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John-in-KC

OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Youth Members, All Programs

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Why are individuals already beating their chests about Eagle.  The older youth scouts will not even be implemented for a long while.  They will have a great deal of time to hopefully work out many concerns, both real and imagined.  And many concerns already breached seem to me to be making a problem where none even exists and simply looking for the negative.  This is the attitude that continues to confuse me, especially on a board made up of supposedly logical and proponents fo the basic tenets of Scouting.  Maybe a few need to step back a distance and take a few deep breaths.  IF you truly are so upset that you would turn in your Eagle, then you likely never really understood the foundation of the program.  You certainly have the absolute right to your opinions of course, but the logic behind them is sorely lacking and self-defeating.

 

Personally, I am looking forward to our pack officially expanding within its current family, and the possible addition of new opportunity for the youth of our community.

 

Please refer to me a post where anyone said they were prepared to turn in their Eagle. Or are you just making an irrational comment?

The actual comments in that regard were read on a FB group for Eagle Scouts, though we have had similar responses on here in regard to earlier changes.  But, you are correct that on this particular forum right now, that has not been directly stated, though there is a great deal of angst that seems to me to be overblown and self-centered.  But, I did not have to do a project, and I have only been in the program over 53 years, so maybe I am not in a position to judge change effects.  

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A lot of issues:

 

(1) Will the program work with girls?

(2) Will BSA honor the wish of units to stay Boys only?

(3) Do Scouters feel they can trust BSA national leadership anymore?

(4) Do individual scouters want to stay around and see if it works or go away?

(5) What will 'Family Camping" do to the Patrol Method?

As a UK Leader who has worked with both female and male Scouts (10-14) and Explorer Scouts (14 to 18) for over 12 years now then I would like to make clear that from my experience girls in Scouting are not so different from boys that they can't do exactly the same programme as boys and get just as much out of it. The girls that aren't into the sort of activities you run in Scouting will mostly not even join and those that do will soon leave when they realize it is not for them just the same as some boys do.

 

I think BSA have spectacularly mishandled this decision and announcement though. They have clearly failed to properly consult their volunteers on this. The process should have been much longer and more in depth with a two stage consultation on this. First stage should have been on "should we do this?", and the second stage, assuming the first resulted in a decision to consider admitting girls, should have been on "how should we do this?". Then proper working parties of grass root volunteers that would have to implement this on the ground to work out exactly how it would work. Then if and when the decision was made to allow girls then some proper support material should have been produced and sent to all Leaders at the same time as the official announcement so that all Leaders and some answers to likely question both they, their members, their members parents and other supporters and the public might be asking them.

 

IMHO BSA will lose alot more members and volunteers over how they have handled this than over the actual decision to admit girls itself if they had done it right and bought their volunteers along with them by including them in the decision making process.

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@@Peter1919, I think your perception is correct. But, one could say National could have handled things better the day Katrina Yeaw's application for Eagle Scout came acros their desk 25 years ago. A strong-willed executive would have his name in the history books for saying "This is cool. Our nation needs this. How can we make it work similarly for other families with ambitious siblings? Let's get a five year plan to promote it on my desk tomorrow."

 

So Mike Sarbaugh is making up for lost time. That's okay, rough rides are par for the course around here.

Edited by qwazse
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@@Peter1919But, one could say National could have handled things better the day Katrina Yeaw's application for Eagle Scout came acros their desk 25 years ago. 

I have never heard of Katrina Yeaw so I looked up what happened in her case and Wikipedia (ok not the most reliable source I admit) says she was denied entry to a  Boy Scout Troop for being a girl and her father filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America in 1995, accusing them of discrimination. The lawsuit was ultimately unsuccessful as BSA was determined not to be a business so is allowed to set its own membership criteria. So it does not appear there ever was an application for Eagle Scout in her name that came across National's Desk for them to have dealt with differently.

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I have never heard of Katrina Yeaw so I looked up what happened in her case and Wikipedia (ok not the most reliable source I admit) says she was denied entry to a  Boy Scout Troop for being a girl and her father filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America in 1995, accusing them of discrimination. The lawsuit was ultimately unsuccessful as BSA was determined not to be a business so is allowed to set its own membership criteria. So it does not appear there ever was an application for Eagle Scout in her name that came across National's Desk for them to have dealt with differently.

It may have just been a membership application. Or there may have been no membership application. And, I'm certain she wasn't the first young American female with this ambition. ... But, for some, her story is a metaphor of missed opportunity. :)

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Sure would be nice if cubs in 2018 meant January or June or September...Make a big difference to folks on the front lines who may already be fielding questions about when their daughter can join

IIRC the program year, as defined by ScoutNet, is June 1 to May 31. Cubs are auto promoted and locked out from the previous rank.

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@@John-in-KC thank you for posting the video. https://livestream.com/bsa/nationalcouncil/videos/164161163

 

1) I think he is telling some tall tales.  Cub Scouts has not been 'Family oriented" for "generations" It only goes back about 20 - 25 years.

 

2) While I have not been to PTC, I really do not think somoen would take there granddaughter there. I could be wrong on that.

 

3) he's stated that the SEs were behind him. Then why was mine shocked?

 

4) He talked about the townhalls and surveys. What he didn't mention was A) you tolded the SEs to do these townhalls  the day before jamboree starts, which many attend  B) and give a  a one month period for council to do the town hall meetings IN WHICH  PART OF THAT TIME IS DURING THE JAMBOREE! ( emphasis.) Yes, my SE was extremely ticked off about that one.

 

5) Only way to take the survey was to get to the townhalls, and there were not given enough time. only 11000 folks participated.

 

6) says the survey questions were neutral. To quote Col. Potter,  " HORSEHOCKEY!" The were designed to get a specific response: allow girls in Boy Scouts.

 

Ok I can't take it. I can't finish it/

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Agree - @John-in-KC thank you for posting the video. https://livestream.c...ideos/164161163

 

That is the most revealing thing I have seen.  Listen to the justification, listen to the comment "if you don't want controversy, just say no...can we grow another way, I just don't know".  Listen to the arrogance.  This was a done deal, short on specifics and how it might work, but who cares.

 

Basically CSE Michael Surbaugh is out of ideas.  This is the Hail Mary (in his mind) to grow.  Obviously his compensation is tied to growth.  If we see a bump, he gets a bonus, and walks away.  He sees this not as a program he is a steward of, but he sees this as his way to cash in.

 

He is correct, 10/11/17 will be a date remembered for the end of Scouting as we know it.

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So many things wrong with that presentation. First and foremost, if you're making fundamental changes to the program, you discuss it with those responsible for delivering it, not with people who have a financial interest in pumping up enrollment figures after telling them this is the only way to do it.

 

The lack of transparency also shows, ironically, how transparent he is. It's not about quality, it's numbers. And there was no way the wildcard of volunteer response was going to even be a possibility.

 

Plans? There is no plan. It's just a desperate blurt. There appears to be no concept of planning, implementation, training, compliance, or evaluation. Heck, I think most are still trying to figure out what was behind the timing of this. And that's just the beginning.

 

I think it's fair to say that he and those behind this and supporting it at National largely have zero credibility with the volunteer segment.

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I had to roll my eyes during the part where he was talking about the unanimous decision. Outside of Cuba, where does anybody see a unanimous decision. 

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Well, I have to state that while I know many councils did not follow through well with the presentations and that the timing was not necessarily ideal, but I did not hear much that I had not already heard over the past few years anyway, especially from parents with girls and often girls themselves.  There has been a call for allowing girls for years.  In truth, it started at the outset, but it did not have the societal push that exists today.  B.P. had to deal with it almost from the start.  So he turned to Olave and asked her to come up with something.  That something, of course, was the Girl Guides and it eventually folded into the British Scouting program, just as a large percentage of other worldwide Scouting groups have joined the genders in some manner.

 

As I have noted in other posts, this seems to me to be a golden opportunity to run with that, if done right and with open eyes and ears, will be a positive expansion of the program to a much wider group of young people.  

 

Naysayers and rigid thinkers will continue, to beat their brows as they peer at the sky.  Those that simply have decided that anything from National or professionals automatically is bad will continue to be irrationally obdurate, but those that care about the opportunity to reach more youth will simply work to make the new direction viable and tweak as necessary.  

 

I plan on being part of the latter group, even at my advanced tenure.

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So he turned to Olave and asked her to come up with something.  That something, of course, was the Girl Guides and it eventually folded into the British Scouting program, just as a large percentage of other worldwide Scouting groups have joined the genders in some manner.

 

 

Apologies if I have misunderstood this, but It might be worth pointing out that here in the UK, Girlguiding has not folded into Scouting in terms of a merger or anything similar. We (Scouting) are fully co-ed, but Girlguiding remains completely separate and is going as strong as ever. If the numbers are to be believed, I think they have slightly more members than we do.

 

I think Guiding and Scouting can often attract girls who are looking for different things. So the two do not really impact on each other as such. There are of course exceptions, but girls who want to scout join Scouting, and girls who want to guide join Girlguiding. A rather simplistic description, but there you go! Its worth saying that we do not change our program when girls are involved. We continue to provide what we have always done. We just make sure it is fully accessible to all (and in the case of girls there are very few adaptations needed and they are straightforward). Those who like it will come regardless of gender.

 

We do also see girls who want to do both, and the costs of both organisations are generally so reasonable (most of the time) that they are active members of both and this causes no problems (would this be an option for BSA/GSUSA?).

Edited by lakes_stu

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@@lakes_stu I definitely expect some girls to be members of both BSA/GSUSA, including several in my area. GSUSA, in my location, has been handled as an after school activity with minimal parent involvement outside of leaders. Their outings are infrequent and rarely include camping. GSUSA is fairly inexpensive compared to BSA. Even the uniform is an order of magnitude less costly.

 

So, whille I expect some to remain members of both I think (just a guess) the majority of girls in scouting wil pick one or the other...especially as they age. It will be dependent on what their friends do, where their interests lie and the relative strength of the organizations in their community.

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Well, I have to state that while I know many councils did not follow through well with the presentations and that the timing was not necessarily ideal, but I did not hear much that I had not already heard over the past few years anyway, especially from parents with girls and often girls themselves.  There has been a call for allowing girls for years.  In truth, it started at the outset, but it did not have the societal push that exists today.  B.P. had to deal with it almost from the start.  So he turned to Olave and asked her to come up with something.  That something, of course, was the Girl Guides and it eventually folded into the British Scouting program, just as a large percentage of other worldwide Scouting groups have joined the genders in some manner.

 

As I have noted in other posts, this seems to me to be a golden opportunity to run with that, if done right and with open eyes and ears, will be a positive expansion of the program to a much wider group of young people.  

 

Naysayers and rigid thinkers will continue, to beat their brows as they peer at the sky.  Those that simply have decided that anything from National or professionals automatically is bad will continue to be irrationally obdurate, but those that care about the opportunity to reach more youth will simply work to make the new direction viable and tweak as necessary.  

 

I plan on being part of the latter group, even at my advanced tenure

I can tell you I've been in scouting for 9 years, den leader, cubmaster and den leader at the same time, asst scout master and committee chair and in my troop and pack and for a couple years I was a leader in both, never once did I have a parent say that they wished their daughter could be in boy scouts. Never once. until last week and the only person who told me they thought this was a great idea was one where their son quit scouts in the 3rd grade and her daughter is currently in college. Yes I care about reaching more youth. More youth boys because boy scouts is about teaching boys. In fact I have multiple parents that have boys and girls and let out a big "UGH" when they learned of this change. They don't want it either. Do I think everything national does is bad..No, I don't...Do I trust that they are looking out for the best interest of the kids. Nope I don't believe that either. Will this change work? Yeah it will work, it has to work. The volunteer leaders have zero choice. Make it work or quit. Will I opt to quit? I can't answer that question right now. If they keep troops all girls or all boys, I will stay. If they become co-ed at the boy scout level...Adios, I'm outta here. Not every volunteer is cut out to do every job and I know what my limits are. I have a large issue with inefficiency and honesty. And to be honest myself I'm just tired of carrying the ball, I'm tired of all the hours and I'm tired of the lack of help, I'm tired of most of my free time being dedicated to this organization, this is the last straw. As volunteer when national decides to double the weight of the ball, it's time for me to give them their ball back and walk quietly into sunset.

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