For the first 7 years that M was in Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts, I was generally the only mother who actively volunteered with his troop. For the last 2 years, however, there have been a couple of other moms who have gotten quite active in troop leadership. They decided that since all the male leaders have Scout uniforms, they wanted something too; I think it was partly from a desire to be taken a little more seriously as troop leaders, and partly because they found a patrol patch whose name was the perfect joke for an all-female patrol.
I don’t hold an official position in troop leadership, but I do coordinate the annual fundraiser, teach a couple merit badges each year, and help out with Boards of Review several times each year. So last night the other two moms handed me my very own patrol patch, and I am now an honorary member of the blue-footed booby patrol.
(Even when I told M the name associated with the patch, he still didn’t get the joke. That’s probably a good thing.)
Since I don’t have a uniform shirt to sew it on, one of the moms suggested that I sew it onto the tote bag that I keep all my merit badge resources in. I find the idea of sewing a Boy Scout patch onto a bag that I got free at a gay pride parade nearly as ironic as the fact that I’m going to be teaching the Family Life merit badge again. As Carol points out in her Boy Scout post at the Next Family, while Boy Scouts may officially oppose participation by gay people, at the local level there seem to be a number of lesbian moms who are quietly volunteering and fitting right in.
Meanwhile, E was rather startled when I came home with my patrol patch last night. She was very reassured to hear it was primarily a joke, and that I didn’t plan to sew it onto an actual garment that I would wear out in public!