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Basementdweller

Venture Crews at summer camp

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SMMatt, very chivalrous quotes indeed.

 

Here's the thing: the wording does nothing to address the culture clash that is fomenting in American media.

 

The "girls" referenced here are all presumed to be "out there." So, so got any quotes about how to handle the girl in your camp? Any definitions of chivalry? Camp etiquette? What's courteous?

 

There's nothing here about how adults might mis-construe a fella's spending time with a girl behind the program hall as sexual misconduct. How the fashion industry plays on females' anxiety and drives them to dress in ways that send mixed messages. How classifying anyone into categories like THOT is a violation of the scout law ... Even if that person may indeed be sexually active for a price.

 

Maybe I've missed those. But if you find them in BSA literature, do bring them to the fore!

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SMMatt, very chivalrous quotes indeed.

 

Here's the thing: the wording does nothing to address the culture clash that is fomenting in American media.

 

The "girls" referenced here are all presumed to be "out there." So, so got any quotes about how to handle the girl in your camp? Any definitions of chivalry? Camp etiquette? What's courteous?

 

There's nothing here about how adults might mis-construe a fella's spending time with a girl behind the program hall as sexual misconduct. How the fashion industry plays on females' anxiety and drives them to dress in ways that send mixed messages. How classifying anyone into categories like THOT is a violation of the scout law ... Even if that person may indeed be sexually active for a price.

 

Maybe I've missed those. But if you find them in BSA literature, do bring them to the fore!

 

 

Sorry, SMMatt, to step in ahead of you.

 

Qwaze, how are the girls "out there"? Does the Boy Scout Handbook have to spell out exactly how to be courteous to young women? Isn't that our job as Scouters to show a good example? Are you really suggesting that we should blame the girls for how other treat them based on the girls' clothing?

 

I'm really surprised that anyone would suggest that fellow Venturers are "tramps" or insinuate that they are prostitutes--earlier in the thread and perhaps above?

 

Girl-blaming isn't going to solve the issue.

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Qwaze' date=' how are the girls "out there"? Does the Boy Scout Handbook have to spell out exactly how to be courteous to young women?[/quote']

Find me a statement ANYWHERE in the BSHB or CSHB that a boy could expect a girl to deserve the respect that he would accord to his fellow scout? Anything that says "Hey, she could be in your crew someday ..."

When you do, share it at roundtable. I bet you won't have to wait too long until some scouter says something to the effect that she has no business being there.

 

Isn't that our job as Scouters to show a good example?

What example? That scouter may have thought that best way to coach his fellow scouter was to indirectly slut-shame her youth. Find me the script in YPT or somewhere else that would suggest this would be a bad approach?

Okay, in the SM handbook, got any quotes on what issues may arise with female scouts?

 

Are you really suggesting that we should blame the girls for how other treat them based on the girls' clothing?

Re-read my quote to be clear on who I say we need to blame. There are people who profit from making girls think they don't have what it takes to turn boys' eyes, and that they have to take advantage of material that will help them compensate for what they lack.

 

There is EXTREME pressure on girls to uniform provocatively. And nearly every American public figure has bought into it. Heck, the former US Secretary of State is the brunt of late-night jokes for her selection of pants suits! We are talking the person who, for good or ill, envisioned this century's diplomatic core ... and comedians take jabs at her professional dress!

 

A recent 60 minute exclusive set up an interview of a British Islamic extremist with a mid-western blond female journalist in a red dress. There are very competent female journalists from El-Jazira who could do the same interview in conservative dress and command more respect, possibly getting us a better idea of how this fellow thinks. But ask yourself ... why did the producers set it up this way?

 

I'm really surprised that anyone would suggest that fellow Venturers are "tramps" or insinuate that they are prostitutes--earlier in the thread and perhaps above?

 

Girl-blaming isn't going to solve the issue.

Real world, LC. My young women need to work harder to command the same respect that my young men ALREADY HAVE! Part of that is they are making up for lost time because generally they bailed out of GSUSA a while back and haven't had solid leadership experience. But part of that is because there are scouters out there who are more than happy to put their boot down on any attempt they might make to improve scouting for the rest of us.

 

I got two options: spend my time confronting every scouter who makes "glass ceiling" remarks, or teaching young women (and the young men who care about them) how to shore up the lashings for really effective "catapults" ... because people locked in a glass cathedral may need to throw stones. Some of my key "knots:"

  • Dress to command respect ...
  • Understand the other person's values ...
  • Now matter what's said, always respect him/her who does the work ...
  • Don't judge them, just prove them wrong ...

Call that "blaming" if you like. I call it giving a kid a leg up in life.

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I recommend checking out the Venturing Personal Safety Awareness training video (viewing it is one of the first requirements for any Venturer working on the new Venturing Awards). You can get it direct from the BSA here: http://www.scoutstuff.org/personal-safety-awareness-for-venturing-dvd.html#.VKFmlcBE4.

 

The video has a module on peer sexual harassment. By the BSA's own definition, sexual harassment is any unwelcome behaviors that creates a hostile environment. The training specifically says that Scouts should avoid any behaviors that "may make another feel humiliated, degraded, or threatened." The training specifically calls out "ogling," "staring," "whistling," "lewd comments or jokes," "questions about personal life," "repeated requests for dates," and "violating personal space" as just some examples of inappropriate behavior. The way someone is dressed does or the way they act does not give someone else the permission or the right to harass them. The training materials specifically state "You should not blame yourself for the harassment. This is not something you deserve or ask for. The harasser is the one who deserves blame."

 

The video also has a module on acquaintance rape, which also has some good material that could relate to some of the statements people have made in this thread too.

 

 

Now I wasn't there for any of the specific examples or situations cited in this discussion. I don't know the boys or girls involved in these specific situations nor do I know if the girls were truly inappropriately dressed (BSA does have standards in the Youth Protection guidelines for "appropriate attire" and I have seen both females and males at Scouting events that have crossed, or at least pushed, that line) or if some of the adults present were just being overly-sensitive prudes and the girls were dressed and behaving fine... or, as I suspect, if it was somewhere in between the two.

 

However the way a female presents herself does not give the boys (or the adults or anyone) the right to harass her. Period. Even if the girls were inappropriately dressed, making inappropriate comments towards or about them isn't okay -- two wrongs don't make a right.

 

So as for the guys involved here... as a Scout leader, I would make sure they boys are behaving appropriately (both around the females and behind their backs). Ogling or making comments to or about the girls is 100% unacceptable. Treating girls like "tramps" (even if they are dressed like "tramps", acting like "tramps" or even legitimate "tramps") is not Scout-like and is not acceptable. Just because you may feel the girls were "asking for it" with their behavior or appearance, it does not make it okay for the boys to behave any less than proper. I was on a Scouting trip once and we stopped at a McDonalds to use the bathrooms; the boys saw a group of scantily-clad, college-aged girls (who really were not dressed Scout-appropriate) and the boys made some objectifying and crude comments about the girls when we got back in the cars. It wasn't okay and the boys had a nice Scoutmaster conference and our SPL led a talk around the campfire about respect later that evening. The notion that “boys will be boys†is hogwash; we should be aiming to turn these “boys†into upstanding men with good and strong character, values, citizenship, respect, and personal fitness.

 

Now as for the ladies involved here... as a Venturing leader, I would make sure there were clear standards for what is appropriate dress (what length of shorts or shirts are appropriate, what can/can't be exposed, what type of bathing suits are okay, what type of images or language can be on t-shirts, etc.). Have a female leader talk with the girls about how they present themselves to the boys and the world. Just like many schools, there should be a basic dress code for the crew (and not just for the girls, but for the guys and adults too). Especially with teens, you need to establish clear guidelines for what is acceptable and what is not; the rules should not just be up to the whim or subjectivity of any random adult's mood on a given day. The girls themselves should have input and say in the rules and they should be agreed upon and clearly stated before the trip. If it’s okay for them to wear, say, a one-piece bathing suit, or a sleeveless top, or cut-off shorts with full-length leggings underneath, then they shouldn’t be penalized or looked down upon for wearing them. And, again, even if they do break the rules, it does not make it okay for the boys or anyone else to harass them. We also want the girls to develop as women of strong character, equal citizenship, and a good personal image and understanding of personal fitness – allowing harassment or shaming and blaming them for it isn’t how you do that; standing up to harassment, advocating equality, building self-respect and confidence, and empowering the girls is how you achieve that.

 

 

Just remember that the boys and the girls here are both equally Scouts and both deserve respect and support. We should absolutely guide the girls in the venturing program to dress appropriately and carry themselves with esteem and respect (we should do it for the boys too), but we should never shame or blame a girl when the boys don't act appropriately. We should address the boys’ actual behaviors rather than simply blame some innocent girls who may have unintentionally stirred things up just by basically being who they are.

 

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SMM, great stuff, those venturing videos. Guess how many boy scout leaders are required to review them? How often are they shown at roundtable, etc ... ?

 

I think most camps have a "one strike, you're out rule" regarding harassment. Most leaders hear it at evening meeting day 1, and maybe if they have a moment those leaders will warn the boys who they think most vulnerable to such behavior (along with dozens of other announcements). But, right when you think your best boy would never ... the potty-mouth opens.

 

Meanwhile, most camps would give a unit a couple of days to shore up its dress code. So, even if the young women's leaders were trying to be compliant, it's setting 1 in every 50 boys up for failure.

 

Regarding your example of the objectifying behavior of your boys once they were out of earshot of those college girls. I think most of us here would handle it much the way you did. ("Hey guys, what's it say on page 118 of your handbook?") But on the outside chance any of the ladies heard what the boys said, would you have sent them home? Most scouts and scouters aren't prepared for that kind of swift action against their boys, but that's what they are face when adults let scenarios like these play out.

 

And summer camp has traditionally been a place where leaders could let their guards down.

 

Does swift justice really allow boys and girls to correct their behavior so as to build mutual respect and understanding?

 

Troops aren't prepared. In fact some of them are primed to look down on Venturing.

Crews need to be sensitive to that. Girls do need a way to demand respect, without it wrecking a boy's entire week.

 

I guess I'm just naive and unrealistic. Might as well go sing Kum-ba-yah by myself down by the fire. :D

 

I'll join you at my crew's fire circle (they're pretty good at getting those things lit, no matter the weather) ... just as soon as I hand off to my CC the list of scouters who should be recommended training.

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We should address the boys’ actual behaviors rather than simply blame some innocent girls who may have unintentionally stirred things up just by basically being who they are.

 

AND we should address the girl's actual behaviors when they stir things up intentionally rather than blaming boys for basically being who they are......

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AND we should address the girl's actual behaviors when they stir things up intentionally rather than blaming boys for basically being who they are......

 

 

DC, I hear what you are saying. However, I don't buy into the "boys will be boys" idea. And, again, I don't think we need to be blaming boys or girls. What SMMatthew is saying is that we should help our Scouts understand that they should treat women with respect regardless of how the girls are dressed. A certain level of respect should be given to all.

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AND we should address the girl's actual behaviors when they stir things up intentionally rather than blaming boys for basically being who they are......

Oh, I'm not saying that females have never been at fault for inappropriate conduct in Scouting. I've experienced my fair share of girls that have crossed the line with comments about "cute boys", were caught ogling the "hunky" male camp staff members, or were otherwise intentionally stirring up trouble.

 

If two female Venturers show up at the waterfront in inappropriately revealing bathing suits and starts flaunting themselves and flirting with the male lifeguards, yes, that is inappropriate and those young ladies should be talked to and dealt with. But again, the un-Scoutlike or vacuous behavior of those girls still does not make it acceptable for male Scouts to ogle them, harass them, take advantage of them, or to be disrespectful towards women in general. The boys don’t get a “free pass†just because she “started it†or she was “asking for it†or because "well, boys will be boys." Both the boys and the girls have to be responsible for their actions.

 

However if two female Venturers show up at the waterfront in Scout-appropriate bathing suits to work on earning a lifeguard certification and all the boys just start drooling over them and making lewd comments about wanting to give them "mouth-to-mouth resuscitation" (whether the girls can hear them or not), well, that is inappropriate and those young men should be talked to and dealt with. A Scout camp shouldn't require all females to wear burkas when swimming or make the girls eat in a separate dining hall just because some boys can't seem to control themselves around members of the opposite gender.

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SMM, I generally agree with both of your posts. Your most recent post would be better, IMHO, if in the second paragraph you stopped at "those young ladies should be talked to and dealt with." But, you went on in that paragraph to be sure to put down boys even though it had nothing to do with the subject of the paragraph. Then in the last paragraph, rather than just stop at boys should behave themselves, which they should, you jumped to a extreme position about burkas and separate facilities. Those items were never in the conversation.

 

Seems to me the right answer is scouts should behave like scouts, regardless of gender, and should be disciplined when out of line. There, no need for gender stereotypes at all.

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... you jumped to a extreme position about burkas and separate facilities. Those items were never in the conversation. ...

 

Burka shaming! To the core of my Arab-American heart, that has to be a thing! ;)

What else ...

Uniform police shaming!

Knot shaming!

Bead shaming!

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Seems to me the right answer is scouts should behave like scouts' date=' regardless of gender, and should be disciplined when out of line. There, no need for gender stereotypes at all.[/quote'] I agree, and I may have used some hyperbole in my last post there with the burkas and whatnot. The bottom line is that, regardless of gender, Scouts should be expected to behave like Scouts and they should be disciplined and given guidance when they fail to do so. I’ve seen it go both ways (with boys harassing and being inappropriate towards the girls; and also with girls harassing and being inappropriate towards boys).

 

But the excuse of "boys will be boys"; or disregarding or discounting some behaviors simply due to "uncontrollable teenage hormones" (saying “he’s only human, after all†or “hey, he’s just being a teenage boy, what do you expect?â€Â); or claiming that someone else started it or was "asking for it" based on how they dress or act is total baloney. Setting a higher standard for one gender over the other, or treating the minority secondary to the majority is nonsense too. Everyone is equal and everyone is accountable for their own actions.

 

If a girl is truly dressing or acting like (to use the originally quoted word) a "tramp" at camp then that should be addressed (inappropriate attire and behavior should be address, no doubt about it), but a girl dressing like a "tramp" never gives the boys the right to treat her like one. Ever. You may feel a girl’s shorts are “too short†if you want (and we can debate what is and isn't "appropriate attire" for a co-ed program), but you can’t blame that girl (or use her short-shorts as an excuse) for why a group of Scouts is demeaning towards her or objectifying her. That just doesn't fly with me.

 

However I’ve had female Venturers wearing the official BSA Venturing uniform (they had the official socks, grey shorts, and green uniform shirts on... no inappropriate short-shorts, exposed midriffs, tight fitting spaghetti-strap tops, or even flashy make up)… and they still get cat-calls from boys and I get complaints from other leaders saying that their mere presence in the camp is a distractions to the boys. The "boys club" attitude of the BSA still very much exists.

 

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