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Apache Bob

The first girl Eagle Scout

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"Too bad it's not true (at this point). There would be quite a rush of girls wanting to join Venturing. GSA can't compete with the BSA on many levels, and girls know it."

 

We already have many girls coming into Venturing because they want to do 'scouting' and aren't finding it in GSUSA. I don't most of them are upset about not getting Eagle in the bargain.

 

"dg98adams mentioned changing the name to "Scouts" should this happen...got me thinking of the green 1970s uniform I wore as a scout, where the patch above the right pocket (my right your left) indeed said "Scouts." An adult told me when I was a scout this was done in anticipation of BSA going coed (those from early/mid 1970s may recall that debate). "

 

That adult didn't know what he was talking about. He was confusing two different things.

 

In the 1970s, the BSA allowed members of troops' Leadership Corps to wear the green Explorer shirt. The standard Explorer shirt had a strip that said "Explorer". As these boys were not Explorers, that wouldn't do, so they created the "Scouts BSA" strip for them to wear.

 

It had nothing to do with the BSA going co-ed.

 

There WAS discussion with GSUSA & Camp Fire Girls to join in with the BSA. This was in 1969-71, and during that time Girl Scouts & Camp Fire Girls could be participants in Explorer Posts. But then the talks broke down and the BSA took Explorers fully co-ed in 1971.

 

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Most of what I know of the Girl Scouts is from this forum, so perhaps I don't really know as much as I think, but here goes.

 

The subject of the supposed merge of the GSUSA and BSA gets talked about alot, and the story I understand is that the GSBSA was the one who didnt want to do it, it that correct?

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"GSBSA" Is that a typo or a Freudian slip?

 

Note: Girls in the UK have been earning Queen's Scout (equivalent of Eagle) for decades. Girl Guides still exist and apparently some girls choose to be members of both organizations.

 

According to Wikipedia, "The first person to hold the Queens Guide award and the Queens Scout Award was Susan Parker of 1st Brantham Panthers VSU in 1978". That's impressive!

 

Also in the UK, Scouts age out at or about 14. To become a Queen's Scout one must belong to Explorers (14-18) or the Scout Network (18-25). Strangely, Explorers in the UK used to be called Venture Scouts (15.5-20). That changed in 2003 with the addition of the Scout Network.

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BDPT00, as an Eagle scout, I would be okay with the ladies who earned the Gold Award to wear a knot, whether it be the Eagle Knot, or a special BSA knot that acknowledges the Gold Award. For that matter, I would be fine with girls earning Eagle. And letting them join the BSA at age 11!

 

No, I'm not some crazy who wants to destroy heritage. I love our scouting history...heck, I'm the guy who still uses a Yucca pack on campouts, and a canvas BSA Miners tent.

 

Here's my frame of reference. As a 25-year vet of the USAF, I have seen the progress women have made in the armed services. Old timers said alot of bad things about women back in the day, and predicted the downfall of our national readiness, etc. None of it came true. Quite the opposite. In fact, we are a far better USAF because the combined contributions of men and women, of all races, creed, etc.

 

But the old timers were against it...because of tradition, mostly. And what tradition did we lose? No much.

 

I'm not saying the BSA = military, just so you know.

 

The connection I'm trying to make is if women can serve in armed forces, or on a college faculty, or in industry, why can't boys and girls learn to serve together when they are young?

 

Granted, this is campfire talk. I don't expect the BSA and GSA to do anything different than what they are presently doing. But we, the BSA, could start our next 100 years with a real spark if girls were allowed into scouting, with rights for advancement.

 

Are the girls up for the challenge? Yes. Do they want it? I respectfully recommend that we be extra careful before we answer that question...we old timers tend to view "what the scouts want" through the lens of our own experience. We really don't know, do we? Again, I'm just offering an opinion.

 

BDPT00, sorry for the longwinded response, but to finish with the Woodbadge beads. As I recall, BP gave the original Woodbadgers 1 bead. At some point, those who earned the honors got two. Did this go over well with the Old School 1 Beaders? I don't know, but if I know anything about humans, I'm sure there was some hard feelings. RememberSchiff pointed out that adults could earn Eagle once upon a time, but no longer. Organizations should change for valid reasons, not fads. I don't think males and females working together is a fad. The female presence is not going to detract from the scouting experience. For those that doubt me, taking a look around...professionals, council and district vols, SMs, MB counselors, Order of the Arrow...the ladies are here and has the BSA imploded? No, we are doing fine, and we could do even better.

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My question is, is there anything out there that is still just for boys. Or just for girls.

 

Do you expect a boy to try something new that he may not be successful at if there is a cute girl around that he may like. He may shy away from the new challange from fear of embarrassment. Of course there will be the older scouts that still give him a hard time, but getting picked on by an older boy scout is a lot different then being laughed at by a girl that you had a crush on. That could be the very reason why that young scout leaves and never returns.

 

I just cant't understand why everyone wants to make EVERY boy/male organization Co-Ed. Why? If someone can give me a valid reason and how it would be SOOOOOO much better, then I will be interested in. Is there nothing that a young man can call his own or earn without having to worry. Leave the program like it is. We have been doing it this way for 100 years. Why change it now. It works. Instead of building this great organization with millions of boys and girls, why not make it a QUALITY organization for the boys that want to do it.

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"If someone can give me a valid reason and how it would be SOOOOOO much better, then I will be interested in. " I guess its like the health care debate, it depends on your perspective. If you have a great health care plan you might be on one side but if you are uninsured you might be on the other side. (PLEASE-THIS IS NOT A HIJACK-JUST A COMPARISON)

 

I think that Boy Scouts was probably a better experience for my son because it was boys only. Like SctDad I think there are a lot of lads who really thrive in a girl free environment, especially in the first years of scouting.

 

On the other hand I might think differently if I also had a girl who wanted to do the same neat things that her older brother got to do. We all know that the GSUSA just isn't the same. As it is I have mixed feelings.

 

If the BSA did make the change I would urge gradualism. In the UK it was a unit option for the first 15-20 years. They eventually made coed mandatory but by then I am sure it was with eyes wide open as to the benefits and problems.

 

Hal

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Alright, I guess my response might sound a little silly but here goes. DR77 has some very reasonable points regarding blending boys and girls. I have served in the military and I understand his points. However, this has already been addressed by the Venturing program and that begins at 14. Why can't we simply allow kids to continue to mature separately until they are better prepared to mix. School districts throughout the country are exploring single gender schooling options through middle school because research shows kids learn better without gender related distractions.

 

If the process is indeed structured for a boy to earn his Eagle by the age of 13, why do we not allow him to do that. Then if he does not and he wants to branch out into a Venture Crew and he has met the requirements for First Class let him continue on to Eagle. But why do we need to include girls in the mix? Eagle Scout has been an achievement for boys for nearly 100 years can't we simply leave that tradition alone?

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Hypothetically, if there were to be a merger of BSA and GSUSA, it appears obvious to me how to do this. Simply add to the Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Ventruing Divisions, Brownie and Girl Scout divisions. Like Cubbing and Boy Scouting these would work through Elementary and Middle/High School respectively. Venturing would be the co-ed blending of the teenagers. Former Boy Scouts could continue toward Eagle and Girl Scouts could continue toward Gold. Either could work toward Ranger, Quest, Silver or Quartermaster (for Sea Scouts).

 

I am not convinced that blending the pre-teens into a single program would be beneficial for either the boys or girls. Traditional education (and remember, BP considered Scouting a radical and new educational method) separates boys and girls, until very recent history. Teachers still work to segregate progress by gender as girls and boys do not mentally, physically or emotionally develop at the same rate. Recent "experimental" educational which again divide the gender shows significant improvement in both groups when working and learning separately. Girls math skills improve as does boys reading (often the lowest denominators of each group).

 

Such a blending of programs would preserve the traditions of each group, but place them under a single organizational model. Cub Scouting is different from Boy Scouts; just as Brownies and Girl Scouting could remain different and separate. On the other hand, I am not aware of any significant movement to merge the programs right now, so it is a moot point and a largely meaningless discussion, though I must admit, a very intriguing one.

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Fellow Scouters,

 

Greetings!

 

 

I'd like to add my comments to this topic.

 

My opinion, there has often been talks about allow Venturing girls to earn Eagle, but those discussions are not at the National Committee levels. Urban legend also has it that GSUSA was negotiated a merge in the mid-60's, to create a program similar to the British Scouting Associations, but as usual negotiations broke down and we remained two seperate programs. (again, per urban Scouting legend).

 

Regarding Venturing girls in the OA. I recently had the pleasure of meeting the National Venturing President 2009-2010, Matthew McGroarty. I believe he stated that both his parents are lawyers. During the open question period, our current National Venturing President was very good at evading specific questions about a national honor recognition for girls and boys in Venturing. From his explanation, it appears that national committees may consider (and reconsider) various options each year, and either dismiss them or investigate the possibility further.

 

If you take a look at World Jamboree, some countries have successful educational and camping programs with boys and girls in the same troop, while other co-ed Scouting countries really have a akward program that would not be acceptable in American traditional standards.

 

Also, National level programs and national changes that affect the entire program are usually announced during the National Convention in May. Not normally during NOAC (every three years).

 

So.. Who will be the first girl Eagle Scout. Maybe the better question is when? My own opinion, I wouldn't expect it in the near future. Maybe by 2110? The 200th Anniversary of BSA?

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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"Urban legend also has it that GSUSA was negotiated a merge in the mid-60's, to create a program similar to the British Scouting Associations, but as usual negotiations broke down and we remained two seperate programs. (again, per urban Scouting legend)."

 

This is not an urban legend. It did happen. I've spoken with professions who were involved with it. The BSA, GSUSA, and Camp Fire Girls were in discussion to merge in the late 60s. The BSA allowing Girl Scouts & Camp Fire Girls to be participants in Explorer Posts from 1969-71 was part of this effort. But discussions broke down and it didn't happen. The result was Exploring going fully co-ed in 1971 and Camp Fire themselves going co-ed in 75.

 

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Didn't BadenP's favorite Scout executive of all time eliminate all the Divisions in the BSA? There are no more Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venuring, etc Divisions, correct?

 

next, when I hear about the proposed merger of the GSUSA and BSA, I always hear it was the Girl Scouts who backed out, anybody confirm or deny?

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Regardless of what happened to the term "Division," Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing still remain separate programs, with little overlap in their organization or implementation. Prehaps the term "Program" would have been more accurate, but in reality the recognition and ease of use of the work "Division" carries the intended meaning.

 

I have no illusions that BSA and GSUSA will merge. The only fact surrounding that of which I believe to be true is that GSUSA is going through some challenging times. I believe that the idea of merging the programs is doable, and. as I stated above, it could be done in a way which preserves both program's traditions. I do not, however, think it will happen anytime in near or intermediate future.

 

Finally, I do not expect to see girls earning Eagle any sooner than we have boys earning Girl Scout's Gold award.

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"when I hear about the proposed merger of the GSUSA and BSA, I always hear it was the Girl Scouts who backed out, anybody confirm or deny?"

 

I really wish that those involved with this would sit down and write up what happened. But we all know how well the BSA is in terms of transparency and openedness...

 

Everything I've heard is that it was the GSUSA that backed out. One has to wonder what brought them to the table, and what might have lead to a breakdown. What was Camp Fire's part in this, other then another participant in the talks?

 

Keep in mind that it happened 40 years ago! For myself, the changes in attitude by those in charge of GSUSA makes a merger today unlikely, unless as a result of a WOSM-WAGGGS merger (and then we may just do a 'federation' like in some European countries.

 

What I think is more likely is that the BSA may just go co-ed in the other programs. But there are issues with doing that, including a supposed agreement with GSUSA not to do this (something I've heard the GSUSA demanded after the BSA took Exploring co-ed, but have never seen this rumoured agreement).

 

 

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Fellow Scouters and emb021,

 

 

For emb021,yes, I heard the exact same comment about 12-13 years ago which you posted as a reply, from a regional committee member and Scouting friend. Nearly word for word.

 

I just didn't want to pass my second/third hand "broken BSA-GSUSA negotiations" as Scouting fact (without the proof), but I do believe the story is true and the GSUSA withdrew from a merger.

 

With emb021 exact same description, the only addition I heard was that the GSUSA did not want to lose their heritage and emblems. I heard the GSUSA became afraid (in the 60's merger negotiation) that they would loose their identity in the BSA program, and cordially/peacefully withdrew from the merger.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21_Adv

 

 

 

 

My comment:

"Urban legend also has it that GSUSA was negotiated a merge in the mid-60's, to create a program similar to the British Scouting Associations, but as usual negotiations broke down and we remained two seperate programs. (again, per urban Scouting legend)."

 

emb021 response:

This is not an urban legend. It did happen. I've spoken with professions who were involved with it. The BSA, GSUSA, and Camp Fire Girls were in discussion to merge in the late 60s. The BSA allowing Girl Scouts & Camp Fire Girls to be participants in Explorer Posts from 1969-71 was part of this effort. But discussions broke down and it didn't happen. The result was Exploring going fully co-ed in 1971 and Camp Fire themselves going co-ed in 75.

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