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Chippewa29

Coed Scouting in USA?

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what guzugi supposes is pretty much our experience. Except that girls often like getting dirty. The REALLY like getting dirty - breaking out of the social stereotype etc.

 

I will readily admit that girls and boys are different (thank goodness) and that they do need to be catered for just as we need to cater for those either side of 13 years. All it takes is a few more games in you repetoir and a wider view of the programme.

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As a COR of a pack and troop, my chartered organization (a church) wanted a program for the girls but the GSUSA was unwilling to cooperate (they don't have chartered organizations and they didn't want a church involved in their program). So, we took the BSA program, changed the names and badges, and enrolled our girls in the Learning For Life program of the BSA. The girls have their own dens and patrols but share pack meetings and Courts of Honor and one or two campouts a year. We now have more girls registered than boys (55 to 50) and the program is growing almost faster than we can keep up with. It's working for us!

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It sounds like what is needed is not so much co-ed scouting, but for GSUSA to get its act together and provide a real scouting program for girls. What are the Girl Guides like in other countrys? Do they suffer from the problems that GSUSA does?

 

-Rob

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I think the GSUSA would have to make several radical changes to come anywhere near the BSA program. It would require a radical change in their philosophy - not likely to happen. Instead, I would prefer a BSA program that runs side-by-side with the cubs and the scouts. Separate dens and patrols, but same program.

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d_seibold :

 

You stated that GSUSA didn't want a church involved in their program. I do not understand that. My church/school has the most GS Troops of any other school (or church) in my Service Unit. How "involved" did your church want to be? As you mentioned GSUSA does not issue charters. Your church would not be able to "own" its Girl Scout Troops, your local GS council does. This does NOT mean your church can not have GS Troops. All it takes is to have girls who want to join and adults who are willing to be Leaders! If you have both of those things, then you contact your local GS council and tell them you want to start a Troop or Troops. Simple!

 

The only problem I can see is if your church wanted to restrict the troops membership or did not want to follow GSUSA policy. Otherwise, there are a great many churchs out there with GS Troops!

 

I have been involved with Girl Scouts for almost 10 years now. They have a fine program. Like BSA, there can be issues with Council/National politics. Also, like BSA, the program is only as good as the volunteers who run it! Most of the girls I know in GS love it. If they don't, they leave. Just as the boys do in BSA. Like BSA, GSUSA has some retention problems with the older youth. BSA created Venturing Crews to help with the problem. This October, GSUSA is unveiling its New Directions program to adress this problem. Both BSA and GSUSA are wonderful programs for our youth. If I didn't believe that I would not be involved in both programs.

 

 

 

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d_seibold, that sounds like a very creative solution. It does raise some questions.

 

You mention "badges," I assume that means there is a uniform. What is the uniform? Did you design your own, or do the girls wear Boy Scout uniforms with badges of your own design? Do the girls use the Boy Scout Handbook? What about the structure, you mention patrols, but do you have the whole patrol method, including a girl-run "troop," a PLC, a girl as SPL, etc.? You follow all the "rules," YP, G2SS, etc.? What training do the leaders get?

 

The implications are, well, interesting.

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What a shame that the country that brought the Bill of Rights and stands as a symbol of opportunity to much of the world still has separate but "equal" programs for our youth. The belief that the Girl Scouts is providing the same kind of program that Boy Scouts of America provides is delusional at best. When was the last time you heard of the Girl Scout Gold Award?

I believe it is the highest award given to a girl in that organization. It certainly isn't recognized by most of us. Now, mention an Eagle and the proud owner gains entrance into a military academy, congress, employment with a major corporations, and can travel in outer space.

I would be very much in favor of my sons being in a troop with girls. Females are about 50% of the world's population and I feel that my sons should learn how to be part of a team that includes girls.

 

 

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In answer to NJCubScouter's questions:

 

Yes, we have designed our own badges of rank,etc. but we do not currently have an "official" uniform. We have designed a sash that all the badges are worn upon and the girl dresses according to a color code that is similar to the BSA uniform (e.g. junior girls wear navy tops & bottoms.

The BSA handbooks are specified as reference books for the girls to use but we have a paperback booklet that lists the requirements for the girl badges.

Our structure is as close to cub and boy scout structure as possible considering that we have just begun the program. We have 'patrol leaders' but no SPL yet. Our boy leaders are assisting in the training of the girl leaders. We have decided to hold joint SM JLT's and our annual "new scout" campout this September will be held jointly with the girls camping in a nearby campsite and sharing in the campfires, games, and instructional activities.

We are registering all adult leaders in the cub or scout program so they can all attend the same training and roundtable. Our CO has required that the BSA YP and G2SS be applicable to all of our youth activity programs. AND since they are LFL, they will even be filing tour permits!

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D_seibold, What was it that GSUSA did not agree with about the church? What was the church wanting to do that went against GSUSA?

 

Pepper,

In my opinion the Girl Scouts Gold award is tougher to earn than the Eagle.

Are Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts offering the "same" program? Nope, they have different missions and goals. Girl Scouting is for ALL girls, it is to encourage Girls to be their best, to discover traditional and non-traditional careers, and a big focus on community service.

 

From the GSUSA website:

"Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's pre-eminent organization dedicated solely to girls all girls where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, Girl Scouts cultivate their full individual potential. The qualities they develop in Girl Scouting leadership, values, social conscience, and conviction about their own self-worth serve them all their lives. "

 

 

 

From the BSA website:

 

"The purpose of the Boy Scouts of Americaincorporated on February 8, 1910, and chartered by Congress in 1916is to provide an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness."

 

BSA accomplishes their goals in an outdoor setting. Girl Scouts accomplishes their goals in different settings. Is one better than the other? I don't think you can compare them. They have different purposes and goals, and serve different groups.

 

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Because you asked...

When we contacted the local GSUSA, they absolutely refused to allow a troop to meet or to be supported IN ANY WAY by a Church... That must have been a local policy since I read that others haven't had that problem.

 

All we wanted was a scouting program for our girls. Nothing else...

 

So, we started our own program. Now we are glad we didn't start a GSUSA troop.

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That must be a local policy or a mistaken GSUSA employee. I know Girl Scouts meet at our local church along with the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts (not all on the same night). They even do Girl Scout leader training at the church.

 

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To Sctmom

I was aware of the fact that Girl

Scout badges are harder to get. The leaders are better trained as well. I just feel it is a shame that the highest badge in Girl Scouts is not recognized the way the BSA Eagle is.

If the two were combined then maybe there would be some fairness.

By the way, did you notice that either the Girl Scout Oath or the Girl Scout Law mentions fairness. That word is not found in the BSA Oath or Law. I still say that these organizations should be coed.

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Pepper, I strongly disagree with and object to your POV. The BSA programs for boys (Cub and Boy Scouting) and the GSA program for girls (Girl Scouting) are excellent programs that continue to exist because they work and parents see value in providing that experience to their children. BSA also has excellent programs (Learning For Life and Venturing) that are coed.

 

To desribe BSA and GSA programs as "separate but equal" thereby implies that they are a societal evil on par with Jim Crow and racism. Them's fighting words that have no place in this forum and will not go unchallenged. Do you support coed scouting? Good for you. Set up a Learning For Life or Venturing unit with your charter organization. Put your actions where your mouth is! Walk your talk and stop slandering BSA/GSA.

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Pepper, I strongly disagree with and object to your POV. The BSA programs for boys (Cub and Boy Scouting) and the GSA program for girls (Girl Scouting) are excellent programs that continue to exist because they work and parents see value in providing that experience to their children. BSA also has excellent programs (Learning For Life and Venturing) that are coed.

 

To desribe BSA and GSA programs as "separate but equal" thereby implies that they are a societal evil on par with Jim Crow and racism. Them's fighting words that have no place in this forum and will not go unchallenged. Do you support coed scouting? Good for you. Set up a Learning For Life or Venturing unit with your charter organization. Put your actions where your mouth is! Walk your talk and stop slandering BSA/GSA.

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I know this thread has been going for quite some time now but I would like to add a few comments that I notice were not mentioned and only briefly covered by Bob White.

 

First, BSA national committee is no where near or even considering this subject. Other than the decision for it keeping the program solidly intact, It would substantially lose many organizations that donate so much to scouting. Some of the largest supporters would be lost. I think also that a large portion of Chartered organizations would be affected.

 

Now for my comments on the subject. I grew up in the scouting program from age 6 and have never stopped and I plan to stay in it for the young men and my future sons. My sister belonged to the GSA as well. The programs do not compare in any way, but the GSA works if they have good leaders. My sister liked the program as long as her leader was good. Once they were not active in puting the "outing in scouting" then she quit. I on the other hand stuck with it due to a great program and leaders who cared. Troops can fail too if leaders and parents are not actively a part of the program.

 

BSA is at the troop & Patrol level. They are responsible for making young men strong. I know as a youth that I and my friends would have taken scouting very differently if a girl was in our troop. I appreciated the knowledge it gave me to work with just young men. I feel young men need to be seperated from the the woman. ONly for a few reasons. One is men and woman are different. No matter how much society equalize them out. Physically they are different and have different needs. I say keep them seperate. GSA if it has the leaders will do just fine but my goodness the United States has program upon program to assist youth in a co-ed setting. School is #1. As a youth I was happy to get away from the peer life of school by having scouting.

My last comment on the subject is this. No one has mentioned at all in this thread the value of morals. I know that other countries have co-ed activities and that is fine but the United States' society is mixed and is constantly being tossed around up in the air. Why put children just learning about themselves in such a situation where problems could arise. We have two-deep leadership to solve some problems, but scouting is seperated to solve this one in my mind. Dont' get me wrong I trust them, but temptation in that subject is tough and shouldn't be a focus at those younger ages. Venture age is fine.

 

sorry so long

Brian (Drimcynn)

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