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If you were asked to help start a Scouts BSA Troop for girls, would you?

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The title says it all. If you had the time, would you help get a stand-alone, non-linked Scouts BSA troop for girls off the ground?

For those who answer yes, how would you do it?

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Depends whose doing the asking. If it's a DE or other pro, no. If it's a CO, maybe. If it's 5 girls ... I've launched a crew for as much.

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Posted (edited)

Lately, if I were asked to help start another boy unit, I'm not sure if I would do it.

On the other hand, some of us have been armchairing the idea of a completely rogue unit using the 1940s handbook and merit badge requirements. I'd do that.

Edited by Saltface
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Yes.  Assuming time and family were not a factor.

How would I do it?  Something like.... 

Initial Goal
I'd start by establishing my initial goal.  It would look something like:
- a great CO & place to meet
- 12 scouts at least.  My max goal would be 24 scouts.
- SM & 2 ASMs
- A Troop Committee of 3 people (Chair, Treasurer, & Activities)
Stretch goal: Have a feeder pack

How I'd reach goal #1.  
1) I'd call my DE.  I'd let him know that I'm doing this.  I'd leverage his/her skills to help get this started.
2) Start looking for a Scoutmaster
3) I'd try to find the combination of a CO and a few interested scouts/adults.  Perhaps a pack with girls.  This will be a lot easier if I have a core group to start from.
4) If I cannot find a core group of scouts, I'd find a great CO.  Probably one I already have a relationship with or is known as a good home to Scouting.
5) I'd market like crazy and spread the word about it.  Make it well known that I'm starting this troop.
6) Set a date for an interest meeting - probably 4-6 weeks out.  The goal of this meeting is to get my core 5 scouts and some adults to register.
7) Get the word out about the meeting.  Emails & fliers would go to every Cub Scout pack & Boy Scout troop.
8) Hopefully by now I have a Scoutmaster, but if not I keep looking....
9) Once I have the five scouts & 3 adults, I register the troop.
10) We get the program going.  Establish a meeting night, come up with an annual calendar.  Start Troop Committee meetings
11) Get adults trained. 
12) Keep marketing & recruiting.  Make sure everyone knows we're doing this.

I'd keep this up until I got my initial goal's met - 12 scouts, core adults, and a CO. If possible, we have a feeder pack too.

Stage 2:
Build the core troop

- Reach 30 scouts in 3 years.   
- Add ASMs as neccessary to fill core functions.
- Build out the committee - Chair, Treasurer, Activities, Membership, Advancement, & Equipment
- Recruit Merit Badge Counselors.
- Have a feeder pack

How I'd reach goal #2:
1) Program, program, program.  Invest in having a great program.  A great program sells itself.
2) Focus on girl led.  Get the tone right from the beginning.
3) Adult training.  Get those volunteer's trained.
4) Focus some more on program.  
5) Marketing & membership.  Make sure the troop is known in the Scouting community.  This is the place for girls who want to be Scouts.
6) Make sure there is a feeder pack or two.
 

When I get here, then we start thinking about what kind of troop we want longer term.

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No. I do not have any daughters, and know I would be looked at with suspicion by some parents. That suspicion can cause problems that a new unit would not need.

This happened to me several times when I was younger and had no kids in the program. Heck it happened with some parents in the troop I grew up in!  One mother was very concerned that a 19 year old college student was working with her son. She thought I was a pedophile, and she told me that years later after she got to know me. Two troops I was in had reservations about me, and only accepted me as a volunteer when they verified that I worked for BSA, or checked my references in the neighboring council.

Now would I train and mentor new Scouters trying to get it started? Yes.

But the point it moot. My sons' troop needs help to get it back on track.

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1 hour ago, Saltface said:

Lately, if I were asked to help start another boy unit, I'm not sure if I would do it.

On the other hand, some of us have been armchairing the idea of a completely rogue unit using the 1940s handbook and merit badge requirements. I'd do that.

no

not in today's climate. 

but i do like saltface's idea.

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No. Our CO is very clear they want us to be as close to coed as the rules allow. My wife has been a WDL for the last 2 years but is waiting to see how this shakes out before choosing her leadership role next year.... Maybe girl WDL, maybe female ASM looikng towards Feb. '19. So starting a stand alone girl troop is a non-starter for us.

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Posted (edited)

No. My primary objection is that, while I believe the aims of Scouting are important goals for both boys and girls, I do not believe that the methods of Scouting are best suited to the learning and development of young women. I continue to object to the idea that Scouting will work for girls as it does for boys, as unpopular as that moral position may be these days.

Plus, as a single guy in his early 30's, the very idea of my joining an all-girl troop of minors as a leader is inappropriate. I wouldn't even countenance the thought.

Edited by The Latin Scot
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7 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

No. My primary objection is that, while I believe the aims of Scouting are important goals for both boys and girls, I do not believe that the methods of Scouting are best suited to the learning and development of young women. 

I am not trying to start a fight, but just out of curiosity, which method(s) do you feel don't apply to or work for girls??

Adult Association??    Advancement??  Ideals??   Leadership Development???  Outdoor Program??   Patrol Method??   Personal Growth??   Uniform???

I don't want to argue about this, I just am interested in your perspective.

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If anyone asked me for help right now in starting a troop, and I had the time and energy, I absolutely would because I could do it the way I wanted. There would be no baggage to deal with.

I'd explain to the adults how it is going to be and they'd vote on whether I should continue. I'd have a list of job descriptions that they'd have to fill to get things going.

I'd come up with a list of games that involved teaching outdoor skills for the scouts to understand what meetings and campouts looked like. The scouts would pick a calendar.

As for leadership development every single scout would take leadership training. The first thing would be teamwork training. Next would be patrol training. Next would be QM, Grub Master, and How to Teach Scout Skills training. Next would be patrol leader training. Eventually there would be SPL training. I'd make leadership training look similar to rank advancement. Focus hard on an aspect and get some bling when mastery is shown.

One of the big challenges for boys and girls is getting them to take a chance. Scouting doesn't work without it. It used to be that boys were quite good and just jumped in and made do. Anymore it's not so much. That's a challenge that any new troop has to deal with. I would be very upfront with scouts about this issue. I would have them pick their own quarterly challenges. These aren't just goals of tasks to complete, but something out of their comfort zone. A real challenge that they'd never done before. It could just be go camping without mom and dad or it could be backpack up a 1000' hill, or pass the rifle qualifying requirement. Bring back the sense of adventure. Everyone has a challenge and everyone else knows it, encourages it, celebrates when it's met.

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No, I wouldn’t help.  The Troop I would want my daughter (and son) in would be a linked Troop... so I would help start one of those.  At most I would give some guidance to the leaders looking to start the unit.

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I think it depends on who asks me.  Our current Cubmaster for my daughters pack is interested in starting a Troop for his daughter (6 grader).  He has reached out to me for help, since I am the only ASM in a troop he knows.  The man has great ideas, but his tack record on the pack side has kept me from jumping in.

 

Luckily there is a all girl pack within 30-40 mins from my town.  They are supported by some amazing ladies, one of which is an ASM for a very traditional troop.  I would not be surprised that she becomes the SM of the new all girl troop as a stand alone unit.  I am planning to visit with my daughter (first year webelos) and maybe start her there until there is enough support locally to do it properly.

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