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Posts posted by Eagle1993

  1. @@Eagle94-A1 ... small sample size but my district meeting was nearly 100% in favor of coed. Most of the complaints were regarding the proposal for girl only dens and Troops. Many were concerned that it would be inefficient and would not work and we should just go coed. Only 1 spoke against ... long term scouter but not leading any troop or pack. I asked my SE about this and he indicated it depends on the area within the council you are and who actually attends the meetings. I'm sure some will quit scouting and others will get more involved. My gut tells me this will be a net positive to membership numbers assuming LDS doesn't leave ... but that is just a guess based upon actual scouters I know and have talked to. Other than a few older scouters (my father) who's kids are already aged out everyone I have personally talked to supports this proposed change. Several moms have stated they wish they had the opportunity to join BSA and fathers of daughters have asked me to let them know if and when it is available.


    I do agree with Qwazse that it would take focus group interviews across a wide swath of demographics to really predict what will occur. I'm sure for everyone like me who has only heard positive response (other than dad and anonymous forum members) there are others that have heard much more negative feedback.

  2. @@NJCubScouter. If they wanted to avoid any legal issue, I would think the BSA would revoke the charter of Troop 414 who is working with her on her quest for Eagle. I'm not a lawyer but I'm curious if she could argue that gender isn't a critical aspect of the program (since they allowed a Troop to work with her) and since she is going to be denied Eagle Scout (which clearly has value with scholarships, etc.) even after completing the work.. she would have standing. I wouldn't be shocked if this goes the legal route and NY State Supreme Court rules in her favor. I think US Supreme Court wouldn't (based on the last case) but the public relations hit would already be effective. I doubt it gets that far as I expect BSA to change their policy ahead of any legal challenges. However, if they really don't want to change I'm surprised they haven't been more aggressive with the Troop supporting her. This is really regardless of where anyone stands on admitting girls, the BSA clearly is letting this go on without any challenge which is a change on how they handled gay and transgender scouts in the past.

  3. @@HelpfulTracks. I think Sydney's goal is clear... change BSA policy to allow girls to join and obtain the Eagle Scout rank. (I agree that Eagle Scout changed from a rank earned during the course of scouting to an end goal of its own... and I agree that is not a great change). Since that is her goal, joining Venturers or GSUSA won't help. She did join the Canadian Scouts during the summers and earned their highest rank... but her focus is Eagle in BSA. I expect she will continue to "earn" merit badges and take on appropriate leadership posts until she completes the requirements for Eagle Scout. I do wonder what she will do then. Will she file a lawsuit or use her experience to apply public pressure on the BSA. Perhaps the experience will be enough for her and she won't press for official recognition. Given the current Supreme Court makeup I don't expect any lawsuit being successful in forcing BSA to admit girls. I also don't see the same public backlash the BSA experienced from the LGBTQ community and supporters. So I doubt BSA will change its policy due to her actions. I think her goal is clear and has been consistent. She is attempting to follow civil rights icons such as Rosa Parks by forcing the issue into the courts or public discussion. We will have to wait and see where this ends.

  4. @@Hawkwin ... I think it depends on any changes made to BSA to attract female members. My troop 25 years ago had a few girls go with us to BWCA and they were like one of the guys. We acted pretty much the same and we canoed over 100 miles with them. my family just hit 4 generations of eagles and opinions vary by generation. My father is against it... reasoning isn't clear but best summed up that while a couple of girls may be ok opening it up would add many others that would destroy the program... and that it's nice to have a boys only club. I'm supportive if BSa doesn't change the program as mentioned above. My nephews are fully supportive, they are in venturing with girls. Note that they won't tell grandpa this as he will get pissed. It be interesting to see a poll based on age of the parent.. I wonder if the acceptance of girls increases with decreasing age. Not that means it's the right call... perhaps the older generations are more aware of what could be lost. One final point... if the change is made you can't go back.

  5. At our Cub Scout level recruitment numbers had dropped but that is a good point regarding retention. In the end, it is critical that the Pack has their program with the perfect combination of kids having fun and parents seeing the value. Some of our dens do better than others. But I still believe there is an image problem with the BSA... we get the funnel from scouting families but that isn't enough.


    We don't push FOS hard ... more of a soft sell. The only fee requirement we have is the $100 we charge for annual den, pack and membership dues. Our pack is in an affluent area where parents spend $2-$3K per year on baseball camps and leagues so our $100 rarely comes up as an issue.


    At the Cub Scout level, I tend to believe our ranks will grow if we go coed. I'm not sure about Boy Scouts and if we lose LDS I'm sure total numbers will drop.

  6. Ian.. good points. I remember as a kid when Steven Spielberg was helping at Jambo for cinematography merit badge ... but outside of that the most celebrity mention was the occasional so and so was a former scout. I think BSA does have a marketing problem. Excluding gays hurt for a while (in terms of press coverage) and Billy builds a retaining wall for an Eagle project, while honorable, doesn't bring in the recruits.


    But the issue isn't just at a national level. Our pack had dropped from 70-80 scouts to 20s over a few years. We created a Facebook put pictures of our outings and advertised with signs outside our school. (We were banned from boy talks and any official school events due to a previous lawsuit filed by a member of the community when we still banned gays). The next year we add 23 new scouts. Several asked if we really camped in a cave, etc.


    Our national and local image needs to change. If we add girls it may make sense for a brand refresh.

  7. NJ.. the sneaky part they are referring to is an accusation the BSA is badmouthing GSUSA. I have never seen that (outside of GSUSA parents and scouts fed up with their program). As you mention the actual sneaky part is the BSA tactic that is preventing current members of BSA from knowing what is being discussed.


    Merger or any partnership with GSUSA should be off the table. Campfire scouts may be a better option. I wonder what the female venture scouts think of that resist/persist hash tag. To me it is incredibly condescending. I am confident girls and young women have the strength of character to chose the program or programs that suit them best.

  8. Chicago Tribune editorial board....




    "An obvious solution to consider is a merger, which would assure strong membership and reflect social change. But if that’s a non-starter, here’s an interesting alternative: Since we’re waaaaay past the era when Boy Scouts went canoeing while Girl Scouts learned to sew, open both organizations to all youths. Both do the same types of activities, from rocketry to rock climbing. Both are good at selling stuff. So let them sell the benefits of membership along with the cookies and popcorn. Allow the kids to sort out how they want to spend their time, and with whom. Talk about equality, and empowerment."


    Washington Post Opinion (by one of their reporters who is an ex member of GSUSA)..

    "Girls shouldn’t be barred from the Boy Scouts if that’s where they want to be. But the effort to undercut the Girl Scouts by stealing the lifeblood of their organization is sneaky, pathetic and shameful. #Resist #Persist"

  9. The previous changes were forced through due to massive outside pressure. I can tell you that my corporate (DOW listed company) LGBTQ affinity group would have ensured no facility or funding would have been given to BSA. If the policy didn't change, I expect that even listing Eagle Scout on your resume could have be a blemish if not a sign to screen it out. BSA would have been viewed in the same light as a race based organization.


    My point above is to not debate our previous policy changes but to emphasize that adding girls is not being driven by outside groups (for the most part). I haven't heard threats of funding being pulled and nothing from our women's affinity groups.


    Therefore, this is clearly is being looked at solely as a plan to increase membership. First impact that must be considered is our LDS scouts. They are a massive percent of BSA membership and I am sure the BSA already knows their plans. They are either planning to stay after adding girls or have already decided to leave. I don't believe adding girls would offset LDS loss, and since the BSA is investigating this change I don't believe LDS would leave as a result of adding girls (my guess). If that is the case, I tend hope BSA did do the studies that show membership increase. Hopefully they are accurate

  10. However, the GSUSA was noticeably silent during the BSA gay drama when they have the weight to apply pressure. Nothing official, but the rumors were that so long as the BSA stayed away from the GSUSA membership, the ladies would play nice. I wonder if we are about to see weight of their influence.



    While officially quiet their volunteers and employees were vocal pointing out their admission differences and their supporters in the media used this to trash the BSA. They still do it today. I was at my daughters new scout meeting and the question of fees came up. The Girl Scout leader said she didn't know yet as it is a new troop. We threw out some ranges and in response to one of the higher ranges the Girl Scout executive laughed and said they weren't the Boy Scouts. In our discussions with parents for our pack we have always been positive when talking about GSUSA.


    GSUSA must tread carefully here. BSA can simply state they are opening up another opportunity for girls. I think GSUSA and their supporters will argue this is bad for girls. They are already tweeting news releases pushing this idea and Liberal news organizations (Slate and Daily Beast) and already have opinion pieces on this. I think emphasizing the positive aspects of the GSUSA and girl only organization is fine. The letter from GSUSA went well beyond and attacked even the option of another organization offering an opportunity for girls. I'm concerned that even our venturing girls will feel like traders based on GSUSA's response. That tactic sickens me. We are both organizations with different strengths and GSUSA should remain strong regardless of some girls joining BSA (if that occurs). No organization should attack the BSA (other than our own existing charters) if the BSA decides to offer more programs to girls.

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  11. NY Times reporting....

    "The letter, which BuzzFeed reported about on Tuesday, came after a tense phone conversation last week between executives of both organizations, including Mr. Stephenson and Ms. Hopinkah Hannan, about possible substantial changes at the Boy Scouts. "


    "...Ms. Hopinkah Hannan had a different interpretation of the phone call, according to her letter. She believed the Boy Scouts had already decided to encroach on the Girl Scouts’ territory."


    "..,(BSA spokeswoman) She said that Boy Scouts executives had reached out to the Girl Scouts since the letter was sent and hope to set up another meeting to smooth over concerns. “There is an opportunity for both of us to do more,†she said."

  12. For GSUSA to come out and

    WaPo is doing nothing more than re-writing buzzfeed.  Their article adds nothing of real value.

    I don't know if you actually read both articles but the Washington Post had separate quotes from both organizations than the buzzfeed article. In addition the Washington Post article covered both organizations membership drop and went into more depth.


    The GSUSA letter was a laugh! GSUSA through their loyal reporters/advocates have attacked the BSA at every opportunity... just look at their preening after the BSA Trump speech. Their letter and behavior over BSA considering girls is incredibly disappointing. If you believe in your organization, promote it and be comfortable that you wil have members flock to join. This letter is an attempt to build a wall to in prison American girls and prevent them the freedom of choice in organizations that fit their needs!

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  13. @@Stosh. I was told the same... decision made, "local option". I asked when and was told they are working on logistics and it wasn't clear how they would handle the Boy Scout plan. I pressed a bit and was told they were looking at recharter time Jan 2018. Apparently there was a vote on white boards at the national meeting by SEs and >70% voted yes immediately pursue this. Who knows.. it wasn't the official statement but I trust the source.

  14. There was nearly universal support for accepting girls into the program at our district meeting; however, a lot of complaints regarding the parallel paths. We had a former U.K. leader in who stated that they tried that method and it failed in 2 years and they went full coed. Most complaints were that we don't have enough volunteers to create independent Dens and Troops and there may not be enough girls in the program to even warrant them. Basically, if you are going to go coed, go coed... don't try and have an in name only single gender attempt.


    We also had complaints about the "covert" nature of the discussion... just be upfront with the proposal.


    I will say the above is based upon who attended and was vocal... it is really hard to know where the majority stand in the district.

  15. I thought the news report out of Iowa was a much better tactic for GSUSA. This letter seems defensive and petty. I don't think this will go over well as it appears GSUSA wants to limit choice for girls. That is too bad because I was hoping GSUSA would make the necessary changes to allow it to be on par with the BSA program... given this letter I don't think that will occur.

  16. I'd recommend skipping to the section titled "You can go your own way". The rest is a retelling of the actions leading up to opening up membership and leadership to LGBTQ. While I do agree with those changes qwazse is correct that the article is incomplete in its reporting regarding membership decline pre and especially post.


    What I found interesting and new were the latest info regarding LDS continued partnership with BSA and how that might be influencing their expansion to accept girls. Through discussions with LDS officials and various religious and BSA researchers and historians it seems clear that LDS would create their own youth organization and leave BSA and that the BSA is probably aware of this. They then speculate that the loss of 1/3 of their membership is driving them to open up Scouts to girls.


    This article in addition to the Buzzfeed article today releasing a letter from GSUSA to BSA accusing the BSA of coverterly undermining them in preparation for expanding membership to girls would indicate they already made their decision. BSA released a statement they didn't make a decision yet and that they are disappointed the GSUSA broke off talks to align in the future.


    I'm on the fence of letting girls into the program. While I think some may enjoy it and succeed, I don't want to see BSA try to be everything to everyone ... at that point you do nothing well. I do think the decision has been made and is likely due to LDS leaving Scouts.

  17. My fear is impact.  The Boy Scout program can have a HUGE impact on kids even if they are in it for just a few years.  I doubt Cub Scouts has the same long lasting impact that Boy Scouts has.


    Agreed. For the most part, attrition seems to come down to our den leaders. Those who have fun and engaging den meetings and outings have actually added heads each year. Our den leaders who have had inconsistent meetings and no den outings have lost members.


    I like the idea of the high five line and expanding scouting gradually to the younger ones to keep them exited and wanting to come back each year for more. There is definitely a risk that 5-6 years of full Cub scouting is too much for most youth and parents.

  18. Interesting article from Think Progress that walks through the history of LGBT admission into scouting. While primarily focused on the actions and events that led to the changes in membership policy it does talk to some who have studied the Morman faith and seems to conclude it is likely that LDS will completely leave the BSA. It also states that the BSA leadership is likely aware and that could be a primary driver in opening up membership to females (to help offset the loss). While the article is written by a former member of Scouts for Equality and I don't agree that our membership loss was due to our admission policy in the 1990s through early 2000 (GSUSA also dropped during that time) I thought the article raised some interesting points and may be another reason BSA is looking to open up membership.