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Everything posted by Treflienne

  1. GSUSA seems to believe that it has improved its program (by making camping merely peripheral to the program) to meet the needs of the girls (the large number of girls that don't want to camp). After all, even in BSA, the outdoor program is only a method, not an aim. It seems that GSUSA thinks that other methods work better for most girls most of the time. It is great that the (probably minority) of girls who don't view GSUSA's improvements as improvement now have a second option of scouting organization.
  2. My daughter also had that situation in two of the GSUSA troops she was in over the years. I think so, at least for Daisies, Brownies, Juniors. In our area, very very few girls continue past Juniors (5th grade.) But that is not what is happening. None of the other girls from daughter's GSUSA troop are planning to join BSA. I think that at least half of the interested girls in our prospective girls troops were never in GSUSA. I think that only a few currently are in GSUSA. We have yet to see. Under BSA rules all but one of the adults can be men. And it being BSA maybe the dads will feel welcome (unlike sometimes happens in GSUSA). So a bunch of enthusiastic dads just need to find a couple of moms/much-older-sisters/older-girl-cousins of the girls who want to take turns going along on the outings.
  3. That is the other important question. I would much appreciate any advice on what you think would work well and what would not work well. I've been talking with scoutmasters/committee-chairs of these troops (several different troops), asking each about what he thought the linkage would look like in practise if our newly forming girls troop were to link with his troop. I've gotten some ideas from each troop, but they don't yet have a fully formed idea of what they would like, just as I don't yet know what the girls troop would like. One consistent idea is that they think that the girls troop and the boys troop should have joint PLC meetings. Essentially the girls troop will be the size of a single patrol. Planning would be done together, with the boys and girls deciding which outings/activities would be done together, and which would be done separately. Their idea would be to aspire to progressive indepedence in future years as the girls troop increased in size and experience. The smallest troop's scoutmaster seems to vision an almost completely integrated troop, at least for the first years. Joint committee, joint fundraisers, joint PLC. Girls would use equipment belonging to the existing troop, at least until they get equipment they like of their own. PLC would determine how many of the meetings/outings are joint and how many separate, but scoutmaster thinks that mostly joint stuff would be good. You are right, there would be less self-determination. But that troop is small enough that the girls would be a sizeable enough proportion (1/4 to begin with?) to have a decent amount of say. This is the troop in which the PLC seemed quite happy with the idea. The largest, very well resourced, troop pictures it as the girls having separate meetings (same building, same time, different room). Some shared outings. They have lots of equipment and no problem if the girls use it. Committee members are generously offering to help with the new girls troop paperwork, since they are experienced at doing it. With this troop, I don't think that the girls troop would have very much influence on the boys troop at all (due to the size difference). But there would be a lot of opportunities the girls could choose to participate in (or choose not to participate in.) By the way, any of these troops would be willing to lend the girls equipment, even if the girls are a completely independent troop. Reactions? What sounds good? What sounds bad? What do you think are best practises for linking trops? None of this is set in stone yet. I realize that. But "give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself". I think that given the inexperience of the girls and the adults, that giving up some self-determination might worthwhile for the advice, mentoring, and support. But don't want to give up too much self-determination.
  4. One of the troops I think yes -- or at least the PLC is. The other troops -- I need to find that out. Thanks for the helpful reminder that I should verify that the boys (and not just the adults) are for it.
  5. Lots of dissusions currently on the practicalities of starting Linked/Girls Troops. Seems like time for its own forum or subforum. How about it @John-in-KC ?
  6. For a new girls troop it seems obviously better to link to a friendly local boys troop than to try to go it alone as an completely independent troop with a separate troop committee. Situation: Girls: Probably 6 or 7 girls. Young and inexperienced. Ages 6th-8th grades. Most scouting experience among the girls: one did everything her brothers cub scout pack did, one did some camping with girl scouts as a Brownie/Junior/Cadette. A good bit of enthusiasm. Adults: One (me) with GSUSA experience and absolutely no BSA experience. One (an eagle scout) with extensive experience in a cub scout pack. One with no experience but willing to be a committee member. We have yet to press the other parents to find out what they would be willing to step up to do if nudged to do so. Several local boy scout troops all are pleased to see a new girls troop starting. All have offered to link to the new troop. Their CO's also are okay with the idea. Seems obvious to me that the girls should go with one of these offers and not go it alone. Anyone care to give contrary advice? Would anyone rationally go it alone instead of linking? Why?
  7. I have thought that this is how graces at scout camp (at least way back when girl scout camp sang grace) functioned. While singing the rather generic words, the scouts could direct their prayer to God the best way they understood, and that understanding would be different for the different scouts. In other words, to sing a grace was to make a time and space for scouts to pray with their own meaning in their own minds.
  8. Convenience of scheduling both sons and daughters is an issue for some local families. We are talking about the linked boys and girls troops meeting at the same time in different rooms of a local church. Easier on families' schedules. Easier to borrow ASMs back and forth. As the new girls troop gets started, might want to borrow some of the higher ranked boys as skills teachers on occasion. Some joint outings as well as separate outings. We are still trying to figure it all out. The current boy scouts (youth) opinion matters. As far as scouts with younger siblings. Same as now that just means only one parent is available to camp with the troop as at ASM on any given outing, so that the other parent is available to stay home with the younger kids.
  9. They grow like weeds in my part of the country. If you try looking at google maps satellite view for a less built up area, all you can see are the trees.
  10. Years back, one of the graces that Girl Scouts used (back when they sang grace at camp) went Neath these tall green trees we stand, asking blessings from thy hand. Thanks we give to thee above, for thy gifts: health, strength, and love. This made an attempt to neatly sidestep the issue of the proper name/title for God. But it did make the assumptions that God could be addressed with the familiar "thee", that it was proper to ask blessings from God and to give thanks to God, and that God was the source of good gifts to people. I went to a camp training once, led by a 70-year-old girl scout trainer, who rather defensively made the case that singing grace was still appropriate -- but it was clear that that was her personal addition to the training session, not sanctioned by the council sponsoring the training. So I am quite curious about Boy Scout practises in this matter. By the way, in answer to the original poster's question, I have heard protestant (baptist, nondenominational, independent bible) christians use the word Lord without a lot of specificity to mean either 1) God the Father or 2) God the Son or 3) God the Trinity. I have not generally heard it use to refer specifically the third person of the Trinity.
  11. Who can create new Forums or subforums? Besides topics in "Faith and Chaplaincy", we are also seeing more topics suitable for the also-yet-to-be-created "Starting a new Scouts BSA girls' troop - practical how-to's" forum or subforum. I'd also be interested in a "Faith and Chaplaincy" forum. That aspect of BSA is currently absent from that other scouting organization in which I have spent a lot of years. I'm curious about best practises and other scouters' experiences. To what degree and how can you encourage the scouts to take their families' faiths seriously (or at least what can you do not to discourage them from taking their families' faiths seriously), without stepping over a line into promoting a specific religion.
  12. The other really intimidating thing about becoming a girl scout leader was realizing that I was the face of scouting to these kids. There was no pack, no pack meeting, no larger group with which we met regularly. (Maybe a service unit event a couple of time a year, which many of the girls did not attend because it was not at a convenient time for them.) There was also no decent handbook. (Just the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting which was rather empty of information and overpriced, and which very very few families bought. Also the Journey books, but what they contained was not the scouting I knew.) A very few girls did go to summer camp, which was invaluable, but very few girls actually went.
  13. Hi @Hawkwin Selective quoting there. You missed the part where I said It is a different picture if the new family is willing to always have an adult available to help out. GSUSA troops have nothing like a committee chair or a committee to help recruit additional adult leaders or to handle paperwork. For a typical troop it all falls on the two parents who have stepped up be leaders. (And for a year-and-a-half I was the leader of a troop which really didn't have two leaders. After my co-leader's job situation changed preventing her from continuing, I relied on a rotating cast of parents who each volunteered to be the second adult at a couple of meetings. (no prep, no planning, just show up.)
  14. Typically troops start with no money, no equipment, no meeting place, two adults who have never been scout leaders before, and a dozen kindergarten girls. Moreover the council wants us to end the year having zeroed out the bank balance, unless the money is earmarked for a specific future need. Leaders are supposed to find a meeting place that they can meet, for no fee, that is preferably in a public location (school, church, business, etc) and that is handicapped accessible. (Though there is a loophole that allows troops to meet in private homes if certain conditions are met. Some leaders meet in homes because it is much easier, but that also limits the troop size.) As far as equipment, what I have often seen happen is that leaders buy, out of their own pocket, stuff they need for the troop. This is then the leader's personal equipment which she uses with any group of kids she is involved with (church, soccer, etc, etc,); it does not belong to the troop and the troop loses access to it if that leader leaves. I have to say that the approach of having a multi-year pack or troop, supported by a CO, looks appealing from the outside looking in.
  15. There are (sadly) some circumstances when that is a quite rational response, actually. Let's say you have a Brownie troop with exactly 12 girls. You only need two adults for going on a field trip. (Two adults can supervise up to 12 Brownies on an outing, and you can fit 12 girls into two minivans.) Add one more girl, and you will need a third adult any time you leave your regular meeting place. If the troop leaders have been having trouble finding additional volunteers, I could certainly see troop leaders in that situation not wanting a 13th girl unless her mom (or dad) volunteered to come on every single field trip.
  16. That is a very telling quote. And from a Girl Scouts Vice President. It matches what I have seen in the types of program materials that the GS national office has been putting out during the years my daughter has been in scouts. Girl Scouts is a very broad organization. It has lots of long-term members, more or less active as volunteers, who have strong opinions, not all the same. Some have been tugging hard in an outdoor direction (not necessarily successfully). Others volunteers are perfectly happy with the more modern approach the GSUSA has been taking. In particular the summer camp programs, which are run by councils (not by national), and which are completely separate from the troop program, are a bright light within Girl Scouting for those girls who want to do things outdoors. And girls can attend these even if they are the only girls in the troops who want to go to camp (or even if they are not a member of a troop at all.) Will the outdoor focussed Girl Scouts gain more traction in their attempts to influence the direction of the national organization, now that Boy Scouting is a competitor? Or will the modernizers be happy if those old-fashioned Girl Scouts leave and join The Other Scouting Organization and stop badgering the modernizers? (It might not even affect GS adult membership numbers too much, because many of the most opinionated are likely lifetime members.)
  17. Your quote from Baden-Powell does not support the assertion that he thought that "to do their duty to God through doing their duty to their neighbor" was "the entirety of one's service". That quote could equally well have been written by someone who thought that "to do their duty to God through doing their duty to their neighbor" was only part of doing their duty to God.
  18. I don't quite get it. A Juliette is Girl Scout who is not a member of a troop -- what you might call a lone scout. But what is the connection between the name Romeo and being a boy scout?
  19. So we've got four different Boy Scouts troops in our school district talking together about how to help a new girl's troop get started, and to which troop it will link. And my daughter is also already a member of a Girl Scout troop. It is easy for me to refer to these five scout troops as Troop 1, Troop 2, Troop 33, Troop 444, and Troop 77777. (Those aren't the actual numbers). But to refer to the new, soon-to-be-started Scouts BSA troop for girls? That takes a lot of words. It will be easier once it has a number.
  20. What the infographic, which I'd seen before, says is I am being very careful to comply. To do so sometimes requires lengthy circumlocutions. I am well aware of the need to avoid confusion. After all my daughter, who wants to be a Scout (of the Scouts BSA variety) is also already a Girl Scout. And she is a member of a Girl Scout Troop (of the GSUSA variety) , and wants to also join a Scout Troop (of the Scouts BSA variety) intended for girls.
  21. I think that saying simply "scouts" is what will work in most situations in the long run. And if you need to be more specific you can say something like "the Artemis Patrol" (Hi @Hawkwin ) or "Troop 19". But at the present we, locally, just have a group of girls who are potentially interested in becoming Scouts who don't have a patrol name and don't have a troop number yet.
  22. Only sort-of. While they will be in "Scouts BSA" rather than "Boy Scouts", they will still be boy Scouts (which sounds the same) and part of the Boy Scouts of America. I expect that people will still be calling them boy Scouts (or Boy Scouts) for years. By the way I'm finding it really awkward to need to avoid referring to the girls who will be Scouts as "girl Scouts". What phrasing rolls off the tongue most easily for you? Scout girls? girl Boy Scouts? When trying to recruit girls and their parents for "Scouts BSA" I am definitely using the name "Boy Scouts" since that is the name that families are already familiar with.
  23. Actually, that one seems pretty scanty. For more about the very early days of girls in Scouting in the USA, try something like the biography Juliette Low by Mildred Mastin Pace. (Maybe there are better biographies around, but this is the one I happen to have -- written for girls to read.) And of course, girls in Scouting did not begin in the USA -- you have to go back to the UK for that.
  24. So I actually see a couple of different needs 1) something quite brief to explain to a parent who knows nothing about BSA (cubs or boy scouts) why Scouts BSA will be a valuable program for their daughter or son - including the benefits of patrol method, scout-led, failure as a tool, etc, and also listing the oath, the laws, and perhaps the methods. (This is for parents you are trying to convince that Scouts is worthwhile, after your kid has convinced their kid that scouts will be fun.) 2) once the kid has committed to joining -- then training for parents on how to be helpful (and what not to do in trying to be helpful).
  25. And any suggestion of a good, brief, something that can be handed to new parents to read? I'm starting to meet the parents of some of the local girls interested in Scouts BSA. A couple have brothers already in BSA, but others have no previous family connection with BSA at all --- including immigrant parents some of whom did scouting in their home country, but some of whom grew up in a home country that had no scouting movement at all.
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