Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bilgerat

Female leadership in Boy Scouting

Recommended Posts

Eagle92: "JS,

females as MEMEBERS of troops, may be headed our way in the near future."

 

This is all I ask for, consistency. If we go co-ed, that is fine, but you cannot do it half way. Be consistent in your policy, female leaders, female members. Don't do it half way.

 

gwd-scouter, I don't speak for anyone else but myself. I am not speaking for the "old guard" or the cub scout leaders of the past or present. I am simply pointing out the BOY Scouts of America is inconsitent in their co-ed policy. Nothing you have said to this point has addressed that. Again, I applaud your troop leadership and years of service. When can my daughter join your troop and grow from your valuable experience?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yes, I can see your point that it is inconsistent to have female leaders but not female members in a Boy Scout Troop or Cub Scout Pack. True, you're not speaking for the "old guard" jsummerlin, but using your own words you are speaking from the "older crowd." Your first argument was more about men training boys to be men, not the inconsistency of female leaders but no female scouts.

 

In any case, there are girl members in the BSA - Explorers, Venturing - which are both parts of the BOY Scouts of America. I suppose at some point in time BSA will be open to girl members in Cubs and Boys. Doubtful it will be any time soon, though. And, BSA could decide that Cubs and Boys has to be boys and men only. Unfortunately, that would lead to a great many, if not almost all, packs and troops closing their doors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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."

 

Another urban myth. Moms teach their little boys to pee standing up. Why? Self interest, they want the lid raised before and dropped after!

 

Now, a man can teach a boy to pee his name. Easier to track boys hiking in the snow as a dog, as everyone knows, cannot pee his own name Rover. YP prohibits this now. Probably just as well, the schools don't teach cursive penmanship anymore.

 

I remember when and compare with the realities of now. I welcome women and am thankful for their help, particularly Lisabob :) I wish more men stepped up. I see "Boy Scouting" becoming Scouting in 5 or 10 years. That new movie "Old Dogs" opens next week, as I understand the storyline includes a coed young scout group going to camp.

 

My $0.02(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been watching this thread with some amusement. I have to smile at the back-handed suggestion by some that women are acceptable as leaders primarily because not enough men are stepping forward (good to be wanted as something other than a last resort). And I admit that I have never really understood why, upon reaching age 11, it is suddenly so much more imperative (to some) that boys have exclusively male leaders. After all, a large % of cub leaders are women, and children are so incredibly impressionable at those younger ages. If anything, you'd think there would be a huge clamor (from those same circles) to have 100% male Cub leaders. Oh but wait - the care of young children - that's "women's work," right? (Look at the % of male elementary teachers and daycare workers.) Makes no sense to me though.

 

But I also understand that people are hesitant to embrace change and it is true that women have been active as Cub leaders for longer than they have as Troop leaders.

 

Personally, I am in favor of allowing co-ed boy scout troops, along the same lines that we now allow for co-ed crews (ie, make it up to the CO to decide whether they will sponsor a single-sex or a co-ed group). That allows people to have choices in terms of the types of programs they want their child to be in.

 

But in the meantime, the BSA youth membership policy is what it is. Jsummerlin, your argument would have the practical effect of excluding women leaders until the BSA changes its membership policy. While you may be right about the consistency angle, you would effectively shut out women for the foreseeable future. I imagine you can see where that might be problematic.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sexism, or more correctly, genderism, is alive and well. I don't have a problem with female leaders in the BSA. But our GSUSA counterparts don't seem to agree. And as you know, SWMBO is an elementary school nurse (RN). With the opening of the nursing profession to males over 30 years ago, I wondered out loud why there are no male school nurses. Her reply, "it ain't gonna happen". Seems it's ok for females to take children of both sexes into a restroom and help clean them up after an "accident", but not ok for a male to do the same. After all, everyone knows that a male wanting to be an elementary school nurse MUST be a pedophile. Seems that gender quotas are ok for some professions, but not others. I was hospitalized twice last year, and I really didn't care what gender my caregivers were (and I had males and females)...as long as they were professionally competent. It was a little strange to have to explain to a young female intern young enough to be my daughter, all about my bowel movements and gas production following my colon resection. But I got over it, since it was my ticket home!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Lisabob - even if there were enough willing men, that doesn't mean they'd be the best leaders. The best leaders, male or female, should be the ones in the positions.

 

Now, I do see that there is some advantage to having some male role models around. And actually, Lisa, I had to smile at your comment that "you'd think there would be a huge clamor (from those same circles) to have 100% male Cub leaders." I've had a number of mothers in Cub Scouts tell me that they really liked having male den leaders. Our pack is now 100% male in the den leader/Cubmaster positions, despite having no policy or even mild inclination to prefer males over females.

 

As a total aside, leaders are absolutely members of BSA. I don't think there is anything inconsistent about having co-ed leaders with single-sex units. That's the way almost all sports teams are at the high school and college levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My $.02...

 

I've seen very effective female leaders in BSA troops. From my experience, the BSA is very accepting of women in leadership roles. I wonder if the Girl Scouts recipricate so.

 

The only concern I would ever have would be if my son's troop became dominated by nearly all female leaders. My concern would not be the quality of leadership, but for the lack of male role models for my son.

 

I personally believe that adolescent boys benefit from seeing men of good character functioning in leadershp and volunteer roles. There are far too many glorified criminals and thugs in movies, on TV, and in video games. I try very hard to be a role model for my son, but I am most grateful that there are other such men he can observe while in scouts. I think it makes him a better person.

 

For the record, I would have exactly the same concern(in opposite) for my daughter in Girl Scouts.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisabob : "Jsummerlin, your argument would have the practical effect of excluding women leaders until the BSA changes its membership policy. While you may be right about the consistency angle, you would effectively shut out women for the foreseeable future. I imagine you can see where that might be problematic. "

 

Exactly! Which is why I would push this ASAP. Covering our ears is not going to change it. If we are going to change, then change. Address the membership policy and be done with it. Join Scouting as the rest of the world does. Right now we send mixed messages, moms can join, daughters cannot. My daughter cannot be an Eagle Scout, as much as she may want to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a common misconception left over from the old days when women could only be den mothers (and den fathers were not allowed).

 

She is welcome to any scouting position that she is capable of, limited only by her talents, interest, and proper training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually if you look at the roots, the Den Chiefs were in charge of the dens, and Den Mothers were not registered, and aided the DC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Schiff - I "stand" corrected. Having raised two sons I did indeed help them learn to pee standing up. You're correct of course that when it came to writing their names in the snow, that was Dad's department.

 

Thanks for the chuckle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, GSUSA is a grand example of gender bias in the adult leadership ranks, eh? And look where it's gotten 'em. Almost zero retention of post-adolescent girls.

 

I confess that I've only seen a few of da older women/mom types make good boy scouting leaders. They weren't raised in a coed world as kids, so they tend to be a bit "off" in terms of tone. But the younger women leaders that yeh see around now are much better, having come of age in a more balanced world. Know many female BSA leaders who are outstanding. While I respect da religious CO's that choose not to use 'em, the rest of the troops are really missing out on a good thing if they stick with all-male leaders.

 

Beavah

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to disagree with folks on this, but girls and women are different creatures, as are boys and men are different creatures.

 

Just because we have female leaders in Boy Scouts does not mean girls should be in Boy Scouts. Just because we have male leaders in Girls Scouts does mean boys should be in Girl Scouts.

 

I've been a Scoutmaster for Boy Scouts for ten years and a Camping Adviser for Girl Scouts for four years. I've been on a significant number of camping trips with both groups, and I can tell you they are very different.

 

Since there are a number of us leaders that have sons in Boys Scouts and daughters in Girls Scouts we have tried a couple mixed camping trips. And while they weren't outright disasters, but it wasn't a good situation. Both the boys and girls became very different - the boys showing off & acting like idiots and the girls ignoring each other and flirting with the boys. And I don't think either group meant to do it, as they have know each other outside of Scouts for years, but it just happened. Afterwards, we said never again.

 

Separated, girls and boys do very well alone on camping trips. But together, there were just too many hormones. Based on my experience, I have come to believe that sometimes boys just need to be with boys and girls need to be with girls.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×