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Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America (1985-present)
MCC ordained, Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology
Episcopal Divinity School.
“I am proud to be an Eagle Scout. I am equally proud to be an openly gay man. In fact, I attribute my many years in Scouting — first as a Webelos, then as a Boy Scout, and finally as a camp counselor — as helping me to come out, and to be honest with the world about who I am.
The first principle of the Scout Law is to be trustworthy. That means telling the truth — even if it might be uncomfortable or inconvenient — and living with integrity. By contrast, the closet, or hiding one’s sexual orientation, is the opposite of living a life of trustworthiness. “
“Second only to my union with Metropolitan Community Church, my experience with scouting has been my greatest life experience. I entered the scouting program as a Cub Scout around the age of nine. My mother served as our “den mother.”
At the beginning of seventh grade I moved on to the Boy Scouts program. It so happened that the most outstanding scout troop in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, met just a few blocks from my house. The troop was sponsored by the Rotary Club, and the scoutmaster was a very dedicated and skilled man named John Groom.
Very quickly I took to the camping, swimming, knot tying, canoeing, as well as leadership opportunities. I was selected as the patrol leader of the “Stag” patrol, and soon learned some strong leadership skills. Summers were filled with trips to Lake Corpus Christi to attend week long summer camp at Camp Karankawa. One of the major events at Camp Karankawa was the “Battle of the Flour.” I soon developed a repetition for being a fearless thrower of “flour bullets”….that would be small paper sacks filled with four.
Other summers I attended camp at the H.E.B. Foundation camp on the Frio River in the Texas hill country. One summer our troop attended camp at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Northeastern New Mexico. Another summer it was my good fortune to be able to attend the National Jamboree held at Valley Forge, Pa., with Boy Scouts from all over America.
As the years passed I moved up the scouting ranks until I reached my Eagle Scout Award as well as my Silver Explorer and twenty-eight merit badges. About this time I was honored to be chosen to represent the South Texas scouting programs along with seven other scouts to the “Governor’s Award” ceremony held at the state capital in Austin.
After graduating high school I never again served as a scout, but have been very proud to see my nephew and great nephew follow me as they attained their Eagle Scout Award.”
John E. Plumadore, Retired Scout Executive and MCC Toronto member.
“I was a scout leader in Canada from 1967 at the age of 17 years until my retirement in 2009, although I remained on a 10 month contract and later joined a local Rover Crew as a volunteer leader for young adults with Down syndrome . I served over the years in many volunteer positions over a twelve year period including District Commissioner. I joined the staff of Scouts Canada in 1979 and retired in 2009. My roles included Director of Multicultural Scouting for the Greater Toronto Council and their Council Executive Director from 1998 to 2003 when at that time I took on a national role, out of Toronto, as the Director of Diversity.
In all those years my life style was not an issue, although I never made it an issue at anytime. During my role as Executive Director of Toronto I initiated a committee with volunteers on diversity and the issue of sexual orientation that went up the chain to the provincial and national levels and was approved accordingly. When I retired in 2009 my partner of 24 years attended my retirement party with local, provincial and national staff present including the CEO at the time.
As you know Scouts Canada does not discriminate against our community and one of the first scouting organizations to charter a Gay and Lesbian Rover Crew in the late 90’s.”
Bryan Parker, Eagle Scout and 2013 MCC Governing Board member.
“The award that is shown in Nancy’s article is the God and Country award. I was the first Boy Scout in Michigan to earn the Protestant version of the award (there was a Scout that earned the Catholic version a year before me). So as a historical side note it was this GAY Protestant Scout that earned the God and Country award in Michigan first and also became an Eagle Scout at the very early age of 13. By the time this gay Eagle Scout finished his scouting years at the age of 18 he was a member of Order of the Arrow (an elite honors division of the BSA) and earned his silver, gold and bronze palms. This are additional awards given to Eagle Scouts that continue to earn merit badges beyond those required to obtain Eagle. They go in that order because most only earn the silver and gold – very few get the additional merit badges after becoming an Eagle Scout to earn all three so being an Eagle Scout with a bronze palm is considered the highest honor in BSA.”