Historic Change: Boys Scouts of America to allow transgender boys

Feb 9, 2017

After over a century, the Boys Scouts of America will accept members based on the gender listed on their initial application.

The Boy Scouts of America serves as one of the largest youth-serving organizations in the country. The Boy Scouts of America believe and, through nearly a century of experience, understand that helping youth puts us on a path toward a more conscientious, responsible and productive society, according to their website.

The acceptance of transgender boys began after Boy Scouts of America released a statement regarding gender identity Jan. 30.

“For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs,” the groups said in a statement. “However, that approach is no longer sufficient, as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”

This announcement reverses a policy that prohibited a transgender boy from joining the organization in New Jersey last year within a month of being accepted.

Northwest sophomore Lukas Alan identifies as a trans male and believes there is no reason that these boys should not be allowed into a boys group.

“The fact that people are allowing trans male youth into Boy Scouts of America is good, but it’s late in the fight,” Alan said. “The fact that trans girls aren’t allowed in Girl Scouts of America sucks, but we will get there. The fight is just starting. The fact that Trump is president means we will only have to fight that much harder.”

In 2013, Boy Scouts of America expanded rights for gay youth by ending its ban on openly gay youth from joining.

Boy Scouts of America claim nearly 2.3 members, according to its website. It promotes lifelong learning as one of the many things it tries to get youth involved in.

“People need to learn all through their lives,” the website said. “We live in a society that rewards continual acquisition of skills and knowledge. Scouting provides structured settings where young people can learn new skills and develop habits of continual learning that will help them succeed. From its foundation, scouting has offered a concrete program of discovering, sharing and applying knowledge and skills.”


Published February 9, 2017 @TheMissourian

Historical military service records uncovered by recorder

Jan 25, 2017

Two historical books concerning military records of Nodaway County citizens were found when refiling records.

The first book documents Nodaway County residents who participated in the Civil War in handwritten records such as length of service, promotions and duty while serving. The second contains records for enlisted persons in Nodaway County from 1919-1920 that include relative details about the individual documented.

Field Archivist Becky Carlson inspected the books and confirmed their historical authenticity particular to Nodaway County.

Nodaway County Recorder of Deeds Sandra Smail led in the processing and uploading of the documents to the Nodaway County website.

Smail said geneology work helps people looking for missing links in family tree research.

“Anybody who does genealogy work is always looking for missing pieces of puzzles,” Smail said. “Things like ‘What did great grandpa do?’ and ‘Did great grandpa serve in the Civil War?’ It is information that helps in that sense unique to Nodaway County.”

Smail said she wants to put together more information on her own website to help as many people as possible. In addition to the recent find, Smail has uncovered other important documents while working at the Deed Office.

“It’s a matter of knowing what we have,” Smail said. “When this office moved from the courthouse into this building, we made a very significant discovery. We had drawers of loose papers, and I picked up a book that was falling apart, bound in leather.”

This was book number one of county deeds recorded in town, written by the first Recorder of Deeds, Amos Graham. These records date all the way back to 1845.

“The paper was brittle enough to the point of flaking off,” Smail said. “We took the book apart and sprayed solution onto the paper that made it supple again. We put all the pages individually in archival sleeves so that the paper is protected.”

Smail said she wants people to contribute to the Nodaway Historical Society if they find documents with historical relevance. She plans to submit her finds there soon.

According to the Nodaway County Historical Society’s website, the organization is dedicated to the study, collection and preservation of historically-significant data and material that reflects the story of Nodaway County and its residents through the years.

The Nodaway County Recorder of Deeds houses records dating back from 1967 to the present, including marriage certificates, land plotting records, surveys and others.


Published January 25, 2017 @TheMissourian