This summer our daughter Sophie sent me a picture of a “cool guy” she saw at the Pride Parade in New York City. I was so surprised to see it was my friend David Knapp ’49.
I sent the picture to Dave, and this is some of what he told me:
For the third year in a row we (Scouts For Equality) have been selected to march at the head of the Parade behind the NYC Governor, Mayor, and the owner of the Pulse Night Club in Orlando as well as carry the Color Guard. Usually they rotate the lead unit every year. Last year we decided to ask 50 Eagle Scouts, gay and straight, to each carry a state flag. I felt so happy and proud to be officially back in the Boy Scouts at 89 and to be promoting both Scouting and GLBTQ civil rights…I passionately believe that we need the values and programs of Scouting more now than at any time in its 106 year history and that a GOOD Scout program with good leadership offers lifetime skills, leadership training and friendships no other program has. I also think that if every boy were in Scouting we would have a better country—at least more honesty and integrity. End of my sermon!
Dave has been a passionate advocate for equity and inclusion at Wesleyan and beyond. I am so grateful for his support of alma mater (particularly our financial aid program) and salute his civic engagement.
UPDATE from Dave:
A thought- I hope your daughter saw the other side of my sign in the NYC Pride Parade which said “WOW! I’VE REJOINED THE BOY SCOUTS AT 89.” I kept switching the sign back and forth as I marched hoping to get the double message across to all the spectators. I hope all your BLOG watchers know that the Boy Scouts did change the policy and that I am back in Scouting actively working to rebuild the severely depleted membership…