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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 


  5. I should have said "But are far as managing to live with the rules requiring that adults be registered" . . . .

    I'd rather stay out of the argument about ages and genders of required BSA adults.

    In my area, the GSUSA elementary age troops are typically rather small and single grade.  (I suppose more like a den.)   For a typical year we had 13 girls.   Most of the moms were registered.  3 or 4 of the dads were registered.  GSUSA distinguishes between leaders ("01s" and "02s", the "leader" and "assistant leader") who are encouraged to have training and other registered adults who need not take leader training.   Depending on the type of event only one or perhaps two of the adults present need to be trained; the other adults required for the adult-to-kid ratio need only be registered and background checked.  So, no male "leaders",  but registered, background-checked dads who were available to help out when called on.

    My point was that it was not hard (in my experience) to get parents to register (and pay the registration fee, and do the background check) so as to be available to help.  Getting them to turn in permission slips on time was a completely different matter.

  6. 4 hours ago, DeanRx said:

    Do you hurry up and submit an adult application for one of the moms (that may or may not have a completed background check and current YPT by the campout?

    I leave it to you guys to hash out just how bad the new rules are.

    But are far as managing to live with the rules:  In GSUSA we were required to have two registered adults for every event. Also, any driver had to be a registered girl scout adult.   So,  proactively,  we asked all the moms to register themselves (and do the CORI check) at the beginning of the year when they registered their daughters.  Almost all did so. (They were all already used to CORI checks for school volunteering, etc, so they tought it was normal.)  Thus if we needed an additional driver or a substitute adult in a pinch, we had a pool we could draw on.

  7. On 7/6/2018 at 3:34 PM, MikeS72 said:

    Hand sewing needles do not do well with those heavy plastic backing either.  I broke countless needles trying to get them through the backing, which is one reason I bought the sewing machine.  I use a clear filament thread, so you do not see any stitching, and you can adjust the size of the stitch so it is easy to remove if and when needed.

    I just push straight throught the patch, using a rather skinny needle and also a thimble if needed.  If the needle starts to flex, back off and try to push straight.   I don't think I have ever broken an hand-sewing needle,  though I have broken lots of sewing machine needles.

  8. Each council sets its own policies.   Of the two councils nearest me:  one prohibits alcohol at all girl scout events.   The other permits alcohol at adult-only events (think wine-and-cheese fundraiser). 

    On 8/12/2018 at 6:59 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

    My friend who is a lifeguard and swim instructor decided to rent a cabin at the campground and take the rest of her family.  Her daughter in GSUSA tent camped with her troop

    So this mom supposedly wasn't actually part of the girl scout troop campout.    Not such a great way to get around the rules.

  9. It's only six months till girls in Scouts BSA.  Will you be ready to start up a girls' troop in February?

    I know that  @AVTech is planning to be scoutmaster for his daughter's troop. I know the @Hawkin's daughter is already planning her patrol name and patch. @Hedgehog was talking about a linked troop. My daughter is eager to start as well.

    So, for any of you planning to be associated with a girls' Scouts BSA troop, how close are you to ready?  

    Do you have the necessary five girls already planning to join as soon as possible?  How are you planning to recruit more girls?

    Do you have a scoutmaster and an ASM, at least one of which is a female-over-twenty-one-who-is-willing-to-go-camping?  (Willing to go backcountry camping as well as frontcountry camping? )

    Do you have a chartered organization lined up? Is the CO of the local boy's troop willing to sponsor a girls troop? opposed? undecided?

    Or have you found a different institution willing to be CO of the girls troop?

    Is the local boy's troop willing to share a troop committee with the girls troop? opposed? undecided?

    If being a linked troop is not an option for you,  do you have several troop committee members lined up?


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  10. 3 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    If I were to step down I am not sure I could serve in another capacity.  The embarrassment of being labeled a quitter could prevent me from showing my face up there again. 

    I'm new to BSA.  But in other organizations I have volunteered in (church children's programs,  stuff at the school, girl scouts, etc)  volunteers typically sign up for the school year,  not in perpetuity.  Middle of the summer is the natural time to re-evaluate one's involvement.  Does one want to do the same thing?  Switch to a new role (more or less intense)?  Volunteer with a different organizaton?  Even scale back on volunteering to devote more time to other aspects of life?   Don't be embarassed by changing roles.  People do it all the time.  And don't think of changing roles as quitting,  think of it as finding the place you fit best. 

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  11. My experience has been with GUSUA badges/patches.   I always told the girls to sew on the patches.   If you iron them on they very quickly fall off,  even when the girls wear the vests/sashes infrequently.  

  12. On 7/3/2018 at 5:24 PM, MikeS72 said:

    even to the point of offering to run the patches on my sewing machine.


    On 7/4/2018 at 10:11 AM, thrifty said:

    Used troop shirts usually have sew marks from switching patches or stains on them anyway. 


    23 hours ago, Chadamus said:

    A Scout who has held multiple POR can have a rough looking left sleeve.

    Hand sew any patch that you think you might someday move or remove.   Comes off without leaving all the marks that machine-sewing does.   (Looks better, too.)   Best way to hold the patch in place while sewing is with masking tape -- since straight pins don't do well with the thick plastic-backed patches.

  13. 11 hours ago, Saltface said:

    This was replaced by a scavenger hunt to take selfies with various people and items around camp,


    4 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    there was an activity to go around to scan QR/Bar Codes from VIP badges. 


    3 hours ago, shortridge said:

    The trend I’ve seen has been adding more and more technology to camp.

    So how common is this at boy scout camp?   I've always viewed (girl) scout camp as a good chance for kids to get away from technology for a week.   Back in my childhood it was transistor radios that were the banned item.   These days our local girl scout camp says "The following items are not allowed at camp and should be left at home: cell phones, radios, CD players, iPods or other MP3 players, handheld gaming devices, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices, candy, gum, food, alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons, pets and animals. If found at camp, they will be confiscated."



  14. 21 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

    What they are based on is a perception  that pointing a weapon (paintball gun) or simulated weapon (laser tag gun) at another human being and pulling the trigger is not an appropriate Scouting activity, regardless of the absence of any risk of injury.  I happen to agree with that. 

    But who wants a water gun anyway?  They are so wimpy.   At my daughter's school's annual park outing the kids much prefer the water tubes (like a giant syringe) that send a large stream of water.   And the kids who don't have those find it effective to fill a bucket with lake water and simply dump it over the other kids' heads.

  15. 2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Siblings are a distraction and can hurt the program.

    My experience is in GSUSA where tagalongs are strictly discouraged.   But still, sometimes the only way a mom can volunteer is if she can bring her younger child along.   (And if she does not volunteer then there is no troop.)   So if the only way you can get enough volunteers for a GSUSA troop (or perhaps for a cub scout den) is to have tagalongs, then you cope the best you can.

    As far as who to recruit for being the tagalong watcher:   If there is a parent who always has a younger sibling with them at drop off and pick up,   especially if the family lives far enough away that the parent doesn't go home during the meeting but instead hangs out at a nearby playground,  then that parent would be a good one to recruit. 

  16. My kindergarten Daisy Girl Scout troop had a similar issue.   The other leader had a preschool daughter (too young to participate with the 5-6-year-olds) and our meetings were at a time of day when the dads were still at work.    Our solution:   recruit a third mom, who had a Daisy daughter and a 2-year-old daughter.   This third mom came to every meeting and looked after the two younger siblings. (She typically brought somthing crafty for them to do.  And they only occasionally joined in with the older girls when it was something they could do without being disruptive.)   And after a couple of years, when the younger siblings were old enough not to need so much extra attention, this mom was willing to  become a troop leader also. 

    Of course,  it may depend on the personalities of the particular preschoolers.


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  17. On 6/25/2018 at 10:48 AM, T2Eagle said:

    Dangers from wagons, none that I can think of.

    Surely some of you in your childhood must have done what I did:  Drag your radio-flyer wagon to the top of the hill.  Climb in.  Let gravity take you to the bottom.  Hopefully you picked an appropriate hill.

    But used as a tool,  rather than as a gravity-powered car,  wagons seem quite harmless.

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  18. 47 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    According to the nbcnews article

          "Trained “playworkers” monitor the children, though they step in only if absolutely necessary — much like lifeguards."

    And according to https://govisland.com/things-to-do/activities/2018-playgroundnycs-yard

          "There are play:groundNYC playworkers in the Yard at all times."

    Not exactly free range.


  19. On 6/23/2018 at 8:15 AM, RememberSchiff said:

    We know how to create women leaders. When we look at our life results of our alumni, you know, three-fourths of our female senators were Girl Scouts. All three female secretaries of state, Girl Scouts.

    When I go to Silicon Valley, almost every female tech leader who was born in the US, she was a Girl Scout. Almost every female astronaut that's gone into space is a Girl Scout. So we know what works.

    Correlation is not causation.

    Causation could flow in a different direction.  The same families and communities that had the resources to provide ample educational opportunities for their girls may also have been the ones who had the resources (in money but especially in time) to get the girl scout troops organized. 

  20. 11 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    All our talk about structure of troops is for nothing if there are no girls to join.

    That's my concern.

    So far my daughter doesn't know of any other girls in our town wanting to join Scouts BSA.   Maybe some will appear before February.   Or maybe we'll need to join with nearby towns.

  21. 14 hours ago, shortridge said:

    Whether a Girl Scout goes camping, and the quality of her experience doing so, is entirely in the hands of the adult leaders. My daughter was in it for three years and never even went day hiking. By contrast, you can’t advance in the future Scouts BSA without going camping.

    "entirely in the hands of the adult leaders"?  Actually no.   If the majority of the girls in a troop don't want to camp, then they can vote down any camping plans,  even if the adult leaders are willing to camp.  (Happened to my daughter.)

    However I basically agree with shortridge.  If the adults are unwilling to camp then the troop does not camp, no matter what the girls want.  

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