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Webelosmom

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

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Rooster, over the months I have been in this forum (and I must have joined right after one of your "disclosure statements" regarding Youngblood, because I seem to have known he was your son from the beginning), it has sometimes seemed to me that on some issues, he is even more conservative than you are. If that is possible. :)

 

On the other hand, it is somewhat disappointing that the role of women, or more precisely the lattitude that boys in a unit should have to exclude women, becomes just another ideological issue. The conservatives are more comfortable with the exclusion, the moderates less so if they don't oppose it outright. It would be a better world if this left-right tension did not define everything.

 

As for my own experience, I have not yet been involved with a Scout troop as an adult. In Cub Scouts it is family camping, so whichever parent shows up with the boy (if not both) is the one that goes. My father, who is still active in the troop I was a member of as a boy, tells me that last summer, NONE of the male leaders or fathers could (or would) take the time to go to summer camp. ALL of adults at camp were women. Presumably the boys did not get a say in this -- I guess the other alternative would have been not to go to summer camp at all.

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Firstpusk,

 

I think I've said almost everything I can say on this subject (probably a couple of times over). So, I doubt if I will be contributing much more in this thread.

 

In regard to - 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. After all aren't we discussing giving the boys choices?

 

My son can and does answer for himself (usually, very well). Nevertheless, in case you haven't noticed, I have a strong opinion on this topic as well. His participation doesn't preclude my own.

 

If it makes you guys feel any better, despite the fact that I am convinced that most boys in my sons' troop feel as my son has described, I doubt very seriously if the current adult leadership would allow them to entertain a ban on women on campouts. I respect these leaders and I have no intentions of making an issue out of it (so long as the boys don't bring it up on their own). Furthermore, I have no intention of seeking around in the background and working the boys up into lather about it. My argument is based on principle. I have no personal designs for my sons' troop.

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Men may be leaders in a Girl Scout troops and may come on campouts. We have had both situations in our unit and without all the fuss.

I did not hear a single woman or girl complain. The only time we have had any problems was when a guy drove his wife to the meeting to speak to the troop and then butted in and ran over everything she said. But that may just be their working relationship.

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I read through all these posts the other night and it got me to thinking and wondering how the boys in my Webelo Den felt about me, a female, camping with them. I was a little afraid to find out, afterall, I've poured my time and my heart into planning, doing, listening, laughing and admittedly, sometimes yelling, over the past 2 years. But I had to know. So, tonight at our Den Meeting I asked. I kinda slipped it in while asking if they wanted to camp at the local pilgrimage in April. A resounding YES was the answer, of course. Them I quickly added, very unemotionally and casually - 'so would you rather it be an all guy thing, or shall I come along?' A brief moment of silence during which my heart pounded a bit and then...four out of five yelled, 'yes, we want you to be there.' Then a chaotic discussion with hands waving about 'yeah, we know we'll have food there' and 'she'll remember the fun stuff.' And more 'yes, yes, we want you there.' The one boy who wanted an all guy thing just grinned so I don't know what he was really thinking, but, 'whew' I was glad they wanted me to go!

 

Ya know, late last year was our first attempt at camping and it went beautifully. The kids periodically bring it up and talk about the funny things that happened, including the gross, bodily function stuff. But we would have never have made it if I had left it up to the guy that promised them camping at the beginning of the summer. He mentioned it to the boys and never followed through. In fact, he got a bit aggravated with them after they asked him when they were going to do it 2 meetings in a row. They begged me everytime they saw me to find out when he was going to do it. I finally couldn't stand it and I made all the plans. The boys and I sat down and planned the menus and decided who would do food prep and cleanup, etc. We did it the right way and not at all unlike I learned in Girl Scouts. We fished all morning, hiked in the afternoon, told campfire stories at night, made breakfast sandwiches in our pie irons and everything else I could think of that I thought they should know.

 

So, I'm proud of what I did and I'm proud of the fact that they want me to come along. In fact, I couldn't wait to get on here and tell you all!!! :)

 

I do have to add that the male 'promiser' came along and my husband came along. Both of them were indespensible and I couldn't have done it as well alone.

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Just one more thing and I'll quit chiming in...

 

The 'promiser' plans on taking them again without me. He told me that very clearly the weekend we went camping and I truly hope he follows through. His plan is to give them $10 each and send them into the grocery to buy their own food for the weekend. And, actually, I think it's a good idea. But, I plan on mentioning to the boys at one of our meetings some ideas on eating cheap and eating good so they'll surprise him. He's expecting them to buy candy bars and chips so they'll learn the hard way. I'm betting they won't if they have some good ideas like a jar of peanut butter and loaf of bread.

 

I'll be there in spirit on that one, if it happens, and I'm betting they'll want me back for the next one.

 

And, come the day they are boy scouts and they want to go alone, I'll cheer them on and wait anxiously to hear their stories. I'll atleast know I taught them well.

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janssenil,

I am glad that the kids felt that way and I would like to say congratulations on doing such a great job with them. I want to make sure however that my view is not misrepresented in this forum. I do not encourage the boys to ban females from the camping trips, I just support them in the decision. I know there are plenty of great leaders out there like you. I believe however, that there is a special and important bond and environment that can be created for boys in a male-only atmosphere. After all, most boys grow up in an educational system dominated by female influences. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, I just believe it is very healthy to be surrounded by just the men every now and then. Boy Scouts seems like the perfect opportunity for the boys to create this atmosphere if they desire. This is the point I have tried very hard to make! I don't think I will be posting on this thread anymore since people feel compelled to either twist my words or bring completely false meanings to them. Once again, great job on the webelos den, just please try to understand where some teenage boys are coming from on this issue!

 

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It pains me to say this :) being a feminist at heart, but I have learned over the years that male leaders are very, very important in this program. The boys need males although they don't seem to be overly abundant.

 

On the other hand, I think whether or not camping should or should not include women is all a matter of what values you're trying to instill or what your objective is.

 

Seeing men and women work together and showing them the value of each person in their own way can be as important as teaching a boy to be manly or independent or other skills, maybe more important since one of the hardest things in life is to have a successful marriage and family.

 

Your view is not wrong nor is anyone else's here. What is important for one boy may not be as important for another.

 

I really need to remember to tell my husband how proud I am of him for being as involved with our den as he is. Things couldn't possibly work as well without him. The Den works well because we have him doing all the things I can't do - building rockets, sawing wood for pinewood derby stands, reminding me they need to be crazy once in awhile. The den works well because we have me doing the listening for things they need to hear, planning for things that could only happen if they're planned for, etc., etc., etc.

 

 

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