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

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19 minutes ago, Saltface said:

Easy, now. The LDS 11 year-old program has often been disparaged for being exactly that.  :) 

Sadly we have less than 10 months left to disparage them......

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1 hour ago, Saltface said:

Easy, now. The LDS 11 year-old program has often been disparaged for being exactly that. 

I'm not convinced the 11 year olds should be pulled from the scout program. But 3 years would give that age range more time in a program of it's own. I believe most of the UK Scouts age ranges are 3 years. They also have more flexibility as to when scouts move up to the next level. Maybe that would be better. I tell you what, since the ink isn't dry on this change let the 11 year olds decide what they want to do. They can stay with the Webelos or move up to scouts. Let them bridge over when they're mature enough.

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The existing Webelos program works perfectly.  My spouse was the den leader for the 8 girls who gradusted into our troop and they loved it.  My motivation is that we can easily have den meetings in a different room and this becomes a feeder organization for the troop.  We meet on Saturday mornings, which was the same time we had our Webelos meetings.  We would operate it as a pure Webelos troop and not a “young patrol”

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I gotta admit, I liked the June 2015 - December 2016 Webelos program. Maybe it was just the 2 DLs my middle son's den had, I did train both of them ;) . They had an active outdoor program that fully prepared them for Boy Scouts. The Crossed Over January 2nd 2017, and currently all the Scouts are still involved in troops 26 months later.

Youngest used the December 2016 to current Webelos Program. He was OK with it, but after dealing with his brothers at home, well he was chomping at the bit to become a Scouts BSA member.

The real key in my opinion is HOW THE WEBELOS PROGRAM IS RUN BY THE DEN LEADERS! (emphasis). I already mentioned how one pack is not beginning the transition until 5th grade. Those Scouts, and especially the parents, are not ready for Scouts BSA. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2019 at 2:04 PM, fred8033 said:

As the father of multiple sons, if I knew what I knew now, I'd skip the Lion and Tiger years too.  They are just not ready and our family had enough stress starting the kid out in school.

My daughter is 4, going on 5 this year, and she's skipping the Lion year. I don't see the point of it, and it will only contribute to burnout, possibly hers, more likely mine. 

Maybe this is a little selfish, but I don't want to learn the Lion program and end up running it, which I will since I'm already a DL and I'm sure I'll get pulled into that role in the Lion den too. So I'd rather just skip that whole year. And I doubt my daughter will miss much. I doubt my son would have missed much skipping Tiger, and half of his Wolf den was first-year scouts, many who had older siblings and knew Tiger year was a waste. 

I'd skip Tiger with my daughter too, but she's already too aware of Cub Scouts and I have a feeling just skipping Lion will be about as much of a delay as she will let me live with. :)

I just watched a bunch of really anxious Webelos cross over to troops last week, and they could not have been more ready. They were tired of the Cub program, ready to move on. And they didn't do Lions, I don't know how many did Tiger. I'd be willing to bet a lot of those kids wouldn't have been crossing over if they had spent an extra year in Cubs earlier on. We had 3 Webelos not even show up to cross over, they already basically quit earlier in the year. 

Tiger burns kids out on Cubs but many still make it all the way through. Lions will kill enthusiasm for Cubs by the time these kids are in 3rd or 4th grade. Parents? They'll be done even earlier. 

Edited by FireStone
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3 hours ago, FireStone said:

I just watched a bunch of really anxious Webelos cross over to troops last week, and they could not have been more ready. They were tired of the Cub program, ready to move on. And they didn't do Lions, I don't know how many did Tiger. I'd be willing to bet a lot of those kids wouldn't have been crossing over if they had spent an extra year in Cubs earlier on. We had 3 Webelos not even show up to cross over, they already basically quit earlier in the year. 

Tiger burns kids out on Cubs but many still make it all the way through. Lions will kill enthusiasm for Cubs by the time these kids are in 3rd or 4th grade. Parents? They'll be done even earlier. 

You are doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Kids don’t burn out if they are having fun. The reason those Webelos were excited to cross over is likely a good den leader. 

We had two Eagle dads join our pack who couldn’t wait to be leaders. They both planned to be SMs, and would have been great. I encouraged them to wait a couple years, but both had to be leaders then. One took over as CM and the other a DL. They were fantastic and the cubs loved them, but both burned out took a few years off after their sons crossed over. We lost two really good Eagles dads that way. The adults need to pace themselves if they want to lead in the troop. 

We tried to keep new parents out of the program completely as Tiger parents and ask them to just observe. Then get moms to lead the Bear/wolf years with dad taking over at Webelos. That plan rarely happened because some adults can’t wait to lead and are stuck the whole five years, while other groups don’t have any dads wanting take over. 

But two years max should be the goal for adults volunteer time. They can still help, if they want, but just assist.

Barry

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We don't see that much burn out in our pack.  We generally see about 85% of the Webelos join a troop.  Similarly, we see lots of leaders make the transition too.  

For scouts, I think the key is to keep it challenging - not just fun.  Every year has to involve new things and scouts need to get significant new challenges.  You need to have differentiated activities just for the Webelos.  

For adults, the key is support.  I've found that most of our burn out occurred when we overworked sole den leaders.  So, we made sure we always had a den leader and assistants.  We made sure we have an assistant Cubbmaster or two who could handle pack level tasks so the Cubmaster isn't worn too thin and so we don't put too much on the den leaders that isn't their jobs.  Seems to work for us.

This is where I think the UK has it right with Beaver Scouts and Cub Scout being seperate programs.

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The NPR program “A1” broadcast today was a generally balanced one hour discussion.  The BSA National executive who appeared shared that we now have 1,800 all girl troops, which sounds good to me.  This is definite evidence of 2 things:  we have a program that is clearly relevant to and demanded by girls and we still have a splendid National organization that can execute on important priorities in an effective manner.  Things to be very proud of.

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1 hour ago, Sablanck said:

I had a girl troop last weekend at the camporee I was a planner for.  They were full uniformed, excellent attitudes and were within the top three scores on every event.  They also knocked it out of the park on the other optional point items and took home top troop of the district for the event.  Definitely a big thumbs up from me on girls in scouting.

Yep, definitely a great motivator to encourage more boys to join.

Barry

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25 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Yep, definitely a great motivator to encourage more boys to join.

Barry

@Eagledad, That's like saying our patrols' consistent victories at Klondike is discouraging other boys in the district to join scouts.

Let's face it, this isn't an absorption of GS/USA. This is a recruitment of scouts who care about skills the way many boys who drift into a troop actually should. In the short term, we can expect them some of these Scout's BSA for girls troops to give the lion's share of established patrols a run for their money. In the long term, we can expect the boys in the district to step up their game if their SM's are half the coaches they should be.

Why is this? Most Scouts BSA for girls are a de-facto patrol. They have to work together and plan their own rank advancement and activities. If there are seasoned boys who they'd like on their team, the can't have them. They have to build their own with what they have. It's basically the mythic Rat Patrol or McHale's Navy in kid form. This weekend I finally got to meet a troop of Scouts BSA girls. They are sharp and diverse age-wise an slowly chipping away at their Scout Rank after one month of existence. (I.e., this is not one of those previously rogue troops.) I encouraged them that, from here on, their line to their leaders must be "Mrs. SM, where to this month?"

If that does happen, then the boys in their linked troop will be inspired to step up their game as well as these upstarts who are sharing their CO have done.

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Are you saying that the normal natural talents of these girls in a patrol method program were enough to earn them the highest skills awards in the district, in just one month? Somebody was trying to prove something. Was it the girls?

The list was warned about this. There is a reason single gender is preferred for growth in this age group. Not just scouts, but any area where growth is the primary objective. When one gender has an advantage to gain recognition or power over the other gender,  the other gender naturally feel disheartened and belittled. The natural reaction is retreating away from the situation.

In this case, the boys aren't just competing against girls, but the adults as well. If the girls really are that good, then there is no hope because I've never heard of a new scouts doing so well so fast. But, it's not really that, boys aren't stupid. The well dressed cheering adults standing next to that troop is the real advantage against boy run troops were adults are encourage to stand back. Why in the world would boys want to join an organization where girls are continually propped up as the good of scouting, and given advantages in their competition. Who wants that? We saw it on this forum for the last year. "Let the girls show the boys how to do it".

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.

And when the patrols are mixed, adults will praise the great leadership of the weaker sex as well. As I said, I observed over the years that girls are instinctively detail minded and that is an advantage over the instinctively visionary boys. Many adults will enjoy and justify the great leadership of the girls, and even how girls are more mature and better at these things. Adults can't help themselves, but at the same time, the boy run program now requires adult intervention just to kind of keep growth fair. Growth through independence will fade away and be replaced by accolades of advancement recognition and the stature of leadership. It's the times I guess. 

Remember your story of your daughter slapping the hand of the "Oklahoma" Boy who offered his help. Explain again why slapping away the offering of help "from a boy" was a good thing?

Barry

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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

 If the girls really are that good, then there is no hope because I've never heard of a new scouts doing so well so fast.

I imagine that typically a group of new scouts has been a bunch of fifth-graders,  not a bunch of teenagers.   Being half again as old (as the 16-year-old in that troop is) makes a difference.

3 hours ago, qwazse said:

@Eagledad

Let's face it, this isn't an absorption of GS/USA. This is a recruitment of scouts who care about skills the way many boys who drift into a troop actually should.

I have been impressed by the enthusiasm of the girls that have joined our troop.  They did not just drift into this because someone signed them up for cubs (or for brownies) years ago and they've drifted along with their friends.  They really want to be there.   We have around a dozen girls drawing from four towns,  three school districts --- it is a very self-selected group.  And yes, I've got a couple of scouts who have been spending a lot of time teaching themselves scout skills at home (knots, lashing, etc) so that they can teach the others.     

3 hours ago, qwazse said:

They are sharp and diverse age-wise an slowly chipping away at their Scout Rank after one month of existence.

And the Scout Rank may be taking longer for the girls than for the boys.   When these new scouts go camping,  the not-yet-scout-rank girls are in charge of planning, shopping for, and cooking the meals.  (Why?  because they need to eat, and there ain't nobody with higher rank to plan it for them.)  That takes away time that they could be using on, say,  picking a name for their as-yet-nameless patrol. (As I have told them,  nobody can earn scout rank until they have a patrol name.)

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6 hours ago, Sablanck said:

I had a girl troop last weekend at the camporee I was a planner for.  They were full uniformed, excellent attitudes and were within the top three scores on every event.  They also knocked it out of the park on the other optional point items and took home top troop of the district for the event.  Definitely a big thumbs up from me on girls in scouting.

So a group of girls who are all brand new to the BSA outperformed boys, many of whom  presume, have been in scouts for a number of years, but the brand new girls still outperformed the more experienced boys for the top district award...interesting. 

I'm presuming that there was a judges meeting before the competition. Did you, as planner inform the judges beforehand that you wanted to ensure that the girls would not be judged unfairly?

We have to bear in mind that judging for many camporee or klondike events is heavily subjective. Going a step further biased judging is also not uncommon. My troop had for many years attended a camporee that every year was won by a different patrol but always from the host troop; every single year. For our troop this camporee was not really about winning but more so about the experience. We always took it with a grain of salt that we knew in advance who was going to win and figured that most of the other troops had a similar approach and mindset to it. 

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