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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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On 8/24/2012 at 8:58 PM, frank10 said:

smoothmom: Please tel me you are somewhere near Waterbury CT.

 

My daughter's unit is a Snack and a craft unit. One field trip/party each year (candy factory party this year). Other thna that, they have never left the room they meet in. Worst part is they meet at the YMCA right up stairs from the pool... Maybe? maybe? nope.

 

(men need not apply).

I know this is an old post, but I just joined, so it's new to me. If this was my daughters troop I would ask to lead a meeting or plan a trip and do something different, even if it is just go upstairs for a swim party. I would LOVE to meet in an area like that.... we don't even have an area like that within an hour from us...  If I kept hearing no, I would start a new troop next year for my daughter and show up at recruitment and let them know how many of what age level I would wanted and then do my own thing. Some may not like it and break off and form their own troop or ask to be switched to one that does less, but I'll bet yours will become the one others want to join. If you find yourseld in this situation, check around and see if there is another troop that is more active she could join. Put in a request to change when they get room (someone moves or quits). Don't stay with a troop your daughter isn't going to grow and learn in.

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On 8/25/2012 at 1:08 AM, fred8033 said:

Size is the obvious difference but I don't think the significant difference.

 

Biggest difference I've noticed is variety. Most Cub Scout dens do outings, attend pack meetings and cub camp. Though quality varies greatly, activities are very similar.

 

BUT ... Girl Scout troops vary greatly driven, I think, by the troop leader. Some might camp. Some might be more craft oriented. Some might be school work like. Others might be yet different again. Each troop is different.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

The differnce you are making is true with Daisy and Brownies (K-3)... and here is why. Cub scouts are family oriented and the whole family attends and then when they reach Boy Scouts they are less family oriented and do things without the parents. Girl scouts don't encourage family camping or even family at meetings. It's just the girls and their leaders even in K and first grade. So the younger girl scouts don't usually do as much camping but as they get older even 3rd grade they (we do anyway) camp several times a year. We started with a campout at our meeting place (remember we are talking Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders without parents there) and then went on to do a Service Unit lock in with other troops at a local church and then tent camping although Cabin camping would be the more logical progress. Even our K and 1st graders have camped  twice this year and we have 3 more planned later in the year in tents. 

It depends on the leaders and thier camping expericance as well as the camping experiance of the girls. All but 2 of our 18 girls have camped with their families before so it wasn't scary to them.

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On 8/24/2012 at 8:58 PM, frank10 said:

... Worst part is they meet at the YMCA right up stairs from the pool ...

You could always bring your swimming stuff and go right to the pool before or after.  Then, start a trend.  Often unit leaders are less in control than they think. :) 

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On 2/5/2014 at 1:49 PM, j2huggies said:

I emailed the council 3 or 4 times to get my stepdaughter in (and me in as a volunteer) NOTHING

I do see this as a problem. When I was with cub/boy scouts with my 21 year old son there was someone local and I knew (from seeing him at the weekly meetings) that I could go and talk to about starting a new den if I wanted to (the pack leader).  With Girl scouts there is no such person that I as an individual go go up to that I know from seeing them at meetings and say hey, I'd like to start a troop (den) for my daughter. There is a Service Unit leader (she is actually in most cases a troop leader of an older girl troop) but I wouldn't see her as a parent. The leaders all get together (without the scouts) and plan monthly outings and get news from higher up at Service Unit meetings. Then hopefully monthly but more likely a few times a year all the girls in the county will get together for a Service Unit outing (camping - movie night - rock painting - lock in- skating - swimming - badge earnging whaterver) but again as a parent I still wouldn't see the SU Leader because the girls attend with their troop leader without their parents. 

All I could do would email/call council over and over until they got the picture that I was serious. I would show up at recruitment the following year and voulnteer in person to start a troop. But not knowing how it works or assuming it works like BS, I would get frustrated and probably end up giving up. You could have had your daughter get a few frineds together interested and submit that you have several girls and you would need at least one mom (for safety wise - like when sleeping or someone needs to go to the bathroom) (especially if k-2 grade). i had a dad co-leader in my troop, but it was an established troop when he stepped up and he had been with us from the beginning. 

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