After the historic announcement to allow gay youths to join the boy scouts, you would think that the organization has finally opened its doors beyond prejudice.
Apparently, that’s not the case, as the Boy Scouts of America recently mandated that no member with a BMI of 40 and over can join the National Scouts Jamboree. The outdoor event which will be held in West Virginia on July 15-24 will be filled with activities like hiking and rock-climbing. Unfortunately, you just need to meet the weight cut-off in order to join.
“This policy is not meant to keep anyone out at all, and it’s just to make sure that they’re safe,” rationalized Boy Scouts Director of PR Deron Smith. “We offer thousands of summer camp experiences (that) do not have this requirement.”
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance spoke up against this policy and explained that it “promotes bias and negative attitudes and furthers the discrimination against boys of larger body size.”
They also added that the Boy Scouts should “reconsider their discriminatory practices and admit camp attendees NOT based on their physical fitness, NOT based on their body size, but based on their active status as a boy scout.”
“Any organization can make their own rules, but as a pediatrician I feel like we should be promoting physical activity for everybody, be as inclusive as possible, and only exclude from activity if there’s a physical threat to their health,” added pediatrician and CNN Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu.
“Our motto is: Be prepared,” Smith said in defense of their restrictive policy. “We’re the Boy Scouts. We’ve been preparing our participants for years for this.