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

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On 3/9/2019 at 9:41 AM, FireStone said:

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. 

 

Ths is an interesting point of view.  I wonder how we can identify people interested in Scouting in Kindergarten and First grade, and provide some cool stuff, outdoor activities, etc., without the drag of requirements and boring meetings. 

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53 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Ths is an interesting point of view.  I wonder how we can identify people interested in Scouting in Kindergarten and First grade, and provide some cool stuff, outdoor activities, etc., without the drag of requirements and boring meetings. 

Some reasonable expectations on the part of parents and leaders would go a long way in keeping the Lion and Tiger programs from fueling burn-out. I'm pretty sure my Pack is overdoing it with Lions, they meet 3-4 times per month sometimes (1 Pack meeting, 2-3 meetings/activities). Same with Tiger. It's unnecessary and at that age just overkill. When I was a Tiger DL we had 1 Den meeting and 1 Pack meeting per month, and met for outdoor activities maybe 3 times that I can remember. Maybe to some folks that's not enough, but for Tigers, it was plenty, and we still got everything done that is required for Tiger rank.

I think just having the Lion and Tiger programs and doing something, anything, is enough. The desire of some Packs (mine included) to maintain some minimum level of "we do X numbers of activities per month" as some sort of bragging right is unnecessary and I'd argue probably harmful to the program at that age and level.

I think parents need to be a big part of the discussion, too. We have Lion parents who are actually unhappy with the number of activities the kids do, they think there should be more going on each month. Setting better expectations there, too, would be helpful. Yes, we want your Kindergartener to have fun, every month. But we also want them to get the most out of Scouting that they can, and I believe that the aims and goals of Scouting have a greater long-term impact on scouts the older they get. I'd rather see them take it slow in the beginning and stay excited about Scouting longer, then jam a ton of activities and outings into the K and 1st grade years and see them grow tired of it by 4th grade.

Scouting is also very repetitive, especially in Cubs. Tigers, Wolves, Bears, we see a lot of similar adventures and requirements. I had a parent once who was concerned that their son joined as a Wolf and missed the Tiger year. They wanted the scout to go back and work on Tiger stuff and earn that rank (which I explained that they can't). And I explained that they didn't miss anything they won't do again at some point in the Wolf and Bear years.

So long-story-short, I'd say we should be trying to emphasize in the Lion and probably Tiger year too that we'll make sure the kids have fun and do lots of fun activities, but the program is progressive and we build up the adventure along the way. There is plenty to get excited about in the Lion and Tiger years, lots of great Pack activities, PWD, etc. Enjoy those activities, get to know the Pack program, and gear up for more adventure in the Wolf and Bear years.

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15 hours ago, thrifty said:

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. 

Working with youth for so many years has shown me that the wiring and makeup of males and females are very different and require different styles of activities to get the most growth. Folks today for various reasons are voluntarily naive to the mental and physical complexities of males and females. They selfishly and willingly sacrifice the positive growth of one gender to advance the growth of the other. In the case of scouting, and at least until puberty, girls have the advantage with their mental processing in a patrol method environment. The competitive nature of adults will used that advantage for their personal agenda. 

It's complex, but I feel the boys, and Patrol Method, are getting the short end of it. I know you aren't worried about girl troops and I agree that boys have a much better chance in single gender patrol. But there is a general gender cultural attitude of us vs them in this country at the moment. March is national Women's history month. Next month is, .....well it's not Men's History month. Just look at some of the responses in this discussion, some here think I'm putting the girls down. I don't have a problem with girls, I have a problem with adults.

Ironically, mixing the genders, while sacrificing boy growth, would force a more united adult attitude of fairness into the overall program. Yes, boys will never have the opportunities their dads had in the BSA, but at least the adults would be forced to work for the equal goals. Unfortunately, most adults today use mediocrity as the tool to fairness, which will dilute the powerful influence of the Patrol method.  

The BSA has given up it's structure to build good men of character and leaders of integrity. I now hope they can at least get something similar to Cambridgeskip's program in England. I believe that program gives the most hope for boy growth. 

Barry

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2 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

... Yes, boys will never have the opportunities their dads had in the BSA, but at least the adults would be forced to work for the equal goals. Unfortunately, most adults today use mediocrity as the tool to fairness, which will dilute the powerful influence of the Patrol method.  ...

The boys in the district where the new patrol bested them, had the opportunity to contend with some real first class scouts (patch not withstanding). They now have the opportunity to step up their game.

Obviously I think @Eagledad's assumption that someone rigged the scoring to favor a particular sex is profoundly flawed. I think any new troop of scouts, be they immigrants or minority groups, have a lot going in their favor. They've stepped in from the outside and are gun-ho for something they can master while other patrols have taken for granted that everyone else in the district slacks a little. They will come on the field looking sharp. They will have been practicing. In this case, one or two of them will have been camp staff or will have picked up skills from their brothers. I have also seen that, if their brothers are Arrowmen, they will have loaded their siblings with top-notch gear.

The bitter truth, however, is that as time goes forward these new troops likely become lax, and they will go through the team-building cycles that other patrols have. Their uniforms won't look as sharp. They might not always show scout spirit. The lion-tiger-... burnout* will affect parents of girls as well. I am pleasantly surprised that we have as many girls interested in the program as we do. But, as confident as I am that most who've joined "are all that", I'm also skeptical that the year-one Scouts BSA hype will tell us much of anything.

*P.S. - A friend who counsels medical professionals sent me a lecture that the proper term for "burnout" is "moral injury". When time allows, I may open a topic on it in I&P.

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10 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Obviously I think @Eagledad's assumption that someone rigged the scoring to favor a particular sex is profoundly flawed. I think any new troop of scouts, be they immigrants or minority groups, have a lot going in their favor. They've stepped in from the outside and are gun-ho for something they can master while other patrols have taken for granted that everyone else in the district slacks a little. They will come on the field looking sharp. They will have been practicing. In this case, one or two of them will have been camp staff or will have picked up skills from their brothers. I have also seen that, if their brothers are Arrowmen, they will have loaded their siblings with top-notch gear.

Oh for Pete sakes. I shouldn't even respond to the derogatory implication. It's beneath you. 

Barry

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23 hours ago, Eagledad said:

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.

Yep, witnessed this myself at our Council's annual adult training event.  For some reason the adults putting on the event feel the need to do a skit at the start of the program every year.  Last year's skit was set at a pinewood derby.  The adults playing the boys were acting like buffoons.  The only actual Cub Scout on the stage was a female Webelos Scout.  The dialog in the skit went something like this:

Cubmaster: Mary, it looked like you were praying before the race.  Were you praying to win?

Mary: No.

Cubmaster: What were you praying for?

Mary: That the boys won't cry when they lose.

The crowd of adult scouters roared their approval, cheering and clapping.  You can bet the male scouts in the auditorium heard it too.  The message was loud and clear.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Oh for Pete sakes. I shouldn't even respond to the derogatory implication. It's beneath you. 

Barry

You were quite explicit ...

Quote

... 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 ...

How else am my supposed to understand what you said in any other terms besides your articulated belief that the adults wanted scouts of one sex to win so badly that they tipped the scales in their favor?

Edited by qwazse

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Who doesn't  like a story of a group of underdogs working hard  and winning the contest?  Miracle on Ice , Hoosiers,  1960 Pirates, ...

 

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10 minutes ago, qwazse said:

You were quite explicit ...

How else am my supposed to understand what you said in any other terms besides your articulated belief that the adults wanted scouts of one sex to win so badly that they tipped the scales in their favor?

My integrity. There is no mention of cheating in my post, only yours.

Barry

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4 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Who doesn't  like a story of a group of underdogs working hard  and winning the contest?  Miracle on Ice , Hoosiers,  1960 Pirates, ...

 

I am quite sure we are going hear many many underdog stories for a while. 

Remind me, why are girls the underdogs?

Barry

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6 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I am quite sure we are going hear many many underdog stories for a while. 

Remind me, why are girls the underdogs?

Barry

They are the newcomers., the rookies, to the game of Scouting. 

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5 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Then I misunderstood what you meant when you said " the boys aren't just competing against girls, but the adults as well." And "no hope because I've never heard of a new scouts doing so well so fast ...  "

It's kind of funny, there is a whole another discussion about how adults are trying to get their scouts to the "Scout" rank. Even one adult talking about the struggle of her scouts just focusing on a patrol name. You know, normal scout and new unit stuff. 

5 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Either the adults tipped the scales, or they did not. So, you don't believe they tipped the scales? Fine. We agree. If they did not, then these particular new scouts actually did well. They either did well because they are endowed with gifts that boys could never possess. Or, they are really excited about the program, and practiced hard and looked sharp for the big game. I choose to believe the latter. Because if that's true then I can tell that losing patrol to start practicing for the win next year.

So, you define the only choices. I am skeptical because not only do I not believe a typical NEW unit can get to speed in one month under normal circumstance, I don't believe the scouts would set that as a goal. It's not like my emotions are in conflict and I have to lash out yelling cheating cheating to feel better. I have worked with dozens of units to help them start and come up to speed. It's all they can do to just function as a troop on their first campout. 

5 minutes ago, qwazse said:

If the former is true, then we are stuck with a "Sorry boys, there goes your safe space" whine that just smacks of defeatism.

I miss the old qwazse that spoke with maturity and wisdom.  He inspired me.

Barry

 

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I was at the camp-o-ree in question this last weekend.  

There was one all girl troop there that won first place in almost everything, the troop that they were linked to I think got a 2nd and a 3rd place ribbon, they did not do well at all.

The scoring was kept secret and bonus points were given for having "scout spirit" and "not giving up".

There were two events that the boys in my troop thought they did the very best at and did not even place in and they got ribbon for things that they know they failed at and did not deserve a ribbon for.

The boys in my troop are very unhappy with the way the scoring was done.

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Barry,

9 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Even one adult talking about the struggle of her scouts just focusing on a patrol name.

You aren't talking about my scouts, are you?

No trouble with lack of focus.    They just prioritized getting out of doors over picking a patrol name.   The PLC meeting has even scheduled in the date on which the patrol name will be picked.

Edited by Treflienne
typo

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