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Annalisa

Pros/Cons of Women/Girls in Boy Scouting

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"that based on a decades old relationship with the Girl Scout organization "

 

What relationship? I thought both groups made it very clear that they were not associated with each other. I have also read on more than one occasion that Campfire Girls used to be considered the "sister" organization to Boy Scouts.

 

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Bob White,

 

1. My thesis is not going to contain 20 pages of people's opinions.

 

2. You're correct, on paper, BSA does treat women equally. However in the real world BSA does NOT.

 

3. They may be able to hold the same positions as men in Scouting, but I have yet to see a woman in a paid position, unless she's working the cash register. Granted, I have only Western Colorado and Eastern Utah to look at.

 

4. It may be the commissioner's job to ensure a quality program for every elegable youth, but I am not required to write a thesis regarding a quality program for elegable youth.

 

5. How will my thesis help my goal as a Roundtable commissioner? I'll let you read the paper when I'm finished, then you can be as opinonated as you want. Until then, please guide your comments to the question at hand.

 

6. And by the way... it is not a survey that I am doing. It is a 20 page thesis that covers and studies the pros and cons of women and girls in the BSA program.

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If I close my eyes, cover my ears, and repeat to myself over and over, "Be open minded...Be open minded...Be open minded", I can almost envision an objective study which takes into account BSA's traditional values and it's goal to develop the character of young men. Otherwise, back in the real world, this sounds like a thesis with a very specific agenda (or an axe to grind). Sorry, this isn't Kansas

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FORGET IT!!!!! NEVER MIND!!!!!!!

 

All I was attempting to do was to get a couple of opinions to do a NON BIASED report. But without knowing ANYTHING about me, some of you have made some HUGE assumptions. There is no axe to grind. And the only agenda I have is to finish this 20 page thesis.

 

Some, not all, have posted privately. I am ashamed at this moment to think that I am part of this crowd who call themselves Scouters. Some of the attitudes I have witnessed since my posting has been embarrassing to say the least.

 

I will do more research on the subject and write my thesis, but I will do it without the use of this website.

 

P.S. When I first brought the subject of my thesis to the trainer of the course, HE thought it was an excellent subject, and I should have lots of fun debating both sides.

 

Shame on so many of you that chose to see my intentions for being something they never were. Everyday I live the Scout Oath and Law. Not just in Scouts, but to my day care kids, the kids at my daughter's school and to the parents I come into contact with. In reading some of my private and public emails, I wonder what the Law and Oath mean to you.

 

Yours in Scouting...

 

Annalisa Beaver

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Are you saying there are no women in paid positions in your Council or surrounding area?

 

Our council, Greater Pittsburgh, has a number of woman in paid professional positions from District Executives to Program Directors (sorry I started typing this before looking back at the job titles).

 

When I first started reading about your thesis I too had some of the same questions that Bob White was asking. Now, even more I have those questions. I haven't gotten that far in commissioner science but I was under the impression that the purpose of the thesis was to improve services not grind an axe.

 

Maybe a better question to have asked on this forum was "does your council hire women in professional positions?"

 

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AnnaLisa,

I really think you have misinterpreted our concern. Having been involved in Commissioner Colleges for many years I was trying to understand the "research" you are doing and to what end purpose.

 

I was made even more concerened by some of the things you have written since my questions.

 

You have not completed gathering information, yet you have reached a conclusion "on paper, BSA does treat women equally. However in the real world BSA does NOT." and you already know the length the paper will be when it gets done. What makes 20 pages such an attractive number?

 

I would hope that your conclusion will be based on more information than you used regarding female professional scouters. You have sampled less than 1% of all councils and none of national or regional services. Do you have any idea how many women are on the payroll at Philmont?

 

For what it is worth to your research I don't care what gender the person is as long as they are of good character and do their job. It has been my experience that most of the volunteers and professionals I have worked with feel the same.

 

My questions were not meant to be taken as a personal attack of any sort. I feel if you want people to be part of the research they should be allowed to ask questions about the purpose.

 

As I said before I was not trying to stop you from your project, just to clarify it.

 

Bob White

 

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I'm sorry if you have been embarrassed. I didn't feel my comments were all that over the top or harsh. Although, I think your response is an overreaction and a bit hypercritical. Your survey question begs another question - "Why?" You can't expect us to be so naive that we might believe that you have no preconceived notion as how this study might conclude. Your instructor, HE or not, is beside the point. What can such a study possibly hope to achieve?

 

You say you have no agenda, yet in a previous post you noted -

 

on paper, BSA does treat women equally. However in the real world BSA does NOT.

 

You base this on your 9-year experience in two states. That's hardly a reliable sample to make such a bold proclamation.

 

You go on to say -

 

They may be able to hold the same positions as men in Scouting, but I have yet to see a woman in a paid position, unless she's working the cash register.

 

So again, based on circumstantial "evidence", you've assumed the worse about the organization. Why should I believe you your intentions are noble?

 

I'll let you read the paper when I'm finished, then you can be as opinionated as you want. Until then, please guide your comments to the question at hand.

 

Why should Bob and anyone else cooperate with a study, which seems bent on making a political statement that differs with our opinion of BSA.

 

And by the way... it is not a survey that I am doing. It is a 20-page thesis that covers and studies the pros and cons of women and girls in the BSA program.

 

If there's no agenda, why even mention girls. They can't be participants or volunteers.

 

I have been in Scouting for nearly 9-years and have seen many women in my council quit because of the "good ol boys" attitude by those in paid positions in scouting.

 

Many women? How many?

 

Quit positions? What positions?

 

Because of the "good ol boys" attitude? Exactly what attitude is that?

 

Did you ever hear the other side of the story? How did you come to determine the attitude of these men?

 

Your comments are infused with resentment. You may or may not have an agenda, but I'm hardly convinced that your study will be unbiased. More importantly, as Bob White has noted, what could you possibly hope to achieve? All I see is more ammunition for those folks outside of Scouting who want to change BSA into something it was never meant to be.

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"What makes 20 pages such an attractive number?" Geez Bobwhite, nitpick much?

 

The woman asked for some opinions - her reasons for the length of her thesis, what she hopes to accomplish, and her previous research really aren't any of your business.

 

Maybe she has an alterior motive, maybe not. All we know is she came to this site for help and you opted to question her intentions, methods of research, and even lecture her on the purpose of a PhD thesis. Just because you know the system inside and out is no excuse for the level of rudeness you've demonstrated here.

 

You may have been a college Dean, but unless you happen to be HER Dean, the specifics of her thesis are none of your concern.

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Whoa Jerry!,

 

Where did I lecture her? Did I not support her efforts in obtaining her PHD? Did I not offer my opinion at the outset that the BSA program did not treat women differently and that it was individuals who did but not because of the BSA?

 

My experience (and I shouldn't have to apologize for having experience) made me ask questions about her thesis. And why can't I ask her a question, she got to ask me one.

 

And doesn't it strike you as curious that she should have determined the length of the thesis before she has completed the research or worked it to a completion.

 

Why should she be so hesitant to discuss the purpose of the thesis, what she hoped to discover and how she would use the information for scouting.

 

I apologize if I upset her that certainly was not my intention. But I don't think my questions were out of bounds oor difficult to answer.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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"Where did I lecture her? Did I not support her efforts in obtaining her PHD? Did I not offer my opinion at the outset that the BSA program did not treat women differently and that it was individuals who did but not because of the BSA?"

 

Her question wasn't about whether or not the BSA treated women differently - it was about whether or not female participation was a good thing. But rather than offering any insight into this simple issue, you chose to bombard her with questions about her intentions.

 

Yes, you supported her efforts to get a PhD. You ALSO suggested she "redirect her doctoral efforts." For a guy asking so many questions, you certainly seem to think you already have all the answers. Why on earth would you make such a suggestion based on such limited information?

 

 

"My experience (and I shouldn't have to apologize for having experience) made me ask questions about her thesis. And why can't I ask her a question, she got to ask me one."

 

Do you answer everyone's question with a question? She was looking for information - all you did was regurgitate the rule book and question her motives. So why'd you post at all?

 

 

"And doesn't it strike you as curious that she should have determined the length of the thesis before she has completed the research or worked it to a completion."

 

Sure, that's odd. Maybe she was approximating. Maybe she's a very precise person. Maybe it's not any of our business how long her thesis is (gee, how wide will her margins be? what font will she use...) If you have reasonable suspicion that she's a fraud looking to use our input against us in some vile scheme, then share with the group. Otherwise, curious remains simply that: curious (and still not worth worrying about.)

 

 

"I don't think my questions were out of bounds oor difficult to answer."

 

Nor were hers.

 

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I am astounded at some of you. The comments I have made OUTSIDE of my initial question, was in response to what some of you have been writing. If I was that concerned with discrimination in Scouting, do you really think I would have gotten as far as my Phd in Commissioner's college. And for the record, I have been in Scouting for nearly 9 years. Not as long as many of you, but I'm not spring chicken either. I have worked my way through the many different positions in the voluntary end of Scouting. I am currently a Scoutmaster and a Roundtable commissioner. I also serve on dist. event committies as well as being a Chartered Rep & District Cub Trainer & part of BALT staff.

 

The "20 pages" you seem to be so concerned about was the length given to me by my instructor. Double spaced, to boot!

 

If you knew 2 cents about me, you would know that I didn't choose this subject because I have an axe to grind. It was a topic in our discussions at class. When I heard it, I thought that if anybody could give an unbiased report on that subject, it would be me. I actually see both sides of the issue & thought that by writing about each side, it may actually help others to see a side they've put blinders up to.

 

What some of you have done, is to try and twist everything around and make this entire project a mockery. I truly did have the purest of intentions, but you couldn't see that. I don't know why. I can't think of anything I said in my opening question that would have lead any of you to react the way you have.

 

No longer am I embarrassed, I'm disgusted to think that there are actully people like some of you that have anything to do with our youth.

 

I thought this would be a good forum to get some of my information for my thesis. I stand corrected. I will continue to surf the net and build my thesis based on reliable information.

 

For those of you that have actually stuck to the subject that was originally posted and replied; thank you. I realize that you don't see a consipiracy or plot in everything that comes your way.

 

For those of you who refuse to see the question for what it was... your problem. I'm tired of feeling like I'm Jerry Springer, yelling at the audience, "you don't know me!" I'm done with you. Here's an opinion for you (as you've given way more than I ever asked for) you're a disgrace to your uniform. Trained or not, you don't treat people the way you have treated me and others on this site. Shame on you! A Scout is Kind. Remember that when your posting your next unwelcome comments to me. I'm done and out of here. Ciao!

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I'm tired of feeling like I'm Jerry Springer

 

Then don't act like youre on Jerry Springer. You are the one crossing the line here, not us. No one has accused you of being embarrassing or disgusting. "Shame on you....you're a disgrace to your uniform." Please, come down off your high horse...these are your insults and your quotes. So, if you're the person you say you are, I suggest you read your own posts before casting stones our way.

(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Just a thought about this thread. Could it be that the question itself engendered the responses? Could it be that this is a volatile question or area of investigation? Check out the questions on this forum and see which ones generate the most responses and how they are stated, and or, divided (and not just the program or issues areas). Could it be that this type of question has been posted previously by other people with ulterior motives?

 

To me, the reaction of ,why bother, is not necessarily an appropriate response of an investigator looking for infomation. Perhaps the information is there for use, and not for debate.

 

Yes, the good ol boys network is there and it is not neccessarily a bad one. Information is passed down and the next generation of scouters take it and incorporate what is usefull and holds the rest in reserve. (Personal experience)

 

I would have to say from the repsonses about your intial post is that the general feeling, based on the posters on this thread, is that girls in scouting is not supported and that women in scouting is allowed and working.

 

This is a 'campfire' discussion and at no time should labels, etc., be used. Usually at campfire topics that I have had when I disagree completely I listen and enter the fray with an open mind and if need be play the 'devils advocate' (even if I agree with the initiator) to expand the debate.

 

Lumping everyone, or most everyone, into a group is not a good process to engender open responses.

 

Sorry, soap box just gave way.

 

YIS

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I would hope that AnnLisa does not choose to run away from this she knew what she was getting when she chose the topic "HE thought it was an excellent subject, and I should have lots of fun debating both sides". Well enjoying a debate will be tough if she won't even take part in a discussion.

 

Forgive me if I surprised her by asking a question in return but whenever someone tells me they are working on their thesis my first question is always why they chose the topic, what are they hoping to do with it to improve scouting? When you stop to think about it the question is a good one. If the purpose of commissioning is quality scouting then shouldn't a doctoral thesis advance that goal in some way?

 

I would think that a discussion would only help in the development of the project. No lecture was given, I didn't challenge her motive or even suggest fraud. And I don't see where anyone has attacked her service or tenure in scouting.

 

I am more than willing to accept in advance that it is a quality study with great value, as such she should have confidence enough in her project to discuss it without the theatrics.

 

Stay or go is her choice, I hope she will choose to stay and discuss the project.

 

Bob White

 

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AnnaLisa;

 

At the risk of being excommunicated by the rest of the good ole' boys, I'll be happy to answer your question...

 

Frankly, I don't care if a Scouter is a woman or a man. What I do care about is if Scouters are dedicated, open to learning, properly motivated, and willing to follow the rules. I've seen good and bad, both genders. Any awkwardness or "issues" with women on outings, at meetings, whatever, are in my experience red herrings thrown up by people who don't want them there -- if you follow the GTSS, there are no issues.

 

My DE in Virginia happened to be a woman, and she was an incredibly good one (DE, that is...). Out front at every District/Council activity, a regular at unit-level activities, at every roundtable, professional manner, full and properly uniformed, etc., etc. I've been in units with female registered leaders, too, and gender was never an issue for me...work ethic and performance always is, and it's a main way I size people up.

 

I've worked with quite a few female volunteer Scouters in both Cub and Boy Scouts. No problem; in fact, I've found the presence of women makes men behave better. Having said that, I can't say that any differences I've had with female Scouters can be attributed to their gender...stubbornness, irritability, laziness, nepotism and other negative traits appear to be independent of testosterone or estrogen levels.

 

If there's any "handicap" that female Scouters have, it may be that since because of their gender, they did not experience Scouting as a youth member. But, all that should mean is that the learning curve may be a little steeper than it would be for a male who was a youth member, and is now a registered leader.

 

BTW, I've also been with female Scoutmasters who are in the Korean Boy Scouting program, some of whom are Wood Badgers, too. BSK is co-ed, and the culture is different in addition to the demographics, but here's something important. Korea, as most Asian countries, is male-centric. Yet, the females in BSK are definitely not second-class citizens or figureheads.

 

I agree that there's a GOB network everywhere, and every time I've moved, it takes a while to crack into it. But you always do...

 

Good luck on your thesis, and don't let us agitate you; we really are a good bunch...you might have caught a couple of us before we had our coffee.

 

KS

 

 

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