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walk in the woods

New and comprehensive Family scouting FAQs issued:

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For me, equality of opportunity has always been a conservative value (with apologies to any Liberals on the forum).  I've never been one who has seen demonstrations, protests and battles of words (read name calling and personal attacks) as a solution -- it makes those involved feel better about themselves but does nothing to find solutions.  I also don't see life as a zero sum game - just because someone succeeds, someone else doesn't necessarily lose.

I don't like the idea of co-ed Scouting at the Scouts BSA level.  There is something unique about the program in the way it nurtures 11 to 14 year old boys.  I also think that same nurturing and growth can best be obtained through having a separate program for girls.  Girls deserve the opportunity to participate in the best personal development, leadership training and outdoor program.  Of course, the program isn't perfect, but it is the best.  

The question of how much the Boy and Girl programs overlap is an easy one to answer - the youth are in charge and they decide.  We had the same false issues arise when we started our Venturing Crew.  Are the girls in the Crew just going to tag along with the Troop?  The answer is that in two years, the Crew hasn't done a joint activity with the Troop except for helping out with the Pack's Pinewood Derby.  I joke with parents that our 11 to 13 year old boys shouldn't be around girls the same age because "they really aren't fit to be out in public."  Those who have ever been a parent of a kid that age smile in agreement.  Also, I've had the ability to observe the differences in leadership style between boys and girls in the Crew.  Girls tend to be more organizationally inclined (they very much dominate the planning meetings) and boy tend to be more operationally inclined (when we get into the "field" they take charge).  I also see the co-ed dynamics and understand that co-ed at the younger ages won't work.  So, the BSA structure actually works - a boy Troop, a girl Troop and a co-ed Venturing Crew.

My advice is that if you want to have a strong program for the Boys, work to build a strong independent program for the Girls.  Build both programs with the foundations of youth-led, patrol based, servant leadership and then mix in a lot of outdoor adventure and fun.  As Richard Covey says, think win-win.

Edited by Hedgehog
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3 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

I also see the co-ed dynamics and understand that co-ed at the younger ages won't work.  So, the BSA structure actually works - a boy Troop, a girl Troop and a co-ed Venturing Crew.

Scouting is not co-ed. (1)

(1) Unless you attend a summer camp, or a merit badge university, or a Camporee, or a Cub Scout Day Camp, or an OA Induction, or NYLT, or any other event sponsored at the District, Council, or National level.

So the Scouts BSA structure actually does not work if you engage in anything outside your own troop.

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6 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

I also see the co-ed dynamics and understand that co-ed at the younger ages won't work.

So it doesn't work? At all? So the 120+ coed scouting programs around the world are all failures? Really?

Look, I think the reality of international scouting clearly shows that coed scouting can work, and work well (ask Cambridgeskip or ianwilkins). That doesn't invalidate the argument that single-sex scouting is better than coed (and some rather cogent arguments in favor of that position have been presented on this forum). But can we leave the hyperbole out of it?

I understand that there is a lot of passion around this question. But some of the hyperbole I have seen around this topic is silly and discredits the arguments being made. Not to mention that it can come across as an unintended insult to our international scouter friends ("your coed program sucks").

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3 hours ago, gblotter said:

Scouting is not co-ed. (1)

(1) Unless you attend a summer camp, or a merit badge university, or a Camporee, or a Cub Scout Day Camp, or an OA Induction, or NYLT, or any other event sponsored at the District, Council, or National level.

So the Scouts BSA structure actually does not work if you engage in anything outside your own troop.

Our Troop has been to Camporees (West Point and others) where there were Girl Scouts and Venturers.  NYLT is co-ed due to Venturing.  OA allows female adults to be inducted.  Cub Scout Pinewood Derby in our Troop always had a "non-scout" division (read younger or female siblings).

1 minute ago, Rick_in_CA said:

So it doesn't work? At all? So the 120+ coed scouting programs around the world are all failures? Really?

Look, I think the reality of international scouting clearly shows that coed scouting can work, and work well (ask Cambridgeskip or ianwilkins). That doesn't invalidate the argument that single-sex scouting is better than coed (and some rather cogent arguments in favor of that position have been presented on this forum). But can we leave the hyperbole out of it?

I understand that there is a lot of passion around this question. But some of the hyperbole I have seen around this topic is silly and discredits the arguments being made. Not to mention that it can come across as an unintended insult to our international scouter friends ("your coed program sucks").

Rick:

Really?  I guess I have to be specific.  "I also see the co-ed dynamics and understand that there are reasons that co-ed scouting would not work as effectively as a program that focuses on single-gender development between the ages of 11 and 14 due to the cultural, educational and political factors at work in the United States."  Hopefully, you can't twist those into a situation where I'm insulting other forum members.

I'VE HAD IT.  I'VE TRIED TO BE REASONABLE AND STRIKE MIDDLE GROUND AND HAVE A PRODUCTIVE DISCUSSION.  BUT YOU ALL ARE SO FREAKING BOUND TO YOUR OPINIONS THAT YOU TURN EVERYTHING INTO AN ARGUMENT.  THE SCOUT LAW DOES NOT EXIST ON THESE FORUMS - THERE IS NO TRUSTWORTY, FRIENDLY, HELPFUL, COURTEOUS OR KIND TO BE FOUND.  YOU GUYS GO ON HAVING FUN BASHING THE BSA AND BASHING EACH OTHER.  I DON'T HAVE TIME TO DEAL WITH ALL OF YOUR PETTY BEHAVIORS AND COMMENTS.  I'M OUT.

I HAVE A LOT BETTER USE OF MY TIME INCLUDING WORKING WITH MY TROOP,  MY CREW, MY SON AND... YUP... THE FEMALE SCOUTS BSA UNIT OUR CHARTERED ORGANIZATION IS STARTING.  

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3 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

 

I hope you will return.  I took some time away from the computer working on an Eagle projects and it helped me realize what matters.  And this forum doesn't rank high on real priorities.

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6 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

 

I'm terribly sorry to hear about the frustration this has brought yoh.  You've brought a lot to this forum.  If this ends up being it - I wish you the very best.

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14 hours ago, Rick_in_CA said:

Not to mention that it can come across as an unintended insult to our international scouter friends ("your coed program sucks").

Naa mate, don't you all worry about it. We Jonny Foreigners are all interlopers anyway. Life's too short to worry about whether people are unintentionally insulting, I have enough fun with the intentional insults (not from you lot, as far as I remember).

The passion people have about scouting is a blessing and a curse, it can drive us to do extraordinary things, to put an awful lot of time, effort, emotion, money, everything into it. No surprise that sometimes views are strongly held and strongly put.

At the core of it, despite all the protestations and machinations of HQs, scouting is local, it's shaped by the leaders and the kids involved. I know my version of scouting is different to the version of scouting down the road, let alone over the pond. Yet sit us round the campfire and we could talk all night and part friends.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, having been a leader while co-ed changes went through UK scouting. I'm seeing the same arguments, and the same strongly held opinions. UK Scouting is still there. We lost good leaders. We gained good leaders. Things are different, and yet they're the same. Some have told me I run no more than a youth club. Some parents have credited scouting with changing their kids lives.

Not sure what I'm trying to say, but no change there.

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Well said, Mate.  I don't consider my International friends as "interlopers"...we are all Brothers (and now Sisters) in the great Movement called Scouting.  I was around when much the same discussions were held regarding racial integration.  We survived.  I was also around when females could hold no role except Den Mother.  We survived the change and are stronger for it, in my opinion.  And, more recently, we weathered the storm regarding LGBTQ membership.  I foresee the day when we accept Atheists as well, to provide them with the same love, guidance and growth experiences that we provide other youth.  After all, isn't that what the Bible has commanded us?  

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5 hours ago, scoutldr said:

Well said, Mate.  I don't consider my International friends as "interlopers"...we are all Brothers (and now Sisters) in the great Movement called Scouting.  I was around when much the same discussions were held regarding racial integration.  We survived.  I was also around when females could hold no role except Den Mother.  We survived the change and are stronger for it, in my opinion.  And, more recently, we weathered the storm regarding LGBTQ membership.  I foresee the day when we accept Atheists as well, to provide them with the same love, guidance and growth experiences that we provide other youth.  After all, isn't that what the Bible has commanded us?  

As the Pasteur of our chartered organization put it very nicely.  "Any youth that wants to scout should be welcomed with open arms,  The Bible is about love.".  While I am Jewish myself, I don't see how I can argue with him about the meaning of the Bible.

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2 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I agree, it will be very much like Canadian Scouts.

Barry

Maple Syrup, Hockey, and the liberal use of the word "eh"??

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