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Eventual Co-Ed Scouting

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My experience and that of other Venture leaders I know has not been that there are problems of sexual relationships or activities between the boys and girls. The problem that everyone seems to have is when members of the same unit date each other, then break up, it's hard for them in some cases to stick around, so you lose one or both. Certainly we have to be aware of hormones calling and during overnight activities "assist" them in maintaining their standards (and their distance). Having said all that, I still feel boy only units are best. Some Sea Scout units end up creating two units, one for girls and one for boys, with some joint activities. As to the younger boys, they really need to be in all male groups at that age. It certainly is true that opening BSA to girls would pretty much trash the Girl Scouts.

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Trevorum. Once the teen birth rate starts to drop and the pant lines rise up about the butt I will consider that teens and sex are not an issue to worry about.


Regarding the Venturing crews, I know an LDS young lady who is a Crew president in a non-LDS Crew. I'm glad that the BSA offers the program for the YM/YW. I see value in it. However, I'm not sure if she sleeps overnight with the crew (or if they even do overnighters).


Personally, as a parent, my children will not be doing any co-ed overnighters unless I am absolutely 100% certain that the events are highly and adequately supervised (and 2-deep leadership would not be good enough in my book).


I love the youth, but I remember what it was like to be one.

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Have you ever been in an elementary school cafeteria? The boys sit with boys and the girls sit with girls. This starts at about age 8 and continues until the early teens. Boys and girls play separately all over the world. All BSA has done is go with what comes naturally.


If we could go forward in time about one hundred years we might see a Scouts of America with three divisions, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Venture Scouts but not coed scouts. There would be some advantages to this such as reduced administrative costs, better purchasing power , and shared facilities like scout stores.


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I like your idea, Wyoming, about Scouting America, with separate programs for boys and girls. I have thought about this before. Think of the money that could be saved on maintenance at scout camps, scout shops, and personnel that could be used for other things.


Unfortunately, I don't think that would work with the current GSUSA. GSUSA has gone so far now that a uniform is optional, God is optional, and avowed lesbians can be leaders. I'm not saying they are right or wrong. I just don't think they would retract that in order to merge with BSA, and I don't think that BSA is ready to back down on those issues solely to fit girls into the program.


I would like to see a "separate but equal" program run for girls by BSA. While the GSUSA program may be good, from what I have seen it just doesn't match up to the BSA programs. I know I may end up lynched for saying this, but Cubs could be co-ed, as long as DENS weren't. I don't know about troops, even with separate patrols, because I don't see the two genders camping together (and no, it's not about S-E-X). I think that when you mix the two genders between the ages of 11 and 14, there is a lot of self-consciousness for both sexes, and when camping and working on ranks and skills, that self-consciousness can cause problems.

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Im not really for it, but not because of the potential for sex, but rather there are few programs where boys can be boys. I would be happy to see programs by th egirlscouts that were as well constructed as the BSA.

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OK OGE & Semper!


I'll get my walker & my 8-track player with my Partridge Family & Rocky Horror tapes & we can go crazy man! I'll try & find my pet rock, I think it escaped! LOL! :)


Torribug, the only part of the uniform the leaders told me to buy for my daughter when she started Brownies was the vest! I think the whole uniform should be worn & they have so many choices too! When I was a Junior I wore the green dress with snaps, the green web belt, the green purse, the green knee socks, the green beret, the green sash & I think there was a bow I wore around my neck but I'll be darned if I can remember much about that & we had to have the handbook, which had a blue cover! My daughter didn't even have to have the Brownie Handbook! When she bridges to Juniors she will have to have the Junior Handbook but just the vest with the appropriate Junior insignia!


The times they are a-changin'!



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Thanks! I wasn't able to get into Girl Scouts til I was in 6th grade 1968-1969 so it was a "few" years ago! I remember my Cadette uniform, dark green skirt, white blouse, same beret as Juniors, I think the knee socks were dark green & the handbook had a lavender color. I can remember most of that but don't ask me what I ate for dinner yesterday! LOL!



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In the UK, some Scout Groups have been co-ed for some time now, although some groups can still be single sex if they want to be, for now.

However from the start of next year, all Scout groups will have to go Co-ed weather they like it or not, any leader refusing to take girls will no longer be welcome ( from what i understand) in Scouting in the UK.

If your in the UK at a Scouting Event, you will proabbaly see some female scouts


There is a separate provision in the UK for Girls, called Girl Guides, Girls have traditionaly gone into Guides, and boys have traditionaly gone into Scouts, Guides and scouts offer different programs, so a girl that doesnt like guides, might join Scouts.

the Name Boy Scouts was shortened, just to Scouts quite a few years ago.


The Scout Group tha I'm involved with is technicly co-ed, and technily fully in line with the Equal oportunities policy of the UK Scout assosiation.

However as yet we have no Girls in the Beavers, Cubs, or Scout sections.


As for the practicalites of 'Girls in Scouts' on camps

if theres one girl and three boys going on a small camp, would you put one girl in a tent on her own, or in with the rest of the boys?


Scouting in the UK is comming into line with standard 'Equal oportunites'policys that exist in other organisations ( ie equal rights)

we can no discriminate against young people, or adult volunteers on grounds of:


Sex ( male/female)

Sexual prefernces (normal/gay/lesbian/other)

Age ( ie for adult volunteers - as long as they are physicly and mentaly abale to do the job)

Race ( obviously)

Financial means

Relegion ( The UK scout asociation is not a relegious organisation, however it is a youth organisation with a relegious policy, however if you do not have a basic spiritual beleif in something or things, you can not become a leader.)

Political Beleifs ( except for extremist political veiws/beleifs that clash with the Scout promise and law, and the equal oportunites policy)

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Well, we should remember that the original question wasn't "should BSA allow girls?", it was,"What would happen if BSA did allow girls?"


I guess I have more faith in our young adults than some posters here. There seems to be some feeling that if you mix girls and boys together then sexual situations are inevitable, as if as soon as you mix sexes, they'll be jumping on the picnic tables and "doing it" with abandon. Ain't gonna happen here any more than it does in real life.


BSA already has co-ed activities in the Venture program. I haven't heard of any problems there.


I think that if girls were allowed to fully participate, you would see the life values of Scouting used to teach both sexes mutual respect and how to deal with each other in real life situations, under the guidance of properly trained leaders. Would there be the occasional "problem"? Sure, but I'd bet the incidence would be much less than out in the rest of the world. I think BSA would see this as an opportunity, not a problem. This could be done by letting the units decide whether they should be co-ed or not. That would allow good opportunities in areas where the populations are such that creating a functioning Boy Scout or Girl Scout unit would be difficult, for example.


I think the reason you won't see it happen is because we have the Girl Scouts in the U.S.. I would think that there would be something of a "gentleman's agreement" to not raid each others membership.



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Just posting an observation I had during the boy scout recruiting day we had in town recently. The two cub packs and two boy scout troops in town set up displays in the town center and had advertised the event in local papers. We built an observation tower with logs & lashings, there was a pinewood derby track, mock campsites, etc. all layed out in the middle of town.


We didn't get many direct signups for Boys Scouts, but I understand the packs did pretty well. The Boy Scout stuff helped attract attention to the event. We could have probably signed up about a half dozen girls under the age of 14 if allowed. They all expressed an interest in camping, hiking and outdoor adventure. They were referred to the Girl Scout program in town and given the local leaders name and phone number. They were all very interested in the Venture program that starts at age 14.


Based on what I've read in this forum and talking to these young ladies and there parents, it seems to me the GSUSA are not serving that segment of the female population that really wants outdoor activities and adventure. Some young women really do want outdoor adventure and the perception is that the GSUSA has a very limited outdoor program and does not do the type of camping activities the boys do.


Just my observations during the recruiting event.



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To answer the original question ...


Sophomoric behavior on the part of the boys would be reduced.


Like the UK, Scouts Canada is 100% co-ed with the Girl Guides available for females. Our troop (BSA) has attended Canadian Jamborees and the presence of the girls is not an issue. I've had many discussions with their leaders and the only drawback is that for outings, which require a leader of each sex as a minimum, they sometimes have trouble getting a female adult leader to participate.


Guess what people. The world IS co-ed.

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The world IS co-ed.


Yes in whole that is true, but not in part. And the BSA and the Girl Scouts are by no means the last hold outs.


Co-ed Scouting was discussed for years between the two and a proposed merger was halted by the Girl Scouts. The BSA will not make the junior program co-ed because it would do damage to the Girl Scout program and they will not do it.


(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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