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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    One Council Trainer said that he was watching Wood Badge course change from a leadership skills course to a scout skills for adults before his eyes and there was nothing he could do about it. His trainers needed training because they were hung up on scout skills basics.

    And from the YPT2 thread:

    1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    But, finding leaders willing to take over at Webelos is challenging enough without finding one with outdoors experienced.

    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.

  2. 55 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    Training is important and valuable.  The problem with training is it produces trained (i.e. by-the-book) scouters.


    55 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    My experience outside scouting with people who are book trained is they tend to crash into a program like stampeding elephants, waving the book, and explaining how everybody is wrong.  Sometimes they are correct, but they are nearly always wrong. 

    Yup.  That is a danger for new volunteers.   Thanks for the warning in advance.


  3. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    First, learn the BSA Mission and Vision. Preparing  young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime by instilling  in them the value of the scout oath and law are the adult leaders primary task


    1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    That is a quick list of what I feel new adults need to learn. It seems too simplistic to some and too idealistic to others. Scouting is a values program that uses the outdoors as the tool for practice.

    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.  

    2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    So the bigger question is how much new blood can an organization handle without changing the dynamics of the organization? Based from my limited experience in my very small world, less than 20%.

    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?


  4. 8 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Yep, and it supports my deepest concerns of inexperienced adults leading the program. I can't see it going any direction other than Advancement based Eagle Mill camping programs. :(


    5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    If one doesn't know, how can one get there? Observations show that one doesn't get there.


    5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    I guess this is considered pessimism in your business. We call it planning a head in mine business. 

    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.

  5. 1 hour ago, SSF said:

    I personally always thought that was very juvenile, and deceptiive, on her part.

    She may simply be trying to sidestep the phenomenon in which women (in some areas/fields) are not assumed to be competent until they have demonstrated that they are.  Do I guess correctly that she works in a male-majority field?  (If she were in a heavily female profession, such as elementary school teaching, people would not assume that "Chris" was a man.)

    • Like 1

  6. 6 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

    IIRC, when all this started to become news, there were stories about how BSA approached GSUSA but was rebuffed.

    One such snip:

    I think they would have made it work if they could.

    I think the organizations are just too different.  One or the other or both would have had to have changed a lot for the two to have coordinated their programs together.  I think that coordinating the two together, even if the attempt were to meet halfway, would have required a lot more change from BSA than simply adding its own girl program.  And I doubt if GSUSA would have wanted to meet halfway, either.

    • Like 1

  7. 33 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    why then do we see mountains of programs tailored specifically for the needs of girls? Programs promoting girls in STEM,


    14 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    So now that boys are the segment of society that is falling behind

    But the boys are not falling behind the girls in math.  See this recent article


    And math competency is the absolutely required background for doing well in science or engineering. 

  8. For one of the younger groups,  if you want to stay with Kipling and have a nice theme story:   Mongeese.  (from Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.)  Motto "Go and Find Out"    (Instead of Mowgli and the wolf cubs.)

    Or switch from wolf cubs to foxes:    Cubs --> Foxes and Beavers --> Kits .   (Lots of clever fox stories out there, though the foxes are not always as helpful as Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.)

  9. 51 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Girl Scouts do seem to have a minimum number of leaders to youth ratio that actually exceed Boy Scouts.

    It varies by age-group, and it varies by council, and more are required for field trips.  One year my fourth-graders invited the first-graders to go on a cookout with them.  The Daisy troop had to come up with *four* adults to accompany their nine girls, which was tough to get on a Thursday afternoon, when the schools had a half-day.

    By juniors (grade 4) the total number of girls per adult, even for field trips, is more than one mini-van can hold, so if you get enough adults to drive, then you have enough to for the adult-to-youth ratio.   (And , at least in my council, parents must be registered and CORI'd to drive any scouts other than their own.)

  10. 2 hours ago, malraux said:

    Weirdly, we have the same situation; the 4th and 2nd grade GSUSA troops folded

    I've seen this all too often in my area.   I've justed started a new discussion topic under the Girl Scouting heading about this.

  11. I know that Eagledad and Malraux just commented in another thread about local elementary-age GS troops in their towns falling apart.

    I've seen it in my town, too.  Way too often. 

    I went to our service unit meeting last night.  (For you BSA people, that is a meeting of any and all interested girl scout leaders and girl scout parents in the school district.  Mostly leaders but a couple of parents.)   There was a kindergarten parent there asking about formation of a kindergarten Daisy troop.  And it was explained how we do it.  One of the service unit volunteers (a leader of an older-grade troop who is taking on an extra job) collects the names of the parents of the would-be Daisies.  Once she gets about a dozen names from the same school she puts all the moms in contact with each other, and tells them that they can have a troop as soon as two of those moms step up to be leaders.  If there are not enough girls from a single elementary school, she pools the groups from two schools.

    There are big problems with this

    1) Often times the people who do step up have no prior Girl Scout experience themselves, except perhaps a couple of years being a Brownie or Junior girl scout when they were children.  So they have very little idea what a girl scout troop should be like.

    2) The most visible resources they have to learn about Girl Scout are the current books (Girl's Guide and Journeys) which are lame, and also the council-provided program-level training which is (or was when I took it) useless.

    3) So the Daisy troop meetings end up being a lot like organized play-dates once a month, rather than scout meetings.

    4) And in many cases the kids and families lose interest by the end of Brownies, and the troops fall apart. (A few troops hang together longer.  Typically they have leaders who believe more strongly in scouting and had spent longer in Girl Scouts when they were kids.)

    Why do we not run larger multi-grade troops so that leaders with some experience can mentor the new volunteers?  This is not clear to me. It is not forbidden by GSUSA policy.  But I think that it may be that parents are intimidated by trying to corral more than a dozen wiggly little kids at once.  (And they are not learning at school how to behave well in groups as they did in previous generations.)

    For you girl scout parents out there: do things look any better in your service units?

    • Upvote 1

  12. 23 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    Is Scout Vespers too difficult for Wolves or can they handle it?


    Working on my campfire program. 

    Welcome back.  I hope you have a great year this year with the boys.

    • Upvote 1

  13. 2 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I can only imagine.... “Johnny, you must complete your 30 mins of assigned free play

    That's not new.  That's old.   Very old.  Kid gets home from school.   In winter time less than an hour of daylight left.   Mom requires him or her to go play outside during that hour,   because otherwise the kid will be wanting to run around wild inside the house after dark. 

  14. 1 hour ago, gblotter said:

    That doesn't sound defensive to my ears. Frankly, it sounds enviable.

    You missed the first part of the quote, where she was criticizing BSA:

    4 hours ago, Treflienne said:

    She said "We are disappointed that Boy Scouts of America has chosen to open its program to girls in contravention of its charter, rather than focusing on the 90% of American boys not being served by Boy Scouts. We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides.  " 

    I heard a certain amount of defensiveness also at our GSUSA council's "town hall meeting" back in May.   As Hawkin said, "If you really don't fear your competition, you don't mention them. "

  15. 4 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    It isn't about who brought it up, it is about the "never compete" comment. I've since listened to the audio and it isn't clear if those words are from the interviewer or if they were actual quotes from Aceveda. The recording does not contain the question that prompted her first answer. I am going to give Aceveda the benefit of the doubt and assume it was just sloppy reporting. 

    But what about this opinion piece, written by Aceveda, in USA Today last fall


    She said "We are disappointed that Boy Scouts of America has chosen to open its program to girls in contravention of its charter, rather than focusing on the 90% of American boys not being served by Boy Scouts. We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides.  " 

    Sounded defensive to me.

  16. 22 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Back on topic,  IMO her vision of scouting bears watching. Is GSUSA becoming more of a college/work preparatory program for young women?  Career focus instead of family focus? 

    GSUSA has had a career-focus emphasis since at least the 1980's.  (There was a program "From Dreams to Reality.").  And this modern career-focused (and feministic) part of the program has existed along-side the camping-and-outdoor focus,  somewhat displacing the former traditional-housewife-skills focus that went along with the camping-and-outdoor focus in the early years. 

    GSUSA has been a very broad organization with people (volunteers) with lots of different emphases.  What aspect of girl scouting the girls experience can vary widely with the interests of the local volunteers as well as the interests of the girls.  As Eagledad said,  "All Scouting is Local."

    And not all girls want to camp.    My daughter has had trouble finding a like-minded group of want-to-camp girls.  Her last two troops have not camped at all. (She doesn't think cabins count.)   She hopes that Scouts BSA will attract the want-to-camp girls (even if a single troop needs to draw from multiple towns) so that they can find each other and enjoy an outdoorsy scouting program.     Probably many girls will be completely uninterested in Scouts BSA and prefer to stick with GSUSA.

    Acevedo has indeed been sounding defensive, like she feels threatened.   And I can understand why.    There is a risk that GSUSA will lose not only girls, but also longstanding old-fashioned green-blooded volunteers (who want to see scouting do things in the out-of-doors).

    It is going to be an interesting year watching both organizations.

  17. 4 hours ago, gblotter said:

    With BSA's recent left turns, perhaps the two organizations will soon find themselves closer in alignment.

    Even with the recent changes in BSA, the two organizations are still quite far apart.

    It will be interesting what effect this has on GSUSA.

    For a number of years now there has been a vocal minority (not sure how large) of traditionalists, long-time-members of GSUSA, who have been complaining about the direction GSUSA has been going, particulary about its turning away from the outdoors.  Will people in this group defect and join BSA, ceasing to try to drag GSUSA back where it came from?  Will GSUSA start to pay attention to this group now that there is a realistic possibility that they could lose them to BSA?

    We may see a lot this year.  Will any Daisy, Brownie, or Junior troops defect en masse and join cub scouts as new cub scout dens?  (Maybe not so many, because many seem to be happy with GSUSA as the light-weight crafts-and-field-trips activity that it has become for this age group.)  And in February, will any Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troops decide to become patrols in Scouts BSA troops?  GSUSA might lose some of its most outdoor-experienced and enthusiastic leaders and girls. Or the oldtimers might decide that BSA is just too too culturally different, and that they would miss too many of the traditions and symbols of the Girl Scout / Girl Guide movement.

    It won't be enough to look at how GSUSA member numbers change in the short term; the thing to look at will be how many and how active the troops are.  GSUSA may in effect lose more people than changes in the membership numbers will show.  (Some of us adults are lifetime members.  And girls who don't stay active in troops may stay registered so that they can attend summer camp, which is completely separate from the troops.)

    As I said, it will be an interesting year.  For both GSUSA and BSA.

  18. 4 hours ago, gblotter said:

    In my opinion, the best solution would have been a closer collaboration between BSA and GSUSA, but not in the cards apparently. Perhaps with better leadership it could have been negotiated.

    While GSUSA and BSA have a common root (Baden-Powell, in Britain) they have been diverging almost from the beginning.   They even jumped the Atlantic separately, with GSUSA arising out of Girl Guides (in the UK) which came from the Boy Scouts (in the UK).     Looking just at the history of the scout law in both organizations:  the BSA took the 9-point scout law, simplified the wording, added three additional points, and then has kept it unchanged for 100 years.   The GSUSA took the (by then) 10-point scout law and kept it essentially unchanged till 1972 and had a major revision in 1972 and yet another since then.    Until the last few years, critics of the BSA have tended to criticize it for being too conservative.   For as long as I can remember GSUSA has been critcized for being too feminist or too liberal.     The BSA program is (correct me if I am wrong) recognizably similar to that of the 1930s. ( I read an old Handbook for Scoutmasters and was impressed by the similarity between it and what I saw in the current online video training.)  The GSUSA program has changed beyond all recognition.  (Just compare the Girl Scout Handbook of 1930 with any of the current GSUSA materials.)

    If the two organizations were to have worked in close collaboration, at least one of them (or maybe both) would have had to change a lot.

  19. I assume you already have the "Cadette Girls' Guide to Girl Scouting" which has some info about the Silver Award.

    As far as more info about silver, my council has a "Silver Award Orientation" that one can attend to learn more.  Your council may have something similar.  Here is the link for my council: https://www.gsema.org/en/events-repository/2018/silver-award-orientation2.html 


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