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Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

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"Now tell me why boys should not feel they have lost their Scouting program? I predict BSA will lose more boys than girls gained for a net loss of overall membership. Faced with this reality, they'll change to program to make it even more girl-friendly. Boys are the failing segment of our society right now, and nobody cares - nobody. "

The crux of the argument to me is in this sentence... I don't think ANYONE believes this is not a great opportunity for female youth.  But, did anyone stop to ask IF it was in the best interest of the male youth?  Yes, males need to learn how to interact with females... I don't discount this.  However, they get a heaping helping of this already at school, at church youth group, at sports, at any other youth activity ever.  BSA was the last place that boys could interact with just boys.  And yes, boys need to be boys - with the boys...  Not to be misogynistic, not to be chauvinistic, not to bash on feminists...not to tell penis jokes and make fun of the opposite sex... but to be BOYS.  Anyone who doesn't understand that the dynamic is changed when you go Co-ed is fooling themselves.

Do some people complain too much on these boards?  Maybe.  But its one of the FEW places a dissenting opinion can be stated.  You try to even breach the subject on any of the boards that National has their hand in... the content is removed immediately.  You try to contact national with ANY expectation of a response... you're pissing in the wind (I've tried multiple times).  They've gone incommunicato... sans their talking point briefs handed down from on high to the paid scouters at council and their PR campaign.

John-KC = while I respect your sentiment that this thread should be in I&P... that shows the exact distain for "conditional scouters" that is being projected from national !!  How is the largest membership shift in BSA history NOT a PROGRAM issue?

I understand national's need to promote BSA4G... but the saturation point is salt in the wound to those who disagree with the move in the first place.  Most of the information put out doesn't give clear guidance on how to implement either... Its just Ra, ra, ra... this is going to be GREAT !!

As for what the youth want?  Since when does a 11-17 year old know?  You don't think this younger generation is plugged into (probably even more so than us old farts) the idea that hell hath no fury like a pissed off feminist?  They know better than to try and cross something that would get them perceived to be non-PC.  Heck, in most their schools... even voicing such an opinion, no matter how polite, would get them expelled.  Its been that way for them since Kindergarden !!

You want proof that its not a popular idea?  Well, since national won't make their "studies" public (of which I was never once asked to participate... despite being a 10+ year scouter and holding leadership in both a Cub unit and Troop - one of which was a key 3).... Let's look at data we DO have.  What do the FOS donations look like this year?  When people are not listened to or given a voice... they vote in one of two ways.... with their feet (which may or may not be happening - remains to be seen) OR with their pocketbook (that one is pretty dang obvious in the past 12 months).  I agree that most will surround themselves with like minded folks and just repeat in their own echo chamber what they already hold to be the axiom to the question at hand.

So, I question the following:

1) Its good for girls... will it be in the best interest of boys?  Does BSA even CARE about the second part of the question anymore?  Did they EVER care?

2) Of the people who are PRO BSA4G in theory.... how many actually have female youth that will be signing up?  How many will be adult leaders in female units?  The news media and celebrity endorsements are nice... but they have an opinion based on what is "fair" and how they want their world view reflected in the institutions of our country.  Very few (if any) actually have daughters that will sign up.

3) How many boys are gunning Eagle right now in an attempt to bolt?  Once the LDS dust settles, what will the net loss / gain in membership be?  Once those cute little gals in cubbies cross over from co-ed cub units into Troops after Web II, how many of them (or their parents) do you think are going to be OK with "separate, but equal" troops?  Not many, I would venture to guess.  Full integrated co-ed troops will be the norm within 5 years.  I'm not sure this wasn't the intent of national all along.

So yes, a LOT of long time scouters are dismayed, some a outright pissed off.  Because, it was supposed to be ABOUT THE BOYS.  Can we say that is true anymore?  If it is not, then BSA has already morphed into something it has never been, nor was intended to be.  Whether the phoenix rises from the ash of the old BSA to become the premium outdoor / youth led program for all youth remains to be seen.

I am seriously concerned for the wellbeing of the organization (whatever form it takes in the next decade).  Me voicing my concerns about that does NOT make me a conditional scouter or unscoutlike in the least.

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7 hours ago, Saltface said:

Wood Badge is the Family Life MB of adult training. It's too much information for someone in their first year of Scouting and not enough useful information for someone in their fifth year. 

So what would the optimal year for wood badge be?

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4 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

 

So, I question the following:

1) Its good for girls... will it be in the best interest of boys?  Does BSA even CARE about the second part of the question anymore?  Did they EVER care?

Do you really think BSA doesn't care about their current as well as future largest demographic? You really think they didn't ever care? If you want serious answers, start by asking serious questions and leave the facetious hyperbole in the trash bin of un posted musings.

4 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

2) Of the people who are PRO BSA4G in theory.... how many actually have female youth that will be signing up?  How many will be adult leaders in female units?  The news media and celebrity endorsements are nice... but they have an opinion based on what is "fair" and how they want their world view reflected in the institutions of our country.  Very few (if any) actually have daughters that will sign up.

So far, well over 10,000 have signed up. We likely will not have a good idea of the impact for 2-3 years once female troops are operational for a full year or more. Since there are already a significant number of female leaders in both cub and boy scouts, I don't think recruitment of adult leaders will be the biggest deterrent in the long run. In the short run yes simply because all positions must be staffed within a year (effectively 100% turn over) but over time, I don't see recruitment of leaders being a major problem - and if it is, then we simply won't have that many girl troops. As a supporter of BSA4G, I am OK with that. If I want it to succeed, then I need to be willing to step up to the plate and volunteer. I've already asked the mother of a new AOL gril to be my ADL so that I have adequate YPT coverage. If they want their daughter to be in scouts, then someone will have to step up.

4 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

3) How many boys are gunning Eagle right now in an attempt to bolt? 

No way to know but I doubt it is wide spread. I've yet to hear a single boy in my son's troop even bring up the topic. We will have a better sense of this potential problem next summer once girl troops are attending summer camp with boy troops. The only "forced" interaction they may have prior would be spring camporees or MB Workshops.

4 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

Once the LDS dust settles, what will the net loss / gain in membership be?  Once those cute little gals in cubbies cross over from co-ed cub units into Troops after Web II, how many of them (or their parents) do you think are going to be OK with "separate, but equal" troops?  Not many, I would venture to guess.  Full integrated co-ed troops will be the norm within 5 years.  I'm not sure this wasn't the intent of national all along.

Again, no idea and it is useless speculation right now. As a supporter of BSA4G, I tend to prefer gender exclusivity. I tend to like the idea, for both my son and my daughter, that if they run for SPL, they would only face off against someone of the same gender. Now, I won't complain if troops end up like packs with single gender patrols but I think both genders will have greater opportunities if they keep separate PoR structures. Nothing will make up for the departure of LDS and I have my doubts that we will be able to successfully measure the impact of including girls due to the much larger impact of losing LDS.

4 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

So yes, a LOT of long time scouters are dismayed, some a outright pissed off.  Because, it was supposed to be ABOUT THE BOYS.  Can we say that is true anymore?  If it is not, then BSA has already morphed into something it has never been, nor was intended to be.  Whether the phoenix rises from the ash of the old BSA to become the premium outdoor / youth led program for all youth remains to be seen.

There is no way to know which position has the greatest amount of support among "long time scouters" so again it is useless to speculate. Additionally, I don't know if it even should matter that much. Scouting is for the youth. It isn't for scouters. We either adapt or we move on. We are all "conditional scouters" after all. For some of us, the changing conditions increase our commitment instead of lessening such.

4 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

I am seriously concerned for the wellbeing of the organization (whatever form it takes in the next decade).  Me voicing my concerns about that does NOT make me a conditional scouter or unscoutlike in the least.

We are all conditional scouters. We all have our breaking points.

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19 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Do you really think BSA doesn't care about their current as well as future largest demographic? You really think they didn't ever care? If you want serious answers, start by asking serious questions and leave the facetious hyperbole in the trash bin of un posted musings.

Yeah Hawkwin... it is a serious question.  From the standpoint that over the past 12 to 18 months (at least), BSA seems to have taken the "boys" for granted.  Its ALL BSA4G, ALL the time.  Don't think the boys do not notice this.  What I mean by asking if they ever cared... does the powers that be in Irving actually care about the scouts?  Or is it (and has always been) about how to retain the most members?

I ask this because back when they had the LDS pumping their coffers and meeting rooms full (and to a lesser extent the Catholic churches).... then it was OK to exclude gays, it was OK to ask members (both youth and adult) to "go away" if they professed a lack of some type of faith.  That was a calculated membership exclusion based predominantly on the views of some of BSA's deepest pockets.  The secular views have shifted somewhat, but not that much in the past 5 years, to make the case that BSA somehow just became "enlightened" with regards to their membership standards.

The shift in admission policy correlates directly with the loss of support from those "traditionalist" entities.  This makes me think that the membership standards have more to do with WHO they can recruit and retain with the blowing winds of popular opinion, than it EVER had to do with any "morally straight" or "reverent" ideals that BSA (at the national level) supposedly supports.

Sorry, I don't see it as facetious hyperbole or musing at all.  Its a question about the integrity of those who sit in meetings and hand down the "rules" of the program  the volunteers are supposed to implement.

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Thanks for all the replies.  @MattR - I'll try to keep this to topic as much as I can.  Also - I apologize in advance that this will be a bit long.

Let me pull a few key responses to respond to:

7 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

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.

Yes - I fully acknowledge that there are jerks in any organization - Scouting included.

7 hours ago, cocomax said:

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.

 

I've been in senior leadership roles in Scouting units for the better part of 10 years.  Cubmaster, Pack, Troop, & Crew Committee Chair.  A few district leadership roles as well.  Served on Wood Badge staff as well a couple of times.  In that time, I've led countless Scouting teams.  I worked with well over 200 volunteers.  At least 100 of them have been women.  Just like the men, those women come from a wide range of backgrounds and careers.  I've had plenty of executives, lawyers, doctors, teachers, professors, police officers, and many other backgrounds.  Many of these women are strong, highly competent people.  

Never once have I been concerned about being accused of sexism.  But, along with that, I've never uttered the phrase "a female tyrant".  Sure I've had jerks - but that's regardless of gender.  Never in that time have I looked at the behavior of a female leader and thought "well, she can get away with that because she's a woman."  I expect I get no comments about sexism because I treat all the adults equally.  

In my current role as Troop Committee Chair, I have a team of 35+ adult volunteers.  About 50% just pop in to help with a special project from time to time.  The other 50% have defined roles in the troop.  We have an org. chart.  We have senior volunteers and junior volunteers.  When some new adult shows up full of energy, I listen to their interests.  I watch them for a while.  Eventually, it becomes apparent how they'd like to help.  Then, I give them a great troop job with tons of responsibility.  We do our best to be as boy led as possible. 

7 hours ago, Eagledad said:

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

 

Our troop has about 100 scouts today.  Having a boy led troop of 100 scouts provides lots of opportunities for adults to do stuff.  There's a huge budget, with a constant stream of payments, there's lots of fundraising, there's lot of boards of review, that's STEM programs, merit badge counselors to recruit, equipment to buy, 2-3 camping trips a month to recruit adults and drivers for, high adventure trips, packs to interact with, family email lists to co-ordinate, websites to maintain.  I could keep going.  I need strong leaders in our program.  I don't have time to micromanage our Webelos recruiting program.  I need a strong leader who can make sure that gets done.

As Committee Chair, I rarely interact with Scouts and program stuff.  That's the Scoutmasters job.  But, what I do try to do is make sure we've got a steady funnel of adults building experience.  It's very rare for an adult to show up and immediately jump to significant ASM roles.  Why?  Because there are usually 4-5 other ASMs that are active that have been there 4+ years that serve that function.  Newer adults - be they ASMs or Committee Members - take on small jobs while they learn about Scouting.  I have a 2-3 year plan for the troop organizationally, so I am very aware of what skill sets we need.

Every once in a while, I'll get an adult who gets a little carried away with them self.  It usually just takes a conversation or two to get them back on the team.  I do that by working with them to explain our vision for the troop - why we do things the way we do and where we are going with it.  I then bend over backwards to find them a constructive role in the troop.  But, if I have to, I've got no problem telling them that I need them to be a better team player.  From time to time someone will get a bit heated - it usually just takes me pushing back publicly in the troop committee meeting a few times.  They get the message.

And yes, we have LOTS of adults with no camping experience.  Camping experience is crucial for the ASM working with the new scouts.  But, camping experience is not that important for our fundraising chair or membership chair.  Our Scoutmaster has 30+ years of Scouting experience, but couldn't keep our website updated.  It's putting folks in the right places to be successful.

I share all of this because when I say strong leader this is what I mean.  It has nothing to do with my cultural defensiveness or ignorance about Scouting.  It's about working with people to build a team and organization.  I know our troop represents a large troop experience.  But, even with a small troop, you can do much the same things. 

As we embark on the path of adding girls and more adult leaders, my wish for packs and troops is that they take this opportunity to build their team.  So, rather than coming up with reasons why we don't want moms with no camping experience around, find ways to get them plugged in.  If the really want to work directly with the boys, help them to build the skills to do that.

Sorry this is so long.

 

 

Edited by ParkMan
fixed a problem where the message was present twice
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27 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

So what would the optimal year for wood badge be?

When there was Cub Scout Trainer Wood Badge and Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge ( Sorry I cannot tell you about Explorer WB, before my time), you had to have a MINIMUM of two years in the program's WB course you were registering for in order to participate. And it was 2 separate programs that focused on specifics on either Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. And when there was Explorere Leader WB, it focused on Exploring. 

Currently there is no minimum tenure requirement,. or if there is , it is not adhered to, and councils want bodies for the classes. Also since the current course is trying to cram 3 programs into one course, I feel a lot of program specific information is left out. I see it with some WB  not having the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities

 

27 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Do you really think BSA doesn't care about their current as well as future largest demographic? You really think they didn't ever care? If you want serious answers, start by asking serious questions and leave the facetious hyperbole in the trash bin of un posted musings.

Actually yes I do. National is not concerned about what the boots on the ground want. Best example of that would be the "InstaPalm" poll where 94% of those surveyed were either AGAINST (16%)  or STRONGLY AGAINST (78%) doing away with tenure, but they did it anyway.

And let's not forget, there is a lot of evidence, as posted in other threads on this topic, to show that the decision was made prior to the town halls. The speed and timing of the town halls, the biased poll questions, the release of gender neutral applications before the town halls were even announced, statements by Surbaugh that big changes were coming, ad nasueum

 

27 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

So far, well over 10,000 have signed up. We likely will not have a good idea of the impact for 2-3 years once female troops are operational for a full year or more. Since there are already a significant number of female leaders in both cub and boy scouts, I don't think recruitment of adult leaders will be the biggest deterrent in the long run. In the short run yes simply because all positions must be staffed within a year (effectively 100% turn over) but over time, I don't see recruitment of leaders being a major problem - and if it is, then we simply won't have that many girl troops. As a supporter of BSA4G, I am OK with that. If I want it to succeed, then I need to be willing to step up to the plate and volunteer. I've already asked the mother of a new AOL gril to be my ADL so that I have adequate YPT coverage. If they want their daughter to be in scouts, then someone will have to step up.

Or they will do what many here and on Facebook are doing, becoming de facto coed dens. @DeanRx  said coed troops will be the norm in 5 years. I say,  2 years, 3 tops. Heck as soon as they announced separate troops, they came back a few months later with Linked Troops.

 

As for recruiting volunteers, a lot of them will have no experience with BSA's programs. That will make programming interesting. and if enough people complain, the program WILL change. Look at the current Cub Scout program. There was a team that s[pend several years coming up with the June 2015- December 2016 program. IMHO it was a good program. Did it take more planning to implement? Yes. Was it doable? YES. Was a lot of information provided to implement the changes?  Yes, but I personally could have loved it coming out sooner. But folks who didn't attend the RTs going over this had problems. Packs not willing to adapt complained. and the progream changed.

Enough girls complain, and the program will change.

 

27 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

No way to know but I doubt it is wide spread. I've yet to hear a single boy in my son's troop even bring up the topic. We will have a better sense of this potential problem next summer once girl troops are attending summer camp with boy troops. The only "forced" interaction they may have prior would be spring camporees or MB Workshops.

 

A lot of Scouts feel pressured to keep their mouths shut on this matter. There is a lot of societal pressure to accept it and be done. But what is interesting is that when my troop did an anonymous online poll, 50% of the troop will leave if we become a linked troop.

 

27 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Again, no idea and it is useless speculation right now. As a supporter of BSA4G, I tend to prefer gender exclusivity. I tend to like the idea, for both my son and my daughter, that if they run for SPL, they would only face off against someone of the same gender. Now, I won't complain if troops end up like packs with single gender patrols but I think both genders will have greater opportunities if they keep separate PoR structures. Nothing will make up for the departure of LDS and I have my doubts that we will be able to successfully measure the impact of including girls due to the much larger impact of losing LDS.

 Regarding the true impact of LDS withdrawal and membership loss due to girls is easy to calculate. Don't include the LDS membership figures when calculating loss or gain? After all, National didn't include LDS  membership in the western region when they did their poll on whether or not to accept homosexual youth a few years back. Again subtract the LDS numbers from the current membership, and go from there.

 

27 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

There is no way to know which position has the greatest amount of support among "long time scouters" so again it is useless to speculate. Additionally, I don't know if it even should matter that much. Scouting is for the youth. It isn't for scouters. We either adapt or we move on. We are all "conditional scouters" after all. For some of us, the changing conditions increase our commitment instead of lessening such.

 

True Scouting is for the youth. But someone must stand up for the developmental needs of the boys. The program was created with them in mind. Boys are suffering in our society. Higher drop out rates, higher crime rates, higher drug usage,lower percentage going to college, etc. Someone needs to look out for them.

 

27 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

We are all conditional scouters. We all have our breaking points.

Yes,.

 

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2 hours ago, Treflienne said:

So what would the optimal year for wood badge be?

That would depend on your Scouting experience and previous exposure to Stephen R. Covey. Two years might still be the best generic answer for a Scoutmaster or ASM. 

I’d be curious to know what Bear or Wolf den leaders found most useful at WB (other than how to deal with other adults).

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whining:

present participle:

    complain in a feeble or petulant way



That's all I hear out of these conversations about girls in scouts anymore. Whining. Parents and leaders do a lot for scouting but the lack of actual scouts and the funds derived from them dictate the programs and events quality and even longevity more than anything else. So while recruiting may initially go up and give us a lift, it's doubtful Scout retention is going to remain up or down significantly with the adding of girls. Fact is when boys get to a certain age they stop coming to Scouts. The younger ones start "feeling their Oates" and rebel against most anything that resembles responsibility or authority. For older boys it's a job, to earn money to go on dates. Cars, to go on dates. And....Dates. Those aren't the only reasons of course but they probably account for the majority of those who walk away from Scouts. And when the girls are in the same situation they are going to do similarly. Nothing is going to change those social and biological factors. 4% of Scouts make it to Eagle. Girls Scouts equivalent rank to Eagle is the Gold Award and only 5% of the girls earn it. That speaks to the fact that some individuals, boy or girl, will have the drive and desire to set goals and succeed and others won't no matter how much family or SM's push. Period. No amount of scapegoating about possible changes to requirements to placate "female interests" or the ruination of a "boys experience" will change that.

 

National's decision has been made, so accept it and learn how best to move forward. Or quit Scouts and join a different youth group of which there are hundreds if not thousands in the US. Watch out though, most of them are Co-Ed as well.

 
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5 hours ago, Saltface said:

That would depend on your Scouting experience and previous exposure to Stephen R. Covey. Two years might still be the best generic answer for a Scoutmaster or ASM. 

I’d be curious to know what Bear or Wolf den leaders found most useful at WB (other than how to deal with other adults).

I went to Wood badge right after my second son crossed over to Boy Scouts, I had graduated as his Den Leader, and I was continuing with Cubs as Assistant Cub Master.   My husband is going to WB this year, his third year as an ASM.  (I'm a Fox married to a Bear.)  I sell Wood Badge to cub level Scouters by saying that I was never a Boy Scout, and Wood Badge lets me experience Scouting the way my boys will in their troops, so it's a great chance for non youth members to get more of a taste of what it's like for the boys. 

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1 minute ago, WisconsinMomma said:

I went to Wood badge right after my second son crossed over to Boy Scouts, I had graduated as his Den Leader, and I was continuing with Cubs as Assistant Cub Master.   My husband is going to WB this year, his third year as an ASM.  (I'm a Fox married to a Bear.)  I sell Wood Badge to cub level Scouters by saying that I was never a Boy Scout, and Wood Badge lets me experience Scouting the way my boys will in their troops, so it's a great chance for non youth members to get more of a taste of what it's like for the boys. 

I went as a wolf den leader, but I had pretty substantial scouting experience when I was younger. That was the right time for me as it gave me a pretty good recontextualization of that knowledge. It certainly showed me that my troop from way back then wasn't as scout led as it should have been, and gave a good exemplar of a well functioning troop. Certainly for me early in my scoutering career was right, but I could see it being wrong for others.

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5 hours ago, Saltface said:

I’d be curious to know what Bear or Wolf den leaders found most useful at WB (other than how to deal with other adults).

 

 I think the best thing you get out of Wood Badge is meeting other great Scouters from your area.  It's the networking, and meeting great people inspires you to live the Oath and Law. 

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8 hours ago, DeanRx said:

...  So yes, a LOT of long time scouters are dismayed, some a outright pissed off.  Because, it was supposed to be ABOUT THE BOYS.  Can we say that is true anymore?  If it is not, then BSA has already morphed into something it has never been, nor was intended to be.  Whether the phoenix rises from the ash of the old BSA to become the premium outdoor / youth led program for all youth remains to be seen. ...

A lot of long-time scouters have been vocal proponents of fully co-ed programs, and they are jubilant. They had been dismayed for decades as they saw girls marginalized. As they saw the organization meant for girls marginalize girls who we would deem ideal scouts. As they saw post-modern nomadic boys denied time for scouting because their parents put them in family programs. As they saw co-ed international scouts taking on dynamic leadership roles ... working with their opposite sex counterparts to run dynamic programs ... with very-big smiles on their faces.

Long time scouters endured one of the most profound and insulting fallacies: "ABOUT THE BOYS" was never intended to mean "not about the girls"!  The adjective "boy" was intended to be in contrast to the more common understanding of military scouts. Worse was my personal experience: the scouters who sputtered the "ABOUT THE BOYS" mantra (members of this forum excepted, I think) lived and breathed adult-lead, troop method, plop-camping. The resulting abandonment by boys who took their sisters and girlfriends to the family cabin was glaring.

So, sure, I don't want any scouter (old salt or newbie) to be "dismayed and pissed off" about the future. But I didn't want any scouters of the past four decades to be dismayed and indignant either.

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12 hours ago, DeanRx said:

"Now tell me why boys should not feel they have lost their Scouting program? I predict BSA will lose more boys than girls gained for a net loss of overall membership. Faced with this reality, they'll change to program to make it even more girl-friendly. Boys are the failing segment of our society right now, and nobody cares - nobody. "

 

From the standpoint that over the past 12 to 18 months (at least), BSA seems to have taken the "boys" for granted.  Its ALL BSA4G, ALL the time.  Don't think the boys do not notice this.  What I mean by asking if they ever cared... does the powers that be in Irving actually care about the scouts?  Or is it (and has always been) about how to retain the most members?

The boys in my Troop have experienced the following in the last 12-18 months; individuals have attended National Jamboree, NOAC, Philmont, Seabase, Swamp Base, NYLT (participant and staff), NAYLE, Conclave, NLS and more. As a unit they have had biking outings, white water rafting, back packing, shooting sports, caving and climbing, winter sports, sports, water sports and Summer camp. They have planned over the next 15 months as a group Northern Tier, Summer Camp, white water rafting, mountain biking, back packing and more. Individuals will be attending World Jamboree, Philmont, Seabase, NYLT (staff and participants) NAYLE and more. 

Our Scouts do not look to National, or for that matter the unit's adults, to plan their program. It certainly doesn't look like they feel they have lost anything.

I will say that in my experience dealing with youth, both in Scouting and other programs, youth reflect the attitudes of the adults around them. If the adults are upbeat about the program that can be provided so are the youth, and the youth plan programs accordingly. If the adults are miserable about the program, usually so are the youth. 

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