Jump to content
WisconsinMomma

Deterring thoughts of discrimination w/girls?

Recommended Posts

It seems that some people are squeamish about perceived discrimination against girls with separate Troops.  I'm not sure I understand it and think it would be good to discuss so we can be prepared to support or defend BSA's policy of separate male and female troops as needed.  Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure that I agree with that.  My bigger concern is that people will demand immediate entry into boys troops because of insufficient volunteers for girls troops.  So, I am really hoping that some strong girls programs will form and that some girls' parents will dig in to volunteering with the BSA.    Not all troops are equal anyway,  each troop has its own personality and strengths and weaknesses.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

It seems that some people are squeamish about perceived discrimination against girls with separate Troops.  I'm not sure I understand it and think it would be good to discuss so we can be prepared to support or defend BSA's policy of separate male and female troops as needed.  Thanks!

Here is the concern I am hearing.  I would ask our forum lawyers for input if this is really a risk.

Under 1 CO: Troop 111 boys has the best equipment, multiple trips a year, etc.  Troop 111 girls has crappy equipment, rarely takes trips, etc.  Let’s say the CO provides or is perceived to provide more help to the Boys Troop than the Girls Troop.  Then a girl could sue stating discrimination due to gender.  she would point out the equipment differences, the trip difference, the “favoritism”.  

I don’t see this as common as any CO adding a linked girls Troop should have plans to ensure no discrimination. That said this is the concern I have heard about the separate but equal plan.  Given the funding and CO are typically not government organizations I’m not sure this is really a risk.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, David CO said:

BSA is taking an incremental approach to changing over to co-ed scouting. It has no intention to keep the girl units permanently segregated.

Absolutely agree with David. Anybody with any real-world experience knows this “linked troop” business with everything shared between two troops except the SM will often lead to mixed patrols in one troop. Especially after parents and girls get used to seeing it in packs. I can hear the “but that’s how the pack did it” complaining now. Then Scouters will realize just how difficult it is to start a new unit—especially without a critical mass of girls.

I am hearing from unit’s in my Council and seeing all sorts of social media posts across the country about how their unit flat out intends to go co-ed with girl and boy patrols mixed and the professionals do not correct them. Council-level professionals I work with are already saying they cannot prevent unit’s from doing that as long as on paper the unit’s are separate.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

I am hearing from unit’s in my Council and seeing all sorts of social media posts across the country about how their unit flat out intends to go co-ed with girl and boy patrols mixed and the professionals do not correct them. Council-level professionals I work with are already saying they cannot prevent unit’s from doing that as long as on paper the unit’s are separate.

Now that the LDS have announced their intention to leave, the move to co-ed could happen as early as the NAM in a couple of weeks.  "We've heard from the field and parents that our linked troops idea is unworkable and that they'd prefer to be co-ed.  Therefore, blah, blah, blah."

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Now that the LDS have announced their intention to leave, the move to co-ed could happen as early as the NAM in a couple of weeks.  "We've heard from the field and parents that our linked troops idea is unworkable and that they'd prefer to be co-ed.  Therefore, blah, blah, blah."

I hope you are wrong but I absolutely can see that happening. I have a hunch this whole thing has already been planned out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, an_old_DC said:

I hope you are wrong but I absolutely can see that happening. I have a hunch this whole thing has already been planned out.

Ya think?

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

Here is the concern I am hearing.  I would ask our forum lawyers for input if this is really a risk.

Under 1 CO: Troop 111 boys has the best equipment, multiple trips a year, etc.  Troop 111 girls has crappy equipment, rarely takes trips, etc.  Let’s say the CO provides or is perceived to provide more help to the Boys Troop than the Girls Troop.  Then a girl could sue stating discrimination due to gender.  she would point out the equipment differences, the trip difference, the “favoritism”.  

I don’t see this as common as any CO adding a linked girls Troop should have plans to ensure no discrimination. That said this is the concern I have heard about the separate but equal plan.  Given the funding and CO are typically not government organizations I’m not sure this is really a risk.

My thought is not so much the discrimination standpoint, as honestly the majority of CO's primary provision of material support is in the way of meeting space, access to the grounds, etc.  Not too many of them (though some do) write a check each year.  If they do that is easily balanced.  Your point on equipment is more easily handled / explained as troops with longer tenure will have more stuff accumulated

The point of contention will likely be (as you note) the opportunity available in Old School Boy Scout troop with it's 13 outings per year, 50 Boy Scouts, institutional knowledge, 30+ year traditions, and actual field knowledge VERSUS the newly formed Girls troop with 6 members and trying to figure out how to organize a trip and more importantly.. (wait for it) how to HAVE FUN on a weekend outing.  The girls will want to join (be enabled that opportunity) but the Boy Scout troop will be able to indicate, not an option.  The girls will then likely file suit against BSA for equal access and National will update and allow a coed option

Challenge and real rub will come when National allows the coed option but it is not mandated.  Girls want to join Old School troop for all the opportunities they offer, but the troop desires to stay single gender.  That will trigger the discrimination claims and then hilarity will ensue and most likely in the not to distant future coed will not be an option but will be part of the program.  Units will have to deal with it, also the families that will come with it.

Right or wrong, love it or hate it, want it or not...in 3 to 5 years the program of the Boy Scouts of America for 11 -17 year old boys formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America will be greatly altered in appearance and operation.  Yes the mission and goals will hopefully remain, but it will have much different vibe.

14 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Now that the LDS have announced their intention to leave, the move to co-ed could happen as early as the NAM in a couple of weeks.  "We've heard from the field and parents that our linked troops idea is unworkable and that they'd prefer to be co-ed.  Therefore, blah, blah, blah."

There will be a survey.....

 

Edited by Jameson76
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

I hope you are wrong but I absolutely can see that happening. I have a hunch this whole thing has already been planned out.

A secret giant white board and visio flow chart in a small dark office in Irving, TX

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

Then a girl could sue stating discrimination due to gender.

I don’t see this as common as any CO adding a linked girls Troop should have plans to ensure no discrimination. That said this is the concern I have heard about the separate but equal plan.  Given the funding and CO are typically not government organizations I’m not sure this is really a risk.

Not an attorney (but I stay at a Super 8 this weekend!), but I see no grounds to sue based on discrimination. The CO is not required to treat the troops equally, much less even charter a girls troop. In order to have standing in a case of discrimination, you must have a right to exist and participate. The CO is under no obligation to provide such.

Now that being stated, the Council might find itself in some potential legal jeopardy if it does not provide troops for girls. I think others have stated that Councils have chartered Venturing troops before and I would not be surprised if some council charter girl troops so that an opportunity exists even where no geographically local CO steps up to charter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

It seems that some people are squeamish about perceived discrimination against girls with separate Troops.  I'm not sure I understand it and think it would be good to discuss so we can be prepared to support or defend BSA's policy of separate male and female troops as needed.  Thanks!

It is a good question and topic

The base of the desire for single gender units is that Boys and Girls learn, mature,  and interact socially differently.  There is great value to give Boys and Girls an opportunity to work together in single gender groups.  At this time there are coed leadership and association opportunities within Schools, churches, summer swim teams, academic teams, community organizations, private camps, etc.  The Boy Scouts of America can provide one of the few areas where youth can work in a single gender environment that is not sports focused.

Also - the Girls Scouts of America...in their own statement about BSA opening up to girls makes the point themselves:

“We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a free space for girls to learn and thrive.”

I can agree on that sentiment and hope that it can be applied to the program for 11 - 17 year old youth, currently known as Boy Scouts

Edited by Jameson76
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I noticed in our last Pack committee discussion is a sense of fear of treating the girls "unequally", and it seems that some think that co-ed will reduce risk of being accused of being unfair.  I think that some folks on our committee (in cubs) are afraid of looking bad, and that they think that separation is inherently wrong. I would like to find ways to encourage the girls and boys to have their own space but I'm not sure it will fly at all with people who are concerned about political correctness and perceived injustice, real or imagined.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out over time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

My thought is not so much the discrimination standpoint, as honestly the majority of CO's primary provision of material support is in the way of meeting space, access to the grounds, etc.  Not too many of them (though some do) write a check each year.  If they do that is easily balanced.  Your point on equipment is more easily handled / explained as troops with longer tenure will have more stuff accumulated

The point of contention will likely be (as you note) the opportunity available in Old School Boy Scout troop with it's 13 outings per year, 50 Boy Scouts, institutional knowledge, 30+ year traditions, and actual field knowledge VERSUS the newly formed Girls troop with 6 members and trying to figure out how to organize a trip and more importantly.. (wait for it) how to HAVE FUN on a weekend outing.  The girls will want to join (be enabled that opportunity) but the Boy Scout troop will be able to indicate, not an option.  The girls will then likely file suit against BSA for equal access and National will update and allow a coed option

Challenge and real rub will come when National allows the coed option but it is not mandated.  Girls want to join Old School troop for all the opportunities they offer, but the troop desires to stay single gender.  That will trigger the discrimination claims and then hilarity will ensue and most likely in the not to distant future coed will not be an option but will be part of the program.  Units will have to deal with it, also the families that will come with it.

Right or wrong, love it or hate it, want it or not...in 3 to 5 years the program of the Boy Scouts of America for 11 -17 year old boys formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America will be greatly altered in appearance and operation.  Yes the mission and goals will hopefully remain, but it will have much different vibe.

There will be a survey.....

 

I wonder if we see an increase in Lone Scouts 😛 . 

  • Upvote 1

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

×