Now 4-H Wants Inclusiveness

Now 4-H Wants Inclusiveness

2018 | Week of May 28 | #1257

Recently the Boy Scouts of America made news because they are renaming their cornerstone program. That program which had been historically exclusively for boys went from being “Boy Scouting” to “Scouts BSA.” As reported, the change takes place early next year and is being done to promote inclusiveness.

The decision comes after the Boy Scouts of America decided to admit openly gay-identified boys and adults, transgendered boys and most recently girls into the historically male organization. New logos now include images of both a boy and a girl.  The parent organization will retain “Boy” in its corporate name, “Boy Scouts of America,” more commonly noted as “BSA.”

The bottom line is the formerly all-boys organization is not that anymore and will permit girls into its programs at all points, whether Cub Scouts, which the BSA website notes as for youth, grades 1-5; Boy Scouts, noted for youth, ages 11-17; Venturing, designated co-ed, ages 14-20;  Sea Scouting described as co-ed, ages 14-20; and Exploring noted for co-ed, ages 10-20.  It’s important to note that all of the BSA programs except “Boy Scouts” are already “gender-neutral” in name.[1] This coming name change removes the last vestige of gender specificity and exclusivity in the BSA programs.

Concern, outrage and reaction over the BSA’s proposed name change was fairly strong but probably not as strong as it might have been because in recent years it’s become pretty common to have the Scouts mire themselves ever more deeply in moral turpitude.

I hope we have not reached the point where these types of changes in well-known national organizations once specifically and truly designed for youth become commonplace, or worse, expected and therefore just tolerated.

To be honest, one of the last organizations I thought would capitulate has now joined the ranks. And that’s 4-H.  You know, head, heart, hands and health, with a logo where supposedly the green represents life, growth and youth; and the white symbolizes purity and high ideals.

This so-called “youth development” organization, like the Boy Scouts, has been around over 100 years. According to the 4-H website, the idea is to “help young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy.”[2]

So how does actively promoting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning—LGBTQ—agenda uphold the meaning of the logo and further in any positive way “youth development” and the stated idea?  Obviously it doesn’t. But that’s exactly what Wisconsin 4-H is doing.

Last month, Wisconsin 4-H, run by UW Extension, promoted and sponsored a trip to the Ohio 4H LGBTQ+ Summit held on the campus of The Ohio State University. With this promotion and trip, Wisconsin 4H has obviously made the move from youth development to social justice, seeking to normalize the abnormal, encourage youth to engage in controversial social and political debates, while also directly questioning the decisions parents have made about introducing their children to sexual orientation and gender identity issues.

One of the sessions held all day Saturday was specifically and exclusively for youth, with this note on the website: “Due to the sensitivity of topics presented and the emotional security of youth participants, adults are asked to recognize this as a youth-only event.” In other words, no parents allowed. No adults who might differ with what was presented were welcome.

One of the Ohio leaders was asked, “What about parents who don’t want their straight kids mingling with gay kids at camp?” The leader responded, “Then we are not the program for them. We are not going to shirk from our responsibility of ensuring that our program is a safe space for all.”[3]  Obviously, 4H leadership has decided being “inclusive” is more important than upholding their stated standards and morals and actually developing youth in a positive, safe, and healthy way.

So goes another once-fine, once-trustworthy youth organization. We believe it’s important you know it’s happening, especially if you have kids in or are considering having your kids join either the Scouts or 4H.  Ignorance of these changes can be very harmful to your children—and we’d be derelict in our duty if we didn’t inform you, so you can make wise choices for those you love.

This is Julaine Appling with Wisconsin Family Council, reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”





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