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Everything posted by Treflienne

  1. Imagine a group of 10-12 Brownies (3rd grade) trying to decide what to cook at an upcoming after-school cookout at the local girl scout camp. They were armed with several cookbooks of easy campfire meals. It was a long process, and I wondered if they would ever reach a decision, but several of the girls rose to the occasion, organized the group, and eventually got them to hammer out a plan that everyone was satisfied with. (It did have two different deserts, though.) GSUSA does emphasize what they call "girl leadership" down to the very youngest levels. But in practise for the very
  2. Some interesting bits from Baden-Powell's Aids to Scoutmastership, the section on "Proficiency Badge (Merit Badges)". Of course this is badges not advancement. And Baden-Powell founded scouting in the U.K., not the B.S.A. which itself had some significant innovations.
  3. I have certain seen in girl scout settings (more from handed down culture than from the handbooks directly) the emphasis on trying to find solutions that everyone (or at least the vast majority) finds tolerable, rather than just deciding by majority vote. It can take much longer. It can result in more happy kids, eventually. A difficulty for the girls can be in recognizing when it is worth the time and effort to build consensus (perhaps by jointly figuring out a better option that previously considered) and when it is best to simply pick some option quickly.
  4. I agree. The handbooks (in addition to the badges, which for the older G.S. books were actually in the handbooks) gives a much fuller picture. And the older books are a fascinating read. I got my first old G.S. handbook when I was a kid and had tagged along with a friend (not a girl scout) and her mother for a day of exploring antique shops. After that I kept my eyes open for them. More recently, my daughter has asked for copies of Scouting for Boys (available in reprint) and the first american boy scout handbook (also available in reprint) and has been reading them with interest.
  5. I was hoping for an interesting read, but that paper is just too sloppily done to take seriously. For example, on page 14, the paper compares BSA and WAGGGS membership numbers. The appropriate comparisons would be BSA with GSUSA or else WOSM with WAGGGS. And she draws comparisons from Boy Scout Handbooks and Girl Scout Handbooks, but for the recent years she used Junior Girl Scout handbooks which correspond in age to Webelos, not Boy Scouts. And she gets her history wrong. On page 22 she says
  6. Absolutely. The badges (which girl scouts actually historically have called "proficiency badges" not "merit badges") are only part of the picture. Currently the emphasis from GSUSA seems to be on the "Journeys" rather than the "badges" and in recent years the badges have been rather a periferal part of the national program materials. For example the girls must do "journeys" as prerequisites for working on the Bronze, Silver, or Gold award. No badges are required as prerequisites for these awards. Nevertheless, the history of the changes to the badge offerings is quite interesting.
  7. That's a matter of taste. Some girls and women can't abide those pony-tail holes.
  8. Thanks for the recommendation. My personal favorite hat for years has been: https://www.sundayafternoons.com/p/lotus-hat/ (also the old version of https://www.sundayafternoons.com/p/river-guide-hat/ ). Three-season hats (spring-fall). Great for sun. Decent for rain. Strap for wind. Comfortable. Survive trips through the washing machine. But unfortunately those don't look particularly scout-uniform like. More recommendations from the rest of you, of suitable hats for scouts, would be much appreciated.
  9. Actually, for the short-haired girls, the hair covers the back of the neck. I'm thinking of the long-haired girls --- and most the girls around here seem to wear their hair long. It needs to be ponytailed, or better yet braided, when camping. Keeps it out of the fire. Less of a brush for catching ticks.
  10. I have been reading some of the old discussions on this scouter forum about hats, but I still have questions. Daughter is already thinking, not only about troop activities, but also about neckerchiefs (wants troop to make their own, large and square) and hats. And she wants a practical, useable, hat. Do I understand correctly that the troop gets to pick which hat option to use for all scouts in their troop? The scoutstuff.org website lists two hats under the uniform hat. 1) a baseball cap 2) the BSA campaign hat Are these the only two choices, or can the troop p
  11. By the way, I think it highly desirable for the girls' troop (at least the one my daughter will be in) to have a different number from the linked boys troop. One more signal that it isn't simply a girls patrol in a coed troop. Of course, some linked troops might actually want to be as close to a coed troop as they can get away with --- and those troops probably want to share a troop number.
  12. If it starts with a small number of girls as a single-patrol troop, then you could always call them by their patrol name.
  13. I registered as District Scouter Reserve and there was a fee. ($33 registration + $3 insurance + (optional) $12 Boy's Life)
  14. In "the Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts" discussion, we touched on the issue of the name "scout" helping one feel a part of the world-wide scout movement. That leads to a question: For you BSA folk: in your experience, how important has the international friendship aspect of scouting been? And has it been merely an abstract ideal, or has scouting provided opportunity for the scouts to interact with scouts from other nations? Perhaps my experience was atypical, as a kid in GSUSA troops overseas. But I had opportunities to travel to other countries at attend events sponsored by the
  15. I'll agree that words without actions mean little. And yet names do matter. I'll certainly admit that names (like uniforms) matter much more to some people than to other people. But a name, like a uniform, is a symbol of belonging. To be a "scout" (or a "guide" which is historically a synonym for a female scout) is to feel a kinship to all the other scouts/guides around the world in the movement started by Baden-Powell. A different name like "pioneer" or "young pioneer" would have very very different connotations.
  16. A girl was born a girl. A girl chose to be a scout and made a solemn promise "On my honor . . ." By calling her a scout we remind her of her oath.
  17. But what about the girls that want to be "scouts"? They might not mind being called "boy scouts" or even "girl Boy Scouts", but they want to be scouts.
  18. I sure like that practise. But that is precisely one of the things that GSUSA asserts that BSA should not do. GSUSA does not want BSA to call the BSA girls "SCOUTS" From page 3 of the complaint. From page 11 of the document
  19. Treflienne

    Bear Claws

    Seems likely. I personally have three different pocket knives with three different styles of can openers. That's not counting my family members' knives. And I'm not even a BSA parent (yet, not till February). It seems highly likely that you will turn up knives to borrow if you simply ask.
  20. It had been a while since I looked at the "GSUSA, Are You Listening?" page. And I just now found there mention of an interesting document "GIRLS at the CENTER VOLUNTEER ACTION GUIDE". Here is a link to one council's version of the guide: http://bit.ly/2MVGLbm which is four pages of do's and don'ts for Girl Scout volunteers. A couple of interesting ones: And why might the GSUSA higher-ups be worried about Girl Scout volunteers doing this? Also: This is quite a change from the Girl Scouts' past. The foreword to the Girl Scout Handbook of 1930 starts with a quote fr
  21. The lawsuit makes GSUSA look mean-spirited and lacking in confidence. Hardly a good way to convince wavering families to stick with GSUSA and not switch to BSA which, at least around here, seems to be very friendly and welcoming to girls.
  22. The girls who showed up at the Crystal Palace rally in 1909 called themselves "Girl Scouts". Then Baden-Powell thought up a different name "Guides" for the girls in the UK, and persuaded his sister to head up that organization. But the American organization for girls didn't accept the name "Guides", and instead called themselves "Girl Scouts". This name issue goes all the way back.
  23. But in Cananda and in the UK the WAGGGS member organization is called a varient of "guides", and those girls are not called "scouts". In the U.S. the WAGGGS member organization is called "Girl Scouts". We have a quite a different situation with names in this country.
  24. That matches what I have seen around here. If GSUSA changes to make the outdoors an integral part of their program, they will probably lose a lot of girls.
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