Kw-logo-smaller

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

    Mysteriousgurlz
    What do I do?
    reply 2 minutes
    jordand08
    jordand08 posted in Friends:
    They are themselves. 
    reply 25 minutes
    Idaa
    Idaa posted in Friends:
    She's so sweet and she's always there for me no matter what. We think exactly the same things! We are just perf together
    reply about 8 hours
    AquaBubblez
    "1Dfangirl28" wrote:I love my sister but she is sooooo annoying. She is really mean to me sometimes and when we fight I am the one who gets in trouble. She is 15 so she is older than me and thinks she is the boss of me and sometimes she pulls my hair or hits me. Does anyone else have annoying siblings? Well I am the same as well. Just ingore her and when she is mean to you don't fight back go tell your mum or dad. 
    reply about 15 hours
    ows_ali123
    ows_ali123 posted in Style:
    pant, shirt nd jacket
    reply about 19 hours

    play online games

    Goodgameempire-thumb

    Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

    Dragon-dash-thumb-image

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

    Blobthrower-thumb

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

    Candy-cash-thumb

    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,...

    Plinga-pet

    Join the pet-pampering party with your own customized critter!