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Jameson76

Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

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6 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

You're right in that it didn't bring boys back in itself. What I would argue though is it was the first stage in a much larger, and desperatly needed, modernisation and it was that over all change that started putting bums on seats again. The image TSA has now is a whole world different from what it was in the 90s. Our annual scout census is done at 31 Jan and the results announced in April. Certainly locally we're expecting numbers to be up again. I'm aware of 1 new beaver colony, 3 new cub packs and 2 new scout troops in our district alone. If that is reflected alsewhere I'd expect another sharp jump.

I said in another thread that I doubt that the membership changes will be the last major change you will see in BSA. Clearly something is amiss if you are losing members. The core part of BSA is good. Get young people outdoors, working together in small groups, allowing them to lead and take ownership of the program. That basic set up is the same worldwide. So I certainly don't expect that to change. Some of the other stuff around the edges though, I would expect changes to that. Possibly the uniform, possibly the award system, possibly age ranges.

And this is exactly what I expect from the BSA. You're right, the core program is great. But something is clearly amiss if we can drop tens of thousands of scouts per year, sometimes approaching a six figure drop in past years. This is a modernization that a lot of peope aren't going to like, but it's necessary if we are ever to see growth in Scouting in the US again. 

Edited by EmberMike

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10 hours ago, gblotter said:

My daughters would not enjoy many of the things my son loves about camp, and vice-versa.

OK, but then your daughters are not likely signing up for Boy Scout summer camp. It is fair to assume that anyone that does so, self-selects because they do enjoy the same things about camp.

In this way, Boy Scout camp need not really change. The girls that want to join and attend camp are self-selecting for the sort of activities that we already offer. This isn't like a summer Y camp that has to try and appeal to everyone with all interests.

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12 minutes ago, gblotter said:

For co-ed Scouting programs, perhaps that is true. Many boys don’t last long at all (as reflected in the low percentages of UK Scouting and Scouts Canada). 

What data are you using for UK scouting?  From what I can see, they have a higher percentage of youth in Scouting than USA and they are growing vs the continuous BSA decline.  I’m even including the Learning for Life I’m the BSA numbers which I don’t believe is really Scouting.  I also expect BSA will see a big drop as older LDS scouts have a new program (impacting Varsity and Venturing numbers).

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I see it every day in my classroom.  In class it's co-ed, but the guys have his strange tendency to migrate to the sports world of all-male teams because it's "cool" to be a guy.    Students who have issues of boy/girl (co-ed) outside of class who don't get involved in sports have a tendency to do the old LAN-Gamer gatherings type of activities.  The gals who don't do the segregated sports get more involved in the shopping and sleepover types of activities.  And for most of the others, they continue to do the co-ed activities outside of class. 

Taking that one step further beyond the reach of the schools, there's always gang related activity which for the most part are gender segregated, but mostly it's a male issue.  With the breakdown of the traditional family, the options for youth are becoming a confusing time for these kids.

Nothing scientific about those observations, just a few years of teaching at a high school level.

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3 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

In this way, Boy Scout camp need not really change. The girls that want to join and attend camp are self-selecting for the sort of activities that we already offer. This isn't like a summer Y camp that has to try and appeal to everyone with all interests.

But that’s just it ... BSA *does* want to appeal to these new types of Scouts and these new types of Scouters. That is what Family Scouting is all about. Girls are the source of increased membership (in the eyes of BSA National leadership). Thus changes will be made to summer camp and advancement programs as they chase membership increases. They will claim these changes are what families demand. Thus, it will be exactly like Y camp that tries to appeal to everyone with all interests.

And as the program keeps changing to better accommodate Family Scouting, it will be the boys - not the girls - who self-select out. We’ve seen it so many times with boys in society already.

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3 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

(1) BSA National has made the announcement and cannot go back.

(2) BSA has announced a "Separate but Equal' policy.

(3) A few will try "Separate but Equal", some will ignore it and go "co-ed", and most will lack the manpower to pull it off.

(4) Some units who try to stay "Boy Only" will face a PR disaster when some girl gets turned away. Only if a religious based National C.O. backs them up will this be tenable.

(5) National will have no choice but to "relax" the policy on separate units. It is only a temporary tactic.

(6) None of this will change the fundamental problems (program, culture, program, finances)  BSA is facing. In fact it is a distraction.

Agreed.  The most aggressive Troops in my area plan to go full coed (paper Troops if necessary), #3 definitely true.    Based on a message on Facebook group I am a member of, the buzzfeed article and quotes from my local council spokeswoman #5 is already in process.  Also, I’ve seen several coed countries remove the local option after an initial launch and require all units to go coed (other than for religious reasons) so #4 is likely in a few years.  

I think a great topic is #6.  What does the BSA need to do to meet the needs of today’s youth while making it fun and cool to join?  Some Troops and Packs do this well but Nationally it is not happening.  Could the UK loan us Bear Grylls for a while?  

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15 minutes ago, EmberMike said:

But something is clearly amiss if we can drop tens of thousands of scouts per year, sometimes approaching a six figure drop in past years.

Those large drops are directly attributable to attacks on BSA by Social Justice Warriors over gays, trans, and God. Political controversy drives down enrollment - simple enough to understand. To say that will somehow be fixed by adding girls is illogical.

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4 minutes ago, gblotter said:

But that’s just it ... BSA *does* want to appeal to these new types of Scouts and these new types of Scouters. That is what Family Scouting is all about. Girls are the source of increased membership (in the eyes of BSA National leadership). Thus changes will be made to summer camp and advancement programs as they chase membership increases. They will claim these changes are what families demand. Thus, it will be exactly like Y camp that tries to appeal to everyone with all interests.

And as the program keeps changing to better accommodate Family Scouting, it will be the boys - not the girls - who self-select out. We’ve seen it so many times with boys in society already.

But the BSA is saying the program won't change. You're assuming it will. Based on what? 

Girls joining the program are joining because they want the BSA program. If it changes, they might self-select out right along with the boys because they didn't get what they asked for. Changing the program would be organizational suicide. 

Family Scouting is Cub-level only. It keeps getting injected into the overall program discussion, but when we're talking about summer camp and mostly at the Troop level, Family Scouting doesn't apply. There is no evidence that Family Scouting will impact summer camp for troops whatsoever. 

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3 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Those large drops are directly attributable to attacks on BSA by Social Justice Warriors over gays, trans, and God. Political controversy drives down enrollment - simple enough to understand. To say that will somehow be fixed by adding girls is illogical.

Those drops existed long before the media attention on the BSA over those issues. The biggest drops started in the 90s and early 2000s, long before we were headline news and became a social discussion. How could the controversies drive down membership when they weren't yet well-known controversies? 

Edited by EmberMike

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The issue with summer camps changing program... I hope so. Most camp programs are merit badge factories with youths actung as mb counselors. The boys have lost out on a real camp experience long before the idea of having girls as members. Let's not pretend that all is perfect and the change to allow girls in the program will weaken it. The loss of the patrol method, mb factories, eagle mills are well entrenched in the current paradigm. We have had a far from perfect program for many years. It wasn't the gays, girls or godless that did that.

 

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While my son is only at the Cub Scout level, he is enjoying the program as it has been for the past 3 years he has attended.  It is a good opportunity for him to build social skills outside of home-schooling.  However, with that being said, the co-ed option might be a bit of a problem in that he is out-numbered 2 to 1 with his siblings at home.  Now much of that can be easily chalked up to sibling rivalry, but I don't think it is a big draw to continue that experience outside the home.  While my wife and I draw the line at blood and bruises, it is still a struggle at times.  While it is good for him to socialize in a co-educational environment, it may not be something that he is going to seek out as an activity option.  I don't know when or if that will ever change.  I'm sure it will, but the timing will be his choice in the long run.

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1 minute ago, EmberMike said:

But the BSA is saying the program won't change. You're assuming it will. Based on what? 

Based on their history of lying and deception, frankly. I have very little faith in the competence of BSA National leadership. They are making this up as they go along.

And they never said the program would not change to accommodate girls - they only said the requirements would be the same for boys and girls (see the difference?).

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18 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

(4) Some units who try to stay "Boy Only" will face a PR disaster when some girl gets turned away. Only if a religious based National C.O. backs them up will this be tenable.

Turning girls away is a concern, and I think that districts should prepare to support troops and packs who will be faced with having interested girls, but no actual girls program yet.  I think it would be great if districts would develop some girls program resources,  a girls program chairperson or other go-to-person who can help interested girls connect with other interested girls and join up with Scouting if their most local troops and packs are not up to speed with the girls program yet.   

My pack is sponsored by an elementary school PTO.   There is another elementary school nearby.  I could see an opportunity for some collaboration if each school has a handful of girls who want to try Scouting.  This will take teamwork and communication, but it could help small numbers of girls join up and get started together.    Same deal with Troops -- we easily have 4 troops in close geography -- If all 4 troops could refer interested girls to a newly formed unit, it will take the stress off the individual troops.   Of course new units will need CO's too. 

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15 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

 because the youth members may have their own viewpoints that differ from yours. 

Did National ask youth what they thought about girls in Boy Scout troops? I know some adults made sure to send the survey to several Venturers and OA eboard members who took the survey. Those young men are all against girls in troops. Venturing and Exploring are different and the guys are ok with that.

interestingly, all the girls in my crew are against it as well.

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2 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Based on their history of lying and deception, frankly. I have very little faith in the competence of BSA National leadership. They are making this up as they go along.

And they never said the program would not change to accommodate girls - they only said the requirements would be the same for boys and girls (see the difference?).

Ok, but when we're talking about summer camp specically,, for better or worse the summer camp program is heavily weighted towards merit badges, which are requirement-based. So if the requirements aren't changing, the bulk of the activities at camp will remain the same. How will they change the "program" in a way that will drastically impact sumemr camp without changing the requirements? 

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