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

    donteatcarrots
    donteatcarrots posted in Friends:
    This is a really weird situation... Maybe she's feeling sorry for you?
    reply 1 day
    AnneS12
    AnneS12 posted in Family Issues:
    Well That is your choice who you want to stay with.Nobody can force you about it.When your parents see a family<a data-cke-saved-href=" lawyer, then he will ask you whom do you want to stay with and jury will decide.So dont worry .
    reply 2 days
    worldqweencc
    worldqweencc posted in Friends:
    I'm not quiet sure what's a real friend and what's a fake one anymore. I know when there's a friend who's only a school friend rather than an 'outside' friend as well, but at the same time it makes me so confused. Here's my story: There's a girl named Xian. We had a unique way of becoming friends ... but it clicked. For the whole year I've been trying to keep in contact with her ... but she's not very willing to try and put in any effort to stay in contact with me. Her personality is beyond sweet, and her skills at art are even better. If she was to have an award, it would be a giant trophy with her face plastered on it and big bold letters listing 'Nicest Girl In The World!' ... Its just ... she lied to me.  I was all about this friendship. I was ... i'll admit ... sort of a lost puppy following around her owner.  So, I got her this T-Shirt she really wanted for her birthday, and not long her birthday was mine, April First. I was expecting at least a letter, or maybe even something cheap. It didn't really matter to me.  But on my birthday she didn't even come to school. Nor when she got back did she ever say sorry, or give me any be-lated gift of any sort.  That should have been my first clue. Even my mother started catching on. My second clue was she even told me she was oblivious and wasn't good at keeping in contact. I thought she was joking. How could a friendship so sweet be tossed out just like that? My third one was near the end of school, one of her friends in elementary was bragging about the plushies she got from Xian. Apparently she had four from her.  Xian had originally told me it was AGAINST her religion to give out gifts to other people. I knew she wasn't lying about her religion in general, because I met her mom on a field trip and she was quiet ... different. But I didn't understand why Xian had gotten so many small plushies for her, and yet not a single small stamp for me? My last clue was the last day of school. She didn't even try to say good-bye or even hang out with me for that matter. I know what you're thinking. "Girl, you've gotta be kidding me if you can't see that she has no intention of being your friend!" But this girl was the nicest to me. She stood next to me during harsh times, and comforted me when I was down. She told me I was important.  And you don't get many friends to do those special things to you. It was rare to have a friend make me feel so tall and worthy.  ... So ... I can't understand ... why'd she do all that .... and suddenly ... just ... walk away ...
    reply 3 days
    catsandpizza
    catsandpizza posted in Style:
    American Apparel croptop, Juicy Couture velvet sweatpants and Uggs
    reply 3 days
    Heyyyyy_
    Heyyyyy_ posted in Friends:
    "donteatcarrots" wrote:I dunno, looks like something more than being friends is going on here. It's probably best to ask her face-to-face though, before jumping to conclusions. ^^^
    reply 3 days

    play online games