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Gay Boy Scout told, ‘Pack your things and go’

Eric Jones

KEARNEY, Mo. (CNN) – A Missouri Boy Scout says everything he has worked for over the past 10 years is gone because he finally admitted who he really is.

Eric Jones says he was kicked out of a Boy Scout summer camp where he worked because he is gay.

Jones, 19, says he knew what the Boy Scouts of America stood for. He even says the Scouts made him who he is today. However, his title, his job and his Boy Scout honor were stripped away when he told the director at the camp where he worked in St. Joseph, Mo. that he is gay.

In second grade, Eric Jones took the Boy Scout oath, to do his best, obey the Scout law, and keep himself morally straight.

“Everything in the Scout oath, everything is standing up for what’s right,” said Jones, who says that for more than a decade he wore his Scouting uniform with pride. “Scouting was an outlet for me. An activity. Something I love and I was passionate about.”

At 17, Jones earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and this summer he was working at a Scout summer camp in St. Joseph.

“That’s really one of my passions is helping other people, Scouting has taught me that,” said Jones.

But Jones says part of helping other people and living up to the Scout oath meant he needed to be open about who he is.

“You know this is an organization that is focused on middle school and high school and to tell them that they have to hide who they are of course puts even more stress on them,” said Jones.

So recently, Jones sat down with the director of Camp Geiger and told him that he is gay.

“I was asked to leave,” he said. “I was told to leave. Pack your things and go.”

He says the director was compassionate, telling Jones he deserved to be there – but because of Scout policy, Jones had to leave.

“In my mind I thought that I had proven myself as a Scout and as an employee. I almost thought that maybe that won’t affect it, that that wouldn’t matter that I had proven myself,” said Jones.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Jul 26, 2012. Filed under Around the Nation, Bottom Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

5 Comments for “Gay Boy Scout told, ‘Pack your things and go’”

  1. The BSA needs to step up to the plate, get on the right side of history and admit that their anti-gay policy is alienating good kids and perpetuating stereotypes and homophobia. Eric Jones: We’d be honored if you’d join us at http://OutMilitary.com – a supportive place for gay active-duty military, vets (and former Boy Scouts)!

  2. Frustrated Eagle Scout

    Check our our newly created site and help spread the word to people who were scouts to also share this. http://www.ReturnMyEagle.com. As an Eagle I can’t proudly display my plaque in my office because it is now tainted. I’m returning mine too.

  3. [...] Gay Eagle Scout Told to Pack, Leave [...]

  4. That is just horrible. They are just kids let them be

  5. I feel so sorry for that little boy! He can come get in my sons boy scouts.

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