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Simply have a girl patrol, just as we have girl dens.  It is nuts to lose the small numbers due to that idiocy, in my view. 

I fully expected Scouting to go co-ed when they started having girl troops.

On one hand, I believe that we are in an era of equality now and not only do girls deserve to have the same opportunities as boys in Scouting but boys need to learn how to function in a co-ed environment of equality.  More women than men go to college now and so most men will be working for women in the near future.

On the other hand, there is absolutely no denying that boys will behave differently in co-ed environments.  Boys will "macho up" when there is the possibility of looking weak in front of girls.  It will change the dynamic of a boys-only environment.  But, it is what it is.

But the biggest concern I have is that you are going to 100%, absolutely, positively, without a doubt have boy and girl scouts having sex, mostly likely on overnight functions.  You can take that to the bank.  If you thought scout-on-scout sex acts were scandalous before, just wait until pregnancy is an outcome.  Especially with the possibility of abortion going down the tubes in many places.

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I was extremely dismayed to discover that BSA had created a DEI group, and have considered pulling my son out of Scouting because of it.  Especially when they started pushing the new Eagle-required me

There is no doubt that our history has led to where we all are today.  The past created our present.  So a lot of people today are behind the eight-ball from the outset.  It will take generations to r

I fully expected Scouting to go co-ed when they started having girl troops. On one hand, I believe that we are in an era of equality now and not only do girls deserve to have the same opportuniti

14 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Although I support female youth in Scouting, the answer to your question is that we are wired differently, and there is some benefit in single gender programming.

There is some benefit in single gender and some in mixed.  

For me, I would like to let troops choose if they want to be single gender or mixed gender.  Some parents do want a single gender experience for their kids.  Others don't care or want an integrated experience.  IMHO, let troops choose their personality.

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20 hours ago, skeptic said:

Being wired differently is not an answer, simply an excuse.  If the youth can function in school groups or church groups and so on, then they should be able to do so in Scouting.  As noted more than once from my own experience as a sub teacher, which meant many variants in students, groups became balanced pretty much once stabilized.  While middle school girls often took over a group initially, in many case the boy(s) came forward to challenge.  And in many of those, the group output became far more viable and reflected both sides, so to speak.  Sorry, the psychologists that claim the males are intimidated by females in that age group are not working with complete data.  Too often, they construct their own slanted surveys and so on to arrive at their predetermined position.  Again, I spent many years in a half dozen middle schools and below, and what I noted was almost universal.  

We might also note the best of the Ships and Crews in our own programs that are universally mixed in gender, yet function very well with the various points of view, based on gender perception, seeming to lead to a better balance and more success.  

 

It’s not about functioning together, it’s about maximum growth opportunity . Scouting is not about enduring each other to eventually get along. As you said, boys and girls are mixed to all the time. The scouting program puts the youth in situations where they makes decisions that expose their character.

Boys aren’t intimidated by the girls natural instinct of management and details, they welcome it. But many adults confuse the boys stepping back as a result being intimidated. It is instead the logical action of giving space for letting the girls do what they do best, and the boys find boring. Boys by nature want action and adventure. That other stuff like meeting, planning, and planning menus is not in their wheelhouse. Taking the girls out of the equation forces the boys to step to the mundane responsibilities of getting to to the actions and adventure.

This reminds of when I asked a den of Webelos why they chose the troop they where about to cross over to, they said that troop had the best game at the end of the meeting. Action and adventure.

As for the experts, they can’t all be wrong. Many are good at their job. Is the idea of genders learning better when the aren’t mixed really so hard to believe. Even you admit they are wired differently. I also have years of experience working with boys and girls and I came up with my own conclusions of developmental growth of boys and girls in different environments. Scouting is an area where boys grow better without girls. At least until puberty.

Barry

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3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

It’s not about functioning together, it’s about maximum growth opportunity . Scouting is not about enduring each other to eventually get along. As you said, boys and girls are mixed to all the time. The scouting program puts the youth in situations where they makes decisions that expose their character.

Boys aren’t intimidated by the girls natural instinct of management and details, they welcome it. But many adults confuse the boys stepping back as a result being intimidated. It is instead the logical action of giving space for letting the girls do what they do best, and the boys find boring. Boys by nature want action and adventure. That other stuff like meeting, planning, and planning menus is not in their wheelhouse. Taking the girls out of the equation forces the boys to step to the mundane responsibilities of getting to to the actions and adventure.

This reminds of when I asked a den of Webelos why they chose the troop they where about to cross over to, they said that troop had the best game at the end of the meeting. Action and adventure.

As for the experts, they can’t all be wrong. Many are good at their job. Is the idea of genders learning better when the aren’t mixed really so hard to believe. Even you admit they are wired differently. I also have years of experience working with boys and girls and I came up with my own conclusions of developmental growth of boys and girls in different environments. Scouting is an area where boys grow better without girls. At least until puberty.

Barry

Back to my perception that balance and awareness must take place.  And today, when puberty seems to begin earlier, especially for girls, your comment has room for adjustment perhaps?  The part about girls being more apt to do the "boring" planning is true, but with that comes the indiction I observed that once confronted with that, the boys often step up and become involved, even at an earlier age.  

It still seems to me that the membership issue would improve with coed, especially if larger units were to have the girl patrols if necessary.  Then the older youth would still be pretty much on the same level for more advanced leadership.  But we are missing the boat with girls if we insist on separate groups.  

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3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

It’s not about functioning together, it’s about maximum growth opportunity . Scouting is not about enduring each other to eventually get along. As you said, boys and girls are mixed to all the time. The scouting program puts the youth in situations where they makes decisions that expose their character.

Boys aren’t intimidated by the girls natural instinct of management and details, they welcome it. But many adults confuse the boys stepping back as a result being intimidated. It is instead the logical action of giving space for letting the girls do what they do best, and the boys find boring. Boys by nature want action and adventure. That other stuff like meeting, planning, and planning menus is not in their wheelhouse. Taking the girls out of the equation forces the boys to step to the mundane responsibilities of getting to to the actions and adventure.

This reminds of when I asked a den of Webelos why they chose the troop they where about to cross over to, they said that troop had the best game at the end of the meeting. Action and adventure.

As for the experts, they can’t all be wrong. Many are good at their job. Is the idea of genders learning better when the aren’t mixed really so hard to believe. Even you admit they are wired differently. I also have years of experience working with boys and girls and I came up with my own conclusions of developmental growth of boys and girls in different environments. Scouting is an area where boys grow better without girls. At least until puberty.

Barry

If you substituted race, skin color, or any religious or ethnic category for gender in this comment, it would be off the charts offensive. I don't know why the moderators continually give a hall pass to comments like these. They have no place in scouting. It's one thing to recognize adolescent behavior like showing off; it's another thing entirely when you start attempting to make broad assessments that stereotype skills and character traits in discriminatory ways. 

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4 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Boys aren’t intimidated by the girls natural instinct of management and details, they welcome it. But many adults confuse the boys stepping back as a result being intimidated. It is instead the logical action of giving space for letting the girls do what they do best, and the boys find boring. Boys by nature want action and adventure. That other stuff like meeting, planning, and planning menus is not in their wheelhouse. Taking the girls out of the equation forces the boys to step to the mundane responsibilities of getting to to the actions and adventure.

I disagree with the idea the idea that "only boys are interested in action and adventure" and "girls are interested in planning menus".

I think the "action and adventure" available through Scouting appeals to boys and girls equally.  I also disagree with the assessment that logistical planning is not in the boys' "wheelhouse".

I can't think of a single Scouting activity that wouldn't appeal to outdoor-oriented girls the same way it appeals to outdoor-oriented boys.

I do not think this is an issue in mixed-gender Scouting.

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We recently had a Camporee with a "timber games" theme.

Our Girl Troop was right up there with the boys throwing tomahawks, log rolling, davinci bridge building...   They were not holding back.  I'd post picture of their "tomahawk throwing faces" but that would be improper.  :)  Anyway... after watching our GT meeting right before the boy meetings I see no significant differences.  I think co-ed troops with separate gender patrols will be the best way to go.  With limited adult volunteers, meeting at the same time with the same committee would help us out A LOT.  (Troop Meeting nights for me start at about 5:45 and run to 9:00 because I need to be at both meetings)

Both of our Troops boys and girls have camped at District events in the same camp site, but with tents set up in their own area and kitchen setups separate.  It works fine with.

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I find some of the above postings about girls in Scouts BSA to be rather speculative and uninformed.  As founding Scoutmaster of a now-50+ member Scouts BSA Troop for Girls, my experience and direct observation is that our girls are attracted to the program for the identical reasons as boys are.  My experience is also that our Scouts successfully organize and lead our troop in ways that are different – playing to the things girls emphasize and strengths they have at the Scouts BSA ages.  Our operation works supremely well as a single-gender organization. for reasons I do not need to fully understand.  There is no way our chartered organization, parents, adult leaders or youth would consider making our Troop co-ed.

The fact that government schools and many churches have fully co-ed youth activities is fine, but irrelevant in deciding whether an outdoor-oriented Scouts BSA Troop is better or worse off being co-ed.  Our Troop is not a French club or bible study organization.  We conduct an aggressive outdoor program that matches the best I have come to know in my Scouting years.  My “opinion” is a strong one:  we would not have arrived where we are if we were not an all-girl Troop and many of the good things our young people benefit from would melt-away in a co-ed environment.  This would include the idea of all-girl and all-boy patrols in the same troop. 

I have come to observe a few partnered Troops in our area that have a “girl patrol” integrated into what is effectively a single troop.  This is not in keeping with the letter or spirit of our BSA regulations.  The successes of these organizations are limited.  If and when troops are provided the option to have a co-ed presence within a single troop, you should not expect a rush from the many quite successful Scouts BSA Troops for Girls to participate.

To the original poster:  I suggest that a Scouts BSA Troop for Girls be formed on the basis of serving a wider geographic area and that it be located at a chartered organization without any other Scouting program.  I find Scouter leadership affiliated with some long-standing Scouts BSA Troops for Boys don’t prefer introducing girl programming anywhere in proximity to their successful units.  Sometimes these folks unwittingly restrain the growth of an all-girl Troop located at the same chartered organization.  The girls in your community need and deserve a strong, large Scouts BSA Troop that stands alone.  With prioritization and strong drive, Scouters with a singular focus on that project can pull it together fairly easily – certainly by this fall.  This is just now hard to do.  My view is that the Lone Scout approach is a work-around that is only appropriate in the limited circumstances that program was designed to address.  I regret your Lone Scout Eagle was not able to experience the unobstructed joy our first five Eagles have lived in our Scouts BSA Troop for Girls.  

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I'm now in the Longhouse Council in CNY. I expect that this council has had a far more significant membership downturn than most having dropped over 90% of its membership since 2000. Most of that happened prior to covid. While I dearly hope that the council will turn things around the staffing is so reduced and we have dropped so many units that it will almost take a miracle. In the meantime we do have a wonderful 'William Hillcourt Museum at Camp Woodland in Constantia, NY and I am now on the committee. If any of you folk are within a reasonable distance you are welcome to come and visit. The museum is open most Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM and also by appointment. Camping is, of course, available via the Longhouse Council. We have 2,500 sf of history and this is a great place to kick off your Scouting Heritage merit badge. 

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18 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

I disagree with the idea the idea that "only boys are interested in action and adventure" and "girls are interested in planning menus".

I think the "action and adventure" available through Scouting appeals to boys and girls equally.  I also disagree with the assessment that logistical planning is not in the boys' "wheelhouse".

I can't think of a single Scouting activity that wouldn't appeal to outdoor-oriented girls the same way it appeals to outdoor-oriented boys.

I do not think this is an issue in mixed-gender Scouting.

Ah good. We can agree to disagree. 

Have a great scouting week.

Barry

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, yknot said:

If you substituted race, skin color, or any religious or ethnic category for gender in this comment, it would be off the charts offensive. I don't know why the moderators continually give a hall pass to comments like these. They have no place in scouting. It's one thing to recognize adolescent behavior like showing off; it's another thing entirely when you start attempting to make broad assessments that stereotype skills and character traits in discriminatory ways. 

I haven't been watching this thread (was pretty active this weekend in and out of scouts).  However, I do think neuroscience does clearly indicate brains are different between boys and girls ... even at birth ... and they definitely develop differently.  Is that due to epigenetics, genes or hormones ... the answer is likely yes.  Regardless, we do know there are differences in brains between genders.  Now, it doesn't mean that every female or every male fit a single gender specific behavior.  I think the science indicates that differences in behaviors in a single gender exceed the differences between genders.   However, if you talk in generalities, I think you can say there are differences in the "average" boy and "average" girl and their behaviors.  I am not aware of the same type of studies that would point to race or religion in terms of brain development.

I do agree we have to be careful in this area.  I think there are girls that are more into risk taking and adventure than boys and boys that are better in terms of organizing than girls (I see it in my own Troop).  However, in general, there are gender differences.  How we address those is up to BSA and the units that implement the program.

 

Edited by Eagle1993
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