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SeattlePioneer

Girls Just Wanna Be Cub Scouts

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Venturing is a mess because the wrong people use it for the wrong reasons, mainly to save the older scouts in troops. We saw 3 out of 5 Crews drop out in less than five years. If the leaders can't make it work in a troop, what makes them think they can do it in a Crew. The most successful Venturing Crews have active programs independent of Troops. 

 

Barry

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The Venturing Crew I started is still around.  It was first chartered in 1999 when the program opened up.  Most people do not realize it is a Venturing Crew nor associated with BSA.  Although it is occasionally takes on female members for a while, it is generally all male.

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Venturing is a mess because the wrong people use it for the wrong reasons, mainly to save the older scouts in troops.. 

Or create a Boy Scout experience for their daughter instead of building an actual Crew.

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The General Interest Posts of the 50's and 60's were pretty much the elite of scouting for older boys.  Once Exploring came into existance in the early 70's it opened up the door to the hobby, career, scouting options.  Now another shift basically splinters off the career aspect and leaves Venturing just as the hobby/general interest "post" now called "High Adventure".  Yeah, right!  Like today's youth haven't seen though that marketing ploy?  What was once a rather solid program of medical posts, law posts, law enforcement posts, fire fighter posts, first aid and rescue posts, has ended up being either camp staff posts or a year-long-boring-meetings-getting-ready-for-a-once-a-year-expensive-blow-out-event-that-tries-to-lure-waning-older-scouts-into-staying-involved-with-girls-and-mega-fun-events-that-don't-happen Crews.

 

I was there when Exploring first stepped out and it was a really good program.  I started 42 different posts over the course of 2 years.  I carried the council for those two years with numbers in excess of nationally set quotas to carry scouting and cubbing as well. 15 years later more than 3/4th of those posts were still fully operational and doing well.

 

Our council today has 5 Venturing Crews.  It's a joke.  But when the new STEM truck shows up at the mall for a day, everything will change for the better.......

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The General Interest Posts of the 50's and 60's were pretty much the elite of scouting for older boys.  Once Exploring came into existance in the early 70's it opened up the door to the hobby, career, scouting options. 

 

 

 

???  No understanding of this post...

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???  No understanding of this post...

 

When I was a lad in Boy Scouts, the Explorers were the dark green clad older scouts that were part of Explorer Posts.  Look at the old Rockwell pictures... :)

 

In the 70's the powers to be opened them up to co-ed and the program changed from just camping/scouting to careers and hobbies to draw in the gals.  The program continued with the title Explorers.  In the late 90's the career portion of the program was culled out into Learning for Life program and Exploring was changed to Venturing using the hobby posts (anything non-career) and General Interest posts and chanced it all into Venturing Crews with the hobby posts changing to specific hobbies, i.e. SCUBA, Chess, Geocaching, etc.Crews and the General Interest Posts changed to High Adventure Crews.

 

It makes more sense if you're an Old Fart and lived through the history.  :)

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OK, well my scouting ended in the 1970s.   The coed Explorer posts I was involved with were heavy into outdoor activities, especially Charlie Sommers and Philmont treks.  Several of the girls I knew that trekked Philmont later wound up on the staff.

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As a girl growing up, I much prefered to play with boys, to do what most would consider to be activites for boys. I still do.

 

There's no way I would have signed up for Girl Scouts as a kid, even if they did more outdoor activities. I hated skirts for one, I threw temper tantrums whenever my mom tried to put me into one. But the biggest part was because I loved playing with boys. I loved getting dirty, climbing rocks, fishing, ANYTHING that brought me outside and allowed me to challenge myself. But I was lucky. My dad was generally not in the picture, my mom was busy trying to support my sister and I. Seeing that we were lacking in mentors, she signed us up for the Big Brother Big Sister program. I wound up being matched up with a woman and her husband who did things with me, brought me places, experienced things with me, taught me morals, and how to protect nature. Everything that I could have done as a Cub/Boy Scout. I will always be eternally grateful for them and everything they did for me. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today without them in my life. But I was lucky. My sister was also paired up with someone from the program, and had no where near the experience and nurturing as I did. We were a rare success story. I remember being featured in a paper, and receiving special awards. Our connection was strong, and our being part of their program far succeeded the program's expectations in terms of our success in being a great partnership, and the length of time we were together. I was REALLY lucky, I still tell them to this day how much I appreciate what they've done for me.

 

My son is now in Cub Scouts, and I'm going to be taking over as Cubmaster next month when our current Cubmaster's sons cross over. I have a strong urge to offer these kids the same experiences I had, to actually help them become better adults. Coming into it, one of our Cubmasters had mentioned a sibling, a girl, who loves Cub Scouts. She did Girl Scouts, and hated it. It's not for her. I now have another with the same sentiments. We allow siblings to participate in all pack activities, but it's hard for me to watch. I see it as a slap in the face to the girls. They can do all of the same things, but are not recognized for their achievements. I love what those California girls are doing. There is no justice in following unjust laws. There is no reason why girls should not be able to participate formally. They can do most other things together. As a girl growing up if I wanted to play town football, I could have. If I wanted to play baseball instead of softball, I could have, and did. Why can I participate in running the program, but these girls are not allowed to join formally? Our pack has a couple of male den leaders, but it is run by women, we're the ones that make things happen.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emily-henry/confessions-of-a-girl-boy_b_1944421.html

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Many other countries have allowed enrollment for girls in scouts. They have been successful. They have been successful in providing experiences for all genders. They have been successful in seeing an increasing amount of registrations, vs. what the BSA is currently experiencing. I see band-aids like the Lion program, which I don't hate, but it will not fix the enrollment problem like they hope it will. Letting girls join will. Even if it's a separate den, they should be included in our pack like they wish they could. It's upsetting, I feel awful that I have my hands tied. Especially because I know what it feels like to want to do these types of activities with no outlet. I had 0 self confidence as a child and teen, and I think a large part of that is because I was always told that I shouldn't do something, or dress a certain way because I'm a girl, but I wanted to do it anyways. I have a parent ready to quit the pack over it, her daughter would love to be part of the pack, and it's hard for her Tiger to understand the reasoning behind why she can't. It is becoming a negative experience for their family. I really hope to see things change, soon.

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Welcome to the forum, thanks for your comments,  I have a daughter that was exactly the same way.

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@@maryread thanks for sharing. If those sisters are Mavericks, do your best to support it. That may include helping parents consider Campfire USA or the Baden Powell Service Association.

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@ maryread, I know some of the international co-ed scouting programs are touted to be "successful" but successful at what?  I think in many cases, the agenda is more important than the result to the people claiming success. 

Society has changed so many girls are much more interested in vigorous outdoor activities than was the case 40 or 60 years ago.  That suggests there is room for co-ed activities.

 

On the other hand, biology hasn't changed much -- holding a 15 or 16 year-old boy's attention when there's a cute girl sitting next to him or even across from him is a lot more difficult than when it's just a group of guys.  That's pretty important when I'm going over safety instructions for the more rigorous outdoor activities that are common with older Scouts.

 

I'm open to the idea of co-ed Scouting but to my mind, the best of all worlds would be for Girl Scouts to actually adopt an outdoor program that did what girls wanted today and then for the Boy Scout and Girl Scout units to have select joint activities but still retain individual programs.  BSA could certainly give GSUSA pointers on how to set up successful programs that would meet the interests and needs of the modern girl.  Where I draw the line and get obstreperous is when individual ram their desires down the throats of entire organizations.

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@ maryread, I know some of the international co-ed scouting programs are touted to be "successful" but successful at what?  I think in many cases, the agenda is more important than the result to the people claiming success. 

Society has changed so many girls are much more interested in vigorous outdoor activities than was the case 40 or 60 years ago.  That suggests there is room for co-ed activities.

 

On the other hand, biology hasn't changed much -- holding a 15 or 16 year-old boy's attention when there's a cute girl sitting next to him or even across from him is a lot more difficult than when it's just a group of guys.  That's pretty important when I'm going over safety instructions for the more rigorous outdoor activities that are common with older Scouts.

 

I'm open to the idea of co-ed Scouting but to my mind, the best of all worlds would be for Girl Scouts to actually adopt an outdoor program that did what girls wanted today and then for the Boy Scout and Girl Scout units to have select joint activities but still retain individual programs.  BSA could certainly give GSUSA pointers on how to set up successful programs that would meet the interests and needs of the modern girl.  Where I draw the line and get obstreperous is when individual ram their desires down the throats of entire organizations.

To be honest my experience has been entirely the opposite. I find mixed groups easier in terms of getting their attention than single sex groups, be they all boys or all girls. I'm not entirely sure why that is but I've found it consistently. I've seen young love blossom in the troop a couple of times but the discipline of scouting means that it's never been out of hand and never caused a problem. They understand that when they have chores to do them they do them, when an adult or PL is talking they listen and so on.

 

I don't know it happened in other countries but in the UK it was a bottom up thing. Groups started unilaterally admitting girls. Eventually national gave into the inevitable. And yes it has been a success. We are preparing young people for the big wide world. In that world unless they join a monastery they are going to have to work with the opposite sex. I'd argue they should be trained to do that from an early age.

 

That's my view from my side of the pond. Would it work your side? I don't know. I know one fact though, every argument that I've seen on here against it was also had over here before the whole association went mixed. And all those fears proved unfounded.

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I, as well, don't see the problem with co-ed programs.  I've worked with at-risk youth, church youth groups and community youth groups and haven't had any problems.

 

With that being said, I have also worked with Scouts for 35+ years as well.  I do see a lot of developmental advantages of same-sex groupings.  If Scouts goes co-ed along with the crowd, that dynamic will disappear.  It has to a certain extent with the co-ed Exploring program, but know with the co-ed Venturing program BSA has doubled down on the problem.  I also noticed the impact on the program with the introduction of female SM's.  Yeah, yeah, I'll hear about it, but the dynamics change when a child interacts with a mom than with a dad.

 

So when these changes eventually occur and females join in for a super boy oriented program, don't be surprised in a very short time, those dynamics will take on the same issues facing Exploring, Venturing, Church Youth, Boy/Girls Club, 4-H YMCA now that it is just the Y with men christian association removed, etc.

 

 The gals will be able to choose with the Heritage Girls and GS/USA, but the boys' options will disappear into the same-old, same-old youth program everyone else is running, with trees.  But even that is beginning to be re-invaded with some of these nature conservancy groups out there reaching out to young people.

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As I said before, admitting women into the troops has diluted the out door boy run program. Adding girls will dilute it that much more because experienced adult leadership will be even more diluted. Parents have to eventually decide if they character development program for their sons or camping entertainment. That is exactly what happened to both YMCA and the Canadian Scouts. Lucky for us, the Girls Scouts are firmer in their belief that gender role modeling is important for proper growth and will likely never merge with the BSA.

 

Barry

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