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Girls under 18 serving on camp staff ?

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  • 1 year later...
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I see a lot of advocacy for co-ed Scouting, which I definitely do not support. That said,

I'm all for it female youth staff, as long as the GSA accepts male youth and adults to staff its camp facilites as well.


As far back as I can remember, there have always been female adult staffers at camp, who tended to be undeniably adult if not matronly. I will say that I am opposed to having female youth staff at certain BSA facilities, particullarly the waterfront. A 16 or 17 year old lifeguard may be sweet as pie and swim like Esther Williams, but the fact is that many of the boys will be distracted by her presence. Most will do what comes naturally, and that is act up with a lot of adolescent bravado. Go ahead and blame it on the boys, whatever. But it's called the BSA. If the desire is for a co-ed experience, form a Venture Crew and do it that way.


Just my feelings on the question.

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Having been a teenage swimming instructor, lifeguard and a lifeguard instructor I know what some guys will do. In my experience most ladies can squash that in a few minutes. Nothing like lifeguard with a Fox 40 whistle and the ability to kick folks out of the pool cannot handle.


Edited: it was teh over 21 ladies that caused problems on staff. One of which did affect me directly as I had to take up her slack on the COPE course


As I stated previously, it wasn't the under 18 ladies I had problems with, but the over 21 ladies.


(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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short: ... but the fact is that many of the boys will be distracted by her presence. ... Sounds like an argument for banning cheerleaders from football games.


The Steelers dropped their cheerleading squad a few years before they started winning Superbowls.


I've seen:

- the nurse (at my childhood scout camp) distract all the older guys in my troop.

- young moms be a distraction to male staff in cub camp espcially at the waterfront.

- dads (Eagle Scouts, even) knowlingly attempt to distract female guard on duty in the aquatics area. God bless the staff, she sent him packing.

- a female staff distract a male staff to the point he didn't get Eagle, did marry her, and joined the marines at the standard pay grade.

- a female staff frustrated about the rumour mill.


I've also seen:

- Oustanding leadership from the female staff (regardless of age).

- Creative female staff who added depth to the program.

- Seasoned aquatics directors in whom I could trust our boys.

- Solid team building, real personal growth, and role models that last into the school year for some of our boys who were on a co-ed staff.


So, yes, there is a price having to manage opposite sexes. It starts by demanding your boys stop drooling and show a little respect. And that is definitely a hassle. But, on the whole, I think there's more to be gained by not scraping "the bottom of the barrel" of young men (if you have any incompetents left to choose from) just to fill spaces that could be held by more competent young women.


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Chrystal clear. And I have dealt and seen problems with adult women rather than the female teenagers. The teens I've worked with and know do know how to squash the showing off that some guys will do. I have never had to talk to any teen girls, nor have I had to report an issue to the CD about teen girls. The lifeguards are more than willing to enforce rules and kick folks out. And the teens in other areas know how to deal with problems too.


As for the adult ladies, all of the problems I've had ans seen are from them. Yep I've tried to talk to one (didn't work), talk to her brother's friend working camp (ditto), as well as her big brother (ditto again). But the surprise visit from her fiance did cut the garbage out ;)


As for the other case I mentioned previously, b/c she was the only person qualified for the position, she thought she was untouchable. Again a surprise visit from her CO put a stop to her.


EDITED: As for Cub Scout moms, while I have never had any problems while on staff, I have heard about some problems, one of which did lead to a DE losing his job. And when I did a summer campout, it was interesting at the pool.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Let me be blunt, yet again:


When a Council has sufficient young men with the right skillsets seeking seasonal staff employment, then there is no need for youth member women as staff at a Scout reservation.


The fact of the matter is we are not attracting enough young men to seasonal employment in our Councils. Sacking groceries and flipping burgers both pay more. In my State, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That's $290 a week.


EagleSon, in his fifth year of staffing, got $130 per week, and a $500 staff scholarship at the end of season. Altruism was one of the main reasons he worked staff.


Folks, I'll give sympathy to the "women ought not to be there" crowd when you have, in your Council, a solution to the need for and the shortage of seasonal male youth and transitional adult staff.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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ok being female I may be a little biased...


BUT, I think having some female staff members has helped with keeping our summer camp numbers up. The younger boys are always going - they want to do all those things that are hard to do not at camp. The middle boys are going to do those badges they weren't able to do before. The older boys have done pretty much everything, but they remember that cute red head gal was there last year and goes to see if she's there again.


and yes, that has been the reason we've had a couple sign up LOL


our summer camp does staff totems to split staff around the different dining tables... the older boys are always trying to figure out who belongs to which totem so they can get the girls to sit with them.


Me - I don't care if they are male or female as long as they know their skills that they are teaching and follow BSA policies.

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  • 1 month later...

Life's tough enough:


(a) female camp staff are too diverting to the scouts;


(b) they also drive off possible male staffers (girls this age are more mature, better organized, more motivated; this means the boys suffer or get fewer opportunities to develop).

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"(a) female camp staff are too diverting to the scouts"


Can you explain this further? I should think that they would have the Scouts' rapt attention. Shall we extend this to assert that women shouldn't be teaching boys in middle and high school?


"(b) they also drive off possible male staffers (girls this age are more mature, better organized, more motivated; this means the boys suffer or get fewer opportunities to develop)."


So you're saying that we should eschew what appear to be well-qualified candidates for these positions in favor of less-qualified candidates who happen to be boys, then?

(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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they also drive off possible male staffers (girls this age are more mature, better organized, more motivated; this means the boys suffer or get fewer opportunities to develop).


Male adults are also more mature, better organized and more motivated. Does that mean that male adults shouldn't be allowed on summer camp staff because the boys will suffer or get fewer opportunities to develop?


Give me a break. If anything, the presence of a skilled female staffer - an archery instructor, say, who can shoot circles around any of the boys on staff - will motivate the male staffers to get better faster so they're not shown up.


IM_Kathy put it best.

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I just wonder how many ways I can say this:


If you want your Scout Reservation to have an all-male seasonal youth staff, then the jobs have to be attactive enough to cause the young men to apply for them!


That means:

- The position has to pay enough money, either in direct wages or in tax-free money, such as scholarships.

- The bed and board has to be attractive enough.

- The future references from camp directors, PDs, and area directors have to support the young person as he seeks future employment.

- The terms of the employment contract have to support the school program in the local area.


If a Boy Scout Council cannot recruit enough quality young men to seasonal staff positions, then I submit the young men perceive the work does not meet their expectations in one of the four areas above.


One of our Scout Reservations in my Council uses a substantial number of youth member and young adult women in its staffs. They are for the most part great and fantastic people. I know quite a few of them. Our Council has decided the payroll cost of going all-male is not worth it when there are well-qualified young women available.


What I'm saying: In your Council, if you want all-males on staff, it's time to put up (invest in the payroll and amenities so the young men want to work at Scout Camp, AND expect fees to go up accordingly) or shut up (well qualified women are there because your Council doesn't want to increase camp fees further). Either way, the people to approach are your Council Camping Committee and Council Activities Committee of your Council Executive Board.




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