Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

Doing stuff with BSA units

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Doing stuff with BSA units

    As a small troop that has several family members in the same Pack and Troop, we have been toying with doing some things jointly with them, for example helping out with the "scouting for food" food pantry drive. Of course we're all together at the church for scout sunday, as the church also provides our GSA troop with meeting space...

    Does anyone else do much cooperatively with a BSA unit?

    Or what about friendly competition with our male peers?

    I just wonder how much this gender seperation needs to be protected or slightly adjusted. You know, sometimes the guys get this "girls cant do ..." kind of attitude. Cause, they never see their female peers DOING anything remotely like scouting. Ya thay joke about GS's selling cookies -- AND THATS THE ONLY TIME THEY EVER SEE GIRLS SCOUTING.

    And the girls, well, they don't see themselves as part of a YOUTH movement, just a GIRL movement...

  • #2
    I currently have one Brother Boy Scout-Sister Girl Scout family.

    We don't do anything with the GSA not because we don't want to but because some special interest groups around here are perceived to believe that joint BSA GS activities would give them a reason to jump on GS and attempt to punish them for cooperating with a misogynistic (BSA)(in their opinion) organization. And so GS folks tend to try to maintain some separation from us.

    I, IMHO, think you have a great idea as long as the proprieties were observed for both organizations. We do a lot of work with local CS packs whether they feed us Scouts or not. I'd love to expand that to GS cooperation also, In my uneducated to any potential or historical problems to it anyway.

    I, IMHO, do not, however believe that a totally combined program might be the best thing to do.


    • #3
      My local BSA council tries to get the GS involved with their scout fair each year without a whole lot of success. I took my daughter and a friend a couple years ago and they enjoyed it. This year my GS troop is going to do a booth and I'm hoping to involve my son's CS pack too.

      I would expand on Cheerful Eagle's comment about the girls thinking it is only a GIRL movement. I feel that is the way the whole program is presented from National down. GS is looking to empower girls, and that seems to be the main focus, instead of a part of a larger program.



      • #4
        "Or what about friendly competition with our male peers? "

        Our Boyscout troop used to compete against a Girlscout troop from the next town over each year (Girl Scout Troop #7817 aka The Outdoor Group Cheshire CT.)

        The scouts were friendly, the competition was not (grin).
        A few of our boys were advised that they should learn to throw like a girl. The girls reacted with pure glee when they caught a scouter wearing jeans at this winter event (points off on ALL patrols in the troop).

        Our guys returned the favor when they rejected the matches in the fire building event in favor of flint and steel. After taking first place they asked if they could light a second one to take second place too.

        Sadly our contacts there have all aged out (one went so far as getting married!) so the fun has come to an end for now.

        On the off chance that anyone from 7817 is reading we dare you to come back and try it again, you won't beat us this time (again).


        • #5
          Part of the problem with combining GSUSA and BSA events is the fact that the programs are run very differently. The rules, regulations and structure are different. I am not saying it is impossible, but you need to pick an age group and activities that can be done by all.

          Our Cub Scout Pack does a Tree decorating event with the GS Troops at our church (CO) grammar school. Each Den/Troop makes decorations and brings them to the Parish Hall. The trees around our church are decorated and all of the kids come back to the Hall for coco, cookies and carols.

          We also have all Scouts (GS, CS, BS) represented, in uniform, at our Thanksgiving mass.

          It really helps if both groups (BSA & GSUSA) belong to the same school or church and share adults who are leaders in both groups. It gives you contact people and an easier way to get the info out.


          • #6
            On a macro level, our council has had success in doing joint Scouting for food. A couple years ago we had a mega Scout day at our local amusement park, both GSUSA units and BSA units participated.

            On a local level, we've never tried. There is a perception (I don't know the truth) that one of the local GSUSA councils wasn't BSA friendly. Since the reorganization (they are doing mega mergers) I don't know if there has been much contact - new executive at the GS council I believe.


            • #7
              A few years back, a girl scout unit came to a Camporee and kicked butt. It seems that they figured that they were going up against the cream of the crop, after all the competition was BOY SCOUTS so they practiced and trained. Boy were they surprised. Rumor was they weren't invited back. :-( Of course, they probably broke about 5,000 GSUSA rules by being there because the men weren't sleeping in the next county and I'm sure that the farm that was being used didn't have GSUSA approved insurance.

              One would think that young men would welcome an occasional opportunity to interact with young women. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. I knew a Venturing advisor whose crew was all girls. They futilely searched for an all boy crew who wanted to go on joint activities like hiking or canoeing or rock climbing. Never happened.

              Personally, I think that the boys would benefit from interacting every now and then with the distaff side of Scouting. I just wouldn't want to see it mandated.


              • #8
                We have done a few things together but will be doing lots (just got our towns Girl Scouting going again after a hiatus due to no leadership, training etc.) The reason being because my husband is Cub master, Scoutmaster, Service Unit manager, I am Wolf den leader, Assist. Scoutmaster, Daisy troop leader. We are a small pack but larger service unit. There just wasn't as much for girls to do here in town as there is for boys. When we had our initial sign-up back in September we had about 20 girls sign-up. I firmly believe in mixing the sexes, I mean as families we raise our boys and girls together. Don't get me wrong, I like dealing with them seperately too! (I was really excited about doing girly things after 5 years of Cub scouts)



                • #9
                  CubbingCarol, we'd love to hear an update - how are the joint activities progressing?

                  Back when I ran an activity center (outreach) GS troop for the council, we did a joint cross-country skiing and cookout event with the BSA troop I was then CC for. Very very fun day - especially when my most girly-girl feigned a sprained ankle so the cute boys would take care of her! Arrgh....really not what I was hoping for (The first aid rendered was first-rate BTW!)

                  Anne in Mpls


                  • #10
                    We had joint floats in the Old Settler's day parade, put flags out for Memorial day (and we will be doing that this week for Veteran's day), etc, etc. The boys (esp. the older 5th graders) have done an excellent job of showing the girls flag etiquite(?) When we had our annual Halloween Pack meeting/costume party, we had to have the girls Power Hour/costume party at the same time due to their meeting place being under construction. They had a great time together. Of course the boys (and parents of boys) are shocked by the size of our troops. We're continuing to grow, just had 2 more girls this week for a total of about 45 girls.
                    Wish we had more boys, only about 20, but with football, basketball etc. the parents are taxed (Boy Scouts have never been that big here in this small town). Of course, neither have Girl Scouts thanks to some unscrupulous and other untrained former leaders.
                    But we are blossoming now thanks to a group of wonderful leaders and parents!



                    • #11
                      Right now I have some grudges with GS. A bunch of GS took over our CO meeting place and made it impossible for the Pack to continue ther as they took out meeting times and the Co said they did not have any more space for us. It killed a pack with a fairly long tenure. Now we have moved to a more scout friendly CO. But that means rebuilding a pack including all the trappings (pack flags, derby tracks and other supplies). They did this after some GS leaders tried to take over the pack and run it like a GS group, saying that they did not need BSA training as the had GS training.  Rather then bang our heads on a brick wall we left. I do not see trying to do group things any time in the near future.


                      • #12

                        It's really sad what happened to your old pack and a terrible example of very un-Girl Scout like behaviour. When I see this kind of bitterness and lack of cooperation or common courtesy, I do blame successive waves of National and Council leadership which have failed to recruit good leaders and promote as well as enforce some standards of conduct. If BSA units behaved this way, they would be excoriated.

                        Maybe there are some "nice" GS units in your area you could partner with.

                        PS: I'm a "switch hitter" in Scouting.


                        • #13
                          I would love to get things to mix the 2... especially around the holidays time of year because it can be very hard to schedule everything for familys that have both boys and girls.

                          there are few things that keep this from happening here...

                          1) tighter rules with girl scouts

                          2) girl scouts goes through high school so if you're doing a true mix it would be best to get cubs, boys, and girls... and to get 3 groups to mesh is very hard to do

                          3) my son did cub scouts here in this town, but left the boy scout troop due to a whole lot of crap and inactivity and is now happy in a different town, but in doing that let's just say the SM would not be interested in working along with me (although it's interesting because his wife is a troop leader for GS and will work with me as I'm SUM, but there are times when I can tell she's also got some hostility towards me - oh well)

                          we did try to work our december caroling with the cubs this year, but with our unit events they are assigned to different troops to organize, plan, and run... I tried my hardest to make it happen, but it wasn't my call... the leader for the troop in charge of event said she didn't want to do it together... so guess we're each going our own.


                          • #14
                            Our success stems from the fact (as I previously said) that we are the leaders of both pack, troop and SU. We had one GS leader who was a little standoffish at first as well as one of the den leaders but they have both come on board since. Now granted we haven't planned anything more than service projects or summertime activities, so we haven't encountered any problems with rules, regulations etc. And as far as meeting times, places we are spread out enough that we don't interfere with one another.



                            • #15
                              After many (at least 16) years of joining the Cub Scouts in decorating the bushes outside of our church for the holidays, our Girl Scout Troops have decided this year that the event is just to much trouble, and they do not have the time for it any more (???). So our Cub Scout Pack is doing it on our own, and inviting the entire school to participate (even our cranky GS!).