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an_old_DC

Just curious about background

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I am all in favor of giving girls the opportunities in Scouting and think it is long overdue. I am excited that Ventures and Sea Scouts will be joining us in the Order of the Arrow, again long overdue. 

I have been continuously in Scouting since I was first allowed as a Wolf.

I am an Eagle Scout, OA vigil, worked on summer camp staff for 5 years as a youth working from CIT up to Director of Program, then Assistant Ranger. I have been on staff for local high adventure programs since 17 years old. I have been Asst Den Leader, ASM, ADC, Roundtable Commissioner, ADC for Roundtable, District training staff in 2 districts, commissioner training staff, instructor at college of Commissioner Science.  <<taking a deep breath>>

I am a Wood Badge Bear, I am the 2018-2019... University of Scouting Dean of Scout training, NYLT ASM since 2017, attending NYLT Course Director's Conference in 2017, started "Junior Leader Roundtable" for my district at 13 or 14, and ran it until I left for college. As an adult I revived the idea as "Youth Leadership Roundtable" in my new district, while helping with OA chapter and staffing Lodge events. I am a unit trainer and committee member for 4 LDS units, ASM for my son's troop(non-LDS).  And I am probably leaving some stuff out.

As an aside, I come from a scouting family. Both of my parents and my brother(Eagle Scout) are all registered scouters since he joined the pilot Tiger Cub program. All are also vigil honor. Both parents are Wood Badgers, have been District and Council trainers, both Chapter Advisors, both received Silver Beaver and District Award of Merit. Both District Committee, both Eagle advisors....  And they all think the change are great, though Dad does not see the purpose in forcing the girls into a separate troop. And that does not even get into my wife and her parents. (this post is long enough as it is)

Oh, I left out I have my Masters in Commissioner Science and working on my thesis for my doctorate. I knew there was at least one thing I forgot.  ..... Oh and District committee. 

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1st generation scout (although my brother, two decades my senior made it a very LONG generation). Cousin Bill locked the football hall of fame, so I - being flat footed and more into distance than speed - figured I'd appropriate my brothers' gear and hike/camp the tar out of it, becoming the family's 1st Eagle Scout in the process.

Poor Mrs. Q hates rain, but had to endure a lot of camping vacations with it on account of how much rain likes me and looks forward to meeting me for a day or two when I'm out. Needless to say when Son #1 joined Cubs, then Scouts, then Daughter joined venturing, and Son #2 followed suit, she was more than happy to see us out the door!

I've been ASM and a Crew Advisor, and general grunt at district and council events. I'm currently an advisor on our council venturing committee.

I love BSA4G, I hate that some scouters can't work with it, I especially feel that BSA's inability to drop marketing doublespeak makes matters worse. But ... I can't help remembering my 1st Venturing summit, and I was walking from camp and passed two young ladies on the trail. They returned my greeting with warmth and smiles, and I thought, "This is what I'm working for."

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I am generally OK with girls joining Scouts and I have never been a Boy Scout.  I am a woman.  Thinking back to my girlhood I am not sure if I would have been a Scout if it was available.  It's a huge commitment and the physical fitness might have been a turnoff.  I was more into dance and music programs as a youth. 

I wasn't into camping until my husband and I started together when our kids were potty trained.  So we are newer outdoorsy types.  I've always liked day outings, of course.

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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I’m excited for the inclusion of girls as well.  I’m a woman, so clearly not a Boy Scout.  I was in Girl Scouts for years, quit in early high school. I was in Explorers in high school.  My father and his cousins (his mother died when he was young, lived with his cousins from age 7on) were all Scouts.  All 4 of his male cousins were Eagles.  My father quit at Star or Life.  

Currently, I’m a Den Leader.

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I started n Cub Scouts, Earned the Arrow of Light. Went on to Boy Scouts and earned Eagle. I was an Ordeal member of the OA (guilty of sash and dash). My older son is an Eagle Scout and my younger son recently completed his  Eagle Scout service project and final merit badge. He's now working on submitting his Eagle application. Once finished, we will be washing our hands of the Boy Scouts of America/Scouts BSA.

I am strongly opposed to the inclusion of girls in the Boy Scouts of America. I would be equally opposed to the inclusion of boys in the Girl Scouts.

Although  we're strongly opposed to the inclusion of girls in the Boy Scouts, that is not the primary reason why we are walking away from the BSA. There are a lot of very good people in the BSA, but there are also far too many adults and leaders who are in this for all the wrong reasons.

Edited by SSF

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Live long scouter, started as a Cub Scout in 1971, Arrow of Light (a new award back then), Boy Scout in 1973, going on to earn Life Scout and OA before moving to the Explorer program in 1978.  Served in various different Audit positions around the world (served 21 years in the Army) from Den Leader to Cubmaster; Committee Member, Assistant Scoutmaster to Scoutmaster; Merit Badge Councilor, member-at-Large, District Roundtable Commissioner, ADC and finally District Commissioner.  

Wood Badge Troop Guide, T3,  Doctorate in Commissioner Sciences, Silver Beaver, DAM, Distinguished Commissioner, Unit Leader Award of Merit (Scoutmaster), Scouter's key (Commissioner, Scoutmaster) Scouter's Training Award (Commissioner, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster).  BS degree in Business administration and Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership.  In BSA parlance, "Over trained".

So...

Society has come along way since I started in Scouting.  I was able to experience the great mistake of the 70's (when national took the "OUT" out of Scouting) but to me, that was what scouting was.  So when it reverted back, I had to change .  Along the years, many other changes have occurred, each one bringing out the doomsday forecasters, but the BSA moved on.  So maybe because I was a member of a General Interest (Outdoor orientated) co-ed Explorer Post, my views on co-ed scouting are slightly different from some of the others here, but I do have some opinions that are mine, that I would like to get out.

1.  This has been coming a long time.  Scouting has been co-ed for decades.  Maybe not at the Scout level (11-17), but there have been girls in the program as Explorers, Learning for Life, Sea Scouts, and Venturing without the problems that many have stated will happen with new co-ed programs.   Unofficially, girls have been participating with their brothers at the Cub level as "Tag-alongs" or other local designations for years as well. the recent change to allow girls into Cubs is the natural progression of these actions in the past.  By bringing them in, they are now covered by insurance, become dues paying members, and get credit for the work they do.

2.  Cubs become Scouts, and if we allow girls into Cubs, we must offer them a path into the Scout program.  It is only right.

3.  Where I disagree with national is their mistake when they think that separate troops are the answer.  Not going to work in my neck of the woods.  Why?  There is already a limited supply of leaders, and units to start with, and they are already stretched thin.  To expect new units to be formed just for girls only isn't going to work.  Therefore, one of two things is going to happen.  First will be that girls aging out of Cubs will have no troop to move into, or, and this is where a change will eventually be "justified", due to a lack of leaders, number of girls, or whatever reason they come up with, local units register two "troops", but in reality will have separate patrols in one troop for boys and girls.  Paper units, paper leaders, it will on the surface look "legal" under the current plan, but will be anything  but in reality.

4.  National will in 2020 announce a change to allow mixed troops, with separate patrols.

5.  A year or two later, claiming success, will allow mixed patrols.

So...

As a Scout leader, I will do my best to continue to deliver the best program I can to those youth that have been entrusted into my care.  While I will still sit around the campfire drinking coffee with other old time scouters and reminisce about the good old days, change is inevitable, constant, and happening in the BSA.  How we as Scouters embrace this challenge will determine whether or not it will be a success.  I for one, will not stand and allow the ship to sink, nor will I be the first to board the lifeboat. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I fully support girls in scouting. I think allowing youth females in the Order of the Arrow has been very long overdue. I disagree with the Lion program. I'm not really sad to see the LDS leave scouting. The summit was doomed to fail from the beginning. 

 I think national has dropped the ball on pretty much every decision that has to do with allowing females in. Their lack of transparency and "secrets" has really, in my opinion, been a huge driving force in why people are against this decision. I think whoever came up with the idea for the skorts needs to be fired immediately.

Background: I spend my whole life in scouting, Tigers through venturing. I am an Eagle Scout and Vigil member of the OA. I spend five summers on Summer Camp staff. Volunteered for a little while as an ASM and chapter adviser. Then I crossed over to the Scouting dark side and I am currently a District Executive.  Have you turned in your FoS pledge card yet?

Edited by carebear3895

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I would have preferred Boy Scouts redouble their efforts to figure out why 90% of American boys arent joining Boy Scouts, and de-regulated a bit and gone back to more rough and tumble adventure, stay all boy since this has a lot of benefits in teaching boys.  It also provides choice to families that want all-boy environments.   I was more in favor of starting up a girls parallel org to the Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Girl Trackers, whatever, and dedicated commitment and resources to seeing it be a success.  I think words, names and traditions matter at a basic human level.  In it's current form as pitched by National, with a dedication to single-gender learning, I will support the program because girls should have opportunities to learn the skills provided in Boy Scouts, just not at the detriment of boys.  If we go down a path of co-ed troops, co-ed patrols, uniformless units, etc... I'll cash my chips out.  Skorts was a good idea, girls like them.  I know my daughter does, she loves hers. Was a cub scout, boy scout, eagle scout, assistant scoutmaster, brotherhood member of the oa, den leader, cubmaster, etc.  

Edited by Gwaihir

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I am an Eagle Scout, and have been SM. My troop as a youth did not participate in OA, neither does the troop in which I am currently a volunteer.

I am not "excited" about the addition of girls. I am neutral.

I am happy about ending the exclusion of gays (youth and adult). I would have rather the BSA end the exclusion of atheists before admitting girls.  It never made sense to me why other troops should have a say in the religious practices of my troop.

 

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I have no proof, but I believe the BSA has been forced by economics to turn the program into a YMCA style family scout program. For a lot of reasons, funding can't support the present higher risk outdoor values program and they are in survival mode.  It will be a way for families to get some outdoor time together. It will not be a character building program anymore than YMCA is viewed as a character building program. And, based on my experience of the kind of families the program will attract, it will develop an even more nerdy reputation.

I think scouts in Europe survives being more traditional is because the outside influences that are killing the program here doesn't really exist in the culture over there. Ironically, I believe the GSUSA will one day be considered the more traditional scout program. That is how much I think the BSA will change.

Barry

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Old fogey here. Tigers came out the year I became a Wolf. So I did the old 3 year Cub Program, Eagle, Vigil, Sea Scout Ordinary (more on my ship in a bit), ASM multiple times in multiple councils,  OA Lodge committee, OA chapter adviser 3x,, Exploring and Venturing Associate advisor, Sea Scout mate, district committee member, RT Commissioner, and former DE.

I personally got mixed emotions on this, and as National come out wiht more and more, I am leaning against.Why do I have mixed emotions?

On one hand, I staffed camps in the UK, and saw how coed Scouting can work. Were there challenges, a few. But overall it worked. On the other hand I have my experiences in a Sea Scout ship and with Explorer posts and Venturing Crews. With my ship, the guys did the work and the dirty jobs, while the girls did nothing. I still remember having to transfer gear from ship to shore with the other guys, while the girls were on the beach goofing off. Heck I remember them complaining about their gear getting wet because they didn't waterproof their gear , after I taught a class on waterproofing gear. I also remember some of the guys having to carry the ship's head ( latrine) out of the ship to the island, and then having to set up a GP tent for the girls to have a bathroom. Oh and the guys couldn't use it. Because of the double standards in the ship, I didn't stay long,just long enough to earn Ordinary. Then there are some of the "nocturnal activities" that we had to prevent with the post/crew. One Explorer had a plan: he had an airbed, candles, and oils hidden away. Thankfully we busted him before  anything happened as her dad was a high level pro!

But I am also concerned about how it will affect the boys. How disruptive will the girls be as boys do act differently, i.e. afraid to take risks, showing off, etc. Also what happens if we cannot find enough females to attend meetings and activities; do we cancel meetings and activities just for the girls or for everyone? We are already seeing changes to the program as a result of girls coming aboard, i.e. double standards in YP, no more independant patrol meetings and activities, 18 year olds do not count towards YP, etc, what other changes will be made to accommodate girls that will adversly affect the boys?

And as someone mentioned in another thread, the influx of new Scouters will be a major problem. Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts are two completely separate programs, with separate methods.  Cub Scout Leaders must "unlearn what you have learned" because they are not in charge anymore, the Scouts are. For the last 3 years, I have seen parents push and push to make Boy Scouts more like Cub Scouts. I see it happening with my troop right now.

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I was a Cub Scout (AOL) and Boy Scout (Life) as a youth. I served on camp staff for five years alongside some great female staffers. In the OA, I was a Vigil member and served as a chapter and lodge officer along with some amazing adult Sisters in the Brotherhood. I’m getting re-engaged now in some council and district roles.

I’m also the father of a teenage daughter. She was a GSUSA member for a few years, but her memories now are that it “sucked” - too much cookie-selling and making crafts and eating popcorn indoors, not enough fun stuff. I’m glad that she now has the choice whether to join Scouts BSA or Venturing.

Edited by shortridge

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Am I ok with it, is it the way to go, can it be a good program ?  YES

Excited about girls in BSA ?... Alas, NO 

All girl Dens or Troops can work and be a good program... but I suspect many Units in my Council who opt for girls do not have the ability, desire, leadership, talent, etc to do it as perscribed.  The shortcomings exasperated but insufficient oversight by the Chartered Organization and Council.

Co-ed OA... gotta think and learn more on that.

If I could wave a magic wand... Détente and cooperation, if not merger, between BSA National Council and GSUSA

Background:  Many senior Council, District, Troop and youth positions

Edited by Wëlënakwsu
typo

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I have a long history with the BSA.  My father was not a member of BSA as a youth but my grandfather on my mothers side was a professional scout during WWII.  I grew up hearing him talk about running summer camp during the war with almost no other adult help due to the war.  After the war ended he went back to his first love which was the ministry.  His son my uncle was the first of six Eagle Scout in the family.  I joined the cub scouts in 1968 as a 3rd grader.  We moved during the summer before I started the 4th grade so I was a member of a different pack that year, them moved again the next year so my last years as a cub was again in a different pack.  Join the scout troop in that town and was a member for right at two years under the old system until we moved again back to the town my hometown were I had first joined as a cub.  With this move I also had to about start over with advancement since the program had started the new system with the skill awards.  I completed the requirements for Eagle just before I turned 18 in 1978.  Also as a youth I served on summer camp staff for 3 years and became a member of the OA at the age of 15.  Was elect Lodge Vice-Chief for 1 year them as Lodge Chief the next 3 years of Wehadkee  273.  I was also the first youth to become a Vigil member of the Lodge in over 20 years.  I left the scouting program in the early 80' after serving as a ASM for 4 years with two different units, 1 located in my hometown and another while attending college.

I got back into scouting in 2001 when my son joined the cub scouts.  Served as a DL for 1 year and as CM for 3 years.  I was also Cub Scout Day Camp Director for 2 summers.  While my son was Webelo I moved over to the Scout Troop as SM after all the adult leadership of the Troop left to keep the troop from lapsing after recruiting a new CM for the pack.  The Troop & Pack had the same CO which I regret to say had very little involvement with either unit.  2 years later we changed CO's to another Church for both units which has worked out for the best.  I served as SM for 5 years before stepping down to the position of ASM and turned the troop over to the present SM who had also been my ASM and I had worked with from 6 years with the pack & troop.  I attended Woodbadge and completed my ticket (Beaver) and also served on Woodbadge staff.  I also serve as a unit commissioner and as a member of the district advancement committee.  Also have received the District Award of Merit and the District Scouter of the year award.

Yes scouting had changed since I was a youth and left the program in the early 80', but even with the changes since them I still see the program as still the best youth program that still instills the same values that I learned in the program as a youth.  As long as these values remain in the program I plan on remaining in the scouting program as a member as long as I am able. 

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On 05/26/2018 at 8:24 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

I am generally OK with girls joining Scouts and I have never been a Boy Scout.  I am a woman.  Thinking back to my girlhood I am not sure if I would have been a Scout if it was available.  It's a huge commitment and the physical fitness might have been a turnoff.  I was more into dance and music programs as a youth. 

I wasn't into camping until my husband and I started together when our kids were potty trained.  So we are newer outdoorsy types.  I've always liked day outings, of course.

Am I the only one that found what you said funny?

 

"Its a huge commitment and the the physical fitness might have been a turn off"

"I was more into dance and music programs"

 

Dance would have had a bigger commitment then Scouting, at least in today age it is, I've seen dance groups practice multiple times a week, and I was never in good physical fitness as a youth Scout, but I bet I would have been if I was in dance.

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