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Girl Scouts Debate Their Place in a Changing World

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Chess is a skill that teaches strategy and critical thinking. An SPL can learn a GREAT deal about resource management from a good game of chess. you say STEM as nonsence and here you are clattering away at a keyboard leveraging the internet to complain. Make sure the boys in your troop have no understanding of how information travels because that is a waste of time. Ohhh yeah try to get a ROTC scholarship with an Eagle rank and no understanding of STEM. let see how that goes for your troop.
I was on track for an ROTC scholarship without a STEM major. Then I got sick. I think BPs fear is that STEM will replace the outdoors. When integrated properly into what Scouts do STEM can be a powerful way to reach more kids

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... science of style is at least real science ...

 

It's not the content that's the problem. It's the window dressing: the thinking that all girls want out of life is to be a Disney princess and therefore need to be "lured" into fields by presenting them with a "feminine" touch. At a certain point, girls rightly become insulted by the patronization. (The above picture was from a young woman at a local college who at first assumed the Science Center was responsible for the gender bias in the program titles.)

 

There are (and have been for decades) young American women who marched into the most desolate parts of the darkest continents to heal the sick or restore wildlife. There are women in my family who can shut down a refinery, reconfigure it, and bring it back online in a weekend. Some are trying to figure out how to leverage engineering skills to pay for med school. MY MOM ROLLED STEEL. These women, their science isn't stylish, but it saves the world and builds the nation. Why would they ever want to bring their daughters up through an organization that doesn't provide a vision of true grit and pioneer spirit?

 

If the GSUSA wants more girls, they need give their constituents a vision of something greater than "Hollywood scientist." Trust me, the GS moms who "get it" see this drivel and cringe.

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How can anyone say "Science with a Sparkle" doesn't bring out the "true grit and pioneer spirit" in women today?

 

I could spend all day long poking fun at this and yet, the first doll on the market with a NASA space suit on was not G.I. Joe, it was Barbie. Someone ought to re-read their history books once in a while.

 

Stosh

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How can anyone say "Science with a Sparkle" doesn't bring out the "true grit and pioneer spirit" in women today?

 

I could spend all day long poking fun at this and yet, the first doll on the market with a NASA space suit on was not G.I. Joe, it was Barbie. Someone ought to re-read their history books once in a while.

 

Stosh

 

Followed by a talking Barbie that said, amongst other babble that "Math class is rough"...

 

It is just wrong. My almost 10 year old Junior is bored to tears with crafts and cookies in her Troop. She really wants to go do all the fun outdoor stuff that her brother was doing at that age. In the area where we live, the GS Troops all seem to be run by Stepford Wives- they do very little in the way of outdoor activities, but won't let us guys lend a hand.

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My eldest daughter bailed as having enough after reaching silver. She's the one that has told me I am the one that will teach my granddaughter outdoor camping, hunting and fishing skills.

 

Stosh

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I started my journey as a parent in scouting with my son in cub scouts. We were fortunate to be a part of a den lead by an experienced and excited leader. I put my daughter in Girl Scouts and she came home with crafts and songs...okay for a 6-year old, but it gets old quickly. I reluctantly agreed to lead a group of Juniors (4th-5th grade) and the girls were excited when I eschewed the Girl Scouts curriculum in favor of earning Whittling Chip, building fires and CAMPING IN TENTS IN THE WOODS. I had girls rejoin Girl Scouts to be in our troop, after quitting years earlier. I had girls transfer from other troops. Please, don't discredit the girls...they want this. They want outdoor skills and leadership. They want to have the exciting adventures the boys are having. My girls are almost ashamed to be called Girl Scouts; they are quick to inform people they are Girl Scouts, but not "Girly Scouts."

 

Unfortunately, my experience with our service unit and council is that they are only helpful when it comes to telling us how to do one of their fundraisers...which they'll gladly give us 15% of. Otherwise, I find the printed materials, staff, meetings and websites to be of no value. I feel that GSUSA has gotten too involved in raising money and has forgotten it's true purpose.

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I started my journey as a parent in scouting with my son in cub scouts. We were fortunate to be a part of a den lead by an experienced and excited leader. I put my daughter in Girl Scouts and she came home with crafts and songs...okay for a 6-year old, but it gets old quickly. I reluctantly agreed to lead a group of Juniors (4th-5th grade) and the girls were excited when I eschewed the Girl Scouts curriculum in favor of earning Whittling Chip, building fires and CAMPING IN TENTS IN THE WOODS. I had girls rejoin Girl Scouts to be in our troop, after quitting years earlier. I had girls transfer from other troops. Please, don't discredit the girls...they want this. They want outdoor skills and leadership. They want to have the exciting adventures the boys are having. My girls are almost ashamed to be called Girl Scouts; they are quick to inform people they are Girl Scouts, but not "Girly Scouts."

 

Unfortunately, my experience with our service unit and council is that they are only helpful when it comes to telling us how to do one of their fundraisers...which they'll gladly give us 15% of. Otherwise, I find the printed materials, staff, meetings and websites to be of no value. I feel that GSUSA has gotten too involved in raising money and has forgotten it's true purpose.

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

I wonder how prevalent what you describe is in GSUSA. One would think that if BSA were to drop out the Whittling Chip, building fires, and Camping in tents in the woods, that they might suffer the same consequences.

 

Stosh

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Yes, Welcome to the Forums, makotara!

Torchwood, my daughter was also bored to tears and desperately wanted to do the same things my son was doing (and she could 'out-scout' most of the boys as well). So we did stuff outside of any program and what she missed was the camaraderie and the advancement. But she and I grew even closer as a result...she's the only person I consider if I'm going to invite a companion for backpacking. Heck, in some skills she can 'out-scout' me for that matter.

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A former supervisor of mine who was once a Girl Scout happens to be the daughter of a former Scoutmaster of the Troop for which I am now Scoutmaster. The Girl Scout in question was looking a photos of her brothers and her father from the trip they took to the 1973 National Jamboree in Idaho. She said, "Man, I was SO jealous of those guys!" Her Troop never did anything remotely that cool. My mom was a Girl Scout briefly in the 1950s and she dropped it faster than a hot potato because it was "all about sewing, cooking, and crafts". She remembers being so jealous of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts she knew from school. They were always going off on adventures and doing great things in the woods. Luckily, my mom got to go camping with her father, my grandpa, who camped in the style of Horace Kephart and "Nessmuk". She got the outdoors she craved through a local saddle club but it really would have been great for the Girl Scouts to have provided some of that adventure for her, too. I'm looking forward to the new Venturing Crew we're starting in January because the sisters of my Boy Scouts are finally going to be able to participate in Sea Base, Philmont, and Boundary Waters. The young women of my community aren't well-served in terms of outdoor adventure. I hope to change that so they don't feel the same in their 50s and 60s like my mom or my supervisor...

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Wife is a Girl Scout leader. The training is part of the problem, plus the ad hoc nature of the troops. A normal GS Troop is a two Kindergarteners, their mom, and 6 friends. As they drop out, they replace them or the program folds. They take their fundraisers and spend it on a single activity, never acquire gear or permanence. The Charter-Org system that gives BSA Unit's a sense of longevity is a HUGE part of the long term success.

 

Not letting dads really volunteer in GSUSA doesn't help. When I go to Round Table, it's probably 60-40 men-women, and around 40-60 men-women with the under 50 volunteers. When my wife goes to Service Unit meetings, there isn't a male attendee.

 

I don't think that the programs will, or should, merge. I think BSA should offer co-ed scouting and GSUSA should offer co-ed Guiding, since they aren't looking at the same stuff.

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