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What changes would you make if you were Robert Gates, the new BSA president

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  • #31
    Originally posted by perdidochas View Post
    They would have to use the same rules of YP as we currently use. At least one same sex adult has to be there for every gender present at the campout. If only boys, you need at least one male adult leader. If only girls, you need at least one female adult leader. If both are present, you need both a male and female adult leader. Fairly simple.
    Female adult leaders willing to camp is not a fairly simple matter in my neck of the woods. Finding one is like a snipe hunt.

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    • #32
      honestly not sure how serious this thread is, but for those of you that feel one committee chair would be good for a combo of 2-3 units, Im sure your current committee chairs would be happy to let you take over their jobs if that came to pass.

      this is silliness...we should be focusing on shoring up the program, not continuing to use it as a societal sandbox. If you feel the program is not for you, maybe you should be looking elsewhere instead of insisting scouting change to make you feel better.

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      • #33
        They already have Girl Scouts. I believe its important that boys and girls have their own separate programs. It also makes it easier on the volunteers to have only boys or only girls. Remember, the people taking these kids camping ARE volunteers, not paid employees. Dealing with girl/boy experimentation and chasing them around all camp isn't what we signed up for. We had enough issues with our webelos following around a tiger's two older sisters all weekend at the last camp out. Imagine if we had a camp full of boys/girls hitting their pre-teens! lol

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        • #34
          I have a different perspective as the mother of a girl (7) and a boy (9). I often volunteer in my son's Cub Scout pack. In our pack, we have as many or more moms volunteering as dads, and many of us have daughters, too.

          The exclusion of girls from the pack leads to my daughter feeling frustrated, and rightly so. If I'm there to help with my son's activity, she is there with me. This is a fact of life. She usually participates, but does not earn any badges for the activity and has no uniform to wear.

          After two years of this, she was vocally frustrated, and I don't blame her. If she's going to do the "work", she should get the "pay". It was discouraging to her, and that's not something I like to see as a parent.

          So, I went to the pack leaders and asked if they would consider allowing me to start an American Heritage Girls troop alongside the pack. I was clear that this would be entirely on my own time, and I had other moms lined up to help. I didn't want to impose on already overburdened pack leaders.

          As I told them, I hoped that there might be some economy of roles in a combined pack (treasurer, etc. that might work for both packs). I thought the adult leadership between the two might be more efficient for the parent volunteers. Plus, parents would only be bringing their children to one evening event, vs. Monday night for Cub Scouts and Tuesday night for the Girl Scout troop based at our school. (GS is not right for our family for other reasons).

          They said no. They said it would "take away from the boys' experience". So, I dropped the subject.

          My daughter kept asking, quite reasonably, when it would be her turn to be a Scout. In fairness, I felt it was her turn. So, I signed her up for an AHG troop at our church. They require all parents to volunteer. So, I started volunteering for them, and dropped out of the leadership in my son's Cub pack.

          To the poster who is a "mom of all boys" and asked that no girls be allowed: that's great for you if you have no daughters. For those of us with daughters, there is a big conflict. How would you have felt as a child being constantly dragged to your brother's Scouting activities and told you can't participate because you're a girl? Or you can "participate", but you can't have a badge or uniform like your brother? My daughter was upset by this, and I don't blame her. If you put volunteer moms in this quandary, some of them will quit, or seek other groups, like 4-H, where they can volunteer with all their kids.

          It is possible that more openness to girls, and better use of parents/volunteers' time by allowing them to work with all their kids at once might actually lead to more parent volunteers in the BSA. I don't think the current system of shutting out girls works very well.

          GA Mom

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          • #35
            GeorgiaMom ... That's what I've seen too.

            I never said remove references to God or faith. We can show reverence without shoving it down the throat of others.

            -----------------------------------

            Ya know ... from what I've seen on this board, from BSA and from Robert Gates. ... Scouting is a niche anachronism doomed by dysfunctional stubbornness and structural contradictions.

            - Depend on public schools for recruiting but we don't honor their values. We can't recruit from them. And, we have no other successful model.

            - Depend on church based charter organizations but not honor the values of the charter organizations and still expect their support.

            - Hoping to increase membership numbers but alienate the families of potential members with policies stuck in the past that have very little actual effect.

            Our district venturing chair said it best last month. In the past, scouting was uncool to high school students. He could work that. Now, scouting is viewed as a pariah in high schools and we are raising future parents who view scouting as a pariah.

            -----------------------------------

            It's an easy fix if BSA leaders have the backbone and guts to do it. Make a statement that BSA respects the beliefs and teachings of the supporting charter organizations and that BSA leaves matters of faith and sexuality to the families and the religious leaders of the families.

            The only policy BSA really needs is that your membership can be revoked if you use BSA as a political platform.

            -----------------------------------

            Until then, we should think about merging troops and merging packs as the membership numbers are just not there and I'm tired of district executives working their butts off trying to increase membership and asking me to invest my volunteer time to support a self-defeating environment. I'll invest the time for me, my sons and my scouts.

            It's been 14 years of bad public relations. Essentially my whole adult scouting career. It's getting old.
            Last edited by fred johnson; 05-27-2014, 03:10 PM.

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            • #36
              Fred, I think I agree with every aspect of your OP. I'm not quite ready yet to move this to I&P although it is trending in that direction.

              Moms, both of you, I have a daughter who was also quite frustrated, doubly so, because she not only wanted to do all the cool stuff the boys did, she did it better than most of them AND the GS unit she joined didn't do any of it. This was a source (maybe still is to some extent) of frustration and resentment for her and I can't blame her in the least. FWIW, local option wouldn't completely solve this issue but it would help in some cases.

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              • #37
                packsaddle ... close it. move it. doesn't matter. This thread isn't adding any value anymore.

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                • #38
                  As you wish

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                  • #39
                    I think we should allow girls in at all levels, but leave it up to the charter orgs on whether to allow them in for their units (which is how the UK and Canada did it if I remember correctly). This is how venturing works today (crews can be boy only or coed - it's up to the charter org).

                    As GeorgiaMom has said, families with both sons and daughters can find it difficult to support the program as they have to split their time. At recruiting events for our cub pack, we keep getting asked "can my daughter join too?" The BSA is one of only something like sixteen scouting programs in the world (out of some 160 members on the WOSM members list) that isn't coed (we share boys only status with countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, etc.). I also don't get the idea that if we let in girls, suddenly we have to stop running around, camping or doing other adventurous things. The girls want to go on adventures as much as the boys (at least the ones that will join a coed BSA)! The biggest threat to the scouts being adventurous are the safety rules from national (can't climb a tree without a helmet and full suspension harness operated by a certified COAP instructor), not girls.

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                    • #40
                      I'm curious, and I'm not trying to be chippy at all, but for those of you advocating for co-ed because it's easier for your family, do you also advocate for co-ed sports teams? I see plenty of parents running son to baseball three days a week and daughter to softball three other days and/or times but rarely hear them ask for co-ed participation or complain that their daughter can't be on the baseball team. Just curious.

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                      • #41
                        I'm opposed to making the Boy Scouts co ed. It wouldn't be deal breaker for me, but I think a single gender environment has some advantages for both boys and girls.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by dcsimmons View Post
                          I'm curious, and I'm not trying to be chippy at all, but for those of you advocating for co-ed because it's easier for your family, do you also advocate for co-ed sports teams? I see plenty of parents running son to baseball three days a week and daughter to softball three other days and/or times but rarely hear them ask for co-ed participation or complain that their daughter can't be on the baseball team. Just curious.
                          Actually, my kids were on co-ed soccer teams through 4th or 5th grade. About then they started on different trajectories for inter-scholastic play. However, weight training and scrimmages during the off-season are co-ed. Anytime the schedules overlapped, we counted it a mercy.

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                          • #43
                            DCsimmons, I've never seen that with sports. Good point though. I wasn't allowed to play on my brothers' hockey or soccer teams because they were boy teams. Even though my pop was the coach and I could practice with them.
                            Last edited by Momleader; 05-28-2014, 02:59 PM.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
                              .... The biggest threat to the scouts being adventurous are the safety rules from national (can't climb a tree without a helmet and full suspension harness operated by a certified COAP instructor), not girls. ...
                              More importantly, the ban on independent hiking and camping, which results in our best youth leaving BSA to fulfill that pinnacle scouting experience in their natural patrols: both unisex and co-ed.

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                              • #45
                                I get enough whinney parents about "They cant do that, they are to young" Example a 5 mile hike we took a month ago...Boys had a BLAST, parents huffin it. The boys did fine, it is YOU that can't do it. I dont need the added pressure of finding things girls CAN or CAN NOT do.

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