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Jameson76

Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

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Wow, I step away for a few minutes to do my day job and a ton of stuff happens.

Okay, I'm going to put my outside observer glasses on an pose a few ideas.

1) This thing called national has made changes to the program.  It is ASSUMED that this was to make things better, either in numbers of scouts or cash flow, take your pick.  Both sides have speculated for either, or, or both.

2) This is followed closely by the rank and file with a whole ton of ASSUMPTIONS as to what is going to happen and who's going to quit, what all the problems are going to be, how the structure of the program will look like, right down to the number of toilets at summer camp.

3) So those ASSUMING the change is inevitable and all the myriad of problems are merely bumps in the road,  take the high ground and those that don't like it are told to leave.

4) I'm going to ASSUME that no one really knows what's going on from the top to the bottom but it is bringing out the worst in everybody in most cases.  The scout law (I had to borrow my son's book) where it refers to such things as idealized courteous, kind,  helpful,  cheerful are put on a back burner for the moment while we discuss the real nature of the issues.  We can get back to them after the dust has settled.

As a school teacher, one must have a set of lesson plans that take quite a bit of time to set up based on the textbook used in class.  After a while the job gets pretty easy doing the copy/paste routine each year until the school board changes textbooks.  Back to square one.  So what's it going to be?  Rally the troops in protest? Complain to somebody?  Go for viral status on Facebook? move to a school where they haven't changed textbooks since 1909? or are you going to start all over and do the best you can with the new situation?  And surprisingly enough, you can't do a dang thing about it until you get the new book.  I don't think that with all the assumptions floating around, the boy scout playbook has been made available yet.

Yep, there will be new people coming in and old people going out.  There will be those who dump their development in the program and Eagle Mill marathon to an early exit.  The Old Guard will throw up their hands in disgust and leave unless they have grandchildren they want to push through quickly for the Gran Prix Eagle, thus maintaining the family tradition of Eagles.

And the list goes on and on ad nauseum.

I sure hope this all quiets down in the next couple of years when my son gets to Boy Scouts because he seems to be enjoying what he has at the moment.  I don't think (and I'm assuming, yes) that it probably make a bit of difference to him because he doesn't have a long-standing tradition of anything in the program having been in it for now the third year.    It seriously concerns me that he might become disillusioned with Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts and join something like 4-H and I have to put up with a pig in the back yard he's raising for competition at the state fair.

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1 minute ago, WisconsinMomma said:

... but I think you should hold back from sharing strong anti-female or anti-coed views with your troop

Why don't you ask my three daughters if I am anti-female before you start slinging that slur.

I am as heavily engaged in their parenting and development as I am for my son. However, I am experienced enough to appreciate the differences between boys and girls when it comes to a unique program like Scouting. And those differences don't just disappear because of politically-correct derision.

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35 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

I think there are certainly going to be challenges, including with finding sufficient volunteers to staff new units, but I think your last sentence indicates where they're going to come from.  I may be a little off in my math, but I think roughly half of all volunteers are already the parents of a girl. 

I suspect that's where much of the crop of needed volunteers will come from, scouters who have daughters as well as sons.  Different people place different emphasis on what programs they most want to invest their time in, but my experience is that the folks I know who are volunteers, men and women, are volunteers for both their sons and daughters activities.  I suspect there will be enough scouters who decide the program is a great program, and worthwhile for their daughters as well as their sons, and there's your labor pool.

As to your comment in red, I think that's an odd statement. *I* am a long-time Scouting volunteer AND the father of a daughter, so I make your statement true. But that's not what we are talking about. We are saying that NEW volunteers are allegedly going to come from 1) parents of only girls who are new joiners to the program, b) parents of boys in the program who will now have girls in the program and all of sudden will now want to volunteer, or c) people who have never volunteered who will miraculously all of a sudden want to volunteer. I think the most likely pool is either a or c, but I wouldn't bet on it.

As to your second comment in purple, you are assuming people who didn't volunteer with just their son in the program will now all of a sudden volunteer? Why? Today when we have a Scout who has brothers in the program, when the other brothers join it does not necessarily mean the parents are going to volunteer. In my experience the adding of a sibling has little, if any, impact on whether parents will volunteer. Why do we think adding daughters in the mix will change that?

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18 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Why don't you ask my three daughters if I am anti-female before you start slinging that slur.

I am as heavily engaged in their parenting and development as I am for my son. However, I am experienced enough to appreciate the differences between boys and girls when it comes to a unique program like Scouting. And those differences don't just disappear because of politically-correct derision.

Do you support females in Scouting, and do you support female Scout leaders? 

In the end it doesn't matter all that much, because the BSA does.  Just try not to contradict them too much in your interactions with the youth, especially because the youth members may have their own viewpoints that differ from yours. 

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A few years back when I was in college, my roommate was gay.  I am a conservative Christian.  Major worlds apart.  It was a rocky start, but we both worked it out to the point where we actually became good friends in spite of our differences.  The time we finally realized it was when we were going on some trip someplace.  He was driving and I was navigating.   This was before GPS and Google Maps, so I had the old paper map out trying to figure out how to get to where we needed to be.  We came to an intersection that was not clearly marked on the map and he yelled, "Which way?  Which way?"  I in my panic and at the last minute I yelled back at him, "Go straight! Go Straight!".  After the dust settled and he smiled and said, "My Dad's been telling me that for years."

Sometimes our differences are what makes us better. 

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18 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Do you support females in Scouting, and do you support female Scout leaders? 

In the end it doesn't matter all that much, because the BSA does.  Just try not to contradict them too much in your interactions with the youth, especially because the youth members may have their own viewpoints that differ from yours. 

I'll take a shot at this one...  

Do I support females in Scouting?  Yes, I do...  in a separate organization and a different program from the boys.

Do I support female Scout leaders?  Again, yes I do...  in a separate organization from the boys.

You state that the youth members may have their own viewpoints that differ... Well, did anyone ask them?  Did national send out a poll to all registered Boy Scouts and allow them to have a say?  I know what my own son and his patrol think about the idea.  They don't like it.  They enjoyed those campouts with just the guys... even though he has aged out, he still enjoys camping and hanging out with his old patrol mates.  There is a special bond between those boys that does not exist between my son and his other friends from his coed activities.

 

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Why are we grilling other people on their views? I thought it wasn’t allowed in the forum. 

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1 hour ago, Pselb said:

...

3) So those ASSUMING the change is inevitable and all the myriad of problems are merely bumps in the road,  take the high ground and those that don't like it are told to leave...

 

Its not an assumption that the changes are inevitable. They’re already happening. For the BSA to go back on this now would mean they’d have to actually kick girls out. That little PR nightmare would never be allowed to come to fruition. 

I have never told anyone to leave, but I’ve thought it. Not in a vindictive way or anything. Just some people should leave if they find this all to be too much to bear. Before the gay membership policy changes, I was done with the BSA. I registered with another scouting organization to learn their ways, and I was ready to take my kids there when they reached Scouting age. I only came back to the BSA because of the changes and how they fit with my views. 

The way some folks talk about the BSA here, it sounds like some are more passionately against what the organization is doing now than I ever was. I was told often that if I don’t like the policies, I should go elsewhere. I did. And now the shoe is on the other foot. 

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1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Do you support females in Scouting, and do you support female Scout leaders? 

@WisconsinMomma I think your avatar well-frames our differences: Cubmaster vs Scoutmaster.

My son had a great experience in Cub Scouts. He earned more pins and beltloops and badges than anyone in our Pack history. He had mostly female Den leaders except for Webelos. I participated only as a dad - not in Cub leadership. I am extremely grateful for all his Cub leaders (male and female) who understood the Cub program far better than I ever will. And to be honest, I don't care a bit about including girls in separate Dens or Packs in the Cub Scout program. That would have made very little difference in the Cub experience of my son.

Do I feel the same about including girls in Boy Scouts? Are 13 year old boys the same as 8 year old boys? Heck no!

Boy Scouts is not just Cub Scouts for older kids, The program changes in major ways - and for good reason. Developmentally, boys and girls diverge significantly as tweens and young teens. Reaching them and mentoring them during this critical time is definitely not a "one solution" approach - in Scouting and otherwise. Moving into later teens, the equation changes dramatically yet again.

These should be self-evident truths to anyone who is the parent of a teen or who has ever been a teenager themselves. But apparently not. When we ignore or dismiss these truths, it is the boys who suffer most - they simply withdraw, opt-out. Boys are the ones failing in current society - the "War on Boys" statistics are well-known and oft-repeated. Yet we continue to focus only on meeting the needs of girls (example: this decision). Gender-separate sports teams now become the last refuge to reach boys of this age. That probably works fine for my son who can't get enough of sports, but I worry for so many other boys who found a home in Scouting when sports were out of their reach. We'll come looking for them immersed in the video game culture.

 

Edited by gblotter
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4 minutes ago, EmberMike said:

I was told often that if I don’t like the policies, I should go elsewhere. I did. And now the shoe is on the other foot. 

Apparently, a Scout is vindictive.

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Just now, gblotter said:

Apparently, a Scout is vindictive.

Apparently you didn’t read the rest of my post. Despite me being told to leave, I’m not telling anyone that. 

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Just now, EmberMike said:

Despite me being told to leave, I’m not telling anyone that. 

But you thought it.

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Just now, gblotter said:

But you thought it.

Sure, and for the reasons I stated. But I wouldn’t tell someone directly to leave. That’s a decision each person has to make. And like I said, considering how passionate some folks are here about this change, I’m amazed more people aren’t leaving. 

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2 minutes ago, EmberMike said:

And like I said, considering how passionate some folks are here about this change, I’m amazed more people aren’t leaving.

I'm amazed as well. The actual fallout will likely be seen over a period of years.

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The War on Boys stuff is concerning.  I have three sons and am concerned about some of those issues.  On the other hand, I think that girls will love the BSA program, and that girl troops do not necessarily take away from boy troops, and in the end, everyone will eventually live and work in society together.   I don't see the BSA as getting run over by feminism by this move to allow girls to have dens and patrols or packs and troops.  It is a time of major change, and I don't know how it will play out.  I'm curious to see how it goes. 

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