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Girl Scouts accuse Boy Scouts of 'damaging' recruitment tactics


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@Cburkhardt  If your 130,000 girls in the program is correct, we have lost almost 1,000,000 boys since their arrival.  End of October there were 1.1M total Cubs and Scouts.  Start of 2020 about 2M.   Seems like Surbaugh plan didn't work so well.

 

Just a question as we see press releases around the country about the "first girl Eagle Scout".  It appears that almost all the young ladies are 18 or close to it.  So how many will remain with the program or will it be a "got mine" and gone.  

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If the GSUSA had marketed their Gold Award half as effectively as they've promoted 'Thin Mints' and 'Do-Si-Do's' we wouldn't be in this mess.

That's a topic in itself. If I had time, I'd link to it. The short answer: "no". The lack of outside leadership to force BSA and GS/USA to work in lock-step led to their mutual erosion. Reflecting on

If you recall Surbagh's Town Hall video, he as much admitted they (National gang) was pretty much out of ideas on how to add members to the program.  The adding girls was a hail Mary.   In realit

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11 minutes ago, PACAN said:

End of October there were 1.1M total Cubs and Scouts.  Start of 2020 about 2M. 

Do you have an official source for this?

I'm going to be be real curious about what comes out of the December recharter numbers. I know in my DISTRICT we've only lost 1 unit (troop), but Cub Scouts the number of SCOUTS looks like a 40% drop. A lot of "we'll come back when COVID relents".

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@PACAN, I would not hew to the press releases. The age range of this class seems to be wide. Moreover, they seem to be the "tip of the iceberg" as troops for girls seem to be sticking. This year's rechartering will tell us a good bit about brand loyalty.

If BSA really cared about not drawing off girls who might feel awkward about working a program whose evolution was all about American boys, they would brand so that every girl knows that she is signing up to work a "Boy Scout" program.

On the other hand, if GS/USA really cared about families of girls being "confused", they could estimate the cost of rebranding to "Girl Guides" and sue BSA for the cost of new letterhead. What GS/USA really wants is for BSA to "stay in its lane" and retain their monopoly on "girl power."

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

If that was the case, they would have asked the court to order BSA to go back to the 2017 policy. They didn't.

That is what they want. It is clear from their rhetoric. Everything they are asking the court to do is to make it as hard as possible for the BSA to integrate girls. They are freaking out. If the BSA gets it girl Cub recruiting act together, Girl Scouts will have little to fall back on as its program is so lopsided to the younger ages. This has nothing to do with trademarks and everything to do with the BSA welcoming girls. 

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

and retain their monopoly on "girl power."

Speaking of monopoly, or rather charters, isn't it time to remove all the charters and end all of these issues about the rights to a word, scouts, that predates both the bsa and gsusa? It seems to me that everyone else in the world treats the term scouts as generic and hence no copyrights. Anyway, how many problems have occured because the bsa and gsusa thought they had a monopoly and didn't need to listen to their customers? Maybe adding some competition might just help the people the charter should be helping, the youth.

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7 hours ago, MattR said:

Speaking of monopoly, or rather charters, isn't it time to remove all the charters and end all of these issues about the rights to a word, scouts, that predates both the bsa and gsusa? It seems to me that everyone else in the world treats the term scouts as generic and hence no copyrights. Anyway, how many problems have occured because the bsa and gsusa thought they had a monopoly and didn't need to listen to their customers? Maybe adding some competition might just help the people the charter should be helping, the youth.

First, there is a 0% chance of Congress repealing these Congressional charters. Even when this was attempted against the BSA (due to the refusal to allow openly homosexual scouts/scouters) the bill failed (HR 4892 of 2000). And attempting to deprive GSUSA of its charter? There's no way. I mean, I cannot see it. Anyone who even introduced the bill would be pilloried as a misogynist sexist pig trying to deprive girls of opportunities.

Second, since there's no way the charters are getting pulled, that does NOT stop anyone from creating their own outdoors group (Trail Life) or even one that lays claim to the Baden-Powell legacy (Baden-Powell Service Association, although they are changing their name).

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12 hours ago, PACAN said:

@Cburkhardt  If your 130,000 girls in the program is correct, we have lost almost 1,000,000 boys since their arrival.  End of October there were 1.1M total Cubs and Scouts.  Start of 2020 about 2M.   Seems like Surbaugh plan didn't work so well.

I really don't think you can use the raw numbers from 2020 to evaluate the effectiveness of the decision to admit girls.   COVID and the LDS exit are massively significant variables that ended up getting thrown in this year.  And I don't think there's much argument about the idea that the LDS were on their way out regardless of the decision to admit girls since the BSA decided to stop discriminating against homosexual folks.

 

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Just a question as we see press releases around the country about the "first girl Eagle Scout".  It appears that almost all the young ladies are 18 or close to it.  So how many will remain with the program or will it be a "got mine" and gone.  

Uh, they are almost all either 18 already or very close to it, so I'm going to take a wild guess that the number who will remain with the program will be quite similar to the number of boys who remain with the program after age 18.  I know in our girls troop, most of the girls over 16 who have already put in for their Eagle award plan to step back from the troop and become more active in the Venture crew, but that is no different from the SOP of most of our boys.

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13 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

In reality they did not want to do the hard work of figuring out why some units succeed and others fail, that would require maybe a real reflective look at the program. 

William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt figured out why some units succeed and other fail in the 1929 SMHB: " OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING." 

He reiterated that theme throughout his career, with the version inhis last BSHB being "SCOUTING IS OUTING!"

National has forgotten that as seen by the proliferation of "paperpushing" MBs, the condoning of "MB Mills" and the de-emphasis of the outdoors i.e. the 2016 CS program revisions and the 2017 revision to First Class rank requirement downgrading the number of campouts from 6 back down to 4., and the emphasis on 
FIRST CLASS FIRST YEAR."

Best example are two of the troops I was in. Both troops had no feeder packs, but they were " Hiking and Camping" troops that normally had 9 weekend  campouts,  summer camp,  and a minimum of 2 day activities. Recruiting was word of mouth and Den Chiefs.  One troop folded because of Katrina. They lost their adults, and a bunch of Scouts. Current troop is surviving. We lost 1 Scout due to a death in the family. We lose another this month when he becomes an ASM. We lose my oldest in August, September at the latest when he goes off to college or becomes and ASM. BUT we picked up one who has several friends in the troop. We are getting 2 more at a Cross Over next month. COVID-19 screwed up our plans. but the troop has adapted and overcome.

 

The biggest challenge I see is the loss of revenue from cookie sales due to girls joining BSA and not GSUSA. From the girls I have talked to, they want the outdoors. And GSUSA does not provide that. When their national president state they are an outdoor program  is proud of the fact that 15% of their girls camp at least once a year, that is not an outdoor program. Few girls means a smaller sales force. And the heavy focus on cookie sales is also a major turn off. Locally they spend about 2 -3 months doing cookie sales. Then their is the prestige factor. Eagle is a lot more prestigious in the public's eye because A) it has been called the same thing since 1910, and B) BSA has promoted and kept records. How many times has GSUSA changed their top award's name? And why is it that I can contact someone at the council office, used to be national office, and verify Eagle Scouts in my current troop all the way back to 1925, but the GSUSA cannot do the same?

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8 hours ago, MattR said:

Speaking of monopoly, or rather charters, isn't it time to remove all the charters and end all of these issues about the rights to a word, scouts, ...

The month that "scout" is no longer proprietary, the S in BPSA will revert from "Service" back to "Scouting", TL/USA and AHG will rebrand as Trinitarian Scouts of America - Boys and Trinitarian Scouts of America - Girls, respectively, Makers will be Maker Scouts, etc ... If GS/USA thinks their potential recruits are confused now, they will drain their wallets on cease and desist orders to these other groups.

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17 hours ago, yknot said:

I don't know if anyone remembers the lead up and roll out of this but at the time we were all being invited to attend "conversations" with Mike Surbaugh and others about the possibility of adding girls to scouts. We were told research was being done, that any changes would be given full discussion, everything was years down the line, etc. Surveys were going out that they wanted you to respond to, which many of us did. 

Unfortunately, they were all guided -- a strategy that BSA has utilized before. What that means is that the survey is designed in such a way that questions and responses are often manipulated to support a desired position.

Do you mean the videos and town hall sessions that councils got notified to conduct and show days before the NSJ, and had to be completed about 1.5 to 2 weeks after the NSJ, when many Council Key 3s are at, so no meetings could be done?

Yep I remember it well. I got hold of one of the videos early, THANK YOU SCOUTER.COM MEMBERS ( caps for shouting in praise)! I posted the link and cause a storm in my council as I forced my Council Key 3's hand in having the town halls. They did not   I remember those guided questions too. Yep if you didn't know what the purpose of the survey was, and answered honestly, everyone would be in favor. But two things:

1. Why has the results of the MEMBERS  SURVEY (emphasis) never been published? I have seen the non-member survey results BSA did, but still have not seen the internal results

2. Why did they exclude the Western Region's LDS Population from the results? Does anyone else remember reading that statement in the "mice type" at the bottom a BSA document? I wondered why they excluded a significant number of the membership, because this was before the announcement that they were leaving.

17 hours ago, yknot said:

So while we were all still in the middle of this supposedly initial examination and conversation phase, BSA abruptly pulled the plug on it all and said the research results were so overwhelmingly positive that the decision was made to allow girls to the program within a relatively short time frame.

There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that the decision was made even before all the town halls, etc. First and foremost is the selection of Surbaugh as CSE. His career primarily focused on the coed programs of Exploring and Venturing. Exploring Execs (EE)/Venturing Execs (VE) are highly specialized. When I was looking into becoming a professional, I talked to an EE. He advised against specializing in Exploring because their was extremely limited opportunities for promotion because it was so specialized. I saw a bit of that with the EE, later VE when Venturing split off, I worked with. So how did Surbaugh become SE with his narrow field of experience with a co-ed program, unless the decision was already made? Also did anyone notice that the June or July 2017 applications BSA created used gender-neutral language? There are a few other things I cannot think of off the top of my head. BUT if you do a search on here from the time period, you can find a lot of other pieces that the decision was made.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, PACAN said:

 

@qwazse   The age was just an observation of those I have seen.  One girl was 13 with a sash of at least 50 MBs.

Seen personally? The few girls I've met were plodding along just like our boys. I'm inferring that the are plodding along just like our boys of a similar age. BSA just loves to hype the overachievers. Case in point: there are no stories about # and age distribution of Tenderfoot badges.

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