Kw-logo-smaller

Volunteer - Changing the Boy Scouts

When Steven Cozza was 12 years old, he found out that gay people weren't allowed to be members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). That meant some of his friends couldn't be scouts and his long time camp counselor wouldn't be able to work as a scout leader - just because of who they are. Scott enjoyed scouting but he didn't like the BSA's anti-gay rules.

Steve Cozza's Fight Against the Boy Scouts

Steven decided to earn his Citizen of the Nation scouting badge by taking on the Boy Scouts of America. He wanted them to end their policy of discrimination. "I couldn't live with myself as a scout knowing my friends were being discriminated against and not do anything. I just had to take this stand," said Steven. He wrote letters to government officials asking for support and he helped found an organization called Scouting For All (S4A).

A Little Help From Your Friends

Steven was facing the largest youth organization in the United States and asking them to change their ways. It was kind of like Mugsy Bogues trying to dunk the ball against Shaq. But Steven actually received a lot of support - from friends, other scouts and all sorts of people who believed the Boy Scouts of America were wrong. One of the people who helped Steven organize Scouting For All was Dave Rice - a man who had been involved with the Boy Scouts for nearly 60 years. But the BSA told Dave he couldn't be a scout leader because he also believed gays had the right to be involved in scouting. Steve's dad, Scott Cozza, was also told he couldn't be a troop leader because he thought gays had a right to be scouts. Thousands of people signed a petition organized by Scouting For All - which asked the Boy Scouts of America to change their ways.

The Courts Rule With The Boy Scouts of America

In June 2000, the US Supreme Court said it was okay for the Boy Scouts of America to ban gays from being involved in scouting. It was a close vote. Five judges said it was okay, four said it wasn't. But thanks to Steven and his organization, a lot of pressure is being put on the Boy Scouts of America to wake up. Many governments and charities have stopped giving the BSA money or letting them use public facilities for scout meetings. But just like it's tough to get your parents to understand why you need money to buy the new Good Charlotte CD - it's also tough to get an organization that's nearly a hundred years old to change its ways.

Steven Says About the Boy Scouts of America:

Steven believes it's important kids take action if they believe something is wrong. "Don't let your fear stop you. Don't turn your back on another person's pain. Reach out to help make the earth a better place. It's the least a person can do in this life."

  • To tell the Boy Scouts of America you want them to end their anti-gay policy, click here.
  • The BSA's official Web site can be found at www.scouting.org.

    Related Stories:

  • Get Involved With the Boy Scouts
  • Get Involved With the Girl Scouts
  • Boys & Girls Club of America
  • More Great Places to Volunteer
  • 1 Comment

    latest videos

    F993774549328

    Should Gays Be Allowed in the Boy Scouts?

    • Yes.
    • No.
    • I'm not sure.
    • I don't care.

    related stories

    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    rawr_ily890
    rawr_ily890 posted in Style:
    Maybe just a light layer or mascara and lip gloss is enough. Adding the eyeliner makes it look too much.  
    reply about 9 hours
    rawr_ily890
    rawr_ily890 posted in Style:
    Hollister, American Eagle, Aeropostale, PINK, Abercrombie & Fitch, etc.  [s:sm3/1jw1]
    reply about 9 hours
    rawr_ily890
    rawr_ily890 posted in Style:
    There are a lot of perfumes that I like but my top favorites are You & I by 1D, Heavenly by Victoria Secrets, and the PINK Perfume (Orginial one with the polka dots on glass bottle).  :)
    reply about 9 hours
    rawr_ily890
    rawr_ily890 posted in Style:
    Since it's 7th grade you don't need to get all fancy. For hair if you are willing to get up early then go ahead and straighten or curl your hair. Since I'm in HS I have to wake up really early and I don't want to wake up extremely early just to focus on hair & makeup. I would straighten my hair night before, and just touch up in the morning. As for the makeup...it's school and since you're not allowed eyeliners. I guess you can just use concealer to cover up anything you don't like and put on a light layer of powder on your face. Don't go for eyeshadows or anything heavy with color go for a natural look. If you don't want to do too much and want something quick what I do 90% of the time is to put hair up into a ponytail with a headband, and very light makeup which consist of concealer, poweder, and a light shade of blush to give your face some color.  :) 
    reply about 9 hours
    gymnasts123
    gymnasts123 posted in Style:
    Ok I am going into 7th grade, and I don't know what to do with my hair or makeup!!! I can curl and straight iron my hair btw. And I am NOT allowed to use eyeliner. 
    reply about 21 hours

    play online games