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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

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    Should Gays Be Allowed in the Boy Scouts?

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    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    hasti10
    hasti10 posted in Friends:
    Thank u guys :) :) :) :) :)
    reply about 2 hours
    astucieuse331
    astucieuse331 posted in Friends:
    I feel like that too! I know where you're coming from, but believe me, I've moved on. Those people? Bleh. Not worth my time, and certainly don't deserve me.  You described me exactly: good with people and friends, but don't have a best friend at all, and others really don't care whether I'm lonely or sad. Well, it might sound crazy, but guess what? I've found a friend in me instead of others. I've learned to accept that you can't please everyone, and that some of the fish in the sea aren't worth wasting your time on. So I've become independent, to learn to depend on myself more than to rely on others. Trust me, it works, and I think it'll work for you. But if you really need a friend, me and @alienincognito are here to talk to you if you need us! @alienincognito: LOL! DUDE! That's HOW I THINK! Whenever one of my friends talks behind my back or backstabs me, I'm like, "Ah, whatever, 'screw em, I'll let Karma take over! I ain't letting those negative peeps ruin my day." Maybe you, me, and hasti10 could start a group where we can talk to each other!  :) :D 8)
    reply about 10 hours
    astucieuse331
    astucieuse331 posted in Friends:
    I've always felt the same way. My one best friend gossiped behind my back, used me, all that girl stuff. She took me for advantage and we had a bunch of fights because of her finding a new friend and completely acting as if I didn't exist, and I told her to give me at least some attention every once in a while if she can't even continue to talk to me daily. And.. I lost her. Well, she lost me. We both lost each other. But then I realized.. it's the people that you least expect to be nice to you you'll find kindness in. Why? Based on personal experience, and I'll tell you the story: For my gym class, me and my peers were supposed to make a group for a dance. This was when my best friend had found a new friend already, and the time at which we had a few fights because of that. Of course, I relied on my best friend to count me in her dance group. At lunchtime, I sat together with my best friend, and we ate our lunches in silence. All of a sudden, I brought up the dance groups and asked her straightforwardly: "Can I join your group?" No reply. "Kelly, can I join your group?" No reply. "I mean, since our class is uneven, I found it fair that there'd be a group of five, you know?" None at all. Kelly ignored me straight off the bat, leaving me speechless. My mind raced with thoughts, and I thought, maybe it's not worth having Kelly as a friend. A few days later, we were playing Dodgeball for gym. I was on Kelly's team, and overheard her talking with her new friends about who to pick for the dance group. One of her friends mentioned me, and Kelly said: "Oh no, we shouldn't pick her because _____ (I don't know what she said then)." I was shocked, but was anticipating it, so when the time came to choose groups, I saw my friend, Luke, ask two girls, Cher and Bridgette, to join their group. Surprisingly, Cher and Bridgette actually accepted him, and so I thought, "Wow, if they accepted Luke, they might accept me aswell!" and so built up the courage to ask them if I could join. Even though Cher and Bridgette were mean to me sometimes, I knew that I had to risk it and see what'd happen. Afterall, rejection is just another opportunity to find a better group. Little did I know, it'd be the best choice of my life. They were so happy, and even thanked me for joining them! I was speechless once more; I never knew that the peers that I thought I would never be friends with would actually be my friends!  So yeah, that's what I learnt, and I never regretted learning that fact. Ever since then, though, I've learnt not to trust people as much as I used to anymore. I learnt that independency is what works for me, what I was meant for in terms of socializing or working. But, other things may work for you. If you still want a friend, you can be independent and wait for the right person. However, if you still want a real friend, you can wait, but still mingle (hang out) with other people! I I'm not going to make fun of you because I know how you've felt, just as I stated in my past problem before. But you can move on from those friends, they're not worth your time and certainly don't deserve you as a friend. Trust me, if it's meant to be, you'll definitely find a true friend. But if it's not, you may become like me, finding happiness in my own way. I want to remind you though-- you don't need someone to stay happy, or keep you company. This may sound silly, but you can even have your own invisible friends! I've had one, but that's very rarely for me. It's not silly though if you see the general idea; usually these friends are made from different dimensions of your personality or just because of will. There's a lot more fish in the sea, though, so I'm sure you'll find a true friend that's meant for you  :) Take care, and I hope you'll find a true friend soon!
    reply 1 day
    ts01
    ts01 posted in Friends:
    im so sorry you girls feel that way.true friends are there, its just easier to find users because they are more plentiful. dont give up, you will find real friends eventually
    reply 1 day
    lolflowergirl
    lolflowergirl posted in Friends:
    i feel alone too
    reply 1 day

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