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New controversy...Let's let girls into all levels of Scouting

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The view from across the pond....


So as you know scouting in the UK is fully mixed. However it is still male dominated, about 85%. It is unlikely to really move from that. The reason that the programme is different to that which the Girl Guides offers. The result is that scouts appeals to a minority of boys. They tend to be far more robust than girls who go to Guides and are far more interested in getting out there and doing the adventurous programme which scouts offers.


In the scout section, 10-14 year olds, we get very little of the "boy meets girl" side of things. It does happen from time to time, I have a couple sniffing around each other at the moment right now but so far it has not caused a problem. There is more of it in the 14-18 Explorer age range but again it is rare for it to be a problem. The fact is kids sign up to scouts to go climbing and canoeing rather than meet boys/girls.


It does cause a few practical problems such as ensuring we have a range of tent sizes so that you can easily maintain the patrol system and still have single sex sleeping. While not compulsory I like to ensure I have a female leader with me for camps.

Sorry. that 3rd sentence should have said "minority of girls"
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On a rainy campout when a few of the boys start getting stir crazy and start a mud slinging fight I bet the girls will want to jump right in' date=' at first. Then the boys keep escalating and all of a sudden we have girls in tears. At 14, there is less of that type of thing, but we need to let the younger boys be boys, tell their gross stories and sling the mud. If the GS program has a problem, it needs to be addressed.[/quote']



There will be a boy in tears when the 11 yr old 45 lb scout has a load of mud poured on him by the 14 yr old 200 lb scout. On a rainy campout, our boys started to play a version of dodge ball with a frisbee. One of the smaller boys got hit in the chest by a throw from one of the larger boys, and he was complaining about his bruised chest for weeks.....

I do not doubt that your scout was injured. However, in general, when boys get into a spat it is over in 5 minutes and they are back rolling around before the dust has settled, with girls the emotional drama takes far, far longer to settle out.


At a recent pack meeting the leaders failed to end the meeting and stood around chatting. The kids starting getting restless and a six grade girl sibling started "mothering" the younger boys. No one is sure what happened but allegedly one of the 3rd grade boys did not take kindly to this and physically resisted. The mother was livid, just livid and caused much distraction for the committee while we attempted to sort it all out.


Again I have not seen any persuasive argument for mixing it up. Why do the girls need to join the BSA ? If the Girl Scouts are not delivering a completing program, fix it.


On top of that, at the PLC level you will have much conflict in event planning.

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I am an Assoc Advisor in all female crew. A few of the girls were in a co-ed crew and didn't like the fact that the boys always wanted to "help" them. They like that they can be be with a group of girls and do the things they've seen or heard their brothers do in Boy Scouts.

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ThomasJefferson, your comments are spot on.


I think the BSA would begin a new, healthy chapter if it went coed. And as the father of daughters who love the outdoors, I can assert that outdoor adventure need not be dumbed down. Girls that would join a coed BSA want those outdoor challenges.


I respect the fact that some do not want a coed BSA, but I find it unhelpful to resort to the "shy boy/prissy girl" stereotypes as a plank in the anti-coed argument. That's a brush that paints way too wide.


Girls want to experience what the BSA has to offer. And if a young man is shy, he isn't going to learn a darn thing about the female gender by being secluded.


Now the notion that females would take over the BSA, that's an interesting concept. It just might happen. That's not a BSA issue, that is Life in This World issue, since about the late sixties. Men--ones who are good citizens in their community, are faithful to their families, work for a living--are far and few between these days. Lots of 20, 30, 40 year old "guys" in the world, who show no responsibility, and are committed solely to their own amusement and comfort. So yes, we see lots of women raising kids on their own, and running scout units and just about everything else. Sadly, I don't see a change in that in the future. But that's a whole different topic.









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TJ, until you see it for yourself, you may never believe it. But when you are the adult trying to get a unit to "gel", sometimes it's nice to not have the sex differences in the equation.


Other times, it's a lot of fun.

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Hey JAR,


Did you have any Jr. High girls in the mix? Just saying that if you did, you may have been able to answer your question.


Although I'm a crew advisor and love all the co-ed stuff, I don't like the "prom drama" that can seep into some of our outings with other crews. Just this weekend I was dealing with a young lady who was trying to make it "all about her." I managed to do it courteously, without having to wake her advisor, and my crew was glad for it. I might have had to have been uncomfortably blunt if the group was a few years younger.


So, I can certainly respect GS and BS leaders who would rather not have to put up with those kinds of hassles in the presence of the opposite sex.


Maybe if we did have these kids working together more at younger ages, it wouldn't be a problem. Or we'd find ways to give opposite sexes their own corners for a bit of their time on their own campouts. It really does yank my chain when a girl who was gung-ho for BSA at age 11 is distracted by other things by age 14.

DeanRx, no excuse. I got plenty of the opposite sex in my crew, and band and drama still attracts youth away. It's one thing to make music together, it's another thing to spend nights in the wild ...
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Some of these comments are hilarious.


I was a boy. I don't remember hurting for time "being a boy." I pretty much was one all the time. How does having girls present keep boys from being boys? If the boys aren't allowed to swear, go skinny dipping in the pond, or talk about girls & sex with male leaders present, then how does adding girls change anything? The program has already neutered the boy-specific activities and boy-oriented nature of the scouts. It is essentially already primed for girl participation.


As for the Cub Scouts, I have no idea why that is not co-ed now. Girls already come to everything, and cub scouts is run by women. What the heck are we resisting there?

ROFL! I think you nailed it, TJ.
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Why do we need girls in BOY scouts? There is no place for a boy just to be a boy without some meddling woman or girl around to tell him he is doing it wrong. There is already Girl Scouts. If girls/women don't like what their organization offers, change Girl Scouts.


Women have a lot to offer. But boys and young men need some time to be boys and young men. Females generally disapprove of boys behaving like boys. Boys and young men need some time to run around, be rough and tumble, and hang out with other guys, and discuss how to get along with females without females interfearing.


We have female ASMs. The scouts act differently when the females ASMs are around. The female ASMs have a subtle but different way of dealing with the scouts. All of the female ASMs have sons in the troop. Generally the female ASMs are good or better than average campers. It is not that women are bad, they are just different. Keep Boy Scouts for Boys. Boy Scouts is not advocating the girls and young women dont particiapate in outdoor adventures, Just that they cannot do it as BOY scouts.


We have a male ASM with extensive outdoor skills. Woodbadge grad. He tried to join his daughters Girl Scout troop. He wanted to share in his daughters scouting like he had with his sons. He actively sought out all the Girl Scout leader training courses so he could assimilate the Girl Scout way of thinking, acting, and doing. He got lots of push back from the organization. Try to become a Girl Scout Troop Leader as a male. Girl Scouts does not allow it. They tolerate males as an assistant only. Compare that to Boy Scouts where the only exclusion is girls under 14 cannot be a registered member.

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Some of these comments are hilarious. I was a boy. I don't remember hurting for time "being a boy." I pretty much was one all the time. How does having girls present keep boys from being boys? If the boys aren't allowed to swear' date=' go skinny dipping in the pond, or talk about girls & sex with male leaders present, then how does adding girls change anything? The program has already neutered the boy-specific activities and boy-oriented nature of the scouts. It is essentially already primed for girl participation. As for the Cub Scouts, I have no idea why that is not co-ed now. Girls already come to everything, and cub scouts is run by women. What the heck are we resisting there? [/quote']


Cub Scouts run by women? Not in my former Pack. Most of the Den Leaders were men, as were all the Cubmasters/Assistan Cubmasters

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Females generally disapprove of boys behaving like boys.


Really? How about some examples?

Advantages of Male Teachers


A 2006 study in Education Next, by the Hoover Institute, and conducted by Thomas Dee, an economics professor at Swarthmore College, found that boys learn better from male teachers. The study states that having a teacher of the opposite sex hinders a boy's academic progress. Boys were less likely to be seen as disruptive in a class with a male teacher. Male teachers are more likely to include games and competition in their teaching methods.


Advantages of Female Teachers

The same 2006 study conducted by Thomas Dee found that girls learn best from female teachers. Women often teach in ways that may fit girls better, such as sitting at desks and using worksheets for learning. More female teachers than male expect a quiet and orderly classroom, which girls appreciate.



Read more: Male versus Female Teachers | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5623553_male-versus-female-teachers.html#ixzz2S6I0u3CJ


Depends on the mom and depends on the dad, but the complementary nature of men and women ideally balances out for kids. If I got hurt, I would probably go to my mom. If I screwed up, I would probably go to my dad. Men tend to be more understanding of the craziness that boys do when playing and tolerate a higher level of perceived chaos (within limits) and a higher level of aggressive verbal and physical play, as they see both as an essential part of operating within a team later. Boys tend to settle naturally into hierarchical relationships based on the skills needed into particular situations, women are more likely to encourage plans for shared leadership so everyone gets a chance. Men understand the basic male need for things with sharp edges, things that start fires, and things that go BOOM real loud-like. Your average woman, not so much. Men are more accepting of field-standards of grooming and hygiene when the situation calls for it.


Nothing wrong with female patterns, there are times when their way of doin' things is right. Men developed civilization to impress women, if they weren't around we would just spend all our time fishin' and scratchin' ourselves and a-huntin' each other for sport for one generation, then we would all die.*


(*An hommage to Beavah.)

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Oh, yeah. As part of the male tribal inculcation into the next generation of the Primary Male Values (Competency, Commitment, Compassion, and Composure), we are more likely to encourage a heavy dose of Male Stoicism as part of the latter value. We honor and respect those men who dealt with a severed thumb from a band saw by re-attaching the lost digit with black electrician's tape and carrying on as if nothing in particular just happened. It's all of a piece with the Medal of Honor winner who was buried down the block from me as a kid and who crawled 20 miles - TWENTY MILES! - after being shot in the legs to seek help for his friends. We honor that, but we honor the fact that he refused medical treatment until his friends got treated, even more. We honor and share and re-share their experiences with the young as part of the collective tribal wisdom. We know the correct way to deal with pain and sorrow is just to shove it all deeper into a big mental shoebox, wrap another layer of mental duct-tape around it to keep all the nightmares from getting out, and shoving it deeper back in our brain until we have time to deal with it, like in 20 years or so. (Hey, it's always worked for me.) While women encourage us to share and cry and express ourselves by methods other than grunting, remaining silent, or belching out popular tunes while slapping our bare bellies to keep time, we know that all that okey-doke about sharing and expressing feelings is just feminine shuck-and-jive. Act like Sensitive Ponytail Man and expect to be treated with revulsion by any right-thinking woman. We encourage those of who are XY-chromosomal Americans to get used with dealing with a little pain and discomfort now, stoically, so they'll be able to deal with the inevitable heartache that's coming down the pike later.


So, that's another way we encourage behavior that women officially discourage. Off the top of my head.




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Boys behave differently in the presence of girls as a matter of fact. This is simply because girls are different, and even Cub Scouts realize it. They think different, act different, and learn different.


A method of Scouting is Uniforming. While any boy of any background can conform to the mores and norms of a group of boys, it is a rare girl that's able to do so.


While I agree it can still be fun with girls, and in often cases more fun with the girls present, something is lost in the learning and development sphere when the boys are behaving in a way that conforms to a standard of mixed gender learning instead of only having to conform to the standards of "boys being boys". The best example is the silencing factor girls have on most boys. Because they realize the thoughts of girls are different, there is less blurting out of boy thoughts. Those are often pretty profound in the sense that they show where a boy's understanding of the subject matter lies.


If it were that reason alone, I'd continue to wholeheartedly support gender segregation in Scouting.

I'm sorry, but I don't see any evidence for any of your claims about the differences between girls and boys at cub scout age having impacts on youth enjoyment of camping and learning of life lessons.


Do you segregate your Sunday School classes and Church services? Aren't women and men different? Don't we learn differently than each other?


Then why are you sitting together in the same service? Isn't worship of God most important of all, and doing it together probably means the men can't be men while learning about and worshipping God.


After all, men commit most of the crime in the world.


See how silly those arguments sound? They are the bigotry of the 19th century brought forward to today.

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As I read the posts here, it seems to me one thing is missing. WHY would the BSA even want to consider this? Never mind the obstacles, boys will be boys, tears, sex, whatever. The purpose of Boy Scouting is to put boys in an outdoor environment and offer them fun activities that will lead to their becoming capable adults. Leadership, ability to care for yourself in the outdoors and elsewhere, patriotism and encourage (not teach) spirituality. How exactly would inclusion of girls promote any of these goals?

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