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Men in GSUSA, why the double standard?

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  • Men in GSUSA, why the double standard?

    I started in scouting as a Cub Scout and we had den mothers. In Boy Scouts I worked on summer camp staff we had a woman as health officer, and a few of the troops had female adult leaders and it was no big deal. We didn't make them sleep off by themselves, or give them their own chemical toilets to use in camp. When my daughters became involved in Girl Scouts I figured I would get involved and registered as a leader. But on the first camping trip I attended I couldn't help but notice a few stares, and overheard a few mumbled comments. Now I know most of the girls in the junior troop, and the brownie troop because I have coached them in one sport or another. I have had the same backround checks done as the women leaders, probably more in-depth ones due to other facets of my life. What is the big deal if a man wants to be involved in his daughter's troop?

  • #2
    The official answer is that "girls need a strong woman as a role model." The real answer is that men are evil.

    If a girl goes on a Venturing outing, a woman has to go along. Why? The official answer was given as "girls may have problems that they don't want to discuss with a man." I could comment on that but I won't, I'll just give my counter example, how many 12 year old boys would tell Mrs. Brown, the SM, that they have developed jock itch at camp? Maybe Mrs. Brown's son.

    The real answer again is, men are evil. The women of the world are concerned that if we go out into the woods with a bunch of girls, we'll be leering at them while they shower and doing our best to take advantage of them.

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    • #3
      If I were a betting man, I'd wager that this debate's occurred many times before, in various forms (women on camp staff, men in Girl Scouting, etc.) But here's my three cents (inflation, right?).

      The "double standard" differs from place to place and person to person. It even persists in Boy Scouts in some locales. I know of some older Scouters who didn't believe that women should be members of the Order of the Arrow. And at the summer camp where I worked, there were more than a few Scoutmasters who looked askance at the woman who attended as an ASM with her son's troop.

      I recently contacted the local SU to get information on Daisy troops in my area for next fall. There's a brownie/junior troop at my daughter's school, but no Daisies yet. The organizer sounded enthusiastic about the possibility, and promised to get me hooked up with training. So I'm optimistic, and really looking forward to seeing my daughter have an experience similar to the one that did so much for me.

      Of course there are going to be stares, and comments. Just keep on showing up, and helping out, and being the best dad you can. There will still be some grumbles, just like there are still some (very few) old fogies who believe women shouldn't wear the Scoutmaster patch or receive the Vigil Honor.

      For more info, Bob Prager is a dad involved in Girl Scouting, including leadership and training positions. See www.pragerfamily.net/index.html

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      • #4
        I believe that a man cannot be the registered leader of a troop, only an assistant.

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        • #5
          GW,

          I don't believe that's the case anymore. I couldn't find a statement on the GSUSA Web site, but according to the site of the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama:

          "Adult men can volunteer in Girl Scouting in every capacity that women can. However, as one of the most valuable parts of a girls experience is gained through role modeling, each troop must have at least one female Leader."

          It's my understanding that the other female leader has to be unrelated to the male, however.

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          • #6
            It is, indeed, GSUSA rules being locally interpreted. Not unlike BSA perhaps?
            I have a good friend that is the Daisy leader for his daughter's Troop. It numbers 8 or 9, I believe.Beg pardon, they are Brownies this year. He (and the other parents) take'em on hikes and craft days and nature study. He is a Scout pro that travels training folks, but he is home for the GSusa stuff, for sure. He tells me no problems so far...

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            • #7
              Men are evil- that's it.

              I am registered as a commitee member, as is one the other fathers in the troop. My wife if the troop leader. What gets me the most is, it's fine that we're there when it comes to the heavy lifting, dirty work, wood splitting etc.. but when it comes interaction with the girls it's a whole different story. None of the parents have said anything and are fine with it, and the girls think it's great, the outsiders are the nay-sayers.

              I have never been one to worry about the opinion of others and will not let them stop me from being involved, I just had to vent.

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              • #8
                We were at a Methodist Scouting dinner last night. One of the men at our table was a former BSA DE and is now the camping director with the GSUSA council. Someone asked about men in the GSUSA- he replied that he never had a problem.

                Ed

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                • #9
                  I've been a Girl Scout leader for 6 years now, and my husband has been my Co-Leader for 5 out of those 6. He has also been my cookie manager for my troop. He is there with me for everything that he can be. The only thing is that he doesn't go camping with us, since it is too much to put him in another cabin/tent and bathroom arrangements. No one has said anything about him being around and most of the parents thinks its great that he wants to help even though his daughter is in another troop and we are working the brownies. We always have other females around so there is just more than him and I with the girls at all times.
                  I think that it is great that dad, or men in general want to help with their daughter's troop in any compasity.

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                  • #10
                    Much of GSUSA's upper echelons for the past thirty years have been filled by dedicated second wave feminists and not a few anti-patriarchy, really liberal crusaders. However, those women are beginning to retire and be replaced by more sensible people who understand that men in this day and age are just as involved in thier girls' lives as mothers are in the past. Girls need both strong female and male role models.

                    As for treating all males at campouts like perverts, I hope that will soon be as much a thing of the past as comments about female ASMs. We can't hang a "MEN" sign on a door or used red and green plates for "OCCUPIED?" I mean really, all males at our Council's campsites MUST wear a RED bracelet at all times so we know they are OK to be on the property. Can you imagine if BSA did something like that with women?

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                    • #11
                      "Can you imagine if BSA did something like that with women?"

                      Yep but it would be okay if BSA did it to the men. Everyone thinks that men are evil.

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                      • #12
                        "I mean really, all males at our Council's campsites MUST wear a RED bracelet at all times so we know they are OK to be on the property. Can you imagine if BSA did something like that with women?"

                        My local BSA council camp requires all visitors, male or female, to wear paper bracelets (I think they were yellow). I'd worked there for five years and was a tentmate of the camp director his first year on staff, but I still wore one when I visited this summer.

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                        • #13
                          We do the paper bracelet thing for ALL visitors to camp...male or female.

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                          • #14
                            At our BSA Camp EVERYONE, wears reinforced paper bracelets. Staff, Scouts, Venturers, Leaders, Visitors and these are all different colors. But there is no distinction in what color the bracelet is by the sex of the wearer.

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                            • #15
                              The whole "fear of adult men" thing really has gone too far. . . not to mention that it's an inconvenience to adult men.

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