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Jameson76

Interesting observation - rank advancement

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, willray said:

... Our girls screw it up and say "drat, I thought I had that!  Let me practice more and come back next week".

By the way - they actually do say "drat!", and "oh, shoot!"   They're like 1960s comic-book super-hero sidekicks.

I'm sure it'll wear off, but at the moment it's hilarious.

Edited by willray
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I think part of the negativity towards this Scout is that there has indeed been adults saying their girls will be the first female Eagle, and they will do anything to reach that goal. Sidney Ireland is the best example of this as her troop has been pushing this issue since before girls were allowed. Sidney is currently wearing a Life rank, despite just having enough time as a Scout for only First Class, let alone Star and Life, and they have been pushing an Eagle Project on their council.

Part of it is that a lot of experienced Scouts have seen this "Eagle at any costs" attitude before when it was just boys. Heck I ran into one Eagle whose family was SM, ASM, and COR/CC, as well as MBCs, and sped him along the trail. When his EBOR caught discrepencies and problems and  told him how to rectify  the problems, they appealed to the council (and lost), then to National. National granted him Eagle stating "you do not penalize the Scout for the errors of adults," which caused an entire district advancement committee to quit in protest.

Those who have not truly earned Eagle, not only do a disservice to themselves and other Eagles, but to all Scouts.  I believe the concern to keep the standards is the cause of the "negativity."

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6 hours ago, SSF said:

You listed the district's aquatics day as an outdoor activity in March though...did you list that as an outdoor activity by mistake? I'm presuming that was done at an indoor pool.

No, we have aquatics day on the lake.  The district uses boats from the council camps, which would otherwise just be sitting in storage.

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It's probably worth mentioning somewhere, that we're seeing some really interesting differences between the psychology of the patrols in the Boys' Troop and the Girls' Troop.

While I staunchly believe that anyone deserves every opportunity to try to be successful at anything they want, and that it's abhorrent to try to define for a person what they should be interested in, or want to do based on their sex, I am also absolutely not one of the idiots who insists that there is absolutely no difference between the sexes.  I'll be one of the ones that the feminists put up against the wall and shoot, for refusing to accept that boys and girls are identical.  If that bothers you, stop reading.

Fundamental observation:  While the girls have adopted rather fierce patrol loyalty already, the do not see success as a zero-sum game.  The Girls' Patrols collaborate, in a way that I have never seen the Boys' Patrols collaborate.  Even when they're competing against each-other, the girls are perfectly happy to reach over and help the girls in the other patrol with things.

I suspect that this is going to make competition and the utility/use of competition in Girls' Troops, play out quite differently than what we're used to from a century of Boys' Troop experience.   It's going to be interesting...

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1 minute ago, willray said:

It's probably worth mentioning somewhere, that we're seeing some really interesting differences between the psychology of the patrols in the Boys' Troop and the Girls' Troop.

While I staunchly believe that anyone deserves every opportunity to try to be successful at anything they want, and that it's abhorrent to try to define for a person what they should be interested in, or want to do based on their sex, I am also absolutely not one of the idiots who insists that there is absolutely no difference between the sexes.  I'll be one of the ones that the feminists put up against the wall and shoot, for refusing to accept that boys and girls are identical.  If that bothers you, stop reading.

Fundamental observation:  While the girls have adopted rather fierce patrol loyalty already, the do not see success as a zero-sum game.  The Girls' Patrols collaborate, in a way that I have never seen the Boys' Patrols collaborate.  Even when they're competing against each-other, the girls are perfectly happy to reach over and help the girls in the other patrol with things.

I suspect that this is going to make competition and the utility/use of competition in Girls' Troops, play out quite differently than what we're used to from a century of Boys' Troop experience.   It's going to be interesting...

Yep, my complaint about mixing genders is that it takes away the leverage to force boys to do what they don't naturally like to do. I guess it's the same with girls, but I don't have as much experience there. I think your observation is interesting. I appreciate your being candid because many here are afraid that any mention of differences acknowledges those of us who appose the change. Accurate observations are always good for developing and improving programs.

Barry

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11 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Yep, my complaint about mixing genders is that it takes away the leverage to force boys to do what they don't naturally like to do. I guess it's the same with girls, but I don't have as much experience there. I think your observation is interesting. I appreciate your being candid because many here are afraid that any mention of differences acknowledges those of us who appose the change. Accurate observations are always good for developing and improving programs.

Barry

I consider myself a rather traditional scouter, and I am near-violently opposed to program modifications that dilute, or significantly change “my” scouting program.  As a result I’m opposed to mixing the genders in ways that dilute my ability to provide “traditional” program/program incentives/levers to the Boys.

That being said, professionally I work with a lot of just-post-scouting-age youth, and have, let’s say ‘a few’ years of experience in mentoring teams of youth researchers with an assortment of mixes of genders in my lab, and I think I have a reasonable perspective on how to support girls pursuing the BSA program, without losing what matters for the boys, and without diluting the program for the girls.

I’m worried that National will find some way to screw it up, but at the moment I believe we have the opportunity to do this well enough that we don’t break the traditional Boys program, and simultaneously give girls the opportunity to gain experiences that they are traditionally denied.

Based on my observations, within scouting and in my lab, I’m pretty sure we’re going to need to learn new things to make scouting work optimally for the girls, but at the same time we need to remember that those new things are probably girl-specific and won’t transfer back to the boys.

I’m going to do my damnedest to make this work!

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, willray said:

Based on my observations, within scouting and in my lab, I’m pretty sure we’re going to need to learn new things to make scouting work optimally for the girls, but at the same time we need to remember that those new things are probably girl-specific and won’t transfer back to the boys.

I’m going to do my damnedest to make this work!

I think what you are saying is that so long as the patrols aren't mix gender, there is hope  to make the traditional program work for both genders. And I can see that. However, my other concern is that the pool of volunteers is getting diluted with adults who never experienced the advantages of the traditional scouting program (primarily patrol method). I believe the challenge will just be keeping a desire to present the traditional program. 

I like your vision of the better future. Thanks.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Yep, my complaint about mixing genders is that it takes away the leverage to force boys to do what they don't naturally like to do. I guess it's the same with girls, but I don't have as much experience there.

I'm glad that BSA is not mixing genders, because that would take away the leverage to force the girls to do what they don't naturally like to do.  I guess it's the same with boys, but I don't have as much experience there.

Also,  sometimes girls will be hesitant about trying things, because they don't have the confidence that they are good at them (because indeed they are not good at them yet).  If there are no over-confident boys around to jump in and do it first, then the girls realize that they need to step up and try  -- which give them a chance to develop competence and the confidence that comes with competence.

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1 hour ago, willray said:

So... Who else wants to show off what their cross-over patrol(s) do for cooking, with no senior scouts or adult help, on their first campout, and first time cooking outdoors?

After hearing what meals the girls had planned for our first overnight,  the other mom and I decided to ask if they would be willing to cook enough so that we adults could eat as their guests rather than us two cooking separately.  (If we had cooked for ourselves, we would not have put in as much effort and would not have eaten as well.)

Of course, a couple of our girls already had a good bit of camp cooking experience, and a number had cooking-at-home experience.

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On 5/7/2019 at 10:00 PM, SSF said:

I can't fathom how any unit could hold ten events, six of which must be outdoor events or camping trips, within a three months span. What unit is that active...???

I don't see how anyone could have realistically met that particular requirement between 2/1 and 5/04.

It is possible for her to have achieved this under advancement guidelines, but realistically, the probability of any scout actually doing this is extremely low.

If this girl actually did what she has claimed, I have no doubt that requirements were either overlooked, held to a ridiculously low standard, or her leaders may have allowed her to double-dip, or even triple-dip.

It's not sustainable, but on a one time basis, it would be possible to have ten events in 12 weeks.  One campout a month for the three required.  Have three hiking trips on other weekends.  Then have  4 other events in that time. It's less of a time committment than most sports for that time period.   For a motivated Scout with a Troop/leaders willing to go the extra mile, it would be easily possible.  It would be hard to do this all of the time, admittedly, but it's possible. 

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It might not be easy (or sustainable), but it can be done.  Here is the activity requirement for First Class:

Quote

"1a.  Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee."

So this breaks down to:

  • 10 separate troop / patrol activities.
  • At least 6 of the 10 activities must be held outdoors.
  • At least 3 of the outdoor activities must include overnight camping in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect.
  • These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings.

You can do more than one activity on a given weekend, as long as they are separate.  So it could look something like this:

  • 3 troop / patrol overnight campouts in tents (average one per month)
  • 3 troop / patrol day hikes (average one per month) - could be same weekend as service projects (Saturdays?)
  • 3 troop / patrol outdoor service projects (average one per month) - could be same weekend as day hikes (Fridays?)

This is only about 2 weekends per month (so far), and it's 9 outdoor activities with 3 overnight campouts in tents.  Add in one more activity of some kind and that makes 10.

For Scouts who are committed, this is doable.  I would imagine that many of these Scouts (particularly the older ones) have been learning and planning for several months before they were eligible to join, so they might have many of the skills already (like how to tie knots) that they would just need to demonstrate after joining.

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9 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I think what you are saying is that so long as the patrols aren't mix gender, there is hope  to make the traditional program work for both genders. And I can see that. However, my other concern is that the pool of volunteers is getting diluted with adults who never experienced the advantages of the traditional scouting program (primarily patrol method). I believe the challenge will just be keeping a desire to present the traditional program. 

I am certain it's necessary to keep the patrols single-gender, and I'm reasonably convinced that it's necessary to keep the troops single gender.  I do think that we will discover opportunities for opposite-gender units and patrols to cross paths and interact in fashions that are at a minimum non-damaging to traditional program, and that we will probably find ways to play them off of each-other such that it enhances program in manners that were not previously possible.   Of course, I'm also concerned that we will screw it up...

The collaboration bit however, I think is interestingly diagnostic.  You will hear the girls gloating over the other patrol for burning their pancakes, and in the next breath offer them spare whipped cream that they know the other patrol forgot.  The Boys just don't do this - they press advantages and if anything we're usually hoping that maybe they won't go quite so far rubbing it in.  We are not going to be able to use the same challenges and levers on the girls, as have developed over the years as go-to solutions for motivating and advancing the boys, and we are almost certainly going to discover that the places the girls need to grow, and the experiences that they need to do it, are different.

This, in my opinion, is the largest reason to strive to maintain the current separate-troops model.  I'm far less worried about the "oh my, boys and girls together in the woods!" potential problems, than I am with the fact that I can't imagine how a good PL or SPL for a Boys' Troop, would also be a good PL or SPL for a Girls' Troop, and vice versa.

I got in on the ground-floor of this Girls' Troop business because I knew it was going to be hard, but I'm convinced that it's possible to offer the benefits of BSA program to both boys and girls, without diminishing either.  As the most stubborn person I know, I can't stand by and let someone else do less, so here I am...

Sadly, I am equally concerned about the dilution of the pool of Scouters who "get" scouting and the patrol method.  Of course, there seem to be plenty of adults (even ones who experienced scouting themselves) involved with the Boys' Troops, who don't get it, and a depressingly large number of "paper eagles", so I don't think that problem is exclusively induced by the admittance of girls to the program.   I don't know what to do about it, other than to keep pushing back as hard as I can.

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