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Cburkhardt

Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

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AWESOME! Tis the way it should be. Scouts having fun and being scouty. 

And yes, ever vigilance is needed for the road ahead. While there shouldn't be issues as most people aren't into doing bad things, there are those who don't think the things they do are bad and need a course correction. And of course, those that really do have an axe to grind in the most inappropriate manner. 

Back at Texas A&M when women were first allowed in the band (fall of 85) (I wasn't around for the time when women were first allowed in the Corps of Cadets or the University, both also full of contention), there was a senior who had to be spoken with on several occasions until he got hauled off to stand in front of the powers that be for further education. This senior would do the things that seniors did, standard type of harassment of the freshmen. He'd call out for "survey, survey" and then ask the fish a question. Normally this wasn't a big deal, like what make of car do you drive. And it could be interesting. However he would ask things that were meant to separate the genders. "What shampoo do you use."  Mind you fish boys did not have much hair *(military boot cut)* so very few if any actually used shampoo. Said senior claimed he didn't see any problems with what he was doing; he was innocent of charges. You could claim he knew exactly what he was doing and was trying to get away with. That's the sort of thing I expect moving forward, being as close to the line as possible, even straying just over it, and then claim innocence for the behavior. So ever vigilance. 

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4 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

I will echo @Cburkhardt that our linked Troop of girls had a great experience at camp...

Unfortunately, while I am overall pleased with how our Girls' Troop did at summer camp, we experienced a variety of challenges that I suppose I should have foreseen.  Please don't construe my itemization of these as condemnation of girls in BSA, but I do believe we need to think realistically about how to best deal with some things that I, and I suspect many other "early adopters" were hoping would somehow turn out to not be issues:

 

1:  "Boys will be boys".  There were apparently multiple instances of "I've gotta f*** me some white b*****s" displays of vulgarity aimed at our girls, and from what I understand, similarly-inappropriate-from-seven-different-directions comments aimed in the opposite racial direction towards girls in another one of the attending Girls' Troops.

Some of this, I lay at the feet of that !@#$%^& ga-ga ball pit.  If any other feature of camp, so reliably brought out absolutely horrible behavior like that thing does, it would be banned from camp in 15 minutes.   Our camp has had knife-fights break out over ga-ga ball.  One of the camp's most beloved counselors was attacked and his uniform ripped off and slashed to shreds over ga-ga ball.  Now we've got racial bullying and sexual harassment being weaponized as play strategy.  (doubly unfortunately, this is going to be held up by some of our parents as a reason to segregate the girls into girls-only camps, and create a girl-customized program for them...)

The ga-ga ball pit aside, camps need a better response strategy to the sexual and racial BS, and probably a better camp-intro canned "You get one warning about scout-inappropriate behavior that will not be permitted.  This that warning..." speech, regarding appropriate behavior and respect for all participants.

 

2: "drama, drama, drama".  Somehow, having raised a mostly drama-free daughter (yeah, don't ask me how I apparently dodged that bullet - until 2 weeks ago, I had no clue what I was "missing"!), I was unaware of just how quickly "drama drama drama" happens in the teenage girl and boy world.   We had screaming and crying matches between girls over who was working with which counselor.  We had suicide-pact love letters from boys in other troops.  We had very little sleep...

I'm hopeful that we can curtail a lot of this with simply more and better pre-camp training and emphasis about scout-appropriate behavior at camp.  Unfortunately I suspect that hope is delusional.  Maybe the hive mind has had more sleep, and has better and better-tested ideas than I do on that one!

 

3: Spiders.  Wow.  Anyone who has been to summer camp knows that 10% of the new boys will be terrified of spiders and put up a huge fight over going into their tents on Sunday night.  By Wednesday they will have given the spiders names, and by Friday will be depressed if one of the regular inhabitants "gets lost".  With girls, at least our girls, it went the other way around.  Sunday, we had two girls afraid of spiders, and by Friday, we had 9.

I think it's an ego vs empathy thing.  With the boys, I think there's an ego-based pressure to not be the lone kid standing in the middle of camp crying about spiders when everyone else has gone to bed.  With the girls, I think there's an empathy based pressure to not be the kid who goes to bed, when there's someone standing in the middle of camp crying about spiders.   We've got some learning to do, to develop new strategies for working with this hitherto-alien mindset...

 

Other than those issues, our troop did ok.  I saw a huge amount of personal growth in almost all of them, so on balance the experience was definitely positive.  We certainly have some discrete challenges however that are going to mandate some serious thought!

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Different girls in different groups in different camps.  Sorry to hear you had such concerns.  Our group turned out to be quite "boy like" on these issues, including the spiders and competitive matters (our girls beat several all-boy Troops in soccer).  It was fair play all around.  Your points #1 and 2 were largely absent in our experience last week.  Our 21 girls were a pretty tight team that hung together.  We had several female leaders with us to ease the way, which I believe helped prevent those problems in our case. 

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10 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

Different girls in different groups in different camps.  Sorry to hear you had such concerns.  Our group turned out to be quite "boy like" on these issues, including the spiders and competitive matters (our girls beat several all-boy Troops in soccer).  It was fair play all around.  Your points #1 and 2 were largely absent in our experience last week.  Our 21 girls were a pretty tight team that hung together.  We had several female leaders with us to ease the way, which I believe helped prevent those problems in our case. 

I honestly was not expecting most of this from our troop.   In many respects they are "boy like" in their approach to challenges (or, perhaps like what we'd like the boys to be like 🙂 )  but despite this, they blind-sided us on some of these.  Our primary on-camp leaders were female, but unfortunately were also completely surprised by, and initially blind to some of the shenanigans.  

There are other things our girls got oh-so-right, and it was a delight to get to watch them just completely own some things that really challenge the boys, but there are definitely places where we're hitting "wow, I've never had a reason to even worry about that being an issue" moments.

I'm curious about the age of the girls in your troop.  We've a pretty wide spread, 11 to 17, but our strongest personalities are in the 11-13 range, so that may play into things somewhat.

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We are a 30-girl, non-linked troop.  We had 21 in summer camp -- mostly 11-13.  We had strong leadership from co-SPL's aged 15.  Many of these girls have been together since we formed an early adopter Webelos group in January '18.  We prepped our kids for camp, had three camping trips this past spring and almost all were Scout or Tenderfoot.  Maybe our girls just had more comfort and confidence because of the rigor of our start-up.  Hard to say -- but my view is that the program works very well as-is for our girls.

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1 hour ago, willray said:

Now we've got racial bullying and sexual harassment being weaponized as play strategy.

This is likely coming from online gaming culture, which is incredibly toxic. 

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We just did not experience that.  We were at a high-quality camp run by a best practices council.  We are a racially diverse Troop and there were other racially diverse Troops as well at the camp.  Nothing will ever be perfect on those topics, but I am glad to wee everyone maintaining an awareness of not wanting those matters to get out-of-hand. 

Quote

 

 

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19 minutes ago, malraux said:

This is likely coming from online gaming culture, which is incredibly toxic. 

I would guess some of it is online gaming culture - certainly there was a kerfuffle here a couple months ago over some scouts use of what was almost certainly online-gaming-derived slang, that they probably didn't even completely understand, so that ugliness is definitely leaking into real-world behavior.  Some of it is also, I suspect, "just" a result of mixing groups from wildly different socioeconomic and cultural groups, and differences between accepted social norms.   As a result, I expect there are going to be some "interesting" challenges in addressing this.

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42 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

We just did not experience that.  We were at a high-quality camp run by a best practices council.  We are a racially diverse Troop and there were other racially diverse Troops as well at the camp...

 

You have my sincerest wishes that your troop remains unsullied by anything similar, and I certainly hope we figure out how to navigate these things ourselves!  We're about as racially, socioeconomically, culturally and special-needs diverse as it's possible to be with 12 scouts, and we simply did not see some of these things coming.  Then Friday night, "boom"...

Still, I'd do it again, and I think all of the girls would too, so we'll figure it out eventually!

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Regarding spiders (and other bugs), I recommend Sansbug .  Won't stop them from being in the tent, but will stop pests from disturbing your sleep as long as you don't let them in. 

They can be a pain to refold until you get the trick. And they are bulky (wider than a backpack), so not great for hiking in to a campsite. 

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7 minutes ago, Buggie said:

Regarding spiders (and other bugs), I recommend Sansbug .  Won't stop them from being in the tent, but will stop pests from disturbing your sleep as long as you don't let them in. 

They can be a pain to refold until you get the trick. And they are bulky (wider than a backpack), so not great for hiking in to a campsite. 

Looks fancy....but I'm not sure it will be an improvement over the basic mosquito netting that scouts have used for countless summers in the past.

The biggest advantage (to the manufacturers) looks like they charge about 5 times more for these things than the old-style mosquito nets...

Example:
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/magellan-outdoors-mosquito-net#repChildCatid=1472930 

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I agree it is expensive and you can do quite well with basic mosquito netting. Major difference is this thing encapsulates; it has a floor. Like a mini-tent. Also isn't as tall and has it's own support system compared to the the standard mosquito netting you pointed to. So for my use, it works well and has lasted me and my son years at summer camp. and for me in regular camping since I tend to either be under a tarp or the stars until it gets cold enough for a tent. 

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Back to OP,

MARSHFIELD, WI – For the first time in the 100 year history of Boy Scouts of America, young women are able to join the organization. Recently a new troop was formed in the Marshfield area for females between the ages of 11 and 17 – Troop 9392.

 Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., will invest $1,000 in this new troop, as part of its Employee-Driven Corporate Giving grant program. Each month Security Health Plan awards a $1,000 grant to a different charity or organization that is nominated by a Marshfield Clinic Health System employee. Employees are encouraged to nominate organizations making a positive difference in the community.

An anonymous Marshfield Clinic Health System employee nominated the troop for the grant. Julie Degner said the grant is appreciated and she welcomes the support for the newly-formed troop. Degner serves on the committee for this troop and said the young women in the troop are working to strengthen their individual character, citizenship, leadership, mental fitness and physical fitness. She said this organization is giving young females an opportunity to grow their leadership skills in a way that was unavailable to them in the past.

@WisconsinMomma

more at source:

https://www.hubcitytimes.com/2019/07/28/security-health-plan-invests-in-youth-scout-troop-for-young-women/

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