By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com January 12 2013 12:54 PM ET
New Yorker Todd Schweikert, a one-time Boy Scout who wanted his 7-year-old son to experience the joys of scouting minus the discrimination that sometimes comes with it these days, has started a new Brooklyn-based scout troop that welcomes two groups often shut out of the Boy Scouts of America: gays and girls.
Schweikert told DNA Info, “I think the need and the want is there. A lot of people want their children to be in scouts, but a lot of people have issues with their policies.”
He says he didn't want to start a local troop that ignored national policies, as some Boy Scout troop leaders do, because he didn't want any of his dues money going to support policies that banned LGBT parents and kids. So Schweikert found an alternative scouting service to work with called Baden-Powell Service Association. BPSA bills itself as co-ed, open, inclusive, and follows the traditional goals of scouting.
The new troop, dubbed the Fifth Brooklyn Scouts, aleady has 40 families interested in being involved. It meets each week at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. For info, check their Facebook page.