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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 33 minutes ago, ValleyBoy said:

    If a person is a member of both troops committee they should be  focused on both troops and show NO FAVORTISM of one troop over the other. 

    To be clear, I am not talking about favoritism, I am talking about specialization in roles.    (And even with a non-linked troop, how many roles a committee member takes on may vary with the size of the committee.)

  2. 1 hour ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    Will there be issues unique to girls or caused by the presence of girls?

    One new issue, caused by the presence of girls, is the linked troop structure.   While I am very pleased to hear about @Cburkhardt's success with a non linked troop,   for those of us with small girls' troops in not-quite-so-densely populated areas, and with scouters (parents of the girls) who don't have the years of experience working with BSA scout troops,   the mentoring that is available from the linked boys' troops is invaluable.    But that raises lots of new questions about best practises:  Just how to structure the linkage?   Do we do any activities jointly or all separately?  Which ones?   Do individual adults on the committee focus on one troop or the other, or  on both?   Etc. Etc.   Hearing about other troops experiences (good and bad) would be helpful.  

  3. Thanks for the explanations so far. They are helpful. Now for the second half of my question: do any of you also have an official BSA source to point to for the differences?   That I could show to an adult who is not seeing eye-to-eye with other adults as to what exactly some of the requirements require?

  4. 21 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    You answered your question. Girls learn differently than boys, so the patrol method will have to compromise to have any growth. 

    Hi @Eagledad, I just don't understand what you mean.  Can you restate in different words?

    By "the patrol environment is very important to growth"  I mean that learning to work with others in a patrol environment is important to the growth of the individual scouts.


  5. 24 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    The patrol environment is very important to growth, but will be neglected in my opinion because of the one size fits all mentality

    I think that the patrol environment is very important to growth (based on my experience eons ago with patrols in a girl scout / girl guide context).   Why do you think that patrols will be neglected now that girls have joined BSA?

    But I could see a girls' patrol having a rather different style of operation than a boys' patrol,  just as any two patrols could come to have their own style or culture.

  6. 1 hour ago, Liz said:

    Maybe your CO would be open to starting a linked troop for the girls. I actually like this as an option because it allows the units to pick the advantages both of single gender and two-gender groups. Some activities can be planned jointly, and some activities can be planned separately, and it gives the members of each troop to experience youth leadership and the patrol method. 

    I am really really liking the linked troop model.  Maybe because we are linked to a really great boys troop.

    Separate (so far) meetings and all outings to date.   Joint  (so far) opening flag ceremonies.

    Upcoming planned joint activities: the annual Court-of-Honor and family potluck,  the annual family camp-out (siblings invited), ILST. Merit badge groups will likely be open to scouts from both troops.

    The girls (and boys) have their own space.  They can do things with their own style.   (What do my newbie scouts plan and cook on their first campout?  Gourmet meals -- but the conclusion afterwards was that they were really inefficient and could do better next time.)

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  7. 2 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    With a preponderance of 11-13 year olds, the SM staffs are of course needing to do more than normal.  After all, the girls and their parents need to have an essentially quality experience over the first six months or so.  You can’t expect an inexperienced 12 year old SPL who is not even Scout rank to figure it all out.  So is it likely there was over-coaching in this instance?  

    I am feeling that the amount of intervention is a tricky judgment call in this case.    On our recent campout,  there was a point at which,  if I had been out with a bunch of junior girl scouts (grade 4) I would have told them "look at the kaper chart".   But I held off.   Eventually I did call the patrol leader out of the happily sociallizing crowd of girls and whisper in her ear that she might think about having her scouts take a look at the duty roster.  

    The girls had a great time.   But they did end up concluding that they would like to be more efficient next time.

    • Like 1
  8. Hi Barry,

    9 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Even one adult talking about the struggle of her scouts just focusing on a patrol name.

    You aren't talking about my scouts, are you?

    No trouble with lack of focus.    They just prioritized getting out of doors over picking a patrol name.   The PLC meeting has even scheduled in the date on which the patrol name will be picked.

  9. 3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    There is a reason single gender is preferred for growth in this age group.

    This is why I am glad that the girls and boys are in separate troops.

    3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    And when the patrols are mixed,

    I hope we don't get there.

    15 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    What age do girls instantly become experts at boy scout skills

    I doubt that the girls were instant experts.    In my troop (which definitely would not be winning any camporee contests yet) we had girls come in that already had some scouts skills.  (One-match fire building?  Yup, one girl could do that.   Quite familiar with lashing?  Yup, one girl could do that.   Done a lot of backpacking? Yup, one girl had.   Different girls for each skill.)




  10. 7 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I believe rank shouldn't be hurried.

    I agree.  But, I have an ASM that I need to convince of this.   Do you have any good recommended reading on the subject?

    I would like to see, for the scouts,  high opportunity and low pressure when it come to rank advancement.  That is, lots of opportunity to use (and to learn by using)  scout skills.   Low pressure as to how quickly to get them signed off.   I definitely want to avoid the "once and done" mentality. 

  11. 2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

     If the girls really are that good, then there is no hope because I've never heard of a new scouts doing so well so fast.

    I imagine that typically a group of new scouts has been a bunch of fifth-graders,  not a bunch of teenagers.   Being half again as old (as the 16-year-old in that troop is) makes a difference.

    3 hours ago, qwazse said:


    Let's face it, this isn't an absorption of GS/USA. This is a recruitment of scouts who care about skills the way many boys who drift into a troop actually should.

    I have been impressed by the enthusiasm of the girls that have joined our troop.  They did not just drift into this because someone signed them up for cubs (or for brownies) years ago and they've drifted along with their friends.  They really want to be there.   We have around a dozen girls drawing from four towns,  three school districts --- it is a very self-selected group.  And yes, I've got a couple of scouts who have been spending a lot of time teaching themselves scout skills at home (knots, lashing, etc) so that they can teach the others.     

    3 hours ago, qwazse said:

    They are sharp and diverse age-wise an slowly chipping away at their Scout Rank after one month of existence.

    And the Scout Rank may be taking longer for the girls than for the boys.   When these new scouts go camping,  the not-yet-scout-rank girls are in charge of planning, shopping for, and cooking the meals.  (Why?  because they need to eat, and there ain't nobody with higher rank to plan it for them.)  That takes away time that they could be using on, say,  picking a name for their as-yet-nameless patrol. (As I have told them,  nobody can earn scout rank until they have a patrol name.)

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    On 6/8/2006 at 12:54 PM, gwd-scouter said:

    Anyway, when the young Scout was told by the adult that he was not doing the handshake properly, new Tenderfoot Scout said, "But Mrs. B says you don't link pinkies. It's just a regular hand shake but with left hands."

    Scouter adult grabbed Tenderfoot Scout's handbook, flipped through the pages and said, "guess I stand corrected"!


    On 6/8/2006 at 1:33 PM, John-in-KC said:

    If you go back and look in earlier editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, you will find splitting the pinky finger WAS the Boy Scout Handshake. You made the handshake off the left hand doing the Scout Sign.

    Culture shock time.

    One of my new scouts was asking about the scout handshake -- working on scout rank.  So I raised my right hand in the scout sign and stuck out my left hand for a handshake --- and my ASM (also new to BSA) said "but that's not what's in the scout handbook".

    Having grown up in a different scouting organization, and having done its scout handshake hundreds of times, this took me by surprise.   So I went looking back through the various old handbooks and facsimiles of handbooks and found:

    In Scouting for Boys by Baden-Powell, p42



    If a stranger makes the scout's sign to you, you should acknowledge it at once by making the sign back to him, and then shake hands with th LEFT HAND.


    I could find nothing about the scout handshake in the American 1911 Boy Scout Handbook -- but maybe I just overlooked it.

    But Scouting for Girls, 3rd abridged edition 1929, says, p44



    With her left hand, the Captain shakes the left hand of the Girl Scout, and gives the half-salute with her right hand, (this is the Girl Scout handshake) . . .


    So @John-in-KC and others,  did Boy Scouts (BSA) ever combine the right-handed half-salute (ie. scout sign) with the left-handed hand-shake?   Do they ever still do so?

  13. 2 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

    To say that 4 scouts from a patrol that want to go for a hike in the town park to work on orienteering skills MUST have 2 registered adults that are 21 or over or the activity can't happen, and that is now our standard of what is OK.  But, 4 scouts going to Mr. Jonson's house after school to work on Communication MB, where they will be alone with Mr. Johnson, is also OK makes no logical sense.

    To say that three scouts (girls) with a 28 month age spread from oldest to youngest may share a four-person mini-cabin,  but may not share a four-person tent also makes to logical sense.

  14. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    2) Crews Girl Scout Troops tend  to form around a small number of older boys & girls.  The Crew Girl Scout Troop is active for a few years while those scouts are around.  However, with a small number of Scouts the Crew Girl Scout Troop doesn't get to the point of having a sustainable support structure.  So, it eventually fades away.

    I see in this an inherent paradox.  For a Crew Girl Scout Troop to survive, you need a process to get new members and grow.  But, since the people who start Crew Girl Scout Troops tend to do them with 8-12 Scouts there is never enough critical mass so that they continue to exist.


    1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    precious little to recognize those venturers Girl Scouts when they do. Case in point: go to your council HQ GSUSA, ask them for their registry of the names of silver awardees. all gold awardees (and the prior golden eaglet, and curved bar, and first class)

    Your descriptions describe some of the GSUSA problems also.  Not just currently, but running a generation back also. Actually, an old friend from my high school girl scout troop, whose daughter did venturing, told me that, in contrast to the Boy Scout program,  "Venturing . . . culture-wise, feels much more like scouting as we knew it in [Town Name]"

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  15. See this infographic: https://scoutingwire.org/this-infographic-shows-the-right-way-to-refer-to-girls-who-will-join-scouts-bsa/

    A couple of the main points are never put the word "girl" directly in front of the word "scout"  and make sure that people cannot confuse your girls BSA troop with a GSUSA troop.   Also, for our town's recruiting night, we were careful about the wording so as not to imply that we are the only scouting organization in town.  (Since GSUSA is still around.)    As far as I know, there is no problem with continuing to put the word "boy" directly in front of the word "Scout" or "scout" -- though some people might be nit-picky about capitalization.

    We are using just our 2-digit troop number for the girls' troop (which differs from the number of the boys troop).   We are not sticking a G on the end.  We are also ignoring as much as possible the annoying digit in the thousands place that our council is assigning to all girls troops in our council.  (Have not yet gotten the beascout alternate unit description working,  council says that national is working on that.)

  16. 59 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

    We did a 20 mile hike a month ago, where it was 45 degrees at the start of the hike, and 86 at the finish.

    I am about to take my new scouts on their first cabin overnight.  In order to have a campfire, they are going to have to shovel out about a foot of snow that is covering the fire circle.

  17. I've been to a GSUSA event where the adults were required to bring their medical forms,  but in a sealed envelope.  The envelope was handed over to the event organizers and then handed back at the end of the weekend.  The organizers were trusting us that we actually had a medical form in that envelope -- which was only to be open if the need arose.    (Most of the attendees were GSUSA troop leaders who were quite familiar with the GSUSA medical forms.)

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  18. On 3/9/2019 at 7:41 PM, qwazse said:

    The new scout's comment about GS/USA's potential vs. actuality of outdoor program should be a cautionary tale for us all.


    interviewer: "The Girl Scouts don't do that?"

    girl: "So the Girl Scouts can, it's definitely an option.  We just didn't end up doing that a ton with my troop."

    Tactfully put.   But when options of all kinds are open to a GSUSA troop, and the majority decision rules,  if the majority decision does not want to do archery (or some other outdoor activity) then that activity will not happen for that troop.  And, importantly, the majority of the troop will be quite happy about that.

    One thing I have seen with the BSA program is that it is attracting the girls who want to camp, and helping them find each other.   (And the girls who don't want to camp can look at the rank advancement requirements and decide that other youth-program options more suited to them.)

    I really think that there is space for both the GSUSA and the BSA programs to exist side by side,  with similar goals of developing character, citizenship, and leadership in youth,   but appealing to and thus serving different groups of girls.

  19. For GSUSA whether shooting sports are allowed varies by council

    The Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts permits it:

    http://www.gscwm.org/content/dam/girlscouts-gscwm/documents/2018/Volunteer Essentials 2018-2019.pdf


    Caution: You must get written pre-approval from your council for girls ages 12 and older
    who will: o Use firearms for target shooting (see Sport Shooting Safety Activity Checkpoints)

    The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts does not permit it:



    In an exciting, learning-by-doing environment such as Girl Scouts, it is only natural that girls will sometimes want
    to participate in activities not covered in the Safety Activity Checkpoints. When activities involve unpredictable
    safety variables, they are not approved as Girl Scout program activities. These include but are not limited to:
    . . . .
    • Shooting Sports (GSEMA Specific)


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  20. 1 hour ago, karunamom3 said:

    We found other troops our sons really like. If we go, the fear is scouting in our town will implode (by us & council).

    How densly populated is your area?  Are some of these other boy troops reasonably close by, even if in another town?   If so,  the opportunity for boys in your town to participate in scouting does not go away, even if the troop chartered in your town folds.    So you do not need to feel you are letting scouting for boys down if you focus on the cub pack and/or girl troop and encourage the boys to join stronger existing troops.

    Actually, cooperation with those troops might help you with the girls troop.  For us, even though our girls troop is linked with one of the local boys troops,  the other local boys troops (to which we are not linked) are referring girls our direction,  offering to loan us equipment if needed,  and willing to give advice if asked. 


  21. 1 hour ago, SSF said:

    Would you accuse Baden Powell of being a misogynist for not allowing girls to join?

    Give credit where credit is due.  Baden-Powell talked his sister into setting up a parallel organization for girls.  Then for decades Baden-Powell's wife worked with said organization.   

  22. 4 hours ago, SSScout said:

    Quote the Scout Promise and Law  liberally.

    Better yet,  get the offending scout to quote it to you, and stop him at a relevant point which you then discuss with them.   (I use to do this with Brownie and Junior girl scouts.)  Worked well for many scouts.   Did not work so well for the Brownie who really did not want to be a Brownie and would have preferred do be doing almost anything else.

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