Jump to content
shortridge

Boys-only weeks at camp

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, shortridge said:

My concern is that my Scouts’ entire program experience will be negatively impacted (being shunted to less desirable weeks), that their options will be limited (they can’t attend whatever week they choose), and that the overall quality of their Scouting experience will be diminished — because another Scout’s feelings and wants has been granted special status thanks to their outwardly expressed gender.

Do you have evidence this is really happening or are you just catastrophizing?  I agree that scouts are scouts and should have all the same access to services regardless of gender.  Any council that actually does otherwise should be called out.  But creating a worst case scenario and then demanding everybody get in line is unhelpful.  I don't agree that anybody is diminished if a particular camp runs boy-only, girls-only, and mixed sessions.  In fact I celebrate it.  The more camps we have offering options for all scouts the better off we'll be.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

19 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Do you have evidence this is really happening or are you just catastrophizing? 

See, that’s not the way this works. My girls don’t have to show direct harm in order to get equal treatment. We are all Scouts - not boy Scouts, not girl Scouts, just plain Scouts. The overall decision tells them that they are lesser than the boys, which is the fundamentally frustrating part. But here’s a very basic example:

My local camp has five weeks of Scouts BSA summer camp. Two have been designated as boys-only, leaving just three weeks for girls to choose from - one in June and two in July.

- Boys have the freedom to go to camp any week they choose out of those five. Girls don’t.

- Boys can work their camp schedule around family vacations, trips to the grandparents, child custody arrangements, summer jobs, or summer school. Girls have to fit in their camp plans around the boys’ favored weeks.

- Boys can attend camp with their troop and then return the next week for provisional camp. Girls only have that option once because of how the weeks are split.

- Boys’ troop leadership can pick whatever weeks they want their unit to attend. Girls’ troop leadership has to arrange their schedules around these leftover weeks in order to attend as a troop. That can be difficult for many leaders and parents whose work may not be as forgiving as others.

It’s also fascinating that Cubs aren’t having this discussion. Resident camps and day camps aren’t segregated by gender. Why should Scouts BSA camps be?

This simply should not be an issue in 2019 with a new unified program.

Edited by shortridge
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if the schedule were something like:

  • week 1: co-ed
  • week 2: boys only
  • week 3: girls only
  • week 4: co-ed
  • week 5: co-ed

It would seem fair.  

 

But, something like:

  • week 1: boys only
  • week 2: boys only
  • week 3: ce-ed
  • week 4: co-ed
  • week 5: boys only

Does not.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, shortridge said:

 

See, that’s not the way this works. My girls don’t have to show direct harm in order to get equal treatment. We are all Scouts - not boy Scouts, not girl Scouts, just plain Scouts. The overall decision tells them that they are lesser than the boys, which is the fundamentally frustrating part. But here’s a very basic example:

My local camp has five weeks of Scouts BSA summer camp. Two have been designated as boys-only, leaving just three weeks for girls to choose from - one in June and two in July.

- Boys have the freedom to go to camp any week they choose out of those five. Girls don’t.

- Boys can work their camp schedule around family vacations, trips to the grandparents, child custody arrangements, summer jobs, or summer school. Girls have to fit in their camp plans around the boys’ favored weeks.

- Boys can attend camp with their troop and then return the next week for provisional camp. Girls only have that option once because of how the weeks are split.

- Boys’ troop leadership can pick whatever weeks they want their unit to attend. Girls’ troop leadership has to arrange their schedules around these leftover weeks in order to attend as a troop. That can be difficult for many leaders and parents whose work may not be as forgiving as others.

It’s also fascinating that Cubs aren’t having this discussion. Resident camps and day camps aren’t segregated by gender. Why should Scouts BSA camps be?

This simply should not be an issue in 2019 with a new unified program.

Well, let's start from the bottom up.

The BSA didn't create a unified program at the Scout BSA level, they created a gender-segregated program.  It's no secret I don't agree with the decision to bring girls into scouting, but, anybody with a brain saw the gender-segregated solution was going to cause more problems than solutions.  As for the Cub Scouts, we don't have the discussion because the packs are co-ed but the Dens are segregated.  Mostly a cosmetic difference but a difference non-the-less.

Working around family vacations, grandparents, custody, summer jobs, summer school, and work schedules is just the way summer camp scheduling works.  While I am sympathetic to the argument about provisional camping,  I'm less sympathetic to the "any week they want" arguments.  Why are you limiting yourself to just your Council's summer camp?  If they are setting a schedule that doesn't work for your unit, vote with your feet and dollars.  Troops do this all the time over program and for any number of other issues.  I guarantee if your girls troop goes somewhere other than your council camp next summer you'll get asked why plenty of times next fall.

Finally, there's only harm if one decides there is.  Take deep breaths and find solutions you and your girls are happy with.

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them."  -Epictetus

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what our council is doing.
https://www.hoac-bsa.org/scouts-bsa-all-girl-camping-session-at-bartle-2018-10-05
For context, this will take place for 1 session out of the 5 we have on the reservation. The camp used is 1 of 3 camps on the reservation. They are in relative close proximity to each other. They will share some program areas such as lakefront, shotgun range, climbing tower and COPE course...and probably a couple that aren't coming to mind.
So, it's separated, but not so much....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, WAKWIB said:

This is what our council is doing.
https://www.hoac-bsa.org/scouts-bsa-all-girl-camping-session-at-bartle-2018-10-05
For context, this will take place for 1 session out of the 5 we have on the reservation. The camp used is 1 of 3 camps on the reservation. They are in relative close proximity to each other. They will share some program areas such as lakefront, shotgun range, climbing tower and COPE course...and probably a couple that aren't coming to mind.
So, it's separated, but not so much....

So if I read that right, only one of the two properties will allow girls at all. And they get segregated 21 camp on One session. So that's 14 out of 15 for all boys and can only go to 1 camp on the last session which in my experience is the least desirable. The last session being mid-july will be the hottest particularly in Missouri, and the staff often is tired worn out and not nearly as enthusiastic as in earlier weeks.

And based on my understanding of requirements for Mic-o-say no girl will be eligible this year and won't be able to become full members for another couple of years. Presuming my understanding is accurate, if I were involved in a girl Troop I would feel slighted. But maybe that's just me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, shortridge said:

My concern is that my Scouts’ entire program experience will be negatively impacted (being shunted to less desirable weeks), that their options will be limited (they can’t attend whatever week they choose), and that the overall quality of their Scouting experience will be diminished 

@shortridge then I really hope you don't belong to Heart of America Council.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Chris1 said:

So if I read that right, only one of the two properties will allow girls at all. And they get segregated 21 camp on One session. So that's 14 out of 15 for all boys and can only go to 1 camp on the last session which in my experience is the least desirable. The last session being mid-july will be the hottest particularly in Missouri, and the staff often is tired worn out and not nearly as enthusiastic as in earlier weeks.

And based on my understanding of requirements for Mic-o-say no girl will be eligible this year and won't be able to become full members for another couple of years. Presuming my understanding is accurate, if I were involved in a girl Troop I would feel slighted. But maybe that's just me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep,  you read it right. The Mic-O-Say part will work out in due course. We won't be bending or changing any requirements for that. 
And, as far as being slighted by being parked into one session at one camp, yes, there is an emerging negative reaction to that, and the news of it just hit Friday (10/5) afternoon. I expect it to pick up steam. There are quite a few linked troops developing and it will be a big strain. It's not what the enthusiastic supporters of BSA4Girls in our area envisioned.  One option for the linked troops may be to have the boy troops camping in one of the two adjacent camps during that same 5th session. I have not heard anything about that option, but I wouldn't be too surprised if that's what's offered.


This is perhaps another reason why coed needed to be just that, instead of the hybrid we got from National.  

Edited by WAKWIB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few camps that are in my area offer regular weeks for boys troop and designate 1 or 2 as a Co-Ed week, other camps have no gender segregation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 10/4/2018 at 1:40 PM, shortridge said:

@qwazse, I fully understand that the councils are looking at it as a business decision. But it strikes me as fundamentally out of synch with the aims, methods and values of Scouts BSA. The troops are equal; the leaders are equal; the programs are equal; the Scouts are certainly equal. Why not give them all equal opportunity to attend camp? Why grant boys priority status?

That sends a very negative signal to the new Scouts who will be joining beginning Feb. 1. The messages include:

- Boys are more important than you

- Boys have the power to exclude you

- You have to take the leftovers and castoffs

Are those Scoutlike values and messages?

Does such a thing exist, or are you stuffing a man full of straw?

Having worked for non-profits I can tell you too many of them do not treat it as a business, which is why many are failing. 

One mantra I was taught and believe; No Money - No Mission.

If we can't fund the program, what difference do the Aims and methods make. We won't be instilling Scouting values into anyone.

As a proponent of a BSA girls program my first and primary concern was the logistics of Summer camps. I probably even posted on this concern somewhere in this forum.

I knew there would be attitudes that would need to be overcome, operational issues to resolve, but Summer camp logistics, that is about money. Money most councils cannot afford to drop in a span of 1-3 seasons. Most BSA camps are geared toward the 95-98% male campership they have had for a century. Ask the female SM/ASM's that go to Summer camp. Camps are just not geared toward their small numbers for financial reasons.  It is far easier to accommodate a few female leaders each week than it will be to accommodate entire female units. 

Take something as simple as bathhouses. Many (most I have visited) share bathhouses between 2 or more camp sites. Parents of both boy and girl campers have raised concerns over sharing bathhouse facilities. So if you have a couple of girl troops that barely fill half a camp site, but effectively block 2-3 campsites, does that make sense financially? No, it is a huge drain. Does it make sense to turn away 30-40 boy campers each session even though there are empty camp sites? That is tens of thousands of dollars lost over a Summer. Does it make sense to raise every campers fee by $25 to make up for those that were turned away? Or does it make more sense to funnel girl troops into 2 or 3 weeks of the Summer until there is a critical mass of girls troops?

To quote my teenage Scouting daughter - "That's cool. Makes sense. It wouldn't be fair to the boys to do that. We just need to recruit more girls if we want more camp dates."

Another issue I have heard raised is medical staff. The girl troop leaders asked for female medical staff because the girls are more comfortable with female doctors. Of course the boy troops said their boys were more comfortable with male doctors. How do you resolve that? Double the medical staff? Double the cost?

No offense @shortridge, but digging in and pushing for an ideal solution out of the gate only pushes people apart and creates a program that doesn't work for most, if any in the long run. I think we have done a good job of creating a workable solution for now. And though not ideal, we can continue to make it better. That provides all of our youth with a better program than the alternative. 

 

Edited by HelpfulTracks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Take something as simple as bathhouses. Many (most I have visited) share bathhouses between 2 or more camp sites. Parents of both boy and girl campers have raised concerns over sharing bathhouse facilities. So if you have a couple of girl troops that barely fill half a camp site, but effectively block 2-3 campsites, does that make sense financially? No, it is a huge drain. Does it make sense to turn away 30-40 boy campers each session even though there are empty camp sites? That is tens of thousands of dollars lost over a Summer. Does it make sense to raise every campers fee by $25 to make up for those that were turned away? Or does it make more sense to funnel girl troops into 2 or 3 weeks of the Summer until there is a critical mass of girls troops? 

 

Many camps have been dealing with this for years when it comes to adults and scouts having to share a bathhouse. Problem is easily solved with a few portapotties and designated shower times for female adults, male adults, male scouts, and female scouts. And let's be real. My son barely changes his clothes when he's at camp, let alone take a shower. This is not a valid reason to keep girl troops from attending all weeks of camp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, dedkad said:

Many camps have been dealing with this for years when it comes to adults and scouts having to share a bathhouse. Problem is easily solved with a few portapotties and designated shower times for female adults, male adults, male scouts, and female scouts. And let's be real. My son barely changes his clothes when he's at camp, let alone take a shower. This is not a valid reason to keep girl troops from attending all weeks of camp.

I am sure you camp would love to hand off that responsibility to you. 

My scouts want their showers. Maybe it is the 90-105 degree temps during the day, or being covered in sweat, dust, mud, blood and ticks. Maybe it is covered with the smell of horses or grease or insect repellent or fish. At night, there is a line for the showers so they can cool off from the 80+ degree temps and sleep. They adults usually can't get into the showers until well after midnight.

I cant count how many times I have been to summer camp. I cannot remember a single week that we did not have 2-3 "scheduling" issues at minimum, double that number if there was a female leader along. Throw in a couple dozen female youth and I am sure the number of incident increases.

 As for portable toilets, a conservative estimate is about $2200 per unit for Summer camp duration, likely closer to $3000 given the amount of maintenance. Even if we only covered 1/4 of our camp sites and a hand full of program areas are talking $44-60K minimum for the Summer. And portables cannot be placed with the current bathhouses, because of terrain. They would need to be at or near the road, which makes them PUBLIC restrooms for all practical purposes. Scoutmasters round table at Summer Camp is usually full of trivial complaints, but often the biggest and most contentious issue is Scouts/Scouters using another units latrine facilities because it is closer and not taking care of them (i.e. the Troop has to clean other peoples mess). Oh, and who gets the portable toilets, the boys or the girls? That is a can of worms in and of itself. 

I am the first to step up when my daughter isn't being treated fairly. Well, maybe second, she is not bashful about sticking up for herself. But both she and I, as well as the vast majority or female Scouts and their leaders, understand there are practical concerns that need to be worked out, and most camps just are not there yet. And it will take time and money to resolve those issues. Is limiting weeks a perfect solution, far from it. The so called easy answers are just not that easy. But most understand we are working to get to a place where all Scouts have full access to our facilities. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×