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Evaluating Girls Joining Scouts BSA -- Part One

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39 minutes ago, skeptic said:

As a long story I have been reading notes, we need to stop infantilizing young teens and preteens.

This right here is also what sets scouting apart from a lot of other youth organizations. Or should, at least. We need to stick to the basics of what's made scouting successful throughout the decades, and that's the patrol method with the implied trust in the capabilities of the scouts. The last thing they need is more helicopters or snowplows.

Separate paper troops and even separate sides of the campground all just seems to add more work for... Nothing. Learning how to lead boys and how to get them to come along was one of the most valuable life lessons I got from scouts, and I want the same for my own scout of course. (No workplace consists only of your own gender.) Not going to get that surrounded by scouts of their own gender whether that's in GSUSA or BSA. 

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While it may not be obvious, it certainly is on the radar.  Of course, we already have coed in cubbing, many units mixing boys and girls in the various Den levels due to needing leaders and keeping it

4/16/2024: Sixteen-year-old Emily Green, a first-generation Costa Rican American is a Eagle Scout. Her family came to this country with practically nothing, living in shelters, finally getting help fr

The concept of linked troops was good on surface and if managed well, likely quite successful at the sharing of resources. In my experience, the implementation of linked troops was not even close

03.12.2024 U.S. Army Garrison Benelux

Story by Sandra Wilson

Participation in girl troops has increased on Benelux installations. Girls attend the weekly meetings and campouts, just as the boy troops, where they find camaraderie and build upon skills and leadership. Additionally, the standards and merit badges that the girls achieve mirror those of the boy troops.

“Before we didn’t have the numbers to have our own girl troop so the youth that were involved had to meet with an online troop,” said Chris Stewart, scoutmaster of Troop 100 G in Brunssum.

“I came in a year and a half ago with absolutely no skills for camping or scouting,” said Kirstin Heist, scoutmaster of Troop 325 G at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium. “I am learning with the scouts.”


Upcoming trips include camping on Omaha Beach in Normandy in April and taking a trip to Kenya in December. Campouts happen regularly throughout the year. Additionally, all the troops welcome an international mix of scouts and often partner with local national scouting groups to use their facilities or build skills together.

The benefit of living overseas not only offers scouts an international experience but also the chance to visit sites of historical significance. Seeing first-hand the memorial sites and the battle grounds of wars fought creates a more tangible learning environment for the scouts to bolster appreciation and respect.

Scout salute,

Great article with photos



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Grand Rapids, MI:

"What started as a group of less than 10 girls is, today, the second largest all-girls troop in the state with 43 in total.", Scoutmaster Kim Mast.





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Around 2004 our BSA Troop went to the Dorchester International Brotherhood Camporee in Dorchester (London), Canada.  It was my first exposure to girls in "Boy Scouts" (Scouts Canada allowed girls in their program long before the BSA).  At the time I talked with many of the leaders (Scouters) in Scouts Canada about the pros and cons in allowing girls to join, how they handled having girls in the troops, etc.   Overall, the positives greatly outnumbered the negatives but a few things stuck out for me.

1) Many troop had difficulty getting adult women leaders (a requirement for outings with girls present) to attend outings.  Meetings and such wasn't a big deal but not many women wanted to go camping.

2) I noticed at DIBC in my own (all male BSA) troop that the behavior of the boys, especially those 14 and above, was much more mature when girls were present. 

Anyway, my involvement in BSA activities waned considerably right before girls were allowed to join due to my boys aging out and over a decade of being a Scoutmaster it was time to step back.

Curious what pros and cons other may have with the recent changes.

Edited by acco40
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On 12/21/2022 at 9:47 AM, Eagledad said:

You keep say “the attention span of girls” as if girls are different. What are you comparing against. I’m not confronting you, I’m just curious how you came to that conclusion.


At younger ages (say Kindergarten) females have better fine motor skills and can sit still for longer periods of time.  Boys fine motor skills catch up quickly but they are more "active" learners.  Want to punish a six year old boy?  Tell the boy to sit still and quietly for 15 minutes.

Go to any High School graduation ceremony of a public school and tell me which gender perform (grades) better?  The females by a mile.  Now go to a college and do the same thing.  The males not only perform as well but often exceed the females in college. 

Think of how we teach children - cooperation, working together, don't disrupt, don't interrupt, etc.  Conform!  Women do that exceedingly well (as compared to males).  What do we reward in the workplace and higher education?   Think outside the box!  Try new things.  Be demonstrative.  Be an innovator, a disrupter!   Males exceed in that environment.

Yes, the above are gross generalities but they do ring true in aggregate - at least in US culture.

Edited by acco40
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4/16/2024: Sixteen-year-old Emily Green, a first-generation Costa Rican American is a Eagle Scout. Her family came to this country with practically nothing, living in shelters, finally getting help from the Scouts.

During the Report to the State, she addressed lawmakers at the Massachusetts State House.

"Scouting has been instrumental in shaping my character and learning essential life skills. I started as a little girl, joining my brother, who's also an Eagle Scout, in his Scout troops. Then I joined a progressive co-ed troop and advanced through the ranks from a cub scout to Eagle Scout...For many, it is a uniform, badges, and campfires. But on a deeper level, it represents much more. It's a journey of personal growth, camaraderie, and service...From now on, I’m going to keep attending troop meetings and keep helping my troop, and helping others with more community service, and after that I’ve got college, and who knows what then," Green told the Senate.

More at sources including Massachuestts membership numbers and Scouts offering her family shelter at a camp.




Scout Salute,

P.S. Add Link, BSA 2023 Report on the State of Scouting in Massachusetts



Edited by RememberSchiff
add report link
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