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Webelosmom

By the way....moms aren't allowed....

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We are on campouts as ADULTS, not males or females. When you mix preteen or early teen boys and girls, the hormones go berserk and no one can do much at all. That is ONE reason I don't think co-ed scouting at that age is good for everyone. I recently meet a man who is a Girl Scout leader, which I think is great. Again, we are there as ADULTS not men or women.

 

Exactly what is that a boy can't do if mom is over in her tent in the adult patrol area? Why

is that a problem?

 

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Hey, I am all for equal opportunities for men and women. However, I do not believe for one second that men and women are the same. Men in general have different strength and weakness than women. You are not there as just an ADULT; you are either a male or female adult. You cannot pretend for one second to understand the mind of a teenage boy since you have never been one! Once again, I don't believe that all troops should ban women from camping trips. I admit women can contribute greatly to the program. I also believe though, that male only camping trips under the boys request can also greatly contribute to the program. If the boys wish it and the troop has the male leadership than there is no way you can convince me that it is wrong. I even know plenty of female adult leaders in my past troop that feel the same as I do.

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"Mainly it is very clear that Boy Scouting is not for every boy. There are other organizations out there that do reach out to all kids. I'm not even going to pretend I can change Boy Scouting at any level, regardless of if it is being done right or wrong."

 

Sctmom, what organizations are you referring to and what changes would you like to see?

 

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YoungBlood,

There are a lot of things if put to a vote of the boys they might choose. Who their scoutmaster is should not be one of them. If they can vote no ladies, perhaps the scouts are tired of Joey's snoring or the older boys don't want any first years at camp. Their are a few circumstances that I will agree justify this kind of policy, i.e., specific religious doctrines of the charter.

 

You say you don't have to answer because Rooster7 already has for you. I disagree, we all have to answer for the kind of policy that Webelosmom is talking about.

 

I have been a scoutmaster and a trainer of scoutmasters for more than a decade. I know of six troops in my former district that had no female leadership (field). Three were LDS, so the caveat I sighted above applies. The other three drove away a number of excellent female scouters. I was able to salvage a few after I figured out what was going on. The more insidious outcome was with the boys. A number of them ended up working with me on council and district staff positions. It became clear that these troops were producing scouts that did not respect female leadership or other female staffers.

 

The first aim is foster moral and character development. In this respect, these troops fail the boys, the society and the scouting movement.

 

I am saying that if you go down this path, it should be done with a lot of soul searching and introspection. You guys talk hypothetically. I am talking about my experience over a number of years with troops that had such "policies" in place. No one discussed the policy (if they knew what was good for them). The policy was not documented nor was their any vote of the boys, although I heard rumors to that effect. Instead, it was clearly the decision of the good old boys. This misogynist attitude was passed on to some of the scouts I worked with later.

 

You said, "If the boys wish it and the troop has the male leadership than there is no way you can convince me that it is wrong." Read what you said again and think about it hard.

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I am saying that if you go down this path, it should be done with a lot of soul searching and introspection. You guys talk hypothetically. I am talking about my experience over a number of years with troops that had such "policies" in place. No one discussed the policy (if they knew what was good for them). The policy was not documented nor was their any vote of the boys, although I heard rumors to that effect. Instead, it was clearly the decision of the good old boys. This misogynist attitude was passed on to some of the scouts I worked with later.

 

That is a nice story but it doesn't do anything to prove your point. I would agree with you one hundred percent that it shouldn't be the good old boys decision. Nor should any troop create boys that show no respect for female leadership. Would you explain to me, how the boys in your troop still respect girls their age? or how they still respect people of no faith? or how they respect anybody the BSA excludes? Just because a troop excludes females from a part of the program doesn't automatically create female haters! There is seriously something wrong with a troop that does produce boys that think this way. Furthermore, the troop in your story, like you said, did not come to this policy through the boys. The boys should be allow to run their troop within reason and the scouting aims.

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Fact: BSA allows female leaders. Fact: the CO can pick and choose the leaders of units they charter (with in BSA guidelines, i.e. age requirements, etc.). Fact: the boys can think or desire anything they want. Opinion (mine): The boys should have no say on who or who does not go on their camp outings.

 

As for changing the rules, you can't have it both ways. If you join BSA, follow the rules. If you don't like the rules, feel free to challenge them (not violate them) any way you feel. The best way, IMO, is to work within the system for change. If the CO allows black leaders and the boys don't want them are you going to allow the boys to create a policy to ban black leaders from camp-outs? The same applies to female leaders. Your son doesn't like female leaders on camp-outs? That is his problem, not the female leaders.

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Of course I didn't convince you. You already told me, "If the boys wish it and the troop has the male leadership than there is no way you can convince me that it is wrong."

 

These aren't stories. These are experiences I have shared with my female comrades. It is not one troop it was three. And according to the story I heard, the tradition was started by the boys at least one of these troops soon after female leaders were included. Whether this is true, I don't know. I do know that keeping the tradition going in all three troops was important to the leadership. It persists to this day.

 

I am sorry that you can't be convinced. That is because I spent a lot of time with these women to encourage their continued participation. Their treatment was personally embarassing for them and their families. You want to gloss over the ugliness here. That is your choice.

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"Fact: BSA allows female leaders. Fact: the CO can pick and choose the leaders of units they charter (with in BSA guidelines, i.e. age requirements, etc.). Fact: the boys can think or desire anything they want. Opinion (mine): The boys should have no say on who or who does not go on their camp outings. "

 

The BSA does allow female leaders, I don't think anyone denies this. But it's also been established that a charter organization is well within BSA rules if it chooses to exclude female leaders. We can argue forever about whether a troop is better off with or without female leadership (and indeed, my answer would change depending on the needs of the specific troop,) but the fact remains - a troop with female leaders is within its rights, and a troop that excludes females IS ALSO within its rights.

 

So from a rules&regs perspective, this argument seems over long ago - only nobody wants to admit it. From the other perspective, well, I don't see how anyone is going to convince anyone of anything.(This message has been edited by Jerry)

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"...and a troop that excludes females IS ALSO within its rights."

 

One that excludes in the manner I am talking about may not be on the firmest ground. If the chartering org has no policy disqualifying female leaders, a troop that bans female leaders or other female adult participation may expose itself to legal issues. I am not favoring such an approach on any level. My advice to the women involved was to talk with the charter about it. They chose not to make waves. One came to my troop as an SA. One was recruited for council level work on religious emblems.

 

My experience with female bans has shown me three troops that pass a sexist message on to the boys. I have seen the results stick with them into young adulthood.

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"My experience with female bans has shown me three troops that pass a sexist message on to the boys. I have seen the results stick with them into young adulthood."

 

I feel bad for those boys. But saying an all-male troop is by definition sexist is no different that saying that one with female leadership is full of pampered momma's boys - both statements are sometimes true, and both are often false.

 

Others have stated far better than I could that male campouts aren't about chauvinism, just a desire to do guy things with guys. I can't imagine why this is so hard to understand.

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Others have stated far better than I could that male campouts aren't about chauvinism, just a desire to do guy things with guys. I can't imagine why this is so hard to understand.

 

Couldn't agree more!

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I didn't say all male campouts meant chauvinism. I said I saw it in all three of the troops I was most intimately involved with. My point is that we have a responsibility to provide a moral compass to the boys in the troop. If we as leaders simply accept the "will of the boys" without examining what is behind the feeling, we abdicate our moral responsibility.

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Firstpusk,

 

I have no doubt that there are plenty of folks who abuse their authority, including Scoutmasters, Committee Chairs, and PLC's. Citing incidences of such abuse by people in those positions should not erode anyone's confidence in their own policies (just because they were created by people in similar positions). It proves nothing. If it did, we might as well start from scratch every year. PLC created policies are also reviewed by a troop's committee (at least, they should be). If the troop committee approves, then short of the CO getting involved and declaring otherwise, the policy should stand.

 

As to the righteousness of such a policy, I think there's plenty of room for disagreement. Nevertheless, your opinion and that of thousands of others, does not outweigh my opinion and that of thousands of others. This is not the first or last time a controversial issue has divided a large number of people. This ought to give some folks a clue as to why we have a two party system. There ARE two sides to every story. Most of the time it is not so much about good verses evil, as it is about one's perspective of the world. Many of these divisions stem from one's worldview, and thus how we should approach the world. What I'm trying to say is - Don't assume that you have cornered the market on moral authority. Yes, all people are created equal. This we all agree. Yet, equal does not mean the same. If private organizations recognize this fact, and create programs to emphasize or take advantage of these differences, that's their right. Furthermore, depending on the program's ultimate goal, I believe it's the right thing to do.

 

I do agree with you on three items concerning this topic:

 

1) The CO is crucial to whether or not such a policy can be adopted. If they're against it, then it's not going to happen. Conversely, if they're for it, there's not much others can do about it. Although, I gather from your post, you think some folks would sue. I don't see them being very successful.

 

2) The men of the troop should not be promoting the policy or forcing it on anyone. This is a policy that should come from the boys and/or the CO.

 

3) Regardless, whether a troop has a policy or not (of no women on campouts), the troop should not be teaching the boys that women are inferior.

 

I disagree with these suppositions:

 

1) Troops that have such a policy, teach the boys that women are inferior. That's a huge assumption. At best, it's unfair. At worse, it maligns the character of the folks who oppose your opinion.

 

2) The CO has no legal leg to stand on. I think the CO is within its rights. BSA does allow some freedom for such policies.

 

3) Boys should not be trusted to make decisions involving controversial topics. Many have implied that if they get to make this decision, we open the door for them to make all sorts of other decisions (examples ranged from banning a particular person to a ban against African-Americans). Of course, these same folks are automatically assuming that this is a black and white moralistic choice. If I agreed with that assessment, I would agree that it's not the boys' choice. However, it's not as simplistic as some like to state it. Everybody on this board appears to be willing to recognize that there are differences between the sexes. No one, and in particular myself, has claimed that there are differences between the races (experiences within society being the exception). Consequently, when someone makes an analogy, which tries to show a parallel between a ban on women and a ban on blacks, he/she is being awfully insincere. It's not the same thing and we ALL know it.

 

Jerry,

 

I don't know your age, but I think you express yourself very well. For some reason, perhaps from a previous post, I thought you were a young guy (maybe even a Scout).

 

NOTE TO ALL - Before I am accused of something, I want to remind some of you that my son is Youngblood. Even if I had not mentioned it in another thread several months ago, I imagine this news comes as no surprised. His values are conservative, although we still manage to disagree every now and again. I bring this to your attention because I don't want to be accused as being the next yaworski. My son and I do use the same computer on occasion, but we are NOT the same person. Lastly, so no one gets the wrong impression as to how I view my son's opinions (no malice intended for yaworski or Zorn), I like to think that Youngblood's opinions are intelligent, thoughtful, and well reasoned. His posts are designed to provoke thought, not anger.(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Rooster7,

 

You gave me three points. The first two misrepresent what I say. I did not say bans=chauvinism. I said my experience showed it to be a danger. Second, I did not say the CO may have a problem but that unless the CO had a clear policy any unit that adopted a ban might be on shaky ground.

 

Finally, on the issue of leadership. I have been the SM. I was not elected by the boys but chosen by the charter. The SA's I had were also chosen at my recommendation. A troop can run their unit the way they please. If I have a woman on my staff, the boys don't choose whether she goes or not. They are free to choose not to come and they are free to choose to talk with me about specific issues with that leader.

 

I am sure you are proud of your son. Seems like a great kid. However, if he is going to come out and play, let him answer for himself. Afterall aren't we discussing giving the boys choices?

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