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Girls in Scouts BSA in the News (and in recruiting numbers)...

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6 hours ago, cocomax said:

I am suspicious the key3 are on board with this new way of scoring events at camporees. 

I don't know... maybe.  I don't think it would have been an issue if our girls had of simply been able to participate with the boys of their rank at ours.  I know our bears were hurt by not having the girl they meet with with them.  She's the rockstar scout at that level, and honestly is the leader by the way she scouts.  As for the key 3 ... well I don't have much faith in them.  I reached out to one of them about the whole coed den thing (Ellie Morrison) and this was the reply I got :

"It has been determined that separate gender dens are in the best interest of the kids.  There are gender differences in terms of preferences even when they are in the same den.  Girls are going to want yogurt parfaits because they are pretty while the boys want watermelon for its seed spitting opportunity, if you get my drift."

Suffice it to say, this made me rather livid.  My daughters could care less about parfaits, they'd be spitting watermelon seeds with everyone else... And besides, all scouts have different interests and backgrounds.  The program is the same for everyone. Same requirements, Same expectations. It should be judged the same, not to somehow coddle the girls out of some misguided sexist viewpoint that they need special treatment.   Kids have a keen sense of fairness, and can kind of tell when others are getting treated differently.  In given the girls accolades they might not have earned, it does them just as much of a disservice as it does the boys.  I honestly don't care if packs want to have segregated dens, but I think the option needs to exist for co-ed ones.  Separate is inherently unequal.  The venturing program in scouts has been co-ed for 50 years.

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12 hours ago, cocomax said:

The people running the camporee made a point of saying that the girls winning best troop proves that girls belong in the BSA and that now the boys need to step up their game so that they can keep up with the girls.

Sunday morning the boys in my troop were wondering out loud  *IF* they ever go to another  camporee that had 3 girl patrols instead of just one, would the girls automatically win first second and third in every event? 

The boys in my troop are not happy.

I'm not surprised they aren't happy! That's terrible. I'd guess this will be difficult to resolve with the organisers without one or more of them taking umbrage, but I do think such blatant gaming needs nipping in the bud.

And apologies @Eagledad it's clearly more as you suspected/stated than I argued. I was wrong.

 

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7 hours ago, mashmaster said:

I have been to two camporees this year and saw this same type of scoring biased towards the female troops.  At both those troops won and I personally saw unfair scoring in their favor and also their leaders overly helping the girls.

It saddened me because it cheapened the experience for all involved and the moms of the winning troops overly celebrated IMHO.  I think this is something that will level out over a couple of years.

Maybe it is my old age cynicism, but I think it will get worse.

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On 3/26/2019 at 10:52 AM, Eagledad said:

Hey, if Sablanck  had a boys troop leave the camporee with all the awards, would he give a big thumbs up for boys? Truth is the boys are going to have to put up with this stuff for quite awhile because women are the thing these days. It's on the news, the movies, and sports. Hey, what is the national theme this month? Meanwhile the boys are expected to keep doing their patrol method without the same kind of adult assistance for performance.

The girls who showed up to camporee joined two years prior and did cub scouting.  After crossing over another boy troop in the district did joint events and taught the girls skills.  My sons troop practices scout skills every meeting which is taught by multiple ASM's.  They haven't taken home the district trophy since my son has joined.  When I was a youth sea scout we were invited to a camporee event.  Our ship in attendance was two girls and two guys.  We won overall.  I would say mostly because my father who was our skipper had been a boy scout and I myself had been a boy scout.  Camporee is the same events over and over.  We practiced all the typical scout skills.  The scouts BSA girls above did the same thing.  

I will be honest and raw because frankly I dont care who I offend anymore within this organization.  Truthfully the real issue with scouting isnt National, it isnt the youth.  Its all the adult volunteer experts who come in and twist and warp the program because some how they are smarter than the folks in National office.  They make up their own rules and dont bother even doing anything remotely close to what the expectation is.   

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I don't think its fair to say people cheated, if the rules were "give this ribbon to whoever you want for whatever reason you want". There are all kinds of conscious and unconscious biases that come in to play but that's not cheating. Under those rules handing a ribbon to a new patrol because you're excited they're there and trying is valid even if their performance is sub-par. 

Is this a common camporee scoring system? Is this how this particular camporee has been judged in the past? because it's terrible.... and sad if it took girls winning for people to realize it.

I would definitely encourage the boys to write a letter complaining about a scoring system that lacked measurable goals and Harry Potter style "100 points for Gryffindore!"  so my pet team wins. Have them suggest a better scoring system and vote with their feet if changes aren't made by the next camporee. 

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Posted (edited)

The 3 camporees before this that we went to over the last two years all have a scoring system that gave out awards for best time / distance / points scored.  Everything seemed 100% fair at those camporees.

This camporee looked like a normal camporee, until the awards were passed out and our troop got 2 ribbons that we did not deserve at all and troops that we knew had the best times and scores got nothing, we knew someone was playing games with who got the awards and it no longer mattered how well you did at the events.

The adults running the show decided to do what they did, the youth had no part in what happened.  I did not see anything done by the youth at this event that could be considered cheating.

I saw adults step in and help when they should not have been, but the youth do not have much power to stop that nonsense. 

 

 

Edited by cocomax

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1 hour ago, Sablanck said:

I will be honest and raw because frankly I dont care who I offend anymore within this organization.  Truthfully the real issue with scouting isnt National, it isnt the youth.  Its all the adult volunteer experts who come in and twist and warp the program because some how they are smarter than the folks in National office.  They make up their own rules and dont bother even doing anything remotely close to what the expectation is.   

I disagree that it isn't National. Leadership actions model the action of the members of the program. While maintaining quality is challenging across 50 states, National hasn't shown itself as capable. Most of the changes coming from National in the last few years are abrupt and with little warning to the units and certainly without opinion from the volunteers. The information of the changes and their implementation are chaotic and inconsistent. The only reason the units can function as well as they do at a National level is because there is enough old policies and procedures to hold through the chaos.

The girls program has been rammed down the throat of the units along with confusing information and a bit of hostile marketing, which has lead to more of a us vs them introduction than a lets work together for a common goal. The BSA is in trouble and adding girls is probably the best path to survival. But it should have been a team effort from the units to National. Instead National kept everything close and secrete. Nobody knew what was going on until it happened.

I have been consistent in saying that the boys will get the short end of the stick because the focus on the girls will be pushed on them off to the side. That is what fueled this discussion the last couple of days. Is that really fair. The Boy Scouts of America has been the Boy Scouts of America for over 100 years, and now the adults are praising the girls as the bigger better part of the program.

Oh, they don't necessarily mean to be so blunt, but there are several very motivated and passionate groups of adults that don't mind the introduction being a bit of a "In Your Face" to the traditionalist scouters, and even the so called sexist of the BSA.

So how are we going to stop this growing Us vs. them attitude? Don't you find it interesting that we are having long discussions of using the right terminology of what to call the scouts, but nothing explaining that bragging about their girls mopping up the boys in their activities may not be taken well at this time of the scouting program. I know, they can't help themselves, but hopefully they get the terminology right.

Different adults have different reasons for wanting girls in the program, and they aren't doing a good job of hiding their excitement about it. 

If the program is to survive this, National has to come clean with the when, why, how, and who of the plan for the future. They need a by-in from the units so everyone is working toward the same goal, for the same reasons. The units need to know where they stand with the future and that is part of the problem. It's all a mystery. My blame starts with National.

Barry

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1 hour ago, PinkPajamas said:

I don't think its fair to say people cheated, if the rules were "give this ribbon to whoever you want for whatever reason you want". ...

I would definitely encourage the boys to write a letter complaining about a scoring system that lacked measurable goals and Harry Potter style "100 points for Gryffindore!"  so my pet team wins. Have them suggest a better scoring system and vote with their feet if changes aren't made by the next camporee. 

That's why I chose to label this behavior as "thumbs on the scales". Cheating is contestant-driven, and often comes from seasoned participants. (Although coaches may be involved.)

I could blame modern British fiction writers, but I think I'll put it on the shoulders of reality TV.

In my day, there were the champions and there were the honor campers. The two might overlap on occasion, but were often distinct.

I agree with @Eagledad Although I'm personally impressed that this year it looks like we will have 10,000 Scouts BSA girls, it's only one story. It also looks like we have thousands of Mormon youth who want to be scouts even when their church isn't requiring them to do so. We have scouters who don't like the change but are still pitching in. I would love media spots with folks like the former Cub mom (now great grandmother) who I sat with at our troop's spaghetti dinner. She said "Boys should learn to do boy things and girls should learn to do girl things." Her daughter tried to be more PC about it, but I thought that a video with hers as the opening line would be the best marketing Scout's BSA could ever wish to have. I think we would all like to hear about the girl's troop who's having a rough start but the boys and venturers around them are stopping by to encourage them to keep trying ... perhaps with an offer of dutch oven cobbler and a game of cards.

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1 hour ago, cocomax said:

I saw adults step in and help when they should not have been, but the youth do not have much power to stop that nonsense. 

Yeah, this nonsense was called-out in our District Comm meetings after last year's Camporee.  We (adults) are taking steps at this year's Camporee in two weeks to separate adults who are "just trailing" and get them well away from the patrols in general and the competitions in particular.  We'll see.

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7 hours ago, dfg890 said:

 

" Girls are going to want yogurt parfaits because they are pretty while the boys want watermelon for its seed spitting opportunity, if you get my drift."

Wow. Just wow. 

This is certainly not my experience at all. Most of my daughter’s friends are boys and one of the reasons she didn’t want to join Girl Scouts is that she wanted a program she wouldn’t have to exclude her friends from. Even in Kindergarten when we discussed joining GS she perceived it as something she would want to invite her friends to. So I looked into Campfire for her only to find it isn’t active in our area anymore, and she didn’t join anything until cub scouts opened up when she was in 2nd grade. 

In our pack the separate den thing is only on paper. The girls and boys don’t even know there are two dens. They just know they have two den leaders. It’s a small pack and only two boy bears and two girl bears, so segregating the dens would really limit what we could do. Den meetings generally are one boy and one girl each because of geographical distance - the boy den leader runs weekly meetings on one side of town and I run them on the other side of town and each of us meets with one of the others’ scouts. Pack meetings and additional activities are done with all the bears together and the other den leader and I coordinate those as co-den leaders. 

My daughter is already sad about not being able to do the same thing when she eventually crosses over - she doesn’t want to do separate Troops. But reality is that due to parent temperament I don’t think either of our boys is going to join Scouts BSA anyway - I’ll be surprised if they stick around for Webelos. The kids all love it but the parents are busy with other things so we’ll see. The girls are the ones whose parents make sure they show up pretty consistently to activities. 

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2 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

Yeah, this nonsense was called-out in our District Comm meetings after last year's Camporee.  We (adults) are taking steps at this year's Camporee in two weeks to separate adults who are "just trailing" and get them well away from the patrols in general and the competitions in particular.  We'll see.

The problem is the culture. We used to go to a camp in Colorado every other years because it had a "Boy Run" culture and fit our troop program better. The summer temperature highs were in the 70s compared to the Oklahoma 100s, but I'm trying to make a point here. Units can have a "boy run" culture, but leaders of those units will explain that planning is easier for their program if they just skip District and Council activities that don't fit their program concept.  The truth is that units in general mimic the basic perception district has of its scouts. It takes a strong group of adult leaders to build a program with a different preception.

I have often said here that the best way to make changes at a district level is through training. If all the course slipped in the term "Youth Run" with a very basic explanation of "scouts making independent or critical decisions for their activities, "Trained" leaders would start shifting their efforts toward that vision. Not because they agree or disagree with the concept, but because the concept is how they were trained. Add a few Patrol Method clinics to help the adults understand how to build toward such program, all the units of the district would resemble the District "youth run" concept. The culture would build and reinforce the concepts through District activities like Camporee, Weboree, Cub Camps and so forth. 

Barry

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Posted (edited)

Our Council and District social media is flooded with posts and memes about the handful of girl troops.  Every single activity they do (“here’s Troop 123 learning fire starting!”, “here’s Troop 123 learning first aid!”) is noted.  Great, they are doing the things THAT EVERY SCOUT WHO HAS COME BEFORE THEM ARE DOING! I’m not discouraging them from doing it, but if the desire was to allow girls into the organization to have the same experience as boys have had for over a 100 years, and that we shouldn’t think girls can’t do it, then stop making it THE focus.  They are here, now go and get scouting.  Units have been started for over a century, and other scouts have come and helped them- that is nothing new, so put the focus on that fact, and just let this time become just yet another chapter, not a separate novel.

Edited by HashTagScouts

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Posted (edited)

I wonder if any Districts are holding separate boys' and girls' Camporees?  Some Districts won't yet have critical mass of girl patrols, I get that, but for those Districts that do have ample girl patrols has anyone heard of separate Camporees?

Venturing has been coed for years (and btw if shenanigans are the worry such would occur in Venturing, not in Scouts BSA, so that's not the issue), but I gather in Scouts BSA the thinking is the boys need their scouting experience and the girls need theirs.  Consequently Scouts BSA isn't organized like Little League - with girls & boys intermingled - but rather like recreational soccer, where identical games are run on side-by-side fields with only boys v boys or girls v girls games.  So should the goal eventually be separate Camporees?  Such would not only eliminate the Camporee bias, but would help ensure the boys get their scouting experience and the girls get theirs.

Edited by AltadenaCraig

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1 minute ago, AltadenaCraig said:

Such would not only eliminate the Camporee bias, but would help ensure the boys get their scouting experience and the girls get theirs.

When I was active, camporees were planned by the next Troop in line. It wasn't really even voluntary, if a troop refused district, districts wrath would bare down. 

I can't say if separate Camporees would be ideal, but just getting the resource to plan and run two separate events even side by side would be a huge challenge. 

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

The girls program has been rammed down the throat of the units along with confusing information and a bit of hostile marketing, which has lead to more of a us vs them introduction than a lets work together for a common goal. The BSA is in trouble and adding girls is probably the best path to survival. But it should have been a team effort from the units to National. Instead National kept everything close and secrete. Nobody knew what was going on until it happened.

I'm not seeing at all what you're seeing here, Barry. 

We've known for well over a year that a program was going to be released that would include girls in the full Scouting experience. They told us that long before the details had been worked out. We've known since I-don't-know-how-long what that program was going to look like... I don't remember when they finalized it but it's been at least since last Fall, or last Summer. That's been plenty of time to figure out what's happening and plan for it. And nothing is getting rammed down anybody's throat; no Troop is being required to form a troop for the girls to come alongside. Maybe there's something going on in your Council or District that isn't happening here, but certainly in my experience I'm seeing the vast majority of the existing Troops remain as stand-alone boy troops with only a handful of existing COs starting girl troops. 

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