boy scouts


9-year-old Joe Maldonado is first out transgender child to join Boy Scouts

  • The Boy Scouts of America welcomed its first out transgender scout Tuesday, after reversing a policy barring trans kids from its ranks.
  • Joe Maldonado put on a Cub Scout uniform and joined Pack 20 in Maplewood, New Jersey, according to North Jersey’s the Record.
  • “This is fun. I’m so proud,” Maldonado said during the meeting. “I am accepted, and I’m actually in Boy Scouts.”
  • Maldonado’s mom, Kristie, fought back tears as she watched her son participate in his first meeting in Maplewood. Read more

Transgender boys are now allowed in the Boy Scouts thanks in large part to one brave kid who fought getting kicked out

As for Joe, AP reports that he has been re-invited to join his old troop. However, he and his mother, Kristie Maldonado, are waiting to decide based on whether Joe’s previous scout leader (the one who kicked him out in the fall) will step down. “I’m so delighted that they finally called and they did say this,” Kristie told AP, “but I’m still angry.”

9-year-old becomes first openly transgender Boy Scout
“I am accepted, and I’m actually in Boy Scouts," Joe Maldonado said.

The Boy Scouts of America recently lifted its ban on transgender scouts, and 9-year-old Joe Maldonado has a lot to celebrate. He joined a scout pack a week after the ban was lifted, making him the first openly trans Boy Scout.

Joe tried to join the Boy Scouts last year, but he wasn’t allowed because parents complained about having a trans boy in the pack. 

The leader of Joe’s pack, Kyle Hacker, helped Joe put on his uniform and kerchief and taught him the Cub Scout salute and Scout oath at his first meeting.

“This means you’re the same as Scouts all over the world,” Hacker told Joe, according to The Record.

For Joe, the event was especially meaningful because it showed he was finally being accepted.

“This is fun; I’m so proud,” he told The Record. “I am accepted, and I’m actually in Boy Scouts.”

“This means you’re the same as Scouts all over the world.” Crying. Go, Joe.

Can we talk for a second about Prowling Serpopard and how one key omission in its design has ignited a war between the Vorthos and Mel sides of my brain? 

It doesn’t have deathtouch. 

“So what?” you say. “Green only gets deathtouch at secondary, and there’s nothing about the design of this card that makes it lean towards having deathtouch. It doesn’t synergize with the other rules text, and with a power of 4, it doesn’t really need it. It would just clutter card space.” 

And yes, that’s all 100% true! But then I look at the art and… 

And here’s the thing. You see those stripes? In a discussion on snake identification, the specific order those colors appear in is significant. 

These two snakes are the harmless King Snake and the highly venomous Coral Snake. When looking at them side by side, the difference between them is fairly obvious, but they’re rarely seen side by side. And in the wild, if you see a snake with red, black, and yellow stripes, you probably won’t want to reach for a field guide to figure out what it is. (Admittedly, the best advice for either snake is to just leave it the heck alone, but that’s beside the point.) 

So these two snakes have given rise to a whole host of cutesy rhymes and mnemonic devices over the years to remember which is which. Like this one for example: 

So why does this matter? Because as a former Boy Scout, I had this information pounded into my head on a regular basis. (Never mind the fact that neither of these species is native to where I live, but again, that’s beside the point.) 

So when Prowling Serpopard was released, as soon as I realized it was a cat SNAKE, the first thing I did was look at the order of its stripe colors. And sure enough, it’s got red on yellow. DANGER!! 

So then I expect to see it has deathtouch or some other mechanical representation of its famed venom and lethality, but it doesn’t. 

And then my rational side kicks in and is like, “Yeah, of course it doesn’t have deathtouch. Look at the card. That wouldn’t make any sense, Dave.” And then I’m like, “Shut up rational side of my brain! Look at the stripes!! DANGER!!” 

And now we’re right back where we started. 

What is the point of all this? 

…I dunno. It’s just been buzzing around my brain since yesterday when I saw the card. So I figured I’d share. 

Thousands of posters were produced and distributed by the Office of War Information (OWI) during World War II to persuade the American people to support the war effort. To get these messages out, the Federal government mobilized the Boy Scouts of America.

The scouts would distribute posters to stores located on the street level every two weeks. Approximately 2,300 communities participated. The OWI shipped posters to a central distributing outlet, such as a large department store. The Boy Scouts picked up their posters and distributed them to the smaller stores.

At first, African American scout troops distributed only posters with African American themes. For instance, the poster featuring Dorie Miller, who received the Navy Cross for heroism under fire at Pearl Harbor, was at first distributed only through channels in the African American community, such as churches, restaurant, and benevolent organizations.

In May 1943, Jacques DunLany, the chief of OWI’s Production and Distribution Division, suggested that the agency might be criticized if it continued to single out the African American scouts as distributors of posters with African American themes, adding that the boys might feel “they were being ‘segregated’ or even 'discriminated’ against.” While African American scouts continued to distribute posters to mainly African American establishments, the OWI made sure they also received the same posters as any scout troop.

Read more about the WWII contributions of the Boy Scouts in Prologue magazine:

Just so y'all know, Trail Life is a fucking joke and nobody should donate to them. 


Cub Scouts - Blue with a lot of bright colors, usually on kids 12 and under.

Webelos and Boy Scouts - Tan and a pale green, on anyone 12 and up.

Venture Scouts - Teal with minimal red text, these usually need money for vacations and stuff, 15 and up, can be any gender.

Sea Scouts - Dark blue and black, kind of like Venture Scouts in that they will need money for trips, not a lot of criteria found on these, look for older kids 15 and up, they’re pretty easy to spot and are usually found in states bordering the sea. 

Any group of younger scouts should be accompanied by 1-2 adults, wearing tan and green, of any gender.

Trail Life colors change from time to time but cannot be too similar, right now look for dark red, black, and lighter green.

Trail Life consists of a very small percentage of former Boy Scouts who are “taking a stand” against the ruling that gay kids can get their Eagle and be scout leaders. It is also not a coincidence that you very rarely see anyone but white men in this group. Don’t buy anything from them, don’t even talk to them, they no longer represent any part of Boy Scouts. In my troop, we commonly referred to them as the Westboro Baptist of BSA.


Our thoughts are with this mother and her son who are fighting to allow transgender boys in the Cub Scouts after he got kicked out

While the Boy Scouts of America’s membership policy dictates that “[i]t is the philosophy of Scouting to welcome all eligible youth, regardless of race, ethnic background, or sexual orientation” (the Boy Scouts began to allow gay members in 2013), spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos told the Associated Press that “gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”

Gifs: CNN

Boy Scouts of America says it will now welcome openly trans scouts

  • The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday evening it would begin admitting trans children who identify as male, ending their policy of determining gender identity via birth certificates.
  • “We realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient,” chief scout executive Michael Surbaugh said in a video statement posted to BSA’s website.
  •  "Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity differently than society did in the past. And these new laws vary widely from state to state.“ Read more

Boy Scouts kicked out an 8-year-old boy for being trans

  • Eight-year-old Joe Maldonado was reportedly kicked out of the Boy Scouts when parents began complaining about his gender identity.
  • As reported, the 8-year-old came out as a boy in 2015, when he was entering the second grade.
  • He has been a “much happier child” since, his mother, Kristie Maldonado, told the outlet. 
  • She said his peers, both at school and within Cub Scout Pack 87 in Secaucus, New Jersey, seem to have accepted his gender identity.
  • “Not one of the kids said, ‘You don’t belong here,’” Kristie said. But apparently a few pack parents did. 
  • Kristie said an official from the BSA’s Northern New Jersey Council called and informed her that, because “some mothers” had expressed concern over Joe’s transgender identity, he could not come back to his pack.
  • “I’m way more angry than sad,” Joe told the outlet. “My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.” Read more