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Female leadership in Boy Scouting

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Whilw it would be great if only males were leaders in the BSA, it would also be great if every backpack expedition was lead by a pair of Board Ceritified Trauma Surgeons but at times there is this thing, its called reality and as hard as it is to understand what we would like doenst always occur.


I beleive in the scouting program and for the most part, with rare exception, the people who say they are determined to the deliver the program to the best of their ability and I just don't pay that much attention if they are male or female.


I have seen plenty of poor leaders who were men and women.


What was the point again? I forgot(This message has been edited by oldgreyeagle)

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Hard to figure this guy out. Interesting description of boy-led. I wouldn't normally expect a boy-led Troop to be as crips and polished as described. But then I'm inherently suspicious of the "need" to keep the adult leadership closed. Not just closed to women, but to men who aren't "in the club" too. Our troop has high standards for our adult leaders (well, not too high, I got in after all) but new faces are welcome if they meet them.


Not that this discourse is not a peak experience


Tampa, my last "peak" experience was when my old Peak1 white gas stove developed a crack in the generator tube and started spewing flaming liquid out the side.


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jblake47 - my comments were not directed to you which is why you did not find the quote I copied in your posts.


My comments were directed toward dwalto02 who talks about the "art" of becoming a "real man" and a "real woman".


IMO that is just scary.


And dwalto02, when I asked people around me who I respect what they think, I learned they think you are scary too.





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We have tried to recruit some "Mountain Women" as ASM's and have had some come out for canoe and kayak instruction (some are VERY accomplished and their family trips are much more ambitious then some High Adventure ones). All have refused. These are reasons I got:


(1) They want their boy to be in a male environment. They are around women all the time during the week.

(2) We have enough Dad's.

(3) They are already doing important support roles in the Troop (Troopmaster, Treasurer, CC) and they feel they are more important there.

(4) After the 1st year they are more at a point where they might want to jump in after getting a feel for the place. But now they find they enjoy getting away from there boy for a while.

(5) They like being "retired" from Scouts (most candidates are former Den Leaders)

(6) The other wives feel weird about another woman being around their husband all weekend when they get left home. (Oh yeah that got weird)

(7) Their son's begged them "no!"

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Let me be upfront and say I haven't read all the pages...



I want to comment on my own perspectives and experiences. As a single parent looking for man role models, I think it is a good idea having some restrictions in place for females BUT there is also a time, place and way of going about things. I was not encouraged into leadership role in the Troop yet went on most of the campouts. Most often I was the only female going. To me it was quality time with my son and sharing new adventures cheaply. Several times the males would put forth rules that in my opinion were advantageous to my son even thought they 'slighted' me. Sometimes these action of 'male' dominance gives one pause in how they are doing things without realizing there is a greater picture... the strings will be cut completely one day. There are certain things that men teach that women cannot even in gender equality times.


By the same token males should not be so discouraging to having women around in camps or as a Scouter. Mutual respect and communication is very importance tool for every youth leader to have and it starts with the adult Scouters.

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I don't think my presence defeated the purpose, Basement as scouting offers teaching tools to parents too in a friendly non threatening environment that family, school, work and sports don't.


Tampa...On your 'The other wives feel weird about another woman being around their husband all weekend when they get left home. (Oh yeah that got weird)' Yeah its a fine line to walk which is probably why no friendship outside of scouting developed unless it was with another single mom. I'll have to say I felt shocked, insulted and guilty when someone hit onto me especially never having experienced this in my 9 years of scouting at that time. Made me more conscious of the need to walk that fine line WELL for other women's sake.

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eagle has a story about district folks hooking up and it ending in divorce. Causing huge problems on the district level...


There are stories about woodbadge staff and participants hooking up.....Destroying two marriages....



I imagine it could happen on the unit level.....


I will say my wife looks fantastic in her venturing uniform..........




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At my old Pack (thankfully just as I was leaving) there was a lot of conflict on a pack campout. We had a Husband who was a Webelos II den leader and his wife was another. (they had twins and split them up). Apparently hubbie had just ended an affair with the lady Webelos I leader and the wife didn't expect her to show up. Got pretty ugly.

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Yes there can be challenges. As Base noted, I know of two individuals on the district level who hookled up at WB that ended up with divorces, and a mangled district committee since once spouse being cheated on was also on the comittee.


I also know of two unmarried leader who ended up getting married b/c of scouting.


And I know of two leaders who had some rumors started, that proved to be unfounded. Apparently some folks did not like ladies camping, and started them to get her out.


As for me, I think my wife looks great in her Venturing uniform, and especially attractive in her vintage 1950s den mother uniform. Unfortunately she's changed her mind about being a CS leader, and wants to wait until the boys get old enough for Venturing to join a crew.


But if oldest continues the route whe says he want to take, It may be dress whites for a Sea Scout Ship for the wife. ;)



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My nomination for the job of SM was met with opposition from a dinosaur on our troop committee. There was no male leader who wanted the job, and with the exception of a few past SM's there was no other adult as qualified as I was to take it.


I am just one of three female SM's in our council. It cost our troop committee a member who wouldn't agree to it... you know the arguments: "The boys don't need another mother", "The boys need male role models", or my personal favorite "it wouldn't matter what broad you were, I'd say the same thing." (shaking head for not the first time at Cro-Magnon thought processes)


All my ASM's are male. I have very little interaction with the scouts on a weekly basis and one of my ASM's acts as an additional adviser to the SPL. Why? Because he has more years of experience in Boy Scouting than I and can offer insights that I can't. The ASM's will teach skills if asked and advise patrol leaders when needed. They set the example of good male role models.


Ask any of my scouts if it matters to them that their Scoutmaster is a woman.



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As a former Girl Scout, it is my opinion that the role of the Girl Scout Leader is very different than that of the Scoutmaster in Boy Scouting. Keep in mind that I have not seen the current Girl Scout Leader training nor have I had any association with a Girl Scout Troop, as I have no daughters. When I was a Girl Scout there was a Troop leader and a co-leader. I never had an experience with Girl Scouts that would mirror the SPL/SM association nor did I ever see a GS Troop that had a plethora of other leaders the way most Boy Scout Troops do.


I don't argue that a male leader in Girl Scouting would have a different influence on the girls than a female leader. As others have commented, men and women are as different as apples and oranges in their approach to things. That's part of the reason I have a male ASM to also mentor the SPL.


I believe in the Patrol Method and the boy-led Troop. I advise and guide both the SPL and the PLC to work our way back to those methods. I feel I am making a positive impact on the Scouting experience in my troop. The day that I don't, I hope everyone pushes me to the side and finds a better candidate.

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