Jump to content
69RoadRunner

Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

Recommended Posts

Hi @Hawkwin

Selective quoting there.  You missed the part where I said

12 hours ago, Treflienne said:

If the troop leaders have been having trouble finding additional volunteers, I could certainly see troop leaders in that situation not wanting a 13th girl unless her mom (or dad) volunteered to come on every single field trip.

It is a different picture if the new family is willing to always have an adult available to help out.

11 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

When my daughter wanted to join cub scouts, the CC asked me if I wanted to lead the den.

GSUSA troops have nothing like a committee chair or a committee to help recruit additional adult leaders or to handle paperwork.   For a typical troop it all falls on the two parents who have stepped up be leaders.     (And for a year-and-a-half I was the leader of a troop which really didn't have two leaders.   After my co-leader's job situation changed preventing her from continuing,  I relied on a rotating cast of parents who each volunteered to be the second adult at a couple of meetings. (no prep, no planning, just show up.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Boy Scouts really wasn't a viable long term solution as they wanted to market the program on it's strengths to girls.  Continuing to call it "Boy Scouts" would have hamstrung making it a program for girls as well. 

I think "Boy Scouts" as the name of the age 11-17 program is the viable long-term solution.  Over the last 110 years, that two-word combination has taken on a significance and meaning of its own.  The name "Boy Scout" in the American tradition is, of course, associated with boys, but it has become loaded with concepts including an honor code, service, camping, patriotism, Eagle Scout rank, first aid and other handy skills, achievement, and leadership.  When you see a Peanuts cartoon with Snoopy and the birds on a hike, it isn't confusing even though no boys are depicted.  We've already heard from lots of girls who want to be Boy Scouts -- and not because they want to be boys.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

For a typical troop it all falls on the two parents who have stepped up be leaders. 

The other really intimidating thing about becoming a girl scout leader was realizing that I was the face of scouting to these kids.   There was no pack,  no pack meeting,  no larger group with which we met regularly.  (Maybe a service unit event a couple of time a year, which many of the girls did not attend because it was not at a convenient time for them.)  There was also no decent handbook.  (Just the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting which was rather empty of information and overpriced, and which very very few families bought.  Also the Journey books, but what they contained was not the scouting I knew.)       A very few girls did go to summer camp,  which was invaluable,  but very few girls actually went.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

I think "Boy Scouts" as the name of the age 11-17 program is the viable long-term solution.  Over the last 110 years, that two-word combination has taken on a significance and meaning of its own.  The name "Boy Scout" in the American tradition is, of course, associated with boys, but it has become loaded with concepts including an honor code, service, camping, patriotism, Eagle Scout rank, first aid and other handy skills, achievement, and leadership.  When you see a Peanuts cartoon with Snoopy and the birds on a hike, it isn't confusing even though no boys are depicted.  We've already heard from lots of girls who want to be Boy Scouts -- and not because they want to be boys.

I'm happy to stipulate that many think staying with "Boy Scouts" would have made sense.  The BSA wants to expand and fully welcome girls - not just pick up a few girls as members here and there, but get to a point where 50% of the members are girls.  Continuing to call your program "Boy Scouts" doesn't seem to convey that inclusiveness.  Maybe you pick up the really adventurous girls who don't care.  But, I think when you go to the larger population out there and some parent asks their daughter "do you want to be a girl scout or boy scout?"  Girls are generally going to pick "girl scout."  So, it was in the interest's of the BSA to find a way to refer to the program that: conveyed Scout, didn't tick off too many boys, encouraged as many girls as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

 A very few girls did go to summer camp,  which was invaluable,  but very few girls actually went.

That's my wife's/daughter's troop, too.  For a few years, my daughter would do 2 camps.  Last year, she chose not to go at all and I'm not sure if any of the girls did.  They were 11-12.

Also, going as individuals rather than as a troop seemed odd.  It's certainly easier for the troop leader, but they don't have the experience as a troop.

Last year, I was organizing our troop's first HA trip (Sea Base) since we joined.  I asked my wife if GS has anything like it and she just said they have GS camps, but didn't know if anyone did anything HA like Philmont, MOHAB, etc.

I do see Girl Scouts can go to Summit.  😀

https://www.summitbsa.org/high-adventure-girl-scout-style/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

So, it was in the interest's of the BSA to find a way to refer to the program that: conveyed Scout, didn't tick off too many boys, encouraged as many girls as possible.

I would add a fourth criterion:  That the new name did not open the BSA up to a very plausible claim of trademark infringement.  On that count it is a failure.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

... The BSA wants to expand and fully welcome girls - not just pick up a few girls as members here and there, but get to a point where 50% of the members are girls.  Continuing to call your program "Boy Scouts" doesn't seem to convey that inclusiveness.  ...

I haven't read anywhere where BSA wants to get to any particular male/female balance.

They want to meet a demand. They hope that, in doing so, they will attract more boys.

I don't think the name has much to do with it. If we are inclusive, we'll get all the girls we can manage. If we dig our heels in, only a few will join our ranks.

Of course, I drank the espresso offered by an Italian scout with "Boy Scouts Italia" [sic] sewn on the sleeve of her uniform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ParkMan said:

I think when you go to the larger population out there and some parent asks their daughter "do you want to be a girl scout or boy scout?"  Girls are generally going to pick "girl scout."  So, it was in the interest's of the BSA to find a way to refer to the program that: conveyed Scout, didn't tick off too many boys, encouraged as many girls as possible.

Sure, there will be girls (and maybe parents) who get hung up on the name of the "Boy Scout" program.  But consider:  (1) There was, at least according to BSA, strong demand by girls for admission into "Boy Scouts," not conditioned upon changing the program name.  (2) After the initial period (two or three years), most of the girls in the Boy Scouts of America program for ages 11-17 will be crossing over from Cub Scouts, where they will (presumably) have been fully informed about the content of the "Boy Scout" program and will be able to weigh that information against the word 'boy' in the program name.  (3) They will already be in a program (Cub Scouts) of the Boy Scouts of America with a lot of other girls, with the support of their parents.  They would cross over into a Boy Scout troop that is composed entirely of other girls who have chosen to be there despite the word 'boy' in both the organization and program name.   

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

I do see Girl Scouts can go to Summit.  

The way that place is hemorrhaging cash, they would gladly take any and all groups to fill slots

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I haven't read anywhere where BSA wants to get to any particular male/female balance.

They want to meet a demand. They hope that, in doing so, they will attract more boys.

If you're the BSA, you don't go through all the effort of making the organization open to both genders if you really just want to attract more boys.  Yes, I'll grant that the BSA wants to increase members. It if came from 100% growth in boys and 0% growth in girls, I'm sure they'd still claim victory.  But I have to imagine that the BSA leadership would like to see their joining rate among the population the same for all parts of the program.  So, since we're essentally 50% girls/boys in the country, it would seem too that getting their membership there would be appropriate.

20 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

Sure, there will be girls (and maybe parents) who get hung up on the name of the "Boy Scout" program.  But consider:  (1) There was, at least according to BSA, strong demand by girls for admission into "Boy Scouts," not conditioned upon changing the program name.  (2) After the initial period (two or three years), most of the girls in the Boy Scouts of America program for ages 11-17 will be crossing over from Cub Scouts, where they will (presumably) have been fully informed about the content of the "Boy Scout" program and will be able to weigh that information against the word 'boy' in the program name.  (3) They will already be in a program (Cub Scouts) of the Boy Scouts of America with a lot of other girls, with the support of their parents.  They would cross over into a Boy Scout troop that is composed entirely of other girls who have chosen to be there despite the word 'boy' in both the organization and program name.   

I think this is one of those things we could continue to round and round arguing.  Making your program co-ed, but then calling it "Boy Scouts" just seems like it's not all the welcoming to girls.  If we expect girls to get over the name of "Boy Scouts", then why can we not similarly expect boys to get over the name "Scout BSA" or whatever?

I love the name "Boy Scouts" but just think it makes a lot more sense for them to simply be "Scouts."  How one gets to Scouts, I don't know.  I do kinda think that maybe something along the lines of what the GSUSA does with it's levels makse sense: Dasies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, & Ambassadors.  No where in their program is the term "Girl Scout" used to refer to a level.  Bail on Scouts BSA and go with something completely different.

Share this post


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

I think this is one of those things we could continue to round and round arguing. 

Of course!  That's one of the great things about forums like this -- a place for talking about issues we can never settle!  😁

1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

Bail on Scouts BSA and go with something completely different.

Supposing that the only way to resolve the GSUSA's lawsuit is for BSA to add a descriptive modifier before "Scouts," that prevents it from being confused with Girl Scouts, and BSA does not want to use "Boy Scouts," what could the name be?  I think there is only one good option that retains the public recognition, goodwill, and tradition of the Boy Scout program:  "Eagle Scouts."  After all, it's not just a rank; it's a journey.

Edited by dkurtenbach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

But where it's different is imagine you're having this conversation with a den leader - not a Cubmaster.  In the GSUSA system, there's no Cubmaster, no Pack Committee, no treasurer.

Nah. For a den, you can have Assistant Den Leaders. My son's den had 23 boys at one point and the DL has 2 or 3 ADLs. Nothing keeps the GSUSA, and their lack of official positions, from having a very similar solution - and I think it would be even easier for GSUSA since the volunteers would not have the expense of an ADL uniform.

2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

  You've got a den leader and assistant who has agreed to lead his/her kid's den.  The den has 12 scouts today.  You come along and say "I'd like to add my child and have it be 13".  You're probably the fifth or sixth person (if not more) who has asked.  The den leaders knows - if they don't say no, they are going to be leading a den of 20 kids.

I use the den leader analogy because that's really what it is.  These folks are generally not Cubmasters or CC's who are signing up build a bigger troop with multiple groups doing things.  They are the GSUSA equivalent of den leaders who want to lead their child's scout group.

In my daughter's first GSUSA troop, I was an active and registered leader. No official title but I ran two meetings a semester at the request of the troop leader. Again, nothing kept those other troops from asking me to do the same or something similar to make adding my daughter less of a burden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Treflienne said:

Hi @Hawkwin

Selective quoting there.  You missed the part where I said

It is a different picture if the new family is willing to always have an adult available to help out.

GSUSA troops have nothing like a committee chair or a committee to help recruit additional adult leaders or to handle paperwork.  

We are way off in tangent land but "paperwork" sounds like an excuse. If you have adults already willing to volunteer their time and resources, then ask those same adults to help with the paperwork. I was an active and registered leader as well and I don't recall paperwork being a big impediment to me being a volunteer.

And, as it pertains to the other troops after my daughter's troop folded, I was always willing to help, was simply told "we are full" if I ever even received a response.

I am not trying to say the GSUSA model is easy, it isn't. Frankly, I think it is terrible from both the perspective of a registered volunteer for two years and from the perspective of an active parent, and from the perspective of a parent that wanted to be active. They throw new leaders to the proverbial wolves and hope you can make it up as you go. Additionally, GSUSA simply doesn't make it easy for anyone to join after troops are already up and running. You either join as a Daisy or HOPE you can find a troop willing to take you when you are older.

The two organizations have very different perspectives on how to grow (or maintain) their various franchises as well as how to grow and retain institutional knowledge across those franchise platforms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Nah. For a den, you can have Assistant Den Leaders. My son's den had 23 boys at one point and the DL has 2 or 3 ADLs. Nothing keeps the GSUSA, and their lack of official positions, from having a very similar solution - and I think it would be even easier for GSUSA since the volunteers would not have the expense of an ADL uniform.

In my daughter's first GSUSA troop, I was an active and registered leader. No official title but I ran two meetings a semester at the request of the troop leader. Again, nothing kept those other troops from asking me to do the same or something similar to make adding my daughter less of a burden.

Sure - my son had a den of 16 boys.  It was awful.  It was big enough that you really couldn't do much as a group of 16.  So, they'd split in half for everything.  It would be different halves each time.  At 16, it was also big enough that you had cliques within the den.  So boys hung around with each other.  My son, more of an introvert, never really bonded with those boys and so never really had more than a friend or two in the den.

In the spirit of full disclosure.  My wife is a GS leader of a troop of 12 girls.  She's resisted the pressure for years to add more girls.  As a result, it's been the same 12 girls for the past 6 years.  Once they lost a girl, but she came back a year later.  In her case, it's not about bringing the Girl Scout program to as many girls as possible.  it's about having the best program for the girls in their troop.  Watching BSA dynamics, my suspicion that if they'd added girls, it would become too big and they'd have to add structure.  It would be less about a group of 12 girls going through Scouting together and more a group of 16 or 20 girls split into groups.

So, I think at some point a den is just too large.  That's why we've got packs.  The GSUSA doesn't really have packs, so what do you do?  A GS troop of 24 girls together?  The GSUSA model really necessitates having more troops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shouldn't BSA drop the name BSA? 

I mean someone might think BSA stands for "Boy Scouts of America"  and that might offend girls and is not very welcoming to girls.

Drop the "B" (Boy) from BSA and call it SA ( Scouts of America )  that way  people will think of SA as a scouting group for everyone.

Also, the A in BSA is pretty bad, I mean there is a North America and a South America,  America is not really the name of our country, I think we are appropriating the identity of counties that we have no right to, and that is a bit rude.   They should change the letter "A" in BSA to "USA", the actual name of our country.

So the scouting origination formerly know as Boy Scouts of America (BSA) should be renamed  Scouts USA. or "SUSA" for short and members of SUSA should be called "Scouts".

You're welcome.

 

  

 

 

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

×