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MomWhoCamps

Inquiries for Girls

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So, tonight was our Pack's major back-to-school night sign up before Join Scouting Night next week. My husband is the Cubmaster. We have one AOL scout and one Tiger this year. We also have two daughters. My daughters and I just quit a girl's scouting organization due to frustrations with the program and political leanings we can't live with. The plan was to have A Cub sibs program alongside the Pack until/unless the BSA membership policy changes.

 

Over the course of the evening, we had inquiries for girls....from all-girl families. In one, the dad was a scout during his youth. Looking at the Pack slideshow, he remarked, "that is what I want for m girls...not selling cookies." I told him I couldn't agree more.

 

We know that another Pack in our area was actively soliciting girls at their recruiting event last week. We've heard that other Councils are holding meetings and focus groups, but only silence from our Council.

 

Are others receiving such inquiries? What are you telling these families, or are you simply turning them away?

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So, tonight was our Pack's major back-to-school night sign up before Join Scouting Night next week. My husband is the Cubmaster. We have one AOL scout and one Tiger this year. We also have two daughters. My daughters and I just quit a girl's scouting organization due to frustrations with the program and political leanings we can't live with. The plan was to have A Cub sibs program alongside the Pack until/unless the BSA membership policy changes.

Over the course of the evening, we had inquiries for girls....from all-girl families. In one, the dad was a scout during his youth. Looking at the Pack slideshow, he remarked, "that is what I want for m girls...not selling cookies." I told him I couldn't agree more.

We know that another Pack in our area was actively soliciting girls at their recruiting event last week. We've heard that other Councils are holding meetings and focus groups, but only silence from our Council.

Are others receiving such inquiries? What are you telling these families, or are you simply turning them away?

Great idea, but would you’re Council be unhappy if you did this officially? The girls wouldn’t be covered by BSA insurance or anything as they wouldn’t be actual members.

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Girls can play along at Pack meetings and Den activities if it doesn't interfere with the Cub Scout program. They can't get ranks or other awards though. The program is officially for boys only.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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We never have and are not currently recruiting girls for our pack; however Boy and Girl siblings are welcome to attend most activities. We have decided that if BSA adds girls to the program that our Pack would go coed but we haven't decided how to do that without angering the GSUSA (most of our leadership has political leanings that align with the GSUSA). We have discussed looking at joint recruiting efforts and activities in some cases.

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@@MomWhoCamps, was it AHG that you parted ways with? This is really important because as recently as last year, I've heard their national representatives on the media of their target audience promoting their brand. But that won't give us the "boots on the ground" view that parents of grade-schoolers need to know before committing hundreds of hours to a group.

 

If you don't want to clutter this thread with "old bones", you might want to pick up where we left off here:

http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/24464-american-heritage-girls-question/?p=364721

or here:

http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/21481-partnership-opportunities-between-bsa-and-ahg/

 

As to your question, I haven't heard of many inquiries. Among parents locally. (Although I am on the cusp of being a generation removed, as I point out regularly to the DIL. :cool: )

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No offense to you directly MomWhoCamps, but the fact that the BSA is now actively recruiting girls, all just shameful.

 

I know it's kind of a radical idea but how about boys participate in Boy Scouts and girls participate in Girl Scouts...? What's so wrong with girls who actually want to play with dolls and Easy Bake Ovens? Our society and culture seems to be pushing girls towards becoming more masculine. They're told that they should not want to be like "Barbie" but rather "Rey" from Star Wars.

 

As a side note, it's also incredibly sad to me that Star Wars has largely become a franchise for girls. more so than boys.

 

Right now there's a commercial running in which a dad and his daughter are hard at work making...of all things...a pinewood derby car! And then at the end of the commercial they cut to a whole bunch of girls (not in any type of uniforms) apparently having their own pinewood derby...seriously?? Where did that come from... 

 

There's another commercial for an airline in which a child (whose face we can't see) is dressed in an astronaut costume going through the airport getting ready for a flight, with parents in tow. At the end of the commercial, just before they board the plane, the child takes off the helmet and..,of course...it's a girl, not a boy as we might have expected...how very PC.

 

If girls, or their parents, want a more outdoors oriented experience then the Girl Scouts should look seriously into offering programming along those lines, or look into Venturing when they're old enough.

 

Perhaps the BSA's next evolution (or extinction) will be in transitioning into the Scout of Political Correctness, or perhaps the Social Justice Scouts.

 

Also, I'd encourage everyone to read "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Somers

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Great idea, but would you’re Council be unhappy if you did this officially? 

 

Well, that's the big question.  It can't really be done "officially," but some packs seem to be doing this sort of "quasi-officially" or whatever term you'd like to use.  In this forum we have had what by now adds up to a fairly large and growing number of units (mostly packs) that seem to have added girls to their units in one way or another.  What I wonder about (as does ItsBrian) is, do the councils know about this?  When it was one or two packs in the country doing this, maybe not, but it seems unlikely at this point that the councils do not know this is going on, and there is no indication that they are revoking anyone's charter over it (as someone suggested in another thread.)  It may be a wink-and-a-nod kind of thing, but I am not sure what the councils' motivation(s) are.  As we all know, the councils (and national) are always looking at the bottom line.  If the name on the application form is Sally, I don't see how the councils can process it and then include it on the roster that goes to national (unless Sally is short for Salvatore, as in "The Godfather").  Meaning that they cannot collect a registration fee for Sally.  So what would motivate the wink-and-a-nod, if they're not getting any $$ for Sally's participation?  Is it that the council believes (as does National, now, apparently) that if Sally is not allowed to participate, her parents might not have Sally's brother (for whom they do collect a registration fee) join either?  Is that enough, at least until National allows them to make it official and start raking in the dough?  (If that really happens.)

 

We have decided that if BSA adds girls to the program that our Pack would go coed but we haven't decided how to do that without angering the GSUSA (most of our leadership has political leanings that align with the GSUSA). We have discussed looking at joint recruiting efforts and activities in some cases.

 

I find that interesting.  GSUSA National is very upset about this, but maybe on the local level some units of each organization can work out a beneficial relationship in which what you really end up with is a coed pack, but "on paper" the pack has only boys and the Girl Scout troop(s) (of the same age as Cub Scouts) has only girls.  That way everybody's happy... well, not everybody.  Presumably BSA National wouldn't like it because they're not getting the registration fees and the membership numbers.  (It always seems to come down to numbers and money with me, doesn't it?  I guess that is because I think that's what it always comes down to for National.)

 

I also notice that when we are talking only about girls in Cub Scouts (as opposed to Boy Scouts) people in this forum (including me, to some degree), seem to get a little less... what's the word?  Distraught?  Angry?  Upset?  Somewhere in there.

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No offense to you directly MomWhoCamps, but the fact that the BSA is now actively recruiting girls, all just shameful.

 

I know it's kind of a radical idea but how about boys participate in Boy Scouts and girls participate in Girl Scouts...? What's so wrong with girls who actually want to play with dolls and Easy Bake Ovens? Our society and culture seems to be pushing girls towards becoming more masculine. They're told that they should not want to be like "Barbie" but rather "Rey" from Star Wars.

 

As a side note, it's also incredibly sad to me that Star Wars has largely become a franchise for girls. more so than boys.

 

Right now there's a commercial running in which a dad and his daughter are hard at work making...of all things...a pinewood derby car! And then at the end of the commercial they cut to a whole bunch of girls (not in any type of uniforms) apparently having their own pinewood derby...seriously?? Where did that come from... 

 

There's another commercial for an airline in which a child (whose face we can't see) is dressed in an astronaut costume going through the airport getting ready for a flight, with parents in tow. At the end of the commercial, just before they board the plane, the child takes off the helmet and..,of course...it's a girl, not a boy as we might have expected...how very PC.

 

If girls, or their parents, want a more outdoors oriented experience then the Girl Scouts should look seriously into offering programming along those lines, or look into Venturing when they're old enough.

 

Perhaps the BSA's next evolution (or extinction) will be in transitioning into the Scout of Political Correctness, or perhaps the Social Justice Scouts.

 

Also, I'd encourage everyone to read "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Somers

 

 

Why can't a girl both like dolls and Easy Bake Ovens, AND hiking, camping and everything BSA? They are not mutually exclusive. Additionally, there is nothing inherently or exclusively masculine about the activities of BSA. My son just earned his Gardening Merit Badge. What part of that is exclusively masculine? Cooking is a required Merit Badge for Eagle, is that exclusively masculine too?

 

And why is it sad that girls might like Star Wars too??? Why do you think boys need exclusive ownership of this sci-fi soap opera, especially the little franchised dolls?

 

I've read the War Against Boys. I 've also read (and own) Wild at Heart. Neither of those books would suggest that boys need isolation from girls in order to be mature and responsible adults.

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Our society and culture seems to be pushing girls towards becoming more masculine. They're told that they should not want to be like "Barbie" but rather "Rey" from Star Wars.

I think that what girls are actually "told" by society is that they have the choice to be one or the other, or anything in between. Besides, what's wrong with Rey? (Well, we may find out in a few months or a couple of years. So far she is on the Light Side of the Force, but they are hinting at a major plot twist, so who knows?)  Girls can be warriors too.

 

As a side note, it's also incredibly sad to me that Star Wars has largely become a franchise for girls. more so than boys.

Are you talking about the fans, or the characters, or both? Either way, I don't see it. I am a Star Wars fan (if you can't already tell) and I don't see it really skewing toward one gender or another. Character-wise, it is still mostly male, with each trilogy's major characters being a bunch of guys and one (1) "girl" - Leia, then Padme, now Rey.  Even most of the minor and background characters are men.  Even most of the puppets/CGI's are men.

 

Are you one of those people who was upset that they remade "Ghostbusters" with an all-female main cast?  Apparently that was a big deal with some men.  I actually wanted that to be a great movie, because the first two were great.  Unfortunately, it was just not funny.  It had nothing to do with the gender of the Ghostbusters.  It was just a lousy movie.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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Don't think anyone is saying girls don't want the things boys have. I think the point is BSA has a program for that called Venturing. Otherwise their only other option is GSUSA. If they are not meeting the needs of girls then maybe they should change to meet those needs.

 

For now the only official BSA option for girls is Venturing and Explorers.

 

Curious, but what niche does GSUSA serve that BSA doesn't?

Edited by Col. Flagg

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I actually feel just as uncomfortable with the idea of Cub Scouts going co-ed as I do with the Boy Scouts considering the same. They are far younger and more impressionable at that age, and for them to be raised in a setting where we are basically telling them that there is no difference between the two sexes is, to me, highly objectionable.

 

That said, I don't believe it is wise nor productive to waste time speculating on whether or not it is going to happen. As of right now, it has not, and any local units doing so, do so against official BSA policy. But I know that I would not allow any girls to join my group, and if a parent were to ask, I would politely inform them that the Cub Scouts is a program for boys, and that I cannot accept their daughter as a member. But I would also suggest to them one of the MANY alternative programs that are available for girls which wouldn't require a 100-year-old program to change the fundamental nature of its organization, one that isn't even designed to fully meet the needs of girls anyway.  :cool:

Edited by The Latin Scot
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Ha! I actually thought the new Ghostbusters was fine for what it was; i.e. a popcorn flick. Didn't see it in the theater of course, just caught it when I came around on cable.

 

No, my feathers weren't ruffled at all by the all female cast (lol)

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The niches I eluded to are girls only/boys only. Inside and crafty/outside and camping, cookies/popcorn, etc. As far as a 100+ year old group changing their programs to meet the wants of others, many groups have done so already. Prime example is Campfire, they went coed to meet the needs/desires of their members. It is actually very easy to change. The hard part is getting buy in from the people already involved. Adapting to change is the hard part.

 

As far as Explorers and Venturing they start at 14 years old. By that point in their lives girls have already latched on tho the activities they are more than likely going to pursue through high school. And on top of that, they have probably tried a GSUSA program, not liked it and tossed it aside. Depending on their experience they may never give any scouting program a second chance. And what's worse, when they're parents they may not consider a scouting program for their children. If it wasn't something Mom or Dad did as a kid its likely it won't be something their kids do. I have dozens of extended family in laws, none of them scouted, so they never thought of it for their kids. Easily in  my family alone, there are 60 boys and 20 girls that will never be scouts in either program because their parents didn't scout.

 

If a girl had a bad experience she is less likely to suggest/let her daughter be a girl scout. It works the same way for boy scouts too. If we (collective we, as in any youth program) want to maintain and grow programs in the future we need to service what we have now and encourage growth now. Growth may mean going to non traditional members - girls in a boy's program, luring in ethnic groups that normally part of the program, etc. 

 

Birth rates are falling, couples are waiting longer to have children, 2 working parents in a family, more single parent families are all working against youth programs. If a family can't drop and go (sports teams with coaches as babysitters) or have all family needs met in 1 meeting then we will lose more youth. My family has been blessed that we could afford for me to work part time and shuttle the kids to their separate activities. Some times the daughter's activity won out over the son's one on the same night and time. Other times he won out. It was a massive balancing act. My husband worked overtime or off shifts to facilitate the family activities financially. This meant he wasn't available to shuttle or participate.

 

I know many families where the kids can't do an activity because the family can't arrange transportation. The funds may be there but travel isn't. Don't underestimate the 1 stop shopping concept that is being proposed by the BSA. My GSUSA troop lost a pair of sisters that rode with us when my daughter aged out and I retired from leadership. I found other opportunities closer to home to volunteer in and have now been able to pick up a third part time job to help pay for her college now that I'm not running her around. Son now has a license and car and drives himself to most of his activities so even more time for me to pursue my volunteer interests and work opportunities. Next year its 2 in college.

 

As I said above, adapt and change or die off.

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The niches I eluded to are girls only/boys only. Inside and crafty/outside and camping, cookies/popcorn, etc. As far as a 100+ year old group changing their programs to meet the wants of others, many groups have done so already. Prime example is Campfire, they went coed to meet the needs/desires of their members. It is actually very easy to change. The hard part is getting buy in from the people already involved. Adapting to change is the hard part.

 

Here's the problem: If we are asking BSA to change to accept girls, why can't we ask GSUSA to change to meet the demand of the very group they purport to service? Why should BSA have to change to meet the needs so girls?

 

Now, I have no issue with Venturing lowering their age to allow younger girls and work them in to BSA that way. I *do* have an issue with crow barring open Cubs and Boy Scouts to allow girls.

 

If someone has to change to meet the needs of girls it should be the age-old organization that is supposed to support them.

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