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Jameson76

Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

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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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12 minutes ago, Pselb said:

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.

I remember watching an interview with Charleston Heston talking about the his experience making the Planet of the Apes movie. He found it interesting that while the actors who played the parts of the chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas came from different backgrounds and races, they all hung around in the character groups. There was no reason for them to do that other than some kind of bonding attraction for the character. Just his observation. 

Barry 

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18 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.

All very accurate

The final point (6) is the one that BSA National has not done really any work on.  They are facing declining membership.  Rather than fully understand why some units are successful and grow or at the very least stay healthy, and others decline, we get this broad brush solution of "the family" and we are not meeting the needs of "the family"

That is at best a straw man that anyone with any real world experience in Scouting knows is BS.  The comments by our CSE that this will help by being a "one stop" program ring hollow.  If BSA holds to single gender dens, then even twins could end up with den meetings on separate days.  With different age kids in different dens, again, multiple days.  In most packs there may be 2/3 family camping events per year, 9/10 pack meetings, but maybe 25 or so den meetings.  Vast majority of the time is den meetings, and those should be separate.  Though some packs may have all their den meetings at one place at one time, but that can vary

The separate but equal plan gets even more complicated as kids get older.  If you have a 13 YO Boy / 11 YO Girl /9 YO Boy / 7 YO Girl Scouting in a Single gender Den and SBE Scout function will be a many events.  13 YO Boy will be in the Boy Boy Scout Troop, 11 YO Girl will be in Girl Boy Scout Troop, 9 YO Boy will be in their Den, and 7 YO Girl will be in their Den.  In theory the troops could meet on different nights, go on different outings, etc etc.  Same for Cubs

Then along will come the real long term plan, fully coed at all units, the reason...we have listened to "the families" and this will meet their needs.

Funny thing is, The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Nothing about families here.

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5 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

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.

I think we're in a place where we need to figure out the best ways to work with the program.  The change is made, now we get to work on making the best of the situation. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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If given a choice between multiple options, I believe that my son's choices would be all-male scout camps, co-ed church, and co-ed YMCA type camps.  As the only all-male alternative has gone away, it no longer provides a different experience than the other two.  At this point, I'm thinking my son would opt for the church's Bible camp.  It's outdoors, program focused and all-male off the table and all-male is no longer a choice issue and drops off the options list as it has in all other aspects in today's society.  If there were other all-male options out there and it was important to him, it would be a strong consideration.  Yes, he's only one boy, but I would assume there are others out there like him, too small in numbers to have any voice in the matter.  But as I said, if it's important to him, he'll find his way to find it.

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