Brooklyn Dad Starts Scouting Troop That Welcomes Girls, Gays
Screw the discriminatory Boy Scouts. Brooklyn dad Todd Schweikert is reinventing them, DNA Info reports:
Schweikert, a 33-year-old Windsor Terrace resident whose son goes to P.S. 154, researched several alternative scouting options, including groups like Camp Fire. He settled on the Baden-Powell Service Association to be the parent organization of his troop. Like other traditional scouting groups, BPSA teaches "woodcraft," or how to survive outdoors. BPSA troops also use what's called the "patrol method" to divide scouts into teams that each have a leader nominated by other scouts.
BPSA troops are open to both boys and girls, and unlike the Boy Scouts of America, there is less talk of God and religion in official scouting laws, Schweikert said. The troop welcomes kids as young as 5 years old, who are known as Otters. At age 8, scouts graduate to Timberwolves.
Schweikert's troop, to be called the Fifth Brooklyn Scouts, will meet weekly at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture on Prospect Park West. The location is well-positioned for excursions to Prospect Park for "nature observation," but scouts will also embark on overnight camping trips and weekend hikes. The troop will learn classic scouting skills like knot-tying and community service projects, and they'll earn badges after they accomplish specific goals.
Schweikert says more than 40 kids have expressed interest.