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Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

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21 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Mom is still threatening legal action to require all Chartered orgs to go 100% coed across the board. Oh, and going to the school board to make sure the BSA doesn't get to recruit at schools any more.

That doesn't seem exactly right. The threat is that "If we are not assured that she will be allowed to attend and participate fully then legal action may be the next step. I also plan on having a word with the school about allowing an organization to sell a program to girls that is then excluding those girls. In the future, parental permission should be required for outside organizations to use school time to recruit."

That is not threatening legal action to require all units to go co-ed. Just that the troop shouldn't offer a camping opportunity to a pack and exclude some of the pack members. Now I'm skeptical of the potential success of such legal action, as the bsa is a private group and private groups can be exclusionary.

The flip side of the bsa being a private group and their ability to be exclusionary is the somewhat legitimate point that not every private group should be granted access time to schools.

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Legal action seems strong, but as a whole, this pack sure doesn't seem to have their act together.  You can't invite girls to attend and then backpedal.  That is tantamount to gender discrimination.  You're either 100% in or you're not.  I think they are even fine with saying "we're in if we get 5 scouts".  But, inviting girls to join, attending meetings, excluding them from events - that's just wrong.

The other unfortunate thing here is this seems similar to some of the other petty unit politics we see.  Pack makes a decision, someone complains, so they make a different decision.  It gets overlooked when it's more innocuous things.  But, when it comes to something this, the unit creates a mess when they do it.  Someone needs to help the COR/CC make a decision and stick with it.

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@ParkMan this is a situation where the troop leaders don't have the stones to call a spade a spade.

I've been painfully clear to parents that BSA requires me to have 5 female youth and one female ASM. Without that, no troop. Some CO's may skirt the boundaries on this, I'm pretty sure ours wont.

If I were a pro, this would definitely be a situation where I would call GS/USA for their best troop and connect this girl there. I guess that's why I'm not a pro.

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There's probably going to be a lot more of these storms as BSA moves in this new "market" with parents that have no previous Scouting experience.

 

Quote

They only have to be single gender on paper from what I have been told.

This was interesting... and frightening.

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27 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Legal action seems strong, but as a whole, this pack sure doesn't seem to have their act together.  You can't invite girls to attend and then backpedal.  That is tantamount to gender discrimination.  You're either 100% in or you're not.  I think they are even fine with saying "we're in if we get 5 scouts".  But, inviting girls to join, attending meetings, excluding them from events - that's just wrong.

The way I understood the thread was the girl was a member of the Pack, but, the Troop declined to have her on the campout because they aren't interested in co-ed/linked troops.

 

Edit: I don't know anything about the situation other than what the mother shared on reddit, but, the structure is in place to be problematic for the next many months.

Edited by walk in the woods

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42 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

The way I understood the thread was the girl was a member of the Pack, but, the Troop declined to have her on the campout because they aren't interested in co-ed/linked troops.

 

Edit: I don't know anything about the situation other than what the mother shared on reddit, but, the structure is in place to be problematic for the next many months.

Which seems kinda jerk-ish on the part of the troop, IMO. Not that the troop should be at the beck and call of the pack, but the troop visits shouldn't be about just troop recruitment.

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Our troop has a similar situation. A pack said they will bring their AOL girls to our Webelos Outreach campout. We plan to have a linked troop next year so we make plans at camp for the girls and their parents. But won't this be daunting to troops that don't plan on having a linked troop? I understand doing activities with a troop count toward advancement but suing the unit for discrimination because the unit only has boy scouts and doesn't want to set up a linked troop; that's forcing the troop to go against their program.

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I sounds

1 hour ago, walk in the woods said:

The way I understood the thread was the girl was a member of the Pack, but, the Troop declined to have her on the campout because they aren't interested in co-ed/linked troops.

 

Edit: I don't know anything about the situation other than what the mother shared on reddit, but, the structure is in place to be problematic for the next many months.

 

It sounds like the troop did not realize that the pack had a female Webelos when they invited the pack's Webelos to go on a campout with them.  Then after they found out, they seem to have gone back and forth on whether she can come too.  I agree with you.  Things are going to be problematic for many months until things get sorted out.

 

 

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It seems I mis-read it a bit.  I got confused with some of the comments and thought it was the pack that was equivocating here.  I stand corrected and apologize.

I still do not care for this situation though.

1) If a troop invites the den, you can't back out because a girl is a member.  You do your research ahead of time.  if there is a girl, you whole invite her to participate too.

2) If a troop invites a den, they invite the whole den.  If the den is mixed gender, then they simply make clear that there isn't a linked troop here and come joining time, there isn't a membership option for girls. You can't say "we only invite boys".  That's still gender discrimination.

Going forward, if a "boys only" troop wants to host an event with only prospective members, you make it clear that this is what it is and you make it an open invite.  "Troop 234 invites potential future members to join us for an event." etc.

Edited by ParkMan
revised a point
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7 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

It seems I mis-read it a bit.  I got confused with some of the comments and thought it was the pack that was equivocating here.  I stand corrected and apologize.

I still do not care for this situation though.

1) If a troop invites the den, you can't back out because a girl is a member.  You do your research ahead of time.  if there is a girl, you whole invite her to participate too.

2) If a troop invites a den, they invite the whole den.  If the den is mixed gender, then they simply make clear that there isn't a linked troop here and come joining time, there isn't a membership option for girls. You can't say "we only invite boys".  That's still gender discrimination.

Going forward, if a "boys only" troop wants to host an event with only prospective members, you make it clear that this is what it is and you make it an open invite.  "Troop 234 invites potential future members to join us for an event." etc.

Well, except in the new program there aren't any mixed gender dens.  That's kind of the point.  The Pack is operating outside of the defined program and now they are forcing the Troop to do the same thing against their will.

It will be interesting to see how people react when the rolls are reversed next fall (i.e. mixed-gender AoL den visiting an girls troop).

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8 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

If a troop invites a den, they invite the whole den.  If the den is mixed gender, then they simply make clear that there isn't a linked troop here and come joining time, there isn't a membership option for girls. You can't say "we only invite boys".  That's still gender discrimination.

That sounds about right to me. Girls are in Cub Scouts now. Troops can't invite Packs/Dens that are open to girls to Troop functions and then say "No girls allowed." 

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4 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Well, except in the new program there aren't any mixed gender dens.  That's kind of the point.  The Pack is operating outside of the defined program and now they are forcing the Troop to do the same thing against their will.

It will be interesting to see how people react when the rolls are reversed next fall (i.e. mixed-gender AoL den visiting an girls troop).

I gotcha.

We all know that they reason troops invite packs to events is for recruiting.  However, from that pack perspective, these are great events to encourage Scouts to continue along in the program.  We have all kind of Cubs visit our troop knowing full well they will never join.  We do this in order to help these younger Scouts in their journey and hope a few decide to join us.

So, now we're in a world where we might have some girls visit us.  So what?  Yep, they can't join our troop, but we sure can serve as older role models and encourage them to continue along in Scouting.  Even if we decide to stay an all boys troop, we'll still roll out the red carpet.

That doesn't seem such an awful thing to me.  So I guess that's forcing a troop to do something against their will - but I'm struggling to figure out what.  

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4 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I gotcha.

We all know that they reason troops invite packs to events is for recruiting.  However, from that pack perspective, these are great events to encourage Scouts to continue along in the program.  We have all kind of Cubs visit our troop knowing full well they will never join.  We do this in order to help these younger Scouts in their journey and hope a few decide to join us.

So, now we're in a world where we might have some girls visit us.  So what?  Yep, they can't join our troop, but we sure can serve as older role models and encourage them to continue along in Scouting.  Even if we decide to stay an all boys troop, we'll still roll out the red carpet.

That doesn't seem such an awful thing to me.  So I guess that's forcing a troop to do something against their will - but I'm struggling to figure out what.  

I think that sounds great, right up to the point the girl (or boy in next fall's scenario) decide they really want to join that all-boy (or all-girl) troop.  They the troop is forced into the position of saying no, which will initiate another round of threats, accusations of unfairness, "but you let me camp last year" lamentations, and legitimate "I don't want to drive 30 miles to the girls troop" complaints.  Or the CO has to choose to ignore the program structure.  

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Here is the way it would have happened in our boy run troop. The boy run PLC plans a program for dens in the district just like they have been doing for the last 20 years and sends the same invite they have been sending to packs for the last 20 years to their program that the previous PLC planned a year ago. Only this time National made a recent major policy with complicated details That few adults, much less Scouts, understand. And the pack adults are offended. 

As a SM, I would suggest to the SPL that they disinvite that pack because if those adults can’t handle this error, they won’t tolerate our boy run program. 

Scouting was fun until the adults got involved. 

Barry

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29 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

I think that sounds great, right up to the point the girl (or boy in next fall's scenario) decide they really want to join that all-boy (or all-girl) troop.  They the troop is forced into the position of saying no, which will initiate another round of threats, accusations of unfairness, "but you let me camp last year" lamentations, and legitimate "I don't want to drive 30 miles to the girls troop" complaints.  Or the CO has to choose to ignore the program structure.  

Again - I just think you have to be up front here. 

You're not being discriminatory by having a troop for boys or a troop for girls.  Just be clear about who you are and what you're doing.

But, I do think there is a practical difference between:

  • a troop inviting only the boys of a pack to their event
  • a troop that has always been a troop for boys continuing to be a troop for boys.

 

Edited by ParkMan
accidently hit save

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