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meyerc13

Female Venturers and Boy Scout Advancement

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In the UK, we went coed some time ago, and didn't change the requirements for our top award, the Queen's Scout Award. It retains the same honour as it always has (well, I'm guessing old Queen's Scouts, or indeed King's Scouts, not many of them left, many would say "ooh, it was much harder in my day", same with exams) I'm sure there were "political correctness gone mad" grumbles at the time, but not, as far as I recall, about girls becoming Queen's Scouts.

 

In my opinion, if you were going to let girls get eagle, it would only be by letting them take all the steps that a current eagle takes, i.e. the award is not watered down. Of course, from what I read here, that's...improbable...or rather, it's looking at it from the wrong end. Having slipped girls into Venturing, if you wanted girls to eagle, they would, in my limited understanding, need to be in the troop, and make 1st class. It's almost an unintended consequence, except they can't join the troop.

 

Question...Can a boy currently join scouting (i.e. not been a cub etc) at 14 and make eagle?

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..., if you were going to let girls get eagle, it would only be by letting them take all the steps that a current eagle takes, i.e. the award is not watered down. Of course, from what I read here, that's...improbable...or rather, it's looking at it from the wrong end. Having slipped girls into Venturing, if you wanted girls to eagle, they would, in my limited understanding, need to be in the troop, and make 1st class. It's almost an unintended consequence, except they can't join the troop.

 

Question...Can a boy currently join scouting (i.e. not been a cub etc) at 14 and make eagle?

To your question: boys can and do join troops (or Varsity Scout teams, or Lone Scouts) at age 14 and make Eagle. There is no time requirement for first class, so as soon as they participate in the minimum numbers of activities, service projects, and campouts, they can be at the same rank as most of the other boys by age 15.

 

BSA has bent over backwards to assure that nearly any young man in the USA (and in some places abroad) has access to its advancement program.

 

It has jumped through as many hoops to ensure that even the most able young woman cannot.

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I've read the requirements for road to first class and I can honestly say that there is nothing in there that requires peeing standing up in order to advance. 

 

If a person can get through the same requirements, why does it matter which latrine they use?

 

I feel the same way about OA. Women can't be OA unless they are over 18. I see plenty of women wearing sashes with triangles on them. I guess they were unworthy at 17 but magically worthy at 18. 

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Yeah this is less about a specific boundary and more about what people believe.  IMHO, this should be like other recent membership changes.  BSA should be open and accepting and let the charter partners choose their membership based on their beliefs and objectives.  

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The Venturing Summit award requires the same level of leadership, activity and service as the Eagle Scout Award.   Based on what I know about Venturing, I would give more weight to the Summit Award than to Eagle.

The issue is the recognition of the Summit award by the Armed Forces, colleges, employers, ad infinitum.

 

Eagle Scout is a recognized and secure brand.

 

Other top ranks ... not so much

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Yeah this is less about a specific boundary and more about what people believe.  IMHO, this should be like other recent membership changes.  BSA should be open and accepting and let the charter partners choose their membership based on their beliefs and objectives.

Although I've come to believe that there is no good reason for banning certain classes of Americans from scouting advancement, there aren't compelling reasons to lift those bans. Any reasons should center on boys, and speculate on questions like these:

  • Demand. Who among banned groups are asking to participate in Boy Scout advancement? Certainly none of my female venturers or any girl scouts who I know.
  • Stakeholders' well-being. In other words. Is it good for the boys in the program? Yes there's a lot of talk about co-ed. But even if it were to happen as ubiquitously as it did in Scout's UK. Boys would still be our major constituency.
  • Would-be stakeholders. Is the notion of a nationally recognized award attractive to boys who are not in BSA? Would more boys be interested scouting if their sisters or girlfriends could also earn the same rank.

The issue is the recognition of the Summit award by the Armed Forces, colleges, employers, ad infinitum.

 

Eagle Scout is a recognized and secure brand.

 

Other top ranks ... not so much

This might be an issue for some, but I'm not hearing it.

  • Girl scouts are more concerned about being denied programs that common sense should dictate their organization provide. I have an great niece adopted from a 3rd world orphanage who simply does not get why American girls her age aren't "allowed" to light campfires (which she does with flint and steel). Like my daughter, she envies all the camp-outs her brothers go on.
  • Female venturers just want respect. For example, I've known advisors and scoutmasters who've dealt with boy scouts telling a girl that any award they could possibly earn would never compare to Eagle. (For any of my scouts reading this, thank you for being bigger than that.)  The ones who are mastering wilderness adventure or sea scouting know they are "all that." If the boys around them give them their due, that's award enough.

The fact is, an award like Summit or GS Gold means a lot to recruiters. But even if that wasn't the case, what Eagle means to potential employers or recruiters shouldn't be a consideration. What it means to parents shouldn't be a consideration.

 

What it means to youth (both in scouting, and considering to be in scouting) is what matters.

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The issue is the recognition of the Summit award by the Armed Forces, colleges, employers, ad infinitum.

 

Eagle Scout is a recognized and secure brand.

 

Other top ranks ... not so much

 

 

This might be an issue for some, but I'm not hearing it.

  • Girl scouts are more concerned about being denied programs that common sense should dictate their organization provide. I have an great niece adopted from a 3rd world orphanage who simply does not get why American girls her age aren't "allowed" to light campfires (which she does with flint and steel). Like my daughter, she envies all the camp-outs her brothers go on.
  • Female venturers just want respect. For example, I've known advisors and scoutmasters who've dealt with boy scouts telling a girl that any award they could possibly earn would never compare to Eagle. (For any of my scouts reading this, thank you for being bigger than that.)  The ones who are mastering wilderness adventure or sea scouting know they are "all that." If the boys around them give them their due, that's award enough.

What it means to youth (both in scouting, and considering to be in scouting) is what matters.

 

 

On Sunday night we had the organizational meeting for our Venturing Crew.  The four young woman in attendance (and the three young men) all said the reason they were there was for the adventure.  I got the sense that everyone there was there because they thought Venturing was going to be FUN and not something to put on their resume.  

 

The answer that one of our 18 year old scouts who is off to college gave at his Eagle Scoutmaster conference is telling.  The question was "How would you feel if for some reason you were denied Eagle?"  Answer, "I'd be really disappointed after all the work I've put in, but I'd still have the knowledge and skills I"ve learned getting to Eagle and that can't be taken away from me."  

 

At the Venturing meeting, one of the few things I talked about was Baden-Powell's quote about Scouting being a game with a purpose.  What I tell all of the Boy Scouts in our Troop is that the Eagle Scout award isn't as important about the path you take to get there and what you learn along the way.

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adventure.... honestly I think that gets to the crux of what the boys want too.  I see it in my son, who is not really all that concerned with getting his achievements signed off.

 

The issue is the recognition of the Summit award by the Armed Forces, colleges, employers, ad infinitum.

Eagle Scout is a recognized and secure brand.

Other top ranks ... not so much

Yeah, I could not have told you what the Girl Scout Equivalent was if I had not read it in a school newsletter just this morning..... and of course the name was accompanied by "..., the highest award in Girl Scouts."

Pretty sure you can just write "Eagle Scout", and almost all folks will know what that means.... even non-scouts.

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Lot of assumptions in this thread.

 

Having a sister in Girl Scouts taught me at a very young age what the Gold Award was.

As a child I assumed  :) everyone older than I knew as well.

 

Less assuming all around, please.

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As much as we in this forum might talk about advancement (and Eagle in particular) not being a "big deal", and the kids should be there for the fun, adventure, learning, character-building etc., the fact is that BSA National does make a very big deal out of Eagle. They promote it as the pinnacle of achievement in Boy Scouting, they express justifiable pride in the award and its recipients, and they devote substantial resources to it.

 

That being the case, we should not be surprised if some kids believe National and conclude that Eagle is a big deal.  Some of those kids will not be eligible to earn the award, because they are female.  If one of those girls asks "Why", the honest answer is that however much you may want it, only boys are eligible to earn it, and that's the National policy, and that's it.  We can debate whether that is a good policy, but that is the current policy.  I think it is not completely fair to tell a young woman who wants it, and thinks it is a big deal, that she shouldn't want it because it's not a big deal, when National says it is a big deal.

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The fact is, an award like Summit or GS Gold means a lot to recruiters. But even if that wasn't the case, what Eagle means to potential employers or recruiters shouldn't be a consideration. What it means to parents shouldn't be a consideration.

 

What it means to youth (both in scouting, and considering to be in scouting) is what matters.

And here we get to marginalizing the expectation so everyone can be a winner. 

 

Through out history, the strength of a community is set by the level of expectations of the community. I was reading an article that was saying the USA is failing our children today because communities don't hold high expectations for their youth anymore. In fact, the USA pop culture is reaching a point where it has no expectations for youth. Letting the youth set their own expectations is like telling Olympic athletes that there isn't one stand finish line anymore. Instead they just set their own finish line and call it good. Sound ridiculous? How many of our youth get a trophy at the end of the season for just joining a team. 

 

This Eagle discussion is tiring because it is being reduced to a few idealist suggesting a reduction of the High Expectations of one award instead of pushing for higher expectations of another award. Once a high set of standards is reduced (dumbed down), no award will have respect.

 

Does anyone here watch American Nija Warrior? It is a competition where athletes have to overcome a series of obstacles to advance to the next level. Last night a girl advanced to a level that females have never advanced before. It is such a big accomplishment that USA Today has an article about her. Here is a small quote from the article. 

 

""My first year doing Ninja Warrior, I didn’t really know what it was about. After that, when so many people were like, 'I didn’t know women could do that,' I thought, 'Then, we better show you," she says. "The main thing is just testing my limits, seeing how much you can do. Seeing how much you’re capable of."

 

The women who are participating in this competition aren't asking for the standards to be lowered so women have an equal chance for the award, they are using the high standards as goals to be reached. It's time that sympathizing idealist start pushing for mediocre standards of Girls programs get raised to give girls a fair chance of high recognition instead of lowering the standards of the other programs. Changing the requirements of the Eagle award won't raise the honor for girls, it will only take it from the boys.

 

Barry

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Changing the requirements of the Eagle award won't raise the honor for girls, it will only take it from the boys.

 

 

If you changed the Eagle award so that someone without testicles could be awarded it, and changed nothing else, would that still take honour from the boys?

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@@ianwilkins, one doesn't need testicles to earn Boy Scout ranks. One just needs to be male. There is no ban on eunuchs. :p

 

And here we get to marginalizing the expectation so everyone can be a winner. 

 

....

The women who are participating in this competition aren't asking for the standards to be lowered so women have an equal chance for the award, they are using the high standards as goals to be reached. It's time that sympathizing idealist start pushing for mediocre standards of Girls programs get raised to give girls a fair chance of high recognition instead of lowering the standards of the other programs. Changing the requirements of the Eagle award won't raise the honor for girls, it will only take it from the boys.

 

Barry

You continue to be in denial that we are saying the same thing. This is not a discussion of changing a single requirement for the award as it is offered to Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Lone Scouts. So, your reference to "ninja warriors" seems to support granting deserving women access to due recognition.

 

A percentage of 1st class scouts (by virtue of fulfilling the requirements just for the fun of it) are not eligible for the award simply because lots of other people think they should be denied the path to that award. There are special interest who would like to change things in the face of youth apathy. So we come back to ...

 

How will any boy in your troop be dishonored if a girl in Kalamazoo were to get the same award?

-- and on the flip side --

How will a deserving girl in Kalamazoo be dishonored if any boy in your troop gets an award that she can't?

 

Any answers to either of those have been less than satisfying.

 

The more important questions (and harder ones to answer):

  • are boys missing something important because certain classes are banned from attempting a program designed for them? And,
  • do boys lose interest in scouting because certain classes are banned from that program?

Right now, I lean towards "no" for both. I'm not sure what data I would need for me to lean towards "yes."

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@@qwazse my first downvote. Woe is me!

 

 

The more important questions (and harder ones to answer):

  • are boys missing something important because certain classes are banned from attempting a program designed for them? And,
  • do boys lose interest in scouting because certain classes are banned from that program?

Right now, I lean towards "no" for both. I'm not sure what data I would need for me to lean towards "yes."

 

Yes, I'm not sure there's any quantifiable answer to either of those. Over this side of the pond, co-ed and all that, we do have one local anomaly, a cub leader has refused to go mixed, as "boys need their own space" in her opinion, yet they were fine with their daughter being one of my explorer scouts. That's different apparently.

 

I can sort of see the point, if "boys need their own space", maybe they do, if the leader would change the programme to accommodate girls, scouts is no longer what it was. There's also a whole raft of discussion around how girls develop earlier, and the self fulfilling nature of girls being organised and boys not at a certain age. I.e. in the UK, as scouts runs to 14.5, quite often the girls seem to be better patrol leaders at that stage, so you could say that boys are missing out on learning how to be better leaders. Or you could look at it as "they're all scouts", and the patrol leaders are the best ones at the time for the job, their gender is irrelevant.

 

"do boys lose interest in scouting because certain classes are banned from that program?"

 

Well, the reverse of that same coin...are boys put off because there are girls in the programme? Possibly, some, maybe, but who knows? It's rather imponderable. Though it probably won't stop us pondering all the same.

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 quite often the girls seem to be better patrol leaders at that stage, so you could say that boys are missing out on learning how to be better leaders. se there are girls in the programme? Possibly, some, maybe, but who knows? It's rather imponderable. Though it probably won't stop us pondering all the same.

 

Interesting observation but one I'd disagree on. I see boys and girls as typically having different strengths. I see girls tend to get things right first time more often, but boys are better at recovering the situation when it goes wrong.

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