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Hawkwin

One of the reasons I support my Girl Scout joining the Boy Scouts

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I am a Girl Scout Dad - "Man Enough to be a Girl Scout" is the term we use. I've been the sole support for my daughter in GS since first year Daisy. She is now (attempting) to be a Junior scout.

 

After her first full year of Daisies, her troop folded. All the leaders quit. All the leaders were brand new to GS.

 

The second year, we were given brand new leaders again, and they quit six months in. Thankfully, another parent took over - but she quit at the end of the year.

 

The third year (1st year Brownie), we started the troop over, yet again, with new leaders. I begged and pleaded with our local council to simply place us in existing and successful troops and we were basically ignored.

 

By now, you probably know the next part of this story, by the end of the year, the new leaders quit again.

 

I told the council that I WILL NOT have her join another new troop - that I had asked repeatedly to join an existing troop and our wishes were declined. I researched on my own other troops in the area that she could join and we were told that they were FULL. My son is a Boy Scout and I simply can't fathom the idea that our Troop of 98 boys would ever say we had too many.

 

For the fourth year (2nd Brownie), the local council tried to trick a number of us parents by telling us that they had a solution for the four remaining girls that were so dedicated that we were willing to try yet again to find a troop, only to be subjected to a bait and switch meeting. We should up expecting to join an existing troop and instead the council leaders tried to put us on the spot by asking one of us to take over the troop. We all declined their deception. Note that I have no problem volunteering for the troop and have done so many times. I have also been the Popcorn Kernel for my son's cub scout troop for 3 years. I would not have a problem being a leader in the troop but I think some moms would be less than excited about a man being in charge of their daughter's troop. Such is still very rare.

 

My daughter ended up being Juliet for all of last year.

 

Note that during all those four years, I continued to participate with my daughter in many of the ancillary activities to get her extra badges and experiences that were not connected to the troop. We do at least one non-troop GS activity a month.

 

This year, my daughter has moved schools and has two close friends in a troop that would be perfect. I have been pleading to get the contact information for that troop and no one seems to be willing to respond.

 

I would be willing to dismiss this experience as atypical if it happened once, or maybe even twice - but this experience has been consistent. Girl Scouts REALLY don't want my daughter. If they did, they would find a way to accept such a dedicated team of father and daughter.

 

Because they don't, we will be joining Boy Scouts at the earliest opportunity. My daughter is looking forward to participating with her older Boy Scout brother.

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Hawkwin, welcome to the forum!

 

I am moving this thread to the "Issues and Politics" section of the forum, where all of the other current "girls in Boy Scouting" threads are located.

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Welcome to the forum!

 

For an open and progressive program, it would seem that the closed door policy you have experienced speaks differently.  

 

I offered up my services as an adult leader with many years of Scouting, community and faith-based youth programs and was told they only took female leaders. My oldest daughter quit at Silver and the other struggled through 1 year of Daisies before quitting.

 

As far as disparaging remarks about GS/USA from BSA, there are plenty of them here in our council.

 

I'm sure that no matter what happens, it's not going to be good for anyone in either program.  Sure, BSA "thinks" this is a good idea, but then only time will tell the reality.  There are plenty of those listed in the Darwin Awards hall of fame that thought it was a good idea at the time.

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@@Hawkwin, welcome to the forum!

 

Your experience is not exclusive to fathers, btw.

 

Have you sought out American Heritage Girls? Campfire USA?

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@Hawkwin your experience is similar to Catherine Pollard with Boy Scouts.

 

Pollard ran a Milford, CT troop from 1973 to 1975 when no men volunteered. But her application for a leadership position was denied when the Boy Scouts contended that a woman was not a good role model for young boys enrolled in Scouting.

...

In February 1988 the Boy Scouts of America did away with all gender restrictions on volunteer positions. Pollard, who was 69 at the time, became a scoutmaster in Milford and praised the Boy Scouts' leadership.

 

"I do think that this is marvelous, because there have been women all over the United States, in fact all over the world, that have been doing these things for the Boy Scouts because they could not get a male leader. But we could not get recognition for the things we've done," Pollard said.

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/dec/15/local/me-pollard15

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@@Hawkwin, welcome to the forum!

 

Your experience is not exclusive to fathers, btw.

 

Have you sought out American Heritage Girls? Campfire USA?

I used to compare notes with my Campfire USA Leader neighbor and feel they provide a better program than the BSA Cubs. In fact, I used a lot of the Camp Fire material while I was a Cub Master. There older scout program is pretty good too.

 

Barry

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@@Hawkwin, welcome to the forum!

 

Your experience is not exclusive to fathers, btw.

 

Have you sought out American Heritage Girls? Campfire USA?

 

No, I've been primarily focused on the organizations that have the broadest base of support and activities. The one thing that GS has going for it that is significantly better that BS is the amount of ancillary activities we can do that are organized at the council level. We typically go all over the state to various GS supported activities all on our own. I don't know but I doubt AHG or Campfire has that level of ancillary activities.

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@Hawkwin your experience is similar to Catherine Pollard with Boy Scouts.

 

Pollard ran a Milford, CT troop from 1973 to 1975 when no men volunteered. But her application for a leadership position was denied when the Boy Scouts contended that a woman was not a good role model for young boys enrolled in Scouting.

...

In February 1988 the Boy Scouts of America did away with all gender restrictions on volunteer positions. Pollard, who was 69 at the time, became a scoutmaster in Milford and praised the Boy Scouts' leadership.

 

"I do think that this is marvelous, because there have been women all over the United States, in fact all over the world, that have been doing these things for the Boy Scouts because they could not get a male leader. But we could not get recognition for the things we've done," Pollard said.

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/dec/15/local/me-pollard15

 

 

Funny that you mention that as when I was a cub scout in 1980 in conservative rural Tennessee, my mother was my Den Leader. She still has her Den Leader dress. I realize everyone's experience is anecdotal, and I am not overly concerned about MY experience - but to turn away a girl scout because all troops in the area are full just blows me away.

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@@Hawkwin, welcome to the forum!

 

Your experience is not exclusive to fathers, btw.

 

Have you sought out American Heritage Girls? Campfire USA?

 

I just emailed our state Campfire USA org. Will see what they say about clubs in my area. I did notice that they specifically stated that they are not currently permitting any new clubs - which I would think is not a good sign.

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Funny that you mention that as when I was a cub scout in 1980 in conservative rural Tennessee, my mother was my Den Leader. She still has her Den Leader dress.

 

Actually women have "always" been permitted to be Cub Scout Den Leaders (other than Webelos den leaders.)  In fact, before sometime around the early 70's, ALL non-Webelos den leaders were women and were called Den Mothers. 

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I just emailed our state Campfire USA org. Will see what they say about clubs in my area. I did notice that they specifically stated that they are not currently permitting any new clubs - which I would think is not a good sign.

 

Campfire got back to me, no clubs anywhere near me.

 

Oddly enough, I finally heard back from our local GS council and was told that a leader would contact me today regarding a slot in an existing troop.

 

Still think it might be too little too late but at least she will hopefully have a home for now.

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Campfire got back to me, no clubs anywhere near me.

 

Oddly enough, I finally heard back from our local GS council and was told that a leader would contact me today regarding a slot in an existing troop.

 

Still think it might be too little too late but at least she will hopefully have a home for now.

Pity about campfire. (I'm saying that as a nephew of one of the nation's oldest living campfire girls.)

Knock on keyboard about your council's contact. If it's a good troop, it's never too late.

If not, we'll brainstorm some more!

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Finally found a troop last night for my GS so she has a new home for at least this year.

 

Maybe she will be one of the first girls to earn both the Eagle and the Gold.

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:D

Finally found a troop last night for my GS so she has a new home for at least this year.

 

Maybe she will be one of the first girls to earn both the Eagle and the Gold.

I suspect lots have "earned" Eagle. None have been awarded it.

But really the paths to GS Gold  (or Venturing Summit) do hone the same same valuable skill sets.

The bottom line of what we should all hope for is that our youth become first class scouts (the concept, not the patch).

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There's a subtle, but important difference between how GSUSA and BSA.

 

In the GSUSA, troops are organized around an adult.  The troop continues as long as the adult continues or the leadership transfers to another adult.

In the BSA, we have our chartered org. concept.  

 

On the outside, this often gets lost - but it's a key reason I believe that GS troops are smaller and harder to join.  I think it's also why the GS program is less consistent.

 

My daughter's troop is 10 girls her same age.  They started together, they will end together.  When they decide they've had enough, her troop will end.

My son's troop has been around for 40 years.  It will go on for another 40 years.

 

My daughter's troop constantly gets requests to join.  They always say no.  They're not interested in being anything more than a troop of about 10 girls.  If they start saying yes, they will be 20 girls and the dynamics of the group will change.  It's not that not that they don't want girls to join scouting, but that they don't want to become something different than they are.

 

My son's troop constantly gets new members, but they also have boys leave.  They go from 70 to 60 to 65 to 72, etc...  There's a whole different level of organization going on in my son's troop.  I'm the Committee Chair - my scouting experience is more about adult recruitment and organizing.  That concept is foreign to my daughter's troop.

 

In my area, we are seeing the emergence of what the GS call multi-level troops.  They are more like Cub Scout packs.  There are daisy patrols, brownie, junior patrols, cadette patrols, etc...  They have leaders who work with girls and leaders who organize logistics - it's much more like the Cub/Boy Scout structure.  But, it's also much rarer.

 

The plus of the small GS troop is that has led to the girls in her troop having a much stronger bond.  Their retention is dramatically higher than in my son's troop, their friendships so much stronger.  It also make it impossible for new girls to join.

 

I've heard stories in my area just like you've described.  If you are "in with a group", then you're fine.  But, finding a spot is tough.

 

I suspect that if the GS went to a system more like the BSA, their membership numbers would jump up instantly.

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