Jump to content

Eventual Co-Ed Scouting

Recommended Posts

I found this discuss very interesting. BSA is co-ed it is called Venturing! I am involved in Venturing on a district and council level and haven't heard of any major problems with co-ed groups. Two our female crew members are Girl Scouts but joined our Crew because GS typically do not camp or do High Adventure outings!


My problem, as a female leader on Cub, Troop and Venturing is not whether a group is co-ed but Woman being accepted as equals by their male counterpart! Just because your male doesn't mean you can camp, etc. I have found that our female crew members do better on campouts than our Eagle Scouts. I have been on campout where I overheard a leader of the troop state "It is time the boys cut their apron strings from their mothers!" I have also seen the troop cancel a campout because they couldn't get enough volunteers to go - when sitting their was two females that were more than willing to go but didn't say anything because of the troops feeling about females.


As a previous message stated "Look Around - the world is co-ed!"

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 62
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

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


There was a reported case on the radio here in Houston within the last year about inappropriate sexual relations at a Venturing activity between male/female Venturers. I'll see if I can find a cite on the net.


I like the idea of a program for girls run by the BSA (but I don't see why the GSA would do just as well). I do, however, have some pause on whether the program as currently constituted would work as well.


A specific example: In our church the young men use the BSA as the activity arm of the Church, but the young women do not use the GSA (or any other group). So...the YW leaders come up with their own programs (while the YM leaders just use BSA programs, training, etc.). I suggested to a YW leader to just take the ideas of the BSA Varsity and transfer it to the YW in our church. While our YM love the program, what gave her pause was the competitive aspect of the program. Each quarter there is a competition where teams compete against each other. She was not sure that the YW would all find that attractive (with her desire more for just training as opposed to competition).


So the very aspect that the YM LOVE in Varsity (and make it a success) is the one aspect that the YW leader expressed a lack of interest in. So, I am wondering if the BSA program WOULD be an ideal fit for YW and not need significant changes to be as successful.

Link to post
Share on other sites



Thanks for the link, it brought back memories! I'll have to show my daughter what my uniform used to look like! I wish I kept it but I gave it to my younger cousin, I don't even know if my parents saved my sash!




Regarding Girl Scouts & camping, do they do any camping at all? My daughter is bridging to Juniors this week & I was hoping that when the troop starts up again in September that she'd be doing some camping eventually!


I still think the organizations should be separate!



Link to post
Share on other sites

as both CS leader and mother of a ten yo girl, I would support a female bsa program. my girl does everything my boys do and refuses to watch as they get recognized and she doesn't. I think if it was started at tiger level you wouldn't end up with the problems. then also the wives might start getting the credit for the support they give the husbands with the boys.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All, I realize this is a what if . . thread, but I found the following while leafing thru a 1926 edition of the "Handbook for Scoutmasters". Since it touches on this topic, I thought others might be interested in it.


Girl Scouts: Relationship of Boy Scouts to


Statement of the Executive Board, Distinctly Differentiating the Two Organizations


(Text of Statement as given in Scouting, July 1, 1918, page 2)


There is no connection between Girl Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America, nor is it thought wise or in the interests of either that the same or joint leadership be extended to both, as programs for boys and girls must naturally proceed along different lines.


In our opinion it is undesirable and will lead to complication for the work of the organizations to be combined in any way, and the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America would not approve of any attempt being made to do the work of the two organizations in the same office or under the same Executive or leadership, as it is believed this would be of no particular benefit to the work of the Girl Scouts and distinctly a detriment to the development of the best interests and work of the Boy Scouts of America.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, American women won the right to vote in 1920, but I don't think women's suffrage enters into this. The statement doesn't say that girls can't be involved in "Scouting", just that they should be separate organizations. The line that intrigued me most was "programs for boys and girls must naturally proceed along different lines". It appears to be a recognition of (or an argument for) separate programs for separate needs (and I won't profess to know what those are). Of course, I'll admit that their motivations probably were colored by chauvinism. It's just interesting to me that this issue was dealt with so early in the life of BSA.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see two sides to this, and for me they boil down to this:

1. I think there are some advantages to boys in being in all-boy Scouting units.

2. I don't see anything in the BSA program that would not be just as applicable to girls.


I don't see any reason that all of Scouting couldn't be like Venturing--let people start coed Packs and Troops if they want, or single sex units if they want.


(There may be ulterior motives for keeping girls out--at our local Klondike Derby, a few Girl Scout Troops participated--and they won the competition two out of the last three years.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

My one experience as an adult leader on a combined Boy Scout/Venturing crew overnight was a disaster. To a large extent, this was because it was a poorly planned outing.


But the presence of girls and boys added more than a few complications, including a lot of competition mostly by girls over boys and girls and boys in the same tent in some cases.


In addition, the younger Boy Scouts tended to just get lost among the older children ---no doubt due to poor planning to some degree.


My experience is that it added a lot of complexity to an already complex situation. Who needs it?


And in an earlier post, I was amused to see Britsh Scouting described as "completely coed. Girls can still join Girl Guides."




Seattle Pioneer

Link to post
Share on other sites

My views are a melange of those of Trevorum, Hunt, Wyomingi, Pint, Prairie Scouter, & ScoutingAgain.

1. Despite my belief in gender equality, I recognize that there is a place for single-sex orgs.

2. I'm pleased that many countries have one admin./governing body called "Scouting & Guiding Association," which offers boy-only, girl-only & co-ed Troops to meet members' needs & desires. Itsaves on admin. costs. Also, it's not 1918 anymore & many kids want to do counter-gender-stereotypical activities. I'm a 43 yo male & I remember the old GS uniforms mentioned by Judy et al :). Back then, Girl Scouting was too close to Future Homemakers of America. Girl Scouting should be Scouting first & foremost to serve those girls mentioned by Scouting Again.

3. Thumbs up to Prairie Scouter on mentioning the need to teach teens respectful dating, which could be done either in co-ed Troops or in mixers/parties between BS & GS Troops. Teen girls need a place to find gentlemanly boyfriends who obey the Scout Law & boys need to be able to approach girls without being treated like players on the prowl.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Teen girls need a place to find gentlemanly boyfriends who obey the Scout Law & boys need to be able to approach girls without being treated like players on the prowl."


Aren't we doing that now? Trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, clean, reverent, aren't these the attributes that play a role in deveolping "gentlemanly boyfriends"? I know my son's girlfriend's parents thinks so.


Few people deny that there are benefits to a coed program. Neither the BSA or the GSUSA see a behavioral or program problem with coed programs at certain ages. The problem is not the ability of a coed program to succeed. The problem is the ability of the GSUSA to maintain its identity or even survive if the BSA was coed.


The GSUSA "scouting" program is and always has been unique from the program of the BSA. It serves a different population which it feels needs different skills and a different teaching methodology. It has a right to continue on its own trail if it chooses to do so, and the BSA will not do anything that will knowingly harm the stability of the GSUSA program.


The two spend years discussing and negotiating a merger, and it was the GSUSA that terminated the talks at the time. The reasons are obvious, the result of a merger would more than likely resemble a coed Boy Scout program, than a coed Girl Scout program.


The GSUSA has a long and rich heritage which they are in no hurry to relinquish. They have every right to maintain their own program and the BSA should do nothing to inhibit their ability to continue.



(This message has been edited by Bob White)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I will get flamed for this one, but my view is strongly against co-ed scouting. Any organization in which a substantial portion of the activities include overnighters should not include young men and women. Such only invites sexual misconduct, and would leave the sponsoring organizations exposed to liability.


I fail to see the wisdom in making it easy for young men to engage in sexual relations with young women. "


Tortdog- you seen to think that all young men and women have sex on the mind. But guess what? They do they know how to control their urges.In all the activities I have done with teenage youth not once have I had to seperate and male and female. Why you ask? Because they have written their own By Laws. And as a Venturer they have a Oath to follow the Venturing code and their Bylaws.The Crew members monitor themselves and if they think there is a minute possiblity of anything happening or going to happen they take care of it theirselves before they have an Advisor deal with it. My crew knows that there are people like you that are waiting for their program to fail.And they are NOT going to let it happen.


Scouting is Coeducational around the world." Of the 119 National Scout Organizations which belong only to WOSM, 91 are open to boys and girls in some or in all programme sections. 20 are only for boys. All 34 National Scout Organizations which belong both to WOSM and to WAGGGS are open to boys and to girls" Source:



I am sure that 91 countries are not having a "sexual misconduct" problem. Because the scouts spend time together they form a "family " and to quote my daugther" Eww! that would be like dating my brother! Gross!!"

In my town, Girls Scouts goes thru the Junior Program after that the girls are lone scouts.They do not have any support unless it is from council in Boise- 190 miles away and a long distance call. My step daughter was in Juniors at her other house which is a bigger town. She called all excited because they were going camping which we do a lot here in the summer and it was at the beach.She called after she got back. Camping was staying in a hotel, she wasn't allowed to get dirty and she had to stay away from the tide pools.The next "camping" trip was to a lodge wear they stayed on the deck and watched birds all day.She didn't like the merit badges because they were sissy badges. Yes my daughter is a tom boy!! She rather go camping with the boy Scouts because "they get dirty and do fun things."I don't have anything against Girl Scouts I just think it has changed. I was a Cadette and we did fun things like hiking 50 miles down the Rogue River and Camping in Real tents cooking over open fires and making stuff to make camping more comfortable. Not staying in a motel, sounds more Like Trrop Beverly Hills to me.

I personally see a coed Scouting program- yes it is still called Scouting a good thing. If resources are pooled there is more to learn and do.I have younger girls biting at the bit to join Crew so they can do the things that their brothers are doing instead of watching on the side lines. The girls are more involved in Venturing because they haven't done all the "Scouting things" like the boys. And in these days anything to keep a child active and not sitting inside is a good thing.I have one member that the only real adult contact during the week, she has is at Meetings because her mother works a graveyard shift (11pm to 8am). She keeps busy with crew and knows that she has some one to call if she needs at talk or someone to check those "I think someone is outside what do I do?"calls. My husband And I went down to her house and there was someone hanging around her house.She went home with us, after calling her mom and asking permission.She has stayed the night since then with my daughter the ony one allowed to stay on a school night.Scouting teaches to be independent but to know when to ask for help and if the youth is living the "Scout Law" all these other worries should be put to rest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the mid-70's, the BSA was laying some groundwork for a co-ed future. They were promoting the name 'Scouts America' and making quiet noises about letting girls join. I believe as Bob White pointed out that the GSUSA was unhappy with the plan.


At about the same time, our troop had a 'patrol' of girls (mostly sisters, a couple 'girlfrineds') that were allowed/encouraged to do pretty much everything the Scouts did- they even earned a form of non-BSA rank for meeting the requirements. On campouts, they could stay with their own family a bit apart from the boys, but were chopping wood, cooking, and so on right in there with the rest of them. They paid their own way, wore a 'patrol T-shirt' they made up, and had to have a parent around to be there.


Did I notice a difference between this unit and others I was involved in? Yeah. It had more fun, more outings, and better attendance than most of the units in the area. I can't say it was because of the girls, but having the girls there made it easier to have other adults/parents around, helped with SOME behaviors, and I think helped a bit with attendence- I noticed the girls rarely missed!


OK, we could not play some of the rougher, more physical games- but how many games of British Bulldog can (or SHOULD) you tolerate anyway?


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...