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So... son was confronted while selling popcorn this weekend over BSA membership policy...

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So, my scout (11y/o) first year in Boy Scouts, Tenderfoot was doing store front popcorn sales this weekend. Had TWO seperate individuals snidely comment to him on BSA membership policies.


His sales pitch, "Would you like to buy some delicious popcorn to help support local Boy Scouts?"


Met with, "When BSA supports equality, then I'll support the Boy Scouts." and "I don't support prejudiced organizations."


Now, most everyone on the forums KNOWS my personal feelings on the subject. I'm all for local option and wish national would just let the issue go to save face and remove all the legal battles from taking $$ away from being used on program...


However, HOW or WOULD out even respond to an ADULT making such a comment to a YOUTH attempting to fund raise?


I'll admit it pissed me off a bit, especially seeing my own son speared for a position he has no knowledge about, has no input into, and frankly has a family that disagrees with the BSA national policy, but sees more good than harm from BSA (and the lad LOVES scouting), so I would never pull him from the program over the issue.


It left my son pretty rattled and it DID lead to a pretty interesting conversation on the drive home regarding nature vs nurture and its effect on sexual orientation. He asked me if I thought people were born gay, or if they "became" gay because of influences in their upbringing... Made the old man think hard and choose his words carefully on that car ride !!


Anyways, what say the masses... do you even respond? If so, How? I understand and respect someone's opinion as being opposed to mine, but I don't understand an adult's need to brow beat an 11 year old over a membership policy the kid doesn't even understand and quite frankly has no bearing on his scouting at the local level. Pisses me off at BOTH the individual that brings it up AND the organization who puts a kid in that position by virture of what I see as a short sighted policy.

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Teach your son to respond in his sweetest, most cherubic voice, "Thanks anyway, %@#& head"


Or as we say here in the south, "Do Tell!" Why do we say "do tell"? Because it's much more polite than "@$&% You!"



Seriously, all you do is cheerfully say "okay!" or "Thank You!" and keep going. Another lesson for your Scout is there are people of all orientations and political views with bad manners.

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This might be a tough thing to expect from an 11-year old but if he could 'burst into tears', that would probably completely disarm such an individual and perhaps even bring the wrath of other persons down on him.

Alternatively, "my apologies" comes to mind. The 'do tell' comment isn't quite as universally understood in the South as you might think. I have tried it and the other person merely thought I had previously been unaware of whatever fact they had just mentioned.

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Had to go to the grocery store twice over the weekend. First time, there was a troop there...mostly sitting in camp chairs waiting for money to fall into their laps. The next day there was a swarm of two foot tall blue creatures wearing orange neckers, with an enthusiasm that forced me to part with $18 for a box of microwave kettle corn. I'm a sucker for Tigers.

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While it has yet to happen to my boys


I have coached them all to respond with


"it is BSA policy not Troop 123's, Adults make the policy I do not.....so support me in changing the policy when I grow up."


Going from a Pack flush with adult volunteers, to my current situation with the troop a gay fellow to help me taking the troop out would be okay with me.



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"Have a nice day sir."


The man your son was trying to sell to is incredibly immature. A simple "No thank you" would have sufficed.


Maybe I should say that when Public School kids come by fundraising for band or footballl, "Sorry I don't support organizations that don't support diversity of ideas." WHAT?


I think Eagle732s comment is spot on.


Sorry you had to have this conversation with your son over popcorn Dean..


Yours in service,


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"I, too, sir/madame look forward to the day when I can take your daughters/granddaughters into the woods for nights on end without any prejudice towards my sexual orientation. But until then, would you like some popcorn?"


I double-dog dare you to teach him that line ... it might not result in more sells ... but the boy will be on the fast-track for PL/SPL the next round of elections!


Regarding the conversation in the car-ride. Please understand how fleeting those opportunities are. Even if your son grows up to disagree with you, he'll cherish the chance he had to talk to you about it.

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I teach my children something to remember when things like that happen, "Do not argue with idiots because onlookers may not know the differance."


When people say or act like you described there is no advantage to engaging them verbally. I DO watch their actions and I am prepared to step in and prevent any more agression (verbally or physically). Write down a description of the person, the statement, time date location and the vehicle license if possible. That could be important information later for the next group that takes over your spot, your distict rep. and for police if it warrants a call.

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I'd be slow to teach my boy that these folks are idiots.


They want to make a statement. In a sense they are trying to "convert" the young lad ... to save him from something dangerous. Just because DR took it as "mean spirited" doesn't mean they intended it that way. Even if it were loud and obnoxious (the soapbox speech types), they are merely imitating the tone of their "coaches" ... the usual talking heads who routinely wash our brains thanks to cable, etc ...


Give the boy an opportunity to be friendly, cheerful, and courteous. To show that he is learning civil discourse. That alone may help that person to see that we're not teaching our boys to throw stones at the slightest hint of aberrant sexual proclivity.


I don't think we want our boys to grow up taking down names of everyone whose speech they don't like!


Obviously, if the person is violent -- the precursor of an embassy protester in -- then you've got a different problem.

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"Just another example of how intolerant those who demand tolerance can be."


My feelings exactly! I find that engaging these people in any kind of conversation, much less debate is useless. They resort to namecalling and slander when they can't produce an intelligent counterpoint. Just have him say, "Thanks, have a nice day!" etc., and move on. It's a shame grown adults treat kids that way, I hope they themselves don't reproduce.


Your son probably interrupted him hard at work, cleaning his mommy's basem--...err...his bedroom.(This message has been edited by FrankScout)

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