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It can't be for Eagle because the GS already have a Gold Award, which IMO is far more in-depth than most Eagle projects I've seen approved by our BS council.

This is what I've heard from a parent who had both boy and Girl Scouts. If I remember right, a Girl Scout project had to be something that was ongoing and sustainable, whereas with a Boy Scout project, once it is done, it is done. Perhaps I didn't understand right.

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But the Gold definitely takes at least as much work as a good Eagle project and gets a lot less glory.

I wonder why this is. Marketing? Have the Gold Awards been around as long as Eagles? Have the requirements changed recently to be more rigorous?

 

I agree that many Eagle projects are not as tough as what they were traditionally. I'm guessing a lot of that has to do with today's safety standards, but maybe not. I mean, a scout has to be 14, I believe, to even use a post hole digger or push a wheel barrow. My older son has recently completed his project, and since our troop only has 3 scouts older than 14, there weren't that many scouts available to do certain jobs. And adults have to anything involving circular saws, chain saws, routers, etc.

 

I think the hardest thing with an Eagle project is the paper work. Ay yi yi. My older son is struggling to finish it now because he ages out in January. Which brings up another point. My son is now on the older side for making Eagle, but many troops, including the one we used to belong to, push the projects at a younger age before the boys lose interest in scouting. The younger the scout, the fewer of the tools and things he can use. If anyone is curious, here are the age guidelines in Boy Scouts for using tools.

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/healthsafety/pdf/680-028.pdf

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I'm wondering, is BS just having member number issues? Have they lost a lot of members over the last few yearsand this is a grab for members?

I think this is a lot of it. It's all about the money and membership.

 

I think the Boy Scout organization would be better served by accepting that the organization is going to shrink because of modern life trends. A smaller organization doesn't have to be less of an organization. It would just be smaller. I'd be OK with that. Most parents I know would be OK with that. Adding girls to increase the scouting numbers is not something most parents of boys currently in the organization are in favor of. This decision was made at the top without much, if any input, from the local units.

 

I really don't understand why there can't be organizations just for boys just like there are organizations just for girls. I believe single gender groups can still serve a valuable purpose in today's society. I realize that "they say" that dens and troops will still remain single gender, but I bet that in a few years, that will change, too. And while some feel the girls will gain, the boys will lose out for sure.

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As a mom of girls, I have mixed feelings.  I wish they had done this when my kids were little or before.  Now I have one crossing over to Pioneer in AHG and the second a year behind.  It's probably too late for them to switch and still be Eagle Scouts.  But I have always wished they could be Eagle Scouts.  AHG has an award that is theoretically similar, but I don't think it is really recognized outside of AHG.

 

I would like to have my girls do Venturing and AHG together.  If they could get Eagle via Venturing, that would be the best of both worlds.  However, again, it may be too late for them.

They might still have a chance. We've had kids join our troop at around age 15 and still make their Eagle. They just can't dawdle.

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Religion is a distinctly different issue from intrinsic characteristics such as race, GLBT, etc. While I would wholeheartedly agree that the government, including public schools, the military, etc., should not discriminate on the basis of religion, BSA is a private organization. I would not consider letting my son join when I would not be allowed to be a volunteer, etc., because it would prevent the family's full participation, and because it would send a message to my kid that it's okay to exclude GLBT people.

 

The requirement for membership in BSA, as I understand it, is a nonsectarian "belief in God." As I'm raising my kids around Heathens, Druids, and Wiccans, etc., I am not raising them without religion--though I have not given DS much direct religious instruction at this point, he has seen me fulfill duty to the Gods on numerous occasions. Since a concept of deity is part of the belief system I want to share with my children, I have no problem with joining an an organization which expects that.

This still comes off as “Well, I’m not in the group being discriminated against, so’s cool with me.†On the hierarchy of needs, discrimination against atheists is fine because it’s not intrinsic and voluntary since they could all just believe in god(s) anyway? After all, this idea espoused by the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle that atheist people can’t be good people owing to their lack of religious belief in no way harms atheists in real life. I’m on my iPad or I’d insert an eye roll emoji.

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As a mom of girls, I have mixed feelings. I wish they had done this when my kids were little or before. Now I have one crossing over to Pioneer in AHG and the second a year behind. It's probably too late for them to switch and still be Eagle Scouts. But I have always wished they could be Eagle Scouts. AHG has an award that is theoretically similar, but I don't think it is really recognized outside of AHG.

 

I would like to have my girls do Venturing and AHG together. If they could get Eagle via Venturing, that would be the best of both worlds. However, again, it may be too late for them.

Your girls are about 11, right? That is when Boy Scouts (as opposed to cubs) starts. Of course they could earn an eagle! Everything starts new at that age.

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The requirement for membership in BSA, as I understand it, is a nonsectarian "belief in God." As I'm raising my kids around Heathens, Druids, and Wiccans, etc., I am not raising them without religion--though I have not given DS much direct religious instruction at this point, he has seen me fulfill duty to the Gods on numerous occasions. Since a concept of deity is part of the belief system I want to share with my children, I have no problem with joining an an organization which expects that. 

 

And yet, they still have a Congressional Charter and the U.S. president is still considered the honorary BSA president. They either need to change their discriminatory practice or the government needs to disconnect itself from them. 

 

I admit I'm disappointed in the attitude of "if it doesn't discriminate against me or mine I'm okay with the discrimination." 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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Honestly, parents have been asking them to accept girls for decades now, ti's not like this wasn't something being demanded by the people. It was.

I think it was demanded more by people outside of Boy Scouts, not by the parents of the boys currently in the program. But maybe that's a regional thing.

 

I'm the secretary for our Boy Scout Committee and write the minutes, and I didn't even know this was happening until it was on the news. I don't know if our Committee Chair or COR just didn't share with the Committee, or if they didn't know what was going on, either. Although, often people in power make decisions that the actual members wouldn't be in favor of.

Edited by Serenade
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So any group that includes a profession of faith is a hate group, because it has a profession of faith? I have zero hate or animosity towards atheists and agnostics. My son is an agnostic at best. All but one of my best friends are agnostic or atheist (most atheist). Partly for that reason, it is nice to sometimes be in a group where belief in God is recognized and encouraged. I LIKE that the promise includes God. Now, I'd also like it if they had an alternate promise for atheist boys, and am glad that locally our troops don't care if you are theistic or not, and wish that extended to official policy. 

 

I think of a hate group as one that exists to spread hate about a group, or to attack them. Diluting that term to mean a group that doesn't include everyone, but doesn't do anything to work against anyone either, is playing fast and loose with the term I think. And I think many of my atheist friends would agree (several of which have kids in scouts)

 

I think a group that was organized around largely secular purposes (that is to say not a religious organization) that...say...excluded you because you are Roman Catholic would be guilty of bigotry and would most certainly deserve to be categorized as a hate group.

 

I'm astonished that you don't see that.

 

I think the actions of the BSA has been shameful. 

 

The children of atheist friends who are scouts, if atheists themselves, are living a lie.

 

That's damaging.

 

Imagine your own needing to pretend they are Protestants to learn woodcrafting skills. 

 

BSA remains a bigoted anachronism in the 21st Century.

 

Bill

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Religion is a distinctly different issue from intrinsic characteristics such as race, GLBT, etc. While I would wholeheartedly agree that the government, including public schools, the military, etc., should not discriminate on the basis of religion, BSA is a private organization. I would not consider letting my son join when I would not be allowed to be a volunteer, etc., because it would prevent the family's full participation, and because it would send a message to my kid that it's okay to exclude GLBT people.

 

The requirement for membership in BSA, as I understand it, is a nonsectarian "belief in God." As I'm raising my kids around Heathens, Druids, and Wiccans, etc., I am not raising them without religion--though I have not given DS much direct religious instruction at this point, he has seen me fulfill duty to the Gods on numerous occasions. Since a concept of deity is part of the belief system I want to share with my children, I have no problem with joining an an organization which expects that. 

 

Ravin, I must say that I'm deeply disappointed with your responses in this thread.

 

I stood foursquare against the BSAs bigotry towards the LGBTQ community--despite being a cisgender straight man--because such discrimination is WRONG.

 

The "I got mine" thing is really shocking and disappointing to read.

 

Bill

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I think a group that was organized around largely secular purposes (that is to say not a religious organization) that...say...excluded you because you are Roman Catholic would be guilty of bigotry and would most certainly deserve to be categorized as a hate group.

 

I'm astonished that you don't see that.

 

I think the actions of the BSA has been shameful. 

 

The children of atheist friends who are scouts, if atheists themselves, are living a lie.

 

That's damaging.

 

Imagine your own needing to pretend they are Protestants to learn woodcrafting skills. 

 

BSA remains a bigoted anachronism in the 21st Century.

 

Bill

 

But scouting  was never "secular".  Rather the opposite - spirituality was seen as a foundational element.  Including in its pursuits in nature and the practical world.

 

You can't look at the early writings in scouting and not find that all over the place - it's dressed explicitly constantly.

 

It's as much a religious-spiritual organization that teaches those elements through nature and service, as it is the opposite.  That's certainly what the founders thought.

Edited by Bluegoat
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I think a group that was organized around largely secular purposes (that is to say not a religious organization) that...say...excluded you because you are Roman Catholic would be guilty of bigotry and would most certainly deserve to be categorized as a hate group.

 

I'm astonished that you don't see that.

 

I think the actions of the BSA has been shameful. 

 

The children of atheist friends who are scouts, if atheists themselves, are living a lie.

 

That's damaging.

 

Imagine your own needing to pretend they are Protestants to learn woodcrafting skills. 

 

BSA remains a bigoted anachronism in the 21st Century.

 

Bill

There are PLENTY of homeschool groups in my area, and hybrid schools, etc that have a statement of faith that I couldn't sign as a Catholic. I don't consider any of them hate groups. Now, if they were marching in the streets telling everyone Catholics are going to hell, that would be a hate group. We just don't join those groups, as they have different beliefs than we do. I might not like it, but it doesn't mean they are a hate group. 

 

If we were a non religious family we could skip scouts and do 4-H, or spiral scouts, or Quest Club. 

 

Wanting to have an organization that recognizes and embraces spirituality as one of it's foundations does not automatically make one a bigot or make the organization a hate group. 

 

Also, for the record, atheist scouts can join, but leaders can't be atheist. 

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The UK version (which is actually where the BSA came from) also had a religious requirement, which they changed a few years ago after years of criticism. It hasn't seemed to hurt them. Girl Scouts allows their scouts to be flexible in their spiritual beliefs or lack thereof and it hasn't hurt them (changes to the actual program OTOH, does seem to have hurt them). Campfire USA, once called Campfire Girls also has a mention of a god in their pledge but again, they allow you to mean whatever you want it to mean and don't have a religious requirement.

 

BSA can make changes but they prefer to remain solidly in the past. Look how long it took them to back off on the LGBT issue. In the end they only changed because of pressure and dwindling membership. There is no downside to simply making the religious requirements an optional badge requirement and there's no downside to allowing atheists to become scouts and leaders. As with gays, atheists aren't going to try and convert anyone. They just want be involved in scouting and there's no other real alternative that offers the kinds of experiences a national organization like BSA can provide. 

 

The continued insistence (it's actually written in the bylaws) that a person cannot become "the best kind of citizen" without god, is hateful.

Edited by Lady Florida.
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There are PLENTY of homeschool groups in my area, and hybrid schools, etc that have a statement of faith that I couldn't sign as a Catholic. I don't consider any of them hate groups. Now, if they were marching in the streets telling everyone Catholics are going to hell, that would be a hate group. We just don't join those groups, as they have different beliefs than we do. I might not like it, but it doesn't mean they are a hate group. 

 

If we were a non religious family we could skip scouts and do 4-H, or spiral scouts, or Quest Club. 

 

Wanting to have an organization that recognizes and embraces spirituality as one of it's foundations does not automatically make one a bigot or make the organization a hate group. 

 

Also, for the record, atheist scouts can join, but leaders can't be atheist. 

 

Can you provide a citation for BSA policy that allows non-religious children to be scouts? I think this is positively untrue, despite some local troops defying a national policy that they believe is religious bigotry.

 

Not many religions I'm aware of (UU being a possible exception) embrace the idea of "spirituality" as a path to salvation or a religiously valid theological position, but rather insist upon rather particular religious dogmas.

 

The "spirituality" provision is bogus. 

 

The BSA policy is based on hypocrisy of the highest order. The BSA lets in all sorts of people who I'm sure many leaders in their private hearts believe are damned-to-hell by their religious beliefs, but the non-religious kid alone is worthy of exclusion?

 

How's that different from the "if they were marching in the streets telling everyone Catholics are going to hell" example you provided as a test of a hate group?

 

Because they are marching in the woods, instead of marching in the streets???

 

This policy is a stain on an organization that has a pretty bad history of bigotry.

 

Bill

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Bill, by your definition the RCC is a hate group because it won't allow women to be priests. And the girl scouts is because it doesn't allow boys. Etc. 

 

But I do see that the Boy Scouts is a religious group, so maybe that's the difference? It's non denominational, true, and yes I think it COULD be made secular instead, but not being secular doesn't make it a hate group. 

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Policies

â— Youth and Adult Volunteers
Boy Scouts of America believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. Accordingly, youth members and adult volunteer leaders of Boy Scouts of America obligate themselves to do their duty to God and be reverent as embodied in the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Leaders also must subscribe to the Declaration of Religious Principle. Because of its views concerning the duty to God, Boy Scouts of America believes that an atheist or agnostic is not an appropriate role model of the Scout Oath and Law for adolescent boys. Because of Scouting�s methods and beliefs, Scouting does not accept atheists and agnostics as members or adult volunteer leaders.

 

 

Source - https://web.archive.org/web/20080509074048/http://www.bsalegal.org/duty-to-god-cases-224.asp

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Bill, by your definition the RCC is a hate group because it won't allow women to be priests. And the girl scouts is because it doesn't allow boys. Etc. 

 

But I do see that the Boy Scouts is a religious group, so maybe that's the difference? It's non denominational, true, and yes I think it COULD be made secular instead, but not being secular doesn't make it a hate group. 

 

 

Is the RCC an organization that accepts every single religion except those that are atheists?  

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There are PLENTY of homeschool groups in my area, and hybrid schools, etc that have a statement of faith that I couldn't sign as a Catholic. I don't consider any of them hate groups. Now, if they were marching in the streets telling everyone Catholics are going to hell, that would be a hate group. We just don't join those groups, as they have different beliefs than we do. I might not like it, but it doesn't mean they are a hate group. 

 

If we were a non religious family we could skip scouts and do 4-H, or spiral scouts, or Quest Club. 

 

Wanting to have an organization that recognizes and embraces spirituality as one of it's foundations does not automatically make one a bigot or make the organization a hate group. 

 

Also, for the record, atheist scouts can join, but leaders can't be atheist. 

 

A better comparison would be if the local home school groups accepted every religion except RCC.  And then declared that Catholics can't be good people.

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Bill, by your definition the RCC is a hate group because it won't allow women to be priests. And the girl scouts is because it doesn't allow boys. Etc. 

 

But I do see that the Boy Scouts is a religious group, so maybe that's the difference? It's non denominational, true, and yes I think it COULD be made secular instead, but not being secular doesn't make it a hate group. 

 

No, the first is an example of a religious organization with their own internal rules. The BSA isn't a religion.

 

The other is a red herring.

 

The differences in the BSA isn't a "denominational" one, as they allow people of faiths that many "orthodox" Christians would believe are damned-to-hell for their heretical beliefs. Let's be serious.

 

Bill 

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I think the Boy Scout organization would be better served by accepting that the organization is going to shrink because of modern life trends. A smaller organization doesn't have to be less of an organization. It would just be smaller. I'd be OK with that.

This is a very valid point.

 

As for gender specific groups, in our experience the girl groups, especially at the elementary and early middle levels, girl only groups did not offer the same level of engaging outdoor activity on a regular enough basis, maybe once or twice a year versus once a month. This was due in large part to the moms not wanting to participate, go camping, etc, so not enough female chaperones. There were sleepovers inside buildings, but really...we were not interested in these "glamp-outs." Not surprised here that girls want to be involved in the BSA organization. At the same time, as a parent of Boy Scouts, I appreciate the male-only space it provided my young men.

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A better comparison would be if the local home school groups accepted every religion except RCC.  And then declared that Catholics can't be good people.

 

But they don't accept any group that doesn't have some kind of spiritual belief, it's not like there is only one group of atheists or one atheist perspective.

 

 You could be of the New Atheist persuasion, a dialectical materialist, an existentialist - that's hardly one group of people any more than it's one group they accept.  

 

Most groups believe that a more explicit understanding of the nature of reality is important in becoming a good person, however they would conceptualize that.  

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This is a very valid point.

 

As for gender specific groups, in our experience the girl groups, especially at the elementary and early middle levels, girl only groups did not offer the same level of engaging outdoor activity on a regular enough basis, maybe once or twice a year versus once a month. This was due in large part to the moms not wanting to participate, go camping, etc, so not enough female chaperones. There were sleepovers inside buildings, but really...we were not interested in these "glamp-outs." Not surprised here that girls want to be involved in the BSA organization. At the same time, as a parent of Boy Scouts, I appreciate the male-only space it provided my young men.

 

This has been my observation with Girl Guides - fewer moms and leaders are into the heavy-duty camping.

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As for gender specific groups, in our experience the girl groups, especially at the elementary and early middle levels, girl only groups did not offer the same level of engaging outdoor activity on a regular enough basis, maybe once or twice a year versus once a month. This was due in large part to the moms not wanting to participate, go camping, etc, so not enough female chaperones. There were sleepovers inside buildings, but really...we were not interested in these "glamp-outs." Not surprised here that girls want to be involved in the BSA organization. At the same time, as a parent of Boy Scouts, I appreciate the male-only space it provided my young men.

 

I think this is generally true, at least in my experience as the mom of only boys but who knows a lot of girls :). The GS groups I'm familiar with are those of a few non-homeschool friends, a niece whose daughter is involved, and our homeschool group's troop. In all cases they did things like Mall Madness where you sleep overnight in the mall, or they camped at places like Disney's Fort Wilderness which is not at all related to "real camping". Many of the girls in my life would have preferred boy scout type camping and outdoor activities but their troops didn't provide it. And I can't count how many times I heard moms complain even about camping at Disney. They just didn't want to do outdoor stuff, so their girls suffered.

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But they don't accept any group that doesn't have some kind of spiritual belief, it's not like there is only one group of atheists or one atheist perspective.

 

 You could be of the New Atheist persuasion, a dialectical materialist, an existentialist - that's hardly one group of people any more than it's one group they accept.  

 

Most groups believe that a more explicit understanding of the nature of reality is important in becoming a good person, however they would conceptualize that.  

 

Right - Atheist vs Theist, not "everyone but this one group"

 

And I'd still argue that they ARE a religious organization in that they consider part of their program fulfilling your duty to God(s).

Bill, is it that you think they should continue to embrace that, but also let in atheists who are willing to put up with it despite agreeing, or that they should drop the spiritual aspect all together, and no longer include God in the promise, etc? Must they become totally secular in order to be "okay"? 

 

The local groups already let kids substitute something for God in the promise in many places, and skip the religious badges/activities, is it just that you want that acknowledged on a national basis, or to drop it entirely? Truly asking. 

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This has been my observation with Girl Guides - fewer moms and leaders are into the heavy-duty camping.

 

There are a few barriers to doing a lot of camping for a GS troop in my experience. We're not really set up to do it for one thing. GS troops are a lot smaller than BSA troops--one of mine has 10 girls, the other 8. I'm a leader in  both and I'm the only one with the training. In my son's troop there are between 40-50 boys so a lot more parents and a lot more leaders that are trained. It's unrealistic to think that I can be gone for an entire weekend each month, or two if I'm camping with both troops.

 

I enjoy camping and I want my girls to enjoy it too--there is a huge benefit to feeling capable of surviving and thriving outside. My dd12 is in middle school now and having single-sex outdoor time is vital for her well-being. But it's not that we don't want to take our girls camping, but we don't have the leaders/volunteers  to go all of the time, unlike BSA troops tend to have.

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I wonder why this is. Marketing? Have the Gold Awards been around as long as Eagles? Have the requirements changed recently to be more rigorous?

 

I agree that many Eagle projects are not as tough as what they were traditionally. I'm guessing a lot of that has to do with today's safety standards, but maybe not. I mean, a scout has to be 14, I believe, to even use a post hole digger or push a wheel barrow. My older son has recently completed his project, and since our troop only has 3 scouts older than 14, there weren't that many scouts available to do certain jobs. And adults have to anything involving circular saws, chain saws, routers, etc.

 

I think the hardest thing with an Eagle project is the paper work. Ay yi yi. My older son is struggling to finish it now because he ages out in January. Which brings up another point. My son is now on the older side for making Eagle, but many troops, including the one we used to belong to, push the projects at a younger age before the boys lose interest in scouting. The younger the scout, the fewer of the tools and things he can use. If anyone is curious, here are the age guidelines in Boy Scouts for using tools.

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/healthsafety/pdf/680-028.pdf

 

The Gold Award has been around since the beginning but it's changed names several times. I think at the beginning it was the Golden Eagle, or something like that. The requirements changed a few years ago when the Journeys were introduced. I think it has to do with changing requirements and marketing. Girls can get scholarships and all of the good stuff, but they generally are a  lot quieter about it. Also with the Eagle, boys hear from Cub Scouts "you'll go on to get your Eagle won't you?". But I don't think there's that expectation and subtle pressure for girls. In GS Juniors (4th & 5th graders) can earn their Bronze Awards and Cadettes (6-8th graders) can earn the Silver so there are more awards so it may get watered down a bit.

 

I have a ds16 and another ds14 and it kills me that they haven't started their projects. DS14 has time but ds16 is almost 17 and he needs to get working. He's started a little but is so busy with school it's been put on the back burner. Which I think is sadly typical for that age.

 

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I do not think that single gender units are going away. The new cub program will continue to be segregated, with girl dens and boy dens. Details of the program for older girls isn't available yet but I suspect there will at least be an option of segregated patrols.

 

 

http://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/press-releases/bsa-expands-programs-welcome-girls-cub-scouts-highest-rank-eagle-scout/

 

 

An option of segregated patrols is vastly different than segregated units.

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There are a few barriers to doing a lot of camping for a GS troop in my experience. We're not really set up to do it for one thing. GS troops are a lot smaller than BSA troops--one of mine has 10 girls, the other 8. I'm a leader in both and I'm the only one with the training. In my son's troop there are between 40-50 boys so a lot more parents and a lot more leaders that are trained. It's unrealistic to think that I can be gone for an entire weekend each month, or two if I'm camping with both troops.

 

I enjoy camping and I want my girls to enjoy it too--there is a huge benefit to feeling capable of surviving and thriving outside. My dd12 is in middle school now and having single-sex outdoor time is vital for her well-being. But it's not that we don't want to take our girls camping, but we don't have the leaders/volunteers to go all of the time, unlike BSA troops tend to have.

But ime, bsa troops of the same size ARE getting the outdoor stuff done, smaller troops and individual units often accomplish more! It's not the general number of leaders, it's specifically that (IMObservation) the boys make it happen and the girls don't. Number of committed leaders shouldn't have anything to do with gender, thoug, should it? I'm sure there are lots of reasons why that is - a whole nother thread's worth about which parents stay home with non scout kids, etc - but it just *is*.

 

No one should expect more of you as a leader than you are willing to do yourself. But the parents should be stepping up, too, IF their girls want more frequent outdoor activities.

Edited by Seasider
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The "spirituality" provision is bogus. 

 

The BSA policy is based on hypocrisy of the highest order. The BSA lets in all sorts of people who I'm sure many leaders in their private hearts believe are damned-to-hell by their religious beliefs, but the non-religious kid alone is worthy of exclusion?

 

 

 

I think they honestly don't know much about many religions and their beliefs. They have faith insignia for Buddhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. Clearly, you can be a non-theistic Buddhist or a polytheistic Hindu or dualistic Zoroastrian and actually earn a BSA approved uniform medal. I doubt they've given that a lot of thought. (Or they've got some cognitive dissonance going on...)

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What The Boy Scouts have to gain is retaining their leaders.     Given that many leaders show up with siblings, usually girls, that participate in the club activities along side the boys, allowing girls to officially join eliminates a problem.  My dens were never fully segregated because so many of us had our girls in tow.  They participated or had to sit still.   Many parents even paid dues for their girls to cover the cost of supplies and the events.  Giving them their own den allows two of us to lead that den, allowing our boys a "boy" only meeting and our girls to enjoy a better program.   I'm still available to help with pack wide activities, plan outings and not have my time and family divided by another scout program and boy scouts.  It's a win win all over.    The success of their venture group clearly shows a market for girl dens.

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I hardly ever post or read here anymore, not due to any ill feelings but simply because a) ironically, now that I'm actually homeschooling I don't have nearly so much time to post on a homeschool board :) and b) since my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 8 months ago I have been spending way too much time on Facebook groups for parents of type 1 diabetics.

 

Anyway, when I heard the news from BSA I was sure I could come to the WTM chat board for a nice meaty discussion of the pros and cons and I have not been disappointed.

 

I think BSA has made a great decision. I'm not anti Girl Scouts. I think BSA has a stronger and more consistent program nationally, but my daughter has had a wonderful experience so far as a Daisy Scout. You personally may not like the glamping type outings that many troops do, but there are girls who love such things and would have no interest in camping in the woods. Those experiences still have value. However, there are also girls who would prefer the kind of experiences that BSA offers and families who want their kids in a program together and I'm glad BSA is going to offer that.

 

Personally I'm not sure which way we'll go next year if there's a girl friendly pack available. I think the Cub Scout program suits her personality better overall, but Girl Scouts is right after school and some of her very best friends are in the troop. I guess I'll just wait and see what happens. It's almost a year away.

 

My husband, who is an Eagle Scout and a long time Scout leader has pointed out that opt in may be slow. In order to have girl dens at every level packs will need double the leadership. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens over the next few years.

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It's been years since I've been involved with Girl Scouts but I know back then, it wasn't that easy to go camping as a troop even if you wanted to.  Getting the extra parents involved - which all had to come from your troop since there wasn't a larger organization like the BS packs.   Their weren't activities organized by the local councils where all you had to do was sign-up and bring your troop - a Halloween party, Christmas Caroling, and one Spring Fling were the only council-wide things and none of them were anything close to a camp-out. 

 

It seems like the organization of Boy Scouts makes it much easier to do these types of activities by giving a wider pool to pull chaperones from, and the higher level organization seems to be more involved in planning activities for the local area.

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This is what I've heard from a parent who had both boy and Girl Scouts. If I remember right, a Girl Scout project had to be something that was ongoing and sustainable, whereas with a Boy Scout project, once it is done, it is done. Perhaps I didn't understand right.

 

Boy Scout Eagle projects aren't so much about the project. They are designed to give the boy leadership skills. He needs to plan, fill out paperwork, find the money, work with the organization on their needs, and direct a workforce. They're looking for evidence that the boy learned *leadership* skills, not that they created something that will last forever. I've seen some really amazing and complicated Eagle projects and some that seem pretty easy, but I've rarely seen one where the boy didn't learn some useful leadership skills.

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Boy Scout Eagle projects aren't so much about the project. They are designed to give the boy leadership skills. He needs to plan, fill out paperwork, find the money, work with the organization on their needs, and direct a workforce. They're looking for evidence that the boy learned *leadership* skills, not that they created something that will last forever. I've seen some really amazing and complicated Eagle projects and some that seem pretty easy, but I've rarely seen one where the boy didn't learn some useful leadership skills.

 

YES!!! It's not so much about the project as it the amount of effort, planning  etc.. that it takes to get to the actual project. My son's Eagle project took a ridiculous amount of hours to plan, compared to the amount of work it took to actually execute the plan. The leadership skills he gained were invaluable. 

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I have a ds16 and another ds14 and it kills me that they haven't started their projects. DS14 has time but ds16 is almost 17 and he needs to get working. He's started a little but is so busy with school it's been put on the back burner. Which I think is sadly typical for that age.

My guy didn't get his proposal signed off until this past May, which was just 8 months before aging out. It remains to be seen if he will actually finish his paperwork on time. He's started on it and has drafted his life statement, but he tends to want to do other things in his "free time." Somehow he thinks that it will all magically come together. Maybe it will, lol.

 

And yeah, it's hard on the old boys who have so much going on in addition to school and scouts. Which is a shame because I think, in general, it is best to do an Eagle project when a scout is on the older side. There are just so many things that younger scouts are not able to handle as independently as older scouts.

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This is a very valid point.

 

As for gender specific groups, in our experience the girl groups, especially at the elementary and early middle levels, girl only groups did not offer the same level of engaging outdoor activity on a regular enough basis, maybe once or twice a year versus once a month. This was due in large part to the moms not wanting to participate, go camping, etc, so not enough female chaperones. There were sleepovers inside buildings, but really...we were not interested in these "glamp-outs." Not surprised here that girls want to be involved in the BSA organization. At the same time, as a parent of Boy Scouts, I appreciate the male-only space it provided my young men.

 

 

 

This has been my observation with Girl Guides - fewer moms and leaders are into the heavy-duty camping.

I'll be surprised if all of a sudden there are a bunch of moms who will want to go on boy-scout style campouts -- latrines, or holes you dig yourself; poor, if any shower facilities, etc. While there are always some moms who go on campouts, my experience has been that most prefer not to, especially not for more than a night. I'm wondering if the rules for the new girl groups will be the same as for the boys -- two deep leadership, although with the boys it doesn't matter if the adult leaders are male or female. Will the girl groups allow men (dads) to lead the girls overnight? Does anybody know what the rules are for Venture scouts? Do they have to have two deep with both male and females leaders, so 4 adults per trip, or does it not matter? I know I've seen some activities that require both male and female for Venture activities, but I'm not sure if this is an official rule or not. At any rate, if the girl groups depend on female leadership to do all of the overnight outdoor activities, I think it will be a hard sell for many. Boy Scouts typically do an overnight event each month, so it's a heavy load if only a few parents participate.

 

That said, I think more and more boys don't want to go and do strenuous outdoor activities, either. Maybe the traditional rigor of Boy Scouts will lessen a bit. My boys had the opportunity to go on a fantastic backpacking trip this summer that involved 5 nights away from home, but obviously, that meant no electronics. Only two boys from our troop went (my two), and two from another troop. And there wasn't a cost barrier. We only had to provide food for our own boys. I think many boys don't want to get away from electronics for that long. I know that's a huge drawback for my older son. He always has a good time when he goes, but he doesn't like the thought of giving up electronics and creature comforts.

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I'll be surprised if all of a sudden there are a bunch of moms who will want to go on boy-scout style campouts -- latrines, or holes you dig yourself; poor, if any shower facilities, etc. While there are always some moms who go on campouts, my experience has been that most prefer not to, especially not for more than a night. I'm wondering if the rules for the new girl groups will be the same as for the boys -- two deep leadership, although with the boys it doesn't matter if the adult leaders are male or female. Will the girl groups allow men (dads) to lead the girls overnight? Does anybody know what the rules are for Venture scouts? Do they have to have two deep with both male and females leaders, so 4 adults per trip, or does it not matter? I know I've seen some activities that require both male and female for Venture activities, but I'm not sure if this is an official rule or not. At any rate, if the girl groups depend on female leadership to do all of the overnight outdoor activities, I think it will be a hard sell for many. Boy Scouts typically do an overnight event each month, so it's a heavy load if only a few parents participate.

 

That said, I think more and more boys don't want to go and do strenuous outdoor activities, either. Maybe the traditional rigor of Boy Scouts will lessen a bit. My boys had the opportunity to go on a fantastic backpacking trip this summer that involved 5 nights away from home, but obviously, that meant no electronics. Only two boys from our troop went (my two), and two from another troop. And there wasn't a cost barrier. We only had to provide food for our own boys. I think many boys don't want to get away from electronics for that long. I know that's a huge drawback for my older son. He always has a good time when he goes, but he doesn't like the thought of giving up electronics and creature comforts.

Hmmmm

 

Around here many moms do take these trips. But this area is all on camping culture, a lot of these women grew up living in tents, and luxury was a state park. But if you are trout fishing on some remote portion of the Boardman River or whatever, you make due with mother nature so they are not averse to it. One of the moms specializes in organizing trips to Isle Royale which is SERIOUS rough camping. I can honestly see these moms being very involved. The outdoor life club in our 4H program does this kind of thing reguarly, and the leaders and chaperones are all moms though it is a co-ed club. 

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I'll be surprised if all of a sudden there are a bunch of moms who will want to go on boy-scout style campouts -- latrines, or holes you dig yourself; poor, if any shower facilities, etc. While there are always some moms who go on campouts, my experience has been that most prefer not to, especially not for more than a night. I'm wondering if the rules for the new girl groups will be the same as for the boys -- two deep leadership, although with the boys it doesn't matter if the adult leaders are male or female. Will the girl groups allow men (dads) to lead the girls overnight? Does anybody know what the rules are for Venture scouts? Do they have to have two deep with both male and females leaders, so 4 adults per trip, or does it not matter? I know I've seen some activities that require both male and female for Venture activities, but I'm not sure if this is an official rule or not. At any rate, if the girl groups depend on female leadership to do all of the overnight outdoor activities, I think it will be a hard sell for many. Boy Scouts typically do an overnight event each month, so it's a heavy load if only a few parents participate.

 

That said, I think more and more boys don't want to go and do strenuous outdoor activities, either. Maybe the traditional rigor of Boy Scouts will lessen a bit. My boys had the opportunity to go on a fantastic backpacking trip this summer that involved 5 nights away from home, but obviously, that meant no electronics. Only two boys from our troop went (my two), and two from another troop. And there wasn't a cost barrier. We only had to provide food for our own boys. I think many boys don't want to get away from electronics for that long. I know that's a huge drawback for my older son. He always has a good time when he goes, but he doesn't like the thought of giving up electronics and creature comforts.

 

Venturing requires two deep leadership. If youth girls are in attendance (and in Venturing that includes girls 18-20), there has to be at least one woman in leadership.

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Hmmmm

 

Around here many moms do take these trips. But this area is all on camping culture, a lot of these women grew up living in tents, and luxury was a state park. But if you are trout fishing on some remote portion of the Boardman River or whatever, you make due with mother nature so they are not averse to it. One of the moms specializes in organizing trips to Isle Royale which is SERIOUS rough camping. I can honestly see these moms being very involved. The outdoor life club in our 4H program does this kind of thing reguarly, and the leaders and chaperones are all moms though it is a co-ed club. 

 

 

Sounds like you should introduce these ladies to the not so bright ones who have their girls in GS but don't even know what a gold award is and don't get out except to sell cookies.....and they can swap housing for a week.....problem solved!

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Sounds like you should introduce these ladies to the not so bright ones who have their girls in GS but don't even know what a gold award is and don't get out except to sell cookies.....and they can swap housing for a week.....problem solved!

LOL, I think I will let them all figure it out. I have way too much on my hands handling 4H!

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I take my AHG girls camping. We've lucked out and had flushable toilets while camping but we've done hiking we're you had to go in the woods and I'm not opposed to latrines. It seems to me around here there are plenty of men and boys not cut out for rough camping either. The local BSA leader was just telling me he brings a monster air mattress, mini frig, and fan.  When I camp I bring a foam pad and sleeping bag, that's it. I don't see why any kids would need any more than that. 

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But ime, bsa troops of the same size ARE getting the outdoor stuff done, smaller troops and individual units often accomplish more! It's not the general number of leaders, it's specifically that (IMObservation) the boys make it happen and the girls don't. Number of committed leaders shouldn't have anything to do with gender, thoug, should it? I'm sure there are lots of reasons why that is - a whole nother thread's worth about which parents stay home with non scout kids, etc - but it just *is*.

 

No one should expect more of you as a leader than you are willing to do yourself. But the parents should be stepping up, too, IF their girls want more frequent outdoor activities.

 

I'm glad they are getting the outdoors stuff done. I still think the way BSA troops are set up make it more conducive to camp but I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses. My two troops camp as much as the girls want to camp. My own daughters would like to more often so there are two ways I'm solving that. There is an outdoor group in our Council that runs hikes and backpacking trips starting in middle school. I think that's too late to get the girls interested so I started a GS camping coop in my Service Unit that is open to Brownies and up. As long as one of their leaders/parents camps with us once/year, they are invited on as many camping trips as they want. Right now we have them scheduled about every three months. I did that after looking at my son's troop and realizing that many people make light work.

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There are PLENTY of homeschool groups in my area, and hybrid schools, etc that have a statement of faith that I couldn't sign as a Catholic. I don't consider any of them hate groups. Now, if they were marching in the streets telling everyone Catholics are going to hell, that would be a hate group. We just don't join those groups, as they have different beliefs than we do. I might not like it, but it doesn't mean they are a hate group. 

 

If we were a non religious family we could skip scouts and do 4-H, or spiral scouts, or Quest Club. 

 

Wanting to have an organization that recognizes and embraces spirituality as one of it's foundations does not automatically make one a bigot or make the organization a hate group. 

 

Also, for the record, atheist scouts can join, but leaders can't be atheist. 

 

Can you provide evidence of that, because everything I have seen has said that Boys are required to take the Boy Scout oath, which references a higher power,  and that while individual troops might look the other way, there's no way to join an individual troop without also becoming part of the national organization.

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Can you provide evidence of that, because everything I have seen has said that Boys are required to take the Boy Scout oath, which references a higher power,  and that while individual troops might look the other way, there's no way to join an individual troop without also becoming part of the national organization.

 

I can't...I think it's just that local groups have made accommodations, I guess without the approval of the higher ups. 

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Can you provide evidence of that, because everything I have seen has said that Boys are required to take the Boy Scout oath, which references a higher power,  and that while individual troops might look the other way, there's no way to join an individual troop without also becoming part of the national organization.

 

I can't...I think it's just that local groups have made accommodations, I guess without the approval of the higher ups. 

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