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Partnership Opportunities Between BSA and AHG

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In the thread on the potential impact of BSA going coed, SeattlePioneer was talking about the alternative approach of partnering an AHG troop and a Cub Scout Pack and/or a BSA Troop. This is exactly what AHG leadership is currently discussing at Philmont. Regardless of how anyone feels about GSUSA's politics (and I personally couldn't care less), the AHG program is more similar in content and structure to the BSA program than is GSUSA's. This was one of the reasons that BSA proposed a partnership to AHG leadership in June 2009. Now that the partnership is three years old, AHGers are taking part in Cub World and BSA camps all over the country. AHG week at Philmont (currently ongoing) is another forum for AHG and BSA leadership to discuss opportunities to partner the two organizations. Frankly, the partnership with BSA was probably the single largest factor in my family's decision to join AHG. We're huge fans!!!

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Personally, I would prefer the BSA not affiliate with an openly sectarian, overtly non-inclusive Evangelical program that mimics scouting through the narrow filter of the Christian Right. The more I learn about AHG, the less comfortable I am with the BSA giving validation to this organization's unfounded insecurities with GSUSA.

 

But that's just me. If it fits your goals for your kids, go ahead on your own with like-minded folk. But the BSA, and local committees sponsoring BSA units, should have nothing to do with it.

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Hello AHGnBSAMom,

 

 

After llooking through the AHG website, I got a callo back from an AHG rep and we talked about the feasibility of my plan to add an AHG program for girls to the current Cub Scout program using a common committee and chartered organization for both.

 

That appears to be quite practical.

 

When I read threads about GSUSA, I usually see comments about how GSUSA and BSA are fundamtally different and at odds in program and organization.

 

With AHG the two programs seem quite complimentary.

 

I figure I'm a year away from actually adding an AHG unit. I've identified the following steps:

 

1) investigate the feasability of having a twin Cub Scout AHG program. That's pretty much done and seems desirable.

 

2) Obtain an opinion on GSUSA vs AHG from the Seattle Archdiocesan Scouting Committee. From their website they seem to endorse both. I'd like to explore that in more detail (the chartered organization for the pack is a Catholic Church)

 

3) Propose adding a girl's program to the Cub Pack committee. I would suppose they would be glad to add a program.

 

4) Go to the Institutional Head of the parish with the plan to add a girls unit along with the Chartered Organization Rep, who is a member of the parish and was formerly active in the Cub Pack.

 

5. If the parish approves the plan, start making plans for a joint recruiting program next spring or fall.

 

 

 

 

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Bando,

You appear to be a person who likes to research matters before making a decision one way or another. When you say the more you hear, the more uncomfortable you become, ensure that your sources of info are informed and reliable. A lot of the initial information that I received on AHG turned out to be incorrect. The only reason that I'm saying this is your characterization of AHG as "Evangelical." AHG is not an Evangelical (or even an evangelical) organization. It has no specific religious affiliation, other than ecumenical Christian. If you are opposed to BSA partnering with a specifically-Christian organization, then that's another matter, but AHG does not represent any particular form of Christianity. As with BSA, the troops are owned by the CO, so the way in which the troops are run is flavored by the sponsoring organization. In my area, most of the troops are Catholic, and probably have a more Catholic undertone. Our troop is chartered by a United Methodist Church. There is only one troop in my area that is chartered by a church that identifies as evangelical, and I'm guessing that this troop has a more evangelical feel. No different, say, than an LDS-chartered troop as opposed to a UMC troop in BSA.

 

You, of course, are more than welcome not to join, participate, or have anything to do with AHG. Just wanted to point out that your statement, "...scouting through the narrow filter of the Christian Right" is inaccurate. AHG serves girls of all denominations. I even read a post in one of the other AHG threads in which one of the dads said that his daughter's troop has several Jews and Muslims! I think that's great, because the AHG program really is well-done, with a strong focus on the outdoors. I really do think of it as "Boy Scouting for girls." Well, as close as we're going to get these days, anyway. :-)

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SeattlePioneer,

Sounds like a great plan!!! AHG troops are popping up at Catholic churches all around my area. I think your parish will be very pleased with the program that AHG offers.

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The AHG website has all the AHG units located on an interactive map. That allowed me to identify the nearest AHG unit, which is a Catholic Church at the opposite end of Seattle from where I am.

 

I talked to the unit leader, who was supportive and invited me to attend one of their meetings. He was a man. Apparently AHG is quite open to having men and fathers in particular as part of their program, while GSUSA often seems hostile towards men.

 

Rather than getting huffy about that and DEMANDING that GSUSA change its ways, my bias is to charter with AHG, which doesn't seem to share a bias against men.

 

Anyway, I guess I should add visiting that AHG unit, and perhaps another one or two units as an additional step to the ones I listed.

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I would be interested in seeing a policy statement or official position from GSUSA to prove what appears to be a subjective accusation of their program being "hostile to men."

 

Reads a lot more like frustration with local folks on the ground than an accurate blanket statement backed by a national membership policy.

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You have resigned from Scouting over a matter of principle, Bando.

 

 

I respect that, but WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?

 

 

Why aren't you organizing a Scouting program for homosexuals?

 

Personally, if I were you I'd be petitioning GSUSA to admit boys and men into their program, they are already notably friendly to lesbians. You could explore their attitudes towards men while you do that.

 

 

(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Where did I ever say I "resigned" from Scouting? Currently registered volunteer, glad to work with a troop of great young men and fellow dedicated scouters.

 

I asked a question. You responded with an angry rant.

 

My question stands. Is there a policy preventing men from being leaders in the GSUSA? My experience locally indicates there is not, but I am willing to be corrected if you can provide evidence the GSUSA has officially changed their policy in this regard.

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I will add this link as an addendum to my previous post:

 

http://girlscoutdads.com/

 

Looks like a guy doing his best to provide his daughter and other local girls with a quality program, asking a lot of the same questions and engaging in the same kinds of program-based dialogue we have with each other over here in this site. Looks to me like there are a lot of dads out there taking a positive adult leadership role with their daughters through GSUSA. That's a good thing.

 

Seems I've answered my own question.

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Hello Bando,

 

I recall you saying that you had mailed back your Eagle award to BSA to protest BSA's policies towards homosexuals.

 

I can respect a principled resignation over policy, which is what I thought you had done. Just mailing back your Eagle award without resigning is pretty shallow and trivial though.

 

 

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I never stated any such thing. In fact, I stated the exact opposite. I will not be returning my medal, but I respect the right for those who think it an appropriate gesture. I don't. My Eagle medal is in a velvet box in my sock drawer awaiting the next formal troop event, and my gold card is in my wallet at all times.

 

So far you have made two accusations, both false, and have made no effort to answer the substance of my posts. Only attacks. Not courteous, friendly, or kind. Nor helpful, for that matter. I wonder about that.

 

EDIT: Here is the post in question. I do not intend to make this personal, it seems an unnecessary tangent on what could be a reasonable discussion.

 

http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=361585#id_361665(This message has been edited by Bando)

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Seattle, please speak ONLY about what you actually KNOW.

 

You have never been associated with GSUSA in any way, shape, or form, and seem to have absolutely no desire to actually learn what it is REALLY about.

 

So, please, stop spreading rumors, and half truths about a program you have no real knowledge of.

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"So, please, stop spreading rumors, and half truths ..."

 

Isn't that the purpose of the I&P forum?

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