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Differences between BSA and GSUSA

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Scourge,

Welcome to the virtual camp fire! I am glad that you found a group that is better suited to your interests!

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As I have stated before - in GSUSA, as in BSA, it is ALL about the leader. If the leader is comfortable taking her girls out to do sports, camping, horseback riding, canoeing, etc, then the girls will experience those things. If the leaders are comfortable with only "inside" activities, then that is what the girls will be doing.

 

UNLESS - the GIRLS demand more from their adult leaders. If that is the case, then good leaders will try to make what the GIRLS want happen for them.

 

My daughter was in GSUSA from 1st thru 12th grades. As high school Seniors the girls decided to use the last of their Troop money to all register as Lifetime Girl Scouts.

 

My daughter is turning 30 this year, and credits GSUSA, and her leaders (which included BOTH her mom AND dad) with helping her to become the woman she is today. 

 

My son, on the other hand, who is turning 27 this year, loved BSA, but ONLY because of the Troops, and adults, he worked with OTHER than his OWN Troop. In his own Troop he was made fun of, harassed, and insulted, by both the boys, and his Scoutmaster. All because he was different. He was a big kid (not fat, just over 6' by 6th grade with feet and shoulders to match), very smart, and kind. He also was (and still is) ADHD. 

 

So, do not condemn an entire program because of what happened to you, or your child. Every experience is unique.

 

If you truly want to make a difference - VOLUNTEER. If you touch even one child's life in a POSITIVE way you will have done good!

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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. ...

 

Yeah, I see that too.  When we have activities, the youth participants are almost 30% girls.  It would be 50/50 if they could be official members.  Venturing is co-ed.  Leadership is co-ed.  Cub Scouts is in many ways co-ed.  Sooner or later, girls will be allowed as full members.  Heck, as someone pointed out to me recently, the Boy Scout Handbook now just says Scout Handbook.

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Biggest difference for me: if I had any boys, they absolutely wouldn't be allowed into the BSA because the BSA requires members to believe in a god. From my perspective, any consideration I might have had for the BSA has to end right there, making the BSA completely irrelevant to me, even if it was the best scouting organization ever. My attitude is that if they kick people out because of a difference in beliefs about an issue which no one can prove either way, then the organization is fundamentally flawed.

 

The Girl Scouts not only allow anyone to join (although the kids have to identify as girls), but they also allow members to amend the Girl Scout Promise to meet their conscience and their personal philosophy, and to amend the requirements for badges if they are discriminatory. So, for me and my family, there's no comparison - Boy Scouts vs. Girl Scouts? The question doesn't even exist. Not that Girl Scouts is the best - if we did have boys in our family, we would probably join Camp Fire, as that organization allows both girls and boys to participate and is absolutely non-discriminatory.

Edited by Beery
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Biggest difference for me: if I had any boys, they absolutely wouldn't be allowed into the BSA because the BSA requires members to believe in a god. From my perspective, any consideration I might have had for the BSA has to end right there, making the BSA completely irrelevant to me, even if it was the best scouting organization ever. My attitude is that if they kick people out because of a difference in beliefs about an issue which no one can prove either way, then the organization is fundamentally flawed.

 

The Girl Scouts not only allow anyone to join (although the kids have to identify as girls), but they also allow members to amend the Girl Scout Promise to meet their conscience and their personal philosophy, and to amend the requirements for badges if they are discriminatory. So, for me and my family, there's no comparison - Boy Scouts vs. Girl Scouts? The question doesn't even exist. Not that Girl Scouts is the best - if we did have boys in our family, we would probably join Camp Fire, as that organization allows both girls and boys to participate and is absolutely non-discriminatory.

 

Camp fire is a good program.  I can respect that.  

 

I've worked with many units and have never seen faith become an issue.  I've known years of Eagle scouts and faith has never been an issue.  Yeah, BSA has a major faith component.  If it's not your cup of tea, you don't have to pursue it.  I've never known any leader to have an issue with that.  I've never known an Eagle scout stopped for it beyond the national ones.

 

It's funny that tolerance is often a one-way street.  People respect your tolerance if you say everything is okay and equal.  But if you express your Catholic beliefs or your Muslim beliefs or your LDS beliefs or your Christen Science beliefs or beliefs based in science, then you are treated as not tolerant.  Tolerance is about finding a way to live together with different values.  I think BSA has done a great job.

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