At Least They Got This One Right: Boy Scouts Introduce Sustainability Badge

Takepart.comJuly 31, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) aren’t typically characterized as being the most liberally minded organization. But this month, the 2.7 million-member youth group launched a new eco-conscious initiative that we're convinced would make Arctic polar bears do the happy dance—they're adding "sustainability" to the Scout merit badge cache.

Its requirements address five areas of good ol' green living: water, food, energy, community and "stuff" (figuring out what one's family doesn't need, and then making arrangements for repurposing and recycling).

The initiative is not just for show, either. The required tasks include strict implementation of a detailed, month-long water usage plan after studying water billing statements and designing an entire sustainable city after assessing current housing needs.

This eco-centric effort is not the first time the BSA has faced a 21st-century issue head-on.

On May 23, the BSA's National Council voted that leaders could no longer deny young boys membership based on sexual orientation alone. However, the National Council let a discriminatory clause live on in the membership policy of adult leaders.

While we here at TakePart HQ love the BSA's green move, others didn't—and they let their discontent be known in comments on a recent Scouting magazine post announcing the new badge. There, some commenters referred to the badge as "Liberal Agenda Merit Badge" or as "propaganda." Others declared that sustainability is the "U.N. Agenda 21's system to global control and one world government" or that it "eliminates the free choice of people." One commenter even wrote this: "Climate change is a discredited theory that has no place in the Boy Scout program."

In the name of progress of all colors and stripes, listen up, Boy Scouts: We'll see your green badge and raise you one rainbow one.

Related stories on TakePart:

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Boy Scouts Lift Ban Against Gay Kids, But Not Everybody Is Celebrating

Boy Scouts of America Reject Gay Teen for Failing His ‘Duty to God’

Exclusive Q&A: Can the Boy Scouts of America Face the New Normal?

Original article from TakePart