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Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

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1 minute ago, Eagledad said:

I think it's how our wives have trained us.

Barry

So true!!!

My wife does not want me out camping out in the woods with young females, for good reason.

If I mess up and destroy my life by crossing the wrong female.  I destroy my wife's life as well.   I have to stay safe so that my wife can stay safe.  

I always have to think of what is best for both myself and my family. 

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6 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

We seem to have lots of these posts.  Some parent showed up at a troop, didn't understand Scouting, took over, and ruined it all.  Sometimes folks try to associate that with women - but not always.  

The common thread I see in these is a troop that can't seem to figure out how to rally around a defined program and channel adult energy accordingly.  It has nothing to do with male vs. female.  At the unit level, the failing is in understanding that organizing adult energy and having a defined culture is something you have to work at. 

At a national level, I'd argue that we've missed the boat on preparing adults to lead programs.  We focus on so much on SM training around Scout skills that we've neglected those skills you need to deploy a program.

There’s also a theme of 1 family having multiple positions within the key 3. 

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Just now, malraux said:

There’s also a theme of 1 family having multiple positions within the key 3. 

Yeah - time to outlaw nepotism within the key 3.

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1 minute ago, malraux said:

There’s also a theme of 1 family having multiple positions within the key 3. 

Sometimes that is a necessity due to size, in some cases it is someone making their little empire.

 

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4 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

We seem to have lots of these posts.  Some parent showed up at a troop, didn't understand Scouting, took over, and ruined it all.  Sometimes folks try to associate that with women - but not always.  

The common thread I see in these is a troop that can't seem to figure out how to rally around a defined program and channel adult energy accordingly.  It has nothing to do with male vs. female.  At the unit level, the failing is in understanding that organizing adult energy and having a defined culture is something you have to work at. 

At a national level, I'd argue that we've missed the boat on preparing adults to lead programs.  We focus on so much on SM training around Scout skills that we've neglected those skills you need to deploy a program.

This wood badge trained mom used the fact that she was a woman as the primary weapon to take over the pack, troop, crew and district. . .   being a woman has been her shield.   No man can do that.    

 

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I’m sure it can work in some situations, but it also means that if it starts going bad, it’s hard for someone to fix. 

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9 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

At a national level, I'd argue that we've missed the boat on preparing adults to lead programs.  We focus on so much on SM training around Scout skills that we've neglected those skills you need to deploy a program.

Sadly it comes down more often to who will step up and actually do the job needed.  Many times it's not so much the choice of Mr/Mrs Right and more the case of Mr/Mrs Right Now.   The DE is charged with adding more units and scouts, they need a leader and X number of adults and Y number of youth.  If you sign up and pay your fees, you are the leader.  The professional is not looking for the best leader, they just need A leader.  In some cases the CO will be engaged, but often not so much.

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1 minute ago, cocomax said:

This wood badge trained mom used the fact that she was a woman as the primary weapon to take over the pack, troop, crew and district. . .   being a woman has been her shield.   No man can do that.    

 

She's taking over because your pack, troop, crew, and district have weak leaders who don't know how to lead a group of people.  That she is a women is not the problem.  I have lots of very strong female leaders in our pack, troop, and crew and it works perfectly fine. 

 

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9 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

She's taking over because your pack, troop, crew, and district have weak leaders who don't know how to lead a group of people.  That she is a women is not the problem.  I have lots of very strong female leaders in our pack, troop, and crew and it works perfectly fine. 

 

That's one possibility.  Another is the pack, troop, crew and district have leaders who have no interest in working for, with, or supervising a tyrant.  Especially in a volunteer position.  To be clear, there's a significant difference between strong leaders and tyrants.  Although my experience these days is if you push back on, or disagree with, a female tyrant you're accused of sexism right out of the box.

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1 minute ago, ParkMan said:

She's taking over because your pack, troop, crew, and district have weak leaders who don't know how to lead a group of people.  That she is a women is not the problem.  I have lots of very strong female leaders in our pack, troop, and crew and it works perfectly fine. 

 

Do you know who all the "weak leaders" who let this happen?  They are almost all men.

Do you know why they let it happen?   They are all afraid of her.

Do you know why they are afraid of her?  Because she is a woman.

Why are they afraid of a woman?

I am VERY afraid of women like her, does that make me a "weak leader"?  I do not have the skill set to even begin to deal with a women like that.

 

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13 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

We seem to have lots of these posts.  Some parent showed up at a troop, didn't understand Scouting, took over, and ruined it all.  Sometimes folks try to associate that with women - but not always.  

The common thread I see in these is a troop that can't seem to figure out how to rally around a defined program and channel adult energy accordingly.  It has nothing to do with male vs. female.  At the unit level, the failing is in understanding that organizing adult energy and having a defined culture is something you have to work at. 

Your cultural defensiveness is  showing your ignorance. Many times we are talking about issues that are the result of adult leaders who don't have any previous scouting experience. The fact is the vast majority of inexperienced adult leaders are women. And, hold on to your seat ParkMan, but the vast vast majority of adult leaders without any camping experience are women. And over the years I've been working this issue, I also found that while a lot of mothers are willing to learn camping skills, the great majority don't. We even had one female SM bragging how good her scouts were with crafts because she just didn't like camping all that much.

In fact, I have worked with several female Scoutmasters and I can say none of them really cared for the Patrol Method. It's too chaotic letting scouts run the show. That being said, we have had a couple really good female Patrol Method Scoutmasters on this forum. I just never work with one personally. 

The BSA has been working with that issue since 1990 when they brought women leaders into the troop programs. The big training changes you saw around 2000 were the result of better training for unexperienced adults, that was motivated the surge of inexperienced adult leaders in 1990. 

I spent a lot of time working in the Webelos area that suffers from huge membership drop out numbers. We found that female bear leaders who were burning out had no desire to camp and teach outdoor skills. As a result, they either quit or put on a very boring program. 

There are many areas of the scouting program that is struggling as a result of unexperienced scout leaders. As soon as you can get past your bias toward traditional scouters, you can help work the problem.

Barry

 

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7 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

... The fact is the vast majority of inexperienced adult leaders are women. And, hold on to your seat ParkMan, but the vast vast majority of adult leaders without any camping experience are women. And over the years I've been working this issue, I also found that while a lot of mothers are willing to learn camping skills, the great majority don't. We even had one female SM bragging how good her scouts were with crafts because she just didn't like camping all that much.

In fact, I have worked with several female Scoutmasters and I can say none of them really cared for the Patrol Method. It's too chaotic letting scouts run the show. That being said, we have had a couple really good female Patrol Method Scoutmasters on this forum. I just never work with one personally. ...

 

And the 80-90 year old GS moms shake their heads.

If only we had a system of sequential awards that could be given as an adult showed demonstrated skills mastery signed off by the SPL (or a mentoring young Eagle scout on loan from another troop) ... something that maybe was used in the past to get entire populations of new leaders up to speed ... hmmmmmm.

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24 minutes ago, qwazse said:

 

And the 80-90 year old GS moms shake their heads.

If only we had a system of sequential awards that could be given as an adult showed demonstrated skills mastery signed off by the SPL (or a mentoring young Eagle scout on loan from another troop) ... something that maybe was used in the past to get entire populations of new leaders up to speed ... hmmmmmm.

I guess. I worked with a lot of female ASMs who were mostly excited about learning scout skills. I pacified them as much as I could, but I mostly tried to teach them the fine art of sitting around the campfire all day long. Really!

All I want from adults is for them to understand the Vision of helping scouts become moral and ethical decision makers. The scouts' Scout Handbook and Leaders Handbooks have enough information for them to do the other scouting stuff.

You said it a few days ago, scouting really doesn't require very many adults. Just one really.  But, adults want to reinvent the wheel when they feel power. They want to use their new found power to be relevant.  That patch on their shoulder seems to be a battery pack for that power. 

Get ready for the new wave of inexperienced adult leaders. I remember when we spent most of our time in the Patrol Method forum. Ah! Those were the good-ol days.:wub:

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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I like your idea, @qwazse. We were talking about how to get some parents to help out more and I suggested putting them in a patrol and teach them the patrol method (nod to @Eagledad). Not only that but they'd start having some fun and might see scouts differently. I always told people that one really great thing about scouts is you can do something with your son, it's not just standing on the sideline or in the audience.

As to the rest of this thread, let's at least get back to the topic of the BSA betting on girls. I don't think it will have a huge impact on numbers, based on what I've seen in other parts of the world. I also don't think BSA is "betting the farm." Once this plays out I hope there is a consensus that it's time to start looking elsewhere about what will help. If the only thing holding scouts together is the knowledge of a bunch of old guys then that is the problem the BSA should work on. Once they can put a dent in that we can relax and just enjoy watching the camp fire.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

... Many times we are talking about issues that are the result of adult leaders who don't have any previous scouting experience. The fact is the vast majority of inexperienced adult leaders are women....

In fact, I have worked with several female Scoutmasters and I can say none of them really cared for the Patrol Method. It's too chaotic letting scouts run the show. That being said, we have had a couple really good female Patrol Method Scoutmasters on this forum. I just never work with one personally. 

The BSA has been working with that issue since 1990 when they brought women leaders into the troop programs. The big training changes you saw around 2000 were the result of better training for unexperienced adults, that was motivated the surge of inexperienced adult leaders in 1990. ...

Barry

 

I'd expand upon this. Even Scouters WITH experience as a youth, may have it wrong because of their youth experiences.  I know of one Eagle Scout SM who does not like to camp. He came up in the 1970s ISP and rarely went camping. If the weather is not going to be picture perfect, he cancels. Doesn't understand the need for all the camping, when earning Eagle is the goal. I knew another Eagle whose troop was micromanaged by the SM. While active, the SM was the one  deciding on trips,  dictating cooking requirements, etc. Long story short, he ran his troop the same exact way. And don't even try get him to training, He's an Eagle and knows what to do.

Regarding Wood Badge and other training. 1) Training has been dumbed down since I went through it many years ago. So much is left out. I think the current training gives some folks a false sense of knowledge and security. 2) The current Wood Badge, in an attempt to be "One size fits all" does not do enough justice to the programs. It does not cover the different programs adequately enough. And from what I've read and seen, the material for Scouts in the course use to be covered in the old Scoutmaster Fundamentals training.

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