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John-in-KC

OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Youth Members, All Programs

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David CO, I get ya. I consider myself on the 'losing' side on this one. We have our first post-announcement Troop meeting tonight and I get to be the official announcer of the (scarce) details to the boys. Could be interesting. 

 

We had a troop meeting after the announcement but nobody talked to the boys about it at all.  For that matter, we also had a committee meeting after the announcement but the subject did not come up "formally", just in discussions "on the side" before and after the actual meeting.  I suggested, and most agreed, that since our troop has been kind of gradually dwindling away (for a variety of reasons) and most of our attention is being directed to recruiting in order to save the troop, that if there is still a viable troop around in two years so that we have to deal with this issue, that's a win.  In other words, we aren't really talking about it other than idle chit-chat in reaction to the announcement.

 

If I had to guess about our CO's reaction, it would be that they would probably be willing to charter unit(s) with girls in them.  This might actually be of benefit in re-starting the defunct Cub pack at this CO.  But we haven't raised the issue with them, nor are there any current plans to raise the issue.

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Also noticed he was in charge of HR. When have you ever encountered anyone in HR you felt you could trust? Make no mistake, HR is more invested in the interests of the corporate organization than those of the individual. It appears he is carrying on that tradition.

 

In fairness, being focused on "the interests of the corporate organization" is pretty much an inherent part of the job description of the CEO of any organization.  One would hope that in a youth-serving organization, "the interests of the corporate organization" are consistent with what best serves the youth. In my opinion that is usually true in the BSA.  Not always, but usually.

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I know that a lot of the boys were social media-ing about it so they are aware of it. I talked it over with our SM and CC and I am just gonna have a low-key simple bullet-ed announcement because some times you lose trust with youth by not trusting them with an issue. Our focus is the decision has been made, changes (if any) are down the road, and we are planning no changes to our youth led, outdoor leadership program, and the scout law. I will encourage anyone who might be upset to chill out and not make any rash decisions. When there is any news to report that will change the way we do business we will let the scouts and families know.

 

I may or may not entertain a dumb question or two. I will keep my personal opinion to myself (as will the SM and CC). 

 

If I had to guess our CO's reaction they would back the Troop's leadership one way or the other. 

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Don't look now but I think you have just invented a new verb. :)

 

I guess I should have said 'Trolling'/'Lurking'? I am sure there is an actual Urban Dictionary word that the moment I become aware of it has become outmoded by definition. I think I will just say "Cyber Chipping"...

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I am sure there is an actual Urban Dictionary word that the moment I become aware of it has become outmoded by definition.

 

I feel the same way: Once I have learned of something new-ish, the 20-something's are automatically done with it.

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Girls were on camp staff when I was at summer camps as a kid in the 90s. It's certainly nothing new. I went to a camporee this weekend, in a staff of about a dozen probably 4 were girls/women. 

 

I heard the statistic recently that as many as half of scout leaders are women. 

 

Girls are always in attendance and on staff in noticable numbers at the larger events, jambo, etc. 

 

Girls have featured prominently in BSA literature, marketing materials, advertising, etc., to promote a family-friendly program and environment. 

 

If the argument is that the BSA was a place to avoid the female gender entirely, that hasn't really been the case in a long time. 

I have mixed feelings about this new decision and have kept my opinions to myself.  Some of this is good, some of this not so good IMO.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not worried about having female adult leaders or older female venturers at camp (except there won't be enough of them).  I'm not worried about girls in cubscouts.  What I'm worried about is the cute 15 year old girl that makes all of the boyscouts act like fools.  I'm sure that venturers, seascouts, our foreign friends and anyone else dealing with youths have all had to deal with this before so it's nothing new.  But I'm not too old to remember what I and my friends were like when hormones were raging.  It's amazing how much dumber we became around teenage girls and more importantly jealous of each other when someone else got the attention we wanted or spiteful when rejected.  Scout law doesn't change reality and it will be interesting to see how this all comes together (or falls apart).

 

I know there's talk about separate programs but it's obvious to most of us that isn't what will happen in reality.  I also think I'm most disappointed in National for the way the situation was handled.  Seems very much like how the corporations I have worked for handle things and doesn't seem appropriate for a mostly volunteer organization.

 

Also, I had my thirteen year old scout read the official announcement the day it came out so he would be informed and he didn't care either way. 

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I have mixed feelings about this new decision and have kept my opinions to myself.  Some of this is good, some of this not so good IMO.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not worried about having female adult leaders or older female venturers at camp (except there won't be enough of them).  I'm not worried about girls in cubscouts.  What I'm worried about is the cute 15 year old girl that makes all of the boyscouts act like fools.  I'm sure that venturers, seascouts, our foreign friends and anyone else dealing with youths have all had to deal with this before so it's nothing new.  But I'm not too old to remember what I and my friends were like when hormones were raging.  It's amazing how much dumber we became around teenage girls and more importantly jealous of each other when someone else got the attention we wanted or spiteful when rejected.  Scout law doesn't change reality and it will be interesting to see how this all comes together (or falls apart).

 

I know there's talk about separate programs but it's obvious to most of us that isn't what will happen in reality.  I also think I'm most disappointed in National for the way the situation was handled.  Seems very much like how the corporations I have worked for handle things and doesn't seem appropriate for a mostly volunteer organization.

 

Also, I had my thirteen year old scout read the official announcement the day it came out so he would be informed and he didn't care either way. 

 

I promise you that the boys are equally foolish with or without the presence of a girl...

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What I'm worried about is the cute 15 year old girl that makes all of the boyscouts act like fools.

 

 

Well, as I tell the adults, don't waste a good problem. After the first boy does this pull him aside and ask him why. It could prove very useful for him. Honestly I would have preferred making that mistake in a situation where making mistakes is okay rather than in the high school lunch room. BTW, girls have a way of making fools of themselves as well.

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I wonder if they will come up with a companion magazine called Girls Life

 

Maybe, but not called Girls Life as that magazine already exists.

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What I'm worried about is the cute 15 year old girl that makes all of the boyscouts act like fools. 

 

I promise you that the boys are equally foolish with or without the presence of a girl...

 

To me, the above two quotes demonstrate the absolute value of single-gender programs for boys.  While I acknowledge that 15 year-old boys can be undisciplined and they don't know how to handle the hormones running through their systems, they are anything but fools or foolish.  They are just boys growing up.  When our leadership starts insulting our core constituency I find it disheartening.

 

Well, as I tell the adults, don't waste a good problem. After the first boy does this pull him aside and ask him why. It could prove very useful for him. Honestly I would have preferred making that mistake in a situation where making mistakes is okay rather than in the high school lunch room. BTW, girls have a way of making fools of themselves as well.

Thanks.

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I promise you that the boys are equally foolish with or without the presence of a girl...

As someone not so far past 15 I can tell you my generation was way more foolish around girls. We would do anything we thought was cool to get their attention. Without girls around to lure us away we were more likely to attend program. The plc went as far as to go back to a summer camp that had a cute lifeguard only to find out she wasn’t on staff anymore. We didn’t know staff changed nearly every year. All they had were college guys as life guards. We went to our mb classes all week and avoided the water front.

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Even if I thought that this was a valid analogy (which I do not), the "robber" in this scenario is BSA National, not anyone in this forum. (Well, we do have one regular poster who has identified himself as the national director of health and safety, but he has posted about this subject maybe once, and the post that I recall did not express an opinion on the subject, and presumably he was not at the center of the decision-making process on this subject if he was involved at all.)  None of us here made this decision.  Some of us were among the thousands who participated in a survey - some of us, including me, "without authorization", but if you put something on the Internet, somebody is going to find it -  but that's it.  We all have our opinions, which seem to cover the entire spectrum of possibilities on this subject.  What Tampa Turtle said is:  "Obviously this is an issue where men and women of sincerity and integrity can disagree", and I agree with that statement.  If a person disagreed with it, that would suggest (to me, at least) that they believe that people with a different viewpoint are part of some sort of nefarious cabal with ulterior motives. (David, you didn't say that, but I think the "robber" analogy suggests something along those lines.) I don't see that here.  I just see people who sincerely hold different views.

 

No, if anything, I am guilty of understatement. 

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So if this all goes the way the BSA says it is supposed to, my troop technically has nothing that they need to do. There will be girl only troops. Correct? So does that mean we need an influx of new leaders and committee members to start up girl only troops. Or is it going to be expected that a scout master and committee will now start supporting two troops? It's more than enough work to support one troop and fine one charter org. Can a charter org charter more than one troop? I'm just curious how it will go with many new startup troops at one time. I'd also expect that since it's supposed to be girl only troops, chartering software should be modified to not charter scouts of the opposite gender from their gender designated troop. Same as it won't let you charter a scout turning 18 unless he changes to another scouting position besides scout.

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