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ianwilkins

What do you mean by "men" and "manly"?

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While I think the benefits of boy-only vs mixed gender scouts is a debatable discussion i worth having; however,  I think there are two "straw men" arguments against that kinda muddy the water:

 

(1) The "Girls 1st Period" argument. I think we will survive. Within the 1st year of being an ASM I already had to deal with 1 case of a serial bed-wetter, 1 case of a boy peeing a gallon all over his shorts when attempting to use a cat hole and 2 cases of boys soiling themselves out expectantly on a long hike. Mortifying yes, but all managed. 

 

(2) The "Girls are weak" argument. Have you SEEN the amazons they are breeding these days? We are not training Marine infantry...just scouts who can do the occasional back packing, swimming, and fitness. I have seen enough enough teeny tiny boys struggle with backpacks waist straps below their hips and chubby scouts with the silhouettes of eggs to know we can work around any reasonable limitations. 

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@Tampa Turtle, I understand the challenges of taking on girls is something most will be able to handle with a bit more effort, but chronic bed wetting, cat-hole accidents among guys isn't the same as cross sexual issues.  Putting it politely, they need a bit more finesse when handling.

 

Yes, there is going to be the requirement that there are co-ed scouters at every event and like "dads" all do, one can pass off the problem to "mom".  As a co-ed leader of other organizations, I know how the process works.  BSA in general and all of its training models will need to be changed to accommodate these issues, not that BSA has done much in the past with chronic bed wetters or cat-hole mishaps.

 

But in general, one need not look too far afield to see that dads treat daughters differently than their sons and moms do likewise with their offspring.  How does one, with enough helicopter interfering parents, make those additional changes in a co-ed environment of other people's kids? 

 

In other co-ed groups they don't need to, but with the singular purpose of Scouting, it's going to be different.  No one in 4-H cares whether or not a gal wants to raise pigs instead of learning how to sew clothes and if a boy wishes to learn to cook instead of raising rabbits, no big deal.  Yet 4-H is designed with many goals in mind from which to choose.  Sure, BSA has a broad categories, Learning for Life, Sea Scouts and Venturing, but for he most part those are older youth where the options although limited are a bit more broad.  There are no rank advancements in co-ed 4-H, co-ed church youth groups, or Boy & Girls Clubs.  The program focus varies far wider.  I use the 4-H has an example of one of the really good leadership youth programs, but it is not run like the BSA's leadership program.  The urban development of the 4-H program is very interesting, considering most people associate 4-H with just "farm" kids.

 

As it stands right now I would need to make quite a few changes in order to accommodate the gals.  I'll need more adult trained leaders and right now I have a committee that can't even recruit and train well enough for what we have. Units will need to have far more adults step up.  In Cubs, that's not a big deal, but with "Scouts" it will mean more involvement with adults when there's really too much in troops the way it is now.

 

I have worked with co-ed youth programs all my life.  I know the difference between BSA as it once stood and those other groups.  BSA will need to make changes and limp along for a while on the practical end of things while it wallows in the glory of their perceived "brave new world" of co-ed scouts.  I can, but I don't think I want to clean up the mess when there's other well-run co-ed groups already out there that have this all figured out with a different type of program, and successful programs as well.

 

To give you an idea of what I foresee?  I attended an organizational meeting for interested youth to join a Venturing Crew.  The District was going to try and set up a "super" Venturing Crew in the larger cities throughout the council.  My wife (very outdoorsy) and I offered to step up and take one on.  Others did in other cities.  Big recruiting push.  I attended a big rally in the school where I was going to be working.  20 kids showed up, it looked promising.  Well, within a month, our presentation of program gave the school the idea to start their own Outdoor Club for the students and that was the end of that.  It would seem that NONE of the other attempts in the council produced a Venturing Crew either.

 

Like I said, co-ed is not the solution to the problem.  Co-ed activities are, at this point, better organized and better run than where the BSA stands with it's consistently struggling Learning for Life, STEM, Venturing and Sea Scouts. Throwing two unique other programs into the mix doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

 

From my experiences over the past 45+ years, doesn't encourage me in this new BSA effort one bit.

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As a parent, the middle-school and high school coed outdoor clubs that I have known have had few adults involved. Two or three outdoorsy manly or amazonly advisors and none of them were student parents. Transportation via school mini-buses.  Funded by school district. There are no uniforms, advancements, or fundraisers, just a much leaner and meaner outdoor leadership and adventure experience.  That is what the BSA needs to relearn.

 

My $0.02

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As a parent, the middle-school and high school coed outdoor clubs that I have known have had few adults involved. Two or three outdoorsy manly or amazonly advisors and none of them were student parents. Transportation via school mini-buses.  Funded by school district. There are no uniforms, advancements, or fundraisers, just a much leaner and meaner outdoor leadership and adventure experience.  That is what the BSA needs to relearn.

 

My $0.02

 

I think this is an unfair comparison - your keys words here are "Funded by school district".  Let me make that even clearer - funded by taxpayers.  This puts the school district at an unfair advantage, wouldn't you say?  The school district just simply spends taxpayer dollars on these trips.  No need for fundraising if you can just collect taxes from everyone and spend it as you see fit.

 

In the meantime, the Boy Scouts have to go out and fundraise - even for a "much leaner and meaner outdoor leadership and adventure experience".  They can't just tax entire towns to pay for this. 

 

How do you propose that the BSA become leaner and meaner?  What is the lesson they should be learning?  What can they do to lower the costs of Scouting?  How can they compete with a school district that can collect taxes?

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I think this is an unfair comparison - your keys words here are "Funded by school district".  Let me make that even clearer - funded by taxpayers.  This puts the school district at an unfair advantage, wouldn't you say?  The school district just simply spends taxpayer dollars on these trips.  No need for fundraising if you can just collect taxes from everyone and spend it as you see fit.

 

In the meantime, the Boy Scouts have to go out and fundraise - even for a "much leaner and meaner outdoor leadership and adventure experience".  They can't just tax entire towns to pay for this. 

 

How do you propose that the BSA become leaner and meaner?  What is the lesson they should be learning?  What can they do to lower the costs of Scouting?  How can they compete with a school district that can collect taxes?

 

Semantics. Sure the taxpayer pays. Here the school district decides if there is a band, chess club, outdoor club and "funds" accordingly, the taxpayer has no say.  But look at that funding, is it less or more per person than what scout families are paying. It is lower. If the schools decided participants pay their own way, the costs would be upfront and still less. And unlike Scouts, activities would be within their financial means!!!!

 

Anyway,look at what our competitors are doing.

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As it stands right now I would need to make quite a few changes in order to accommodate the gals.  I'll need more adult trained leaders and right now I have a committee that can't even recruit and train well enough for what we have. Units will need to have far more adults step up.  In Cubs, that's not a big deal, but with "Scouts" it will mean more involvement with adults when there's really too much in troops the way it is now.

 

Why would you have to do a single thing to accommodate girls? Did you say you were a member of the Chartering Org previously and I missed it?

 

You appear to keep arguing your position as if the decision was to fully incorporate coed Troops.

 

Troops will still be single-gendered. You are neither required to change based on this decision nor are you required to accept girls based on this decision.

Those COs that want to accept girls into scouts will have the responsibility of recruiting volunteers for the new all-girl troop.

 

Boys and Girls will not be competing at all within Troops for leadership positions.

 

Boy Scout volunteers that don't want to work with girls won't have to.

 

https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BSA_Family-Entry-Fact-Sheet-1.pdf

 

So much of the opposition to this change seems to be rooted in the incorrect perception that next year boys are going to be losing out to girls. They will be two different programs.

 

 

[Theory and practice are not the same thing but I am going to accept what they say it will be and how it will function until I see evidence otherwise.]

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As a parent, the middle-school and high school coed outdoor clubs that I have known have had few adults involved. Two or three outdoorsy manly or amazonly advisors and none of them were student parents. 

 

My $0.02

 

My experience has been that school Outdoor Education programs and camping clubs are often supervised by History and Foreign Language teachers, not exactly the stereotypical types you describe.

 

Most schools ask teachers to supervise at least one activity. The PE teachers coach sports. Science teachers do Science Fair. Music and Art teachers do performances and plays. Math and English teachers do academic bowls. This kinda leaves the Social Studies department to do Outdoor Education. 

 

I agree that school based activities tend to have fewer adults (and far fewer parents) involved than in scouting. Perhaps that is why they are gaining in popularity. I find that somewhat ironic considering that scouting is supposed to be more boy led than the school programs.

Edited by David CO

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Why would you have to do a single thing to accommodate girls? Did you say you were a member of the Chartering Org previously and I missed it?

 

You appear to keep arguing your position as if the decision was to fully incorporate coed Troops.

 

Troops will still be single-gendered. You are neither required to change based on this decision nor are you required to accept girls based on this decision.

Those COs that want to accept girls into scouts will have the responsibility of recruiting volunteers for the new all-girl troop.

 

Boys and Girls will not be competing at all within Troops for leadership positions.

 

Boy Scout volunteers that don't want to work with girls won't have to.

 

https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BSA_Family-Entry-Fact-Sheet-1.pdf

 

So much of the opposition to this change seems to be rooted in the incorrect perception that next year boys are going to be losing out to girls. They will be two different programs.

 

 

[Theory and practice are not the same thing but I am going to accept what they say it will be and how it will function until I see evidence otherwise.]

 

It's coming. 

 

http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/29428-official-news-release-girls-as-youth-members-all-programs/?p=465669

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I am amazed if some of you have a school district paying for ANYTHING!

 

That's the name on the checks. :)

 

My experience has been that school Outdoor Education programs and camping clubs are often supervised by History and Foreign Language teachers, not exactly the stereotypical types you describe.

 

Most schools ask teachers to supervise at least one activity. The PE teachers coach sports. Science teachers do Science Fair. Music and Art teachers do performances and plays. Math and English teachers do academic bowls. This kinda leaves the Social Studies department to do Outdoor Education. 

 

I agree that school based activities tend to have fewer adults (and far fewer parents) involved than in scouting. I find that somewhat ironic considering that scouting is supposed to be more boy led than the school programs.

 

Maybe larger schools here? With clubs and teams here, teachers follow their interests, e.g., the AP Physics teacher mentors the debating club.

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I am amazed if some of you have a school district paying for ANYTHING!

 

There are grants available. It doesn't usually come out of the regular budget.

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I think this is an unfair comparison - your keys words here are "Funded by school district".  Let me make that even clearer - funded by taxpayers.  This puts the school district at an unfair advantage, wouldn't you say?  The school district just simply spends taxpayer dollars on these trips.  No need for fundraising if you can just collect taxes from everyone and spend it as you see fit.

 

In the meantime, the Boy Scouts have to go out and fundraise - even for a "much leaner and meaner outdoor leadership and adventure experience".  They can't just tax entire towns to pay for this. 

 

How do you propose that the BSA become leaner and meaner?  What is the lesson they should be learning?  What can they do to lower the costs of Scouting?  How can they compete with a school district that can collect taxes?

 

As a former school board member, I have to respond to the idea that a school district "can just collect taxes from everyone and spend it as you see fit." I can only speak from my experience in one school district in one state, but I can't imagine that my school district is unique.  In New Jersey, there are caps on increases in taxes (which result in limitations on spending.)  About 70% of the annual school budget is salaries and benefits, which are negotiated, and then there are fixed costs such as insurance, utilities, etc.  This does not leave a lot of room for sports and clubs.  About five years ago my district adopted an "activity fee" that the students have to pay to participate in sports and clubs.  It only accounts for about 10% of the combined cost of the activities, but it is something.  Every extracurricular activity involves some sort of fundraising to pay for what the school district doesn't.  And then there are some things that are completely on the parents (and fundraising) - when my son's robotics team went to the national championship in Atlanta, the cost of air fare, hotel etc. was paid for by the families, with some subsidy from fundraising. So the idea that the school district is simply going to pay for everything without any contribution from the families, or any fundraising, does not square with my experience.

 

Added note:  And when a new club is started, it usually has to be self-funding, and the faculty adviser is a volunteer, for at least the first couple of years.  I remember a big battle over funding the then-new ice hockey team.  I would say it was probably 4 or 5 years before the school district funded that. 

Edited by NJCubScouter
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