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About Beery

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    Junior Member

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    Silver Spring, MD
  • Occupation
    Stay-at-home dad
  1. Beery

    Differences between BSA and GSUSA

    Biggest difference for me: if I had any boys, they absolutely wouldn't be allowed into the BSA because the BSA requires members to believe in a god. From my perspective, any consideration I might have had for the BSA has to end right there, making the BSA completely irrelevant to me, even if it was the best scouting organization ever. My attitude is that if they kick people out because of a difference in beliefs about an issue which no one can prove either way, then the organization is fundamentally flawed. The Girl Scouts not only allow anyone to join (although the kids have to identify as girls), but they also allow members to amend the Girl Scout Promise to meet their conscience and their personal philosophy, and to amend the requirements for badges if they are discriminatory. So, for me and my family, there's no comparison - Boy Scouts vs. Girl Scouts? The question doesn't even exist. Not that Girl Scouts is the best - if we did have boys in our family, we would probably join Camp Fire, as that organization allows both girls and boys to participate and is absolutely non-discriminatory.
  2. Beery

    A Scout is... honest?

    I must be unusual, in that I seem to be the only Girl Scout parent who prefers the Toffee-Tastic cookies (the ones Charlotte rates as "bleak and flavorless"). I'm the only one who ever buys them from our troop, and I think they're delicious - though they're probably really bad for my waistline.
  3. Beery

    Boys have more fun.

    In my experience (as the dad of an 8-year veteran Girl Scout who just graduated to Senior level), a lot of the dissatisfaction comes from the fact that the Girl Scout national leadership is completely out of touch with what Girl Scouting should be. Juliette Low is, I imagine, turning in her grave at the lack of outdoor activities combined with the bureaucratic nightmare Girl Scouts has become. The epitome of this is the Journey program, which is a perfect example of how to make scouting a chore. I know many of us either ignore the requirements altogether, or try our best to find the fun factor in what they've given us. I'm lucky in that my wife is our troop leader, and she is 100% focused on the fun (and she loves to camp and do outdoor activities, as do all of the girls in our troop). Sadly though, the demands of the organization even make that difficult, with lackluster facilities and the fact that what the organization now calls "camping" is anything but, with kids being encouraged to sleep in cabins in many "camping" trips. At the grass roots level, we can make a big difference, but if the level of disconnect between the top levels of the organization and the troops continues, I fear Girl Scouts will see even greater decline in the next few years. One good thing is that GSUSA is a lot more inclusive than some other scouting organizations (what sort of kids organization in the 21st Century excludes kids simply because they don't believe in a god?), but I really feel that GSUSA needs to get away from bureaucracy and making the girls jump through ridiculous hoops to get a simple cooking badge. I mean, "New Cuisines" is THE cooking badge for Cadettes, and it requires: 1a. Cook something from an area of the world you're curious about. Okay, sounds good so far. My daughter could make pasta, or an Indian curry. 1b. Find a relative, friend or neighbor who is an immigrant... Surely it's a cooking badge, not a cultural diversity badge. Let's keep it real! 2a. Put together a meal based on a food related news story. Why does it need to even get this complicated? 2b. Or research and cook a regional specialty that's become a cultural phenomenon. 2c. Visit the local history center or library, or ask an elderly community member, for a recipe... And it goes on like this. That's just two of the 5 steps, all of which have three ridiculous options, including cooking a meal based in history, cooking a meal that "makes a statement" (whatever that means) and hosting a party that includes up to 4 meals. Some restaurants don't do as much research over their entire menu as Girl Scouts are required to go to to get a simple cooking badge. Why not simply make the requirement that she makes three different dishes? It's cooking - it shouldn't be rocket science or the equivalent of mounting an expedition to Everest. I think we need to get back to the scouting basics of adventure, learning and FUN - and we need to keep it simple.
  4. Beery

    Juliettes patch?

    Thanks. Also, based on what I see here, the patch looks to be about 1" tall by 2" wide. It shouldn't be too hard to replicate.
  5. Beery

    Juliettes patch?

    Hi folks. First post here. The Juliettes patch looks like this: Apparently, the Girl Scouts store no longer sells this patch, which is very weird to me, since not everyone has easy access to a local troop, but a lot of things are weird with the upper levels of the organization recently. One thing we can do is take matters into our own hands and fix things at the grassroots level, and I think this is one of them. There are a number of places online that allow you to make your own custom patches. Here's one: https://www.custompatches.net/designing.html