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gblotter

Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

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55 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

I am beyond frustrated with Scouters calling people liars based off supposition, personal bias and no evidence.

The only person I have called a liar is Surbaugh (because he is). Evidence abounds that he when given the opportunity for honest dialog, he repeatedly chooses to deceive and manipulate instead.

You are frustrated by me calling Surbaugh a liar. I am frustrated by Surbaugh being a liar.

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To be honest, most people who don't mind one way or the other wouldn't bother posting about it on an internet forum, so it's always going to tend towards the extremes one way or another.

What I find interesting is the similarity in reactions to when the UK "bet the farm" on including girls, going from only Ventures being mixed to all sections being mixed. In some places, for some troops, it seemed everyone was against it, and in others everyone was for it. It was in pre internet forum days so none of it remains for posterity. I guess leaders of a feather flock together, and in places a vociferous one or two would convince everyone that was unsure or indifferent of the rightness of their opinion. So while in one troop in our town the leaders left en-mass, and the boys were very anti, in another the leaders switched to the new scheme with gusto, and the kids mostly went along with it.

Girls are still very much the minority in UK scouting, but it's them that's driving the growth. The number of boys is static, while the number of girls is increasing. But then again, so much has changed with the programme and the age ranges and all sorts it's impossible to draw conclusions from the numbers.

Like I've said before, good luck, change on this scale is not an easy path.

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35 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Looking at the definition the word popular - can mean liked by many. This means its not a majority

I can accept that definition. Surbaugh could just as easily say that keeping girls out of BSA has popular support. Instead of asserting popularity, I would prefer to have him honestly discuss the reality of BSA's declining membership and ask for unity and support to fix it and thereby save the movement we all love, even if some fixes may not be desirable by all. But no - we get repeated deceptions and insulting manipulations from this guy. I know - too much to ask.

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8 minutes ago, gblotter said:

The only person I have called a liar is Surbaugh (because he is). Evidence abounds that he when given the opportunity for honest dialog, he repeatedly chooses to deceive and manipulate instead.

You are frustrated by me calling Surbaugh a liar. I am frustrated by Surbaugh being a liar.

But he's got the US Flag behind him....and a blue blazer with the BSA emblem and everything.  Seems to be able to spin a tale, I might by a used car from him....

Image result for michael surbaugh

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10 minutes ago, ianwilkins said:

So while in one troop in our town the leaders left en-mass, and the boys were very anti, in another the leaders switched to the new scheme with gusto, and the kids mostly went along with it.

With the passage of time, I'm confident that everyone in BSA will be in support or at least go along with these changes ... because those opposed will leave the movement.

Voila - problem fixed!

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I think one thing worth adding to Ian’s comments is that prior to scouting becoming coed here the scouts association traditionally had quite a strong relationship with Girl Guides. From everything I have read here it was, and indeed still is, stronger than that between BSA and GSUSA.

The point being that many events were, and indeed still are, joint between the two. Where I grew up in Hertfordshire, just north of London, it was almost unheard of for county events to not include Girl Guides. Similarly in the more rural areas of the country it was not uncommon to see official joint scout and guide groups. So when the change happened there were people who were already well used to girls taking a full part on scout events, just wearing a different uniform.

make of that what you will but worth noting.

Beyond that what Ian said and feel free to pick my (and I assume Ian’s) brain on how things are and what the practicalities are all about.

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17 minutes ago, gblotter said:

The only person I have called a liar is Surbaugh (because he is). Evidence abounds that he when given the opportunity for honest dialog, he repeatedly chooses to deceive and manipulate instead.

You are frustrated by me calling Surbaugh a liar. I am frustrated by Surbaugh being a liar.

Okay, enlighten me with evidence you have he has lied. I don't mean your opinion or the some contortion of "it's evident" or a mistake or misspoken, or an evolution of a position. I mean public lies that are provable beyond reasonable doubt. 

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5 minutes ago, gblotter said:

With the passage of time, I'm confident that everyone in BSA will be in support or at least go along with these changes ... because those opposed will leave the movement.

Voila - problem fixed!

Isn't that always the way?

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1 minute ago, Cambridgeskip said:

I think one thing worth adding to Ian’s comments is that prior to scouting becoming coed here the scouts association traditionally had quite a strong relationship with Girl Guides. From everything I have read here it was, and indeed still is, stronger than that between BSA and GSUSA.

In my opinion, the best solution would have been a closer collaboration between BSA and GSUSA, but not in the cards apparently. Perhaps with better leadership it could have been negotiated.

To frame support for BSA's girl decision, some like to assert that Scouting in the US has been like Scouting in Saudi Arabia or other places that exclude girls (pretending somehow that GSUSA never existed or that they are not real Scouting). How insulting! Scouting opportunities for girls in the US go back more than a century.

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10 minutes ago, gblotter said:

In my opinion, the best solution would have been a closer collaboration between BSA and GSUSA, but not in the cards apparently. 

I don't think that was ever in the cards.  If national reflects state, council, district and local levels, BSA has tried to coordinate multiple times in the past.  GSUSA has not been interested though.  In fact, GSUSA has promoted themselves at times based on problems in the BSA organization.  

IMHO, it would be like expecting Apple and Microsoft to collaborate closer.  Both have partnered repeatedly, but neither is interested in the long-term health of the other except when it's to keep another competitor in check.  Even then, it's only temporary.

 

15 minutes ago, gblotter said:

To frame support for BSA's girl decision, some like to assert that Scouting in the US has been like Scouting in Saudi Arabia or other places that exclude girls (pretending somehow that GSUSA never existed or that they are not real Scouting). How insulting! Scouting opportunities for girls in the US go back more than a century.

I do agree with you that the analogy of US being like Saudi Arabia is way over played and out of context.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, gblotter said:

In my opinion, the best solution would have been a closer collaboration between BSA and GSUSA, but not in the cards apparently. Perhaps with better leadership it could have been negotiated.

While GSUSA and BSA have a common root (Baden-Powell, in Britain) they have been diverging almost from the beginning.   They even jumped the Atlantic separately, with GSUSA arising out of Girl Guides (in the UK) which came from the Boy Scouts (in the UK).     Looking just at the history of the scout law in both organizations:  the BSA took the 9-point scout law, simplified the wording, added three additional points, and then has kept it unchanged for 100 years.   The GSUSA took the (by then) 10-point scout law and kept it essentially unchanged till 1972 and had a major revision in 1972 and yet another since then.    Until the last few years, critics of the BSA have tended to criticize it for being too conservative.   For as long as I can remember GSUSA has been critcized for being too feminist or too liberal.     The BSA program is (correct me if I am wrong) recognizably similar to that of the 1930s. ( I read an old Handbook for Scoutmasters and was impressed by the similarity between it and what I saw in the current online video training.)  The GSUSA program has changed beyond all recognition.  (Just compare the Girl Scout Handbook of 1930 with any of the current GSUSA materials.)

If the two organizations were to have worked in close collaboration, at least one of them (or maybe both) would have had to change a lot.

Edited by Treflienne
fixed typo

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3 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

While GSUSA and BSA have a common root (Baden-Powell, in Britain) they have been diverging almost from the beginning.   They even jumped the Atlantic separately, with GSUSA arising out of Girl Guides (in the UK) which came from the Boy Scouts (in the UK).     Looking just at the history of the scout law in both organizations:  the BSA took the 9-point scout law, simplified the wording, added three additional points, and then has kept it unchanged for 100 years.   The GSUSA took the (by then) 10-point scout law and kept it essentially unchanged till 1972 and had a major revision in 1972 and yet another since then.    Until the last few years, critics of the BSA have tended to criticize it for being too conservative.   For as long as I can remember GSUSA has been critcized for being too feminist or too liberal.     The BSA program is (correct me if I am wrong) recognizably similar to that of the 1930s. ( I read an old Handbook for Scoutmasters and was impressed by the similarity between it and what I saw in the current online video training.)  The GSUSA program has changed beyond all recognition.  (Just compare the Girl Scout Handbook of 1930 with any of the current GSUSA materials.)

If the two organizations were to have worked in close collaboration, at least one of them (or maybe both) would have had to change a lot.

1

Great summary - can't argue with any of that.

With BSA's recent left turns, perhaps the two organizations will soon find themselves closer in alignment. I expect more big decisions from BSA National in the coming years after the LDS exit. BSA will change beyond all recognition, too.

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4 hours ago, gblotter said:

With BSA's recent left turns, perhaps the two organizations will soon find themselves closer in alignment.

Even with the recent changes in BSA, the two organizations are still quite far apart.

It will be interesting what effect this has on GSUSA.

For a number of years now there has been a vocal minority (not sure how large) of traditionalists, long-time-members of GSUSA, who have been complaining about the direction GSUSA has been going, particulary about its turning away from the outdoors.  Will people in this group defect and join BSA, ceasing to try to drag GSUSA back where it came from?  Will GSUSA start to pay attention to this group now that there is a realistic possibility that they could lose them to BSA?

We may see a lot this year.  Will any Daisy, Brownie, or Junior troops defect en masse and join cub scouts as new cub scout dens?  (Maybe not so many, because many seem to be happy with GSUSA as the light-weight crafts-and-field-trips activity that it has become for this age group.)  And in February, will any Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troops decide to become patrols in Scouts BSA troops?  GSUSA might lose some of its most outdoor-experienced and enthusiastic leaders and girls. Or the oldtimers might decide that BSA is just too too culturally different, and that they would miss too many of the traditions and symbols of the Girl Scout / Girl Guide movement.

It won't be enough to look at how GSUSA member numbers change in the short term; the thing to look at will be how many and how active the troops are.  GSUSA may in effect lose more people than changes in the membership numbers will show.  (Some of us adults are lifetime members.  And girls who don't stay active in troops may stay registered so that they can attend summer camp, which is completely separate from the troops.)

As I said, it will be an interesting year.  For both GSUSA and BSA.

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11 hours ago, gblotter said:

What you see depends on where you sit. I see exactly the opposite from my vantage point. I know of many Scouting families adopting a "get done and get out" strategy.

This is what I see also.  I have talked to very few who support.  Most in our District are against it, or they are paid Council staff who have no real choice to but go all in and support it.  There are a few Packs that have girls now, but I don't know of any Troops or COs that are looking to add a girls unit.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, awanatech said:

This is what I see also.  I have talked to very few who support.  Most in our District are against it, or they are paid Council staff who have no real choice to but go all in and support it.  There are a few Packs that have girls now, but I don't know of any Troops or COs that are looking to add a girls unit.  

Exact opposite in my area.  Most are against National’s half baked solution and are working to find legitimate ways to fully integrate.

Edited by Eagle1993
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