Kw-logo-holiday

Volunteer - Changing the Boy Scouts

Eagle Scout Steve Cozza.
Eagle Scout Steve Cozza

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
  • >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    JennyD

    JennyD wrote:

    girl scouts anyone?
    commented: Thu Aug 15, 2013

    there are 1 more comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like it!

    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

    kitcat165
    kitcat165 posted in Friends:
    well this is kind of a long story but ill try to make it as short as possible. so it all started about 4 years ago. this new boy came to my school. he was super cute and all the girls had a crush on him. at first i did not like him in a crush way but after a while feelings started growing. we started talking and he seemed to like me to. after elementary was done we ended up going to the same middle school.fast forward to this year me and him are in the same class. while i was in 6th grade i found my best friend me and her been bffs since then. she is also in the same class. ever since the begging of this year they grew really close. they are always talking and it seems like she like him and vice versa. every time they are together i feel this overwhelming since of jealousy and anger. like is she better than me or??? the thing that really gets to me is that she knew i liked him. omg i need advice like what should i do :mad
    reply about 5 hours
    Macbarbie09
    I have a huge problem. When my dad told me that there were Minion and Homer Simpson Slippers i was like bribing for them and my mom said NO. Doesn't she know that people have Feelings?I just want those slippers very badly. I can't stop thinking about them. I WANT those MINION OR HOMER SIMPSON SLIPPERS! My mom is no fun anymore!  :devil  :devil
    reply about 7 hours
    Macbarbie09
    Macbarbie09 posted in Friends:
    "1Dglittercat43" wrote:omg u have the same username as bethany mota on youtube!!!!anyways, do u think that u  like him? try to hang around for a bit and ask his friends if he likes you, try to stay close to him (not stalkerlike, u know wat i mean) and see if it seems like he likes you, ask your friends to help 2! that's cause i like Macbarbie07.  
    reply about 7 hours
    Hello121
    Hello121 posted in Style:
    How do I ask my mum that I want to get my eyebrows done? Everyone has :( 
    reply about 10 hours
    foreverfamily
    foreverfamily posted in Friends:
    Your you and your unique there's no need to change just because your friends don't accept you as you and if they don't stop when you ask them to they must not be your true friends you will find better friends then them out there because your you and your unique who wouldn't want to be friends with you I want to be your friend
    reply about 11 hours

    play online games

    Hour-of-code-tumb

    Codey the troll is lost! Help him avoid obstacles and get back into the computer...

    Candy-quest-feature

    Your troll is lost! Help it avoid obstacles and get back into the computer.

    Fo...

    Dragon-dash

    Your dragon must return to guard the treasure! Help it gather lost coins and avo...

    _thumb_100x100

    Shoot blobs with different properties to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be r...

    1005_cc_kidz_100x100_vlh

    Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    _thumb_100x100

    Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

    Frostbox_100x100

    Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...