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Everything posted by Treflienne

  1. Sounds to me like you are already doing "Family Scouting" -- just unofficially in a GSUSA context. It also sounds like both the girls and the boy are having a good experience on these trips. Does this mean that there is hope that some units within BSA might make a good thing out of "Family Scouting"?
  2. If it ain't broke don't fix it. It sounds like your daughter has a great (girl) scout troop. Sounds like something to stick with. With a core group on enthusiastic girls and adults they can stick with traditional outdoor-oriented girl scouting, and simply ignore any of the new program materials they don't like. Unfortunately highly active outdoor-focussed girl scout troops are uncommon in my area.
  3. I see that there is a certain amount of consolidation, especially for kids who are close enough in age to be in cubs at the same time. The kids will occasionally do things together: both dens at the same pack meetings and whole-pack activities, rather than the boy cub den doing pack-wide activities with the pack and the girl Brownie Troop doing service-unit-wide activites with the girl scout service unit. The adults only need to learn one set of program materials, one set of safety standards, do only need one registration, and one background check, and somewhat overlapping trainings, to help with more than one kid. (By the way, the camp director of our local Girl Scout camp, who was a trainer of archery instructors (USA Archery), used to complain that she could not help her sons' boy scout troop with archery unless she did more training, because she had not completed the BSA archery training.)
  4. There are an overwhelming number of tents available for sale, all different types. A reccomendation of what to buy, that would be suitable for scouts camping with the troop, would be helpful for the families, if you decide to go this route.
  5. Even if there were studies that showed that girls were, on average, paid more attention to organizational details, that doesn't remove the worth of the patrol method for the girls. Firstly, because averages are just that. There is also a broad distribution, for both girls and boys, of instinctive organizational skill levels. Some girls are a lot less naturally organized than some boys. Also patrols are not merely about learning to be organized. They are also about learning leadership in a kid-sized setting. They are about having the opportunity to try, and to mess up, and to overcome those mistakes --- all in a kid-sized setting. I would argue that the differences between boys and girls mean that single gender patrols are the way to go --- so that the girls don't end up doing the cooking while the boys do something else. Of course, since the troops won't be coed, neither will the patrols.
  6. Treflienne


    We asked all the moms, at the beginning of each year, to register and do the background check so that they would be available to volunteer occasionally. Most did. (And some dads did also.) No one complained about the cost. Of couse, if it is a long-running policy then people are used to it and it is not a surprise. Also, the GSUSA background check only required filling out a short form so a CORI check could be done --- there was no hour-long YPT class required.
  7. I've seen plenty of complaints that parents of boys moving up from cubs just don't understand Scouting and how it is different from cubbing. So even if the new girls have younger brothers in cubs, it wont mean that their parents are familiar with how a Scout Troop works. And parents of only girls, who are coming in from Girl Scouts, are going to understand even less about BSA. Family sizes tend to be small. A lot of prospective members will not have an older brother at all, much less one who is active in Scouts.
  8. I've got a request for the moderators: How about a subforum on "Practical advice for launching a girls Scouts BSA troop" under the "Open Discussion - Program" forum. We've currently got a couple of good discussions going: this one ("Linked Troop Mission Statement") and also "New Scout Troop" that would fit there already. And I imagine there will be more in the upcoming months. And it would help people looking for advice be able to find this good advice more easily.
  9. A tangential question from an outsider, here: How much does the CO influence the understanding of "morally straight" and "clean"? How much does the CO set the tone for helping the scouts learn how to make ethical choices? (Side question: is the 11th point of BSA's law, "clean", understood as being similar in meaning to the "clean" in Baden-Powell's tenth law (which was never adopted by BSA) "A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed."?) Back to the orginial questions, would a CO with clearly-defined moral standards (such as a Catholic church) influence the troop's understanding of what it means to be straight rather than crooked in behaviour? What about CO's such as hunting clubs, utility companies, businessmen's associations? Do they tend to be more hands-off on these issues, leaving it to the troop to figure out? Why am I asking? I'm hoping to be involved with a new girls Scouts BSA troop. Don't know yet which of the local CO's for boys troops might be interesting in sponsoring a girls troop, also. Don't know how much impact the culture of the CO typically has on the culture of the troop.
  10. And for some types of social media there is the age issue. You either have to be at least 13 years old, or lie about your age and claim to be 13 years old to use them. This is awkward for things that should not be excluding the younger kids, since we don't want to encourage them to lie about their ages. (Haven't seen this issue in BSA yet, since I'm not associated with a BSA troop yet. But the issue came up with the church youth group.)
  11. Maybe my tone wasn't clear. I wasn't complaining. I was trying to say that I was appreciative of the helpfulness of the local boy scout troops. (And since they are willing to be helpful, we need to be willing to be patient and go at their pace.) I was also trying to hold them up as an example of how existing scout troops can be helpful to the new girls troops -- even if they don't want to become linked with girls troops. And it might even take pressure off the boys troops to be linked with a girls troop -- if there is a girls troop already getting started in the area. We live in a densely populated area. Lots of people. Lots of towns close together. Lots of existing boys troops within a short driving distance. (Actually three within WALKING distance.) Small town America is a different situation.
  12. And if the girl has already talked to every girl at her school and every girl at her church and hasn't found five? If she cannot talk to the sisters of the boy scouts because she does not know who they are? I think that in our locale we may need to combine beyond a single school or town to find enough interested girls. Helpfully, the four boy scout troops in our school district have said that they will inquire of the families of their boys (and also ask the cub scout packs to enquire of the families of their cubs) about interested girls that they know about. The troops have the contact information for their families. My daughter does not. Helping put the interested girls in contact with each other, so that they can make further plans, is something existing troops can do to help the new girls troops out --- even if the boys troops have no interested in being linked with girls troops.
  13. I don't understand the connection you are making to the patrol method. Could you explain a little more please?
  14. Scouts has the advantage over public schools, in that it is an activity that the family has chosen of their own free will. In Girl Scouts, at least, anyone registering has to agree to abide by the girl scout law -- for the girls being registered by their parents, the parent agrees on their behalf. (Really -- there is a checkbox on the registration website that you have to check off, or you cannot register. ) That is one of the beauties of refering the kid back to the scout law . The adults' whims are not the standard of behaviour; the scout law is the standard of behaviour. And you know that the parent has already agreed to having the kid follow the scout law.
  15. I would do exactly this with my Brownie and Junior girl scouts. (Same age as cubs.) I'd pull the girl aside for a quiet conversation. I'd have the girl start reciting the scout law and then I'd stop her once she got to a relevant point, and ask her whether what she had been doing was living up to the scout law. (We never got past "honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring" before finding something relevant.) Ususally the response was a realization of why what she had been doing was wrong, a fervant determination to do better, and improved behaviour. (At least until the next time she forgot and did something thoughtless.) Also: no need for a troop "Behaviour Contract". We have the scout law.
  16. While you might simultaneously pursue other options, trying to recruit a mom of a scout in your troop is worth trying. But advertise it as an opportunity, not a chore: Moms of scouts: We have a unique opportunity this year. Do you want to get a glimpse of what your son and his buddies do at scouts -- without giving them the impression that you are hovering or interfering? And without signing up for a major job in the troop? This year, as every year, webelos will be camping with our troop at the Camporee, to get a taste of what scouting is like. The difference this year is that there are now girl Webelos, but the girl Troops will not form up until next year. So this year, in order for a girl to get a picture of what her girl-only Scouts BSA troop could aspire to be like next year, she needs to visit an existing boys' troop. In fact we have a girl Webelos who is planning to come, with her father, to our troop's camporee. Despite camping with her father, the BSA youth protection rules require a registered YPT-trained female adult at the event, since we will have a girl at the event. But because the girl will be camping with her father, this registered YPT-trained female adult will actually have nothing to do except to be there and not get in the way. So. This is your opportunity. Come see what your son does -- while being able to explain to him that you are helping out the troop, not intruding on his space. You might find that you have a curious mom who is willing to help you out and come along. Some moms may have stayed out of troop life because they have not been wanting to intrude on their sons' boy-only space. Long term: it would be great if BSA revised their rule to say that if a kid is accompanied by a parent or guardian, there is no need for a matched-gender troop adult.
  17. Well, some of the girl scouts were singing "greasy grimy gofer guts" back in the 1970s. I haven't heard it recently, though.
  18. Not so modern. Girl Scouts were using this term at girl scout camp, back when I was a kid.
  19. Looks like a nice tool. But the kids also need to learn how to open and close a pocket knife without cutting their fingers. At least my Brownies and Juniors took some practise to be able to do it safely. And don't knock popsicle sticks as a possible learning tool to be used for a few minutes very early in the learning process. My girls had to demonstrate that they could listen, pay attention, and follow directions well enough in opening and closing a fake popsicle-stick mock-knife, before I handed them a real pocket knife. This allowed me to identify which kids were going to need more focussed one-on-one supervision as they started using the real knives. Also: don't assume that the addition of girls is going to water-down the interest in knives and other traditional scout stuff. You may find instead that cub scouts and scouts BSA attracts the kind of girls that want to do the things that BSA does.
  20. Hi qwazse, Thanks. That was an interesting article. Coming into BSA from a different scouting organization, the BSA take on the relation between the scout sign and the scout oath/promise takes a little getting used to. WAGGGS and other parts of WOSM have a three-part promise/oath for guides/scouts: 1) duty to God and king (or country) 2) to help other people, at all times. 3) obeying the scout law And the scout sign with its three fingers reflects those three parts. (Brownies originally had only a two-part promise and a two-finger sign --- they did not yet promise to obey the scout law.)
  21. I agree with ItsBrian. It doesn't need to be a perfect match. But if you really don't have anything close enough, then take the item with you, go to JoAnnFabrics or whatever your local sewing-notion store is. (Walmart?) You'll be able to hold the spools of thread right up to the patch to find something quite close. And if you need to pick between slightly-too-dark and slighty-too-light, pick the darker color thread. It will show less.
  22. And from the YPT2 thread: So, where is the right place to fill in the missing scout skills? I went to IOLS and it seemed more like a very-fast-overview of what you should know, than a way to actually learn it. Some stuff I am fine on: knots, lashing, pocket knives, camp saws, cooking over a campfire, etc. Other stuff I don't know yet: axes, water purification, bear canisters, etc.
  23. Yup. That is a danger for new volunteers. Thanks for the warning in advance.
  24. Hi Barry, I really appreciate your thoughtful answer. And that is where I'd like to go with a new girls' troop. To quote Baden-Powell "There is hardly one of the Guide Laws that is not better carried out after you have been living and practising it in camp." (from the 1929 Scouting for Girls handbook) I also really appreciate your willingness to give advice, despite your concern that introducing girls into BSA will mess things up for the boys. I certainly don't want to detract from the boys's program. I just want a more traditional scouting experience for girls than the vastly-modernized program that is the current GSUSA. That sounds about right. The challenge will be to try to be an exception to that 20% rule --- the girls' troops will have more new blood than that, can they still have a good patrol and troop experience?
  25. I have read a lot of really thoughtful, helpful, insightful posts that you have written on various topics. You obviously have a lot of valuable experience. And since "A Scout is cheerful" and "A Scout is helpful", I'm hoping you can put aside the gloom long enough to consider a question: What do you think is most important for the new-to-BSA volunteers to learn? How would you recommend they learn it? I'm asking because I will in all likelihood be one of those new-to-BSA volunteers with a new Scouts BSA troop for girls (but only if we get enough girls and enough volunteers to get a troop going). Actually, I'd appreciate input from all y'all, not just Barry.
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