For the Boys

2 February 2019

The heat of disagreement flying from their mouths, singeing eachothers religious beliefs, and tearing their hearts out from one another. Disagreement had grown adults acting like toddlers essentially showing each other their tongues for disapproval because the argument wasn’t logical but instead demoralizing. Why should our views matter when there’s a common goal? Why did it matter with innocent boys who wanted nothing but to learn and have fun? Except, instead they were dismissed due to the heated disagreement of religion from their respected elders.

This last summer I found myself working at a Boy Scout Ranch with a few close friends of mine. Our job including camp counseling and helping the scouts with anything they needed, but the goal with this job was to make every scout feel included, have fun, and want to come back next year. With the goal being stated it is possible to wonder if this camp based everything on profit due to the fact that they wanted every scout to want to come back.

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This is what the heads of the camp pressed on all the staff, which later brought its own irony because of how family oriented the camp tried so hard to appear.

Later this lack of genuine care for the scouts and their parents was shown to us greatly the day a Muslim troop arrived. Initially everything seemed fine until the first morning at the flagpole when we say grace before we would go eat the food made for kings, these kings being roaches of course. The employee who happened to lead prayer this particular morning used the name Jesus when closing his praying and at the time it seemed harmless and we left unaware. Although, during lunch it had come back to bite us.

Most of the staff rested in the break room enjoying their lunch when a few of the troop leaders, or parents, from the Muslim troop had come in and asked to speak to our camp directors. We pointed them on and watched as the directors put on a facade with the presence of parents. They’re fake appreciation for these parents quickly broke and turn into a defensive debate about religion when Joann, a 50 something year old camp director, announced β€œThis camp is Christian based and we stick to that belief”. The heads of this Boy Scout Ranch and respected parents found themselves in a harsh battle to prove each other’s basis for living wrong. The majority of the staff watched on as 10 minutes earlier we had been sitting there enjoying our sandwiches priding ourselves we survived till lunch and now here we are watching grown adults seething at each other “for the kids”. What they were saying was really beating at our beliefs individually so we started to think of ways to get them to compromise over how we can go about religious practices during this camp session. With everyone already emotionally tattered we had gotten the idea ,within seconds, that we should pull them away from each other and have the various religious groups pray at their own campsites and meet at the flagpole afterwards to discuss daily activities. Most of the staff that listened in the break room got up and approached them. It took a while for us to actually spread them apart without them verbally attacking each other anymore. Once we did though, I and a few other people took the Muslim group to a different meeting room while the other half of the staff talked to the camp directors about this plan. Both groups seemed moderately pleased with this idea. The Muslim parents praised it because they would have to see the camp directors as little as possible.

In the end the Muslim troop leaders, or parents, acted arrogant and rude but the children, which is what it’s all about had fun and got wilderness patches and badges. Even though there was an issue and disagreement of religion we reasonably were able to give the kids what they wanted and make them happy. Everything had not gone over as perfectly as planned but everything worked out. The Muslim troop was able to pray and do their religious practices on their own without effecting anyone or anything except maybe the pride of the camp directors. Anyways, this experience made me realize that having different believes from someone can cause a plethora of problems, but all that matters is the goal on the task and that one way or another it gets completed. Everyone has beliefs that differ from yours, no one will have the same views exactly like you so essentially we work with people that have different views from us every day. Except, in some situations the beliefs can cause bigger issues like here. Although, with the right attitude and with the lack of arrogance issues and problems can be solved as if there is no differentiation between one another.

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