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What is the Southern Region doing to recruit so many girls?

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We now have 61,000+ girls in Cubs, and I’m hearing that a very solid chunk - nearly half - are in the Southern Region. Anyone from that neck of the woods able to shed some light on how that region is having such outsized success? Is that in line with the South’s share for overall Scouting membership? Are they actually making magic happen, or is another paper Scout scandal in the offing?

(I would link to the source, but it’s from a closed Facebook group. The 61,000 number has been posted publicly, however, and the Southern Region’s numbers have been consistently high in previous reports.)

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During our annual Commissioner Conference in Central Florida Council it was mentioned that we had the highest both the highest overall recruiting numbers, and the most girls joining in the country.  I can't say how school visits went in other areas, but in our district, there was a particular emphasis put on this being the first time that girls have the opportunity to join Cub Scouts.  Most of our school night sign ups had pretty close to half of the sign ups be girls.  We picked up 11 in my pack, and we were not even close to the top pack.

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My FL nieces have been family camping with their brothers' pack for years. So, I suspect there's a comfort factor, that you might not see up north here.

It's a lot harder to convince a girl to go camping when there's a chance of snow.

But that's just one guess.

The other guess is that TL/USA (which has done better in the south) cleared the field of units who would never allow girls in the first place. Leaving room for more open COs to prepare to host a girl's unit.

The third is simpler: southern hospitality. All you all are just naturally better at making kids feel welcome. If there's a door to open, you'll do it better.

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I am in the Atlanta Area Council. It's been my impression that Cub and Boy Scout enrollment has been higher than in some other parts of the country for years.  I know that Atlanta has a population boom, as we see it in all our schools.  So, it's logical that there is growth in Scouting as well. Oh, and we are in the Bible Belt.  Many churches have strong youth programs, and Scouting is one of their programs.

True, not all units will sponsor Girls in Scouting Troops (Scouts, BSA), because of that same Bible Belt influence.  The growth in Cubs may not translate to the Scouts, BSA program.  Wish me luck, as I'll be SM of a new troop.

So, I don't think the Southern Region is doing anything particularly different for girls.  Its likely about population.

Oh, I meet plenty of parents here that will only camp in mild weather, Spring & Fall,...and plenty of mothers who won't camp at all.  It's not just girls who are reluctant to camp in a tent.

I think there's a grammatical error is the post from qwaze in "all you all".  "y'all" would be correctly used there.

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1 hour ago, KarenZ said:

I think there's a grammatical error is the post from qwaze in "all you all".  "y'all" would be correctly used there.

And the plural of "y'all" is "all y'all". :D 

I would agree with @KarenZ that AAC has always been a powerhouse and one of the largest councils. That's where I started Scouting in 3rd grade as a Bear in Norcross, GA. 

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This is 2 weeks old... but is probably still directionally correct 

Rank. Council - Total Girls -  Southern Region
1. Central Florida - 2,323
2. Circle Ten - 2,221
3. Atlanta Area - 1,549
4. Northeast Georgia - 1,185
5. Sam Houston Area - 1,108
6. Great Smoky Mountain - 720
7. North Florida - 709
8. Quapaw Area - 575
9. Heart of Virginia - 569
10. Last Frontier - 533
11. Alamo Area - 482
12. Flint River - 479
13. Capitol Area - 478
14. Greater Tampa Bay Area - 464
15. Longhorn - 461
16. Lincoln Heritage - 407
17. Palmetto - 324
18. Golden Spread - 297
19. Daniel Boone - 284
20. Northwest Georgia - 278
21. Indian Nations - 259
22. Westark Area - 246
23. Chattahoochee - 241
24. Piedmont - 238
25. Southeast Louisiana - 233

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11 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

This is 2 weeks old... but is probably still directionally correct 

 

Hey Eagle, is that posted to the facebook group or someplace else? I would be interested in seeing where my council, Crossroads, ranks in our region as well as total number.

Wild to see that some have 10 times as much, or more. Hopefully there is something that can be learned from their experience as simply warm weather cant account for the difference between Florida and Southern Louisiana.

 

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@Hawkwin

Posted as a comment to a private FB several weeks ago.  Apparently all councils are now provided national breakdowns weekly.  Your DE should be able to give you numbers. 

 

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Looking at the south as a region probably won't provide much insight.  Council-by-council is better and could be improved if we knew their rural/suburban/urban makeup.

That said, if we're talking in generalities, I don't know that this should come as a huge surprise.  The south also over represents in the armed forces as a percentage of population of each state (https://www.cfr.org/article/demographics-us-military).  @qwazse hit on part of it with the difference in southern culture.  Johnathon Haidt points out in his book "The Righteous Mind" that social-conservative moral foundations value preserving "institutions and traditions that maintain a moral community" (https://www.righteousmind.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Figures-for-The-Righteous-Mind.pdf).  The BSA may be getting brand traction with people who value the old BSA, just with girls; as opposed to social-conservatives who believe the organization has already jumped the shark by abandoning male-only.  

But, if all the growth is in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Orlando, there's probably a different and better explanation.

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14 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

This is 2 weeks old... but is probably still directionally correct 

Rank. Council - Total Girls -  Southern Region
1. Central Florida - 2,323
2. Circle Ten - 2,221
3. Atlanta Area - 1,549
4. Northeast Georgia - 1,185
5. Sam Houston Area - 1,108
6. Great Smoky Mountain - 720
7. North Florida - 709
8. Quapaw Area - 575
9. Heart of Virginia - 569
10. Last Frontier - 533
11. Alamo Area - 482
12. Flint River - 479
13. Capitol Area - 478
14. Greater Tampa Bay Area - 464
15. Longhorn - 461
16. Lincoln Heritage - 407
17. Palmetto - 324
18. Golden Spread - 297
19. Daniel Boone - 284
20. Northwest Georgia - 278
21. Indian Nations - 259
22. Westark Area - 246
23. Chattahoochee - 241
24. Piedmont - 238
25. Southeast Louisiana - 233

Those numbers are probably old and reference early adopters.  I know since September there have been a lot of girls in our area signing up.  I thing our area is a bit progressive on many things so it doesn't surprise me, I would imagine that more progressive areas will take up girls in scouting faster, and it will take a bit of time to trickle out to more traditional areas.  Zero facts behind my statement, just a finger in the wind.

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Ironic that the socially conservative regions are leading in girls coming in while they're also leading with boys going out?

This is either just a bit of levity or a real paradox. Please pick the one that makes your day better.

No facts were harmed in this presentation. Only stunt facts were used and they are well cared for under the auspices of PETF (people for the ethical treatment of facts).

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39 minutes ago, MattR said:

Ironic that the socially conservative regions are leading in girls coming in while they're also leading with boys going out?

This is either just a bit of levity or a real paradox. Please pick the one that makes your day better.

No facts were harmed in this presentation. Only stunt facts were used and they are well cared for under the auspices of PETF (people for the ethical treatment of facts).

Maybe Boy Scouts is the new Girls Scouts. (thinking emoji)

I'm not sure why liberal areas would sign up girls faster, scouting is a values program. Whatever the source of the families values, I believe most parents think of values as positive. But, that is just a guess.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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Would be interesting to cross compare the GSUSA participation rates in those areas. If there's a relative dearth of GS participants in that area, then I could see BSA having a larger field to draw from. (just speculating of course, and I could just as easily make a case for high participation of GS in the south leading more acceptance of scouting generally.)

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Maybe Boy Scouts is the new Girls Scouts. (thinking emoji)

I'm not sure why liberal areas would sign up girls faster, scouting is a values program. Whatever the source of the families values, I believe most parents think of values as positive. But, that is just a guess.

Barry

I didn't mean liberal, I meant progressive.  Basically some areas are faster to adopt changes than others.  The area I live in is pretty conservative and we have a lot of girls joining.   I also think the area I live in is very much an outdoors activities focused area which would encourage girls to join over Girl Scouts, since many don't camp.

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