BRIDGEPORT -- In a world where violent video games and risqué music videos are a common staple of adolescence, Joshua McCray has taken a different path. This 15-year-old is a Boy Scout.
Being different isn't new to McCray. He's the only black student at Heritage Christian High School, and he was adopted as a baby by white parents. The lessons he's learned through Scouting have helped him live a focused life. This is his story as told to staff writer Jennifer Biller.
I started in Boy Scouts when I was six. My mom brought it up to me and my brother to see what we would think about it. We were really thrilled. As the years went on, we progressed and we've kept with it.
It's a good program for kids. It teaches you a lot of skills, like first aid. It teaches you skills you can use later on in life -- like how to be a good citizen.
I've met a lot of new people, got to visit different places and done some interesting things. We go skiing, and we've camped at Spruce Knob. We took a trip to Georgia and visited a camp there for a week too.
I can build a fire with just the sticks. It's not my favorite thing to do, because it's hard. But at one of the camps, we did it. If I had to survive out there, I think I could.
Scouts are a very big part of my life. I enjoy it a lot, and it's a real honor to be a part of it.
A lot of the friends I've made through Scouting go to RCB, Bridgeport, and Liberty. You come into contact with a lot of kids. We talk on-line and go to the movies.
Religion is a big part of my life too. I've grown up in the church and a Christian school. So, I don't really get out too much to see what happens with other teenagers.
It's been kind of hard for me in that way. My friends from other schools sometimes have to explain the latest trends to me. When I talk to some of them, sometimes I have to say, "What are you talking about?"
Ours is a small school. I'm the only black student in our high school. It really hasn't affected me though. I go to a Christian school, and they are all my friends. People here have treated me pretty well.
I've learned to not let it get to me that I'm always a minority here. It was really weird when we went to Six Flags in Georgia, because I was in the majority there. I was seeing all these black people. I was amazed. There was a large majority of black people there, and not many white people.
I don't really feel like people judge me by my skin color. My parents are white, but it doesn't bother me. I've been their son since I was born. I've thought about getting in touch with my natural parents. But, then I thought it would be a bad situation, because I would probably start second-guessing my life. I'd be thinking what would my life be like if I were there.
I really want to go to college. My teacher says I'm good in math. I'll look at colleges with good mathematics programs, because I think it's something I could be exceptional at.