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Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

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2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

It's not changing just because girls are allowed in separate troops in 2019.

Let me know how the experience of your separate boy-only troop changes when you attend your next summer camp, Camporee, or Merit Badge Midway. Except for the instance of a non-linked troop, every BSA program at the district, council, and national level will be moving to co-ed, and thereby the unique program tailored for boys will be lost as distinctions between boys and girls are eliminated. Even within your separate boy-only troop, these co-ed program changes are inevitable.

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1 hour ago, gblotter said:

Ah, I see. The only folks who could possibly support a Scouting program tailored for the unique needs of boys are rich and powerful men who want to preserve a right to "locker-room" talk. You forgot to mention privilege, patriarchy, and toxic masculinity in your argument. I'm glad to understand the color of your glasses.

You are deluded if you do not believe that boys behave differently than girls and develop differently than girls - especially at these ages.

A "mere" 5-9 point disparity in college enrollment is only one of many symptoms of the failure of boys in our society. By your dismissal, you are obviously one of the masses who don't care about this "non-problem".

I don't want to put words in qwazse's mouth, but I really don't think he is saying anything about tailoring a Scouting program to rich white boys.

I believe he is saying that a so called "girl-standard" should not apply here if you are using the Oath and Law as guides. I think he is saying that some men will use the excuse of boys will be boys and the concept of "looker-room" speech to keep girls out, so boys have free rein to use that type speech. Which I agree is ludicrous and certainly does not follow the oath and law.

I don't agree with him in this sense. I do think that having girls separate from boys is good because they mature at different paces and pre-teen and teen boys personalities change in the presence of girls. Some become more withdrawn and self conscious, others loose any concept of focus, others strut around like peacocks to show off for the girls. Still others struggle because of the differences in ways girls and boys process direction and criticism. These are some of the reasons I am a proponent of separate gender troops.

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9 hours ago, qwazse said:

 

@Bowline, not sure where you got info that venturers can "start" earning MBs. I mean, I guess technically there's never been anything to stop anyone from earning MBs. I guess had they asked, I could have drawn up blue cards years ago for any in my crew who wanted to try to earn the round medallions. I know some rogue troops have done something of the sort. But, they wont count for rank advancement until this February.

At that point, if a 16 year old female venturer shows up with a stack of blue cards and everyone knows that she has the skills, it would be false for me to say she hasn't earned the badges. In fact I'd probably say "Please, find a buddy and a woman of integrity and help me jump-start this program for these half-dozen crossovers."

Great question.  From the guide to advancement.

7.0.0.3 The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader
"A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time."

So while they can earn them (or any venturer not in a troop) they just can’t wear them or currently use them for advancement.  

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48 minutes ago, Bowline said:

Great question.  From the guide to advancement.

7.0.0.3 The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader
"A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time."

So while they can earn them (or any venturer not in a troop) they just can’t wear them or currently use them for advancement.  

Interesting, I thought I had read somewhere that you could count work in one program toward advancement/awards in another program only if you belong to both programs at the same time (with a few exceptions). But that seems pretty clear.

Then again, it’s at least moderately plausible that BSA has contradicted itself in different places. 

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6 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Interesting, I thought I had read somewhere that you could count work in one program toward advancement/awards in another program only if you belong to both programs at the same time (with a few exceptions). But that seems pretty clear.

Then again, it’s at least moderately plausible that BSA has contradicted itself in different places. 

You have to go back further in the guide- they cannot be earned by anyone who is not "qualified" (dual registered, or had previously reached First Class):

 

7.0.0.1 The Benefits of Merit Badges

There is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills. There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career—though these invaluable results occur regularly. It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject, followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition. It is an uncomplicated process that gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles. Social skills improve. Self-reliance develops. Examples are set and followed. And fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom.

All merit badge requirements must be met while a registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout, or a qualified Venturer or Sea Scout. Accomplishments before joining, or while a Cub Scout, do not apply.

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1 hour ago, Bowline said:

Great question.  From the guide to advancement.

7.0.0.3 The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader
"A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time."

So while they can earn them (or any venturer not in a troop) they just can’t wear them or currently use them for advancement.  

There is a difference between completing the requirements for a merit badge vs. earning a merit badge.  Section 7.0.0.0 of the Guide to Advancement says:

Quote

"All merit badge requirements must be met while a registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout, or a qualified Venturer or Sea Scout.  Accomplishments before joining, or while a Cub Scout, do not apply."

In order to be a "qualified" Venturer or Sea Scout, they must have achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Lone Scout (from section 4.2.0.0).  Girls currently have no way to earn First Class rank, so they are not considered "qualified" Venturers or Sea Scouts.

 

Edited by Thunderbird

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"Complete the X merit badge requirements" vs. earn the X merit badge is how Venturers / Sea Scouts can earn awards such as the National Outdoor Awards for Camping, etc. without having to be in the Boy Scout program or be "qualified" Venturers / Sea Scouts.

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@HashTagScouts nailed it. The GTA was written to disavow girls of any notion that they can earn Eagle, but at the same time to encourage boys to contribute time to both their troop and their crew. Meanwhile it attempted to give Venturing awards an equal footing. Maybe it worked for other crews, but it didn't do much for mine. Boys in other troops openly asserted to female venturers that a girl's Silver would be no match for a boy's Eagle. I suspect this was true nation-wide, so there remained a group of girls who strongly preferred to earn MBs - even if they weren't awarded patches for it.

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14 hours ago, gblotter said:

Let me know how the experience of your separate boy-only troop changes when you attend your next summer camp, Camporee, or Merit Badge Midway. Except for the instance of a non-linked troop, every BSA program at the district, council, and national level will be moving to co-ed, and thereby the unique program tailored for boys will be lost as distinctions between boys and girls are eliminated. Even within your separate boy-only troop, these co-ed program changes are inevitable.

Sure. Our local camps have had co-ed staff for years, female venturers as participants, and foreign visiting Scout troops that were also co-ed. It's been that way almost the entire time I've been in Boy Scouting (2005). So I'm not in on the sky is falling. Maybe I just don't know what I missed previously. Maybe I'm too shortsighted because my Troop has been on a steady upward swing since 2011. 

I'm less concerned about the attendance of girls at camp. I'm more concerned about shortsighted program changes National might make that will continue to kill the patrol method. 

I don't think the fact that girls can be Boy Scouts (what a dumb phrase) will effect the week to week program we run in our troop. It's not girls that have ruined or will ruin Boy Scouting, it's weak leadership from some pros, sex abuse, declining demographics, and a safety/parenting culture that strangles adventure. 

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2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

Our local camps have had co-ed staff for years, female venturers as participants, and foreign visiting Scout troops that were also co-ed.

Female participation of that variety is peripheral and does not change the core of the program. Full integration of girls will fundamentally alter the landscape for boys at all levels of Scouting  (including the program as defined for individual troops).

 

2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

So I'm not in on the sky is falling.

Five years should be enough time for the dust to settle on the LDS exit and determine whether Surbaugh was BSA's savior or executioner.

 

2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

It's not girls that have ruined or will ruin Boy Scouting, it's weak leadership from some pros, sex abuse, declining demographics, and a safety/parenting culture that strangles adventure.

I agree with all you say about strangling adventure.

Now that BSA is making the program gender-neutral, these kind of program changes will continue (and even accelerate) in order to attract more girls. Girls are the future of BSA as we clearly see in Scouting Magazine. Family Scouting = Safety/Parenting Culture - thus strangling adventure even more. That's my take, at least.

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I agree with the comments above, this month's copy was terrible. 

I'll give Scouting Magazine a couple more chances.  If they don't get back to normal by winter and focus on helping me be a better Scouter instead of beating the drum for girls I'll ask them to cancel my subscription.  

I don't care if they have a few pics of girls here and there, but 50/50 through the whole magazine?  

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Not to be too contrarian, but...I know today's helicopter parenting and society's concerns with youth safety have cause some changes in the program, i.e. patrols not heading off for weekends alone without leaders, no squirt guns, paintball, etc.  That said, if you look at the things that were core to the Scouting program in the 60's and 70's that really made the experience, (long backpacking trips, canoe trips, wilderness survival, etc.)  they are all still there for the most part.  It seems that the actual adventure opportunity has increased.  The activities that are done today, whitewater, climbing, zip lines, mountain biking, and everything at 4 high adventure bases certainly provide as much as and more than my troop did.  In total, it would appear to me that the level of challenge- depending on troop leadership has the potential to be more exciting than my experience as a youth, which actually was pretty great (even though I didn't know I was participating in the disaster of the "new program" of the early 70's).  My troop never went to Philmont or Jamborees, but we did a lot of adventurous things that can still be done today.  My troop didn't allow patrols to do their own weekends- not sure even if in the 70's that would have been Ok with our parents.

And honestly, as a youth I didn't miss playing with squirt guns and paintball didn't exist.  Reading the latest issue of Boy's Life, the program still looks pretty exciting to me, doesn't look like we are really "putting kids in bubble wrap". 

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2 hours ago, gblotter said:

Female participation of that variety is peripheral and does not change the core of the program. Full integration of girls will fundamentally alter the landscape for boys at all levels of Scouting  (including the program as defined for individual troops).

Why do you think it's peripherial? We needed female ypt, female leaders, the girls would be on the lake, in merit badges or at the range with the boys. Separate bathrooms and sleeping accommodations had to be arranged. 

I don't expect summer camp or camporees to change much besides the involvement of more females. 

If the BSA mandates changes to the requirements, or requires co-ed troops, sure. Will the influx of untrained leaders cause changes? Maybe, not in my Troop. Not yet. 

Will the membership losses accelerate? Maybe. Probably. Has the BSA been slowly circling the drain for decades? Yes. Will girls fix that? No. Giving youth (male or female) an exciting outdoor program and training their leaders to provide it will. 

If you've hit your breaking point, I won't judge you. I won't talk smack about you or call you a "conditional scouter." We all have our lifespans in this program, we all have our non- negotiables. I just haven't hit mine yet. 

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1 hour ago, Sentinel947 said:

If you've hit your breaking point, I won't judge you. I won't talk smack about you or call you a "conditional scouter." We all have our lifespans in this program, we all have our non- negotiables. I just haven't hit mine yet. 

Thank you for your insightful comments and understanding attitude.

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