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If all levels of Scouting went coed

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The patch over the right pocket on my early-70's uniform says "SCOUT B.S.A." The rumor at the time was that this was the signal that the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts would become one organization in the near future. I was a teenager at the time so I was not in a position to confirm or deny the rumor. I don't know if anyone in this forum has first-hand information about what happened. What I heard later is that the two organizations discussed merger but decided against it and that the BSA did not wish to encroach on the Girl Scouts' core program by admitting girls to "Boy" Scout troops. What I know for sure is that about 35 years later, the BSA and GSUSA are still two different organizations, and Boy Scout troops are still boys-only.

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"Oh, and the USA is one of the last countries (I think Isreal may be one of the only others) where all sections of scouting isn't coed."

 

 

BZZZT. Sorry, not true. Last stats I saw from WOSM was there are about 100 Scout Associations that are male-only. I get really sick of hearing people claim the BSA is the last non-co-ed Associations. Just not so.

 

 

As to a merger between the BSA & GSUSA. There were serious talks between the BSA, GSUSA, and Camp Fire Girls in the late 60s/early 70s about a merge. From 69-71, the BSA allowed Girl Scouts & Camp Fire Girls to be Participants in Explorer Posts. AFAIK, the talks broke down and the BSA took Explorers co-ed in 71. Camp Fire went co-ed in 76.

 

Not sure when the BSA started to use the "Scouts, BSA" strips, but the Scouting/USA brand didn't come out until the mid 70s, after the merge talk apparently was over.

 

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If Boy Scouts went coed, I'm afraid I would have to look elsewhere for an organization to support. There are other grass roots "traditional" Scouting organizations out there.

 

While I come down firmly on the side of absolute equality between men and women, I also acknowledge the simple fact that the sexes are both physically and mentally different. I believe it is perfectly healthy that single sex organizations exist for boys and girls.

 

There are already plenty of organizations available for those who desire a coed experience for their child. If you believe in that, then volunteer and do your best to make that organization as great as the Boy Scouts of America. The more outstanding youth programs we can provide, the better off our children will be.

 

But please do not tell me that BSA MUST become coed. It is my opinion that BSA has struggled for years because our professionals have seen fit to try to serve everyone rather than be the best at what we are. The simple fact is there are many families which still hold to traditional values. Had BSA done the same rather than just use "Tradional Values" as buzz words, we may have seen our numbers stay steady rather than decline. We have sunk millions of dollars in donations into failed programs to appeal to everyone across the board. Had we used that money to provide the absolute best outdoor based program we could, I wonder where we might be membership wise today?

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as a parent with 1 boy and 1 girl and being involved with both BSA and GSUSA... I do not see all troops being co-ed being a good sell, but I would love if we could have both boys and girls involved with cub/boy scouts. I like the BSA system so much better and am counting down to days (okay a little over 2 years) when I'm done with Girl Scouts.

 

Pack would have 2 dens (at least) for each level and have 1 for boys and 1 for girls... I do think this age it does work better to keep them seperated, but then bring them together for pack events.

 

Troops would be set-up to either be all male, all female, or co-ed... parent and child(ren) would pick the troop they would prefer to be in.

 

As a parent I would love to have my kids in same troop - would love an extra night off each week. But I'm not sure how much my kids would like it, and since it's not an option thus far it's not a subject to bring up to them. I have asked my daughter about joining venture crew - she wasn't all that interested until she saw a few of the boys who were participating at call out ceremony and she thought they were really cute - she didn't like it when I mentioned that scouts wasn't the place to pick up a date.

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Narraticong: I don't think anyone here is saying that the BSA must become coed. Merely that if it chose to it would not be the end of the world. Boy would still behave like boys, they would not suddenly become a pansyfied, Brady Bunch shadow of their former selves. Of course they still wouldn't be as good as Scouts were when I was a lad, but I'm sure we know that.;)

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I said: "Oh, and the USA is one of the last countries (I think Isreal may be one of the only others) where all sections of scouting isn't coed."

 

 

Emb021 said: "BZZZT. Sorry, not true. Last stats I saw from WOSM was there are about 100 Scout Associations that are male-only. I get really sick of hearing people claim the BSA is the last non-co-ed Associations. Just not so."

 

Funny, looking at Scouts.org website at:

http://tinyurl.com/y93d5lo (Tiny URL is such a great site for compressing long website URL's!)

 

 

I quote:

"Only one national Scout organization can be recognized in a country. In some countries the National Scout Organization is a federation composed of more than one Scout association. These are listed here, in black italic, under the National Scout Organization.

 

Of the 160 National Scout Organizations, 126 belong only to the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and 34 belong both to WOSM and to The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

 

Of the 126 National Scout Organizations which belong only to WOSM, 100 are open to boys and girls in some or in all programme sections. 20 are only for boys. All 34 National Scout Organizations which belong both to WOSM and to WAGGGS are open to boys and to girls."

 

 

As it says, only 20 national scouting organizations are male only. Sorry, but the USA *is* in the minority and if we went coed at all levels it would not be the end of the world.

 

 

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I agree with Narraticong (although IM_Kathy stated her view pretty well). The last post stating that boys behave like boys is the point I think we're brushing over. My wife is an educator, and she loves Boy Scouts the way it is. She'd hate to see it go co-ed. Boys and girls act differently when they mix it up. The reason I'm agreeing with Narraticong is because I think it's great that the boys can participate in a growth experience without the distraction of girls watching them perform. Where else can they do that? They act differently. When they're camping with other Scouts, they don't need to be so concerned about looking or acting cool. They can just be boys! They can do the primping and posturing every day outside of Scouting. Same with the girls. When they get together they like to try on clothes, and they sing and dance and laugh with each other. They have a ball. Put them with boys, and they giggle, whisper, and flirt. They change. Should we take away that opportunity? Why take it away from the boys or the girls? Give the Scouts a chance to play water polo in lake without having to worry about how they look, how tough to play, where their hands go, and they can win or lose without having to try to impress a girl. Let the boys be boys.

BDPT00

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"As it says, only 20 national scouting organizations are male only. Sorry, but the USA *is* in the minority and if we went coed at all levels it would not be the end of the world."

 

Except that the BSA is NOT part of that group of 20 all-male orgs. :

 

We are part of the 100 who are open to both girls & boy in some sections. This is due to the fact that Venturing is co-ed.

 

The main point is the false claim that the BSA is the sole 'all-male' scout association. 1) we are not an all-male scout association, and 2) there are several all-male scout associations.

 

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The points made by BDPT00 are important. Sadly, a lot of people refuse to accept those points, or say you are being sexists for saying it.

 

IF (I said IF) the BSA goes co-ed, I certainly hope they allow for single-gender units (as we do with Venturing).

 

The problem I see is that some people push for co-ed scouting for the wrong reasons. The biggest do so for PC reasons ("you are discriminating against girls by not letting them in..."). There are some who do so for convenience (too inconvenient to have their sons and daughters in different programs/orgs, want a program the whole family is involved in)

 

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Well of course it works in other countries, after they make all the changes that are required to make it work.

 

As someone who has worked both in Boy Scouts and coed church youth groups, Scouting would have to change to be coed. Especially at the Boy Scout age where the body chemistry is changing. It certainly would no longer be boy run or in that case youth run.

 

Its hard enough for boys to focus when they don't have the distraction. And its not like they aren't getting mixed together at any other time in their life.

 

Barry

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Can't say that Scouting in the UK has had to change much to accommodate girls, separate tents for camping but that's about it. As for flirting and giggling, if any Scout of either gender did that in my Unit they'd be called a tart and told to get on with it. BTW, I deal with 14-18yrs.

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eagledad,

Actually you can still have youth led in a coed group, Venturing has shown that. The only changes I honestly see is the 1) adoption of VENTURING YPT compared to the standard YPT now and use and 2) getting over peaople's fears.

 

Trust me I am one of the biggest old fogeys for traditional scouting, and I do have concerns for some things that national has put out recently, i.e. Soccer and Scouting, the testing of an "altetnate uniform" made by UA in the MD council, etc, and do NOT want a repeat of the 1970s. But I do not have the concern of losing traditional scouting if we go coed as long as A) the option to remain single gender remains and B) the parents of ALL new scouts understand the aims and methods of scouting and don't try to negate youth led b/c "their little girl can't do it." And to be honest I hear alot of that already from Boy Scout parents.

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First emb021 just because one small section of the BSA is coed DOES NOT make it a coed organization. Other countries whose scouting program have gone coed seem to be doing just fine and none have collapsed from the integration of girls into their programs. Is it necessary for the BSA to go coed in order to survive through the next century? That is a question that has been and still is being debated by those in control of that change and the opinions of we volunteers will have minimal influence on that decision. Having had experience working for Mazzuca I can tell you from firsthand experience, if it will increase membership and money coming into National he will support it 100%.

 

So while this is indeed a fun debate the sad fact is we will not be involved in making that decision, we will have to though make the new program of National work within our own units without having a say on its creation, thats the real issue.

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What part of BOY Scouts of America does everyone have a problem with. The Citadel was an all male military academy. When one female took it to court and got in the whole history of the academy was changed. They had to make all kinds changes around the campus and make "Special Arrangements" for the girl.

 

Then to top it off the girl did not even get through the Standard hell week. Dropped out.

 

Now for a little more recend examples.

 

Our troop was camping this weekend. One of our neighboring towns troops were also camping on the farm. Well here comes one of the other ASM's daughter and his girlsfriend. Next thing you know there are 5-6 boys from the other troop hanging around our site and they are all over this young lady. Like WWII soldiers coming back from battle. To top it off, none of our boys were getting anything done. I ended up leaving as I was only out there for the cooking competition, but this was something that I saw.

 

I think that if you have that much of a problem with your GSUSA troop them do something to change it or find a troop that actually does something. My daughters troop does, and they are talking about doing more.

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"First emb021 just because one small section of the BSA is coed DOES NOT make it a coed organization."

 

Well, considering that WOSM puts together all associations that are either fully or party co-ed, it DOES. Take it up with them.

I would be curious if there are any other associations which are only partially co-ed.

 

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