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akela

Women in leadership roles

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Before I dig a big hole, I would like to hear about some of your experiences making the transition from Cub(Webelo) in to your BSA troop. It has been a difficult row for me (us) me and a co-leader) to hoe, but I think we are making progress. We at first were asked to join the troop, then when we did, we were treated like outcast for a while, then when we started going on the weekend trips, because no other leaders were available, I think we are being appreciated more. Our offical is troop comm members, not ASM. Just wondering if anyone else had had the same experiences. We just tried to stand in the shadows, until the SM and ASM see how valuable we can be.

 

Thanks for your input.

Cheryl

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supermom,

In my Troop, the new adult leaders who crossed over from Cubs are given minimal responsibilities until they have completed training for their position. Until they do, I and my ASM's will often sit down & discuss the hows & whys of Scouting. At times, I will include these new adults as passive listeners for Scoutmaster Conferences as long as the SMC isn't for their son.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Parents that cross over with the scout are asked to help out in other ways than in cubs. In cubs, they are used to an adult role in the program. Taking them away from the adults and having the troop leadership (boy-ran PLC) working them through the ranks is ideal. This is a prime time to offer services and for you to learn about the troop. Many times, you coming in may seem like you are an outcast because the troop already has systems in place to handle the troop. Most SM and ASM were already there. Not that they don't need you but want you to let them know what you can do. In cubs, many times parents are "solicited" to be leaders because no one else will. Not so with most troops. Come in gradually and enjoy the time to breathe. You will most likely get "Scout Pox" and be volunteering more than you expect.

 

Having worked for two female SM, I have no problem with women as leaders. As a youth, I referred to myself as a "girl scout" due to always scouting for girls(only a joke). You are welcomed and please enjoy your ride. The OA looks for members regardless of gender.(This message has been edited by Double Eagle)

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Scout Pox. Finally an explanation that my dear wife will understand. Trouble is that I think she's coming down with it too.

 

Apparently women in the outdoors often feel that they are second best or in a man's domain. Some ignorant men also assume this to be true. There are some good research papers on the subject.

 

My advice is to take your time. Accept only jobs with which you are confidant in your abilities. Get to know the boys on their terms. Have fun.

 

The other leaders will need to take your measure and maybe train you as well. Take the long view - the pox is incurable.

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I have also been experiencing some difficulties. The troop is great, the men are very nice. There are also some men who just came from being Webelos Leaders. Seems they get in on more of the conversations about "what are we doing on the campout" and "we need more camping equipment" and "we need someone to work with the new scouts on Tenderfoot". I'm welcome to camp. I'm welcome to drive scouts to places.

 

The biggest problem that I am personally having is dealing with the "male way" of leadership. Threats of push-ups and barking at people is leadership by intimidation (and I use the term leadership loosely). The older scouts use the same "leadership methods". I had a long talk with my son about this and he says it doesn't bother him, so I guess I should back off. I think that you can treat the scouts with respect and still maintain your authority.

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Forgot something...

I don't think the men are aware of leaving out the females on some conversations. I think they are used to females who don't want to camp or be directly involved. I know I've seen a lot of women who throw up their hands and say "I don't know anything about that outdoors stuff".

 

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Sctmom, hard as it is to beleive, I wasnt born knowing how to tie a bowline on a bight or a sheet bend or a double fisherman's knot. Until last week I had never been down a class 5 rapid before (Kennebec river just below Harris Station)

 

Many men in our troop have never camped out before their sons joined the troop and some who did still cant start a fire without matches.

 

I rely a lot on the outdoor skills I learned as a scout and my father taught me hunting. However I still had to learn about polypropolene and Goretex and propane gas stoves when my son joined.

 

The point is, there is nothing wrong with not knowing how to do something, the experience just gives you incentive to learn a new skill. And learning new skills is a trait common to both sexes.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Unfortunately many women still think they can't learn about the outdoors and other "guy" stuff.

 

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shew!!! I feel a little better. thanks for all the great comments, I look forward to more. Plus I will lay back until i get the "Scout pox" I am looking at taking the ACM position this should fill my void!

 

P.S. If anyone can tell me why my messages post twice I would appreciate it. I have emailed scouter and they don't know why? Send me a private email if you would.

 

Thanks Cheryl

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Hang in there, you feel at home in no time.

 

I deliberately backed off going camping with the boys when my son moved up to Boy Scouts. (After having been Cub and Webelos leader) I didn't want him relying on me too much, or (worse) me butting in too often. Since he (& I) has done so well, I am considering doing some of the outdoor stuff again, which I love to do.

 

Consider this your honeymoon period. Be available, participate where you can as I read you are doing. Everything you wish will come your way eventually.

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Hi. I'd love to have you in our troop! We just got back from summercamp in another state 400 miles away from home. We took 34 boys and 10 adults. 2 of the adults who stayed the week were women (this was one mom's second summercamp). After the week, 15 boys stayed for 5 days of sight seeing. All of the summercamp parents went home except me, and 4 moms showed to be my co-leaders for the second segment. We had an excellent time, including the 5 mile hike across the Badlands in 103 degree heat!

 

So. Not only is the pox currable, its inexcusable. After all it was 1978 when BSA officially changed their policy to allow woment to be sm's and asm's.

 

However, your second message raised some issues beyond just "fitting in".

 

First, push ups are not authorized in BSA. I know, because I used to use them, and got a letter directed by Nationals saying that the practice is to be considered in violation of the BSA Youth Protection policies as well as hazing. So tell the guys to knock it off. [i know that this will bring out a whole new thread on push ups and discipline, and that thread will be fun, but belongs elsewhere -- the letter and policy are a fact.]

 

Second, recognized that Martians and Venusians speak different languages. Boys need to hear both. While some guys bark, and boys need some barking in order to learn and grow up as Martians, there's nothing wrong with an adult leader who doesn't bark. (Although when the kid has the ax in the air and its headed the wrong way, barking has a real place!).

 

Finally, don't be intimidated by the fact that you have a different style. And don't be accepting of a secondary role. All those other goofs who are asm's were novices once too. They didn't "learn" scouting by being told how to do it at meetings, they learned by reading the books, going camping and doing it.

 

Training is a must. To be credible, you must have the credentials. I push all my parents to training, whether they signed on as committee members, fund raisers, or are looking to be asm's. As a SM, I've found that many times a guy looking to be an asm isn't really suited, while the mild mannered woman or man who thought they were going to "be in the background" turned out to be my better activity and camping leaders.

 

So, quit standing along the wall and join in the conversation about "what are we doing on the campout" and keep asking questions and volunteering -- unless the SM is blind and deaf, he'll see an adult looking to help out -- and that is always something a SM can't afford to pass up.

 

And remember, if it isn't fun, then its not being done correctly.

 

YIS, jim

sctmstr, t457, denver

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I'm the one in the troop of push-ups. I have expressed to the Scoutmaster my dislike for them. A few parents took their kids to another troop because of it. Well, we think that is why -- they don't talk to me now. Don't know why they are mad at me.

 

It's funny about the different ways of communicating. I spent one night at summer camp. As we were packing up, the rain started. Since the boys were pretty much done, most were in the tents to keep dry. The other mom there asked her husband to call for a particular boy. He called and called, no one heard him. I finally turned around and YELLED the boy's name. I got heard! I used that "mom means business" voice. LOL

 

Again, I don't think most men mean anything by not including women. They just aren't used to moms wanting to go camping. As a Webelos leader I ran into plenty of the moms who said "eewww, we can't camp there is DIRT and BUGS out THERE! eeewwww". Yes there is, but a small price to pay for the magic of the outdoors with your children.

 

Maybe what makes me different is I grew up in the country with a mother who camped, caught spiders for show-and-tell, examined every critter we caught, and let my brother grow earthworms in his bedroom trashcan! Also, I was grown before I found out that some men don't cook! My father taught my mother how to cook when they got married.

 

 

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I went to round table last night to find out that our re-charter stuff was back from council, (yes it took 6 months) and noticed that all the men listed in our troop except for the SM and one ASM have never been trained. I was shocked. I will be signing up for SM training and Wood badge for this fall. Pray for good weather. I appreciate all the comments on this thread, it makes me feel better that I am not alone in this endeaver, as a woman.

 

rlculver45, I have tried to stand back, because I am like you on one comment I do not want to smother my older son, but on the other had, I want to go camping as much as he does. My husband is a motel 6 camper LOL.

 

I always tell him when we go camping, I am not his Mom and sometimes he will giggle as he addressed me and MRS. .... We laugh about it at home. but knows that he is not to address me as Mom. If he does I tell him your Mother is not here! But if I can assist you I will, my name is Mrs....

 

denver4under, you make me laugh. I would have loved the long camping trip and sounds like you have a very active troop I have been talking via email with troop 839 (denver) about there new unipen tents. Thanks for your comments, as sctmom said our bunch is not the push up bunch, but we have been talking discipline, so I will take note of the National policy. Is there anything listed about duck tape. LOL*** just a troop joke.

 

Just making memories!

 

supermom(This message has been edited by supermom)

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Sctmom your mum and dad sound fascinating. Would love to meet them.

 

The communication thing is a problem. It is unintentional I'm sure but can be very real. I can see women being left out of planning conversations just because the men haven't thought about it and are making assumptions. A straight forward asking to be included so that you can help and learn might be best. This particular male likes direct discussions - I just won't pick up on inuendo.

 

Excellant discussion guys - I am seeking a woman to be ASM and am taking notes!

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