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st0ut717

Do girl scouts need knives, packs tents?

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Ever wonder why gals of today want to join up in Venturing? They want adventure just as much as the boys do, and the push is to have girls in Boy Scouts because GSUSA isn't providing what many gals want. If the GSUSA model is anything goes in a unit, then volunteer and get a group going that the girls really want.

 

Ever wonder why gals want in on the BSA program? Turn the tables, how many of these threads are based on sewing patches, cooking, cleanliness, etc. all roles historically relegated to the gals. Well, the playing field is leveling. Nothing wrong with boys learning how to sew (I know my way around a sewing machine, I make all kinds of scout stuff with it) and gals learning how to camp, hike, and trek as well.

 

I always get a kick out of hearing about the skill level of the male SM's vs. the female SM's. My wife spent many years in Alaska as a crew chief for the US Forestry Dept. and her kids worked their way through college as Alaskan commercial salmon fishermen. She has 3 girls and a boy. Her oldest girl is in New York as a highly paid business consultant, another girl is a medical doctor, the third girl is a research doctor in the biomedical field and her boy just graduated in electrical engineer who passed up a couple of jobs just to move to Boulder CO. What did the outdoors do for any of them? :) You be the judge. I would be willing to bet that my wife and/or any of her kids could run circles around most SM's in today's BSA.

 

I'd say that any gal that wants a pocket knife and backpack isn't going to be set back one bit by any tom-boy stigma today's society might peg them with. To this day I still remember vividly my youngest girl sitting on a rock up in the BWCA touching up her polished fingernails because she chipped a couple on the last portage. :)

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Take your daughter shopping with you to a camping supply store or look at a website together. In Brownies, about the only outdoor gear you need is a decent sleeping bag and pad. GS no longer sells outdoor gear because there are other retailers who do a better job at it at lower costs.

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My good friend Ted has two kids. Daughter Katie is, I think, now 12, son Will is now about 7.. When Katie turned 6, Ted became the leader for her new Daisey Troop and he took them on hikes and stream crawls and crawfish hunts.. The female leader of the group (not Teds wife) evidently said "go for it!" much to the local councils shagrin. He had as happy a bunch of kindergartners as you've ever seen. Unfortunately,(fortunately?) Teds wife was offered a six figure job and they moved. He said that the new Brownie leader was not as open to such jaunts, but let the new troop go and now he has a bunch of outdoorsy Juniors. Last I spoke to him, he may be forming a Venture Crew. Will is a Cub now.

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My good friend Ted has two kids. Daughter Katie is, I think, now 12, son Will is now about 7.. When Katie turned 6, Ted became the leader for her new Daisey Troop and he took them on hikes and stream crawls and crawfish hunts.. The female leader of the group (not Teds wife) evidently said "go for it!" much to the local councils shagrin. He had as happy a bunch of kindergartners as you've ever seen. Unfortunately,(fortunately?) Teds wife was offered a six figure job and they moved. He said that the new Brownie leader was not as open to such jaunts, but let the new troop go and now he has a bunch of outdoorsy Juniors. Last I spoke to him, he may be forming a Venture Crew. Will is a Cub now.
Ted sounds like a cool dad.

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Every girl needs the ten essentials, even if she isn't a Girl Scout. Don't stress about not finding cool merchandise at the Girl Scout store. Girl Scouts of the USA has a broader mission than just an outdoor program, so it is inefficient of them to try to provide that type of support. Even so, there are lots better retailers of camping and hiking gear than the Boy Scout store. Find the best gear where ever you can.

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Every girl needs the ten essentials, even if she isn't a Girl Scout. Don't stress about not finding cool merchandise at the Girl Scout store. Girl Scouts of the USA has a broader mission than just an outdoor program, so it is inefficient of them to try to provide that type of support. Even so, there are lots better retailers of camping and hiking gear than the Boy Scout store. Find the best gear where ever you can.
To be fair, you could say the same about the BSA having a broader mission than just the outdoor program (some might argue that it's far too broad, and I'd agree), and yet the BSA is far better at teaching outdoor skills and encouraging their units to get their boys outside, get dirty, learn scoutcraft/bushcraft, etc.

 

Oddly enough, the GSUSA could very easily encourage more outdoorsy stuff without compromising the core areas. Want to teach cooking lessons? Do it on a camping trip. Want to teach sewing? Crafty stuff? Take a day hike into the woods and do it there. Needles and thread pack easily. ;)

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