning. I’m sure they tried to get rid of the bad apples. That’s not good enough. These records go back decades making their code of silence even more shameful.