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

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26 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

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.

Ah, never to late for men to learn. What age do girls instantly become experts at boy scout skills? 

26 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

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.

That's nice, I'm sure you are proud. I would be too. But this has nothing to do with my post. There is no defense for a new one month old Troop of girls taking top honors at a Camporee in a Youth Lead Program. Someone had an agenda and I struggle to believe it was the girls. And to prove what? Adults in girls troops are better than adults in boys troops?

26 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

 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.)

And I'm sure they are having more fun too. Your whining to the wrong person. I'm a character developer, not an Eagle maker. I believe rank shouldn't be hurried. Balance program of the 8 Methods should be the priority. Your patrol is functioning normal in our troop and your sitting higher on my admiration scale. Patience and humility are the qualities of the best adult leaders. You seem to have a good start.

Thumbs up and starting a youth run patrol method program.

Barry

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7 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I believe rank shouldn't be hurried.

I agree.  But, I have an ASM that I need to convince of this.   Do you have any good recommended reading on the subject?

I would like to see, for the scouts,  high opportunity and low pressure when it come to rank advancement.  That is, lots of opportunity to use (and to learn by using)  scout skills.   Low pressure as to how quickly to get them signed off.   I definitely want to avoid the "once and done" mentality. 

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3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

There is a reason single gender is preferred for growth in this age group.

This is why I am glad that the girls and boys are in separate troops.

3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

And when the patrols are mixed,

I hope we don't get there.

15 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

What age do girls instantly become experts at boy scout skills

I doubt that the girls were instant experts.    In my troop (which definitely would not be winning any camporee contests yet) we had girls come in that already had some scouts skills.  (One-match fire building?  Yup, one girl could do that.   Quite familiar with lashing?  Yup, one girl could do that.   Done a lot of backpacking? Yup, one girl had.   Different girls for each skill.)

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

I agree.  But, I have an ASM that I need to convince of this.   Do you have any good recommended reading on the subject?

I would like to see, for the scouts,  high opportunity and low pressure when it come to rank advancement.  That is, lots of opportunity to use (and to learn by using)  scout skills.   Low pressure as to how quickly to get them signed off.   I definitely want to avoid the "once and done" mentality. 

Here is where I started with my ASMs. I had them read the BSA Mission and Vision first. Then I had them read the 3 Aims and 8 Methods. In your case, ask what priority is advancement? 

The Mission and Visions sets the goals for the adults. The 3 Aims are how the adults measure their performance, leaving the scouts responsible for the 8 Methods. Surely even your ASM can see setting up camp and cooking meals is a high priority. 

The hard part for new adults is sorting out the complexity of the program in an understandable format to run a measurably productive unit. Adults (especially new adults) generally fixate on advancement (and uniforms) because those two parts of the program are easy to administer and easy to measure. It's the easiest way for adults to feel good about the program. BUT, advancement is boring to new scouts who joined an outdoor adventure program. The program needs balance and the adults need to learn how to guide the scouts to plan their balance. So, compromise with your ASM; do a little camping, a little cooking, a little hiking, and a little advancement. Balance and fun.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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4 hours ago, Eagledad said:

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.

(Bold-face provided by me.)

Seriously, Barry?  I have no question that you are deeply concerned about the impact of this change on the boys, and you are absolutely sure that you're right, and I get that. Only time will tell whether a large number of boys will leave the program.  But at the same time, I can't help but wonder whether there is also a certain amount of resentment involved, as indicated in the quotation above.

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26 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

(Bold-face provided by me.)

Seriously, Barry?  I have no question that you are deeply concerned about the impact of this change on the boys, and you are absolutely sure that you're right, and I get that. Only time will tell whether a large number of boys will leave the program.  But at the same time, I can't help but wonder whether there is also a certain amount of resentment involved, as indicated in the quotation above.

I can see why you think that. But, I believe I'm being fair that there is a lot of woman bolstering in our culture these days. My point is a lot of adults want the girls program to be successful, and they are pushing the girl units a differently than boy units to generate that success at the expense of the boys. 

It's the nature of adults. Most districts see adult driven agendas for one reason or another all the time. But, adding girls to a national program brings out a national commonality for adults wanting to prove the success of girl units. We already see it in the press. And as I said before, one local paper had a cartoon that said "now the girls aren't treated as underclass anymore." My response to that cartoon was wondering how the GSUSA leadership feel about being consider underclass, or are they treating boys as underclass.

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Here is where I started with my ASMs. I had them read the BSA Mission and Vision first. Then I had them read the 3 Aims and 8 Methods. In your case, ask what priority is advancement? 

The Mission and Visions sets the goals for the adults. The 3 Aims are how the adults measure their performance, leaving the scouts responsible for the 8 Methods. Surely even your ASM can see setting up camp and cooking meals is a high priority. 

The hard part for new adults is sorting out the complexity of the program in an understandable format to run a measurably productive unit. Adults (especially new adults) generally fixate on advancement (and uniforms) because those two parts of the program are easy to administer and easy to measure. It's the easiest way for adults to feel good about the program. BUT, advancement is boring to new scouts who joined an outdoor adventure program. The program needs balance and the adults need to learn how to guide the scouts to plan their balance. So, compromise with your ASM; do a little camping, a little cooking, a little hiking, and a little advancement. Balance and fun.

Barry

I agree with you that balance and not putting advancement as the most important thing is the ideal scenario.  Advancement and uniforms are, sadly, the most visible thing to parents who are not in the program, and often all they fixate on.  When the adults begin to bow to that,  then it becomes the troops focus, and the outdoor program does indeed become less about adventure, and more of a grind than fun.  

Advancement on a scouts terms is fine- I don't have a problem with a young teen becoming Eagle, if indeed a) they did the work for themselves the same as a 17 1/2 year old would, b) they recognize Eagle isn't an end game, and their purpose now is to give back and mentor the next crop of Eagles, and c) they had fun on the journey, and want to continue to have fun.   

Most kids who drop out of Scouting will say it was because they were not having fun.  And, probe them, you will find it is because the program they were in was doing the same things over and over.  That isn't very adventurous, if you just follow the script from last year, or the year before.  It makes Scouting "workmanlike", and if it is workmanlike, they would rather be off doing something else.     

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1 minute ago, HashTagScouts said:

 Most kids who drop out of Scouting will say it was because they were not having fun.  And, probe them, you will find it is because the program they were in was doing the same things over and over.  That isn't very adventurous, if you just follow the script from last year, or the year before.  It makes Scouting "workmanlike", and if it is workmanlike, they would rather be off doing something else.     

Yep, repeating the same program over and over drives out the older scouts because even though they have achieved all the advancement requirements, they end up teaching them over and over. They want to be role models, not babysitters. Scouts want adventure and the adults want (should want) behavior growth. The 8 methods do a very good job of guiding the scouts in a fun and rewarding program.

I find that while most young scouts aren't very interested in advancement, they become more ambitious as they get older. From a Eagles per Scouts perspective, our troop after five years was producing the 2nd most Eagles in the district. And the adults didn't push them. Well accept for parents. My point is that if the adults make sure the scouts are enjoying all of the program, they will stay long enough to eventually want more advancement in their experience. Balance of the 8 methods builds a solid program. The experience should be the motivator to grow with advancement, not the program directive.

Barry

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

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

I joined an international scouting facebook page months ago because I was curious and because international scouting is constantly used as an example of why girls should be in the BSA and why it will work.  I have a lot of good and bad opinions about what has been posted on that page.  I just read a comment a few days ago and wish I would have kept a screen shot.  It didn't originate because of any co-ed argument but was just a UK leader's nonchalant comment about her group.  I am paraphrasing but she said something to the effect of "I'm glad that scouting is coed, the girls are the first to volunteer for everything."  Well, that can be taken several ways but I think it justifies some of my concerns about girls in scouting.  I'm not worried about girl troops.  I'm worried because I don't trust the BSA and eventually it will be co-ed troops. 

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8 hours ago, Eagledad said:

There is no defense for a new one month old Troop of girls taking top honors at a Camporee in a Youth Lead Program. Someone had an agenda and I struggle to believe it was the girls. And to prove what? Adults in girls troops are better than adults in boys troops?

I think we're all reading too much into this.  I cannot really draw any significant conclusions here until I know what the competitions were.  For all I know, this competition had more to do with preparation and effort than it did Scout skills.  

If this had more to do with effort, preparation, and energy I'd probably be surprised if some troops for girls didn't do well.  They are probably running very high on enthusiasm right now.

I say this fully acknowledging that there are certainly adults who are very motivated to make sure the new troops for girls are ultimately successful.  I don't doubt this means some adults are rooting for them to be successful.  I'm rooting for our new troop for girls to do fantastic.  That doesn't mean I'm rooting less for troops for boys.  I'm capable of doing both.

 

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We don't really know the details of how the patrols that Sablanck saw were brought up with the idea of scout led, what their parents were like, what the events were like, or how they were judged. So, lots of room for everyone's opinion. I can certainly see a perfect storm that ended up with a new troop winning the big prize.

First of all, the older girls that joined in February are an unusual group. They're hungry for scouting and likely more driven on average than the current scouts. Next year there will likely be few older girls joining. This was a one time thing.

Second, there may be hungry parents as well, that don't know about patrol method and are pushing more for winning the competition than anything else. Any new troop could have this problem.

So, scouts hungry to show their ability and parents that only see competition and advancement. And it's just as likely that I have it all wrong.

In the meantime, I had talked to my troop guides about having a program put together for the new scout patrol. Just have a bunch of plans for meetings and campouts in place that they could grab. Well, life has been busy lately and I didn't ask about how things were going. I figured they would forget about everything. Lo and behold, I showed up late to the meeting and the troop guides had pulled their patrol away from the main event and did their own thing. That was really cool to see. It was a 2 steps forward kind of day.

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18 hours ago, Eagledad said:

adults will praise the great leadership of the weaker sex as well.

And maybe the girls were smart enough to realise there would be people that think like this and would re-double their efforts and be extra motivated to do well to prove them wrong. As it turns out, even if they did prove them wrong, those people belittling them would find another reason why it wasn't actually the girls efforts that got them where they are.

Handy tip: If you're ever standing with my Explorers Scouts, don't ever refer to the girls as the weaker sex, they would...not be impressed.

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15 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

(Bold-face provided by me.)

Seriously, Barry?  I have no question that you are deeply concerned about the impact of this change on the boys, and you are absolutely sure that you're right, and I get that. Only time will tell whether a large number of boys will leave the program.  But at the same time, I can't help but wonder whether there is also a certain amount of resentment involved, as indicated in the quotation above.

Let's do an experiment to test Barry's assertion.  You name TV shows in the last say 10 years that have a strong male lead who is a good father and husband, and I'll name a show where the male lead is a buffoon of a family man who needs a woman to ensure he feeds himself or an emotionally damaged loan wolf or a negative stereotype of a player.  Whoever names the most shows wins.

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I posted this in its own thread, but here is a news story about a large all-girls Troop in Wisconsin.  It's a pretty nice article.  It does refer to the girls paying attention and being enthusiastic about learning.   That's not so bad.

https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/mukwonago-home-to-one-of-nations-biggest-all-girls-scouts-bsa-troops

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Posted (edited)

If we're talking about women doing their best to prove themselves alongside men, here is a fantastic example from hockey.  She was not the fastest, but she was competitive with elite men's hockey skaters.  That said, she's an Olympic Gold Medalist already.

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/nhl-all-star-skills-competition-mcdavid-coyne-1.4993845

And, she was given a job with NBC because of her high performance.  
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2019/01/28/kendall-coyne-schofield-olympian-all-star-nbc-analyst/2704810002/

This is very cool.  

From the second article:

Coyne said when she received the call that she would compete in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition as a replacement for injured Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, “it put chills down my back.”

“I knew it was going to break down a lot of barriers and open a lot of eyes,” she said. “I was super excited for the opportunity. I know there was a lot of people who worked really hard to make that moment possible. I didn’t think it would (lead to) this opportunity, but I knew it would be a historic moment and it would change perceptions about women’s hockey.”

I love it when people get well-deserved opportunities!

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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