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The Gay Scouts

Chapter 13 – Saturday Lunch and the Afternoon (Part 2)

As expected the twins were working together as their bios would probably be almost identical. Every once in a while one of the boys would walk over to another and talk before going back to his place to work on the bio. After about 15 minutes I saw the Twins walking toward me. When they got to me Jacob started, “Smitty,” and Jason finished, “can we talk to you?” I responded, “Sure,” I pointed to Jacob and said, “Jacob why don’t you sit on this side,” then I pointed to Jason and continued, “Jason you can sit on this side.” They both looked at me with amazement for being able to tell them apart as they sat down. I had them facing each other. “What can I do for you guys?” I asked.

“Can we just write one bio?” Jacob asked, “We both do all of the same things.” Jason finished.

“Before I answer let me ask you something, do you know what type of twins you are?” they chorused, “Identical.”

“Well that is true for the most part and most people looking at both of you would probably say that. I want you both to write something for me so grab a pen.” Jacob picked up the pen in his right hand and poised it over the paper and Jason had his in his left hand. Then I asked, “Tell me which hand are you holding the pen in?” and they chorused 'Right, Left' and then they stared at each other. “You are what are called mirror twins.” I explained, “When you look in a mirror and see your face you are also seeing your brother’s face. With your right hand, I want you to touch the mole under your eye,” Jacob touched his right eye and Jason his left and they had puzzled looks as if they hadn’t realized this before. “This is one of the ways that I can tell you apart.” I explained. “Most people wouldn’t notice this and could easily confuse one of you for the other.” I told them.

“Now back to the bio, don’t you each have different friends at school?” and waited for their response. “We’re home schooled so we only see friends when we go to their houses or they come over to ours.” Jacob stated. “Next year we will be going to the middle school and our parents want us to be put us in separated classes.” Jason finished. “Well I think that that is a good idea and it will help you be more independent and develop your own personality.” I told them.

I looked at Jacob and asked, “Don’t you do anything that your brother doesn’t?” Jacob thought for a minute and said, “I play the Koto,” and Jason chimed in with, “I play the Nohkan.

“Well now we have and least 3 differences between you, one of you is right handed and the other left handed, you each play a different musical instrument and you look different even if it is only a little. So you will each have to write a separate bio. But since you have mostly done things together I will make a special bio that you can write jointly, but it can only have things in it that you both did together, Ok?” they looked at each other as if communicating telepathically and nodded their heads and chorused, “OK.” They picked up their stuff and headed back to work on their bios. I made myself a note that I had to create the joint bio for them, and got back to work.

I focused on what I was doing and didn’t notice Rob approach until he was standing alongside of me and he spoke, “Excuse me Sir,” I looked up and responded, “Yes Rob,” he continued, “Sir it has been an hour and 40 minutes and you told us that we would only have an hour and a half to work on this.”

“Thank you for reminding me, Rob, go and gather everyone up and bring them to my office.” he acknowledged my direction, “Yes Sir.” and went to get the others. I gathered up my stuff and headed for my office. I turned on my copier so it would be ready and started outlining on my white board. Basically I drew a sheet of paper from the pad with the two vertical lines on the left and to the right of the lines drew wavy horizontal lines indicating paragraphs. As I finished my drawing the boys arrived and gathered around the white board.

I turned and looked at them and stated, “I told you that you will be able to designate things in the diary as either, ‘Public, Member or Private’ and when I have the online forms working it will be easy, but today we will have to use a different method.”

I explained, “The first 20 items on the list are all public; however, after that you are able to make them ‘Public, Member or Private’ and when I have the website up and running it will be easy for you to do that, but right now with you writing everything out by hand and we need a method for you to designate those items on paper.”

“This is what I want you to do.” I picked up a red marker and showed them, “The drawing on the board is like the sheet of paper and the wavy lines are the things that you wrote. If there is something that should be Member or Private in the left hand margin put a bracket like this ‘[‘ so that all of the information is within the bracket. Then in the left hand margin put an ‘M’ for member or a ‘P’ for private, anything that doesn’t have these markings is public.”

Aaron asked, “How should I mark something that is in the middle?” I replied, “If it is in the middle put the left hand bracket ‘[‘ in front of the first word and the right hand bracket ”]” after the last word and put the M or P in the left margin,” I explained and demonstrated on the white board. “I need you all to do this on you dairies before I make copies, let me get you some red pens.”

As I passed out the red pens the boys just sat on the floor and started marking their papers. Rob was finished and when I looked at his I could see that what he had wrote was very structured and organized. Mike, CC and TJ were next and their writings were almost as structured. The younger boys were not as organized and even though they had written less it took them longer to decide what should be designated M or P.

After I had copied everyone’s diary and returned their copies to them, I told them to take them to their rooms and meet me out back with their pads.

When they got back I had them get themselves a soda and a snack and when we were all settled at the table I started. “Ok, we need to get a few things decided today and tomorrow so we can move forward with organizing the training and activities. The first thing to be decided is a name, we can’t use ‘Boy Scouts’ as that would infringe on their rights to that name and could result in legal problems, so we have to choose a name that is different enough so that they can’t complain. So take a few minutes without talking to each other to write down some possible names that you can think of.” They all began to industriously write on their pads.

After a few minutes I got their attention, “Let’s review everyone’s suggestions and see if there is some agreement on possible names. Now remember regardless of any sexual activities we don’t want to have a sexually suggestive name that could make the public object to us and cause us problems.” I saw a number of the boys quickly crossing out some of the names they had written. I went around the table and had each boy read out his suggestions. When everyone had finished I had a list of 23 names only three of them had more than one vote and only one had three votes.

“This list is too long to discuss all of them, so we need to shorten the list. Let’s do this I will read each name out loud and you will vote for it if you think in could be a good name for the group. Now all this means is that you think that the name would be acceptable if the group voted to use that name. Any name that gets less than 5 votes will be eliminated from consideration. Is that acceptable?” They all agreed to this method. “Ok as I read each name raise your hand if you think that it would be an acceptable name.”

I read the names and counted the votes and when it was complete 13 names received less than 5 votes and were eliminated. This still left 10 and they all had received 5 or 6 votes each. I explained this to the boys and said that this was still too many to try to vote on and get a good agreement as to what the name should be.

“I know that I am jumping to a different subject, but I think it is important. I said that we need to write by-laws and one of the things that by-laws include is how many of the members must vote for a name change and it is normally ¾ of the members must vote for the name change. We can use the same criteria to select the name. In this case there are 10 of you so ¾ would be 7.5 which would round up to 8. I want to see a show of hands of everyone who is in favor of this being in the by-laws and to use it as the number of votes needed to select the group’s name.” Everyone raised their hand.

Mike spoke out, “Are we using parliamentary procedure for this meeting?” I stated, “Basically yes, especially when it comes to voting on something and making decisions that need the member’s approval.”

“Point of order,” Mike stated. “Go ahead,” I replied.

“Are you a member?” he asked. “That’s tough to answer as we aren’t organized yet. I was asked by the committee to be the adult leader or the equivalent to a Scout Master who is an adult member of a Boy Scout troop. In this case I am serving as a chairman and conducting this meeting. While as the adult leader I have decision making authority my title, exact duties, responsibilities and authority haven’t been defined yet. For something like this I don’t have any right to vote on it.”

Mike spoke, “I move that Smitty be declared to be a member, regardless of his actual title, is there a second?”

“I second it!” TJ quickly said.

“All in favor raise your right hand.” Mike quickly continued. All of the right hands went up.

“The motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously, be it so recorded.” Mike concluded.

I was stunned, I thought that they all liked me, but this was a show of unity that I hadn’t expected.

“Thank you all for this vote of confidence, I really appreciate it.” I told them.

“Then as a member can I make a suggestion for a name?” They all responded with “Yes, sure, of course, why not.”

“If you don’t already know it, I lived in Germany for 7 years and 3 of those years I was the Scout Master of Troop 1 for the American Military dependents. We also had contact with the German Scouts and they are known as 'Pfadfinder', which translates to Scout or Pathfinder. If we make the official name Pfadfinder and refer to ourselves as Pathfinders in English, I don’t think that anyone will know unless they are fluent in German.”

Before anyone could comment, Jim interjected. “Sprechend Sie Deutsches Herr Smith?” to which I responded, “Jawohl, aber nur ein bisschen und Ich habe viel vergessen.” The boys were looking back and forth between the two of us like we had two heads. Finally Anthony piped up, “What did you two just say.” Jim translated, “I asked him if he spoke German and he answered yes only a little bit and that he has forgotten a lot.”

Jim continued, “What he said about Pfadfinder is correct, not many people translate it to pathfinder.”

I continued, “In the old west when the wagon trains were traveling west the Scout was to one who searched out the path for the wagon train to travel as well as other things, so the Scout was actually the Pathfinder.” I told them. “I think that this would be a good name as it includes a lot of the things that Scouting is about.”

Hank piped up, “I move that we use the name ‘Fartfinder’, is there a second?” and everyone broke out laughing. Hank was looking upset as Jim said laughingly, “You all know what he meant, I second the motion to adopt the name Pfadfinder for the group, all in favor raise your right hand.” All the right hands went up and we were officially the Pfadfinders (Pathfinders).

Hanks feelings were still looking a little hurt, so I told him, “Hank it’s OK; you just mispronounced the name and everyone though it was funny that we would be looking for farts.” Hank caught on and grinned.

“Now that we have a name the charter and by-laws can be started, but let’s put that aside for now.”

“Ok, let’s talk about membership, right now there are only 10 of you, after it gets out about the Pathfinders, others may want to join. So do you want to allow both boys and girls to join?”

I heard, “Girls yuck, no girls, ban girls,” followed by “I move to ban girls is there a second,” and an “I second the motion, all in . . .”

“Whoa, Whoa, Whhooa guys, this is not the correct way to go about this,” I quickly stated.

“But we were following parliamentary procedure!” Aaron stated.

“That is partially correct,” I replied, “Mike why don’t you explain parliamentary procedure.”

“Smitty’s right, what we have been doing is not exactly the way it is supposed to be done. We need to make motions and have someone second it and vote on it but we need to do it step by step and with the chair controlling the way it is done.” Before Mike could continue Anthony interjected, “What does a chair have to do with it, it can’t talk?” myself and the older boys chuckled and Mike explained “I wasn’t talking about a chair, but the chairperson, chair is another way of saying chairperson in parliamentary procedure.” And there were a bunch of, “Ohs.”

“The chairperson runs the meeting, calling on whoever wants to talk, so everyone doesn’t talk at once and everyone gets their turn and you can’t talk a second time until everyone who hasn’t talked gets a chance first.”

“Anyone recognized by the chair can make a motion, after that anyone can second it. Then the chair calls for discussion and anyone who wants to speak for or against the motion can do so. When there is no more discussion, the chair calls for the vote and announces the results; that is the correct way to do it. Also the vote can be open like we have been doing or by secret ballot so no one else knows how you voted.”

“Mike has told you the correct way to do this and there doesn’t have to be a motion before something can be discussed. We can discuss anything at any time, but need to follow the correct procedure to vote on it to make it official. Also while it is ok to vote to ban something it is usually better to do the same thing in a more positive manner. I got the impression that you don’t want girls in the Pathfinders,” I paused and could see the heads nodding, “the better way is to say it is who you will allow to be members.” I watched them think about this.

“Now here is a positive way of making the same type of motion. You would say, ‘I move that we include in the by-laws that membership be limited to males between the ages of 8 and 21, regardless of their sexual orientation, be it Gay, Bi-sexual or Heterosexual.’ ”

Hank jumped in with, “I move what he said.” Anthony said “I second it.”

I corrected the way Hank made the motion. “Hank what you said works even if it isn’t exactly correct, you should have said, 'I so move.' ” He responded, “OK I understand, I so move,” and Anthony said, “I still second it.”

“Alright that will work, but we still have a parliamentary issue as I don’t have the right to vote because I am over 21 and while I can recommend something I don’t have the right to make a motion. The reason this will work is that I provided the wording and you made the motion and as the chair I should have said ‘I will entertain a motion that . . ’ and then stated the motion that is essentially what we just did,” I told them.

“The reason I am going over this in such detail is that you will need to know how to do this and run the meetings with one of you as the chairperson. You will elect your own officers just like the Boy Scouts do and the senior officer is the one who normally conducts the meetings. You will also have committees who will be responsible for investigating things and gathering information on the activities that you want the Pathfinders to participate in. Reporting to the whole group about what you found out about the things that you are planning and make recommendations. You will have a by-laws committee to make recommendations on proposed changes to the by-laws. Right now there are only 10 of you who are members but I suspect that that number will grow and as it grows the coordination of the things that you do will become more complicated and needs more cooperation to get them done.” I concluded.

“Right now we have a motion to consider and vote on, the floor is open for discussion.”

Jim raised his hand and I acknowledged him, “Do we have to have more members and can’t we just limit it to gay boys?”

“No you don’t have to have more members,” I responded, “and yes if you want more members you could limit it to gay boys. But there is a problem with that, you wanted to join the Boy Scouts because of the programs they offer not because of sex.” This kinda caught them by suprise.

“We live in a unique community that is acceptant of many types of sex including sex of adults with children and people that support that happening.”

“If the only purpose that you have for forming this group is to have sex with each other than you don’t need the Pathfinders, if you wanted to form this group for other purposes, to have programs like those of the Boy Scouts, then don’t you think that there are other boys who would want to be part of this program?”

I took a breath and continued, “Right now you have all stated that you are Gay, and probably some of you will go through the rest of your life as gay, but some of you may change in a few months or years and start to like girls and become bi-sexual and still others may like girls and no longer want to have sex with other males, there is no way to know for sure.”

After a pause I continued, “If you don’t allow others to join then when you all move on with your life there will no longer be any members, the number will get smaller and smaller until there is no one left.”

I stopped talking and just sat there. I could tell from the looks on their faces that they were really thinking about this. After a couple of minutes, Jim said, “I hadn’t really thought about that.” followed by a number of, “Me too’s.”

CC injected, “I think that we should have more members so long as we can vote on them that they should only be guys and have any kind of sex they want.” This was followed by a couple of “Good idea.” comments.

TJ asked, “Smitty is there a way that we can change the motion?” I explained, “Under Robert’s Rules of Order there a several ways to accomplish that. Hank can withdraw his motion as long as Anthony who seconded it agrees. You can amend the motion to add to it or modify what its intent is and then they are voted on separately. Anthony can withdraw his second and if no one else seconds it, it is null and void, or you can vote on it and defeat it and make a new motion and then you can vote on the new motion. I think that defeating the current motion and then making a new motion defining how new members can join is the simplest, and it also goes on record that the group was not in favor of the original motion.”

“Gee this sure is complicated.” Hank stated.

“Well in might be a little more difficult, but when a decision is made everyone has had a chance to say what they think about it and if it is passed that means the majority of the members agree with it. Remember nothing is locked in concrete it can always be changed in the future.”

Aaron commented, “I like this way of doing things and I am in favor of the motion to allow all boys to join the Pathfinders.”

Only the Twins and Rob had not commented, “Jacob to you want to say anything?” he just shook his head no and Jason was shaking his before I even spoke his name. “Rob, you have been quiet do you have anything to add?” Rob took a breath, “I am in favor of the motion to allow only boys to join and I think that following these rules will help all of us understand the correct procedures.”

Mike injected, “I call for the question.” I explained, “At any time anyone can call for the question, which means that he is asking for the discussion to be stopped and a vote taken to end the discussion, if the vote to end the discussion passes the next thing to do is to vote on the motion or amendment that was being discussed, if it fails to pass then the discussion continutes. When the question is called for, it takes precedence over everything else.”

I further explained, “When the question is called it must be voted on immediately without discussion. If you pass this vote that means that the next thing to do is vote on the motion.”

Again I paused to see if they had any questions.

“The question has been call for a vote to discontinue the discussion on the motion. All those in favor of discontinuing the discussion on the motion raise your right hand.” Eight right hands went up. I had seen Mike and Rob leaning together and whispering and suspected what was afoot. “Hands down, all those opposed to discontinuing the discussion raise your right hand.” Mike raised his. “Hands down, abstentions raise your right hand.” Rob raised his. “The motion is passed with 8 in favor, one against and one abstention.”

Anthony raised his hand and when I acknowledge him asked, “What’s an abstention?” I told him, “It means that he voted, but did not vote in favor of or against the motion.”

“The motion on the floor is to ban girls from membership.” Before I could call for a vote there were shouts that, that wasn't the motion. After I got them settled down I explained, “Even though it didn't follow proper paralamentary procedure, a motion was made and seconded to ban girls from membership. During the discussion it seemed to be agreed that there was a better way to say that. While there was a motion made for the revised wording. It can't be allowed as there already was a motion on the floor that had to be voted on before another motion could be made. Even if the original motion is not defeated a new motion can be made to change the wording, OK?” I got nods from everyone.

“All those in favor of the motion to ban girls raise their right hands.” No hands were raised. “All those against the motion to ban girls raise their right hands.” 10 hands shot into the air. “The motion is defeated.”

“I will now entertain a motion to add to the by-laws a section on membership that states 'membership in the Pfadfinder (Pathfinders) be limited to males between the ages of 8 and 21, regardless of their sexual orientation, be it Gay, Bi-sexual or Heterosexual.’ ”

Aaron jumped in with, “I so move.” followed by a chorus of “I second the motion.” by the rest of the boys.

“Is there any discussion?” I was greeted by the sound of silence.

“The motion to be voted on is that we include in the by-laws that, ‘membership in the Pfadfinder (Pathfinders) be limited to males between the ages of 8 and 21, regardless of their sexual orientation, be it Gay, Bi-sexual or Heterosexual.’ ” After stating the motion I said “All those in favor of the motion raise your right hand.” All 10 right hands went up. “The motion is passed unanimously.”

“OK the next thing, I know that you want is to vote on new members, and I agree there needs to be something in the by-laws about it. First I need to explain about a quorum. A quorum means the minimum number of members who must be present and voting before a vote can be taken, this insures that 2 or 3 members can’t vote on something that they want, that the rest of the members don’t. This becomes more important as the membership gets bigger.”

I could see that I hadn’t lost anyone, “Now the thing that you also have to decide on is how many of the qurom of members have to vote for the new person in order for them to be elected to membership; also if the ballot to vote for a new member should be secret or not.”

“Why would we need a secret ballot?” TJ asked.

“Let’s say Jimmy Doe and John Brown want to join the Pathfinders and we are going to vote on them right now. You like Jimmy Doe and will vote for him, but you don’t like John Brown and will vote against him. Would you want everyone to know that you voted against John Brown?” TJ thought for a moment and said, “No, I guess not, so a secret ballot makes sense, and I guess the quorum does too.”

The Twins raised their hands and I said “Jason first and then Jacob,” Jason asked, “Why do we need to vote on new members?” I explained “Well actually you don’t, then if anyone could join a gang could join and take over and kick you out, would you want that?” Jacob actually replied, “No we wouldn’t.”

Jim raised his hand and asked, “Smitty how should we word it?” I replied, “Would you like to make the motion?” he responded, “Sure,” and I told him, “Ok I will write it out for you and you can read it.” I wrote the motion and handed him the paper.

Jim read, “I move that we have a quorum of three quarters of the active members in order to conduct any business. That for voting for new members three quarters of the members present and voting must vote in favor of the new member.”

I asked, “Is there a second?”

The Twins chimed in with, “I second the motion.”

“The motion has been made and seconded is there any discussion?

I was greeted with silence and after 10 seconds I said “There being no discussion all of those in favor of the motion raise their right hand.” I counted 10. “The motion is passed unanimously.”

“I think it’s time for a bathroom and snack break be back in 10 minutes.” They all rushed off and so did I.

When they were all back I said, “I know that it doesn’t seem like a lot, but I think that we have gotten some very important things done and we need to make use of all of the resources that are available to us. The Committee can help us with getting a draft charter written and draft the by-laws so we don’t get bogged down on it, if that is agreeable with everyone.”

TJ raised his hand and I acknowledged him, “I move that we ask the Committee to write a draft charter and draft by-laws for us.” Rob quickly said, “I second the motion.”

I called for discussion and there was none and the motion passed unanimously.

Next I covered, “I suggest that you leave it up to the Committee and me to make the initial selection of the Boy Scout material we can use and recommend the ranks and badges.”

Anthony said “I so move.” It was seconded, there was no discussion and passed.

“The Boy Scouts have a board of review for ranks and badges; I recommend that the Pathfinders have one also and that it should be in the by-laws. I suggest that the review board have one Senior Pathfinder, 2 fathers, 2 mothers who cannot be the parents of the boy being reviewed as voting members and the adult leader as a nonvoting member.”

CC made the motion and Jim seconded it and I opened it for discussion.

Hank asked, “What is a Senior Pathfinder?” I thought for a moment and, “We haven’t defined that yet and before we work on that we will need to table this motion.” Mike quickly said “I move to table the motion,” and Rob followed up with “I second it.”

I explained, “What Mike’s motion means is that we will temporarily put the motion for the Review Board aside while we consider something else, in this case the definition of a Senior Pathfinder.” There was no discussion and the motion passed.

“By law an individual is considered to be an adult at age 18. You have chosen to allow members until age 21. In most organizations at age 18 the member’s transition to the status of a senior member with different responsibilities, duties and ranks, that is what I am recommending. They can still participate in everything we do, but this provides them with the opportunity to do things as an adult that the rest of you as minors could not do and still represent the Pathfinders. There are concerts and shows and activities that don’t allow anyone under the age of 18 to participate.”

“That doesn’t seem fair,” piped up TJ.

“I know and agree, but that doesn’t change the law or the rules for the event that restricts those who can go by age. It’s just like move ratings that restrict who is supposed to be able to go and see them.” I explained.

“So what I am proposing is that the by-laws include a section that states that when a Pathfinder turns 18 or joins after he turns 18 he be designated a Senior Pathfinder.” It was quiet for about 10 to 15 seconds and then TJ interjected, “I move that any member who is 18 or older be called a Senior Pathfinder.” Jim said “I second it.” There was no discussion and it passed with one abstention, Rob.

“Now we are back to the motion regarding the Board of Review and it’s open for discussion.”

“Why can’t my parents be on the Board of Review if I am being reviewed, and why do we need it anyway?” Aaron asked.

“In answer to the second part, a Board of Review is used to approve that you have completed all of the requirements for a rank or badge and verify that your knowledge is adequate. There are two reasons why your parents shouldn’t be on the Board of Review. First they may be too easy on you and let you get through with shoddy work and pass you just because you're their son.” I was interrupted by, “Not my parents they would want me to be perfect.” from the Twins.

“That is the second reason; they may judge you too harshly and even though you did all the work they would to fail you because they think you should do better. So it is better if they don’t have to judge your work and just be proud that you succeeded.” I told them.

“Someone has to evaluate your work and give you a grade on what you've accomplished, and by having 5 people question you about what you did to earn the rank or badge helps you know that you did well or didn’t do well enough to earn the rank or badge. With 5 people voting there can’t be a tie as all would be required to vote to either pass you or fail you.”

“Why can’t you just do it as the leader?” Anthony asked.

“If only one person decides, then other members could say that they were bias and either just gave it to you because they liked you or didn’t give it to you because they didn’t like you, and that wouldn’t be fair to everyone.”

There was silence for a while, “But we trust you to be fair Smitty.” from Anthony.

“I appreciate your trust,” I responded, “but if we get more members I may need to have someone help me and we don’t know who it might be and if they will be as trustworthy as you think I am.”

There was no more discussion and they voted and passed the motion for a Board or Review.

Before I could start another subject the security system announced that there was someone at the front gate. When I glanced at my outdoor clock it was 5 pm and I needed to get dinner going.

When I got to the security system it was displaying the views for the front gate and there were two mini-vans there.


Constructive comments and criticism are welcome. Flames will be ignored.

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Author's note:

The discussion about Robert's Rules of Order, is not intended to be a detailed description of the exact rules of parlamenty procedures. It has been many years since I have looked at them and needed to use them. It is, however; a description of the intent of the rules that are used by many organizations. For detailed information about Robert's Rules of Order click here


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