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Jameson76

Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

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15 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

One thing thing not mentioned but can be done now: 18-20 year old female ASMs. Do we treat them as adults and they do not need a female over 21 with them, or do we treat them like Venturing "adult participants" and they need over 21 registered female? Asking because we have a 18 female who wants to be an ASM with her twin brother.

18 year olds are adults.  So you don't need youth protection for an 18 year old, they are not youth.  But the 18 year old cannot serve as a 21+ female supervision.  That's my best interpretation of how things work.  You should verify this with your council. 

 An Assistant Scoutmaster is an adult leader age 18 or over who assist the Scoutmaster in delivering the troop program.

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7 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

It's a no win situation that some units will be facing.

If you cancel for everyone. you get boys fed up with the girls because it is negatively impacting them, and some may quit. And as you pointed out, if you mention can't getting enough mom's to camp, it's inflammatory.

As for going with Scouter's schedules, while I agree wholeheartedly with that, what happens when the only registered female is not willing to camp? what happens if they back out at the last minute? What happens if they back out during the camp out?

Not trying to be negative, but my troop is in that situation. only female willing to camp will only do so for car camping in fair weather. She has backed out at the last minute (hours before we were leaving), will not do any non car camping camp outs, and has showed up late and left early.

I would think about this as if the girls/boys were separate Cub dens.   Den 1's leader is sick, they cancel something, unless they have someone ready to fill in.  Den 2's leader is not sick, they have their meeting as normal.   So if one of the groups has unstable leadership, the committee works to recruit support for that group so it can function.   Your troop will need to recruit more women for campouts.  

Note that I have not camped with my sons' troop, but that does not mean I am unwilling to camp.  I am not currently needed on their camp trips. If our Troop puts together a girls unit and needs some help,  I will likely pitch in where I can.  

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8 hours ago, ParkMan said:

So, if I read this right - the scenario is: you've got a unit (pack, troop, crew, whatever) that is co-ed, have male and female scouts that want to attend whatever event, but don't have sufficient female leadership for the girls to attend.

To me, this is easy - you cancel the event for all. 

If you've got a co-ed unit, you don't have boy events and girl events.  The group does things together.  The minute you start saying "the boys can go because we have enough dads, but the girls cannot because we don't have enough moms", you've not longer got a unified unit.  To me that's way worse than canceling an event.

Further, you don't say - "we can't go because we don't have enough moms for the girls".  That's inflamatory.  You simply say - "we don't have sufficient adult leadership to hold the event.

This is a good reason to keep the boy and girl units separate, at least as separate dens in Cubs and then patrols in Boy Scouts.  Then it's more about the den and patrol activity.  Separate units with some crossover volunteering sounds fine too.  

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7 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Not trying to be negative, but my troop is in that situation. only female willing to camp will only do so for car camping in fair weather. She has backed out at the last minute (hours before we were leaving), will not do any non car camping camp outs, and has showed up late and left early.

I think it's very possible that female units will want to camp with a different style than boy units, especially as they are learning and getting started.  Another case for having some separation.  An outdoor activity every month may not always look the same and the boys and girls desires may be different for what they would like to choose, and that sounds OK to me. 

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5 hours ago, David CO said:

Just imagine the leverage she would have over a co-ed unit. Do it her way or nobody gets to go camping.

Let's not go there. She is already trying to maintain leverage in a financial way, and it's about to come to a head with the pack and the IH.

1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

But I think most Troops try to follow the rules and get it right.  Am I too optimistic about that? 

Yes you are being too optimistic. Let's face it, troops not following BSA policy and procedures are part of the reason why we now have 'Family Scouting."

And I know of one troop's proposed way of getting around not having female Scouters on a camp out: calling it a family camp out.

1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

18 year olds are adults.  So you don't need youth protection for an 18 year old, they are not youth.  But the 18 year old cannot serve as a 21+ female supervision.  That's my best interpretation of how things work.  You should verify this with your council. 

 An Assistant Scoutmaster is an adult leader age 18 or over who assist the Scoutmaster in delivering the troop program.

And that is part of the double standard. A female over 21 could take out a group of boys with an 18 year old male.

 

1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

I would think about this as if the girls/boys were separate Cub dens.   Den 1's leader is sick, they cancel something, unless they have someone ready to fill in.  Den 2's leader is not sick, they have their meeting as normal.   So if one of the groups has unstable leadership, the committee works to recruit support for that group so it can function.   Your troop will need to recruit more women for campouts.  

Note that I have not camped with my sons' troop, but that does not mean I am unwilling to camp.  I am not currently needed on their camp trips. If our Troop puts together a girls unit and needs some help,  I will likely pitch in where I can.  

Canceling once is fine, and understandable. Heck we canceled a trip 2 hours before leaving. One Scouter having a back injury a week before the trip dropped it down to 2 Scouters. Then at the last minute one Scouter has to bail due to emergency surgery.

But I can tell you that canceling a trip because you do not have female Scouter for the girls will tick off the boys. They will resent the girls and the female Scouter who doesn't go on the trip.

I admit the committee, and other Scouters need to recruit enough female Scouters,  but until then it can be challenging.

1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

This is a good reason to keep the boy and girl units separate, at least as separate dens in Cubs and then patrols in Boy Scouts.  Then it's more about the den and patrol activity.  Separate units with some crossover volunteering sounds fine too.  

Sadly BSA now emphasizes  the troop over the patrol. And that is how most adults are trained today. Even the ones who should know better.

 

1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

I think it's very possible that female units will want to camp with a different style than boy units, especially as they are learning and getting started.  Another case for having some separation.  An outdoor activity every month may not always look the same and the boys and girls desires may be different for what they would like to choose, and that sounds OK to me. 

So you are saying that the girls and their families should have worked to push GSUSA to camp more since girls have different styles than boys? I keep hearing how the girls want the same adventure as the boys. ;) 

Seriously though, there are not enough resources for two separate troops to do two separate programs and meet the expectations everyone is pushing for an initial launch. .Everywhere  I read is stating the same thing directly or indirectly. Early Adopters of the Cub program are using existing packs and their resources. When my troop tried to help out a new troop, within 12 months they merged with us, had their members split into our existing patrols, and that troop ceased to exist.

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10 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

The standard for Cub Scouts is "Do Your Best".  It sounds like she's in a den by herself?  Perhaps the best answer for your daughter is to do the requirements with another den.  It's not her fault that she's the only member of her den, so do what's best for the Scout and do it with another den (if another den is available and willing).

Agreed, but on the flip side, we violate the other tenet of coed scouting in that the other boy-only den didn't sign up or agree to a girl joining all of their den meetings. We will be doing some activities with them (by invite) but I am cautious about our intrusion. We are going to try and take advantage of the opportunities we have with them and perhaps do multiple den-only requirements when we are with them.

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

Agreed, but on the flip side, we violate the other tenet of coed scouting in that the other boy-only den didn't sign up or agree to a girl joining all of their den meetings. We will be doing some activities with them (by invite) but I am cautious about our intrusion. We are going to try and take advantage of the opportunities we have with them and perhaps do multiple den-only requirements when we are with them.

@Hawkwin, why doesn't your pack follow BSA requirements for early adopter packs? You can't have a den of one girl. Where are the other girls in your pack?

 
3) Chartered partners and unit leaders confirm interest and agree to use the family pack model, and that they will: a. Register a minimum of four girls into a new all-girl den of an existing pack, (Dens are formed with Cub Scouts in the same grade or required ages for the ranks of Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and first-year Webelos.)  b

Q:  Can a unit that cannot meet the four-girl minimum combine ages?
...
In the rare occasion that the minimum requirement of four girls to form a single den cannot be fulfilled, packs will continue to have the option to combine grade levels to form a den as long they are working on their respective ranks. For example, if you have two third-grade girls and two fourth-grade girls, you may combine into a single den as long as they are working on their Bear and Webelos, respectively. 
 
 
Also, All Girl Den requires:
One registered adult leader and one other adult, one of which must be 21 years old, and a Youth Protection trained adult female must be present.

 

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8 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Canceling once is fine, and understandable. Heck we canceled a trip 2 hours before leaving. One Scouter having a back injury a week before the trip dropped it down to 2 Scouters. Then at the last minute one Scouter has to bail due to emergency surgery.

But I can tell you that canceling a trip because you do not have female Scouter for the girls will tick off the boys. They will resent the girls and the female Scouter who doesn't go on the trip.

I admit the committee, and other Scouters need to recruit enough female Scouters,  but until then it can be challenging.

My point is that once a unit goes co-ed, we have to stop thinking about it as a boys group and a girl group - it's one unit - pack, troop, or crew.  If the unit cannot line up sufficient adult leadership for an event, then the event doesn't happen.

In the short term, for the 11-17 group this shouldn't be an issue.  If you have truly a truly separate boys troop & girls troop, then it's just a question of each troop having sufficient leadership.  But, if you go the separate troops on paper only route, then it's of course harder.

17 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

It's a no win situation that some units will be facing.

If you cancel for everyone. you get boys fed up with the girls because it is negatively impacting them, and some may quit. And as you pointed out, if you mention can't getting enough mom's to camp, it's inflammatory.

I think saying - we can't camp because we don't have enough female leaders is fine.  That's not inflammatory - just reality.  Saying - we can't camp because we have to bring the girls and can't find enough moms to go with them - that's inflammatory.  Subtle difference I know.

14 hours ago, David CO said:

...and maybe they should think about adult leader availability before going co-ed.

 

Agree fully - a unit can't have it both ways.  We'll admit girls, but not deal with the impact of having girls.  If you admit girls, you unit has to be prepared for a big push to get female supervision on outings.  

14 hours ago, David CO said:

No surprise there.

 

I think you mean that as a criticism, but I'll take it.  I just think that as volunteers we've got to own finding the solutions to our own unit's problems. If you accept girls in to your troop - you have to be prepared for what the means.  But, you can extend that to whatever.  Not enough volunteers, then come up with a plan to fix it.  Not enough scouts, then focus on recruiting.  etc.

 

 

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6 hours ago, an_old_DC said:

why doesn't your pack follow BSA requirements for early adopter packs? You can't have a den of one girl. Where are the other girls in your pack?

So imagine for a moment if you will. You are a father of a child that wishes to join scouts and there is not a pack in your area. You contact your District leadership and inquire about any packs that plan to open up to your child and they tell you they are considering the option. You wait a few weeks and you contact them again and nothing has developed. You contact them again a few weeks later (it is now late February early March) and they tell you that no packs in your area will be open for your child. So now you widen your search. You ask that same leadership team if there are packs in another district that might accept your child. You are told that there might be one in another district, 30-40 minutes away, two counties over. You look up that pack on the internet and you make contact.

That pack replies that they are indeed open to accepting your child. You are excited. Your child is excited. You inquire about the first meetings so you can start blocking off your calendar. You are told that they are still working on getting organized but that more information will be following soon. You wait a week and check again as to the status of the den and there is no confirmation yet from other girls but are told that some are considering. In the meantime, you are asked if you are willing to lead this effort and in your desire to make sure this is a success, you consent to be the Den Leader. You are told to apply online for your scout and yourself and you get started on planning. Another week goes by and still no other girls have joined. That is where we basically are today.

Keep in mind, I am just a parent that within the past few weeks, volunteered to lead this effort with a pack we just joined in a completely different district. If the council and the district has a problem with this pack not having more girls per the rules, that is between them, the pack, and the CO - and well above my paygrade. I have enough on my plate trying to develop a good Webelos program with very little time left in the year.

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@Hawkwin, I am sorry for your, and your daughter's situation. Seriously.

This is what happens when adult leaders rush in to something with no plan and no regard for National's policies.

But that's water under the bridge now. How to best salvage the situation?

Are you receiving any input or guidance from the CM? Any communication at all?

What happens at pack meetings? Are there other girls in the pack?

If so, they should all be put in one den so they can have a den experience.

it is probably also worth a phone call or two to see if that district or council has an "early adopter champion" who can offer guidance and direction.

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14 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

Are you receiving any input or guidance from the CM? Any communication at all?

Oh ya, we meet. Just had our leaders meeting and our first pack meeting. There are no other girls in the pack (they would be in my den per the rules as I understand them).

 

15 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

"early adopter champion"

Great advice! I have had very limited discussions about the district/council coordinating some all-girl activities but I need to follow up on that communication and own it if I want to make sure it happens.

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48 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

it is probably also worth a phone call or two to see if that district or council has an "early adopter champion" who can offer guidance and direction.

My council's web site says there is a person with the title "Vice President, Family Scouting."  I would think that would be the person who is supposed to be "championing" all aspects of (what the BSA unfortunately calls) "Family Scouting" (when that's not really what it is), in my council.  I suspect that at least some other councils have someone similar.  Of course, how much "unit assistance" a council-wide volunteer can really accomplish is another issue.

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This info was creating a lot of stir on a Facebook page.  As you may know, the EA program for Cub Scouts only required an adult YPT female to be present.  Now for the official release that female must be a Den Leader or Assistant Den Leader.  This is causing a bit of confusion (since it is a change in policy that is 5 months old).  Notice the comment for Troops... follows a similar requirement (not surprising).

Below is from a National Professional scouter...

 

Would information in the form of an FAQ sent to Scout Executives this week qualify? The expectation is that SE's will be sharing this information in their councils. Quote:

Q: Will dens of girls and troops of girls be required to have female leaders?

A: Yes. In Cub Scouting, dens of girls will be required to have at least one registered female den leader or assistant den leader who is at least 21 years old. Troops of girls will be required to have at least one registered, female Scoutmaster or assistant Scoutmaster who is at least 21 years old.

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That's very fortunate to say the least.  Most dens are luck to have a den leader and an assistant.  Now saying that one has to be a female is going to make things harder.

I'm not too concerned about the troop.  We have several female ASMs in the troop today - so this doesn't seem like a ptoblem.

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16 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

Q: Will dens of girls and troops of girls be required to have female leaders?

A: Yes. In Cub Scouting

 

Well so end my short tenure as DL, heh ;).

I could maybe pull my wife in as the ADL but this is one heck of a hoop if we are going to require a TRAINED female leader over the age of 21. Simply having female present that has complete YPT seems like it should be sufficient.

My wife WILL NOT be eager to complete the hours of online DL training that would be required to be in compliance.

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