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Differences between BSA and GSUSA

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Teddy, BSA was all male until about 1970 when girls were allowed to join Explorer Posts.  Exploring was spun off as a separate division, and we now have Venturing which is 14-21 year olds and co-ed.  None of the other age groups is co-ed, (yet).   Back in my day (early 60s) the only role women could play was Den Mother.

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Actually you do see alot of girls doing Cub and Boy Scouts "under the table". Meaning they do all the activities (usually with brothers) but have no official status. I remember one girl actually won the Pinewood derby.

 

Another big difference is when you look at BS popcorn sales vs GS cookie sales. In the BS program the boys can earn cool prizes like camping and fishing gear and after selling a certain amount, money goes into the boys account so they can apply it towards things like summer camp fees. With GS cookies the troop gets about 55 cents per box and that money goes into a pot all the girls can use. It doesnt matter if a girl sells 50 or 500 boxes its the same outcome. And the prizes the girls get? These little pins or stuffed animals.

 

And GS troops dont do the variety of other fundraisers like BS does like selling trashbags, mulch, Christmas trees, fireworks, or running pancake breakfasts. With GS its all about the cookies.

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Another big difference is when you look at BS popcorn sales vs GS cookie sales. In the BS program the boys can earn cool prizes like camping and fishing gear and after selling a certain amount, money goes into the boys account so they can apply it towards things like summer camp fees.

Actually, troops aren't supposed to do that (siphon money from fundraisers to the individual scouts). That is called fund raising fraud. While a lot of troops still do it, they shouldn't (a Scout is Honest). See this BSA blog entry on the issue for more info.

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Speaking about sales, our Pack's Top Popcorn Sellers get a special call-out, everyone gets their prizes announced, very soon after the sale ended, and thanked for their participation.  For my daughters' GS Troops Cookies, the prizes came in at the end of the year (probably same amount of time in months), and were handed out in discrete paper bags so they wouldn't compare/know who sold the most.

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Actually, troops aren't supposed to do that (siphon money from fundraisers to the individual scouts). That is called fund raising fraud. While a lot of troops still do it, they shouldn't (a Scout is Honest). See this BSA blog entry on the issue for more info.

 

We had a tax attorney look in to this issue for our unit (and he just happened to be a former IRS and council guy too). You *can* do some funding for individual scouts but you have to follow the IRS guidelines for doing so. Most units don't follow those nor do they manage the fund-raising accordingly.

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We had a tax attorney look in to this issue for our unit (and he just happened to be a former IRS and council guy too). You *can* do some funding for individual scouts but you have to follow the IRS guidelines for doing so. Most units don't follow those nor do they manage the fund-raising accordingly.

True. But what @@SpEdScouter described:

... and after selling a certain amount, money goes into the boys account so they can apply it towards things like summer camp fees.

is specifically disallowed. Allocating money based on fund raising performance is a problem. The blog post I linked to goes into this pretty well.

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True. But what @@SpEdScouter described:

 

is specifically disallowed. Allocating money based on fund raising performance is a problem. The blog post I linked to goes into this pretty well.

As I said, our unit got the advice from the former IRS tax attorney. There are ways to individually allocate money to scouts during fund raising. I'm not the one who was involved in the details. Frankly, when it was discussed at the CC I paid attention to the summary and not the details. The unit asked the IRS to comment on our interpretation (nice to have inside help) and they approved our approach, so we have the proverbial "get out of jail free card" from them. They have blessed our approach so we're good.

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Really? it seems pretty open on the form the boys fill out that over a certain amount, the money goes into the boys account which is usually to go for paying their individual summer camp fees. No scout actually touches any money.

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Really? it seems pretty open on the form the boys fill out that over a certain amount, the money goes into the boys account which is usually to go for paying their individual summer camp fees. No scout actually touches any money.

 

 What form is that?

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The true difference between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts is management and activities.  As a former Girl Scout, I can tell you I hated every second of it.  I was a brownie and I have always been athletic. Before meetings in the gym I would start a game of tag, and the two head troop leaders (a mother and daughter) would scream at us and punish us.  They called us animals and brats because we didn't want to sit around all day and glue popsicle sticks.  Every girl wanted to be outside and camp. My airforce family moved away from that place thank God and we ended up in New Jersey.  I was 9 or 10 at the time.  I was informed of a Girl Scout Troop that "camped a lot" and "was like Boy Scouts".  I registered and liked it at first, but we went camping once, and that was at some Earth Day festival so it wasn't real camping.  I also was bullied and ostracized by the older girls.  When the Troop Leader wasn't around they'd call me names and shove me and criticize me.  Now that I'm a venture scout (working with a Boy Scout Troop) it is ten times better.  We camp every two weeks or so and are currently planning a 50 miler hike in the Washita Mountains.  Seeing the difference between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts really made me see how different the management of both programs were.  Girl Scouts is all about sewing and other uninteresting things like that, while Boy Scouts is a safe learning environment that builds and improves character for boys of all ages.

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Welcome to the forums, @@Scourge.  I'm glad you got involved in Venturing, it will be a good outlet for your interests and skills.  I have a daughter that had pretty much the same attitude.  Needless to say, my granddaughter has been camping and has enjoyed the massive sugar rush of campfire toasted marshmallows.  

 

My other daughter doesn't like camping, bugs, or anything that smells of campfire, but she's the veteran of a Boundary Water trek and our annual camping trip into the woods.  Now that she too has a little one, that may now pass into the memory only part of my life, but she knew it was important to me and our times together were very special to me and she knew it.  Her birthday is 3 days after mine.  Our camping trip was always in the fall around our birthdays.  For years, it was always her birthday gift to me.  While she doesn't like camping, her little one seemed to enjoy the campfire marshmallow, so there's still hope down the road.  :) 

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I was talking to a young woman today who also mentioned that she wished she could have joined boy scouts instead of girl scouts. Also athletic and outgoing. She would have been an exemplary scout. Our loss, I fear. I asked her if she had considered Venturing but there evidently wasn't a crew anywhere nearby for her. Another lost opportunity.

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@@Stosh Thank you for the great welcome.  I really enjoy venturing and I'm so glad to be out of Girl Scouts :laugh: .  I have been an Air Force brat all my life until recently.  My father, Desertrat77 served for 30 years so it's weird to be in one place for so long.  I thought I was the only girl like this until I met the venturing crew.  Now I get to do things I never thought I could do and more. 

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Aha!! Desertrat77! Great guy and no wonder your interest in the outdoors as well as your willingness to state your thoughts. You have a great dad. But I suspect you know that already. Welcome to the campfire from one newbie to another!

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@@Scourge, it's like my daughter has an evil twin (except 7 years delayed and civilian family)! I've met a lot of GS with that kind of disappointment, but few have acted on it and some, like @ya lazima vumbi, tried but got discouraged by the lack of crews nearby. You deserve credit for taking action as soon as @@desertrat77 helped you find the opportunity.

 

Now, some advice,

- The disrespect you felt from those older scouts, it can happen in the BSA as well. Be on the lookout for it and work to squelch toxic behavior. Let your fellow scouts know how that made you feel, so that they can better lead younger scouts.

- Right now you sound like you are at the "taking it in stage", and definitely you should get every outdoor experience that BSA offers and you can afford. Then look for challenges in acquiring new skills and practicing leadership,

 

Why? Because there may be that Girl Scout mom who would love someone like the leader you'll become to help break the cycle ... Teach some outdoor skills, and get their daughters comfortable in the wild lands. Giving back is sometimes the best way to get even!

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