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Dedicated Dad

Women in Scouts Policy?

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When I was a scout, in the early seventies, I dont recall women being directly involved with our troop. What is the current policy/history of this evolution, I couldnt find any info on scouting.org?

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I don't know the history, but the current policy is that women are unequivocally eligible for any position. There are even women professional scouters. I think two things have driven this. One is when scouting went officially coed at the explorer level some time in the 80's. The second thing is the lack of adequate male volunteers. If there aren't enough guys around to do the job, then women become an untapped resource. I regret to say that I have encountered hostility towards women scouters on the part of some older males. It is disingenuous to say that coed camping doesn't raise its own problems. In fact BSA has rules about this that you should know about. Hope this helps.

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eiselyMany thanks for your return. I regret to say that I have encountered hostility towards women scouters on the part of some older males. None here, Im just trying to catch up. It is disingenuous to say that coed camping doesn't raise its own problems. I certainly can see how that would be in Explorers, and Im not sure how I feel about it at summer camp for the Boys. My sons first summer camp this year had a mother/leader camper, that has a downs son, and I didnt-wouldnt think twice about her presence on camp outs. I guess my concern is where, if anywhere, is there a line for female volunteers, is a 22 yld unattached/non-relation female cohesive on a camp out? In fact BSA has rules about this that you should know about. This being the reason I inquired, where, other than asking the SM do I independently find these rules/regs? Im concerned if I ask it might be seen as less than positive. Hope this helps. It has, thanks again.

 

 

 

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The rules to which I was alluding are found in the Guide to Safe Scouting. This can be found on line on the BSA national official website.

 

The appropriateness for a unit to accept an unattached female adult volunteer of any age depends in part on the mission and programs of the unit itself. One would hope that the sex of the volunteer would not get in the way of carving out a role for any volunteer. The same might be said of girl scouts, although I personally have no experience there. One would hope that the other adult volunteers would set the best possible example in their behavior and speech towards and about the new volunteer. One must still look at the specific skills being offered and how those might fit in. Someone who is afraid of heights, for example, might not be too effective in a unit that does a lot of rock climbing.

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"The second thing is the lack of adequate male volunteers."

 

This was probably the main driving force in the decision, and remains, to this day, the same. Seems "the guys", who wanted Scouting for their sons, could not always find the time in their schedules to give of themselves in that same direction. Funny how many of those same fellows always found the time to be a coach or assistant coach for their sons teams. Funny how those same fellows always found time in the busy schedules for the golf game. Funny....

 

Perhaps that's a little cynical or even jaded, but it's been a pet peeve of mine for years. Especially when some of those same fellows questioned why women were allowed in the troop as leaders. Especially when those same fellows always found the time to go on the annual ski trip with the troop, no tents, no harsh outside conditions...but the women, bless them, were always there, no matter the event, the conditions, the work, the effort, the personal sacrifice.

 

Ack....there was always an excuse. And always the question...."why women?"

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Girl Scouts do allow men volunteers and also volunteers not related to any of the girls. In addition to 2 deep leadership rule, it is stated that 1 of those adult leaders MUST be a female AND a married couple only qualifies for 1 person in the 2-deep leadership rule.

 

Some men have found a lot of hostility in Girl Scouts, people thinking they are there "for the wrong reasons".

 

As already stated, BSA is pretty clear on the rules about co-ed camping (tent usage and bathroom facilities). The young female in question should be held to the same high standards of behavior of all other adults -- in other words no inapproriate relationships with the boys, protecting one's privacy and the privacy of others, no one-on-one contact with the boys, and no running around camp improperly dressed (as in in your undies!).

 

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Eisely

The rules to which I was alluding are found in the Guide to Safe Scouting.Thanks for the link, its hard to find if you dont know what youre looking for. The appropriateness for a unit to accept an unattached female adult volunteer of any age depends in part on the mission and programs of the unit itself.I see, and this is addressed in the guide as; reduce the risk of accepting a child molester by learning all we can about an applicant for a leadership position--his or her experience with children, why he or she wants to be a Scout leader, and what discipline techniques he or she would use.

 

So, theoretically or in actuality, 22 yld unattached females exist as SMs, ASMs and or even entire troops composed of female leaders are possible or exist? WOW, things have changed.

 

 

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Personally speaking, I would be more comfortable for my son to camp out where a female scouter was attending than allowing my daughter to a campout where a male leader was there.

 

Yes, it sounds sexist, but I trust females over males. I did not realize the Girl Scouts allowed males on sleep overs. My daughter's troop has always specified female adults only for any overnight trip. And I have always appreciated this.

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Jmcquillan

Perhaps that's a little cynical or even jaded, but it's been a pet peeve of mine for years.With all due respect its pretty generalizing and reprobate too. IMHO

 

 

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In using the term "appropriateness" I was less concerned about the molestation issue than qualifications tailored to the program of the units. I guess my image of scouting (excluding cub and tiger) is a vigorous outdoor program to the maximum extent possible. That means more than just car camping. If someone volunteers to lead an outing for which they are not qualified, then someone else needs to suggest something different. Many people who are not outdoors oriented, or physically capable of the more demanding activities, can still make highly valuable contributions to a unit. There are many positions that do not demand outdoors skills or interests.

 

As an aside, the most egregious incident I know of involving discrimination against female leaders involved a small unit in Southern California in a town outside Santa Barbara several years ago. I think I mentioned this is another thread. This was a unit that had no male adult leadership at all. The local council refused to let this unit attend summer camp because of a lack of facilities for female leaders. I'm sorry, but this is a lame excuse. The unit had to litigate to get to go to camp. Granted, many older camps may not have separate bathroom and shower facilities, but this can be solved simply by posting male and female hours. There ought to be enough good will in scouting all around to solve such problems. The important thing is to deliver the program to the youth members.

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Yep, guys in Girl Scouting, unusual but not unheard of and the child protection rules are the same. Generally I see mostly men on camping trips although some women consistantly come. Most adults are not in supreme physical condition by the time they are in their 40s and 50s so any camping trip involving strenuous activity should and generally does only involve those parents (male and female) who feel they are up to it. I generally don't attend many of the campouts as my son has plenty of mom time and has 3 sisters as well. This I try to keep as his "guy thing" although I did go on the rafting and biking trip last summer. And yes my son rode circles around me. Nothing pleases me more than to see women who appreciate what men have to offer Girl Scouting and men who appreciate what women have to offer Boy Scouting. I run two girl scout troops and am the secretary for my son's troop and heavily volunteer for many activities. But unless I, and many of the men I might add lose some weight and get in better shape, none of us should go on a 50 mile hike. There are some parents who can and of course they are both men and women. We are adults, it all works out.

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I WAS A SCOUT IN THE LATE 60'S. SCOUTING WAS DISCRIBED AS A PROGRAM THAT LET BOYS BE LED BY MEN. MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT IN MANNERISMS AND IN THE GENERAL WAY SITUATIONS ARE HANDLED. BOYS ARE GREATLY INFLUNCED BY MOM DURING EARLY GROWTH AND DON'T ALWAYS GET DAD'S SIDE OR POINT OF VIEW. SCOUTING PROVIDED THAT OPERTUNITY. DON'T READ BETWEEN THE LINES!! A SITUATION CAN BE HANDLED TWO DIFFERENT WAYS AND NEITHER WAY IS REALLY WRONG BUT IF A BOY IS GIVEN ONLY ONE POINT OF VIEW HIS CREATIVE MIND DOESN'T HAVE THE CHANCE TO GROW AS WELL.

I WISH WOMEN WERE NOT ALLOWED AT CERTIAN LEVELS IN THE SCOUT PROGRAM i.e. SCOUTMASTERS OR ASSISTANTS AND CERTIANLY NOT ON CAMPOUTS. THE BOYS IN MY TROOP DO NOT WANT THEM ON CAMPOUTS EITHER. WHEN A MOM DOES ATTEND, THE BOYS ACT DIFFERENTLY AND EACH TIME I AM ASKED WHY WE HAVE TO ALLOW MOMS ON CAMPOUTS.

I FOLLOW BSA RULES. I EXPLAIN TO A MOM WHO WANTS TO ATTEND AS I STATED ABOVE. THE PROGRAM IS FOR THE BOYS AND WHILE SHE WILL BE WELCOMED BY ALL LEADERS WE TRY TO GIVE THE BOYS A PROGRAM AS THEY WANT IT. THE BOYS CHOOSE THE CAMP SITES, THE DAY TRIPS, THE SUMMER CAMP, THE HIGH ADVENTURE CAMP, THE THEME FOR THE CAMPOUT OR THE ACTIVITY AT THE NEXT MEETING.

IN SHORT, I THINK ALL BOYS NEED ADULT MALE INFLUENCE IN THIER GROWTH YEARS AS MUCH AS THEY NEED ADULT FEMALE INFLUENCE. IT'S ALWAYS BEST TO SEE THINGS FROM AS MANY ANGLES AS YOU CAN. WOMANS OUTLOOK IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT OR WRONG AND THE SAME APPLIES TO MEN. TO ME THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF RIGHT OR WRONG JUST THE OPPERTUNITY TO SEE LIFE AND ITS CHALLANGES FROM ANOTHER ANGLE.

THE ONLY WOMAN I'VE EVER OBJECTED TO JOINING US ON A CAMPOUT WAS AN ATTRACTIVE MOM WHO WOULD WEAR SHORT SHORTS AND LEFT HER SCOUT SHIRT ONE BUTTON TO LOW AT SUMMER CAMP. I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE WHO ENJOYED THE SENERY, THE BOYS ALWAYS HAD SOME EXCUSE ALL DAY LONG TO COME BACK TO OUR CAMPSITE WHILE SHE WAS THERE AND THEY NEVER MISSED SWIM THIE IF MRS.... WAS SWIMMING. WE DID HAVE A TALK.

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There's a difference between Mommy coming on a campout with her little Billy, and a registered, trained adult leader being female. I can see why the boys don't want Mommy there. But a trained female adult leader is not "Mommy" even if her kid is in the troop. We need all the qualifed, trained leaders we can get. Some are going to be female.

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What I've noticed with female Scouters (active, camping ones, not just committee members) is that, like any other male dominated "profession", they are incredibly competent and dedicated. If I had to choose between the top five female Scouters I know versus the top five male Scouters I know, I would have a very hard time choosing because of the quality (although a big lack of quantity) of women in Scouting. In fact, the woman who runs our JLTC is arguably the most together Scouter I've ever encountered.

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