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A letter from my SE

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I'm going to try to go to mine, although the scheduling is not very convenient. If we both go to our respective meetings, we can compare notes afterward.

 

Sounds like a plan.  Our meeting is not for a few weeks, so you'll know what's up before I will.

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Considering how well National listened to those polled on Eagle Palms, I say the decision has been made already. Heck the writing has been on the wall for some time.

 

August 1 2018 we will be coed. If I'm off, then it will be before then.

If Boy Scouts goes that route, I'm out.

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From Lutheran Scouting Summer 2017 newsletter

http://nlas.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Lutheran-Scouting-SUMMER-2017.pdf

 

(BSA) National Meeting by Wayne Stuckey, President NLAS page 6

 

…

    Mike Surbaugh (Chief Scout Executive) – What is this in the news about girls? There has been a persistent pull within the organization to do something for young women, allowing them to have adventures and bond within a safe environment. Many studies say that young men and young women perform better in a same gender environment (but the studies are validated only for above age 11).

 

    There are threats and concerns to long term growth of the BSA. The structure of families has changed. 60% of families have both parents working; 27% are single parent households. These percentages are much higher in some underserved populations. Over 1/3 of parents feel they spend too little time with their families.

 

     The BSA program has what parents want for their children, but it is a challenge for them to access the organization. In using their limited time, they are looking for a one-stop service for serving the whole family. Many legacy organizations are following similar declining membership trends (referring to chart of  membership trends for PTO/PTA, Girl Scouts,Kiwanis, Rotary). Other youth serving organizations and service clubs are reflecting this stress on time. It’s all about access. It’s not about the quality of the program. We have a great program, but we cannot fight the structural changes of the family. Most innovative programs deal with overcoming limitations of structure.

 

      60% of parents of non-scouting, Cub Scout-aged children say they would enroll immediately if the program were accessible to their family. It appears there would be advantages to opening the Cub Scout program to girls. There are also a number of unknowns. Should dens be mixed, or should there be dens for boys and dens for girls? The best answer could be different for different charter partners. What happens at bridging to Boy Scouts? Given its national reach, similar values, nationally recognized top rank, the Boy Scout program is very appealing to girls and parents of girls. Again, there are unknowns to be addressed. Given the development studies, should BSA form its own program for girls? How similar would it be to Boy Scouts? Would it include the Eagle rank and joining the Order of the Arrow?

 

     Mr. Surbaugh emphasized that this not a decided policy change. No resolution was proposed for action by the National Committee. BSA is soliciting opinion of where to go next. Much needs to be considered before making such a major program change, but it must be addressed because the changes driving the membership trends will not go away. It was promised that there will be opportunities to comment and provide feedback. (bolded by RS)

 

     Mr. Surbaugh introduced the National Venturing President (Michelle Meritt) and National Chief of the Order of the Arrow (Forrest Gertin) for a youth perspective. Not speaking for their organizations, but giving their own perspective, both spoke in favor of full participation of girls in the Boy Scout program, especially from the perspective of girls wanting to do the things their brothers and fathers do together, but also including earning the Eagle rank and joining the OA. The National Chief’s perspective is that another person earning the Eagle rank, including a young woman, does not diminish his own accomplishment.
…

Edited by RememberSchiff

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https://blogs.lcms.org/2015/boy-scouts-of-america-update

 

The NLAS, Inc. is a company that provides religious Awards resource materials to the various youth organzations, GS-USA, BSA, 4-H, AHG and Campfire, USA.

 

"We are a resource for youth and adults who wish to know more about the religious emblems program, endorsed by the Lutheran Churches for members of Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts USA, American Heritage Girls, 4H and Camp Fire USA."

 

Obviously they are going beyond their scope of business to blog this information.  After all, they'll sell religious resource materials to anyone who wants to buy it.

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Well according to his first paragraph, Mr. Stuckey, President of NLAS,  did attend the May National meeting. He is a member of the Duty to God working group. NLAS also has a seat on the Religious Relationships Committee ...

 

Do attendees sign a non-disclosure agreement?

 

I learned more about the National Meeting from his newsletter than I did from my SE.

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As mentioned the NLAS deals with more than the BSA.  Not all of them are single sex programs.  4-H and Campfire USA are both co-ed.  The religious emblem program is not limited to the BSA only.  As long as long as they don't care whether a male or female earns the award, I have no idea why they would want to publish this newsletter other than to stir the pot.  The newsletter does not really identify, nor does it's website, the different Lutheran partners.  ELCA, ultra liberal, and LC-MS, moderate are listed but LC-MS is no longer associated with the BSA.  That leaves the ELCA as sole representative of the "Lutheran" world.  Sorry to say, but they aren't in reality.

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My sons troop goes to a camp outside of our council for summer camp (he also works staff for that camp), so I am on their newsletter feed.  I received the same type of invitation from that council SE, though it was more overt and mentions ongoing discussion and studies about the addition of girls to the non-Venturing programs.

 

I am not in favor of making the whole program coed, simply as I believe that both boys and girls need to have time to be with other boys or other girls.  It has nothing to do with limiting the activities that girls can be involved in.  Honestly, it is a crying shame that the Girl Scouts have allowed their program to become so awful, and I totally understand the perspective of girls from our area that "want to do the same things the boys get to".  To me, it doesn't mean they have to do in one group- though I don't have a problem with there being opportunities for both BSa and GSA troops to do shared events such as hikes or even campouts.  I've had boys in my sons troop talk to me on this topic, and they don't favor their sisters tagging along, and want their time away from their family dynamic.  My fear is that for all the "additions", we are also going to see losses and will have sacrificed the very institution.  Looking at other countries that are coed, I think my concerns are founded in reality.

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I used to drive 40 miles round trip to attend weekly Boy Scout meetings.

 

Now with the changes in troops, It's only a 30 mile round trip.

 

If BSA becomes co-ed, there's a ton of co-ed program a lot closer to home I can be involved in.  If BSA is going to be like all the rest, what's the point in picking one's options closer to home.

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As you all know, I'm of two minds about this, having known scouts and scouters of polar opposite opinions, and having conversed here.

But, is it worth our time for any of us commenting and providing feedback at these wannabe town hall meetings?

Based on recent practice, after polling it's base, National will identify the majority opinion, define it accurately, and come up with a diametrically opposite policy.

 

FWIW, as I've said it elsewhere, one of the youth (now young adult?) mentioned, Michelle Meritt, is an excellent speaker and well worth inviting as a VIP if your council does that sort of thing for any of its activities.

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As you all know, I'm of two minds about this, having known scouts and scouters of polar opposite opinions, and having conversed here.

But, is it worth our time for any of us commenting and providing feedback at these wannabe town hall meetings?

Based on recent practice, after polling it's base, National will identify the majority opinion, define it accurately, and come up with a diametrically opposite policy.

 

Exactly!

 

But since this is a virtual beauty parlor, we have nothing else to do than sit here with dryers on our heads and gossip about Scouting.  ;)

 

EDIT: From my daughter...who is in our Venturing Crew..."Why don't they just lower the Venturing age? Who wants to be in the same unit as their BROTHER?!?!?"

 

If only BSA listened to their members and their potential members, they might actually meet people's expectations and needs.

Edited by Col. Flagg
  • Upvote 1

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Oh how I dislike these cryptic games

and also when folks already have the decision made but call a meeting to "discuss" it.

 

I used to drive 40 miles round trip to attend weekly Boy Scout meetings.

 

Now with the changes in troops, It's only a 30 mile round trip.

 

If BSA becomes co-ed, there's a ton of co-ed program a lot closer to home I can be involved in.  If BSA is going to be like all the rest, what's the point in picking one's options closer to home.

ok, but is it the fact that it's single gender that makes you interested in BSA?  Is that really primary?

I'd ponder a guess that it at least is partially, and probably mostly, because of the program and methods.

Sure one get get involved in 4H instead, but then they wouldn't be getting the patrol method applied to a camping and outdoor adventure program.....they would instead be getting.... well I really don't know what they do in 4H..... what, learn about growing beans maybe?  Cows and pigs?  I don't know....let's just say "they would be getting something else"

 

Yes, I see some use and value in a single gender program

but

what I'm most interested in as a parent steering his kids to something.... the enjoyment that can be had through camping, hiking, canoeing, and the like.... with character building coming along for the ride!

(sadly, I see my son experiencing so much more what I would call static noise and not those things...but that is another story)

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...If BSA becomes co-ed, there's a ton of co-ed program a lot closer to home I can be involved in.  If BSA is going to be like all the rest, what's the point in picking one's options closer to home.

 

You have "a ton" of coed BSA-like programs closer to home? Or just a ton of coed programs? Because the distinction matters greatly, I think. 

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Everyone seems to be making a lot of assumptions here. The only one that I'd believe is that the BSA will increase programs for girls. Whether that means packs, dens, troops, or patrols will be coed nobody knows. Whether it means extending venturing down to 11 and making cubs coed, nobody knows. It could be local option and the unit decides. It could be they are all coed. Maybe they just don't know and that's why they're asking questions.

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