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Hawkwin

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

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Good point.  And now that you mention it, I don't remember ever doing anything to raise money while in the Cub Scouts.  Of course it has been awhile, but I do remember very clearly the fundraising that I did as a Boy Scout, so I am going to conclude that there was no fundraising while I was a Cub Scout.  And the pack was chartered to a public school (this was in the 1960's) so I don't think our CO was giving the pack any money.  Go figure.  Maybe the dues were pretty high, but still...

 

The only thing I can remember selling was candy bars, and not very many of those.

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The only thing I can remember selling was candy bars, and not very many of those.

 

In the Boy Scouts we sold lightbulbs door-to-door, and this was when I was an older Scout.  My father once told me that I was the top-seller in the troop because I exuded an attitude of "I really hate what I'm doing, please take pity on me and buy some lightbulbs."  (Hopefully without actually saying that.)  Not an orthodox sales approach, but I guess it worked at that place and time.  It probably contributed to me never wanting to go into sales.  We also had a continuing paper drive for a few years and I assume we did something in the Great Spaghetti Dinner/Pancake Breakfast/Chili Dinner/Fish Fry fundraising continuum, but I don't remember that specifically.

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Besides waiting until 3rd grade for Cubs, I would also eliminate the arrow of light exemption and have Boy Scouts start at 12 years old. I am not concerned about numbers dropping off. I have said it before, I would rather we have half the number of scouts and a quality program with the boys interested, leading, and active in real scouting adventures then the current focus on numbers and advancement. Quality vs Quantity. Unfortunately most business people seem to focus on the McDonalds strategy instead of Ruth's Chris.

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Well, as it pertains to restaurants and numbers served, we can certainly serve a lot more youth at McD prices than at Ruth Chris prices. I doubt many middle and lower class families could afford our organization if we went to such an exclusive model.

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My point was providing quality, not about cost. Fulfilling the promise of adventure doesn't cost much. I would argue it might even cost less.

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I think you could easily cap your pack or troop at half the size. I know my DE would be disappointed, but he'd adjust quickly.

 

I've come to appreciate that while there is a district/council organization - each unit is just about 100% free to make their own choices.

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I just had an interesting discussion with a good friend of mine over lunch about girls in boy scouts.

He grew up in South Dakota (he is a Lakota Sioux and grew up on the Rosebud), and was a boy scout in the 60s and 70s. And his pack and troop were coed. It was a small town and there was only the one pack and troop. He said that it was driven by the lack of alternatives (there weren’t any girl scout units in the area), boy scouts was the only game in town. The girls wore boy scout uniforms, earned merit badges and ranks (I didn’t think to ask if any of them earned eagle). He doesn’t know how the paperwork was handled, but they functioned as full boy scouts. They went to council events, summer camp, Philmont and the national jamboree as a coed troop - so people at higher levels knew they had girls. And his town’s troop weren’t the only ones doing it, he remembers girls from other troops at multi-troop events. He didn’t realize that the BSA wasn’t supposed to be coed until he got to college.

He doesn’t know how the girls were registered, or if they were registered at all. But they must have been to go Philmont and other large events right? Did the council just give a wink and a nod and the paperwork said they were boys? Maybe they were actually registered with the GSUSA or something (Learning For Life didn’t exist then)?

This is the first I heard this story from him and I am wondering how they made it work, and if it was just part of small town South Dakota or perhaps was specific to the units on the reservations? Has anyone else heard any stories like this?

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Maybe they were actually registered with the GSUSA or something (Learning For Life didn’t exist then)?

 

Learning for Life did not exist, but Exploring did exist, and it was fully coed starting in 1971 (at least according to this site, http://www.seniorscoutinghistory.org/seniorscoutsite/exploring2.html, I always thought it was 1972).  Another thing that that web site says that I didn't know before is that starting in 1969, girls could be "Explorer Participants" but not actual members, and they also had to be members of an "associated group" such as Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls.  (I'm not quite sure how BSA and GSUSA were "associated", but that's what the page says.  This sounds like a very early and very limited attempt at a "partner/parallel program".)

 

Of course, Exploring would not cover either the entire age range (only 14 and up) or time period (only starting in 1971, really) that you are talking about, so it probably doesn't explain it.  My guess is that the "wink and a nod" is the better explanation.  As we know, some councils have done all kinds of things in the past to make their numbers look better (and I am giving them the benefit of the doubt by saying "in the past".)

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He grew up in South Dakota (he is a Lakota Sioux and grew up on the Rosebud), and was a boy scout in the 60s and 70s.

 

Did you friend know Russell Means? I think he was a Scout there in that time period.

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I just had an interesting discussion with a good friend of mine over lunch about girls in boy scouts.

 

He grew up in South Dakota (he is a Lakota Sioux and grew up on the Rosebud), and was a boy scout in the 60s and 70s. ...

This is the first I heard this story from him and I am wondering how they made it work, and if it was just part of small town South Dakota or perhaps was specific to the units on the reservations? Has anyone else heard any stories like this?

Oh, the 60s in the heartland! :wub:

If your friend could drum up some sources (newspaper clippings, a photo, etc...), this could make for a neat topic in the Scouting History forum.

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