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Cubmaster Pete

Running a Frontier Girls program concurrent with a Cub Scout Pack

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The committee and I have decided we will move forward with starting a FG troop to run concurrent with our CS Pack. We have several families within the pack that have girls that want to be included in a more official capacity, as well as interest from outside families that only have girls.

 

Basically, the girls would participate in the CS program with NO changes to the CS program. FG is very flexible with requirements, so far as to accept BSA ones over their own. Lets say the Tigers are getting their "Rolling Tigers" adventure. The girls would do the same requirements, and get the "Bicycling" badge from FG. The girls would not be getting a Tiger or Wolf or Bear rank badge, but the equivalent advancement through FG.

 

The girls would be registered as FG, and there would be no mixing of finances between the two units, as they would be run separate. They would even have separate chartered organizations, which works for us and both org's have no issue with this. All we are doing is meeting together, pooling recources, and serving the entire family in our area. The troop that we share a CO with is receptive at this time, and while we do not have any prospective girls older than 5 yrs old right now, that would be a minor stumbling block if we get that far.

 

Council and District thought it was a great idea, so we have their ok on it. What are your thoughts? Potential problems, etc....? 

 

Getting into something new here.... not quite coed scouting but close. I don't want to water down the Cub Scout experience for the boys, but I don't think that will happen. Just want to serve all the youth in our area. We are a small rural pack/troop.

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I would find it difficult to try and run two programs at the same time.  An occasional shared activity now and then would be okay, like a family picnic, etc. but to run two programs at the same time?  Not my thing especially if some parents from one organization took umbrage with something someone did they didn't like in the other program.  Unless I am responsibility to a whole group, intermingling of two groups has potential ramifications I wouldn't want to deal with.  I'm the den leader, and some little girl says I touched her inappropriately, is it a Frontier Girls issue or is it a BSA issue? If she gets hurt on my watch, does BSA cover my liability when I get sued?

 

Way too many unknowns for me to find out at some inconvenient future date.

 

Nope, not for me.

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I would find it difficult to try and run two programs at the same time.  An occasional shared activity now and then would be okay, like a family picnic, etc. but to run two programs at the same time?  Not my thing especially if some parents from one organization took umbrage with something someone did they didn't like in the other program.  Unless I am responsibility to a whole group, intermingling of two groups has potential ramifications I wouldn't want to deal with.  I'm the den leader, and some little girl says I touched her inappropriately, is it a Frontier Girls issue or is it a BSA issue? If she gets hurt on my watch, does BSA cover my liability when I get sued?

 

 

I see your point. We are still hammering out details, but I would require that every parent of a FG be present at every meeting for girls Tiger age or under, just like BSA requires.

 

BSA YP would apply, as far as if I had girls and boys at a den meeting, I would require both a male and female leader there. I would go so far as to require that parents stay with their kids the entire meeting. I have no issue with that. If you don't like that, find something else to involve your kid in.

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YPT does not cover it when a girl from FG gets hurt on your "watch" and the Cub DL gets sued for negligence.  Is BSA going to back the DL up?  The Cub DL will need both a male and female for a co-ed activity just like Venturing.  Yet the female would be there for YPT only and neither would be responsible for the FG members.

 

As one who has primary responsibility for running a Cub activity, are all the girls "visitors"?  Do they get equal attention from the two DL's or will the focus not be 100% on the boys?  Will the boys get the full attention of the DL's or will they be seen as getting favoritism if they do.  If a girl and boy get into a squabble do the parents deal with it or the registered leaders?  If the finances are kept separate how are activity expenses calculated?  What will the boys be doing when the FG's are working on advancement that aren't comparable to the Cub program?  Are all the other dens in the Pack affected or just one den? Is the Cubmaster going to be handing out FG awards or will they have a separate time for that?  Does FG have the same regulations, guidelines and policies that the BSA does?  Does that boil down to the least common denominator, i.e. the FG gals are not allowed to do an activity allowed by BSA, so the boys won't be able to do that? or vice versa?

 

I could go on for hours just asking questions, far too many to ask, far too many to get reliable answers for.

 

For me, if there's going to be co-ed scouting, I'm gonna wait until all these issues are ironed out before jumping in the swamp with the alligators.  And if BSA goes co-ed what happens to the FG girls? all join scouting and dump the FG program?  I'm sure that's going to impress FG.

 

Nope, still not interested in playing with a hornet's nest.

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Though you currently have no prospective FG girls older than 5 years old right now, that could change very quickly.  How would you deal with it if a few older girls sign up tomorrow?

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After working for 45+ years with youth groups both co-ed and single sex groups, this appears to be a cobbled hybrid attempt to circumvent the BSA policy and program for young males.  Way too many pitfalls and not enough safety net for me.  I wouldn't want to be involved with it. Do your own thing for your boys, that's your only responsibility, have an occasional combined activity, maybe every 3 or 4 months, but leave the rest on the table and walk away.

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That I am not sure of, but thats why I am asking questions.....

 

I think the consensus may be to have some joint events, but not everything?  Like den meetings?

 

I am sorry to say this, Pete, but my impression is that you are putting most of your time and attention on the little guys and neglecting the Webelos.

 

You need to consider how this will effect the Webelos.

Edited by David CO
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I am sorry to say this, Pete, but my impression is that you are putting most of your time and attention on the little guys and neglecting the Webelos.

 

You need to consider how this will effect the Webelos.

 

At the moment, my pack does not have any webelos. 1 bear who does not show up much, 6 wolves, 3 tigers and 5 lions. I realize it sounds very small, and it is, but its up from what it was. This February the unit would have folded when the Web II crossed over. Myself and the few other parents worked hard to recruit and develop a good program.

 

There is a bit of a selfish factor involved here. I have two daughters, 5 and 3. CC has one daughter, 5. DL has one daugher, 5. There are a few other parents who have daughters too that are younger than the sons.... We are all looking for a decent program, do not want to go the GS route, and use a program we know works and that the kids enjoy.

Edited by Cubmaster Pete

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I think Stosh brings up good logistical YP points. I'm not familiar with fireside Girls, but how would the leader situation work? Would you have one leader for the boys and one for the girls? What happens if the FG leader wants to do something that has no equivalent in Scouts? Will each kid get awards from their own leader? Won't that make meetings drag on? As they get older, what happens if one group is allowed, per their organizations policy, to do something the other one isn't?

I understand the appeal of having a program for your girls at the same time as the boys. But this feels like it's going to end up with the FG being an 'add-on' that will, almost inevitably, get less attention. I'd look into forming a separate group that gets together with the Cubs for regular events- hikes, picnic, family camp, etc. Like a sister troop.

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Me personally, I have lots of concerns. One I've seen first hand is what can happen when female siblings attend major district and council Cub events, but due to limit space for activities, cannot do the activities their brothers are doing.

 

To quote the 9th Doctor, "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!"

 

To quote the 2nd Doctor, 'When I say run, run. RUN!"

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This idea would have some problems and challenges, for sure, but I don't think it's anything that can't be dealt with. Good luck with it, Pete. Keep us updated on your progress. 

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