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bilgerat

Female leadership in Boy Scouting

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I have seen some very good female troop leaders who were very capable assets to the troop, and if you want to talk about growth in numbers than a coed scouting program is probably the only way scouting will be able to survive as an organization. However this will come at a cost, the program developed by BP for boys will cease to exsist as we know it as we try to be all things to all people. Coed programs at the Venturing level just make sense as this is the age group where social interaction between boys and girls is at its peak, not to mention helping retention, this is not as true at the cub and (early)boy scout levels.

 

So we are left with a dilema, if scouting is going to survive as a growing and viable youth organization in todays world and in the future going coed may seem the way to go, however the very nature and design of the program would have to change to accomodate this new dynamic. So don't kid yourselves the program would be very different and is that the direction we want to take? Case in point look at Campfire, they went coed years ago in hopes of being able to replenish its greatly dwindling numbers, but it didn't work and their units and offices are still closing up all over the country. Many of their long term members/leaders felt the organization had sold out on the basic integrity and principles of what was Campfire Girls, my wife was one of these council leaders. I can't help but wonder if something similiar would happen to the BSA if all levels of scouting became coed.

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SMT, so you are saying the boys were showing off and acting like idiots around the girls? Say it ain't so! :)

 

On the larger issue here, is there really a serious move afoot to include girls at all levels of Scouting? My understanding from long ago was that the BSA and the GSUSA had at least a tacit agreement that the BSA was not going to do that.

 

As for Jsummerlin, I don't see any inconsistency in a program for youth of one gender being led and supported by adults of both genders.

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Yes, I am very grateful for the women who serve in various leadership capacities in our troop, and for the Moms who step up and help out as needed. Just as I am grateful for the Dads. No more, no less. The unit could not function without everyone playing a role.

 

Some of us do believe the optimum situation is to have men as the primary leaders. Not everyone believes that men and women are wired the same. Many boys are sorely lacking of male role models in their lives. Many of us who believe in traditional, coservative values believe it is best for a boy to learn to be a man from men of upstanding character. Some of us will remember the old BSA slogan Boypower / Manpower.

 

I was once a 12 year old boy, a 15 year old youth, and a 17 year old young man. I remember first hand the trials and tribulations of those ages. As Scoutmaster, I take it to heart to try to have a personal relationship with each of the boys in my troop. My hope is that they see me as a mentor, as someone they can talk to when they need a sounding board. Each and every Scoutmaster Conference is a "man to man" talk. The most important ones are the off the cuff, spur of the moment ones.

 

I do not doubt that a woman can be an outstanding Scoutmaster in many ways. But there is not one who has lived the life of an adolescent boy. No matter how many boys you have raised, no matter how many brothers you had, you have not walked in their shoes. And the boys know it.

 

Certainly a female Scoutmaster is preferential to the unit folding, or to a male who is a poor role model. But when we consider what would be optimal, I have to lean toward the man as the Scoutmaster.

 

I did serve as Den Leader from Tigers on. In the early years I had a Mom for an ADL. That worked out well and I am glad she was there. All along, our den focused more on the outdoor activities, the things that boys were excited about. Other dens tended to focus on crafts. When it turned time for crossover, our entire Webelos Den became Scouts. I can not think of a den prior to that in our pack that had 100% crossover.

 

Another poster mentioned the low percentage of male elementary teachers. She was absolutely right! We need more male teachers. Current studies show that for the past 30 years, teachers have been using teaching methods which are geared toward the ways girls learn. Trust me, there is a difference between the way boys and girls learn. I have read the research. My son was floundering in elemnentary school, although his IQ is scored at "Superior". He was just not responding to the teaching methods. When we switched him to a class with a male teacher, everything changed. The teacher had a different approach and understood how boys learn.

 

Boys and girls, men and women, we are different. It has not been politically correct for some time to believe that. But it is a fact. One sex is not superior to the other, just different. And in many ways, for that, I am grateful!

 

Ken

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On the larger issue here, is there really a serious move afoot to include girls at all levels of Scouting? My understanding from long ago was that the BSA and the GSUSA had at least a tacit agreement that the BSA was not going to do that.

 

That was my understanding as well. However, I have heard rumblings about having BSA sponsor some all-girl units. That would be a less-traumatic way of introducing more girls at the lower levels, and I can see where it would make it harder to argue against. Then maybe, over time, you'd end up with offering an option for a CO to combine their two single-gender units. It was a real rumor from someone who has reasonable connections.

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However, I have heard rumblings about having BSA sponsor some all-girl units.

 

Really. Did this rumor come along with any details like what age group and what the units would be called.

 

(Of course, I know better than to really put too much stock in rumors reported in this forum. I still remember the highly-placed and absolutely-confirmed report on this site that Cooking Merit Badge would be back on the required list, possibly by the end of 2008, definitely by the end of 2009, and there would be other changes to the required list at the same time. Well, the new handbook is here with rank requirement changes as of Jan. 1, 2010, and the required list appears to be unchanged.)

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Wow! I had no idea the original post would stir such a vigorous discussion!

 

I sense that there are underlying currents that go deeper than BSA on this issue...

 

Thanks to each of you. I especially thank Narraticong for his post!

 

Best wishes to all.

 

 

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I've heard the Cooking rumor, too, and even recently. My presumption is that it usually means that such things are at least under discussion. Will they actually come to pass? Who knows. Same thing with the girl units. I've heard enough people coming back from Philmont who talked to people on National committees to believe that there is at least some discussion going on. We'll just have to wait and see.

 

Some of these type rumors do come true. There is a new Scuba merit badge. We did get the red out of the uniforms (something I heard well before it happened.) Take 'em one at a time.

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Take 'em one at a time is right, Oak Tree. Actually, what I do is not believe anything -- or disbelieve it, unless it is ridiculous -- until I see it in a BSA publication. It saves time worrying. I would guess that in my 7 years reading this forum, I have probably seen about 30 messages that include, I (or my friend, or my spouse, or whoever) talked to someone from National at Philmont, and they said...

 

I don't have any statistics, but the report probably comes true about half the time. And I'd guess that about one-fourth of the reports, going back years, concern the Cooking Merit Badge. :)

 

(Edit: Fix grammar)(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

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We have a bunch of great moms that help out. They are involved in every aspect but we haven't had a mom that camped with us in a couple of years. If someone wanted to camp that would be fine but currently they choose to serve on committee and as MB counselors.

 

 

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While Boy Scouts should be lead by men, women are also great leaders. In our Troop, the men run the programs and the women lead the support group! Our Committee Chair is female. Our Mom's back up our Dad's with organizing things like tracking Awards/Rank, fund-raising, phone trees and car pool's.

 

If I'm the only female on a camping trip, my tent is set up so I'm pretty well protected. My son is my escort, for the most part. It's not much fun for him to buddy-up with mom and he's a good sport about it. I let him buddy-up with the other Scouts as much as possible so he can fun without me trailing after him.

 

Our Troop is small, 12 Scouts right now and we welcome all adults that want to help; the more the merrier!

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Mariqco,

Welcome to the forums. I do have a question for ya, why is your son not sharing a tent with his patrol member? I ask b/c in my experience youth ALWAYS stay with their patrols, even if mom or dad is a leader or on the trip. Adults are in their area, youth in another.

 

On second thought, I need to stress Troop and Crew camping. OA events are a different matter and I have seen father and sons in the same tent.

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E92,

 

When EagleSon and I attended fall fellowships together, he slept in his backpacking tent; I slept in mine.

 

He was a teen at the time; he didn't need to share quarters with me.

 

Now, when I'm paying for a hotel room either in advance or right behind a college trip of his; that's another story.

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my husband started off as a den leader back for Tigers and Wolfs... his work then got busier and started to travel more, and I was the only one willing to take over for him so I was DL for Bears and Webelos. When the boys crossed over I did not want to be a SM, I do like the idea of boys at this age to have good male role models - though if the only male isn't a good role model then would prefer a good female. Once we settled into our troop (we were with 1 for about 6 months before switching troops) I did get asked to become a committee member. Our troop has 1 SM and 2 ASM and then tons of committee members. For campouts we will have any number of the SM, ASM, CM, and some just parents come along depending on the number of boys attending.

 

The women need all the same training as the men for their position... and in Youth Protection Training they will learn that a woman can only share a tent with their own child (though I don't know many boys that would want to tent with their mom) I am often the only female that camps with my sons troop though that might change in a year when one boy crosses over and his mom isn't always doing cub events.

 

My husband HATES camping... which means if our troop was a "man only" troop then they'd loose out on an adult that is heavily involved including being one that will winter tent which is where we often have the most trouble getting adults to attend.

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JiKC,

 

Tents, we don't need no stinkign tents, LOL. I hear ya. In my chapter, usually the new members will sleep in the tents Satuday nite, while current Arrowmen in under a campsite shelter the entire weekend.

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