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Lifetime of Leadership - new Girl Scout ad campaign

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18 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

After having been rather uninvolved with Girl Scouts for a while, I got much more involved again as my daughter reached the age to join.

Slowly I have been forming the impression that what the girl scouts (national and council) currently wants for the girls to do is to a) beg and b) badger.

We've been following the Girl Scout program from a distance for a long time. They got lost in the 70s and 80s from financial support by the women's lib organizations. Money speaks. I have seen their program change the themes several times over the years trying to field a understandable process for the ideal program of future women. But just as politics have changed over the years,  so followed the program. I remember a big push for a leadership program back in the 90's that encouraged even their Daiseys to express leadership actions. The problem then and now is the organization keeps setting visions without any processes for reaching the visions. Our personal experience is the local council level leadership is lost in vision, so the program changes day by day. 

The only thing that can help the GSUSA is good marketing because their program certainly won't be the primary attraction.

The BSA was the envy of other outdoor youth organizations because it didn't struggle with changing visions and missions. Part of that is do to  the original theme of scouting created by Badon Powell. But most of the reason the BSA kept on the strait and narrow path of building character through a boy run theme was the huge support of it's alumni. Alumni support based on their experience, so they don't like change. No other youth program has (had?) near the financial support from alumni as the BSA. I'm not sure when that support started to fall, but I'm sure the cultural pressure on traditional scouting had a great influence. Ironically that National is admitting girls to increase membership is likely to be a last straw for many alumni. 

Barry

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13 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

But most of the reason the BSA kept on the strait and narrow path of building character through a boy run theme was the huge support of it's alumni. Alumni support based on their experience, so they don't like change. No other youth program has (had?) near the financial support from alumni as the BSA. I'm not sure when that support started to fall, but I'm sure the cultural pressure on traditional scouting had a great influence. Ironically that National is admitting girls to increase membership is likely to be a last straw for many alumni. 

For a long time (waaay back in the day) you would age out of Boy Scouts, maybe go to college, get a trade, have a family, then move back to an active role with the Boy Scouts as you son grew up.  You had familiarity with the program as it had not changed, same outdoor and leadership.  A good bit of that changes in the 70's with the big new scouting program.  Imagine if you aged out of youth in 1970 and came back as a leader with a kid in 1980, you would not have recognized the program.  Same will be for those that aged out 2010 and when they look at what BSA is in 2022 it will be vastly different.

To your point on alumni, many of us active with the Scouts are sadly watching it change.  Less outdoor, more STEM items that are likely done better by other groups.   Look as these 17 merit badges introduced since 2010 -  Geocaching, Inventing, Scouting Heritage, Chess, Robotics, Kayaking, Search and Rescue, Welding, Game Design, Moviemaking, Programming, Sustainability, Digital Technology, Mining in Society, Animation, Signs, Signals, and Codes, Exploration.  While good subjects many are not overly outdoor or leadership oriented and tend to be able to be done without a good bit of outdoor work

The BSA is making the big play to bring in the new numbers by changing the equation and not really worrying about their core group.  Rather than serious benchmarking and review of why some troops and areas maintain and grow and others struggle, the decision is wholesale change.  In the interview in October the CSE basically said they were out of ideas and this was it (girls)

To your point it has been an onward march to change.  Let's bring on families, let's add the Disneyworld of High Adventure, let's not worry about who is active and participating and meeting their needs and grow from that, we will chart a new path with who knows.

 

 

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7 hours ago, WonderBoy said:

I think this is an important point. Leadership and skills for life are not exclusive to Eagle Scouts. And there are plenty of former Scouts out there who would be more ardent supporters for a club they belonged to, (Scouts), over one they didn't (Eagles). 

The best Den Leader in my Pack "only" continued through Cub Scouts. Three years in, I JUST discovered that his Assistant is an Eagle Scout. (Don't get me wrong, the ADL is a great guy, but the DL clearly has better leadership/management talents.)

If we really want to shine a light on the benefits of Scouting to the general public, why are we only highlighting the accomplishments of approximately 4% of us?

I agree!   One of the very best scouters in our district is not an Eagle.  He is the motivational force behind a pack, a troop and a crew.  He wears several hats at the district level too, including FOS and coordinating all of our projects and boards for Eagle.  He has a chest full of Eagle mentor pins.

His scouting experience as a youth?  Two months in Webelos. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/15/2018 at 8:33 AM, desertrat77 said:

Very true.

I also like their approach of the women being identified as "Girl Scouts" and not utilizing the false exclusivity of Gold Award only, like the BSA does with Eagle ("Four Eagle Scouts playing in the ___________ Bowl.")

That's because GSUSA doesn't know how many Gold Award recipients there are.

Seriously.

I recently toured the GSUSA headquarters in New York City with my daughter and they had a display section on the Gold Award. My daughter asked if she could look up her mom's listing of when she received the Gold Award. They told her they couldn't do that because they don't keep track of that information.  When I asked them how that could be, they said that they have no national database of Gold Award recipients. They don't even know exactly how many of them there are. The closest they can get is based on sales of the pin at their shops, but even that is not 100% accurate, since that count would include duplicates purchased if someone lost their original award. They estimate that it's earned by about 6% of Girl Scouts and that over 1 million have earned it since its inception in 1916, but they admitted it's just an estimate they put on fact sheets to compare it to the Eagle Scout award.

I asked them if they had heard of these things called computers and databases, and they said they would like to become more computerized, but until then, they had to rely on their existing information, which mostly was kept in card files, like you used to use in libraries to look up books. The rest of us on the tour all looked at each other like we had jumped into some sort of time warp.

And if you do have to replace your award because it got lost, etc., you have to show the evidence you earned it. There is no lookup that can be done like we have with the Eagle award. Some councils may keep track of that information, but they said it's spotty at best.

Edited by Cleveland Rocks
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1 hour ago, Cleveland Rocks said:

I asked them if they had heard of these things called computers and databases, and they said they would like to become more computerized, but until then, they had to rely on their existing information, which mostly was kept in card files, like you used to use in libraries to look up books. The rest of us on the tour all looked at each other like we had jumped into some sort of time warp.

To be fair, BSA's system isn't exactly state of the art either. I can verify that someone is an Eagle Scout, but I can't get a report of all the Eagle Scouts that have come from my troop.

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4 hours ago, Cleveland Rocks said:

 Some councils may keep track of that information, but they said it's spotty at best. 

And that council may not exist any more, having been merged with other councils.   Who knows what happened to the records?

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10 hours ago, Treflienne said:

And that council may not exist any more, having been merged with other councils.   Who knows what happened to the records?

The point they were making was that there is no "submit your paperwork to National" for the Gold Award like we do for Eagle Scout. It's all handled at the council level. Some councils keep the paperwork on file of those that earn the Gold Award, others do not.  But that's why you can't contact GSUSA headquarters to ask for verification of earning the Gold Award--they don't even know you earned it.

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17 hours ago, Cleveland Rocks said:

... I recently toured the GSUSA headquarters ... They estimate that it's earned by about 6% of Girl Scouts and that over 1 million have earned it since its inception in 1916, ...

?? Since "inception" ?? The Gold Award (by that name) was rolled out in the '80s. Or, are they lumping together Eaglet, 1st Class (both versions thereof), and Curved Bar?

Looking at this history of "rebranding", we see GS falling into a perpetual cycle of re-branding beginning a decade after Low's death. Whatever compelled GS/USA to abandon the Eagle as their mascot?

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So I realize I have been too negative.  While GSUSA's current focus on civic engagement is not what I am particularly looking for for my daughter, some families may very well be looking for this.

Expecially now that girls will have two scouting organizations to choose from (BSA and GSUSA) it is good that GSUSA is being clear about their emphases, for example: "G.I.R.L. Agenda 2018: Leading Change Through Civic Action".  This will help families select the program that they feel is most appropriate for their girls, instead of being disconcerted that the GSUSA their girls have joined has modernized and does not have the same emphases that they remember from childhood.

Perhaps it will be useful for scouters and scoutleaders on both sides of the BSA/GSUSA divide to be able to articulate, in a positive way, the different strengths of each program, so that families of girls can make a thoughtful choice.

(And yes I am aware that there have already been other scouting or scout-like organizations open to girls, such as BPSA or AHG, but for many families those are not a realistic option, because there are no units in their vicinity.)

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On 5/15/2018 at 8:33 AM, desertrat77 said:

I also like their approach of the women being identified as "Girl Scouts" and not utilizing the false exclusivity of Gold Award only, like the BSA does with Eagle ("Four Eagle Scouts playing in the ___________ Bowl.")

Did you notice in the "lifetime of leadership" video, one woman was labelled as "Celine Dion Girl Guide & Singer".   The inclusivity is including other WAGGGS member countries.

 

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

?? Since "inception" ?? The Gold Award (by that name) was rolled out in the '80s. Or, are they lumping together Eaglet, 1st Class (both versions thereof), and Curved Bar?

Looking at this history of "rebranding", we see GS falling into a perpetual cycle of re-branding beginning a decade after Low's death. Whatever compelled GS/USA to abandon the Eagle as their mascot? 

I have no idea why they dropped the Golden Eaglet.  But . . .

The "First Class" award had recognition problems of its own. Back when it was the top Girl Scout award, you could get the reaction, from people familiar with boy scouts but unfamiliar with girl scouting, that it wasn't a very a high level award -- since they were, presumably, thinking of BSA where first class is followed by three higher ranks.

Of course "Gold Award", at first, had the problem that no one had ever heard of it.  And I don't think that it has fully overcome this problem.

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53 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

Of course "Gold Award", at first, had the problem that no one had ever heard of it.  And I don't think that it has fully overcome this problem.

And, it is sufficiently bland that loses any significance with those unfamiliar with it. The entire Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award line need to be rethought. I asked my daughters GS troop if they will be working on their Bronze award (it appears it has to be done as a troop instead of as an individual - another difference) and was told that it was "a lot of work and maybe next year."

Turn the Bronze into the "Bronze Badger, the Silver into the "Silver Lion" and the Gold into the, "Golden Artemis." :D

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5 hours ago, qwazse said:

?? Since "inception" ?? The Gold Award (by that name) was rolled out in the '80s. Or, are they lumping together Eaglet, 1st Class (both versions thereof), and Curved Bar?

Looking at this history of "rebranding", we see GS falling into a perpetual cycle of re-branding beginning a decade after Low's death. Whatever compelled GS/USA to abandon the Eagle as their mascot?

Yes, the Girl Scouts views it as a recognition of their "highest award".  They had a big celebration in 2016 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gold Award and all its predecessors (although they just called it the "Gold Award 100th Anniversary").  All the logos had the current Gold Award with the number 100 next to it.

They view the Gold Award as a progression of the highest Girl Scout award over the years:

1916-1919 Golden Eagle of Merit

1919-1939 Golden Eaglet

1940-1963 Curved Bar

1938-1940 & 1963-1980 First Class

1980-present Gold Award

In 1990 a proposal was approved that would keep the name as the Gold Award in perpetuity. So maybe someone realized they should stop changing the name every 20 years or so...

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

... Turn ... the Gold into the, "Golden Artemis." :D

Oh, god.

:D

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