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Girl Scouts suing the Boy Scouts?


SKL
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13 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

 

What they don't see is that those girls were only in girl scouts because of lack of options and were not preferring the Girl Scouts group when they got more options. I know families with older boys that were in Boy Scouts but now there is an option, their younger boys are in Trail Life. Sometimes its the program. Sometimes its the people involved. Sometimes you are one place vs another because your friend is part of that group.

 

My girls were Scouts all the way up to Gold Award (edited to add that they actually still are Girl Scouts... they just "aged out" and are lifetime Scouts now) and when they have kids (one of these days), they plan to go through Boy Scouts with the hopes that all their kids can be in the same program/same timeline. It was a scheduling nightmare for us when the Girls were in GS and the boy was in BS - coordinating campouts and activities... ugh. DH and I were also volunteers for Boy Scouts at one point, and when grandkids are involved, we'll probably start that up again.

The GS program was SO AMAZING when my girls were young. The older years, though? Highly disappointing. DS was a Boy Scout at the time and we kept seeing so many more options with the Boy Scout program - it was very frustrating. The GS even kept changing the style/shape/location of the stupid patches, so my girls' vests look like this weird hodgepodge of mismatched patches (and as an all-girl program, I would think they would understand the importance of the aesthetic of a nice-looking vest!).

The older girls badges were either 100% cookie-related (my dd had her OWN Business and there were ZERO patches she could earn at the time because all their "business" related patches had to go with freaking cookie sales. WTH. Also, if there was a "sewing" or "computer" badge, they were so specific at the time - my girls were far beyond those requirements in the topics they were genuinely interested in... but to earn the badge, they had to complete "baby steps" - there was little to no flexibility. So, their vests have nothing of their "true" interests on them because they couldn't build and learn MORE about those interests unless they wanted to do the baby steps (and they did not...).

Boy Scouts is far from perfect, but Girl Scouts have a lot of revamping to do & if people leap to the Boy Scouts, it's their own fault. They went from being craft-based to making arts and crafts nonexistent in the program - focused on <only> STEM and (cookie) business. And their badges were not logical... all sorts of issues there too.

Edited by easypeasy
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12 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Am I the only one who never heard of this??? I thought we were a scout family, but apparently I’m a poser!

 

Trail Life just started in 2013.  We know about it because a family in our sunday school class has their boys in it and (now) the same group meets at the same location and time as our daughter's AHG, so it was very easy to put our son in Trail Life.

 

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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7 hours ago, easypeasy said:

 

 

My girls were Scouts all the way up to Gold Award (edited to add that they actually still are Girl Scouts... they just "aged out" and are lifetime Scouts now) and when they have kids (one of these days), they plan to go through Boy Scouts with the hopes that all their kids can be in the same program/same timeline. It was a scheduling nightmare for us when the Girls were in GS and the boy was in BS - coordinating campouts and activities... ugh. DH and I were also volunteers for Boy Scouts at one point, and when grandkids are involved, we'll probably start that up again.

The GS program was SO AMAZING when my girls were young. The older years, though? Highly disappointing. DS was a Boy Scout at the time and we kept seeing so many more options with the Boy Scout program - it was very frustrating. The GS even kept changing the style/shape/location of the stupid patches, so my girls' vests look like this weird hodgepodge of mismatched patches (and as an all-girl program, I would think they would understand the importance of the aesthetic of a nice-looking vest!).

The older girls badges were either 100% cookie-related (my dd had her OWN Business and there were ZERO patches she could earn at the time because all their "business" related patches had to go with freaking cookie sales. WTH. Also, if there was a "sewing" or "computer" badge, they were so specific at the time - my girls were far beyond those requirements in the topics they were genuinely interested in... but to earn the badge, they had to complete "baby steps" - there was little to no flexibility. So, their vests have nothing of their "true" interests on them because they couldn't build and learn MORE about those interests unless they wanted to do the baby steps (and they did not...).

Boy Scouts is far from perfect, but Girl Scouts have a lot of revamping to do & if people leap to the Boy Scouts, it's their own fault. They went from being craft-based to making arts and crafts nonexistent in the program - focused on <only> STEM and (cookie) business. And their badges were not logical... all sorts of issues there too.

 

We had pretty much the same experience with GS.  DD completed her Gold last year and had no desire to convert to lifetime membership when she aged out.   We were part of a wonderful multi-age troop for our entire experience ( Daisy- Ambassador ).   When Journeys were rolled out, our troop made the decision to only do the minimums that were needed because the girls had other interests and found the Journeys too simple and basic.  The Ambassador level journeys were especially simplistic considering the age group they were written for.  We also did lots of outdoor activities: camping, hiking, rafting, backpacking  -- things which GS seems to ignore  except for the expensive weekend "campouts" and their summer camps.  The narrow program focus is driving girls away.  

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I must be in a good GS Council or something because there are older girl activities and a Council-wide group for older girls that want to hike and camp. It’s outside of the Troop so you need to know about it but it’s offered and very popular. 

My odd is a Cadette so I don’t have experience with high schoolers but so far she’s stayed interested. I’m her leader’s co and my ydd’s leader so I know that has something to do with it. But we make Journeys fun but doing them in a day or picking the Outdoor Journeys. We also don’t do a lot of crafts—partly because they cost money and I’d rather not spend it on lots of single-use things. They get expensive! We save for trips and adventures. My ydd is a Junior and her troop doesn’t do a lot of outdoorsy stuff because it would exclude our girl in a wheelchair. But every troop is different and has a different way of doing things. Sometimes it takes some trying to find the one that works for you and has space. The first part is true for Boy Scouts, the second isn’t. 

I don’t know that a lawsuit was the right thing but I do know that how BSA is using Scouts does make it seem like GS is an offshoot. There was a lot of confusion at our recruitment tables this fall. Most of it came from the Cub Scout Pack recruiters. Luckily we are all friends so we laughed, cleared it up, and moved on. I’m hopeful that can continue.

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38 minutes ago, felicity said:

I must be in a good GS Council or something because there are older girl activities and a Council-wide group for older girls that want to hike and camp. It’s outside of the Troop so you need to know about it but it’s offered and very popular. 

My odd is a Cadette so I don’t have experience with high schoolers but so far she’s stayed interested. I’m her leader’s co and my ydd’s leader so I know that has something to do with it. But we make Journeys fun but doing them in a day or picking the Outdoor Journeys. We also don’t do a lot of crafts—partly because they cost money and I’d rather not spend it on lots of single-use things. They get expensive! We save for trips and adventures. My ydd is a Junior and her troop doesn’t do a lot of outdoorsy stuff because it would exclude our girl in a wheelchair. But every troop is different and has a different way of doing things. Sometimes it takes some trying to find the one that works for you and has space. The first part is true for Boy Scouts, the second isn’t. 

I don’t know that a lawsuit was the right thing but I do know that how BSA is using Scouts does make it seem like GS is an offshoot. There was a lot of confusion at our recruitment tables this fall. Most of it came from the Cub Scout Pack recruiters. Luckily we are all friends so we laughed, cleared it up, and moved on. I’m hopeful that can continue.

 

That's really awesome that you have a council-wide group for hiking and camping. We would have liked something like that.    I agree that you can get creative with the journeys which we did when we could.  We really liked our Media journey done as Cadettes.  Others like Sow What were more of a get it done.    Don't get me wrong -- we enjoyed the time we spent in GS.  We just preferred the autonomy and wide scope of the program before Journeys were made a prerequisite for awards.   

Edited by Starfish
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Here's a question.  This was not a surprise.  The Girl Scouts had time to do a campaign to make sure people knew who they were.  Why was that not enough?

Part of marketing any product or service is differentiation.  There are plenty of products out there that have similar names and have to differentiate in other ways.  Take the word Buffet.  People don't think that all Buffets are the same.  I think most people consider "scout" to be a generic term similar to "buffet" or "gym" or "cafe."

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20 minutes ago, SKL said:

Here's a question.  This was not a surprise.  The Girl Scouts had time to do a campaign to make sure people knew who they were.  Why was that not enough?

Part of marketing any product or service is differentiation.  There are plenty of products out there that have similar names and have to differentiate in other ways.  Take the word Buffet.  People don't think that all Buffets are the same.  I think most people consider "scout" to be a generic term similar to "buffet" or "gym" or "cafe."

 

I don't think they've treated it that way legally though - it's more like McDonalds.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Here's a question.  This was not a surprise.  The Girl Scouts had time to do a campaign to make sure people knew who they were.  Why was that not enough?

Part of marketing any product or service is differentiation.  There are plenty of products out there that have similar names and have to differentiate in other ways.  Take the word Buffet.  People don't think that all Buffets are the same.  I think most people consider "scout" to be a generic term similar to "buffet" or "gym" or "cafe."

Because they were too busy having a tantrum.  Based on the emails I received from scouts when the Boy Scouts first announced this, they were really having a toddler tantrum ( or maybe it was just my area). The email on how they were stealing the girls cracked me up.  For years, they have been told to improve their program and yet they stick their fingers in their ears and say I can’t hear you. Same thing with this.

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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4 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

When I was a Girl Scout, the hardest thing was earning badges as there were no counselors.  I couldn't understand some of the requirements and neither could the Troop leaders.  We moved, and I switched to BSA Explorer Scouts where there were adults with expertise and community contacts.

 

YES!!!!!! Some of those requirements required DD to contact a "professional" and ask the DUMBEST questions about their profession. Or to take in some stupid little paragraph to have them discuss it, or some other sorts of nonsense. It was embarrassing when we COULD understand what they wanted her to do... and confusing when we couldn't.

Our Council is pretty sad and doesn't offer much to do outside of the troops. Our troops was a great troop, but the older girls really lost enthusiasm. The last two years they spent most of their time assisting the younger girls earn THEIR patches! ?

Nottomention that enormous binder they had to tote around with their badge requirement folders inside. And then the Journeys were these tiny little booklets. Nothing went together! Ugh!

Girl Scouts has the potential to be amaaaazing. It's frustrating that they're wasting the power and influence they have whining about the Boy Scouts instead of making their program better. ?

Edited by easypeasy
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I'm sitting here thinking that if a girl is looking for girl scouts, and shows up at a Scouts, BSA event and sees all the boys she will figure it out ?

And yeah, instead of council wide camping/hiking here, the big council event is a lock in. At the mall. Yeah...cause what girls need is more time in the mall. 

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I did Girl Scouts for a year or two when younger and remember it with great fondness

My FAVORITE activity was making these little crafts and then going to a swap and swapping them with little crafts other troops had made. And we had a song about silver and gold friends.

Unfortunately, I was a year younger than the rest of my troop. They bridged up to Juniors and I was left out. I became a Scout without a troop and "Big sister" for my sister's troop a year or so but we eventually dropped it altogether.

 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

I'm sitting here thinking that if a girl is looking for girl scouts, and shows up at a Scouts, BSA event and sees all the boys she will figure it out ?

And yeah, instead of council wide camping/hiking here, the big council event is a lock in. At the mall. Yeah...cause what girls need is more time in the mall. 

 

But the lawsuit isn't about an individual girl.  It is about the idea that Scouts BSA  doesn't have the legal right to use the term scouting in correlation with girls because the GSUSA has the trademark on that.  It is a legitimate case if they feel like Scouts BSA is infringing on their trademark.  BSA opened themselves up to this when they sent cease and desist letters to other organizations that used the word scout in their name, which from my research they have at least once.  GSUSA has done the same thing to other organizations as well.  I believe that there was never an issue with BSA because it was clear that they were marketing to boys, which isn't part of GSUSA's trademark.  So, they do have a case.  It is just a matter of how the judge sees it.  I imagine BSA will come out on top but I could be mistaken. 

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4 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

But why didn't GSUSA squawk about Venturing? Or Explorers? Or Sea Scouts? All those are coed!

 

Well likely because it wasn't significantly going to mess with their bottom line. I'm not saying GS are likely to win but the lawsuit itself isn't an entirely out of no where course of action when it comes to trademark rights.  I'm sure that will be part of BSA's argument. 

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4 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

But why didn't GSUSA squawk about Venturing? Or Explorers? Or Sea Scouts? All those are coed!

Of those three, only one used the word "scouts."

 

And, most people not within any sort of reasonable distance of a coast (which is lots and lots of the US) had never heard of "Sea Scouts."  People don't generally show up to a sign up event at JFK Elementary expecting to sign up for "Sea Scouts"

Edited by happysmileylady
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Competition is a good thing.  This might be the best thing to happen to the Girl Scouts, if it forces them to make improvements that girls and women have been wanting for a long time.  And if they won't accommodate prospective clients, then it's good for the girls to have other choices.

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On 11/7/2018 at 9:40 PM, HomeAgain said:

I will say this - the Girl Scouts haven't listened to outgoing families for a long time.  They have gone far away from scouting, imo, and many of their badges are silly and should be retired in a basement of shame.  I don't think this is going to help them any.  I think a serious analysis of the program is in order, especially on how to support and structure each step so that girls can be successful.

Yes, yes, yes!

<—— 12 year scout, Brownie leader while still in high school, didn’t sign my own kids up.  (Not eligible for BSA.)

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First, there was only Boy Scouts. Then along came Julliette Flowers and she came up with "Girl Scouts" to mimic the Boy Scouts but be for girls and made a big deal of girls being omitted from Boy Scouts. Then, people sued the Boy Scouts to allow all variety of people, including girls. Boy Scouts decides they will include girls and to make it inclusive, they drop the word "Boy." Boy Scouts had the name Scouts before the Girl Scouts. Now, Girl Scouts are angry that the boy scouts have dropped the word "Boy" from their title. Frankly, Girl Scouts is so bad here, I have no desire to have anything to do with it. They are rude and nasty and catty. I think every parent I knew who was involved in it last year dropped it this year and talked about how bad it was. I know it might be different elsewhere, but it is just not good here, where I live. Now, at the Veteran's Day ceremony, a variety of groups marched to represent the various branches and carry the flags. But one group of girl scouts who were carrying a flag for one of the branches walked because the girl carrying the flag with an additional banner that was much bigger than the flag that said something about Power of the Girl. I thought that was disrespectful of the honor they were given to carry the flag for that branch to carry a huge banner like that. Can you imagine if the Boy Scout group carried a big banner at the Veterans Day ceremony saying something about Power of the Boy? Veterans were both male and female and it was disrespectful to the veterans. Personally, I think GSA is suing because all they care about is their product, Girl Scout cookies, and not the children. They have no honor. The mere fact that they sell GS Cookie products in places, for profit, that does not benefit the girls should be a huge, in your face demonstration that it is not about the children.

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3 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

I'm pretty sure that a girls division came pretty early on in the scouting movement?  Am I wrong?  As in, Lord BP wanted one and got his sister to take care of it?

Very early.  My understanding:  Scouting for Boys published by Robert Baden-Powellin UK in 1908.  Unofficial girls' scouting groups crash scouting rally at the Crystal Palace in 1909 in UK.  Girl Guides unofficially started in UK the same year, officially Girl Guides Association registered in 1910.   Juliette Gordon Low involved with Guiding in UK in 1911 and found GSUSA in 1912 (I have no idea who Juliette Flowers is).  BSA officially exists since 1910.   In Canada official Scouting groups for boys date from 1908, and for Guiding for girls since 1910.  Guiding for girls in UK and some other countries pre-dates BSA.

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On 11/7/2018 at 1:26 PM, Margaret in CO said:

I think one of the weaknesses of GSUSA is "available" troops--that there's a cap on numbers in a troop. I think BSA has a better system--just keep adding patrols. Most troops split at around 50-75 Scouts, which I think is a good thing. I hate it when a parents tells me they couldn't join GSUSA because there wasn't room in the one in the only troop we have here. The parent may want their girl in GSUSA, but may not be able to form a new troop. The girl loses out. 

 

This is why we didn’t do Girl Scouts. My boys do Boy Scouts and when dd was in 1st or 2nd grade she was interested in being a Girl Scout. So I contacted a couple of different local Girl Scout Troops and was basically told I had to start my own becuase they were all full. I’m happy to volunteer and have been very involved in Boy Scouts and all our kids activities. But starting my own troop was way more daunting than just being an adult leader or volunteer. I couldn’t take it on at that point. So I told dd we’d wait a year or so and see if we could find another troop and maybe I’d look into what it took to start one. She then lost interest. We now have friends in other troops who have been actively recruiting her as I think their numbers are low but she’s busy with other stuff and not interested anymore. That’s fine but I really felt like it was a weakness of the GS system. Within other organizations, I’ve seen the value of growing volunteers. You give the new person an easy job, then something more involved, then put them in charge when they know the system. But to just say you have to start from scratch is kind of overwhelming. 

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12 hours ago, Janeway said:

First, there was only Boy Scouts. Then along came Julliette Flowers and she came up with "Girl Scouts" to mimic the Boy Scouts but be for girls and made a big deal of girls being omitted from Boy Scouts. Then, people sued the Boy Scouts to allow all variety of people, including girls. Boy Scouts decides they will include girls and to make it inclusive, they drop the word "Boy." Boy Scouts had the name Scouts before the Girl Scouts. Now, Girl Scouts are angry that the boy scouts have dropped the word "Boy" from their title. Frankly, Girl Scouts is so bad here, I have no desire to have anything to do with it. They are rude and nasty and catty. I think every parent I knew who was involved in it last year dropped it this year and talked about how bad it was. I know it might be different elsewhere, but it is just not good here, where I live. Now, at the Veteran's Day ceremony, a variety of groups marched to represent the various branches and carry the flags. But one group of girl scouts who were carrying a flag for one of the branches walked because the girl carrying the flag with an additional banner that was much bigger than the flag that said something about Power of the Girl. I thought that was disrespectful of the honor they were given to carry the flag for that branch to carry a huge banner like that. Can you imagine if the Boy Scout group carried a big banner at the Veterans Day ceremony saying something about Power of the Boy? Veterans were both male and female and it was disrespectful to the veterans. Personally, I think GSA is suing because all they care about is their product, Girl Scout cookies, and not the children. They have no honor. The mere fact that they sell GS Cookie products in places, for profit, that does not benefit the girls should be a huge, in your face demonstration that it is not about the children.

The Boy Scouts decided to include girls in order to bolster their membership. Both BSA and GSUSA have lost members over the last 20 years as more kids opt for other activities that have grown exponentially in that time. The GS cookie licensing deals fund the national organization. It they didn't, GSUSA would have to charge much more than $25/year for membership and wouldn't be able to offer financial aid. BSA sells popcorn for the same reason.

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People often think that Girl Scouts was an offshoot of Boy Scouts when the history is much more complicated. The oft ignored Camp Fire USA (formerly Campfire Girls) actually has a much more connected history with BSA than Girl Scouts does. I don't know why that program didn't really take off and GS did, but Juliette Gordon Low wanted to merge the two early on. It seems Camp Fire was a bit too arrogant and turned her down. Camp Fire started accepting boys in the mid 1970s. 

Ds joined Camp Fire after leaving Cub Scouts. He left Cub Scouts before moving to BS because of the ban against atheists. He didn't want to hide who he is.

http://alicemariebeard.com/campfire/history.htm

Edited by Lady Florida.
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