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31 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

The BSA made an issue out of something that never needed to be an issue.  

Of course it had to be an issue.  The issue is everywhere.  There is no place in our society where it is not an issue.  

 

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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

But, as you pointed out, the external pressure from activism eventually took it tole and National started making noise of change. THAT is were National started loosing the alumni support 10 to 15 years ago, and that is were they started feeling the pressure between the activist and their mainline funding.

Alumni support has dropped because of heated political positioning.  I'm hoping in 10 to 20 years, it returns as the support is based on getting kids outside camping and teaching responsibility and independence.  IMHO, the heart of why people donate to scouting will not have changed.  ... But it is not a short term fix.  BSA needs to get out of the controversies.  

 

2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

There was never pressure to add girls to the program.

Yes and no.  There was not activism, but there was systematic on-going pressure and open hypocrisy.  It started with moms asking why they could not be registered leaders.  Then, why could they only be cub scout leaders and not boy scout leaders.  Then why not SM or ASM.  ...  Then, questions why staff at cub camps and boy scout summer camps are near 50% female.  And why Venturing allowed female scouts, but only the male scouts could finish their Eagle scouts rank as a venturing scout.  

It's like tearing a bandage off.  I think BSA had the fear of a long slow burn on yet another issue, while at the same time trying to save scouting membership numbers.  Best to do all the big changes in a short few years than to draw it out over another 10 to 20 years.  

As a parent, I just don't see.  In cubs, we had sister after sister want to participate.  And packs would always allow them to attend, but it was for the "boys".   If it really was, why did we let sisters attend as much.  In boy scouts, the scouts learn many merit badges from 17 year old female scout camp staff.  So, why can't those can't those staff also be members. 

There may not have been outside activism, but there was clearly pressure.   

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

Where the BSA screwed up was in how they fought it.  The BSA made an issue out of something that never needed to be an issue.  

The three contentious membership issues are clearly sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and gender.  Imagine if instead of three, there had been just one - gender.  If sexual orientation and religious beliefs were local options, we never would have had the fight we had.  We never would have ticked off the politically motivated people who fought the BSA.  If we had not made it the issue we did and then changed our answer, we never would have lost alumni support.  

We got so hung up on these issues that we picked a fight we didn't need and one that did us not benefit.  If we won the argument we'd have lost.  If we lost the argument we'd have lost  Frankly - the argument was never all that germane to Scouting to start with.  As such we had an argument we never even really needed to have and ticked everyone off in the process.

EDIT: BTW - I have a suspicion that if we'd never picked the fight on the other two issues, the gender issue would never have been that big a deal.

I think you are right  except for the gender issue. There was never a public outcry for girls in Cubs and Troops and it has was left alone s a political activism for the reasons I stated earlier. It's still not an issue now for the GSUSA. 

Barry

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

Where the BSA screwed up was in how they fought it.  The BSA made an issue out of something that never needed to be an issue.  

The three contentious membership issues are clearly sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and gender.  Imagine if instead of three, there had been just one - gender.  If sexual orientation and religious beliefs were local options, we never would have had the fight we had.  We never would have ticked off the politically motivated people who fought the BSA.  If we had not made it the issue we did and then changed our answer, we never would have lost alumni support.  

We got so hung up on these issues that we picked a fight we didn't need and one that did us not benefit.  If we won the argument we'd have lost.  If we lost the argument we'd have lost  Frankly - the argument was never all that germane to Scouting to start with.  As such we had an argument we never even really needed to have and ticked everyone off in the process.

EDIT: BTW - I have a suspicion that if we'd never picked the fight on the other two issues, the gender issue would never have been that big a deal.

I agree with you.  Supreme court decided BSA vs Dale correctly, but it skewered BSA's future.  

I've seen a few massive screw ups related to this ... I really question BSA's relationship with their legal representation.  Any lawyer worth his salt would have advised to avoid BSA vs Dale.   ... There are other clear blatant massive screw ups too.  

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1 minute ago, Eagledad said:

I think you are right  except for the gender issue. There was never a public outcry for girls in Cubs and Troops and it has was left alone s a political activism for the reasons I stated earlier. It's still not an issue now for the GSUSA. 

Barry

Sorry - I was a bit too vague.  Yes, I agree.  Gender was never really any issue. At most, it became a perceived issue because we already were already sensitive about the other issues.

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56 minutes ago, David CO said:

Of course it had to be an issue.  The issue is everywhere.  There is no place in our society where it is not an issue.  

 

Neither sexual orientation nor religious beliefs are a factor in the bowling club, the tennis class, soccer team, etc...  

For kids in the program, both have very little impact unless we make them so.  People within the BSA felt they were important issues and so made them issues - but they really didn't have to be issues at all.

In the case of religious beliefs, there will need to be some adjustment to the requirements, but those changes are pretty surgical.  With local option, the unit can still say grace, have religious discussions, etc.  

 

 

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6 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Yes and no.  There was not activism, but there was systematic on-going pressure and open hypocrisy.  It started with moms asking why they could not be registered leaders.  Then, why could they only be cub scout leaders and not boy scout leaders.  Then why not SM or ASM.  ...  Then, questions why staff at cub camps and boy scout summer camps are near 50% female.  And why Venturing allowed female scouts, but only the male scouts could finish their Eagle scouts rank as a venturing scout.  

Even National stated they admitted girls to increase membership. Of course it looks good from a political position, but there wasn't the heat for change that is implied here. The tone here is that the BSA was the last bastion of barbarism for sexism, yet there is the GSUSA moseying along without even a whimper from folks here, or anywhere. That is real hypocrisy. 

Just trying to keep the facts strait.

Barry

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On 10/14/2020 at 11:52 AM, yknot said:

Franky, I'm a little insulted by this attitude. I'm a girl, and I know at least as much and to be honest probably quite a bit more about outdoor skills than any "boy" in my Troop. But your opinion explains a lot. . .  Who cares what BSA thought in the 1970s?. . . Does anyone seriously think more girl dads are somehow bad for the future of scouting?

While it might seem like splitting hairs, the issue that people refer to about "the admittance of female Scouters" usually isn't about the equipment between someone's legs; it's generally about the problem any organization has with the sudden, mass inclusion of people unfamiliar with the program.  That problem being that when you have a group of people with no appreciation for how and why things were done in the past, you almost always end up with well-meaning people wanting to "fix things" without the experience to know if the "fix" is a good idea.  (FYI, I'm not arguing that all changes are bad, and new people can be wonderful for pointing out problem areas)  If you want a modern day example of what I'm talking about, just imagine what would happen if you had an existing scout troop that was very much boy led (and thus, somewhat chaotic), where 90% of the existing leadership leaves suddenly and the new leaders are all drawn from incoming Webelos parents, none of whom were ever Boy Scouts.  I guarantee that within a matter of months you'd have parents "helping" the troop right into being a Webelos III program and then clapping themselves on the back for how much smoother and well-organized everything is now.

Personally, as both a scout and now a scouter, I've never had a problem with women as Scouters, though having "moms" involved can be a problem.  One of the central components of scouts is supposed to be letting the kids try and fail/go hungry/get cold/get sore, in order to learn.  Adults that can't leave their  "inner mom" at home almost always short circuit this process.  Though I have to admit that in my son's troop, something like 25% of the dads need to learn to leave their "inner mom" at home as well.  But as long as a woman can leave the nurturing mostly at home, is capable of peeing in the woods and doesn't insist I hike 200' into the woods in order to "study a bush", I'll welcome her along.

As far as adding in "dads of girls", no, this is clearly not a bad thing.  However, it could possibly be a problematic thing if you end up with inexperienced (with the program) dads implementing the program poorly.

16 hours ago, yknot said:

There can be no doubt that BSA refusal to include homosexuals or girls until forced to do so due to social and financial pressure has had an impact on membership. It might not have affected it in terms of scouts immediately withdrawing, but it has definitely had an impact on recruitment and image.

I agree with you at least in part. I suspect that if the only restriction the BSA had had was that the Cub and Boy Scout programs were for boys only, the public outcry wouldn't have ever been enough to make a difference in either financial support or membership.  After all, the ban on boys in Girl Scouts isn't viewed with anything like the hatred that the BSA was receiving.  However, the ban on gay scouts and scouters certainly became a significant problem as society's view shifted on the issue. (particularly given the BSA's official stance of being non-sectarian)  Then, as that issue gathered steam, opponents were able to toss the exclusion of girls and atheists on top of the pile in order to label the BSA as "a generally discriminatory organization".

I would rather adapt and have some version of it survive rather than cling stubbornly to the past and see it serve fewer and fewer youth and ultimately die... here are some things I think would change it for the better or help it survive. I don't have a clue whether they are specific enough or wildly offensive or at all helpful or insightful. I am throwing them out based on my experiences with multiple youth organizations, nearly 20 years in scouting in almost every unit role there is as well as with some district and council experience, and as a parent of two sons who have been scouts for the purpose of rational discussion. I  hope that those who disagree will do so civilly and not result to another round of belittling comments:

I think you would probably have an easier time getting through to people if you split your view of this issue into two different areas, because they really are distinct.  There are changes you think are needed to the structure and administration of the BSA; and then there are changes that you think need to be made to the programming of the BSA.  Lumping them together tends to muddle the issue.

- Restructure the organization.  National's silo based, top down organizational structure is dysfunctional and is inherently not built to support the end customer -- scouts, units, and COs. Like other organizations, BSA needs to not only recruit managerial talent from within but from without in order to update its practices and perceptions. Throughout its history BSA has been insular to the point where there is a large degree of organizational arrogance. This has resulted in top management that has been inexplicably blind to pit falls that other organizations, including other youth organizations, routinely avoid. Some PR blunders have been self inflicted. These problems have affected recruitment. 

- Any restructuring needs to include the CO model, which is also dysfunctional.

- A broadly functional IT platform that would streamline and standardize administrative functions and volunteer roles as well as facilitate collaboration across units, districts, and even councils.

- Develop social media platforms that can be used as public relations/information, recruitment, training tools.

- Cost efficiency is also one of our current challenges. At a time when other youth organizations provided refunds or discounts, BSA has actually increased fees. An IT platform could also offer central purchasing options. 

- If District Executive positions survive post bankruptcy this needs to become more of a unit support and resource role than a fund raising one. This position may need to make up for training gaps among unit volunteers and be a source of expertise for outdoor activities. 

I suspect you aren't going to get very much push-back on any of these ideas.  The vast majority of local scouters I've read on this forum or met in real life would generally get behind all of these ideas as being important.  Even modifying the terms of CO "ownership" of the troop wouldn't garner much outrage except for from those folks who already know their program is being run in some way contrary to the BSA principles or from those few folks who just fixate on this aspect of the organizational structure. 

- Reposition ourselves as the nation's premiere outdoors resource for scouts. We missed a huge opportunity this summer to offer home based outdoor programming opportunities to the nation's youth during Covid. Some Councils/Districts/Units did a great job, but it was localized and focused on kids already in scouting, not prospective scouts. Nothing driven by National.

Meh.. I don't view the "home based" stuff people did this summer as anything other than a somewhat useful stop-gap to keep people thinking about scouts.  There is nothing about what was done in my area that I view as worth keeping.  And the problem with national putting stuff like that forward in any official way is that it would be more likely to lead to people thinking "camping in your backyard by yourself" should be considered the equivalent of camping with a patrol or troop.  As it is, I just know that at some point here we are going to start hearing some excited news stories about a "Home based Scout troop" that offers the entire scout program via Zoom and will let you get your Eagle Scout award without ever having to be within arms reach of another scout. 

Incorporate more outdoors skills into the main program. Too much outdoors curriculum has been outsourced to Merit badges. Every scout should learn more about things like tracking, birding, fishing, canoeing, endangered species, adverse weather, wildlife encounters and dangers, etc. Some of this exists but it is very topical. Develop partnerships with other outdoors related organizations to provide content and add interest. I tried to develop a local relationship between the Sierra Club and our Pack's Wolf Dens. Most young kids love animals and so do their parents. Why don't we capitalize on that within the various ranks? There are so many useful conservation lessons that are lost. The outdoors, unlike religion and social issues, is almost universally appealing and without controversy with Millennial and Gen X and soon Gen Z parents as long as you don't get into Climate Change. We could better align with the Parks Service, Outdoors Outfitters, Conservation Organizations of all types like Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Audubon, etc., etc. There are so many possibilities out there.The reality is even amongst our most experienced outdoors leaders the curriculum is really limited. Also jettison JTE, which is pointless and toothless, and instead require a minimal number of outdoor activities to be held in order to recharter or else be put on provisional status.  And why are there so few COs who are conservation centers? 

- De emphasize advancement and the push to Eagle. In its most traditional sense, scouting is supposed to be fun -- a game with a purpose. Yet too many units don't do anything that isn't linked to advancement. For example, my son's Troop repeats the same hiking loops every year because they dovetail perfectly with the hiking merit badge and hiking requirements in the program. We live in an area where there are literally hundreds of cool places to hike, but there's no time to explore them because everyone is pushing for Eagle and needs to do the hikes that fit into the formula. Where is the sense of fun and adventure? Don't get me wrong, they still have fun, but this isn't the highest experience that scouting can offer them. 

I just want to make it clear to you that what you are advocating here isn't some "new and radical change in the program to suit the modern world" (outside of emphasizing partnerships with other organizations) rather, it's exactly the "return to the scouting of the past" that you've been poo-pooing when other people talk about it.  Before the program was watered down, pretty much all of the basic outdoor skills were included as components of the journey to First Class.  Plus you had to actually master skills rather than just being able to fumble your way through a skill over 10-15 minutes and then finally get signed off on it when you accidentally get it right. (or when the person testing you got bored/frustrated)  

Even with my troop in the 80s, rank advancement was never promoted or advocated past First Class.  We almost never had a "merit badge meeting or camp-out" except for the ones that required trips. (cycling, hiking, backpacking)  And working on Star, Life and Eagle was something that happened on your own time unless you set up a meeting with the SM or ASM or MBC.  And while getting the Eagle Scout award was considered prestigious, it was also unusual and unnecessary if it was emphasized at all.  In fact, the trend that seems most common with troops (with 30-50 active scouts) when I've looked at their "Eagle plaques" is that from the 1960s - 1990s the number of scouts earning Eagle was often somewhere between 0 and 3 with sometimes a year or two between awards,  whereas by the late 90s to current it's more like 4-6 awards pretty much every single year.

- De emphasize religion. It's too much and just gets us into trouble. No one should be using scouting as an extension of their Sunday school or Hebrew school or whatever. BSA should never have allowed LDS to create a program within a program. The scouting program should be available to all who are interested, but since a scout is courteous and kind it should never have allowed itself to be used by organizations who wanted to exclude people. 

This one I have to agree with you on, though I'm uncertain if I'd consider it a program or administrative change.  However, I suspect the need for this varies significantly by region.  I know in my area of Michigan, I've never met another troop that placed a significant emphasis on religion, though I'm sure there are outliers even here.  That said, I wouldn't a religious CO's troop having a denomination specific worship service on a camp-out to be "too much emphasis" as long as scouts weren't required to participate.

- Find new ways to provide training. Whether traditionalists like it or not it's clear that Millennial, Gen X and soon Gen Z adults are less interested in investing endless hours in training, volunteering or spending time away from their kids and families even though it is needed more than ever. I read one post on this thread recapping some proposed training scheme and my first thought was that none of the parents in my unit would ever do this. We'll have to innovate ways to build skills. Campouts may need to become family affairs where parents are still with their kids and also possibly getting some chunks of training themselves.

Family camp-outs where scouts and their parents are together would render any attempt to develop youth leadership ineffective.  Only the very rare parent is capable of letting their kid struggle with something and most kids won't struggle with something very long if they know their parent is readily available for help.  I would suspect I'm considered one of the more "hands off" adults in my troop and even I have to just make myself scarce sometimes now that my son is SPL because the urge to toss some advice in the middle of a meeting or activity is just too tempting. 

I think a major part of the problem with leadership training is the lack of clear and consistent materials from national rather than poor presentation methods.  If you could actually count on council scouters to all know the program and rules correctly, it would make training much easier, but there are so many misunderstood and poorly explained parts of the programs that it's nearly impossible.  So then when you have new parents come in ready to learn, they get bombarded with conflicting and incoherent information until finally they decide "learning the program" is pretty much impossible and stop trying.

 

- Leadership. I think we need to give up on positioning BSA as a Civic Leadership experience. I personally think we no longer do a good job with it. From the general public perspective, our organization is not well led. Leadership approaches that worked 50 years ago are different today. Scouts is very top down and militaristic in its approach but leadership models are becoming much more collaborative and organic. Kids today are much more individualistic and their parents encourage that. The Patrol method works, but it needs some updating. Kids are not coming to scouts with some of the conflict resolution skills they had 50 years ago and it is a problem whether you are trying to develop peer to peer leadership or older scouts leading younger scouts. There needs to be some stepped path to leadership because throwing a bunch of kids into a group and expecting them to be able to sort it out and emerge as leaders is becoming more problematic. Many schools no longer have students work in group projects because of this. 

And again, what you are asking for here is exactly what the "old-timers" have been complaining about for years.  There used to be a stepped path to leadership, it was called the "mixed-age patrol".  The new scouts would be spread out into existing patrols and they would have a couple of years of witnessing youth leadership before they needed to step into a leadership position for rank requirements.  And as far as the leadership structure goes, it's only strictly hierarchical if a troop is operating that way incorrectly.  Every step of the planning process in Scouts is collaborative by design.  Patrols discuss what activities to do on their own with the PL acting mostly as moderator.  The PLC discusses what the troop activities are going to be with the SPL acting primarily as moderator.  In each case, the PL and SPL each only have one vote in their respective groups.  But even with those "collaborative and organic" leadership models in the adult world, while planning might happen in a collaborative and organic way, when it's time for implementation,  there's still always a hierarchy because committees are notoriously bad at dealing with time sensitive issues.    

- Consider advancement tracking. Families today increasingly want experiences that are specific to their needs. Many other youth organizations have adopted this. By this I mean STEM Emphasis Eagle track, Outdoors Emphasis Eagle track, Citizenship Emphasis Eagle track. Have a common core but let kids specialize based on their interests. 

This is called the "merit badge program".  There's the common core of Eagle Required badges and then all the elective ones so that scouts can choose to explore whatever they want.  Actually creating separate formal "tracks" and giving parents the option to pigeon-hole their 10-11 year old into whatever they think is important just isn't be a good idea.

What I want for scouts is to survive in some fashion. I want it to be relevant for more families. I want it to be more outdoors oriented. I want it to have more competent leadership that is more outwards and forwards looking and be more scandal proof. I want the organization as a whole to reorient around the scout and the units. I want to get rid of crippling disconnects and conflicts of purpose between the tiers of National, Council, District, Units and COs who all seem to have different missions and marching plans. What I also want is more research, conducted by an independent source. There is a ton of general research about Millennials and Gen X's and Gen Z's that support what we are seeing across the country with trends regarding all youth organizations, not just scouts, but it would be helpful to have something specific to us. 

 

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Having scouters with youth scouting experience is not always better than zero experience. This is especially true for anyone who was a scout in the last 50 years. I have had more issues with adults who were scouts in troops who had no real patrol method, or scout-led structure. To train these adults means to begin with having them un-learn all the bad habits of their experience. It takes way longer. Those with zero experience are a blank slate to be trained. Both require a willingness to learn, but at least the latter have nothing to undo first.

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45 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Neither sexual orientation nor religious beliefs are a factor in the bowling club, the tennis class, soccer team, etc...  

That may be true, but the bowling club, the tennis club, and the soccer team don't usually charter boy scout units.  Chartered Organizations charter boy scout units, and many of them are churches.  Religious and moral beliefs are a big deal to the churches.  

All of our sports teams begin each game with a public prayer.  This is very common in Catholic schools.  Our religion is a big part of every activity we do.  That includes sports and scouting.

These issues may not be a big deal for all of our kids.  They might not even be a big deal for all of our parents.  But they are definitely a big deal for many of the Chartered Organizations.

 

Edited by David CO

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23 minutes ago, elitts said:

 If you want a modern day example of what I'm talking about, just imagine what would happen if you had an existing scout troop that was very much boy led (and thus, somewhat chaotic), where 90% of the existing leadership leaves suddenly and the new leaders are all drawn from incoming Webelos parents, none of whom were ever Boy Scouts.  I guarantee that within a matter of months you'd have parents "helping" the troop right into being a Webelos III program and then clapping themselves on the back for how much smoother and well-organized everything is now.

I saw this first hand, and the troop  initially lost experienced Scouts. Once the experienced Scouts left, they didn't get many new Scouts that stayed around. It wasn't until they got an adult with a youth background, and the Webelos III parents left, that the troop finally settled down. But it took 7 years to get back on track, and they still have a ways to go.

 

 

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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27 minutes ago, elitts said:

Adults that can't leave their  "inner mom" at home almost always short circuit this process.  Though I have to admit that in my son's troop, something like 25% of the dads need to learn to leave their "inner mom" at home as well.  ...

As far as adding in "dads of girls", no, this is clearly not a bad thing.  However, it could possibly be a problematic thing if you end up with inexperienced (with the program) dads implementing the program poorly.

 

Agree. Historically it was the female Scouters, but I am seeing more and more male Scouters interfering. 

 

18 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

Having scouters with youth scouting experience is not always better than zero experience. This is especially true for anyone who was a scout in the last 50 years. I have had more issues with adults who were scouts in troops who had no real patrol method, or scout-led structure. To train these adults means to begin with having them un-learn all the bad habits of their experience. It takes way longer. Those with zero experience are a blank slate to be trained. Both require a willingness to learn, but at least the latter have nothing to undo first.

TRUTH! The SM of the troop I mentioned above was an Eagle from the 1970s. He could not understand why camping was so important. Also he appointed troop leaders so that "everyone could get a chance." One of my sons' Webelos den was camping with the troop, and I was up talking to the Scouts around the campfire. I knew a bunch of them from their time in Cub Scouts. Long story short, the discussion of how a troop is suppose to run, elections, etc comes up in the conversation with them. The a loud "SHUT UP AND GO TO BED" is yelled. 

Another SM was in an adult led troop that allowed siblings to attend growing up. He followed that model when he became SM. No amount of training could convince him he was doing things incorrectly. He knew better because he is an Eagle Scout.

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50 minutes ago, David CO said:

That may be true, but the bowling club, the tennis club, and the soccer team don't usually charter boy scout units.  Chartered Organizations charter boy scout units, and many of them are churches.  Religious and moral beliefs are a big deal to the churches.  

All of our sports teams begin each game with a public prayer.  This is very common in Catholic schools.  Our religion is a big part of every activity we do.  That includes sports and scouting.

These issues may not be a big deal for all of our kids.  They might not even be a big deal for all of our parents.  But they are definitely a big deal for many of the Chartered Organizations.

 

Ahh - of course, you're thinking about it from the CO perspective - as you should :)

I still am a fan of local option.  Here's how I would approach it and argue the BSA should have as well:

sexual orientation - The BSA should have no restrictions on who can join the program and shall make no requirements on who can join.  If a local CO has specific requirements for membership in their program, then so be it.  If, for example, a Catholic Church said that their youth and adult members in their programming had to be of one particular sexual orientation than so be it - it's their youth program.  If the elementary school down the street said that there were no restrictions then again, so be it. The CO is simply utilizing the program of the BSA in running their own youth program.  The BSA should make no requirements on who they either can or must admit to their youth program.

religious beliefs - The BSA should have no restrictions on who can join the program based on religious beliefs.  If a Methodist church said it wanted all their members to be devout Methodists then great.  If a Methodist church said that it didn't care, then so be it.  If a Baptist church wants to open every meeting with a prayer, then great.  If a Lutheran church wants to discuss religion in the context of character development - then great.  

But, in short - it's the CO's program.  Let them run their program their own way.  The only restriction being that you cannot add nor take away from advancement requirements.

The BSA should not make any attempt to become a wholly secular organization.  Similarly, the BSA should make no attempt to be a religious one either.  At district/council functions, there should be room for this to all coexist.  Scouts and Scouters should learn to respect the beliefs of others and so if there are members present who would benefit from grace before meals, then say grace.  The BSA should be about respecting the plurality of it's members - that plurality includes religious diversity.  Yes, some guidance would undoubtly have to be given so that this all is done appropriately - i.e., you cannot hold a mandatory 45 minute religious service at the start of a meal.   But you could hold an optional 45 minute service, take a quick break, and then reconvene and have lunch.

The message within the BSA should be about respecting each other, treating each other with respect, and doing the right thing.

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59 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Agree. Historically it was the female Scouters, but I am seeing more and more male Scouters interfering. 

Yes, there has always been unexperienced dads joining the program, it just wasn't an issue until moms scouters increased the size of the resource pool. And, we predicted here on this forum that more unexperienced dads would join the program once their daughters were allowed. Which is ironic because the GSUSA has a reputation of not being welcoming to dads.  

It has also been discussed that with admittance of gays and girls, a lot of experienced scouters would leave the program, leading to a larger percentage of inexperienced parents in the program.

One other interesting thing I've noticed with inexperienced dads joining the program is that on average, they have the same amount out doors experience as moms. Which on average is almost none. So, the hurdles are increasing in size all around.

Barry

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1 hour ago, elitts said:

While it might seem like splitting hairs, the issue that people refer to about "the admittance of female Scouters" usually isn't about the equipment between someone's legs; it's generally about the problem any organization has with the sudden, mass inclusion of people unfamiliar with the program.  That problem being that when you have a group of people with no appreciation for how and why things were done in the past, you almost always end up with well-meaning people wanting to "fix things" without the experience to know if the "fix" is a good idea.  (FYI, I'm not arguing that all changes are bad, and new people can be wonderful for pointing out problem areas)  If you want a modern day example of what I'm talking about, just imagine what would happen if you had an existing scout troop that was very much boy led (and thus, somewhat chaotic), where 90% of the existing leadership leaves suddenly and the new leaders are all drawn from incoming Webelos parents, none of whom were ever Boy Scouts.  I guarantee that within a matter of months you'd have parents "helping" the troop right into being a Webelos III program and then clapping themselves on the back for how much smoother and well-organized everything is now.

Personally, as both a scout and now a scouter, I've never had a problem with women as Scouters, though having "moms" involved can be a problem.  One of the central components of scouts is supposed to be letting the kids try and fail/go hungry/get cold/get sore, in order to learn.  Adults that can't leave their  "inner mom" at home almost always short circuit this process.  Though I have to admit that in my son's troop, something like 25% of the dads need to learn to leave their "inner mom" at home as well.  But as long as a woman can leave the nurturing mostly at home, is capable of peeing in the woods and doesn't insist I hike 200' into the woods in order to "study a bush", I'll welcome her along.

As far as adding in "dads of girls", no, this is clearly not a bad thing.  However, it could possibly be a problematic thing if you end up with inexperienced (with the program) dads implementing the program poorly.

 

I understand your point to some degree but it doesn't take much browsing on this forum to find comments from posters who take issue with the inclusion of women and later girls to the program. It's also a pretty ubiquitous opinion still expressed sotto voce at the unit through council levels. If the vast majority of complaints about women joining scouting truly were based solely on the challenges that were faced by having to do a lot of remedial training at the time, I wouldn't expect to still hear and read so many negatives today. Maybe this would be a good discussion thread. At some point I'll review some of the comments I've noted on the topic and repost them and maybe a better understanding could be reached by all. I do believe that a majority of men in scouting today, especially the ones of my generation and younger (with one personal exception who unfortunately is our Unit Commissioner) are gender blind when it comes to ability and skills. When you've got a job to do all you care about is who can help you do the job.

I can't seem to figure out how to requote your quote on the other part of my post but I will figure that out and respond to your equally thoughtful comments there. 

 

 

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