Jump to content
Jameson76

Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

Recommended Posts

37 minutes ago, EmberMike said:

I'd love to know specifically how "the entire experience" would change. Can you explain that?

Teenage boys act very different when they are around an all male group and a coed group.  The social interactions of the group are different.  I've witnessed this with activities between Scouts and JROTC with my son.  Zip lining with an all male troop is different than zip lining with JROTC.  While the activity is the same, the behavior and mannerisms of the boys are very different.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EmberMike said:

I'd love to know specifically how "the entire experience" would change. Can you explain that?

Having attended summer camp (multiple times) with my daughters and Boy Scout camp (multiple times) with my son, I can tell you from personal experience that what defines a good camp experience differs widely between boys and girls. The format of the two camp programs is dramatically different. I could go into specifics, but some here would surely label my observations as sexist. Nevertheless, these differences are very real. My daughters would not enjoy many of the things my son loves about camp, and vice-versa.

Also from person experience, I can tell you that the behavior and focus of boys and girls changes dramatically when in the presence of the opposite sex. I have experienced this firsthand as a chaperone on overnight school science camps. The distractions can degenerate into a mini soap opera with all the intrigue over "he said, she said".

And lastly, I can tell you from person experience that when girls step to fore, boys will step to the rear. They are happy to avoid work and let others take the lead. A "too cool for school" attitude surfaces among the boys who become conscious about the image they are projecting to the girls around them. 

Edited by gblotter
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

You're free to your thoughts, but realize you're not in charge of the organization.  Also, if the program is youth focused, then the adults should try to avoid BSA (or any other) politics and focus on the program when working with the scouts. That's my point -- adult opinions are not important -- youth decisions on where to camp, and how to run their patrols are important.  Make sense?  

Triggered...?

  • Haha 1
  • Confused 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, qwazse said:

Thanks 'Skip. That cuts both ways. Being unisex is not what caused your boys to leave your program, but going co-ed didn't bring those boys back.

Over here in the land of quick fixes, our P-R guys are trying to couch this move as a boon to membership (more family friendly, simplified for single parents, etc ...), when a real leader will admit that it is hazarding the loss of some seasoned leaders.

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.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, gblotter said:

Having attended summer camp (multiple times) with my daughters and Boy Scout camp (multiple times) with my son, I can tell you from personal experience that what defines a good camp experience differs widely between boys and girls. The format of the two camp programs is dramatically different. I could go into specifics, but some here would surely label my observations as sexist. Nevertheless, these differences are very real. My daughters would not enjoy many of the things my son loves about camp, and vice-versa.

Also from person experience, I can tell you that the behavior and focus of boys and girls changes dramatically when in the presence of the opposite sex. I have experienced this firsthand as a chaperone on overnight school science camps. The distractions can degenerate into a mini soap opera with all the intrigue over "he said, she said".

And lastly, I can tell you from person experience that when girls step to fore, boys will step to the rear. They are happy to avoid work and let others take the lead. A "too cool for school" attitude surfaces among the boys who become conscious about the image they are projecting to the girls around them. 

This isn't an experience I recognise at all. My experience is that the types of boys and girls who will get involved in, for want of a better word, "drama" simply don't have the motivation to be scouts in the first place. The handful that do turn up don't last long at all. That attitude doesn't fit and the rest of the troop doesn't tolerate it.

Yes there are some differences in what boys and girls like in the same ways that there are differences in what the older and younger scout like but it's not so different as to disrupt things. It can lead to debate in the PLC or in troop forums but there will be debate in the PLC and troop forums if it was single sex as well, just over different things.

This is the reality of coed scouts on camp. Boys and girls mucking in together. It's no different to it just being boys.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

You're free to your thoughts, but realize you're not in charge of the organization.  Also, if the program is youth focused, then the adults should try to avoid BSA (or any other) politics and focus on the program when working with the scouts. That's my point -- adult opinions are not important -- youth decisions on where to camp, and how to run their patrols are important.  Make sense?  

That's just it, did  youth have any say in the new policy? In my neck of the woods, the ones I talk to are against it. Don't know how many youth took the heavily biased for girls survey. Also do not know what the results of the membership survey was, but considering that those results have not been published by BSA, I do not believe the majority of those polled were in favor.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, cocomax said:

. . . but but sometimes the rumors turn out to be false. . . . right?    

Yes like there will be parallel Troops.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, qwazse said:

Thanks 'Skip. That cuts both ways. Being unisex is not what caused your boys to leave your program, but going co-ed didn't bring those boys back.

Over here in the land of quick fixes, our P-R guys are trying to couch this move as a boon to membership (more family friendly, simplified for single parents, etc ...), when a real leader will admit that it is hazarding the loss of some seasoned leaders.

That is what Scout Son #2 who is pretty wise in these matters thinks BSA is on the brink of disaster--not because of the girls (he really doesn't care except it will drive 2/3rd of his patrol away or that is what they say) he thinks it is the erosion of the traditional youth-led patrol method that is getting watered down by parents and BSA lets things like Merit Badge Academies turn scouting into an Eagle race. (He said some of those are nice guys but all they care about is their individual goal not the patrols) He said it is the old time old school 'real' scouters that made his experience worthwhile and too many of them have quietly announced they are leaving because of the policy change. These are exactly the people needed to push against the parents who want to take it from the boys. 

I think he is having regrets from seeing the Troop that he has put so much work in degenerate so quickly. He is still helping out though he aged out.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

The handful that do turn up don't last long at all.

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). In the single-gender BSA program, there seems to be evidence for a formula where more boys can last longer without the distractions of the gender issues I have listed.

Nothing scientifically based in my observations,, but perhaps the numbers speak for themselves.

As I have mentioned in a previous post ... when people choose to ignore or dismiss these truths about differences between boys and girls (insisting that they function the same as in single-gender environments), it is the boys who suffer most because they will ultimately step-back or opt-out altogether. Or in your words “the handful that do turn up don’t last long at all.” I see strength in a single-gender solution that fosters greater participation from boys.

Some food for thought.

Edited by gblotter
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, gblotter said:

For co-ed Scouting program, perhaps that is true. Many boys don’t last long at all (as reflected in the low percentages of UK Scouting and Scouts Canada). In the single-gender BSA program, there seems to be evidence for a formula where more boys can last longer without the distractions of the gender issues I have listed.

Nothing scientifically based in my observations,, but perhaps the numbers speak fir themselves.

As I have mentioned in a previous post ... when people choose to ignore or dismiss these truths about differences between boys and girls (insisting that they function the same as in single-gender environments), it is the boys who suffer most because they will ultimately step-back or opt-out altogether. Or in your words “the handful that do turn up don’t last long at all.” I see strength in a single-gender solution that fosters greater participation from boys.

Some food for thought.

If I understood what you're saying, yes, it would be food for thought. Something lost in translation I think, sorry for my lack of understanding. I think what 'Skip is saying is that when he does get drama queens, of either gender, turning up, they either change/act differently, as his troop is not the place for drama, or they leave, for the same reasons. The rest of the kids just carry on in scouting. Why kids leave in the UK is for all sorts of reasons, not sure many of them are gender related. I have no evidence either way though.

Yes, boys and girls are different, but you know what? Boys and boys are different too. So you treat them all the same, differently, depending on the sort of kid they are. 

 

Edited by ianwilkins
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(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.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×