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GSA vs. BSA

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  • #16
    I have a daughter who is just getting back into GS's after her troop dissoved between Elementary and Middle School.

    My mom was a leader, I was a GS for years and I helped with the troop my daughter was in.

    As my daughter is older (my son is a wolf) I will point out what I perceive to be the differences:

    1) I have brought up GS a few time at BS leader meetings and from one person specifically there was a comment to paraphrase "for girls its just about being stronger, for boys its about turning them into men" - again not the exact quote but the concept. My feeling - barf, give me a break.
    2) in both it comes down to leadership and top down management. We are now in a different council than we were before and this council is definately more in touch with what girls want to do. Its a whole different vibe and one that both my daughter and I like better especially for a 7th grader. And to be blunt its in a younger more economically advantaged area. Coincidentally our Cub scout pack is in the geographic area of our old GS council and I see that as a disadvantage to the ability to be modern, current and focus on activities that relate to what the boys really want to do.
    3) NOTE this is a broad brush generalization - Girls are more dramatic and more socially a problem than boys in general. With girls a lot of the issues are internal with boys, they somehow work out stuff between each other much easier than the girls do. For girls you really have to find a troop where the girls are interested in the same stuff or have really close friends in it, or it wont work.
    4) From my past experiences and from reading posts, NEITHER BSA or the GS's are like it was 30 plus years ago when I was a GS.
    5) Plus for BSA - starting our second year as Cub Scouts, I really like the family inclusion aspect of the group and that the families are more involved. I do like the number of ages and the fact that the pack goes on, where in troops, it basically is only as strong and as long as the girls are interested.
    6) Plus for girl scouts - with smaller groups, you can do a lot more. There is less red tape and layers of crap to go through before doing something. A lot of the things are literally "hey this weekend there is a seminar on music want to go? Sure, who is driving" - its a quick thing. Also the girls at this age have a huge amount of input as if they dont want to do it, its not going to be done.
    7) Cookies vs Popcorn - the girls have a time tested product everyone in the world knows, I didnt even know about the popcorn until around 2 years ago. As a store manager told us when we had a store front conflict problem "the girl scouts really have it together with this kind of stuff" compared to Cub Scouts. With cookies there is a process, procedure from the top down to the individual girl. I see with Cub scouts a lot of reinventing of the wheel and burning out folks who volunteer (re popcorn).
    8) The "chick/dude" thing - Its rare you see a male GS leader (and lets be honest, who wouldnt question that right?) but women in Boy Scouting are pretty common. A lot of this comes from that we have schedules, the vans, the station wagons and are the family gatekeepers of the schedules but I think the dynamics of the Dens and Pack are interesting with this thrown in. I personally have to say I really got into scouting so my husband could spend some more quality time with our son as he works a ton, but what I have noticed in a number of situations is its the mom's that seem to carry a lot of the work of the pack forward, or at least 50% of it. I think this makes for a challenge when it comes to leadership (and trust me I am a dyed in the wool feminist).

    The bottom line is that BOTH should be providing a fun and educational experience for the kids, and if they arent, they arent doing their job.

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    • #17
      Just back from a week-end camping trip with my daughter's Girl Scout Troop. Lots of rain, but the girls did great. The Troop recently combined with another GS Troop that was on the verge of folding, and this was the first activity with everyone. The girls were nervous about the meshing, but it went really well and they all got along great. They liked camping and want to do more. In a lot of ways, the preparations and execution of this camping trip was similar to the Boy Scouts - from packing up and setting up camp and Saturday activities to packing up and cleaning up. But the way girls and boys are at camp is very different. The one time those of us who are leaders in the Boy Scouts and also have a daughter in Girl Scouts brought our daughters on a Boy Scout camping trip it was not out right disaster, but it wasn't a good situation. Both the boys and girls became very different - the boys showing off & acting like idiots and the girls ignoring each other and flirting with the boys. And I don't think either group meant to do it, as they have know each other outside of Scouts for years, but it just happened. Afterwards, we said never again. Watching the girls get along so well on this camping trip just reenforced this notion - that sometimes boys just need to be with boys and girls need to be with girls.

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      • #18
        This is as old as the debates about women vs men and has about as many advantages, disadvantages, and opinions.

        However, from an outdoor scouting perspective I am a outdoor leader, take my 15 girls camping, invite other troops wanting to try it out, and I have a full set of Boy Scout outdoor materials along side my GS materials. They are more detailed, I know they are "age appropriate" and when I get stuff off the internet I don't always know it is accurate so they serve as a great foundation.

        And as a bonus helping my husband with our son's cub scout troop has been a breeze because I am familular with their materials.

        Those of you with girls I just encourage you to enjoy learning how to "camp like a girl" (yes it is a little different) while embracing your BSA roots, because you have allot to offer you just have to ease into it. And don't forget for rain sometimes a basket of nail polish goes as far to entertain as a tub of board games. Nothing says you have to sit outside and be miserable!!!! )

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        • #19
          Wow ! "Basket of nail polish"???

          Is this camping or Camp Beverly Hills?

          Nothing says you have to cater to idiocy either. I camped with my girls for 11 years and NEVER brought a basket of nail polish along. I did bring stuff to help them work on badges, cards, board games, crafts, songs and other things. If we were really desperate we could always - gasp! - talk!

          Makeup and electronics were never allowed on campouts. What's the point?

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          • #20
            I always thought camping like a girl meant using a charcoal grill and obsessively washing dishes!! My Eagle Scout husband was horrified when I told him we washed dishes three times a day, and I was equally horrified when he told me he ate out of his frisbee, then used it for a game of Ultimate.

            Having a bottle of nail polish along can be useful for frayed shoelaces etc., but most boys I know will pass on my Pompeii Purple.

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            • #21
              I can recall visiting a Girl Scout camp and being shocked when told that the girls didn't camp in tents, but instead used these wonderful buildings, complete with indoor flush toilets and bathrooms. .. essentially nice, new army barracks! No sleeping on the ground, hey?

              As for the heavy lifting, I've also seen that somehow it's the men that get whirled into doing this.

              It's interesting to me that SO many women disbelieve me (and others) when we say that we ENJOY getting grubby in the outdoors, eating beans and farting around a campfire, and so forth. Perhaps they disbelieve because it doesn't fit their theories (or because they haven't been around boys being boys).

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              • #22
                My Troop only did lodge camping in the winter. Once the weather got reasonable, we were out in tents at the State Parks.

                The girls didn't mind getting grubby (even the "princess" of the group), but they did like to eat well.

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                • #23
                  MY SISTER WAS A BOYSCOUT UNOFFICIALLY SHE EARNED HER BAGDES AND WAS GIVEN HARDER GRADING THEN THE BOYS IT WAS JUST THE WAY tHE COURT OF HONER WAS A COMPLETE SUPRISE TO EVERY ONE AS SHE WAS CALL AFTER ALL US BOYS TO RECIEVE HER MERIT BADGES IMAGINE TO THOUGHT THE BOYS HAD tHE CUB MASTER WAS A WOMAN YES ONE OF IF NOT THE FIRST IN AMERICA AND HER HUSBAND WAS MY SCOUTMASTER REST HIS SOLE (THE GEORGE AND WALDA BOXER FAMILY) yES i AM PROUD TO SAY WERE IT NOT FOR THEM i WOULD NOT TURNED OUT AS I DID oNE OF MY FEW FRIENDS IF A SCOUT CAN BOND WITH HIS SCOUTMASTER I DID FOR LIFE (NO FUMEY STUFF HERE)
                  ALL OVER THE WORLD GIRLS ARE IN THIER COEDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IF YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF SCOUTING GIRLS JOINED AND REFUSED TO BE TURNED AWAY IN ENGLAND. iN AMERICA THE DYNAMICS WERE DIFFERENT. AN CLOSE ASSOCIATION IS GREAT FOR ALL CHILDREN AT ALL AGES HOWEVER THE DYNAMICS ARE UNIQUE AT DIFFERENT AGES. iT IS TRUE THAT MORE PROGRAM MATERIALS AND TRAING EXISTS WITH BOY SCOUTS AND THAT ALL TO OFTEN GIR SCOUT LEADERS ATTEND AND USE BOY SCOUT PROGRAM MATERIALS. wOMEN INVOLVED IN BOY SCOUTING IS CAMMON WHEN HAVE YOU HEARD OF A MALE LEADER IN THE GIRL SCOUTS? aS A YOUNG ADULT TO PROVE A POINT HAW WELL INTENDED I APPLIED TO BE A GIRL SCOUT LEADER AND WHAT A SHOCK IT WAS FOR THE GIRL SCOUTS THE COUNCIL (GIRL SCOUT) THEY DIDN'T KNOE WHAT TO DO EQUAL,RIGHTS WAS RAGING AND TO SAY THAT THEIR WAS A TRIPLE STANDARD WOULD BE A UNDERSTATEMENT. SUFICE TO SAY I GAVE SOME GIRLS TRAING IN BOY SCOUT SCILLS ALONG WITH MY YOUNGER SISTER. AMAZING THOSE TIMES IN THE 60'S AND EARLY 70'S WAS SAN FRANCISCO WAS ON THE FOR FRONT. wITH THE ADVENT OF COED EXPLORING MANY GIRLS FLED FROM THE GIRL SCOUTS TO THE EXPLORERS WAS IT THE PROGRAM OR THE PARTIPICANTS THAT DREW THEM? IT WAS THE RESPECT THAT US BOY HAD FOR THE GIRLS MANY POSTS WERE A DISMAL FAILURE DUE TO LACK OF RESPECT. YOUNG BOYS AND GIRLS AT ALL AGES BENIFIT FROM PROGRAMS ONLY IF TREATED WITH RESPECT AND ON EQUAL FOOTING KIPING IN MIND THAT THEIR DIFFERENT VARIATIONS BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS WHICH ARE LESS OF A CHALLENG AS BOTH GRO OLDER.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    MY SISTER WAS A BOYSCOUT UNOFFICIALLY SHE EARNED HER BAGDES AND WAS GIVEN HARDER GRADING THEN THE BOYS IT WAS JUST THE WAY tHE COURT OF HONER WAS A COMPLETE SUPRISE TO EVERY ONE AS SHE WAS CALL AFTER ALL US BOYS TO RECIEVE HER MERIT BADGES IMAGINE TO THOUGHT THE BOYS HAD tHE CUB MASTER WAS A WOMAN YES ONE OF IF NOT THE FIRST IN AMERICA AND HER HUSBAND WAS MY SCOUTMASTER REST HIS SOLE (THE GEORGE AND WALDA BOXER FAMILY) yES i AM PROUD TO SAY WERE IT NOT FOR THEM i WOULD NOT TURNED OUT AS I DID oNE OF MY FEW FRIENDS IF A SCOUT CAN BOND WITH HIS SCOUTMASTER I DID FOR LIFE (NO FUMEY STUFF HERE)
                    ALL OVER THE WORLD GIRLS ARE IN THIER COEDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IF YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF SCOUTING GIRLS JOINED AND REFUSED TO BE TURNED AWAY IN ENGLAND. iN AMERICA THE DYNAMICS WERE DIFFERENT. AN CLOSE ASSOCIATION IS GREAT FOR ALL CHILDREN AT ALL AGES HOWEVER THE DYNAMICS ARE UNIQUE AT DIFFERENT AGES. iT IS TRUE THAT MORE PROGRAM MATERIALS AND TRAING EXISTS WITH BOY SCOUTS AND THAT ALL TO OFTEN GIR SCOUT LEADERS ATTEND AND USE BOY SCOUT PROGRAM MATERIALS. wOMEN INVOLVED IN BOY SCOUTING IS CAMMON WHEN HAVE YOU HEARD OF A MALE LEADER IN THE GIRL SCOUTS? aS A YOUNG ADULT TO PROVE A POINT HAW WELL INTENDED I APPLIED TO BE A GIRL SCOUT LEADER AND WHAT A SHOCK IT WAS FOR THE GIRL SCOUTS THE COUNCIL (GIRL SCOUT) THEY DIDN'T KNOE WHAT TO DO EQUAL,RIGHTS WAS RAGING AND TO SAY THAT THEIR WAS A TRIPLE STANDARD WOULD BE A UNDERSTATEMENT. SUFICE TO SAY I GAVE SOME GIRLS TRAING IN BOY SCOUT SCILLS ALONG WITH MY YOUNGER SISTER. AMAZING THOSE TIMES IN THE 60'S AND EARLY 70'S WAS SAN FRANCISCO WAS ON THE FOR FRONT. wITH THE ADVENT OF COED EXPLORING MANY GIRLS FLED FROM THE GIRL SCOUTS TO THE EXPLORERS WAS IT THE PROGRAM OR THE PARTIPICANTS THAT DREW THEM? IT WAS THE RESPECT THAT US BOY HAD FOR THE GIRLS MANY POSTS WERE A DISMAL FAILURE DUE TO LACK OF RESPECT. YOUNG BOYS AND GIRLS AT ALL AGES BENIFIT FROM PROGRAMS ONLY IF TREATED WITH RESPECT AND ON EQUAL FOOTING KIPING IN MIND THAT THEIR DIFFERENT VARIATIONS BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS WHICH ARE LESS OF A CHALLENG AS BOTH GROW OLDER.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hmm....

                      Maybe it is time to get rid of the B & G and become Scouts? A lot of countries do not have "Boy" or "Girl" Scouts just Scouts. An example is Scouts de Bolivia.

                      For those that feel that "history matters", the founders of Scouting have the Scouts Association of the UK.

                      It would not be easy, but it is possible.

                      I also noted that the BSA "boys" act differently when girls are around (as in an International Jamboree) but noticed the boys from "Scout" Troops (vs BoyScout Troops) usually had no problem talking to girls or behaving naturaly around them. Maybe we can teach our boys to learn respect for others as equals vice girl versus boys?

                      Just a thought and maybe wishfull thinking but maybe someday....

                      YiS,

                      Rick

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                      • #26
                        Actually, In our Girl Scout Community, our Community leader is a male...

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                        • #27
                          "Maybe it is time to get rid of the B & G and become Scouts? A lot of countries do not have "Boy" or "Girl" Scouts just Scouts. An example is Scouts de Bolivia.

                          "For those that feel that "history matters", the founders of Scouting have the Scouts Association of the UK."

                          In SOME countries this has happened, but not all.

                          In some countries, Scouting is for boys, Guiding is for girls.

                          In some countries (UK and most commonwealth nations), Scouting has gone co-ed, BUT Guiding still exists as a separate program for just girls.

                          In some countries, Scouting & Guiding have merged into one organization.


                          The BSA tried to get GSUSA & Camp Fire Girls to merge with them back in the late 60s/early 70s. Never happened. What may happen may be like what happend in the UK: the BSA will finally go fully co-ed and GSUSA will still exist as a separate organization.


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