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Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

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I personally don't think youth experience is all that helpful as an adult leader. Another Den Leader made the comment to me once that my Eagle rank must be useful now as a DL. I told him the only advantage it gave me was not needing to memorize the oath and law. Other than that, there was nothing that gave me an edge when it comes to wrangling scouts and trying to run a Pack program. 

If there had been a Cat Herding merit badge, then maybe... 😁

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I will say outright that if I were to use my own experiences as a youth in Scouting as the basis for how I lead my den now, it would be a DISASTER. My experiences in Scouting as a kid varied from utterly forgettable to downright miserable, with only a few bright (or at least glow-in-the-dark) exceptions. One of the reasons I have become so invested in Scouting now is specifically to prevent this next generation of boys from going through the mire I trudged through growing up, and to ensure they get a TRUE, successful, positive Scouting experience. I believe in the program, but it can be damaged so easily for adding in the wrong influences. Poor leadership is one. Apathetic, or power-hungry, leaders can totally ruin what Scouting is meant to be. I believe that, in addition, trying to fit the Scouting program on a demographic other than growing boys is a recipe for failure. I think forcing Scouting on girls is like trying to fit the square peg through the round hole - you can take a million pictures of smiling faces, interview all the welcoming Scouts you want, talk to all the parents of that "one little girl who has waited her whole life for this moment" - it doesn't make a difference. Scouting was developed over a hundred years to fit the way boys learn and grow, from the deeply-invested group structure to the outdoor formula, even down the uniforms are something boys are naturally drawn to. But girls are different. And sooner or later, either girls will lose interest and leave because the novelty has worn off and they realize Scouting isn't quite the program they wanted, or girls will lose interest and will start to fundamentally change the program to make it suit them better. I predict the latter, to the great loss of all the boys who needed this program in the first place. 

Not a thousand articles and photographs and studies and surveys could persuade me to believe that this is really what everybody "wants." Because it's all ignoring what both boys, and girls, really need. 

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6 minutes ago, FireStone said:

I personally don't think youth experience is all that helpful as an adult leader.

Perhaps that is true for a Cub Pack (can't really say because I'm quite ignorant about the Cub Scout program), but I see definite advantages to youth experience for Boy Scout adult leaders.

Speaking only of my own situation, my passion for Scouting comes directly from my youth experience. It would be hard for me to generate the same level of dedication as an adult leader without that youthful passion as reference. In a very selfish way, I want my son (and by association his Scouting friends) to have the same kinds of opportunities and experiences that shaped and influenced me so profoundly. How could I be the same kind of adult leader without those youth experiences? Perhaps that also explains why I have no appetite for things like Wood Badge and hanging out with other adult Scouters.

 

 

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1 hour ago, FireStone said:

I personally don't think youth experience is all that helpful as an adult leader

Depends on the richness of your Scout experience. My den built the same crystal radio I did as a Cub.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

Depends on the richness of your Scout experience. My den built the same crystal radio I did as a Cub.

Could be true. I had a poor Cub experience as a kid (lame Pack, never camped, hardly any activities, poor leadership) vs. my Boy Scout experience which was phenomenal. Super active, camped monthly, exceptional leadership, lots of trips and activities. Maybe when I move up to a troop with my son I'll feel differently about this. 

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2 hours ago, FireStone said:

I personally don't think youth experience is all that helpful as an adult leader.

I can't speak about Cubs, the memories are too hazy.

As for Boy Scouts, there's nothing that can replace actually going through the program. The near-flawless patrol experience of Wood Badge is what Scouting would look like in Shangri-La.

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2 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

I will say outright that if I were to use my own experiences as a youth in Scouting as the basis for how I lead my den now, it would be a DISASTER. My experiences in Scouting as a kid varied from utterly forgettable to downright miserable, with only a few bright (or at least glow-in-the-dark) exceptions. One of the reasons I have become so invested in Scouting now is specifically to prevent this next generation of boys from going through the mire I trudged through growing up, and to ensure they get a TRUE, successful, positive Scouting experience. I believe in the program, but it can be damaged so easily for adding in the wrong influences. Poor leadership is one. Apathetic, or power-hungry, leaders can totally ruin what Scouting is meant to be. I believe that, in addition, trying to fit the Scouting program on a demographic other than growing boys is a recipe for failure. I think forcing Scouting on girls is like trying to fit the square peg through the round hole - you can take a million pictures of smiling faces, interview all the welcoming Scouts you want, talk to all the parents of that "one little girl who has waited her whole life for this moment" - it doesn't make a difference. Scouting was developed over a hundred years to fit the way boys learn and grow, from the deeply-invested group structure to the outdoor formula, even down the uniforms are something boys are naturally drawn to. But girls are different. And sooner or later, either girls will lose interest and leave because the novelty has worn off and they realize Scouting isn't quite the program they wanted, or girls will lose interest and will start to fundamentally change the program to make it suit them better. I predict the latter, to the great loss of all the boys who needed this program in the first place. 

Not a thousand articles and photographs and studies and surveys could persuade me to believe that this is really what everybody "wants." Because it's all ignoring what both boys, and girls, really need. 

What a load of horse dung.

Apparently, girls you know don't like to do fun things with their friends, be that camping, hiking, running, exploring, or building things. Girls don't like to feel like they belong in a group, and apparently teamwork is anathema to the way they grow. Girls apparently can't learn through associating with adults. And girl leadership? Ha! Girls are biologically inferior to boys, am i right? No point in wasting valuable time teaching them to look out for their fellows.

We'll just go ahead and ignore the historical fact that girls picked up BP's Scouting just as fast as boys did, when they were allowed to do so.

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Moderator Note:

All y’all need to realize we already have youth women in Venturing, and come February, we will have them in Scouts.  They will sign up for this forum, we’ve had Scouts here in the past  

Heed the below

A Scouter is Helpful

A Scouter is Friendly

A Scouter is Courteous

We hope we don’t have to make this point again

In the meantime, based on the posts to date, this thread belongs in I&P. 

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7 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

In the meantime, based on the posts to date, this thread belongs in I&P. 

It does, and now, here it is.

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Having trained hundreds of Scouters I would say youth experience being a predictor of a quality program is highly overrated.

I have trained some fantastic Eagle Scouts and former Scouts that are an attribute to Scouting, and I have had some that were un-trainable.  The un-trainable one think they know everything, (and are mostly wrong), run units with an iron fist and think the 3 Aims of Scouting are 1. make Eagles, 2. make Eagles, 3. make Eagles.

I would estimate that most of those I have trained had no youth experience. Some gave me cause for concern, but many have approached training with enthusiasm and eager to learn. A good many have gone on to make fine Scouters.

Those that come in willing and eager to lean, want to follow the program and leave knowing that there is still plenty to learn will usually do well. Those that come in thinking they know everything and are determined to put their own personal stamp or brand on their unit usually find themselves in struggling/failing units with a dwindling number of Scouts.

 

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4 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Having trained hundreds of Scouters I would say youth experience being a predictor of a quality program is highly overrated.

I have trained some fantastic Eagle Scouts and former Scouts that are an attribute to Scouting, and I have had some that were un-trainable.  The un-trainable one think they know everything, (and are mostly wrong), run units with an iron fist and think the 3 Aims of Scouting are 1. make Eagles, 2. make Eagles, 3. make Eagles.

I would estimate that most of those I have trained had no youth experience. Some gave me cause for concern, but many have approached training with enthusiasm and eager to learn. A good many have gone on to make fine Scouters.

Those that come in willing and eager to lean, want to follow the program and leave knowing that there is still plenty to learn will usually do well. Those that come in thinking they know everything and are determined to put their own personal stamp or brand on their unit usually find themselves in struggling/failing units with a dwindling number of Scouts.

 

@HelpfulTracks good summary. I might only add to your final sentence “or they find themselves in a unit that puts advancement above all else, and produces only more potential future Scouters that just repeat the pattern”.

 

Eventhe most ardent Scout can forget most of what they learned as a youth, and needs to take training as an adult with an open mind. I still learn things from my fellow trainers at each OLS course I staff. 

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5 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

@HelpfulTracks good summary. I might only add to your final sentence “or they find themselves in a unit that puts advancement above all else, and produces only more potential future Scouters that just repeat the pattern”.

 

Eventhe most ardent Scout can forget most of what they learned as a youth, and needs to take training as an adult with an open mind. I still learn things from my fellow trainers at each OLS course I staff. 

Nice addendum. well said.

I love that last sentence. I would say that I cannot remember a training course I have conducted that I didn't learn something new.

I actually told my son, who has gone through many training courses as well as staffed NYLT, the same thing when he started in with talk about having learned all he can with Scout training. Fortunately, he has come around.

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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46 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

What a load of horse dung.

Apparently, girls you know don't like to do fun things with their friends, be that camping, hiking, running, exploring, or building things. Girls don't like to feel like they belong in a group, and apparently teamwork is anathema to the way they grow. Girls apparently can't learn through associating with adults. And girl leadership? Ha! Girls are biologically inferior to boys, am i right? No point in wasting valuable time teaching them to look out for their fellows.

We'll just go ahead and ignore the historical fact that girls picked up BP's Scouting just as fast as boys did, when they were allowed to do so.

Forgiving and editing first of all the crass nature of your response, might I ask what your sarcastic comments have to do with my thoughts? You did after all quote my comments before going off on this diatribe, but seeing as I have never made any claims such as the ones you mockingly seem to attribute to me, and seeing as I tried to express my thoughts diplomatically (though plainly), I don't see how this kind of post contributes to the conversation. Certainly I have never suggested any such vulgar nor bigoted remarks as these, yet you seem to imply that they are somehow the "next step" in my line of thinking. THIS IS NOT SO.

I apologize if you chose to interpret my comments as such, but it does neither of us any good to talk like this, and it only damages both points of view. So I offer my apologies again if you wrongly interpreted my feelings, and hope we can return to a more civil discourse on this issue. For now, perhaps I had best retreat from this particular thread for a time.

Edited by The Latin Scot

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