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MomWhoCamps

When Do Girl Topics Move to Open Discussion?

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Not trying to stir the hornets' nest, but find it interesting that we're still posting issues having to do with girl troops in Issues and Politics and I'm musing about how this does (or doesn't) demonstrate that girls in scouting continues to be a controversial subject.  I just got back from a bridging ceremony in which we received three new female AoLs into our Troop.  The Scouts that received them were so proud to be representing their Troop and Scouts BSA.  These girls are so happy to have the opportunity to do the same things they've been watching their brothers do from the sidelines for years.

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I'm sure it will take time for the buzz to die down. Old items still resurface for a while, Evan after years go by. Our UK friends have stated it takes a while for it to become the norm. 

It is a new world and we all have to grow with it. 

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Well, here's my bottom line: It's the same program, only for girls. So most open-program things that have been posted about girls easily apply to boys. Therefore, they are not really "girl topics". They are topics about scouts trying to get the most out of their patrols or dens, and the adults trying to deliver on the promise of scouting. So, for example the adult trying to figure how to make old uniforms work for her new Scouts BSA girls' troop gets answers under program or uniforms. It's not in I&P.  So far this month, I guess I've seen about a dozen such posts -- about scouting but so happen to be in a girls' den/pack/patrol/troop. So I guess that answers the "when it starts" aspect of your question -- it starts as of the past month, maybe earlier.

But, your question implies a "when will it end" aspect. Well a topic, such as this one, that's about girls solely for the sake of talking about people enthused or opposed to girls in scouting, well that is an issue. As such it will always be filed in I&P. I'm fine if it takes a good long while before people stop bringing up the issue. 

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We watch each thread. Some threads do get moved from here to program. Others don’t. Each mod uses his discretion, and consults with the others when they see something that makes antennae twitch...

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15 hours ago, MomWhoCamps said:

Not trying to stir the hornets' nest, but find it interesting that we're still posting issues having to do with girl troops in Issues and Politics and I'm musing about how this does (or doesn't) demonstrate that girls in scouting continues to be a controversial subject.  I just got back from a bridging ceremony in which we received three new female AoLs into our Troop.  The Scouts that received them were so proud to be representing their Troop and Scouts BSA.  These girls are so happy to have the opportunity to do the same things they've been watching their brothers do from the sidelines for years.

Why don't you start posting about girl issues in Open Discussion, then?  Is something stopping you from doing that?  

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It's still very much a political issue, if not for us, for the general public. I was out with some scouts this weekend and a local resident decided to yell over to us, "Put the 'boy' back in Boy Scouts!"

As much as it's a done deal (there's no going back no matter how many change.org petitions people start), in the public consciousness it is still very much an issue of discussion of a somewhat political nature. And just because something is done and decided, that doesn't mean that the politics of the issue won't still need to be discussed and sometimes debated. There are political issues in the BSA around boys, and this is the proper forum for some of them. Not everything about boys moves to Open Discussion just because boys are the subject.

 

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Posted (edited)

It will take some time. Everyone thought bringing mom leaders into troops in 1990 wouldn't have much effect. They couldn't have seen how much the flood of inexperienced adults would effect the traditional program. National ended up starting over and replacing all the training courses in 2000. I see a new flood of inexperienced adults again with this membership change, so I'm sure there will be some growing pains. And like the last influx, National will be right on top smoothing the path for the volunteers. And now like then, the forum will be the first to discuss these things.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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Um, yeah.  I posted in a local group that our Troop has a girl troop and 95% of the posts were negative.  I am not kidding.

On the plus side, we might now have insight into why recruitment doesn't seem to be working (not much interest) and how our Scouts might be treated in the public at popcorn tables in the future.

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On 3/31/2019 at 7:16 PM, MomWhoCamps said:

Not trying to stir the hornets' nest, but find it interesting that we're still posting issues having to do with girl troops in Issues and Politics and I'm musing about how this does (or doesn't) demonstrate that girls in scouting continues to be a controversial subject.  I just got back from a bridging ceremony in which we received three new female AoLs into our Troop.  The Scouts that received them were so proud to be representing their Troop and Scouts BSA.  These girls are so happy to have the opportunity to do the same things they've been watching their brothers do from the sidelines for years.

To the OP - I never really know where a post lives because I sort by unread and don't really pay attention to the forum structure. 

But, like @qwazse said, if it is a program question, then it should be in program, if it is an issue question the it should be in I&P.

On 4/1/2019 at 6:14 PM, Mom2Scout said:

Um, yeah.  I posted in a local group that our Troop has a girl troop and 95% of the posts were negative.  I am not kidding.

On the plus side, we might now have insight into why recruitment doesn't seem to be working (not much interest) and how our Scouts might be treated in the public at popcorn tables in the future.

I have seen a number of post in various local forums, most a positive. I have noticed that things get sideways, usually with new leaders positing, when the subject matter goes a fowl of following advancement policy or BSA policy. For example, an occasional new leader will propose a way to move girls along faster, but counting activities that shouldn't count or Troops wanting to push for Coed Troops, with girl and boy patrols. 

Those issues are a sure fire way to push a topic in to a negative space. 

As for recruiting, welcome to the BSA. It is difficult to recruit that older (11-17) scouts, even if they are interested. IT takes time and effort, but I have no doubt it will catch on. We have several troops for girls in my district. Each averages about 10-14 girls. And they are a mix of crossovers and Venturers. So there is a gap in the 12-13 range. Which also creates a bit of a gap in what kind of program they want. Patience and diligence are the watch words for now. 

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On 3/31/2019 at 8:20 PM, qwazse said:

But, your question implies a "when will it end" aspect. Well a topic, such as this one, that's about girls solely for the sake of talking about people enthused or opposed to girls in scouting, well that is an issue. As such it will always be filed in I&P. I'm fine if it takes a good long while before people stop bringing up the issue. 

Agreed.

Girls joining scouts might already be a settled question, but that doesn't mean it's accepted across all units in the organization. 

At some point, enough people will see enough postings that show the world didn't end just because a girl decided she liked BSA....and when that happens, they'll all get back to talking about important issues, like whether to use a right-handed tent stake or a left-handed tent stake.

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24 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Girls joining scouts might already be a settled question, but that doesn't mean it's accepted across all units in the organization. 

And while it is a settled issue. The mechanics and processes are still being developed. We are headed into our first Summer Camp season, not all camps are built the same way, so there will be issues in one place that do not exist in another. 

We are headed into the first Ordeals that will include female youth, and still trying to sort those mechanics out. Same for Camp-o-rees, high adventure, and more. 

I am sure some feathers will be ruffled along the way. After all we have seen heated discussions about more more benign subjects. 

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I'ts a whole new program leaving National with a lot to sort out. I know a lot of folks are relying on the idea that the program is the same, just with girls. But the question of "Demonstrate vs. Show" discussion shows that the program is taking a long step back to the basics. And I can't believe that the answers these new leaders come up with will be the same as the old boy scout program.

I learned something lately, a lot of experienced males are not going back the program because it is simply not the Boy Scout program. My neighbor is an example. He is an Eagle and was planning to get evolved again with his grand kids, but neither he or his Eagle son see the new program as the program the program they earned their Eagle. It's not about girls to them, it's about the program they know. Their program is gone. Kind of like a favorite store getting bought out and changing names. I've heard several adults saying basically the same thing. I think the program is going to change a lot to meet the expectations of the new generation. National is going to have to rebrand itself. But that might be a good thing for them. Dump a lot of the traditional program baggage. 

Barry

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On 4/1/2019 at 6:14 PM, Mom2Scout said:

Um, yeah.  I posted in a local group that our Troop has a girl troop and 95% of the posts were negative.  I am not kidding.

On the plus side, we might now have insight into why recruitment doesn't seem to be working (not much interest) and how our Scouts might be treated in the public at popcorn tables in the future.

@Mom2Scout, welcome to my world. I felt that I needed to use discretion as a crew advisor. It was important to push worthy venturers to the fore. But, for females, I had to choose venues where they would by-and-large be respected. Sadly, some council venues were closed to leading venturers ... sometimes out of ignorance ... sometimes out of putting marketing before program.

I find folks who aren't lifting a finger to contribute to scouting have the loudest, polarizing, opinions. Note that polarizing is different from "opposite". Opposing opinions like the ones here are an "iron-sharpens-iron" variety. Polarizing ones are usually smug justifications for not doing anything.

For example, someone could simply post, "I'm now all about American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA." I don't consider that any more negative than "I'm heavy in Campfire USA or BPSA." If they put money where their mouth is, our kids might meet each other on the trail, just like old school, and discover that have more in common than not.

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18 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

We are headed into the first Ordeals that will include female youth, and still trying to sort those mechanics out. Same for Camp-o-rees, high adventure, and more. 

We had our spring ordeal a few weeks back. All the under 18 girl candidates were put into their own clan. Adult women were embedded in the various clans the same as everyone else from Venture Crews, Scout Troops, and Scurvy Sea Scout... whatever their unit names are matey. LOL   Arggghhh.  

I can honestly say I didn't hear any negative comments anywhere about girls who were candidates.  Could have been because we were going through the ordeal and couldn't talk....  But honestly, there just weren't any folks who were expressing negative attitudes. If they had them, they probably weren't there to begin with or knew to keep it to themselves. 

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I was told that my lodge had  adult Arrowmen of the specified gender up all nigh  with the candidates. And that it is a new policy form national. Grant you that is hearsay from a lodge officer, and as seen in another thread, SE's sometimes make their own rules.

 

18 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I learned something lately, a lot of experienced males are not going back the program because it is simply not the Boy Scout program. My neighbor is an example. He is an Eagle and was planning to get evolved again with his grand kids, but neither he or his Eagle son see the new program as the program the program they earned their Eagle. It's not about girls to them, it's about the program they know. Their program is gone. 

Sadly the changes started before the girls were allowed. No more pioneering projects over shoulder height without safety gear (started in late 1990s and got stricter over time); restrictions on fun activities ( waterguns and waterballoon size restrictions) no more patrol camping on their own (2012); Lowering of advancement standards ("One and Done" mentality in adult training instead of"Master the Skill", "InstaPalms despite 94% opposition to it, and the "Therefore, make the Scout’s Eagle board of review a celebration of their achievement." instead of a review to insure requirements were met are a few changes that come to my mind, and there are more) and less focus on the Patrol Method (R.I.P. 10-1-2018) and Outdoors ( minimal training requirements and more focus on STEM and other non traditional Scouting programs) are just several examples of how the program has changed over time.

18 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I think the program is going to change a lot to meet the expectations of the new generation. National is going to have to rebrand itself. But that might be a good thing for them. Dump a lot of the traditional program baggage. 

Barry

I believe the BSA tried dumping the "traditional program baggage" in the 1970s with it's Improved Scouting Program of 1972-79. William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt had to come out of retirement to save the BSA from that fiasco, and even he was not able to restore it 100%  He is no longer with us, and even the most devoted his followers do not have the knowledge, skills, abilities, charisma, and connections at National to fix today's problems at the national level. All we can do is focus on out local units.

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