The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 25, 2013

Mifflinburg grad makes video urging Scouts to open ranks

— NEW YORK CITY — Inspired by his time in Scouting while growing up in New Berlin, a videographer has pieced together a five-minute video about the value of the Boy Scouts organization and how it should be open to everyone, without regard to sexual orientation.

“I did the video because I saw that there was this controversy about gays in the Boy Scouts,” said Eagle Scout Todd Bieber, now of New York City. “But there shouldn’t be. There should be a place for everyone in the Boy Scouts because the organization is all about learning how to be a good citizen, a good leader. And when it comes to being a good person, there is no difference, gay or straight. Scouting can be a positive thing for everybody involved.”

The video, which can be seen on You Tube, took weeks to make. “It’s very personal,” he said. “It’s about my life.”

Bieber described himself as a “nerdy kid” in the Mifflinburg school system. “I had kind of a rough time there. I got picked on a lot,” he said. “Becoming a Boy Scout helped me find myself. My Boy Scout experience was amazing and probably was one of the most important parts of my life and childhood. I have such great support for the organization. It’s a great place for kids to learn. So, yeah, I loved it.”

News that the Boy Scouts of America may approve a resolution at its annual convention that would allow gays to become Scouts struck Beiber as being long overdue. The second part of the proposal, putting an age limit on gays in Scouting, seems not to make sense, he added.

“I am excited that they might be opening the doors to everyone,” he said. “It’s important to have that opportunity. Straight kids, gay kids, everybody. There should be a place for them all in Scouting. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that you can be a good Scout up until age 18 and then all of a sudden you are a bad Scout.”

Bieber works as a video producer for some heavyweight comedians in New York, including some of the “Saturday Night Live” crowd. “I have friends and colleagues who are gay but who would make great role models for kids. Because being a leader has nothing to do with one’s sexual preference. It has to do with values and growing up positive,” he said.

The video has gotten reactions, both positive and negative.

“People are welcome to their opinions,” he said. “I just hope the video inspires dialogue. What I have found most gratifying are the emails I’ve gotten from kids who were like me, in Scouting. And they’ve gone through what I went through growing up, gaining confidence. If this video will help some kids along the way, then I’ll consider it a big success.”

Text Only
  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.