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No Moms Allowed!

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Can't say for sure without the original text, but I'll bet the intent is "No moms who want to baby little Johnny."

 

Gotta have a "safe environment to fail"...my first campouts as a scout were profound, permanent lessons in how not to camp! I made every mistake in the book, and paid for it in the form of hunger, cold and poor human relations. Invaluable memories! A scout isn't going to get the full experience with mom present.

 

Can't just pick on moms...dads do the same thing. I was UC for a scout troop that had a hyper-protective dad. At the last minute, dad couldn't go to camp with his son. I reassured dad that Johnny would do just fine. I stopped by camp the last couple days and Johnny was indeed doing well.

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Sometimes stupid rules create missed opportunities for our boys. A few years back I was taking a canoe/kayak trip with the boys and needed a second experienced water-craft expert. SHE came along and the boys treated her like a queen. All of her kids are grown and gone from home so she's a "mom" but she's also a forester by training and a master gardener. Her expertise has gone a long way in some of the more important Eagle projects and service projects along the way. Plant and animal identification? She makes most people look like kindergrtners when it comes to knowing the great outdoors. I'm sure the years she worked with the US Forestry Service in Alaska helped out.

 

Any unit that has this rule of no females in the field are missing out on a ton of possibilities out there. This woman now works as an accountant in the tax department of a multi-billion dollar international corporation. Who'da thunk?

 

If one is to help their boys grow and develop in leadership, I'd say it would serve them better to provide them with quality support and not stupid rules.

 

Stosh

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I (sadly) do know units where women are not wanted.

 

As someone else suggested, I think asking the Scoutmaster for clarification is in order.

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Mixed emotions on this one. While my troop growing up did not have a formal ban on moms attending campouts, after one trip the PLC decided not to invite parents and siblings on trips. That was in effect for at least 6 years while I was in the troop. Long story short, the Moms ruined a trip that we had planned, prepared for, and took 14 hours round trip to do. It was a ruined weekend and left a very bad taste in the our mouths.

 

However we did have a trained female ASM, and didn't really interfere except for "major" safety concerns, and to teach her MB classes.

 

I think the key is clarification AND the need for training on the parents' part, whether formal or a debriefing on how scouting works and how the scouts WILL fail and it is a learnign expereince. Better to fail at this level, than when they are older.

 

 

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>>If one is to help their boys grow and develop in leadership, I'd say it would serve them better to provide them with quality support and not stupid rules.

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As others have said, BSA does not prohibit female leadership. Moms are welcome to serve the Troop in any leadership capacity.

 

When I first joined our Troop back in 99, women were absolutely banned from any leadership position. A few years later, after I had become the SM, our Treasurer retired and I suggested a mom who was a CPA and had been very active in the Cubs. Her son had recently crossed over, she was very interested in becoming an active leader, and so it seemed like a good fit. The old guys who had been with the Troop since the 50's & 60's had an absolute meltdown and refused to even consider it.

 

So, a group of us new leaders took the issue to our Chartered Organization, who then let the old guys know that since the BSA welcomes women and there is no prohibition on female leaders, they needed to allow women as leaders in the Troop. Of course they completely ignored that, and slipped a highly unqualified old guy into the Treasurer position. These were dark times in the Troop with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Interestingly, some of our most viscous opponents were the moms who played by the old rules - moms should help with crafts and in the kitchen, but never as real leaders.

 

But we continued to recommend qualified moms for logical positions, and eventually they had no choice but to relent. Several of the most fervent old guys (and their very vocal wives) longing for the good old days, quit in protest and disgust when the first mom joined the Committee.

 

Now 75% of the Committee is female and we have two excellent mom ASM who are great on camping trips. We have a new generation of Scouts and parents who have no idea what a struggle it was to get where we are today. They accept the way things are now as normal.

 

Until the old guy regime is challenged and you survive the associated pain, there will be no change. It took us a good 5 years to get through the worst of it and move on. But as bad as it was for a while, it was entirely worth it, and we have a much better Troop now.

 

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I spoke to my friend today, and the SM has sent out a correction email. He said he was wrong, and mother and fathers are equally welcome on the trips. (So, I think he DID mean "No women allowed" but now understands that doesn't work.) My friend didn't have to ask him for clarification of the policy--the policy was changed before she could talk to him about it. Good for him. :)

 

And I encouraged my friend to let her son go it alone. I talked to her about the concept of an adult patrol over by itself, and that the boys don't benefit from meddlin'. So I think she (and her son) will be all right.

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"As has been said a few times Stosh, this is more likely not an anti-female rule, but more of an anti-parent-coddling approach for this troops adult leaders. If I remember right, you almost brag to being a very strict anti-parent-coddling troop leader."

 

"I spoke to my friend today, and the SM has sent out a correction email. He said he was wrong, and mother and fathers are equally welcome on the trips. (So, I think he DID mean "No women allowed" but now understands that doesn't work.)"

 

And sometimes it is as it is stated. One can't assume anything until all the ducks are in and counted.

 

My kudos to the SM for getting the situation straightened out with minimum impact on the program. Sometimes a SM inherits a tradition that may not be up to snuff, but it's difficult to make changes and to have to back down and make changes both is difficult.

 

Stosh

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>>"I spoke to my friend today, and the SM has sent out a correction email. He said he was wrong, and mother and fathers are equally welcome on the trips. (So, I think he DID mean "No women allowed" but now understands that doesn't work.)"

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When my oldest son was shopping for a troop to join, we camped with one troop and I had an informative discussion with the SM. He stated that he didn't allow females on outings because that is what the boys wanted. Now, I know that parents may "observe" etc. but that is the way that troop operated (it was fairly small). Sometimes, boys going through puberty, etc. don't want a bunch of adult females around.

 

We decided not to join that troop - not for that issue alone but because of the prevaltent attitude that was anti-council/district, "my troop" attitude by the SM, etc.

 

A few years later when I was the Scoutmaster of the troop my son did decide to join I had a slightly different perspective now that the shoe was on the other foot. I didn't want to ban females but I had issues with parents, mostwhich were not Scouters but some were, who just didn't "get" the program. No, we don't set up the boys tents. No we don't cook for them. Yes, I can expect the Scouts to do (fill in the blank), etc. I wanted to

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glad to hear he retracted his statement.

 

thankfully the troops my son has been in have not had the issue of women - if they did they wouldn't have a parent from our family attending because my husband HATES to camp! I still can't believe my kids got him to go camping just us one summer. And he was sooooo happy to be home LOL.

 

the only thing I don't like about going camping is not having a tent mate - and in the colder months having another person in the tent is important!!! but now I have 1-2 other females that will go - though I don't think they will winter camp after our March campout with the very late snowfall. One of them has done a great job of breaking out of "mom role"... the other I've had to remind a few times to just sit and watch - and after a couple of minutes those new boys will go up to our SPL and ask for help and it gets done without MOM doing or saying a thing.

 

when my son first crossed over he could never open up those darn gatorade bottles - he would come over to me and ask me to open it, and I would say no that he needs to ask another scout. He hated it back then, but now he understands why I made him do that... and any time he hears a scout ask a parent or another adult to help he's like johny on the spot showing them how to do something or opening something.

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Gotta be careful with that blanket statement SMT... While BSA does not have prohibitions on female leaders, some CO's may. This is permitted by BSA.

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I certainly don't think that this would fly as official policy. We have a new scout "orientation" camp out soon after X-over but I encourage both Moms and Dads to stay home for this one, especially if Mom or Dad was their Web leader. I like to immerse new scouts in being used to youth led early-on. Hard to do when Mom or Dad are there and they don;t have experience in this aspect.

 

As far as Moms in general, I'm glad to have them. Some of my most active hikers / backpackers have been Moms. Was on a BP trip on the AT several years ago when we ran into a oldtimer who scoffed at the idea of a woman out with a BS troop. He was shocked to hear that if I had to rely on just Dads to provide adult leadership on trips our boys would be sittign home most week-ends.

 

 

 

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One easy way to transition the boys and the parents is to state that any Scout is free to ask any adult for help - except for his parents. Vice versa, any parent is free to help any Scouts, except for their son.

 

 

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Our troop's PLC dictates this sort of "rule". Most of our scouts have no desire to have "mom" on a campout with them. Currently, moms are not allowed to camp overnight with the troop. However, mothers are encouraged to participate in as much of the remaining troop activities as they like (transportation, meeting attendance, committee chairs, etc).

 

Luckily, we haven't had many, if any, moms step up and be adamant about going on a campout. If and when we do, the issue will be brought before the PLC.

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