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Push for Coed Scouting

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So a proposal to change the Venturing age range from 14*-21 to 11-21, but only for girls, boys would still wait until 13* or 14? :blink:

 

Allow local option, both exclusion and inclusion, to determine unit membership.

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So a proposal to change the Venturing age range from 14*-21 to 11-21, but only for girls, boys would still wait until 13* or 14? :blink:

 

No, I mentioned in my response that lowering the age to 11 might help kids who are thinking about leaving scouting, giving them another option at a pivotal age when kids often seem to start having thoughts about not continuing. So of course boys would be included in that. 

 

For clarity, I think Venturing age should be lowered for all members. 

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Your examples show us that co-ed programs can be fun. But the majority of Americans don't look to the rest of the world for role models. In that sense we are a much different animal.

 

Asked and answered with our venturing program. After a steep incline in from its inception in 1998 with ~180K members to 2005, when it had 300K members on its roles. It's membership has declined to 148K. That's right. The BSA's premier coed program has 20% fewer youth now than when it started two decades ago. That's not a bump in the road, that's a sinkhole!

 

Had the exponential growth (which, I believe was somewhat artificial for a number of reasons) been maintained and brought us to 800K active youth members today, the discussion would be much different. But we are observing the opposite: when given the choice, American boys and girls will not join a co-ed scouting program in large enough numbers to indicate that such a program is nationally desirable.

 

 

A lot can change in a decade, and if my crew quadruples in venturers, and my district quintuples in crews, I might become more optimistic. But right now, as much fun as I get from watching young men and women work together in the outdoors, I have to admit that mine is just a niche program with pretty green shirts.

 

There's a bit of truth in this highlighted comment.  Since leaving the one Crew, I have tried 4 times to start another more general interest Crew.  The last one was a large number of co-ed youth wanted to start an outdoorsy grouping.  They were all from the same high school.  After an interest/orientation meeting, I returned to find that no one showed up to register.  It would seem that the group was formed as a club within the high school at no cost to the students to join.  End of discussion.

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We are short of adult hours and BSA just will not directly recruit adults.  I got a letter of reprimand for contacting adults from the Eagle list.  "The adults come with the Scouts."  When I look around at the council and district volunteers, I see too much grey hair.  We are fighting a mega-trend(resistance to joining groups)  with a strategy that only worked so-so fifty years ago.

 

Ed: Of course, it's OK to contact adults to donate to B.S.A.

Edited by TAHAWK

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No, I mentioned in my response that lowering the age to 11 might help kids who are thinking about leaving scouting, giving them another option at a pivotal age when kids often seem to start having thoughts about not continuing. So of course boys would be included in that. 

 

For clarity, I think Venturing age should be lowered for all members. 

At first I thought this was a unique idea worth thinking about. After thinking about it, what would the program be? Adventure? Isn't that what the troop is supposed to be? OK, maybe it is adventure without the Eight Methods of Scouting, but then who plans and leads the program? I know Adventure Scouts are supposed to plan and lead their program, but now we are talking about 10 year olds.

 

My objection to the changes we are discussing for the present program is that it's turning it into an after school camping program. I think this Venturing idea does exactly that.

 

I like my idea better, lets do some fund raising and pay the GSUSA to experiment with mixing genders.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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No, I mentioned in my response that lowering the age to 11 might help kids who are thinking about leaving scouting, giving them another option at a pivotal age when kids often seem to start having thoughts about not continuing. So of course boys would be included in that. 

 

For clarity, I think Venturing age should be lowered for all members. 

My :blink: was more about the age range. IMO Scouting program ages should align more with school age groups.

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So a proposal to change the Venturing age range from 14*-21 to 11-21, but only for girls, boys would still wait until 13* or 14? :blink:

 

Allow local option, both exclusion and inclusion, to determine unit membership.

 

Unless you are a TG boy, er girl, then you could join Venturing at 11.

 

See, we can find a way to make this work for everyone AND still keep Boy Scouting for boys.  ;)

 

Imagine what the new membership for will look like...and the spinning heads of the council registrar. :o

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Unless you are a TG boy, er girl, then you could join Venturing at 11.

 

See, we can find a way to make this work for everyone AND still keep Boy Scouting for boys.  ;)

 

Imagine what the new membership for will look like...and the spinning heads of the council registrar. :o

Imagine you are a parent and scout leader who brings his daughter(s) along on the hikes and even summer camp where BTW about 20% of the staff is female. His daughters (under 14) like the program and want to join with their brothers. The boys don't care, the CO is all for it, and it sure makes logistics easier for parents. The ones against it are outside of the unit, who are free to keep their unit all boys, even all <pick a denomination> boys. They are even free to start their own CO.

 

Imagine the look on kids' faces as they are Scouts.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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But, I'll freely admit, and I'm realising more and more, we're two countries with a moderately common language, but some sizeable differences in culture, so I'm definitely not going to tell you what's best, as if anyone could really know.

Your statement suggests a single culture, or even a majority culture, in the US.  If that was the case, we wouldn't be having these kinds of debates internal to the BSA or across the country.  

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Some is a relative term and even then imply a smallish number.  I applaud the ability to have this option in the realm of sports, but I would also fight hard to preserve the other option as well.

 

Ok, here are specific numbers:

 

"Washington, California, Texas, Hawaii and Tennessee have sanctioned girls wrestling at the high school level. There are 39 states that allow girls to wrestle on boys teams, and 11,496 girls competed in high school wrestling in 2014-15, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ most recent statistics." http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/15/chsaa-sanctioning-girls-wrestling/

 

Also, I think excluding girls from participation in programs comes with the risk of decreased participation overall:

 

"Because fewer male athletes took to the wrestling mat and football field this past season, the NFHS' overall participation numbers indicate 8,682 fewer boys participated in high school sports overall in 2014-15, while the number of girls athletes increased by 20,071." https://intermatwrestle.com/articles/14772

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As for Venturing being an option, I have some questions.

 

How many of the boy scouts in your troops come into it without first having been a cub scout?

 

How many venturers come into it without first having been a boy scout?

 
While recruiting older kids sounds great, if you don't get them interested in scouting while they are young, it becomes harder and harder to get them as they get older. By that point, they will most likely have developed other interests. 

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Imagine you are a parent and scout leader who brings his daughter(s) along on the hikes and even summer camp where BTW about 20% of the staff is female. His daughters (under 14) like the program and want to join with their brothers. The boys don't care, the CO is all for it, and it sure makes logistics easier for parents. The ones against it are outside of the unit, who are free to keep their unit all boys, even all <pick a denomination> boys. They are even free to start their own CO.

 

Imagine the look on kids' faces as they are Scouts.

 

Don't have to imagine that...I've lived it. Know what? My daughter waited until she could join Venturing. She found a GSUSA troop that had a great outdoor program in the mean time. 

 

The system works if one lets it. There's no reason to force units to become coed if they don't want to.

 

 

Ok, here are specific numbers:

 

"Washington, California, Texas, Hawaii and Tennessee have sanctioned girls wrestling at the high school level. There are 39 states that allow girls to wrestle on boys teams, and 11,496 girls competed in high school wrestling in 2014-15, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ most recent statistics." http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/15/chsaa-sanctioning-girls-wrestling/

 

Also, I think excluding girls from participation in programs comes with the risk of decreased participation overall:

 

"Because fewer male athletes took to the wrestling mat and football field this past season, the NFHS' overall participation numbers indicate 8,682 fewer boys participated in high school sports overall in 2014-15, while the number of girls athletes increased by 20,071." https://intermatwrestle.com/articles/14772

 

Other sports have actually increased...dramatically. Look at the total pool of kids involved in sports...not just a few sports. While kids may not be wrestling that much, the boys are doing other sports.

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Imagine you are a parent and scout leader who brings his daughter(s) along on the hikes and even summer camp where BTW about 20% of the staff is female. His daughters (under 14) like the program and want to join with their brothers. The boys don't care, the CO is all for it, and it sure makes logistics easier for parents. The ones against it are outside of the unit, who are free to keep their unit all boys, even all <pick a denomination> boys. They are even free to start their own CO.

 

Imagine the look on kids' faces as they are Scouts.

 

This may work up to a point.  If the only show in town is a co-ed program and the family has a boy and girl and the girl joins.  Little Tommy doewsn't want to be with his sister in the program but wants a boy-only pack.  So the parents start another Pack.  Now the family is going to two different program maybe on two different nights.  How's that going to work with already over-extended families. 

Now this might be only one circumstance out of a thousand, but it only took one TG girl to throw a wrench in the discussion to begin with.

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Other sports have actually increased...dramatically. Look at the total pool of kids involved in sports...not just a few sports. While kids may not be wrestling that much, the boys are doing other sports.

 

No, Col. The number of boys doing sports overall decreased by 8,600 while girls increased by 20,000. That's for all sports not just wrestling. 

 

So girls are getting more involved while boys are getting less involved. 

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No, Col. The number of boys doing sports overall decreased by 8,600 while girls increased by 20,000. That's for all sports not just wrestling. 

 

So girls are getting more involved while boys are getting less involved. 

 

Boys are more apt to be sitting in the basement playing video games rather than going out for sports.  It's an apples/oranges kinda thing.  What's the ratio of male/female in the gaming world?

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