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RememberSchiff

Girl Scouts react to Boy Scouts considering girls

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In my admittedly limited experience with GSUSA, the quantity and quality of "outdoor" program they provide is limited by what the local mom/troop leader is willing to provide.  If the local troop leader doesn't "do" heat, cold, bugs, dirt etc, there won't be an outdoor program, regardless of what the National party line is.

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Since 2000 we've lost 3% of our membership each year. After the policy change in 2013 it increased to 7%...more than doubled our losses. The change was designed to stop our losses.

Where did National say the 2013 membership change was designed to stop membership losses? 

 

https://scoutingmagazine.org/2013/08/moving-forward-together-after-the-2013-national-annual-meeting/

 

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/05/23/bsa-membership-resolution-passes-with-more-than-60-percent-of-vote/

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/JourneyToExcellence/vos_findings.aspx

Edited by RememberSchiff
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And I detest the constant implication by some people that those who advocate for coed scouting "don't care about the boys", or "hate the program" or are "pandering to some external pressure group" or are "out to destroy boy scouts" or "aren't real scouters", etc. All of which basically breaks down too "you are morally bankrupt for suggesting it".

 

Can we discuss this without implying the other side is somehow not legitimate?

Hmm, morally bankrupt. Coming from someone who admits little patience with religion or God, I don't know what that means. I'm sure you are a pleasant fello in person.

 

As for the rest of your post, I didn't say nor imply any of  those thoughts. 

 

However, I have been consistent in saying that many here are willing to sacrifice program quality to go coed. Yes, I think for some parents, going coed is a willing sacrifice for convenience. For some it is a willing trade for cultural ideology. And for some the sacrifice is the price for balancing the economics. 

 

All I ask for is honesty in these discussion while defending your position. I believe Boy Scouts to be the best program for building men of character and leaders of integrity. I have been a youth leader, sports coach, and a Scout leader. I fully appreciate the challenges of helping youth mature, and I believe the Scout program is one of the best designs for getting adults up to speed to develop young boys into mature moral decision makers.

 

Anyone who reads my post here knows I am passionate about the growth these young men get from the program. And as a result, I very much believe that the willingness to sacrifice any part of the program is self-serving and nothing less.

 

Barry

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I'll find you the interview. Gates made a statement about opening Scouting to everyone and reversing the downward trend in membership. That's paraphrasing but pretty darn close to what he said.

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Hmm, morally bankrupt. Coming from someone who admits little patience with religion or God, I don't know what that means. I'm sure you are a pleasant fello in person.

Throughout this discussion, many people have cast the position on the other side as morally challenged. If you say "you know that this will hurt the boys but want to do it anyway", that is an implication that the person is morally questionable (whether you mean that or not - after all willingly hurting others is usually considered immoral). And I can fully believe that you had no intention of making such an implication. Text is an imperfect medium, and when posting on forums we can be rushed - so sometimes what we post here is not our best writing (something I am guilty of from time to time :) ).

 

As for little patience with religion or God? I'm truly hurt. I don't think I have ever posted anything that implied that!

 

What I do disagree with are those that use their own narrow definition of what "belief in God" looks like, as an excuse to disrespect those that believe differently. The BSA is officially nonsectarian, and "respect for the beliefs of others" is a core value. Yet I have run into scouters that feel free to belittle, insult and dismiss the beliefs of those that don't believe like them (some is a result of ignorance, but too much of it is actual religious animus). On this forum we have witnessed people posting that Christian denominations that don't condemn gays are not "real Christians". I've been told to my face by a scouter that my religious faith (Unitarianism) was "a load of garbage and wasn't a real religion". I have met scouters that said non Christian scouts and scouters should "shut up and be happy we allow them at all".

 

Religious faith takes many forms and it behooves us to recognize that when operating in a BSA context. If you are doing the invocation at a council event, all I ask is for you to be aware that there are most likely multiple faith traditions represented in the audience and acknowledge that. In other words "respect the beliefs of others". I also don't believe that as scouters we should stand judgment on the religious beliefs of others. It isn't our place to judge whether someones "belief in God" passes muster or not. That is between them, their religious teachers and, well, their "God" if any.

 

I think I have been consistent in my postings, and I don't believe this shows "little patience with religion or God". If that is what I communicated, then that was a failure on my part as that isn't, nor has ever been my intent.

Edited by Rick_in_CA
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Now, I'm fairly convinced that the folks arguing for inclusion are special interests. 

 

Qwasze, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that group include YOU, half the time?  Sometimes it seems you are in favor of admitting girls on even-numbered days but not on odd-numbered days, or some other pattern that I have yet to identify.  And correct me if I'm wrong again, I think you have acknowledged being on both sides of the issue. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that, except when you start putting labels (like "special interests") on the "other side", when you are sometimes on the other side.  Am I wrong?

 

Also, I have observed that what "special interests" usually really means is "people I disagree with."  In some sense, anyone who has an opinion and advocates for it (including all of us who participate in I&P) could be considered "special interests."

Edited by NJCubScouter

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Qwasze, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that group include YOU, half the time?  Sometimes it seems you are in favor of admitting girls on even-numbered days but not on odd-numbered days, or some other pattern that I have yet to identify.  And correct me if I'm wrong again, I think you have acknowledged being on both sides of the issue. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that, except when you start putting labels (like "special interests") on the "other side", when you are sometimes on the other side.  Am I wrong?

 

Also, I have observed that what "special interests" usually really means is "people I disagree with."  In some sense, anyone who has an opinion and advocates for it (including all of us who participate in I&P) could be considered "special interests."

 

Let's be clear ... I think this program would be mutually great for girls as well the boys who would grow up with them in their units. But, I fear that may be biased speculation because, although I've met scouts and scouters from other countries who felt pure joy being in a program with both sexes (in all cases, the SM was male, for what it's worth), I have not visited them in their countries and camped and hiked with them enough to see if that also applies to youth who never travel abroad. Shame on me for not taking up the challenge from a college student to help her start a troop when I was living in Italy decades ago.I can talk about scouters who've told me they have gone renegade. But again, I haven't spent time camping with their "unit" to sift through their bluster.

 

I'm not going to ask you all to hike a mile in boots if I haven't broken broken my set in.

 

Unlike others, I don't use "special interests" disparagingly, and I may in fact agree with them on principle. I use it to refer to folks who want change for the sake of a few with no regard for the many. Tell me that you're worried about some class, but only list one or two people from that class who are actually interested in whatever you're worried about ... well repeating your echo-chamber is not enough. I've told you about my daughter who resented the boys going off camping without her, I could tell you that again and again and again. But, as wonderful as she is, it is pure speculation that spending those junior high years in the boys' troop would do much to make her more strong and good than she already is. So, I'm not about to let that sentiment of hers reverberate in my little bubble and motivate me to petition for change, as others may.

 

I can tell you that for every young woman who signs on to the BSA, I've talked to dozens (maybe now its hundreds) of highly motivated young women who would not touch it with a ten foot pole. That includes talking to middle school girls about Seabase and bear country. They love their GS/USA. They ain't leaving it. So I'm putting the odds at far less than 100 to 1 that any randomly selected girl will want whatever BSA offers and her family will commit to keeping her involved. I'm putting the odds at higher than that current scouts and scouters, given the data that they have, will go elsewhere.

 

Thus the term special interest. Show me tens of thousands of parents of American daughters willing to put real money and real time into this program, bringing their otherwise non-participating brothers as well, and I'll pick a different label.

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Once again, "the sky is falling!!!!"  At least wait to see what actually transpires.  Who knows, you might actually be surprised.  Or, you will end up with multi-gender, but separate by patrol or den.  Or even single gender and two units with one sponsor.  If you believe the basic standards of BSA are as important to girls as to boys, then there is simply the matter of adjustment.  

 

I find it interesting that the matriarchal cultures in many parts of history have been shown to often have been far more successful than the patriarchal ones.  

 

Maybe the challenge of being "bested" by a girl might light a fire under some.  Or, maybe we will simply continue to "do our best" with the elements of our society with which we are challenged to work.  From my reading and occasional observations, the coed crews and ships are often the strongest.  Will that be the case in the mid age groups; hard to say.  But in classrooms, girls that are willing, push their male peers to do better, even in the lower and middle grades.

 

Each of us has a choice.  Work with change, decry the ravages of change, or simply give up.  ALL youth are important, and bailing out, for me, is not the best decision.  Good luck.  Please try and remember the Oath and Law as you respond to the various views.

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@@skeptic, that might be all true. But, the truth is, Americans don't believe it in large enough numbers, and disenfranchising thousands of boys of unisex-believing parents is its own form of "bailing out."

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Local option is a farce. It is like having a smoke free section of a room or a pee free corner of a pool. All the traditional units will no longer have a traditional experience on any district

or above activity. Maybe Lone Scout units for traditional Scouts. LDS units do it now, maybe that could be expanded for traditional Scouts. Unless BSA is planning on parallel programs this halfway approach is nothing more than lip service announcing they're not yet at the bottom of the slippery slope.

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Local option is a farce. It is like having a smoke free section of a room or a pee free corner of a pool. All the traditional units will no longer have a traditional experience on any district

or above activity. Maybe Lone Scout units for traditional Scouts. LDS units do it now, maybe that could be expanded for traditional Scouts. Unless BSA is planning on parallel programs this halfway approach is nothing more than lip service announcing they're not yet at the bottom of the slippery slope.

That ship has already sailed round here with venturers fielding patrols at camporees.
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Once again, "the sky is falling!!!!"  At least wait to see what actually transpires.  Who knows, you might actually be surprised.  Or, you will end up with multi-gender, but separate by patrol or den.  Or even single gender and two units with one sponsor.  If you believe the basic standards of BSA are as important to girls as to boys, then there is simply the matter of adjustment.  

 

I find it interesting that the matriarchal cultures in many parts of history have been shown to often have been far more successful than the patriarchal ones.  

 

Maybe the challenge of being "bested" by a girl might light a fire under some.  Or, maybe we will simply continue to "do our best" with the elements of our society with which we are challenged to work.  From my reading and occasional observations, the coed crews and ships are often the strongest.  Will that be the case in the mid age groups; hard to say.  But in classrooms, girls that are willing, push their male peers to do better, even in the lower and middle grades.

 

Each of us has a choice.  Work with change, decry the ravages of change, or simply give up.  ALL youth are important, and bailing out, for me, is not the best decision.  Good luck.  Please try and remember the Oath and Law as you respond to the various views.

 

 

"Bailing out"...you use a pejorative to describe your opposition and then try to bind them to the Oath and Law. Well played, well played. My advice is to be careful where you set the bar.

 

As to "bailing out": A coed boy scout program is not what I signed up for...if I were to use a pejorative, I would call it a "bait and switch".  If they choose to change the program under me and it is no longer what I signed up for, why should I hang around? There is simply no reason if the program no longer does those things that are the reason for my being there. (2) It's hard enough to take a bunch of teenage boys out into the wilderness. Mix in a bunch of teenage girls? No thanks, I like to sleep at night. I know that these are already present in Venturing, but I am not in Venturing. There is a reason for that...if you think it is such a good thing, then I hope you are in Venturing. If you are not, then I hope you stop casting stones at those of us who are also already not in Venturing.

 

Which raises another point...those of you in Venturing, what happens to the Venturing program? I know there are substantial differences, but do you think it will retain its vitality and popularity? Do you think they will fundamentally change Venturing too? I don't have any idea about these questions. But they might be worth pondering.

 

The rest of the post is pablum and nonsense. We already live in a matriarchal society. And what kind of misogyny are you appealing to when you hope being bested "by a girl will light a fire under some of them".

 

"Work with change, decry the change, or simply give up." So now those of us who choose to leave a program that has so fundamentally changed are quitters and Luddites?  Well played, yes indeed. Very well played.

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Boy Scouts will move to 11 to 13 and then to Venturing. All they have to do is open Scout advancement to Venturing.

 

BSA as we know it will cease to be.

Edited by Stosh

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Boy Scouts will move to 11 to 13 and then to Venturing. All they have to do is open Scout advancement to Venturing.

BSA as we know it will cease to be.

Could go the other way. Exploring grew first as a unisex program. It was demand from females desiring to participate that made it go coed. It wouldn't hurt for what few venturers who remain to go back to their roots.

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Exploring went co-ed due to the change in programming.  It was designed to be coed.  Exploring was dying off and so BSA opened the door to hobby and career interest for both male and female.  General Interest Posts basically were of no interest to the gals, very few signed on, but the career/hobby interest took hold.  Now they have tried to divide it back into two programs Learning for Life (careers) and Venturing (Hobby and HA)  Isn't really taking off as they would have like it to.  By having Boy Scouts 11-13, they could bolster Venturing by having the gals earn the Eagle. 

 

It appears to me to be just another "shell and pea" game going on once more.

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