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Æthelthryth the Texan

Scouts controversy

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7 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

Yes, sorry. BSA has almost as many acronyms as the military!

No problem. Just wondering...what is the role of a “CO”

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48 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

There are going to be two ways to set up girl troops. One is totally separate, with their own committee, SM, and CO. Or, optionally, there can be "linked" troops, sharing a CO AND a committee. Some COs will opt for no girl troops (like LDS), some will have separate, and some will go with linked. Some COs only charter a troop or a pack, and some charter a pack, a troop, a crew, AND a ship. My prediction is that those COs will be open to the idea of girl troops. Our CO (Elks) has a pack, and troop, and by the end of the year, a crew, by the push of the CO themselves. Time will tell if we have enough girls interested for a troop. We have a number of girls in BSA now, but they are in the crew. Much of our crew committee also serve on the troop's committee. We have no formal crossover between the pack and the troop, but parents who have boys in both are usually pretty active in the troop. 

 

That makes sense. I was thinking about it the other day because part of me wants to dual enroll my girls but then it occurred to me that I might not be able to. 

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From chatting with other SMs, CCs, etc. I'm not hearing great enthusiasm for linked troops. We're all so busy with troops and crews that I think we're reluctant to take on anything more. We physically can't host a girl troop in our meeting place. There isn't room Technically, our CO is supposed to give us a meeting place, but that's not doable for ours. The next troop down valley has a place to store the trailers, equipment, AND a meeting place, but our ELks is downtown, so that's not possible. We do have committee meetings there, just to remind them that they own a BS troop. And we had our last CoH there, instead of the usual place due to a conflict. It was a perfect spot and we'll use it again. The Pack had their Blue and Gold at an old refurbished schoolhouse, but it's not big enough for us. 

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I wonder if the new "Scouts" will have a different uniform for girls? I am perfectly happy with BSA being "The Scouts."

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30 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

The CO owns the unit. The own the money, they accept the adult volunteers, they provide a place to meet, etc. And, as in all things BSA, there's a guidebook on that! https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/511-421(16)_web.pdf Most COs are pretty hands-off. 

Interesting.  There is nothing like that in GS.  Girls join, the council tries to find a troop. If there isn’t one, then often they try to find a mom willing to volunteer.  It’s on the troop leader to figure out where the troops meet...which is why meetings often happen at the leaders house.  

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5 hours ago, TechWife said:

That push is dependent upon the troop leadership and the parents. The troop ds was in actively discouraged the guys from moving that fast through the program. Their goal was Eagle before 18. They succeeded the vast majority of the time, with most boys earning Eagle between the ages of 16-18. This is a large, active troop with anywhere from 3-8 boys earning their Eagle each year. If you don't want to spend that much time on the program, allow your son to slow down.

 

This is the way it is with our troop, too.  Almost every boy in our troop Eagles, but it is not usually until they are 17 or 18.  Eagle is encouraged, but it is not pushed as the be-all, end-all of the scouting program.   I really love our troop because it is boy-lead with adult support for what the scouts want to do, and usually at the younger ages, the boys are not all into earning complicated merit badges that require paperwork and record-keeping.  They want to be outdoors and camp.  Many of our scouts have been in the program for 2 and 3 years and are barely First Class, but we usually have a 80 percent or more turnout for campouts and summer camp.  We've had quite a few boys decide at 16 that they want to make Eagle after all, and it's wonderful to see them buckle down and make it happen.

In the first troop we joined, Eagle was really pushed at a young age.  The leaders were always talking about how the scouts had to achieve Eagle before they were into girls, cars and jobs.  I think it ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy, with kids earning Eagle early and then dropping out.  

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The whole controversy is a big disappointment to our boy because he feels that the national committee made decisions without consulting the troops, and in his own (young, but aiming for honorable) opinion, the way it is being handled violates the Scout Law. 

Some boys really thrive and benefit in a boys-only space (particularly some home schooled boys with Type A sisters). Boy-led in our troop has worked BEAUTIFULLY - yes, sometimes it completely crumbles, but with wise and patient leadership, those failures have become some of the most valuable and authentic leadership learning of all.

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Well, BSA made a change this past year--if a Scout has 5, 10, 15, etc. more mbs than the 21 needed for Eagle, they can get their Palms right then. It used to be, if the Scout made Eagle, but had a bunch of mbs, he had to wait 3 month, then 3 more months, to get the Palms. If they didn't Eagle at 13 (and early as 13) they didn't get those Palms. My ds wasn't able to get all his Palms because he aged out before he could. Those Palms mattered to him--he ended up with 15. Turns out, you can only fit 5 Silver Palms on your Eagle medal anyway! There are 467 boys who have earned them all. Ds and I had a lovely journey together doing them all. He had a lot of great experiences and met a lot of cool people along the way. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Interesting.  There is nothing like that in GS.  Girls join, the council tries to find a troop. If there isn’t one, then often they try to find a mom willing to volunteer.  It’s on the troop leader to figure out where the troops meet...which is why meetings often happen at the leaders house.  

 

 

I think the CO system is a real strength of BSA. All too often, a GSUSA troop disappears when the mom and her dd lose interest. It's pretty cool to see 100+ yo BSA troops! Another strength is that troops are not generally closed when they're "full". Many CO encourage new troops to split off, but it's rare (very rare) that a boy is told there's no room. GSUSA doesn't have that system. I've heard way too many tales of woe when a girl WANTS to join a troop, but can't because they're full. 

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16 minutes ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

The whole controversy is a big disappointment to our boy because he feels that the national committee made decisions without consulting the troops, and in his own (young, but aiming for honorable) opinion, the way it is being handled violates the Scout Law. 

Some boys really thrive and benefit in a boys-only space (particularly some home schooled boys with Type A sisters). Boy-led in our troop has worked BEAUTIFULLY - yes, sometimes it completely crumbles, but with wise and patient leadership, those failures have become some of the most valuable and authentic leadership learning of all.

The troops will still be single sex. That wasn't changed. 

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2 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

 

 

I think the CO system is a real strength of BSA. All too often, a GSUSA troop disappears when the mom and her dd lose interest. It's pretty cool to see 100+ yo BSA troops! Another strength is that troops are not generally closed when they're "full". Many CO encourage new troops to split off, but it's rare (very rare) that a boy is told there's no room. GSUSA doesn't have that system. I've heard way too many tales of woe when a girl WANTS to join a troop, but can't because they're full. 

You might be on to something there.  Not even just when a mom and her dd lose lose interest.  People move, pass away, move into phases of life where they just can’t dedicate the time.  I was a brownie leader when I didn’t have a kid in Scouts.  But, I couldn’t continue due to time constraints and that meant, the troop disappeared.  The girls (and we were a small troop) were absorbed into other troops, but as a 19 yr old single mom in college, I just couldn’t continue.  

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

You might be on to something there.  Not even just when a mom and her dd lose lose interest.  People move, pass away, move into phases of life where they just can’t dedicate the time.  I was a brownie leader when I didn’t have a kid in Scouts.  But, I couldn’t continue due to time constraints and that meant, the troop disappeared.  The girls (and we were a small troop) were absorbed into other troops, but as a 19 yr old single mom in college, I just couldn’t continue.  

 

Yeah, GSUSA's system just doesn't have the longevity built in. We're a 60yo something troop, but the paperwork is messed up. We can only claim 30, which is still cool. We have a plea in the newspaper every week, for GS leaders. 

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I just did some Googling and can't find a spot to directly connect with a GS troop. They should work on that. How many girls are missing because they can't find a contact without going through the state council? 

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1 hour ago, Margaret in CO said:

I just did some Googling and can't find a spot to directly connect with a GS troop. They should work on that. How many girls are missing because they can't find a contact without going through the state council? 

Once a girl/parent clicks on “join now,” their name goes into what we call “Opportunity Catalog.” If there is a troop in the area that fits what the family wants, they are automatically put into the troop. The leader gets a message that there is a new girl in the troop. That can be super fun. 

If there isn’t a troop that fits what she needs (time/day or whatever), they talk to the parent about becoming a leader or being a Juliette (basically a Lone Scout) until a troop forms. 

It isn’t easy to find volunteers, but that’s true in any organization. We also volunteer with the local soccer league and finding coaches and team parents is like pulling teeth so that's not just the local Girl Scouts and not having a long-term troop. There are actually three troops in my daughter’s grade at her school. Which is great because we all meet according to our own schedules. And while GSUSA doesn’t have a book, we do have training, some say too many.

I’ve been a long-term volunteer in both organizations and they both do some things really well and some poorly. And most of that depends on the local troop leaders. 

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You obviously live in a much bigger town than I! I've had folks say over and over that troops are full. If I didn't have a committee of great volunteers, I know *I* would be reluctant to keep growing a troop! I hear ya' on the lack of volunteers. Our local university is one of the few that has more guys than girls, so that cuts down on the number of 20 something female students to help. We regularly have Eagle Scouts call up and help, but I've never heard of a Gold student doing that--there aren't that many females on campus. We are blessed with our college students--they have such enthusiasm.

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4 hours ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

The whole controversy is a big disappointment to our boy because he feels that the national committee made decisions without consulting the troops, and in his own (young, but aiming for honorable) opinion, the way it is being handled violates the Scout Law. 

Some boys really thrive and benefit in a boys-only space (particularly some home schooled boys with Type A sisters). Boy-led in our troop has worked BEAUTIFULLY - yes, sometimes it completely crumbles, but with wise and patient leadership, those failures have become some of the most valuable and authentic leadership learning of all.

 

I kind of agree with your son.  I think the way national made the decision to add girls without consulting the people who were already part of the organization was wrong.  I bet if there was a vote taken by existing scout leaders and/or the boys, it would have never passed to allow the girls in.   I do think there is an agenda at the top, and it is different from what many (most?) people on the ground want. 

I'm trying not to be angry or too upset about this, but it's hard.  I now want my younger son to hurry up and get his Eagle in case we feel compelled to leave the BSA.  Although I don't know if I'd really have the heart to do that.  I'm so grateful to BSA in so many ways.   Scouting has done so much for both of my boys.  They each had different needs and goals, but scouting fit them each beautifully, both the reluctant leader and the one who's dream was always to be SPL. I  don't think I'll be able to turn my back on that.  I always wanted to be one of those leaders who keep giving back to scouting, even after their own sons move on.  So I guess I'm just going to try to get used to this, as hard as it may be. 

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2 minutes ago, Serenade said:

 

I kind of agree with your son.  I think the way national made the decision to add girls without consulting the people who were already part of the organization was wrong.  I bet if there was a vote taken by existing scout leaders and/or the boys, it would have never passed to allow the girls in.   I do think there is an agenda at the top, and it is different from what many (most?) people on the ground want. 

I'm trying not to be angry or too upset about this, but it's hard.  I now want my younger son to hurry up and get his Eagle in case we feel compelled to leave the BSA.  Although I don't know if I'd really have the heart to do that.  I'm so grateful to BSA in so many ways.   Scouting has done so much for both of my boys.  They each had different needs and goals, but scouting fit them each beautifully, both the reluctant leader and the one who's dream was always to be SPL. I  don't think I'll be able to turn my back on that.  I always wanted to be one of those leaders who keep giving back to scouting, even after their own sons move on.  So I guess I'm just going to try to get used to this, as hard as it may be. 

 

Serenade, your ds might be able to finish up in Lone Scouting if it comes to that. I sympathize--I kept a crew going for years (and paid for it) so dd could finished her Silver Award. 

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9 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

You obviously live in a much bigger town than I! I've had folks say over and over that troops are full. If I didn't have a committee of great volunteers, I know *I* would be reluctant to keep growing a troop! I hear ya' on the lack of volunteers. Our local university is one of the few that has more guys than girls, so that cuts down on the number of 20 something female students to help. We regularly have Eagle Scouts call up and help, but I've never heard of a Gold student doing that--there aren't that many females on campus. We are blessed with our college students--they have such enthusiasm.

 

We have something like 80 troops in our town. It's not huge a huge town, just everyone starts their own troop when their daughters get to kindergarten. We have to have at least 5 girls and 2 adults so there are some troops that small. Both of my troops are 8 girls each. I actually would love to have a multi-level troop but it's not how GS troops are usually formed and some Councils actively discourage them. I'll admit, we are in a great spot here. We have lots of support from our Service Unit and, to some extent, our Council to do "out of the box" ideas like my camping coop. We actually have a university in my town where a Gold Award Girl Scout recruited girls from the school to run GS troops in the local Title 1 schools. I have no real idea what the gender makeup of the school is. I love college kids. They are great. And seem younger and younger the closer my oldest gets to leaving home. ?

But I do have  a hard time with people telling me that the GS program stinks. I spend a lot of time and energy making sure my girls (and the girls from my SU) have lots of options and fun activities.  Yes, we sell cookies, and sometimes we even do crafts. But my girls get a varied program that asks a lot of them and gives a lot back. I hear a lot about those "cookie and craft only" troops out there but the vast majority of us are going outside, taking field trips, camping, exploring, and just having a great time being together.

 

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We are just Scouting babies, but I'm in the unique position of helping organize/run an LDS pack while my boys participate in a non-LDS pack and non-LDS troop. Personally, I know a lot of people who are waiting for the church to drop scouts in general. The handbook allows Activity Days for boys in some areas, which is what the girls already do. 

My boys' pack will be adding girls next year, which makes it a huge push to find extra leaders. My husband and I already volunteer so we know some of the stress finding new leaders. 

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8 hours ago, Serenade said:

 

I'm trying not to be angry or too upset about this, but it's hard.  I now want my younger son to hurry up and get his Eagle in case we feel compelled to leave the BSA.  Although I don't know if I'd really have the heart to do that.  I'm so grateful to BSA in so many ways.   Scouting has done so much for both of my boys.  They each had different needs and goals, but scouting fit them each beautifully, both the reluctant leader and the one who's dream was always to be SPL. I  don't think I'll be able to turn my back on that.  I always wanted to be one of those leaders who keep giving back to scouting, even after their own sons move on.  So I guess I'm just going to try to get used to this, as hard as it may be. 

And yet you begrudge my daughter having that same opportunity. Because she is a girl. Even though, as people have said over and over, Troops will be single sex. Your boys will not have girls in their troop. There will be a separate troop with girls, who now will have the same opportunities you are so happy your boys had. Don't begrudge them that. 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

And yet you begrudge my daughter having that same opportunity. Because she is a girl. Even though, as people have said over and over, Troops will be single sex. Your boys will not have girls in their troop. There will be a separate troop with girls, who now will have the same opportunities you are so happy your boys had. Don't begrudge them that. 

 

I actually don't think the groups will stay separate for long, and I think when they eventually merge (I'm convinced it will happen sooner rather than later due to leadership needs), it won't be good for either and the organization will fall apart. 

I believe that single sex organizations fulfill a need for many children.  I don't think having a Boy Scout organization for boys or a Girl Scout organization for girls is a bad thing. In fact, I believe girls have more opportunities for other activities with only girls than boys have for other activities with only boys.  

That said, in my post I said I'm going to try to get used to it and accept the change.  There are many things we don't like that we have to get used to in our lives, and I'm going to try my best to get on board and support the organization that I love, despite my disagreement with the way this change was brought about. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Serenade said:

 

I actually don't think the groups will stay separate for long, and I think when they eventually merge (I'm convinced it will happen sooner rather than later due to leadership needs), it won't be good for either and the organization will fall apart. 

I believe that single sex organizations fulfill a need for many children.  I don't think having a Boy Scout organization for boys or a Girl Scout organization for girls is a bad thing. In fact, I believe girls have more opportunities for other activities with only girls than boys have for other activities with only boys.  

That said, in my post I said I'm going to try to get used to it and accept the change.  There are many things we don't like that we have to get used to in our lives, and I'm going to try my best to get on board and support the organization that I love, despite my disagreement with the way this change was brought about. 

 

 

If and when they try to merge the single sex troops into mixed ones, THAT would be the thing to fight then. As it is, there is not a program for girls that is of the same quality and this fulfills that need. 

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19 hours ago, Janeway said:

 

I wonder if the new "Scouts" will have a different uniform for girls? I am perfectly happy with BSA being "The Scouts."

They have a completely ridiculous, tremendously short skort.  I don't see any girls wearing it; my own daughters would much prefer trousers.

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(FWIW, we are not enrolling our daughters into Scouts, USA, but are just doing some of the cool activities as family activities at home as our younger son moves through.)

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9 hours ago, blondeviolin said:

We are just Scouting babies, but I'm in the unique position of helping organize/run an LDS pack while my boys participate in a non-LDS pack and non-LDS troop. Personally, I know a lot of people who are waiting for the church to drop scouts in general. The handbook allows Activity Days for boys in some areas, which is what the girls already do. 

My boys' pack will be adding girls next year, which makes it a huge push to find extra leaders. My husband and I already volunteer so we know some of the stress finding new leaders. 

So, do your LDS boys in a non-LDS Pack have their 11yos participate? How do you handle that? Do the parents just opt of of things for their 11yos?

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20 hours ago, Janeway said:

 

I wonder if the new "Scouts" will have a different uniform for girls? I am perfectly happy with BSA being "The Scouts."

This article shows the Cub Scout uniform. Someone posted above me that the skort was ridiculous and short, but it appears to mostly cover her knees, so I'm not sure if that comment refers to an older kids' uniform. I think this one is cute.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/01/26/girl-joins-boy-scouts/

 

Oh, and back to the original controversy: my girls are a little old to be joining, but if this had happened back when they were 8 and younger, we would've done Boy Scouts over Girl Scouts. They all did at least 2 years of GS, but they always wanted "more": more outside, more learning, more continuity, etc. We did some of the badges for science last year, and they were good, but we never found a troop that fit what they wanted to do. I think it's a good thing. It opens more doors to girls, but doesn't shut any for boys. 

Edited by beckyjo
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38 minutes ago, beckyjo said:

This article shows the Cub Scout uniform. Someone posted above me that the skort was ridiculous and short, but it appears to mostly cover her knees, so I'm not sure if that comment refers to an older kids' uniform. I think this one is cute.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/01/26/girl-joins-boy-scouts/

 

Oh, and back to the original controversy: my girls are a little old to be joining, but if this had happened back when they were 8 and younger, we would've done Boy Scouts over Girl Scouts. They all did at least 2 years of GS, but they always wanted "more": more outside, more learning, more continuity, etc. We did some of the badges for science last year, and they were good, but we never found a troop that fit what they wanted to do. I think it's a good thing. It opens more doors to girls, but doesn't shut any for boys. 

I agree, the skorts are a fine length and adorable. I joke about making my dd10 a Cub Scout strictly for the skort  but I don’t think she’d appreciate it too much. 

 

I think that in the end the dust will settle and each group will continue to do what they do best—help kids grow to be the best humans they can be. That’s why I volunteer and what I focus on in my planning and organizing. I need To finish prepping for my Junior meeting tomorrow—the girls are building their own bird nesting boxes and I want to make sure the wood is prepped and ready to go.

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On 5/4/2018 at 1:34 PM, wathe said:

 

I agree with this.   Girls aren't dangerous to boys, and visa versa.  I think that keeping the girls separate will be a barrier to full inclusion.   Programming will likely be different, either subtly or no so subtly, and the girls will be the losers. 

We've had a truly co-ed, fully integrated scouting program in Canada for 20 years.  It works very well.  No girl scouts or boy scouts, just scouts.  Not boy-led or girl-led but youth-led.  Girl Guides of Canada remains available as a single-sex option for girls and maintains a strong program.  The angst over that is evident over including girls in scouts BSA really highlights just how culturally different scouting is in the US compared to what I'm used to up here in Canada.

 

There may be Girl Guides for girls, but there really isn't much in the way of boy-only programs for boys.  At this particular point in time, I think it's the boys who could use the dedicated programming more than the girls could.

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2 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

So, do your LDS boys in a non-LDS Pack have their 11yos participate? How do you handle that? Do the parents just opt of of things for their 11yos?

 

I'm not the one you were asking but if I had an 11 year old in a non LDS Pack they would participate along with everyone else. It's not like LDS folks have a doctrinal objection to full participation by 11 year olds.

 

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26 minutes ago, maize said:

 

I'm not the one you were asking but if I had an 11 year old in a non LDS Pack they would participate along with everyone else. It's not like LDS folks have a doctrinal objection to full participation by 11 year olds.

 

 

Oh, I thought they did--the Priesthood thing. Learned something new today!

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And to commiserate with all those leaders out there, BSA, GSUSA, CF, RR, TL, AHG, etc., I have managed to avoid a uniform for 15 years, but now, because of Wood Badge, I get to drop $200 today! Two shirts, two pair of trousers, and all those pesky patches really add up. 

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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

They have a completely ridiculous, tremendously short skort.  I don't see any girls wearing it; my own daughters would much prefer trousers.

 

No, they don't. My 12-yr-old dd is starting Scouts. She tried on the skort - it reached to her knees. There was no other length of skort to choose from. There is no requirement for girls to wear skorts (unless perhaps a troop dictates that, but I can't imagine it). Girls can wear trousers as well. 

I'm glad dd will have the opportunities her brother has had and while I understand why the Girl Scouts may not be thrilled (I do think there is a competitive aspect there), I don't understand the other concerns. Girls, many of whom have already spent large amounts of time just hanging out during Boy Scout meetings, now can have their own troop (if the leaders are there to support it). Boys continue to have theirs, as before. 

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14 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

And to commiserate with all those leaders out there, BSA, GSUSA, CF, RR, TL, AHG, etc., I have managed to avoid a uniform for 15 years, but now, because of Wood Badge, I get to drop $200 today! Two shirts, two pair of trousers, and all those pesky patches really add up. 

Oh, that’s painful. I remember doing that as a Den Leader. Ugh.

I thought of another question. Are they going to make the camps coed? Honestly, the only reason I can see putting my girls into Scouts, BSA is so they have access to some of the cool camps. We had such a blast at the GS weekend at Emerald Bay, I’d love for my girls to be able to go for real camp.

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Camps are already co-ed--Venturing! Our gang is headed to NT next month, and it's a joint troop/crew contingent, as well as Philmont for our contingent in 2019. Now, the individual troops will remain single sex, but there were both troops and crews at EB. My dd's NYLT at Tahosa (near Denver) was co-ed, and she was one of 3 girls when she staffed it. They formed a singing group! ? She was supposed to be SPL this summer, but alas, the Air Force says she'll be in FL that week. Jambo was co-ed, with crews. Our Rendezvous, Klondikes, and Camporees have all been co-ed, as the crew has put them on. 

EB is the coolest setup--if they've done their PADI online stuff before they go, they can get fully PADI certified in the week. The next time they can do more diving, including night diving. And then of course, there are all those war canoes and sailboats...

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5 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

And to commiserate with all those leaders out there, BSA, GSUSA, CF, RR, TL, AHG, etc., I have managed to avoid a uniform for 15 years, but now, because of Wood Badge, I get to drop $200 today! Two shirts, two pair of trousers, and all those pesky patches really add up. 

How did you do all of that for $200? Seriously, it’s crazy expensive. It was over $100 for a microfiber shirt plus patches for dh last month (well, plus new council and unit patches for the boys).

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5 hours ago, Happy2BaMom said:

 

No, they don't. My 12-yr-old dd is starting Scouts. She tried on the skort - it reached to her knees. There was no other length of skort to choose from. There is no requirement for girls to wear skorts (unless perhaps a troop dictates that, but I can't imagine it). Girls can wear trousers as well. 

I'm glad dd will have the opportunities her brother has had and while I understand why the Girl Scouts may not be thrilled (I do think there is a competitive aspect there), I don't understand the other concerns. Girls, many of whom have already spent large amounts of time just hanging out during Boy Scout meetings, now can have their own troop (if the leaders are there to support it). Boys continue to have theirs, as before. 

My daughter is tall. We held it up to her and it was well above the knee. Since we belong to a church with modesty standards, it was a point of conversation.

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8 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

So, do your LDS boys in a non-LDS Pack have their 11yos participate? How do you handle that? Do the parents just opt of of things for their 11yos?

 

My 10yo participates in a Boy Scout troop chartered by a local Catholic Church. My 6yo is a tiger in a pack chartered by the ASYMCA.  They participate nearly fully. The only difference so far is my oldest does not camp Saturday nights. This past weekend he had a camporee so he went Friday and my husband picked him up at lights out saturday night. 

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15 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

So, do your LDS boys in a non-LDS Pack have their 11yos participate? How do you handle that? Do the parents just opt of of things for their 11yos?

My kids do whichever activities our family is good with.  (We are LDS, our children do Scouts Canada in a community group.)

 

13 hours ago, maize said:

 

I'm not the one you were asking but if I had an 11 year old in a non LDS Pack they would participate along with everyone else. It's not like LDS folks have a doctrinal objection to full participation by 11 year olds.

 

 

12 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

 

Oh, I thought they did--the Priesthood thing. Learned something new today!

 

The LDS church restricts camping for scouting groups sponsored by the church.  That includes no camps for cubs (cubs camp in Canada), and only 3, single night camps for 11yo scouts (based of BSA camp requirements for one of your BSA ranks.... was not really enough in Canada, but I guess no longer an issue with the stupid Canadian Path program that is now the program).   But this doesn't restrict kids from camping in organizations outside the church....   

 

So basically, LDS groups are to limit camping for younger ages, but there is nothing saying families can't allow their children to camp.

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Ages and ages ago, I wondered why BSA and GSUSA didn't just combine into 1 organization with 2 branches. It seems like it would have streamlined finances and been more efficient, and non-scouting families, and even some scouting families, often assumed that was the case, anyway!  (This was when I was a 17/18yo Gold Award recipient and Brownie leader who was 1. Ticked off that my accomplishment was viewed as Less Than Eagle, 2. Frustrated with the changes that were beginning to show in councils and troops, and 3. Not fully aware of the atheist problem.)

I'm not opposed to single sex groups, but I do think that GSUSA has left a lot of girls behind with their changes.   There are still some lucky girls that get placed in a troop with leaders who emphasis the camping and outdoor skills, but it *is luck, because leaders have so much free reign and often minimal guidance. *If* girls flock to the BSA, it would make a heck of a lot more sense for GSUSA to examine the reasons, rather than get pissy that someone else is willing to fill a need that they aren't.

I do worry that there will be men and boys who are unable to articulate their opposition rationally, and it will come out as misogynistic garbage that will hurt the girls looking for a better experience.  I've already seen my daughters, who don't use the "hide" button on FB enough, get into it with relatives and their FB friends who are barely riding the line between "I don't like this" and "Make me a sandwich, _____!"  And my girls aren't trying to join.

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

Ages and ages ago, I wondered why BSA and GSUSA didn't just combine into 1 organization with 2 branches. It seems like it would have streamlined finances and been more efficient, and non-scouting families, and even some scouting families, often assumed that was the case, anyway!  (This was when I was a 17/18yo Gold Award recipient and Brownie leader who was 1. Ticked off that my accomplishment was viewed as Less Than Eagle, 2. Frustrated with the changes that were beginning to show in councils and troops, and 3. Not fully aware of the atheist problem.)

 

Congrats on your Gold Award. That is not an easy get!

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I should add, my older sister was in boy scouts in the early 80's. But it was for older kids, explorers. I went to one meeting but never had time to get too involved in it. She was completely involved though.

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17 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

And to commiserate with all those leaders out there, BSA, GSUSA, CF, RR, TL, AHG, etc., I have managed to avoid a uniform for 15 years, but now, because of Wood Badge, I get to drop $200 today! Two shirts, two pair of trousers, and all those pesky patches really add up. 

What is wood badge?

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Woodbadge is training for adult leaders. It is less focused on outdoor living skills and more on interpersonal skills.  

Have you given thought to what your ticket items are going to be, Margaret?

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On 5/5/2018 at 6:20 PM, Ktgrok said:

The troops will still be single sex. That wasn't changed. 

Some boys with very capable sisters would love to have a space that’s just his. Where they’re not doing the same things. Even if they’re single sex, a boy can still struggle with “sister did such and such as age 8 and you still didn’t?”

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14 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Some boys with very capable sisters would love to have a space that’s just his. Where they’re not doing the same things. Even if they’re single sex, a boy can still struggle with “sister did such and such as age 8 and you still didn’t?”

 

That’s not a scouting issue tho, is it? It seems like a family dynamic one. The same could be said for soccer or reading or walking for the first time. That doesn’t mean you hobble one or the other child, or someone else’s kid, to prevent comparisons.

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45 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Some boys with very capable sisters would love to have a space that’s just his. Where they’re not doing the same things. Even if they’re single sex, a boy can still struggle with “sister did such and such as age 8 and you still didn’t?”

And that is different than "older brother did such and such"? 

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I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I never understand why it is considered OK for girls to have their own things, but when it's for boys it's all kinds of wrong.

I know separate but equal isn't for real, but if the arrangement suits the families involved, so be it.  Or abolish both girl and boy organizations and make them all unisex.

I realize that there is a whole body of literature etc. available to explain to me why the "minorities" all need to have their own separate spaces while the white males have no legitimate reason to want that.  To me, that is one of the ways we keep discrimination alive.  How'm I supposed to explain to my girls why they get a girl-only scouting experience but boys don't?  "Well you see, daughters, you are starting out inferior and need a bigger leg up in order to compete in the world."  Nope.

And yes, I realize the BSA will still have single-sex activities.  I'm not sure how long that will last though.  My experience has taught me that changes happen incrementally until the end result is often way different from what the willing participants expected in the beginning.  So color me skeptical.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Girl Scouts change about themselves in order to remain competitive.

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I don't think having an organization just for boys is begrudging girls anything. I think in an ideal world, if parents of girls want something similar, they'd start their own thing instead of insisting that girls must be included in a boys orangization (I'd say the same thing if the situation were reversed). I don't think sororities are begrudging men anything by not letting them join, even though a fraternity is not really a comparable experience or dynamic to a sorority despite both of them being Greek life organizations.

But BSA is well past this discussion, so I'm not sure it matters.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I never understand why it is considered OK for girls to have their own things, but when it's for boys it's all kinds of wrong.

I know separate but equal isn't for real, but if the arrangement suits the families involved, so be it.  Or abolish both girl and boy organizations and make them all unisex.

I realize that there is a whole body of literature etc. available to explain to me why the "minorities" all need to have their own separate spaces while the white males have no legitimate reason to want that.  To me, that is one of the ways we keep discrimination alive.  How'm I supposed to explain to my girls why they get a girl-only scouting experience but boys don't?  "Well you see, daughters, you are starting out inferior and need a bigger leg up in order to compete in the world."  Nope.

And yes, I realize the BSA will still have single-sex activities.  I'm not sure how long that will last though.  My experience has taught me that changes happen incrementally until the end result is often way different from what the willing participants expected in the beginning.  So color me skeptical.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Girl Scouts change about themselves in order to remain competitive.

 

Yes - given that in many other places, they have gone co-ed, and it seems like some of the reasons for having girls don't make sense unless the groups meet together, I think it's pretty reasonable to want to address the question of single sex activities. It's easy to see them doing so in the sooner rather than later.

Here I see a lot of all girl things, but not much for just boys.  There are Girl Guides, but no equivalent just for boys.  I know of several adventure groups for just girls, and leadership groups.  There is a youth group for girls only that dresses things like body image and expectations.  There is a girls-only robotic team.  None of this exists in boys-only versions.

I also find that in the co-ed groups, especially at younger ages, it's hard on the boys.  In much the same way school is - the activities in many cases seem to taught to the level of the girls who are often better able to express themselves, and are more precocious with their behaviour.  Boys can have a hard time fitting in to the expectations of the leaders.  

The exception seems to be sports, where there are boy only groups, though even there where it is co-ed, the girls will often listen better and so dominate as they move ahead faster in terms of skills.  

Anyway, I think there is a lot to be gained for both sexes with single-sex activities, but I really can't wrap my head around all these extra opportunities for girls, especially when they are actually doing better academically and in many other areas.

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