What I did about “Openly Gay Leaders” in my Boy Scout Troop

Last Monday night this happened:

zackeagle cakeAnd this:

zack eagleceremony

And the next day I received an email to all Troop leaders about a meeting to discuss how to deal with the BSA policy on allowing openly gay leaders.  I decided that since my son was finished, it was time to “out” myself, and since at the ceremony Zack gave a mom pin to each of his moms, and said, “I love these two, they are my moms”, he had already “outed” us to the people in attendance.

I decided to address the Troop leadership and give them some food for thought as I was not able to attend the meeting.  So I hit reply all (Something I NEVER do) and sent this email:

Hello all,

I cannot be at the meeting tonight as I have another meeting in VB at 6:30. I usually stay quiet on these issues, and have for many years. It may have come as a surprise to those of you in attendance at the COH on Monday that Zachary has two moms. It may not have. But if it did that is because we were very quiet about Zachary having two moms so he would not incur any prejudice or bias based on the fact that he lives in a two mom household. Those of you who know Zachary know that he has an excellent character and is a kind, compassionate, smart, and honest young man. I never wanted him to be judged on his character based on his parents but instead on his own actions.

If I had been open about being gay I believe I would have had a hard time finding a troop willing to accept my son, and he would not now be an Eagle Scout, which was VERY important to our family. Those of you who know me may also have been surprised about who my partner is. If you know me or have worked with me then you know that who I choose to spend my life with has not diminished my ability to effectively parent, or serve in the military for a 20 year career, or be an effective medical assistant, or an effective cub scout leader. My choice of partner has not affected the content of my character or my patriotism. It has not affected the way I interact with or care for and about the boys I have known in Troop 16. If you are a parent of a boy who is friends with my Zachary then you know that my choice of life partner has not affected my ability to care for or be as best a mentor as I can be to your own children.

My point in saying all of this is that who we choose to spend our lives with does not diminish from our ability to lead or care about, or mentor young human beings. I do not need any of you to agree with my life, but I urge you to look into your hearts and see if someone’s choice of partner causes them to be unable to lead young people effectively. If you are a Christian I would also urge you to remember that Christians are supposed to love their neighbors as themselves and not cast judgement or throw stones. I am Jewish and these are tenets I also grew up learning.

I do not require anyone to respond to me unless you feel compelled to do so. I just cannot be at this meeting tonight and I wanted to share my thoughts and words with you regarding this issue that is close to my heart!

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I LOVE Troop XX. I have immense respect, admiration and care about every one of the leaders that has given so much of their love, energy, time and care to the boys of Troop XX. I would not want to think that this group, who I care for so deeply would be willing to turn people away, when as long as I have been involved with the Troop, I have seen boys and men of all races, ethnicities, and intellectual abilities be welcomed with open arms.

With Kindest Regards,

Carol Rood

I did receive a few emails back that were very supportive, and that was nice.  It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one who is okay with openly gay leaders. I would urge any of you to respond similarly to this if your Boy Scout Troops are concerned about the new BSA policy. I also want to say that our Troop is AWESOME and I did receive an email from the “faith Liaison” who expressed to me that sexuality shouldn’t even be an issue because all leaders should keep it about the boys, and not about them.  That was MY thought exactly

The bottom line for me is that Boy Scouts is not a place we should be worried about sexuality.  We should be worried about the BOYS and MERIT BADGES, and CAMPING TRIPS, and CANOEING, etc etc etc.  So it shouldn’t matter what anyone does in their bedroom at ALL!!

I am happy my son has finished his BSA career as a “boy”, and can now take his open, inclusive attitude into the BSA if he chooses to be a leader.


The Bugle’s Call

I am about to graduate from college. I am about to turn 50.  One does not necessarily have anything to do with the other, but it is interesting that I am celebrating both of these events in the next three months!

For my last semester in college I decided to take some classes I thought I would enjoy. One of them is Creative writing. Which I would totally enjoy, except for the fact that we are currently writing poetry.  I am looking for feedback, so why not post them here.

So this is the first one I will post. I am happy for feedback, positive AND constructive critiques.


The Bugle’s Call

The bugle’s call is mournful,

soulful, hauntingly beautiful.

As I sit and listen to it, I think,

I mourn. I remember

the boy who became a man.

A man I did not know as well as I would like.

Now it is too late.

You are gone, and with that

is gone my opportunity to know you better.

As a man, as a father, as a husband.

I only know you as my brother.

My younger brother, who followed me,

adored me at times,

bugged me more often,

played pranks on me, teased me,

loved me……..


Your passing has made an impact in my life,

and the lives of our family.

Our parents, our brother, your children.

We have come together to mourn you,

and to remember you.

We tell funny stories about you.

Stories that only a family would know.

“remember when he……”

“how about that time when…..”

“one thing he loved to do best was…..”


I loved you. I still love you.

I wish I had told you more often how I felt.

Reached out to you more.

Called more, wrote more, talked more.

I was the big sister, I AM the big sister.

Now I can show my love in other ways.

Be a better Aunt to your children,

a better daughter to our parents, and

a better sister to our older brother.


Death has a way of showing us what is important.

What matters.

The things we should be putting as a priority in our lives.

My brother, you have taught me well.

I have listened and I am better.

I miss you.

We miss you.


Your laughter still rings in my ears.

Your quick wit that you passed on to your sons.

I hear your voice in them, when they speak.

I see your face in them when they look at me.

I feel you in our parents’ house.

You are there in so many ways.

You are an active presence in my life.

And it will always be that way.


My brother Brian and I.  I was in my early 20's

My brother Brian and I. I was in my early 20′s

I loved you, I love you, I will always love you.


Just a frat boy prank? Or more about rape culture?

So, many of you may have seen this heinous picture on social media and wondered if it was real?

This happened at Old Dominion University last week.

This happened at Old Dominion University last week.

No way would this be allowed at a college that says it prides itself on educating it’s student body and faculty about ending sexual aggression and inappropriate sexual behavior, as well as sexual harassment. A University that has “Safe Space” training on a regular basis to end harassment of LGBTQ people, and a large and quite diverse student population? Old Dominion Univerity has online training for faculty and administrators about sexual harassment and how to deal with it if a student confides in them, or they witness it, etc.

I am an Old Dominion University student!  I am a woman!  I am a mom of a son who is starting college this year!  I was absolutely amazed and disgusted that these young men thought those banners were an appropriate thing to hang from the railing of the upper deck of the house they live in.  I have walked past that house many, many times.  I never knew that a few cretins lived inside there.  They displayed the banners on freshmen move in day.  I wonder how many parents saw that and were concerned?  I wonder if any of them dis-enrolled their children from ODU because of the message those banners sent?

If I was a parent with my child and saw those banners I would have asked why that was allowed.  Now to be completely transparent, the banners wee NOT on school property.  They were hung from a house directly across the street from the campus library.  Apparently it is a house where a chapter of Sigma Nu members reside.  To their credit, the President of the National Sigma Nu organization issued this statement.

As soon as I saw it on social media I sent an email to the ODU President. My email stated:

Dear President Broderick, As an ODU student and a mother to a young man who just started TCC and wants to transfer to ODU I am absolutely appalled and disgusted with the picture I saw on Facebook today that was taken by a Norfolk Police Officer.

If I was a parent with a child attending preview week at ODU I would have unregistered my child (male or female) immediately!   I would not want to take a chance of my daughter being preyed upon, and I would not want to take a chance of my son becoming friends or sharing a classroom with other young men who feel that this behavior is somehow okay. 

We have had bad publicity in recent years at ODU with fraternities and sororities engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior, was well as sexually motivated attacks on young women.  Is this the type of atmosphere the Administration at ODU wants?

I am truly ashamed to say I am an ODU student, and hope these young men will be brought to heel and punished!  Maybe this fraternity should no longer be accepted at ODU.  Just my .02.

I look forward to seeing swift action being taken to punish these young men and correct the pervasive inappropriate attitudes shown here. 

Maybe ODU should take a page from VCU’s play book and require mandatory online training for all students about sexual violence prevention, bystander intervention and risk reduction.”
I sent the email at 4:47 pm on Saturday afternoon.  At 6:45 that evening I received a response back from President Broderick.  It was informal and sent from his iPad, which actually makes it very authentic in my opinion.  Just a guy responding with his thoughts and feelings:
“Actually we have been mandating for new students what you suggest for the last three years. I can assure you we are taking this seriously. This offends me on all levels as it does all faculty, staff and students!”
No salutation or closing.  Just a guy sending a response.  I appreciated that, and felt like it was his genuine thoughts and feelings!
Then a few hours later I received the “official” email sent by his Assistant, Velvet Grant. So I asked:
I would like to know as a student AND a parent of a prospective student what consequences these young men are facing for their insensitive, derogatory and sexually harassing behavior? 
I also emailed back President Broderick and said:
How can I help get this kind of online training available to our current and prospective Monarchs?
If you have been mandating this for three years what needs to be done to make it happen?
I will help.
At that point I received the “official” email from Ellen Neufeldt who is the Vice President for student enrollment and engagement services:

Ms. Wood,

President Broderick shared your e-mail with me that you are interested in reviewing some of the training we send to students.  I am copying Traci Daniels, Deputy Title IX coordinator, so she can get you information this week. 

We just finished an live education program delivered to all our first time freshman on Saturday and have on line education for other students as well as layered education programs throughout the year.  We can get you the list of communication and education sessions.  If you would like to discuss the education and formats, I would be happy to arrange a conversation with the lead organizers.

I appreciate you commitment, care, and concern. 

She got my name wrong, and I am not sure if she is being patronizing or not…..I don’t know her…..Maybe I have  stumbled upon a way to use my double major degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies for some employment??

But the bottom line is that it might be more important to have an open discussion about This incident.  Just a frat boy prank? Or more about rape culture?  The fact that these young men thought this was okay, just floors me.  I don’t get it, and the comments on the Wavy 10 Facebook page are extremely disheartening as some people are basically just saying this is “normal” “pervy” college student dude stuff.  Really???

Can’t we teach our boys better than this?  Can’t we expect more from young male college students?  Do we want our daughters, nieces, friends, sisters, etc exposed to this type of thinking and subsequent behaviors??

I say no, and I will do whatever I can to change this type of negative behavior at the school I love! Until those changes happen, women will not be able to feel completely safe here.