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fred johnson

Linked troops won't work

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Posted (edited)

@fred johnson, how dare you suggest we trust boots-on-the-ground to do it right from the get go!

FWIW - I would never think a linked troop would need double the SPL, QM, PLC etc... But, you are right. This concept, as they've  penned it, sets a high bar for COs who want to involve girls. 

Edited by qwazse

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, qwazse said:

I would never think a linked troop would need double the SPL, QM, PLC etc... But, you are right. This concept, as they've  penned it, sets a high bar for COs who want to involve girls. 

The concept will keep evolving, but I'm trying to work through how to make it work based on what I've heard so far.

QM ... Missed that one.  One set of equipment.  Which QM is responsible for the equipment?   Or does a church need two troop trailers?  etc etc ?

Edited by fred johnson

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28 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

The concept will keep evolving, but I'm trying to work through how to make it work based on what I've heard so far.

IT.WON'T. WORK.

Even before the linked troop concept was announced, Units were saying  "separate but equal" troops would not work, only going full blown coed. With the new YP guidelines going into effect 10-1-18 which effectively kills the Patrol Method, I take it national realizes that "separate but equal" and "linked troops" will not work, and are preparing the groundwork for coed Scouting, BSA. Who knows, National may even decide to allow coed patrols in the future. It certainly looks that way.

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BSA is doing the ole "trying to please everybody, but end up pleasing nobody" tactic. 

Coming from a rural council, where most troop can barely keep 5 boys as is, I can guarantee linked troops won't work. Maybe in the suburbs/cities where ALL of the national execs come from it will work, but for us country folk it never had a chance of working the way it was designed. 

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I was trying to think through how a shared meeting would happen if I had linked troops in my CO. Most troops in my area are 30-60 boys. We don't much interest from girls to join scouts but lets assume we get 5. In this scenario we would have 2 SPLs, which one would run the meeting? If we spilt meetings 50-50 that would mean a boy that has waited and worked hard to be SPL would have his experience cut in half and would share it with a girl who has little experience with Patrols or how Scouts works. I can predict right now how many boys will leave scouts if the see the girls getting an unfair advantage.

At shared campouts who picks the sites?, At planning meeting would the SPLs have to share running these meetings?

Sure things will be figured out in the end but my fear is that it will take away experience from the boys.

 

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With the departure of the LDS, I see National very quickly moving to do away with the separate but equal plan. 

What they will do is let it roll out, fail, and announce that its ok to have co-ed units because "that's what the volunteers want. 

All boy/all girl patrols would work for YPT purposes, but I see them also being "optional" in the future as well.

My two cents.

 

 

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It was never designed to.

I recently went to a district/ council key 3 meeting on the new program. that subject was brought up. The CE bluntly said that  we were to do anything to make the new program work. commenting that council /national were not going to be policing units if dens and patrols were coed. "it will morph into what it will morph into".  and we need to follow the Canadian and European model of scouting. I also asked about the new changes to G2SS. Never heard of it  and we will get back to you was the answer.

the direction is clear. at least he gave an honest answer.

 

 

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I have to disagree that the linked troops model won't work.  There are lots of examples already, maybe even some in your COs,  where there are distinctly separate parallel programs being run for boys and girls.  In my CO, a Catholic parish, we have girls basket ball and boys basketball, we have both boys baseball and girls softball, we have boys track teams and girls track teams, etc.  We find enough volunteers for all of these from amongst the parents and other interested parishioners.  We find enough financial resources for all these programs.  All of these programs operate under the umbrella of our CYO committee, which manages to allocate resources, like gym times, and costs, etc. in a way that leaves everyone more or less satisfied.

If our CO decides to go for a linked troop model, likely though maybe not this year, then I don't see any reason that we can't do the same.  Will there be things we have to work out, like making sure that both troops aren't trying to use the equipment at the same time?  Sure, but that's what already happens in those other programs,  it's clearly a relatively easily surmountable problem.  And let's be realistic, our troop for girls probably isn't going to be the same size as our troop for boys any time soon.  So no, we won't have to have double everything.  If we are ever fortunate enough to have double the number of young people in our CO who are reaping the benefits of scouting then that means that many more families working that much more to provide the resources necessary.   

What is unique about scouting that renders us incapable of running a parallel program when other programs manage to do just that?

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3 minutes ago, cchoat said:

All boy/all girl patrols would work for YPT purposes, but I see them also being "optional" in the future as well.

Agreed.  BSA would do best by letting units structure was they can make it work.  

  • BSA could suggestion single gender patrols are a possible choice.  It helps address different maturity levels.  But it's not required, especially if it means a scout is left out because there are not enough members of their gender. 
  • BSA could suggest single gender troops would be an option if it servers your charter org best.  

I just fear requiring it either leaves people out or forces a lot of extra work and extra confusion.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

What is unique about scouting that renders us incapable of running a parallel program when other programs manage to do just that?

I agree with you.  It "can" work.  It needs more coordination.  I tried my best to use "many linked troops", but probably failed in places and left in a few absolutes.  

It can work so that's why I suggest BSA should let charter orgs choose how they want to structure.  COs choose single gender troops or mixed gender.  COs choose one troop or two troops.  etc etc.  This would allow your CO to have two completely separate single gender troops ... if that is how your CO wants to run it.  

The issue is when you have imbalances or want to share schedules, camps, leaders, etc.  It can be done, but for many charter orgs it just won't work.  They don't have the space or available nights or enough separate adults.

 

I was recently at a scout meeting where we were discussing how to make it work.  The discussion because very uncomfortable when a very reputable and capable adult leader who is a minority pointed out that "separate but equal" isn't such a good idea.  None of us wanted to be on the other side of the discussion.  

Edited by fred johnson

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So here's how I see a linked troop model working in my CO.

The boys meet every Wednesday night, the girls will meet every week, some night night that's not Wednesday.  Let's call that night Tuesday.  Why would we want both troops meeting on the same night since they're not the same troop?  The boys' PLC meets the second Tuesday of every month.  The girls' PLC, when they're large enough to need one, will meet monthly on some other night.

Currently, the boys meet annually and decide what trips and outings they want to conduct for the year.  Working with the families, adults, and troop committee we put dates to those outings about 3-4 months ahead of time.   Going forward the girls will also do an annual plan, and now we will work together to put dates out 3-4 months ahead.  Except for summer camp it is rare that we are fully utilizing all our equipment on a campout, so it probably won't even be much of an issue for both troops to decide they want to camp the same weekend.  

Our troop committee meets formally every quarter and we do a lot by email.  There's no reason for this to change.  Our SM and all except for one of our ASMs are parents of current scouts.  There's no reason for me to think that won't hold true for a troop for girls, after all they have parents too, there might be some overlap of siblings between the two troops, but juggling parental involvement across siblings and their activities is already the reality for families, they'll figure it out.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not saying Charter Orgs can't succeed with single gender troops.  

I'm saying BSA will create a mess forcing the "Linked Troop" model.

For our charter org, they don't have enough calendar nights free or separate space to support a second scouting unit.  From our current sense, we "think" we won't have enough interest to have a strong separate program.  We think a combined unit with single gender patrols (our choice) would strengthen the existing unit and give new opportunities to girls.  We also have multiple adult leaders in the unit that have young girls that would like to try scouts.  

Edited by fred johnson

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12 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

I was recently at a scout meeting where we were discussing how to make it work.  The discussion because very uncomfortable when a very reputable and capable adult leader who is a minority pointed out that "separate but equal" isn't such a good idea.  None of us wanted to be on the other side of the discussion.  

There's no reason to think of this or speak of this as "separate but equal".  "Separate but equal" was, as the SC noted, inherently unequal, and it was always intended to be so.  If you intend in fact to not provide both your troops with the full resources that they need than you shouldn't have a separate troop.  But how many people advocate against having boys' basketball and girls' basketball?  I'll grant you there a re a few, but clearly not enough for that not to be the very successful model.  The problem comes when you say the boys get the best gym times or better equipment or better coaches or even the better name.  

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