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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Thank you.  Let me provide what I hope is an equally well stated rebuttal. I don't see the addition of girls to the program as adding a layer of richness, I see it as replacing a layer of richness that already exists.  A place for boys to hang with their mates around the campfire is a rich and important experience.  There's plenty of literature out there that suggests today's men don't have other male friends and it's impacting their mental health.  The Boy Scouts has always been a place for boys to learn how to make male friends, nay, brothers.  That process will be irrevocably changed with the addition of girls to the program.  Men will suffer as a result. You said that we're preparing the boys for adulthood, and since they'll have to work with women, they should work with girls now.  While I think there is truth in that argument, forcing co-ed scouts at all ages is using a sledge hammer to kill a fly.  I believe that boys certainly in the 11-14 year age range, and probably in the 5 - 14 year age range need to learn how to deal with the transition to manhood first.  We all remember what it was like to be that age.  Having mentors and leaders and peers who have been or are going through that same period in life is critical.  Yes, they need to learn how to work with women, but, I think that happens after they've learned how to be young men.  I have no problem with co-ed scouting at the high school age level, as an option.  If I honestly believe the separate troop thing was anything other than a short transition phase to fully co-ed Troops, designed to minimize losses, I might be onboard.  In a spearate thread on this forum at least one scouter was already touting their co-ed patrols.  Separate or linked troops are a fantasy. You earlier referenced Scouts UK as a model.  The wikipedia page references their 2016/2017 report and says "Girls now make up 27% of all-age participants with a total of 99,989 female participants aged between 6 and 25 and a further 69,460 women involved in volunteer roles (being more than 1 adult female for every 2 female young people), while new recruits are now 71% girls (approx. 2.5 girls for every boy)" Emphasis is mine.  If in 10 years our movement is 27% female, and we don't lose any marketshare in boys, then we'll just have made up the delta for the departures in the last few years.  More importantly (and I haven't read the entire report so I'm taking the 2.5:1 comment at face value), if the UK Scout Association is recruiting 2.5 girls for every boy that enters the program, one has to question if they are in fact serving the general population of boys.  It's not clear to me that set of numbers is a win for boys.  The Scout Association is seeing 8% year-over-year growth, so it is clearly winning, but maybe at the expense of boys. I too have seen girls bring fun and enthusiasm to activities in Cub Scouts.  But, I've also watched adult leaders, male and female, break up boys unstructured, loud, rough, and unstructured play in order to get them to attend to some boring, quiet, and structured activity.  The girls thrive in the latter, the boys in the former.  I've had more than a few conversations with leaders, male and female, to the effect of you have to let boys play.  Requirements are nice, but, not nearly as important as unstructured, rowdy, play.  Once they've blown off that steam you can probably get them to attend to whatever classroom stuff you have to offer. Finally, you said "It hasn't been a negative in school classrooms to have boys and girls working together."  I can't begin to express how strongly I disagree with this statement.  Boys are loud, squirmy, and active.  Nobody who has ever actually worked with boys was shocked when taking away the unstructured play of recess, and the jungle gyms and swings, caused problems in the classroom.  But, instead of giving boys the room to be boys, we've chosen to medicate the ones that can't act like their female counterparts.  Scouting used to be a refuge from that mentality.  I fear it will become more of the same, and worse than it is today (MBUs, Citizenship MBs at summer camp, etc.).  
    • Yes, excited.  Eagle Scout, Ordeal OA (weak lodge), Den Leader and Committee Chair at Pack
    • For years as a parent I kept asking what the guidance for BORs was. I never received a good answer. More of a "follow along and you'll get it". I hated that answer because different people did different things and what I saw didn't really make sense to me. No one ever told me that there was training out there for what to do in a BOR nor did it appear they new themselves. They followed along with what they saw done before them. As a parent I didn't know I could even participate in any training.  When I switched over to a volunteer role I took all the training for SM, CO, and the Committee Member and of course, read the guide to advancement you posted. I discovered from that training that people really have no idea what a BOR is supposed to do. I plan to talk with some folks about that when I can get a nice one on one, to see if I can nudge it towards what the program states and not a retest or uniform inspection etc. 
    • I'm an Eagle Scout, 10 years an SM, was Vice Chief of Ajapeu Lodge in my long ago youth.  Currently, my troop is viewed as the somewhat radical troop in my district because of how boy led we are --- if it's not a matter of health and safety, or of BSA or my CO's policy, then it's up to the scouts to decide, plan, and carry out their program.  "Things we've always done" and "the way we've always done it" are not arguments for doing or not doing something now.  I tell that to my scouts, and I think it applies to most of life. I have not been involved more than peripherally in my current lodge as an adult.  I'm friends with the guys who are; they seem happy with their role and my plate is full. I'm glad that girls will now have the same opportunity to grow in scouting the way that i and my sons did, because I believe in the program.  And as I've told several people locally in recent discussions, if I'd had daughters instead of sons I would have spent the last 15 years mad that they couldn't have the benefits of scouting.  I believe in the unique benefits of our program as a character, citizenship, and personal fitness development program for young people.  There's nothing in our program that young women today don't need just as much as young men do, and there's nothing in our program that isn't appropriate for young women to do.  I am pretty happy with the idea of retaining single gender troops, if/when my CO goes that way our troops will be separate in their meetings and programming, but will have the material support and access to the fifty plus years of equipment, knowledge, and experience that our current troop already has.  If the decision was to go full co-ed I would have liked it less, but I think the benefits to our nation of opening the program up to the other half of our young people would have outweighed even the down side of losing some of the advantages of single gender learning. As to OA, for me it was an opportunity to hang out with and spend time camping with older guys who shared my interests and ideas of fun.  It was then and should be now an honor society for scouts who are above and beyond the average.  Allowing female Venturers has been overdue for a while, and I've heard that from the female venturers in my council.  Frankly, my lodge would be stronger if some of them had been allowed membership.  As long as they've done the camping I'm fine with letting them in even outside of the Scouts BSA pathway; I don't really have an opinion on Sea Scouts and suspect the numbers are so low that their participation is irrelevant.
    • @FireStone and @Buggie thank you for replying. Like I said, I am just curious.
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