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bilgerat

Female leadership in Boy Scouting

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Ok, I will jump in with what is an against the grain opinion. This is the "Boy Scouts of America" correct? If we allow women leaders, do we allow women members? I always thought that was a bit odd, why one but not the other?

 

I am from the "older crowd" when there were no women in scouting. It was odd for me to see women as leaders, and even stranger women in OA. I'm not suggesting I am right, but those are my honest feelings. I see Boy Scouts as training boys to be men, and that should come from men leaders IMO.

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"It was odd for me to see women as leaders, and even stranger women in OA. I'm not suggesting I am right, but those are my honest feelings"

I have no issue with that. The way I read it is the same as if I read "It was strange seening a new mall in my town because we just never had one"

It's only a problem if you let that "strabgenes" get in the way of scouting , which pretty much is to teach boys to become proud, smart, honest and civil members of society. And they get tricked into that by having fun while doing it.

 

I gues I look at it like this: I am going to be starting radiation treatments within the next 3 weeks. The Dr I am going to is one of the best in the US.

Now, when I'm laying on that table...I want the BEST person doing that job. Not the best of the Men Dr's, not the best of the female, white, hispanic, Aian or whatever.

I want the best Dr for doing that job!

 

I see women who shouldn't be allowed to raise kids. I see men who decided they didn't want to be dads any more. I see dads be moms and moms be dads. I see kids learning scouts because they are taught scouting, not because it was a mom or dad!

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Same issue as summer camp staffs...

 

If enough men volunteered, the need for women would be moot.

 

Not enough men volunteer by a long shot for the program and support services of Scouting. Thus, women. Praise God there are women serving Scouting. The other shoe is some units would not exist without them.

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JS,

Funny you mention girls as members. There are some rumblings from both WOSM and national on that very topic.

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Wow Scoutfish, talk about mangling and misinterpreting my words. I am not a racist nor a sexist person. Do not try to paint me as such.

 

I simply state the name of the organization "Boy Scouts of America". If we need to change that, then do it all the way. It is odd that we allow women leaders and not women members. Why don't we allow women members? Because it is the BOY Scouts of America!

 

There was a debate on another thread a while back around wearing another countries flag on your uniform. Should we do that? Well, no, because we are the Boy Scouts of AMERICA.

 

Other countries (yes, I have lived in and camped with Scouts from other countries) have mixed sex scouting. Call it Scouting, and let everyone in.

 

Lastly, yes, I do feel that there are certain things men teach other young men. I take my sons out to do "man" things often. Is this bad? I am a "bad" person for keeping a mens day out with my sons? I think not, but others may disagree. I have no problem with different opinions, I have only expressed my own.

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JS -

 

Women aren't members, they're leaders. Huge difference. The "Boy" in the name refers to the youth members, obviously. If it were the Male Scouts of America, you'd have scored a point.

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Thanks for the clarification shortridge, so as adult leaders we are not members of the Boy Scouts of America? Interesting, I did not know that. What organization do we belong to when we apply and pay our fee?

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I simply state the name of the organization "Boy Scouts of America". If we need to change that, then do it all the way. It is odd that we allow women leaders and not women members. Why don't we allow women members? Because it is the BOY Scouts of America!

 

Jsummerlin, the "Boy" Scouts of America has had female youth members for close to 40 years -- first in coed Explorer Posts and now in coed Venture Crews. So the name of the overall organization has not been fully consistent with its youth membership for a pretty long time. Now, if you're just looking at the BSA's "Boy Scout" program, yes, that's just for boys. And that's what it is -- a program for boys. That fact does not dictate the gender of the leaders.

 

I take it that you were a Scout when there were no female leaders, and that now you find it "strange" and "odd" that there are. Well, so was I, and when I rejoined Scouting with my son, I also found it a little "different" that there could be a female Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster or Committee Chair. But different, strange or odd does not mean wrong. Give it a chance, you'll get used to it. Personally I think boys benefit from having leaders (and teachers and other role models) of both genders.

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Yep, this thread pops up every now and then. I've been SM for our troop for six years and, yes, I am a female - the only female SM in our District and I think currently in our Council. In our case, the Troop would no longer exist if I hadn't stepped up six years ago. None of the men were interested.

 

It certainly wasn't easy in the beginning. Three guys quit the troop immediately after the announcement that I was going to be the new SM. Lots of grumblings and weird looks from some of the old guard scouters. Eventually, though, folks and boys and parents came to find out that I was trying hard to change our adult-led troop to what it should be, could camp with the best of them, held the boys accountable for their actions and had a high bar of expectations, and wasn't going to lead the boys into becoming sissyfied.

 

The important thing is to find good leaders, not male or female leaders. I've seen as many Dads coddle their sons as I've seen Moms do so.

 

Besides, as far as I can tell, the only thing a man can teach a boy that a woman can't is how to pee standing up.(This message has been edited by gwd-scouter)

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About 8 years ago our Treasurer resigned, and I suggested a Scout mom who was an accountant. The old guys (many of whom had grown up in the Troop in the 40's and 50's) just about had coronaries and said there had never been and there would never be a woman leader in the Troop. Women had their place, they said, in the "Parent Auxiliary" to help out with crafts and and food at COH and the like. There were some very angry exchanges in the weeks that followed my suggestion, and to my great surprise, the most vehement came from the wives of these old guys who had been very active in the Parent Auxiliary "back in the day". These woman were the most vocal that there should be no women leaders in Boy Scouts, only silent "helpers" in the background.

 

Fast forward to today... most of the old guys are gone, and now almost all of the Committee leadership positions are women (Chair, Treasurer, Advancement, Fund Raising) and over the past three years we have had two female SM.

 

And guess what? The Troop works great! We've tripled our numbers, have more $$ in our treasury than ever before, and have a very active group of Scouts who really don't care whether the Committee Chair is a man or woman - they just want to go camping and have fun!

 

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Besides, as far as I can tell, the only thing a man can teach a boy that a woman can't is how to pee standing up.

 

Bravo to you, gwd, and thanks for that line. I'm definitely going to borrow that.

 

- - -

 

JS - No, we adults aren't members of the Boy Scout program. We're volunteer leaders.

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NJCubScouter, I understand Explorers, Venture Scouts, etc. I was in many co-ed Explorer Posts, had a lot of fun and learned a lot. The title of this thread is "Female Leadership in Boy Scouting", so my assumption is that we are talking about Boy Scouts, not Cubs, Venture, or Explorers.

 

My question is still unanswered though. If we allow female adult leadership, why not allow female scouts? I just see it as inconsistent.

 

gwd-scouter, no doubt you are a fine leader. Can my daughter join your troop?

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Let's see, back in the old days is was assumed that women would be Den Mothers. Men need not apply. Don't think there was any amount of angst over that. While there may have been some, I doubt there were very many cries of "unfair, women can be Den Mothers but girls can't join."

 

I think it was some time in the 1980s that women were allowed to be Cubmasters and probably around the same time all adult leadership positions were made available to women. There will likely always be folks that think women do not belong in Boy Scout leadership. For the past sixteen years that I've been a Scouter, I've seen fewer and fewer men stepping up and volunteering to help out with their son's pack or troop. Good thing then that the ladies will.

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