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Chippewa29

Coed Scouting in USA?

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On another thread, there was a little discussion about how other countries (Australia in this case) had coed Scouting, even at younger ages. It seems like there are always rumors floating around about the BSA going coed even younger than Venture (such as at the Boy Scout level). Before I post my thoughts on it, I'd like to hear what others think about it. Keep in mind that most countries around the world do coed Scouting by Boy Scout age. I think Japan and the US are the only major countries to still have separate programs.

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I certainly respect those countries that have taken their Scouting programs co-ed. The United States, in my opinion, is unique in so many ways. It is so diversified across the board. As has been stated on many other threads, a lot of the volunteers that support the Troops, no longer have sons in Scouting. This is a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge that I think would leave Scouting if it went co-ed. I can't break it all down and give you specific reasons. I just think that the positive and traditional "character" of the program would change to a degree that the male Scouts would lose a program that they deserve to have exclusively. I feel that having the co-ed Venture/Explorer programs are enough, and as has been stated (I'm sure) so many times before, the Girl Scout program should satisfy all of the needs of the girls, and where it does not, their parents need to get involved in such a way as to take that program in that direction. So, in case there was any question in your mind, I don't want co-ed Scouting in the BSA anymore then the current available programs.

 

Anderson

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Korean Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are currently separate organizations, but the rumor mill says they are considering consolidating and going co-ed. Frankly, that wouldn't be too big a leap for them. Most BSK and GSK troops are organized in school classrooms, and the troop leaders are their teachers, as an additional duty. Going co-ed would merely mean one set of rules and paperwork. We've been on campouts with them, and they already camp together, cook together, etc. And, the littlest Cubs camp with the oldest Scouts, usually with their moms along to do the cooking, etc. Different culture, different system.

 

Personally, I don't think co-ed troops makes much sense for us...would be a tremendous amount of extra work. I have both a son and a daughter, and when we family camp, he wants to run around in the woods and she wants to relax in a camp chair with a book and listen to birds chirp. I know all kids aren't like my two, but I see the program getting a lot more complicated (and the GTSS getting like a phone book) if we went co-ed...

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Studies still show that girls do not get the attention at school in math and science that boys do. Even though schools have been coed for a long time now, girls and boys still get treated differently regardless of the gender of the teacher.

 

In general boys and girls act differently when the other sex is around, especially when they are hitting puberty. Females tend to let males take the lead roles. Males tend to think they have to be in the lead. Also, how many teenage boys will do silly skits and games in front of teenage girls? Same for girls --how many will do silly things in front of boys? Not many!

 

My vote is for seperate.

 

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I say NO too. As has been pointed out, I think boys and girls both benefit from an environment in which they can just be what they are. I totally agree that boys think they have to lead in co-ed groups, and girls think they have to let them. My daughter (12) already has noticed that it's not cool to be smart, so she tries to hide that at school so the boys won't notice. And I agree that the silly skits and other fun we have with the boys would not be as good in a coed organization.

 

On the other hand, I DO want to see leaders of both sexes in both organizations. Girls benefit from Dad involvement and I hope boys benefit from Mom involvement.

 

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I doubt that this will ever happen in the US for two reasons.

First opening Cubs and Boy Scouts to girls would seriously harm the GSA program and I don't think the BSA wants to do diminish the good works of that organization.

 

As far as a merger between the two organizations, The GSA has a heritage and a program that they are deservedly proud of. I doubt that they are interested in a merger.

 

I am not really concerned about a a huge loss of BSA volunteers if the programs did go coed. That was threatened if women became scoutmasters. A few adults did quit but not the mass exodus that some predicted.

 

Just my opinion,

Bob

 

 

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We have girls in Scouting in the UK but only by the agreement of the Group leaders. Our group chooses to remain boys only, but there are a few groups around that have gone coed. In our distict one of the groups that have taken in girls lost all it's boys and then folded but it is not always a disaster. I have run Cub camps where the girls join in all the activities, but I can't get used to the sight of girls crawling out of tents in the morning wearing pink fluffy slippers!

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If the program is only to teach respect for others and for the environment, then they should be coed from a Title IX perspective. However, once you state that a goal is to produce Men that believe the Scout Oath and Law, then girls have no place in the program.

 

JMHO

 

Quixote

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I have to go along with what appears to be the majority thus far. Boys and girls have different interests much of the time and designing a program to suit both would be difficult. Additionally, I think trying to handle coeds as they hit puberty would take so much energy there would be little left for running the program. I think it could be done but the program would be quite a bit different from what it is now.

 

I vote No until they reach venture age.

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Quioxote,

 

two things you need to know. the mission statement of the BSA does not say "produce Men that believe the Scout Oath and Law," it says "young people". However, since we are a private organization we are not subject to Title IX reguirements.

 

Bob White

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I believe that while the two should remain seprate, I feel that both boy scouts and girl scouts could benifit if some of the programs were similar. I know some girls that are always wanting to things that the Boy Scouts are doing, and there may be some things the boys could learn from the Girl Scout program. I am not familiar with the Girl Scouting program, so I can't go into depth.

 

Seperate but Equal.

 

Tim Dyer

 

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I would like separate BSA and Girl Scouting programs, but would also like to see a "Young Venturing" program that includes both. There is something to be said for some boys having the "coming of age, all guy experience". Not all boys need this but many do.

 

If you have been to the Girl Scouting forum you can read about the differences in the programs. It might be to the benefit of both to have a combined program option. I for one would find it efficient to put my daughters and sons in the same program.

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When we went co-ed there was much talk about program change. Short story is that we didn't. The girls turned up because they wanted to do (Boy) Scout stuff as per our existing program. The only concessions I make for girls are:

 

The toilet screen is placed to avoid the shadow puppet show!

 

There are two tents per patrol. (None of the Scouts and most parents couldn't care less actually but that's the rule)

 

I have arranged an activity for the girls to focus on but as it turns out the boys are pretty keen to be involved and the girls not very interested in excluding them so....

 

In my opinion the pro's outweigh the con's. I wish I had the opportunity when I was a Scout.

 

My Scouts are very relaxed in the company of the opposite sex. They end up not needing to perform for the opposite sex or feeling they need to slip into a socially determined role.

 

Mind you the USA is a different culture and seems to be a very structured and hierarchical one so our findings cannot be used as a direct comparison.

 

 

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