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mashmaster

After tomorrow I am hoping all the hype dies down

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1 hour ago, shortridge said:

Not to be brusque, but the parents don’t have a say in that decision. The Chartered Organization owns the troop. Not the Scoutmaster, not the committee, not the parents. It’s entirely the CO’s decision whether to start another unit - whether that be pack, girls’ troop, another boys’ troop, or a crew. If it wants to shut down a unit, it can. If it wants to merge a unit with another of the same type, it can.

Scouting at this level isn’t a democracy. If you dislike the CO’s path forward, you are entirely free to vote with your feet and leave.

If the girls are meeting, hiking, camping, etcetera separately from the boys... then yes the CO does not have to solicit the approval of others.  But... if I was recruiting girls, I would tell existing  parents more then 1/2 month ahead of time to help advertise a new Troop.

I assume thou... the girls are meeting jointly and will be going on outings with the boys, in which case most definitely the boys and parents should have been given more then 1/2 month notice.  A situation where someone signs up for a single sex program and with nil notice it goes coed - is simply wrong. 

Whether you are for or against co-ed Troops, I think most would agree the situation described was handled poorly.  If I was the parent, next time I saw someone of authority in the unit I would mention that more notice should have been given and perhaps - briefly - my view, pro or con.  (Some people are clueless unless you tell them).  It's now up to the parent(s) and son(s) to stay or go.

 

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59 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Ok, I ask the wrong question. You think you were being kind?  

Sometimes you surprise me.

Barry

I think so. I said nothing disparaging of Mom's opinion of these new scouts taking up meeting space.

But, I am wondering how else she would expect things to happen. It's important for me to know because I'm one of the guys who shows up with the next new program everywhere I go. (Believe it or not, scouting isn't the only organization that wants to use a sponsor's space and generates hype.) So, what parents expect when it comes to organizational pivots like this is good to know.

With regards to my experience with Scouts BSA, I floated the concept by our COR and IH (and a separate COR as well) last year to see what they thought about it. I then discretely asked key parents in our community about their interest. Why? Because I didn't want to 1) get parents talking about pure speculation, and 2) get kid's hopes up before having them dashed. There was no interest. So I put it on the back burner. But, if something were to come together, it would probably only gone public about a month before launch.

That's still the case. If six girls walk up to my door and want to hike and camp independently with their mates, I'm probably gonna roll with that and register a charter ASAP. Most parents won't know until they see them around the CO.

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Transparency is key.  They should have smply let their current members unit know their strategy. This unit probably knew they were going to add girls before they took action (or at least were open to the idea), so they should have simply told their current members their strategy.  Polls aren’t required, but rechartering then suddenly announcing that the unit is adding a girls Troop will cause loss of trust.... that is very difficult to regain.

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10 hours ago, shortridge said:

Not to be brusque, but the parents don’t have a say in that decision. The Chartered Organization owns the troop. Not the Scoutmaster, not the committee, not the parents. It’s entirely the CO’s decision whether to start another unit - whether that be pack, girls’ troop, another boys’ troop, or a crew. If it wants to shut down a unit, it can. If it wants to merge a unit with another of the same type, it can.

Scouting at this level isn’t a democracy. If you dislike the CO’s path forward, you are entirely free to vote with your feet and leave.

While I agree that ultimately it is the CO's decision, a good CO will listen to the concerns of the parents AND SCOUTS (emphasis) involved in the existing unit. The troop I just left had an anonymous online survey of all folks with a vested interest in the troop: parents, committee members, Scouters, and Scouts. While a slight majority of adults were for a "linked" girls' troop, the overwhelming majority of Scouts were against it. 1/2 of the Scouts polled said they would transfer or quit. The CO decided to start a completely separate Girl's Only troop, but reserves the right to make the two troops "linked" if it is not working out. 

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To explain a little more...

The boys had this sprung on them.  Imagine being told two weeks prior that oh, we forgot to mention it, but... we are essentially marrying you to a girl troop in two weeks in an arranged marriage.  You have to share all the equipment and troop funds.  Our boys, by the way, had an extremely good popcorn sale season and have typically had a very healthy bank account. On top of that, they are told, not asked, how they are going to mentor this new troop and invite them to events, along with sharing meeting space, which is already kind of tight.

The adult leadership for the new troop so far consists of 3 female leaders that were formerly leaders of our boys and our SM will act as an  ASM for them as well.  Meanwhile, we are constantly worried about events getting cancelled due to not having two deep leadership signing up for things like camping.  There was no real advertising of the girl troop. 

Yes, I know the CO owns everything.  But a Scout is courteous.  A bit more transparency and advance information (like we have a lot of parents concerned about dual campouts, the girls encroaching on activities that might ruin the male bonding experience, etc. -- none of this addressed more than two weeks in advance) would have been nice.  Effectively, if you have your Scoutmaster telling you how you are going to welcome these girls, teach them skills, have them come to troop activities, etc. it is expected (and thus not really a boy troop decision).  They are not being treated like just another troop in the local area where you see them from time to time.  They are linked so tightly that they are nearly one.

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@Mom2Scout the adults making the decisions clearly do not understand how linked troops are supposed to work, and what’s worse, they fail to realize that it isn’t their troop-it’s the boys’ troop. This type of decision should not be forced upon the boys.

Does the COR realize what is happening and how the SM and CC plan to organize the troops? If not, can you speak with the COR?

if the COR is ok with this or encourages it, I would have my son and as many friends want to go with him, find a new troop to join.

Edited to add: Before somebody lights me up over this post, Yes, I know the CO “owns” the troop. I am a COR, among many other roles. Our troop may be chartered by our church, but I expect the PLC to “run” the troop...with a little oversight by the SM and his ASM corps.

Edited by an_old_DC

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1 hour ago, Mom2Scout said:

To explain a little more...

The boys had this sprung on them.  Imagine being told two weeks prior that oh, we forgot to mention it, but... we are essentially marrying you to a girl troop in two weeks in an arranged marriage.  ..

We've had similar blind-sides.  When the SM invited a half-dozen boys from outside the school district joined our troop, we eventually had to deal with splits and later re-mergers.

Then, when our troop merged, there was a "deal" on the table that the merged troop would move to the older CO. The problem was that the SM (from the newer troop) had a beef with that COR. So it didn't happen. The older boys (most of whom were in the older CO) basically had to suck it up. Some of the parents of older boys were bothered, and it took the leadership of the older troop to settle them down. This happened in a matter of weeks.

Both scenarios felt like an arranged marriage (which actually had more good moments than bad, from my perspective).

Throughout both, we were unapologetic to the older scouts. Mentoring this next generation cheerfully was on them. Part of life is adapting to new situations. And little things like who's number was official was not something to cry over.

I agree that the adult leadership requirements make this linked troop model tough to implement. But, I can't imagine that changing an SM's resolve. From their perspective they are teaching a scout to be courteous. When a half dozen youth show up at your door wanting to learn how to hike and camp independently with their mates, you do everything (not the bare minimum) to help them.

Should the troop have given parents the "heads up" that they would be open to a girls unit sharing facilities and equipment? Maybe. But if they did and that those half dozen girls didn't materialize (as happened in my case), that would have been a lot of drama over a hypothetical.

Edited by qwazse

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27 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I agree that the adult leadership requirements make this linked troop model tough to implement. But, I can't imagine that changing an SM's resolve. From their perspective they are teaching a scout to be courteous. When a half dozen youth show up at your door wanting to learn how to hike and camp independently with their mates, you do everything (not the bare minimum) to help them.

Should the troop have given parents the "heads up" that they would be open to a girls unit sharing facilities and equipment? Maybe. But if they did and that those half dozen girls didn't materialize (as happened in my case), that would have been a lot of drama over a hypothetical.

How much drama could there be if everyone was onboard with the decision?  Of course there would be drama with the objectors but it also lets everyone know where the CO and/or troop leadership stands on any future changes.  Backdoor meetings and whispers between leaders certainly doesn't build respect or trust. 

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32 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

@Mom2Scout the adults making the decisions clearly do not understand how linked troops are supposed to work,....

 

Sadly BSA is encouraging this model of the "Linked Troops". Even before the decision was officially made, you had Scouters stating that "separate but equal" would not work as there was not enough resources to support 2 separate troops. They would have "paper" girls and boys troops but in reality a coed troop.  After the decision to allow girls, they came out with the "Linked troop" model which initially shared just a CO, committee, and equipment. later on the literature changed to the "linked troops" could share everythin

g but an SM. During the  Cub Scout testng phase, National allowed "joint" den meetings at the Cub level, and that continues to this day. I was a boys' WDL who was "visited" by the only girl Webelos in the pack. I see coed troops officially  coming in the next 5 years, if not sooner.

and what’s worse, they fail to realize that it isn’t their troop-it’s the boys’ troop. This type of decision should not be forced upon the boys.

Some adults do not realize this. Some don't care.

32 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

Does the COR realize what is happening and how the SM and CC plan to organize the troops? If not, can you speak with the COR?

if the COR is ok with this or encourages it, I would have my son and as many friends want to go with him, find a new troop to join.

Some CORs are not involved in the troop. I was lucky, while approximately 55% - 60% of the adults polled were all for a "linked" troop, 75% to 80% of the youth were against linked troops. Over 50% of the boys stated they would leave. CO and adults backed off on making "linked" troops for now.  

 

47 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I agree that the adult leadership requirements make this linked troop model tough to implement. But, I can't imagine that changing an SM's resolve. From their perspective they are teaching a scout to be courteous. When a half dozen youth show up at your door wanting to learn how to hike and camp independently with their mates, you do everything (not the bare minimum) to help them.

One thing forgotten is that the troop belongs to the boys, not the adults. Merging two troops is one thing, had to deal with that once before as well as the aftermath of troop mergers. But I suspect that allowing girls into the program was not a popular one by the majority of existing members. Otherwise National would have posted the internal polling results and not just the external ones supporting their decision. The SM and other Scouters should listen to their Scouts as they are the current stakeholders with a vested interest in the troop. @thrifty stated it better than me, and beat me to the point. :)

 

And don't think Scouts will not leave. If they or their parents do not trust the Scouters in the troop, they will leave.

 

@Mom2Scout

What does your Scout want to do?  As I see it, he can stick with the existing troop, or transfer to a new one.

From personal experience as a youth and adult, while transferring is hard, it is easier on the youth than the adults. I had no problems when I was a youth transferring, and both my sons have had no issues with their new troop. I am the one having a hard time with the transfer. But the longer I am with the new troop, the more I realize it was a better choice.

 

 

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I'm holding little hope for common sense in our culture anymore. The local paper commentary congratulated the new girls joining the Boy Scouts. "Now the girls aren't treated like second class citizens". My first thought was what the GSUSA thought of the comment.

Barry

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9 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

One can be pro-boy without being anti-girl.

I say yes.  But for many folks, the answer is "No!" There are some groups on Facebook that if you even question something about girls in Scouting, you are viewed as a sexist egotistical lying chauvinistic bigot who should immediately quit Scouting no matter how long or experiences with youth.

4 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I'm holding little hope for common sense in our culture anymore. The local paper commentary congratulated the new girls joining the Boy Scouts. "Now the girls aren't treated like second class citizens". My first thought was what the GSUSA thought of the comment.

Barry

Image result for common sense ain't so common quote

 

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5 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I say yes.  But for many folks, the answer is "No!" There are some groups on Facebook that if you even question something about girls in Scouting, you are viewed as a sexist egotistical lying chauvinistic bigot who should immediately quit Scouting no matter how long or experiences with youth.

It's a feature of quasi-religious movements, not a bug.  Believe unquestioningly or be excommunicated.  Makes it so much easier to control the masses.

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2 hours ago, Mom2Scout said:

You have to share all the equipment and troop funds.  Our boys, by the way, had an extremely good popcorn sale season and have typically had a very healthy bank account. On top of that, they are told, not asked, how they are going to mentor this new troop and invite them to events, along with sharing meeting space, which is already kind of tight.

Sharing funds is highly, HIGHLY discouraged for very incredibly obvious reasons. Just because Troops are "linked" does not mean they have to share everything. It's designed to be flexible to give units the option to be as close or as separate as they want, just like family Packs. 

 

The COR is not the word of God. The Committee exists for a reason and to be brutally honest, if parents wanted to say in how the unit runs they should fill out an adult application. 

Edited by carebear3895

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Just now, carebear3895 said:

The COR is not the word of God. The Committee exists for a reason. Seriously, get a Commissioner in there to get things fixed before Two units become zero. 

But they are very close. And the committee sits at the pleasure of the CO, not equal. Council does not like to upset COs because they would rather the COR be the bad guy with enforcement. Council will train and counsel COs, but they rarely wrestle with them.

Barry

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