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About TryingToMom

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  1. This is an interesting discussion thread, and one where many commenters have no concept of what Girl Scouting is/does. I get very tired of the argument that "girls already have Girl Scouts, it's just as good!" NO, it's not. Take it from a former scout, a leader, and a mother of a Girl Scout - their program has been utter garbage since their last overhaul about 6 years ago, and that's the way their HQ likes it. Girls spend up to 9 months of their year doing nothing but fixating on selling products for the Girl Scout machine (who makes billions off of the girls labor, then acts like they're too broke to invest in any local programming for the girls). As a leader, make no mistake, GS wants product sales to be all life consuming, and it's become one step shy of a pyramid scheme like Pampered Chef. GS are closing camps left and right, but it's not because girls don't want to camp, as some have suggested on here (my own daughter camps in our private woods every chance she's allowed). Girl in Girl Scouts aren't camping because families can't afford to participate when the financial aid rates that GS offers are still twice the cost of a full-priced week at BS camp - and girls don't even get to earn any badges or awards at most camps! Not to mention the lack of accountability for the girls and lack of respect from their parents. You could never have ranks in GS because parents would stomp their feet and cry out that it's not fair how their daughter does no work, never shows up, and doesn't get the same awards as everyone else. I can't tell you how many times parents have called the council on me to complain about just that problem! You may see problem parents in Boy Scouts too, I have no doubt there, but you have no idea how much more respectful women tend to be towards male leaders over female ones. And, the entire reason I became a leader is because the first troop my daughter joined had tons of money vanish (in the 5-digit range) and when I went with others to complain to council, they looked at us and said "after we get our money, it's none of our business what happens to the girl's portion!" It's a ludicrisly bad program, with staff that has no clue or care about the girls they're supposedly working for, and it's been re-tooled to only cater to kids in metropolitan areas. GS doesn't even pretend to care about anyone else, which is likely why GS keeps complaining about hemorraging members, because it's largely an arts and crafts mini-daycare these days. They do not truly develop leadership programs, and most girls have to be Juliettes (ie non-troop members) by the time they're in 6th grade, because there is so little interest in the program as girls get older/more unhappy with their lack of options. So, in short, Girl Scouts is NOT the same as Boy Scouts! And, to users like Back Pack, who think Venturing is just the same as Boy Scouts, again, you are so very mistaken. First, a female has to be 14 to join Venturing, whereas a Boy Scout can technically start at 10 1/2. So Venturing is only open to girls who are roughly high school aged, meanwhile younger girls have a great, if not greater, interest in scouting too. Second, you cannot earn merit badges or Boy Scout rank in Venturing, which, whether you want to admit it or not, are very respected things to earn - to the point that the military will give you an automatic promotion if you have Eagle Rank. Third, I live in a highly active state for BSA, you can't go down the block without tripping over a troop, and, yet, with all that support for scouting here, the Venturing units exist on paper only. They don't meet, they don't have activities, and every Crew leader I've met tells me the same thing - they're ready and willing to have their Crew be amazing, but there are too many competitors for time, money, etc to get the high school aged kids active. So, to say the GS/Venturing are the same quality as the Boy Scout program is like going into a hotel and being given the option to have a room with a bed, or a room with a pile of rocks. Yes, I'm sure there are some areas where GS and Venturing are amazing and active and well executed, but that is not the case for many youth. And no girl who would enjoy the BS program would mind being called a BOY Scout. Just like women don't get offended if they join the military and get called a soldier, even though that always implies a male (just ask my mother the veteran, who can't wear a veteran hat without being asked if her husband/father served!). When you love a program and you believe in what you're working towards, being called a Boy is not the issue they're concerned with.
  2. Excellent information, thank you all! I found out recently that our local Venturing Crew is called "dead" by the person who runs it, but my understanding is that they've done nothing to market the group towards any girls (and I know mine is not the only one who wants a more active Scouting experience!).
  3. I have a young lady who enjoys Girl Scouts, but who is disappointed with how little the girls physically do (too much arts and crafts when she wants to do more camping and rock climbing type things), and she's looking forward to being a Venture Scout in a few years. The info I can find is sparse on girls in the program, but I've read girls can join Venture, Varsity, or Sea Scouting at age 14. Does anyone have experience working with girls in these groups that might be able to give me the scoop? Are girls welcomed at any Crew, even if there are no other girls? Are you able to join more than one (for example, be a Venture and a Sea Scout)? Do the girls work on rank only or are there merit badges (or similar) things that become available to them to earn? Does anyone know any good websites that would be a good resource for girls in Crews?
  4. Thank you for all of the input. I'm seeing a lot of the other side of the issues now, so some of them make a lot more sense. I believe our plan is to wait it out for one more CoH then move on if my scout isn't happy with how things are going at that point. Like many of you said, it's more like "Mr. Smith's Scouts" instead of "Boy Scouts," and I don't want to discourage a highly motivated scout by keeping him in a troop that's a bad fit and makes him lose interest in scouting.
  5. All the issues he's hit have been from the adults. His ASM told him the blue card didn't need turned in. The PLs can sign on rank reuirements? We've been told only the ASMs can do it. If the PLs could I imagine he'd be a lot farther along. My son's goal was to get 1st class around the year mark so that he could do the jamboree next summer, and I think he's realizing it's not happening. But we had a CoH in February, May,June, and just this week. I'm not sure their reasoning and I have no idea when they're next is. We often get told on Tuesday that we're having a CoH or other event later that week. But, yes, it took 4 CoHs to get badges, and some were the wrong ones. With the camp substitutions, they were all beginner badges like art, fingerprinting, sculpting, ones where you could earn multiple badges in one time slot over the week. They said his schedule looked perfect with 6 badge classes and a 5 mile hike, but then they changed it to 3 classes and no hike, and he only had 1 class that he picked. I get things change, but if he now needed money for kits that's something I needed to know. I guess I'm just asking here to see if there are variations or if we'd run into the same things in every troop - is it us or them kind of thing.
  6. That may be the issue with the camp fulfilled requirements then. It was a first-year program that didn't sign the books, but the transcript says "scouts completed the following requirements," so that made us believe they were done and ready to be signed off on. My scout likes the other kids in his patrol but he's getting really discouraged with the leadership. He joined about 9 months ago, just this past week he finally got his scout rank, and that was only because we had to step in as parents and chase down the scoutmaster to sign off on the conference after he'd scheduled and not shown up for multiple conferences. If signing off on requirements weren't an issue, he would have earned Scout rank in January, and he's been ready to complete Tenderfoot sign offs since March-ish. When he was given his first badges (earned between January and July), some of them were the wrong badges and they said they forgot to bring his Totin/Fireman chits in. He's been waiting 4 Courts of Honor for some of those badges because of the logging/communication issues, so he's really frustrated at this point.
  7. I'm used to cub scouts, so I'm trying to get a consensus on whether my issues are typical in boy scouts or if I should talk to my son about finding a different troop. Talking to leadership has gotten me nowhere but frustrated, and yes, my family volunteers already to try and help or fix any issues we can, but we mostly get blown off and told this is how they do things. 1) No one explains how to do anything. If the scout asks, he's often given bad information that later makes the situation worse. For example, when he asked he was told his blue card didn't matter because the troop already had a record of it. We found out this was false after he lost the card. 2) Wouldn't sign off on rank requirements for 3 solid months, despite scout asking various leaders every week. 3) after participating in mountain man at camp, we were told he has to redo all of the rank requirements in front of an asm to prove he actually did it. But the authorized person in charge of that class already provided a list of requirements earned, and he was forced to take mountain man at camp. Camp was 2 months ago and he's still not gotten all of those signed off on yet because of the issue in #2. 4) Scoutmaster adds age restrictions to certain merit badges that he is not counseling himself. 5) Extremely difficult to schedule or keep scheduled Scoutmaster conferences because he's out, busy, or changes the meeting to an outdoor activity with less than 24 hours notice. 6) They don't keep records well, so if he attends something needed for advancement, it's not in the system, or if he's due an award, it's multiple courts of honor late. We've tried specifically to help here, but committee members over this do not want to allow it. 7) Changed his camp badge schedule without telling us, including that he'd now need extra money to buy a kit to work on a badge. I find this is very controlling and unorganized, but can anyone tell me if this is normal troop activity that I should expect in any troop?
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