Managing Editor’s note:  This is the first article in a new theme here at SOFREP.  Each week, we will present a new Guest Author.  Please enjoy!  And please welcome them to the family.

Guest Author: Tyler Jones

With the recent decision of the Boy Scouts of America to open its doors to girls, yet another firestorm has erupted in the forums of social media. Commentators and influencers on either side of the political spectrum have agitated their respective bases with the typical left or right leaning comments about the future of gender in America. As I reflect on this news, I turn instead to my own life and its relationship to boyhood and the Boy Scouts.

Like many men growing up in America during the 107 years since the organization’s founding, I spent my formative years in first the Cub Scouts and later the Boy Scouts. My weeks and years were filled with den meetings and camps, where I learned everything from firearms safety to my first pieces of knowledge about sex. Of course, as it turned out, none of us had any idea what we were talking about. The Boy Scouts offer the stereotypical American boyhood full of rugged adventure, survival skills and a chance to grow in a tribe of young men and father figures. The Boy Scouts, and through them, my father, taught me how to shoot a rifle, build a fire and use a compass. These were all useful survival skills that also fostered a general self-sufficiency that every child needs. More intangibly, scouting is where I learned to navigate the social structures of manhood. I still feel the thrill of competition when I think of the days playing football in the frozen winter camps of Minnesota, pushing through cut lips and bruised ribs, jockeying for dominance against my best friends, our dads looking on from the fireside. It was a tough, but ultimately safe, environment that showed me the value of hard work and gave me my first lessons in working as a team.