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Our Council's New Gender Inclusive Branding

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@NJCubScouter .  Yes back in the 60's, the 11 year old age requirement  made the crossover a bridge to nowhere for some.

Our crossovers were at the Feb, Blue and Gold. Since I would not be 11 for months, my destination troop was not there.  My SM told me to stop in at the first meeting in Sept as the troop shut down for the summer baseball.

 

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12 hours ago, Eagledad said:

If girls could enhance, or just even maintain the "present" quality or boys in the program, I would support it. I believe girls are a benefit at the Venturing Crew ages of scouting. But I have been working with youth and parents long enough to know that adding more complex elements of individualism to an already challenging program intended to shape behavior requires a discipline that National has never shown us to have.

 

21 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Or ... if they really want a job, have them team up with a mom or two recruit some sisters and girlfriends and start a BSA4G troop next year. :)

So . . . I am one of the newbies interested in BSA4G.  Why?  Because my daughter has compared the Boy Scout handbook with the various "Girls Guides to Girl Scouting" and GSUSA "Journeys" and she wants to switch.  (And I agree with her opinion.)

While I want the girls to have a better program than they do now, I certainly don't want to diminish the boys' experience.  I see the place for a single-gender male environment (and one for a single gender female environment also).  And it's not like the sixth grade girls actually want to have anything to do with the sixth grade boys, they'd rather have their own group -- just doing the same program the boys do but without the boys.

So, it would be great to have a truly singer-gender BSA4G troop, meeting and camping completely separately from the boys.  But, the idea of getting a new troop off the ground is daunting, especially for someone new to the whole program.  I've been thinking that it sure would be easier and more realistic to get a BSA4G troop started if it were closely linked to an existing troop, even to the extent of a significant amount of shared activities, even though my natural preference would be for a girls-only environment.

That is where some of you oldtimers, who have scoutmaster experience, and who want to maintain the single-gender environment for the boys, could be really helpful.  Volunteer to help with a new BSA4G troop -- in order to keep the troop really separate from the boys' troop.  (And if you are of a grandfatherly age, so much the better.  The girls'
moms will be more at ease with you in troop leadership that if you were twenty-something.)

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10 hours ago, Treflienne said:

And it's not like the sixth grade girls actually want to have anything to do with the sixth grade boys, they'd rather have their own group -- just doing the same program the boys do but without the boys.

So, it would be great to have a truly singer-gender BSA4G troop, meeting and camping completely separately from the boys.  But, the idea of getting a new troop off the ground is daunting, especially for someone new to the whole program.  I've been thinking that it sure would be easier and more realistic to get a BSA4G troop started if it were closely linked to an existing troop, even to the extent of a significant amount of shared activities, even though my natural preference would be for a girls-only environment.

I think a part of my problem is in the messaging.  If National would come out and say just this, that they desire, not as an option, but as a solidified goal, to have girls be fully autonomous from boys but that startup will be difficult so as part of an implementation plan they're doing this linked troop/pack with some shared activities with the goal of, in 2 years (hard dates are needed) to let the girls spread their wings and fly solo... there would be, at least from me, much less consternation.  It gives everyone clear goals, it gives framework to allow others to be helpful in striving for those goals and it matter of factly states single-gender is the outcome and why that is the desired result.  Instead we get wishy-washy terminology, hedging, double-backs and the like.  

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18 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

I am not sure when the terminology of "New Scout Patrol" started - I assume that, like many other changes that greeted me when my son crossed over, it happened sometime between the end of my brief tenure as an 18-year-old ASM in 1976, and my son's crossover in 2003.  But "group crossovers" started before the "NSP" terminology did.  I believe it was around 1972 when the Boy Scout membership requirement was changed from age 11 (in which you crossed over all by yourself, as I did in 1969) to something similar to what it is now (but not exactly the same, I don't think), resulting in a whole den crossing over at once.  I was what would now be called a Troop Guide, without a title, for about six months, with a patrol composed entirely of a den that had crossed over about six months before I became involved with them.  (There is a reason for the odd timing,  but it is beyond the scope of this trip down memory lane.)  Then, when the next "class" crossed over, I became a patrol leader:  Seven or eight brand-new crossovers, with 14-year-old me as their PL.  Was that a New Scout Patrol, or a mixed-aged patrol?  I don't know, we just called it a patrol.

NSPs officially came about August , 1989. Same time they did away with Skill Awards, time requirements for T-2-1 ranks,, no more Scouts on BORs, etc. But some troops apparently did it like your troop prior to that, and it influenced National. Although I bet how the LDS troops do it, i.e. 11 year old Scout Patrol, caused national to create NSPs. I know my troop tried it in 1986 at the request of the council, and it was a complete failure. Every time I've seen NSPs in action, it is either a failure, or turns into Webelos 3. But that has been my experience.

 

22 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I agree with your themes here.  But what you describe sounds more like a unit/district problem.

How would you want national to help with that?

 

Some ideas.

1) LISTEN TO THOSE OF US IN THE FIELD WITH BOOTS ON THE GROUND!!!!!!! (emphasis, ok maybe a little shouting in frustration at National. ;) ) While there are a multitude of examples of National not listening to us, I'll give you 3. First is the Eagle Palm Requirement change, aka "INSTAPALMS." 94% of those polled either opposed(18%) or strongly opposed (76%) the removal of the tenure requirements. that's a super majority STRONGLY opposing the decision, and a near unanimous decision against it. Then 2 years after the polls come out,  they go against what nearly everyone wants.

Second example is the Revamped Cub Scout Program. The July 2015 Cub Scout program was 5 years in the making, had members with direct field experience with Cubs Scouts, had members asking for ideas for improving and taking input, etc. IMHO it was a major improvement. Yes it was more time consuming, more planning at the Den and Pack levels would be needed by volunteers, But it was completely doable. Then without any notice, without any feed back from the members of the committee, national changes the program after 19 months. They gave it no time for folks to work it through before changing the program.

Third example is the changing of camping requirements for the T-2-1 requirements. "OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING." I hear about how Scouts are advancing, but don't have basic camping skills. People wanted more camping, and they got it, only to have it changed back.

2) Less Focus on Eagle/Advancement. Yes I'm an Eagle. But Eagle is not everything in Scouting. I have seen folks whose parents are pushing their sons to get it, even if the son has no interest. I've seen parents do shortcuts and "pencilwhipping" to get their sons to Eagle. I've seen parents know more about their sons' Eagle projects than the sons do.

 

3) Get rid of the "One and Done" mentality in training. Last time I did ITOLS, they wanted folks to hand out paper rank badges for just observing and doing the skills one time. get back to 'master the skills" and " the badge represents what the Scout CAN do, not what he has done."

 

More later.

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6 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Although I bet how the LDS troops do it, i.e. 11 year old Scout Patrol, caused national to create NSPs.

Yes, I don't think it was our CO, an unaffiliated property-owners association with one troop and one pack, that caused National to change anything.  :)   I think it just sort of happened in our troop, that the SM was suddenly confronted with this "new thing" of the Webelos den (from the same CO's pack) crossing over all at once (this is 1972), and I am guessing (based on subsequent experience) that National probably provided little or no guidance to the units on how to handle a whole den crossing over at once.  So he had a choice between keeping them together and splitting them up, and he decided to keep them together.  It was probably just a personal preference as to what he thought would work the best.  (For those who have read my posts about my father/my Scoutmaster, the SM in this story was not him, it was the SM before him.)

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7 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

2) Less Focus on Eagle/Advancement. Yes I'm an Eagle. But Eagle is not everything in Scouting. I have seen folks whose parents are pushing their sons to get it, even if the son has no interest. I've seen parents do shortcuts and "pencilwhipping" to get their sons to Eagle. I've seen parents know more about their sons' Eagle projects than the sons do.

 

3) Get rid of the "One and Done" mentality in training. Last time I did ITOLS, they wanted folks to hand out paper rank badges for just observing and doing the skills one time. get back to 'master the skills" and " the badge represents what the Scout CAN do, not what he has done."

 

More later.

So much this. Could not agree more. 

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Other ideas:

4) Do not keep changing requirements on various things. They completely changed the CS adavancement less that 18 months they new requirements went into effect. They changed requirements for Second and First Class months after the revision. For cooking MB, the requirements changed something like 5 times in 7 year; one changed occured months after a previous change!

5) make the Webelos Program less Cub Scout and more Boy Scout. I am seeing so many ill prepared Webelos crossing over, then leaving. I do not know why this is happening, whether the current training is poor, or people do not care and want to continue doing things the way they arr comfortable with. But I am seeing those packs that continue to treat their Webelos as Cub Scouts, and not preparing them for Boy Scouts by increasing standards and upping the ante so to speak as the having the most new Scouts quitting.

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7 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Other ideas:

4) Do not keep changing requirements on various things.

You have to keep changing the requirements to drive book sales.  It's all about monetizing the program, gotta get on the cash flow train.  As I have noted, Summit is not gonna pay for itself

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15 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

You have to keep changing the requirements to drive book sales.  It's all about monetizing the program, gotta get on the cash flow train.  As I have noted, Summit is not gonna pay for itself

I can now understand why one troop let the Scouts advance using the requirements in the book they got as a brand new Scout instead of using updated requirements. Although that did hurt one Scout when he transferred to another troop that followed BSA policy.

I know my youngest son's den is still using the June 2015-December 2016 requirements for advancement because updated books won't be out until Fall.

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13 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I can now understand why one troop let the Scouts advance using the requirements in the book they got as a brand new Scout instead of using updated requirements. Although that did hurt one Scout when he transferred to another troop that followed BSA policy.

I know my youngest son's den is still using the June 2015-December 2016 requirements for advancement because updated books won't be out until Fall.

 

Probably too late in the year now, but have they asked the Scout Shop about getting copies of the requirement addendum?  I think they can get them for free.

Edited by Thunderbird

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6 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

 

Probably too late in the year now, but have they asked the Scout Shop about getting copies of the requirement addendum?  I think they can get them for free.

At the Cub level, I do not think it's a big deal since National does not track that like the Boy Scout advancement. The June 2015 - December 2016 requirements are very much doable, and the resources  are already in place to support it. Besides the few Cubs who know the requirements changed, like the old ones better.

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4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

At the Cub level, I do not think it's a big deal since National does not track that like the Boy Scout advancement. The June 2015 - December 2016 requirements are very much doable, and the resources  are already in place to support it. Besides the few Cubs who know the requirements changed, like the old ones better.

 

I like giving den leaders more options (do X out of Y requirements), because you can always do all of the requirements, if you want to.  But having options is a good thing, IMO.

What I didn't understand were the changes when all they did was move the requirement numbers around.  Same requirements, just changed the order within the adventure.  Maybe they were just trying to see who would notice!  :ph34r:

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There were requirement changes. Some of the adventures that were required, are no longer required. And other elective adventures are now required. Plus some requirements for the adventures have changed or disappeared. For example, Castaway no longer requires a week without electronics.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

There were requirement changes. Some of the adventures that were required, are no longer required. And other elective adventures are now required. Plus some requirements for the adventures have changed or disappeared. For example, Castaway no longer requires a week without electronics.

 

Yes.  I was referring to a few of the adventures where all they did was change the requirement numbers.

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I fear much written here does not reflect the comments I hear from active members.  

The one point that I will fully and enthusiastically agree with is that we have way too much focus on advancement.  Advancement is important as a motivation, but it's just one part of the program.  The outings and activities are more important.  From the outings, advancement should be a natural result of actively going on outings.

In recent years, I've seen multiple youth aging out going for Eagle that need help fulfilling their camping requirements.  This always baffles me as the best parts of scouting are in the outings.  In my opinion, why even be in scouts if you don't do the outings.  Meetings may be fun, but it's the activities and events that provide value.  If you are active, then it should be easy to get many many nights of camping.  

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