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Dealing with a Pregnant Crewmember

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  • #46
    My thoughts:

    If I were a youth member of that crew, I would want to relieve this girl of the responsibility of her leadership position. She has plenty of responsibility in life being an expectant mother, she doesn't need to be burdenend with a crew position too. This may look like a slap in the face, but in fact it would be a charitable move.

    Further, the crew needs to make sure she is getting regular medical checks and that she is observing the activity limits her condition places on her. You really don't want to deal with a misccarriage during your 50 miler, I am pretty sure that isn't in your first aid training.

    The attitudes of everyone involved also are a big part of this, and adjustments need to be made accordingly. If she is the new teen celebrity and this is being viewed as some all great thing, then one approach would be needed. If she is about to be run out of town on a rail, another would be appropriate.

    As to the father, there are some who think that knocking up a girl is some great accomplishement, but for the most part being the father of a child with an underage, unwed mother is viewed very, very negatively around here. The mother may recieve support. The father is more likely to recieve crucifixion.

    As to the question of if the pregnancy "went away" in these parts that would not at all be taken lightly, in fact few things would be viewed more negatively.

    I should note that in these parts teen mothers are known to happen, but it is handled with some privacy. No one is in school one day and giving birth the next, rather at some point teen mothers will dissappear for a few months in the later stages of preganancy and for a while after birth, completing studies from home and the like. There aren't any rules that require it be this way, just a lot of social convention.

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    • #47
      P.E. - I sort of think that's how it would play out in our crew. As far as social convention, each teen pregnacy that I've known about in or community was managed differently. (Lots of different social classes, religion, etc ...) That's why bringing in the Charter Organization for a little guidance is important.

      E-007. - No offense taken. Trust me before I started this gig, I thought the same thing. But, there was no "separate but equal" option. The nearest girls-only crew was miles away. Girl scouts was not promoting an outdoor program the way my daughter was expecting (having seen what her older brother had). Maybe someplace else there can be two great outdoor programs, but as long as the best is defined by the BSA (like it was in our community), you will always do one sex or the other a disservice by sending them elsewhere.

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      • #48
        What would you do in this situation if the young woman was 19 and engaged to be married? Or already married? She could still be part of the crew up to 21, correct? Is there a value in what we do in Scouting that goes beyond whether she is pregnant or not?

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        • #49
          The "value", such as it is, involves working closely with the Chartered Organization to be sure it is represented well, and helping youth take their place in their community.

          Married? Pregnancy is a welcome event. At 19, it's downright common in some parts. In fact I recently met a regional VOA officer and her husband in that exact situation.

          Engaged? You're definitely getting teased for jumping the gun! (And I still call dib's on the baby during officer's meetings!)

          Some serious issues might be how to act around the 20 year old who's been married for two years and has yet to concieve. That happens too, and if you have a bunch of older venturers, they might not get how hard that can be. (It's likely their first experience with such a charged situation.)

          Part of the "fun" of being a crew advisor is working with these young adults as they experience these very issues. Sure some of the high adventure stuff needs to be tailored to physical ability. But the program isn't "belay on" 24/7.

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          • #50
            Interesting question drmbear, and this has been an interesting thread.

            I've seen official Scouting literature say things with respect to religion like "the best kind of person has a belief in God."

            That is a statement of BSA values more than it is a statement of proveable fact, perhaps.

            And perhaps much the same thing can be said about having a 16 year old girl who is unmarried and pregnant as a unit leader.

            One of the methods of Boy Scouts is "adult association" with adults who merit being emulated. We want the best people to provide that kind of leadership and example.

            That being the case, I think it's reasonable for units and parents to object to having a 16 year old pregnant girl as a youth leader.

            For similar reasons, a 19 year old young woman who is pregnant and engaged is a different set of facts that probably merits being treated in a different way. 19, pregnant and married would be better still.

            From time to time I watch the MTV program "16 and Pregnant" which follows girls through the trials of being young, unmarried and pregnant. That appears to create a mess of such proportions and reliability that it is not something a reasonable person would recommend as a lifestyle, and therefore as an example to show to other young people.

            I think that's different than being deliberately punitive by requiring a young woman to wear a scarley "A." in order to humiliate her.

            (This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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            • #51
              In my honest opinion if the young woman was 19 and engaged or already married then I would be willing to bet that her young man or husband would not want nor allow her to continue in the program around all of the other young men. And I feel safe in saying that if either of the two hypothetical senarios you presented were true then we wouldn't be having this conversation. It has been my observation of friends while growing up that the boyfriends, fiances and/or new husbands are extremely jealous.


              According to BSALegal.org: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. On my honor I will do my best
              To do my duty to God and my country
              and to obey the Scout Law;
              To help other people at all times;
              To keep myself physically strong,
              mentally awake, and morally straight.
              A Scout is:
              Trustworthy
              Loyal
              Helpful
              Friendly
              Courteous
              Kind
              Obedient
              Cheerful
              Thrifty
              Brave
              Clean
              Reverent.

              What value do you see in scouting that goes beyond whether she is pregnant or not? I would place loyalty by taking care herself and her baby along with making ethical and moral choices on the top of her list. I would think that she would need to concentrate on the matter at hand with her pregnancy. She could later decide to return on the adult side as a volunteer if she were that committed to the program.

              I don't think that she should be shunned. But I do think that she owes it to herself and the baby to take a long hard look at the road ahead of her.

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              • #52
                In my honest opinion if the young woman was 19 and engaged or already married then I would be willing to bet that her young man or husband would not want nor allow her to continue in the program around all of the other young men.

                Yah, Eagle007, I don't know how old yeh are, mate, but even I'm not that old.

                Modern young folks are different than when we were growin' up, eh? Women are more self-confident in mixed social situations. Dating "as a group" is somethin' that is da norm rather than the exception. A healthy young couple learns quickly to respect that each member is goin' to maintain their own interests/careers/activities in a coed world.

                To be honest, I'd be a bit worried about a young fellow who felt as you suggest, and I'd probably take him aside for a few words. That sort of jealous "too hot not to cool down" behavior is immature for a married man, and is likely to cause problems and stresses to the marriage just when it needs to be puttin' down roots. In da worst cases, it becomes abusive.

                Married folks weave themselves together by love and by habit, not by lockin' each other away from da rest of the world.

                Beavah
                (This message has been edited by Beavah)

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                • #53
                  After seeing all of the domestic violence that I have seen in my career, I can tell you that the jaded beast of jealousy is alive and well in all age groups and backgrounds even in young couples who are dating, engaged or married. It happens.

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                  • #54
                    Eagle007 - Just handled a "jaded beast of jealousy" issue with two boys who (before a mutual friend became one's girlfriend) were best buddies! It took months for everyone to readjust, and because the young lady was *not* in the crew, I think it made matters worse.

                    Be it Venturing or other movements for youth in that age range, I've found those "morale dampeners" to be rare. For each guy or girl with that kind of drama going on, there are dozens who grow into their relationships without much drama at all.

                    Same with the 16 y.o. officer. She may need to back off the program for the sake of school and the baby. Her character may be unbecoming of an officer. But there is no one-size-fits all formula, and the CO and other officers have a big say in how it plays out.

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                    • #55
                      Agreed Qwazse.

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