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Charter Organization denying women as assistant Scoutmaster or the option to campout with troop

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Back in the day, women wore chasity belts, and were sold to wealth men in arranged marriages too.

For some of us. time has marched on. The bra has been burnt for most of us in America.


You can argue that for Adult men under BSA policy they also they have different facilities, sleeping arrangements, etc... A adult male can not bunk in a tent with a boy. An adult male can not shower with the boys.


You can choose to live in an old-fashioned culture. In the mid-east you will be part of the majority. In America you will be part of the minority. You can have your beliefs, I will respect them. But, don't ask me to follow them.


If going to a country where women must walk 10 paces behind a man, or not speak, or not look at a man.. I would choose not to go. Because I would not change for them.


My son & husband joined the Masons.. "Bye, have a good time".. I will not join the Northern Star, (or whatever the female sector is.) My husband laughed and said.. "I know not to even ask you to join." I will not keep my son & husband from joining, I will respect their decision. (Actually, I don't think hubby is going to get very far, he is not really motivated.)


I will respect the values of others, but I will respect mine also. Don't expect me to follow your beliefs if they are not mine. How can we live in harmony? By only associating on very minimal and superficial grounds. And not trying to talk the other into changing our beliefs.


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One other option (assuming you've talked to your son, he really likes this troop, and you have decided -- unlike others here -- that the COR's desire, although an imposition, isn't morally objectionable):


1. Let your son join, advance, etc ...

2. Find a venturing crew in your area that may need a co-advisor.

3. Assist their program (maybe help a young lady plan a camping trip on the dates your son is away with the good-old-boys).

4. When your boy turns 14 (or if 13 if he's finishes 8th grade early) offer him and his buddies (scouts or otherwise) the chance to join the crew. If they are still in the troop, they can register as multiples of both units.


I know a Dad who advises a crew of 14 young women (bless him), and they can't do overnights under canvans because his youth's female parents (or adult sisters) won't volunteer to chaperone under "primitive" conditions. I talked to his daughter, and she is definitely disappointed about her circumstances. ("I'm a venturing president surrounded by 'girl scouts'!")


Do you realize what a blessing someone like you could be in that situation?

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wow there is some serious hostility in this thread from some women regarding this Troop.

I will join the minority here and say that I see nothing wrong with a Troop that limits/restricts women on campouts or in leadership. IMHO I think men should be SM and ASM simply because boys need a male role model. For some boys this is the only chance they get at a good male role model. Scout campouts are also their time to be guys and do guy stuff without women around.


There is nothing that says you have to serve as ASM because you are so well trained. I am sure pointing that out to them in the way you seemed to have done so did not help your case. You could Serve on the Committee. Every troop I know could use a good committee member.

Or like others have said, serve on District or Advise a Venture Crew.


Most importantly take the "I" out of the question "should I find another troop". This is not about you...it is about your son and what he wants. If he is happy there he stays! If not then HE can find another troop.

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I don't see where anyone has asked you to change your beliefs. nwasness went into a Troop, didn't like their policies, and complained about it. She wants them to change for her. Evidently you don't like their policy either - fine. No one is forcing you or nwasness to join this type of Troop. Is there anything else to discuss?

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That's all I'm saying, she should find another troop. I just disagree with people who are telling her to leave her child in a troop that does not have her beliefs. If you tell her that you are asking her to disregard her beliefs and raise her child in a group that has a belief system she does not agree with.


Her son may have found friends, but obviously they have only been in the troop for weeks. He can make friends in another troop in the matter of the same number of weeks.


You as the parents should be able to choose who you want as role-models for their sons, especially at the age of 12. These people you would hope will have a profound effect in shaping and modeling your son into the type of young man.


I chose to change my son from a troop that was not boy-lead. The adults cooked for them, didn't let them hold positions, wouldn't let them prepare for camporees, but did all the prep work for them. This was not teaching my son to be independent. My son was not ready to leave (Not upset, but just wanting to hold on for the troop to change). I chose to take him anyway. He was greatful for the move about 2 weeks later.


If the mother does not care for the belief system they will instill, then she should move her son. Even if the son is reluctant. A boy at 12 does not make a decision to join a troop based on the type of social morays the troop will instill upon him. He will look for the troop that will offer him personal challenges. A parent must still make that call.


But yes, after that the scout can make a choice of a troop that has the activities he wants to particiapate in. Or has friends from his class, or because he likes one SM over another troops SM.


When we made the move out of the troop my husband and I canvased about 6 troops, narrowed it down to 3, and let our son visit and choose from those 3 troops. But, we first chose he was going to move out of the first troop, because he was not getting the scouting experience that we had signed him up for. Bad, Bad, Bad parents.

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At first glance, I completely agreed with this statement:




And I stil subscribe to this particular statement: "take the "I" out of the question!"


But, I cannot argue with:




While my views, your views, the neighbor's views or anybody else's views are the same doesn't matter here. The point is, the CO has a viewpoint or belief that goes against what the mom's ( read parent) views are. Doesn't matter if it's scouting, 4H , academic derby, sports team, or whatever.


If the mom leaves her son in that troop, she is essentially telling her son that those particular views are ok, and is practically proving them correct ( in this particular case) by not saying or doing something about it.


Again, it's not about wether I follow those views or if you do. And it doesn't even matter what the views are. All that matters in this particular case is that those views and beliefs are completely against the mom's.


And she is the mom. NEVER EVER belittle that!


As a dad, I love that my son is in cub scouts and already thinking about being a boy scout when the time comes. But if the troop is contrary to my , my wife's or our "family" beliefs..He'll be looking for another troop pronto!


Besides, this isn't about mom vs scouting...this is about a CO imposing it's beliefs on boys THROUGH the scouting program.


If you follow those views...great!

If not, do not settle!

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No one is telling this mother to to "go against her beliefs", or to teach her son that these thing are really OK.


What we ARE saying is that her son is no longer a baby, or a Cub Scout. He is now a Boy Scout. The decision of which Boy Scout Troop for HIM to join should be HIS, with input/help from his parents, yes, but HIS decision.


His mother is capable of talking to other people about this issue, I am quite certain she is capable of talking to her own son about it. Once she has discussed the issues of this Troop with her son, and CLEARLY laid out her feelings, and beliefs, then it should be up to HER SON if he wishes to join that Troop, or look for another.


If the mom is not comfortable joining the Troop her SON wants to join, and wants to join another one so she can be a female ASM, and go camping with the boys (or for whatever the reason), she is free to do just that. The Troop SHE decides to join does NOT have to be the same one her SON decides to join.



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There are certain issues for which the beliefs of the families trump the boy led, let the boys decide philosophy of Scouting.


Would the advice be to "let the boy decide" if the family were Jewish and learned after joining the CO enforces it's perogative to operate the unit as a Baptist troop?

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ScoutNut, I don't even know how to get you to see that boy-run does not mean parents loose the right to how thier children are raised, and the values that they are taught.


Boy-run does not mean when you step into a troop at 11, 12, 13. You are now mature enough to make all your own decisions. It is you will have the resonsibility and opportunity to work with in the troops guidelines, and make decisions that are within those guidelines. As you learn and take on more responsiblity you will learn and grow to maturity and independance.


Even in the troop boy-run only goes so far. The committee might tell the boys an event they want is outside the budget, or the scoutmaster will tell them they can choose a fair way to decide who cleans the dishes, but the dishes must be cleaned. The boys might be given the right to come up with a plan to organize the gear, but the troop expects that their plan will stop the problem of the constant loss of equipment. If a boy can not conform, to the troop rules, the troop can remove him.


Boy-run is with guidelines as to what the adult leaders expect that the boys need to learn from the troop.


Boy-run is with guidelines as to what the parents expect that thier son should learn from their troop. If they are in a troop that can not and will not provide that, it is the parents right to move them.


Boy-run is not that the boy is now self-governing.


No one is saying the mother should rip her son from the troop with no explanation. But, it is her right to tell him that these values are contrary to her beliefs. She is proud of her success in moving in a male dominated environment and want him to see women as equal to men. For those reason she is pulling her parental rights to look for a troop with the same values she wants him raised in. Now (if possible) let him be part of the decision of which new troop he would like to join. But together, they must come to an agreement. One that fits the parents values and what they would like the troop to instill in their son, and based on what the boy would like from his troop.





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I think it would be good for the family under discussion to talk about these matters. I think it would be good to give the boy a chance to feel ownership of the decision to change troops.


It might be beneficial to make sure the policy under discussion really does exist, and to ask the CO for their reasoning. Perhaps it's an old rule that the CO didn't know was being enforced, or there was a miscommunication somewhere along the line. You won't know unless you ask.

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I think what 'Nut and others are trying to say is that mom needs to have a frank and honest discussion about the situation with her son. If the troop goes 110% against her beliefs, then yes she does have the right to move to another troop, and I would encourage that if that is indeed the case. BUT if it is soley based upon the fact that she cannot go camping with the troop, then she needs to step back and think about who the program is suppose to be for: THE BOYS (CAPS FOR EMPH.), and let her son make the decision, even as difficult as it may be for her.


My troop had a COR/CC who did alot of work with the troop. To us scouts he was more of an ASM really as he went camping, did some mentoring for the older scouts, etc. Unfortunately my CO did not have a pack that his son could join, so his son went to a nearby church's pack. Went it came to the Webelos year, that den was invited to visit and go camping with us, which was declined. That den crossed over to that CO's troop. And son followed his friends into the other troop. Dad was upset, but realized that he was there for the boys, and that it was truly his son's decision, not his. Long story short, he stepped down as COR/CC, and became an ASM in the other troop. Sad day for us when it happened.



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A couple more thoughts on this issue...


1. nwasness - you should know that it's ok to move to another Troop. We've seen it happen several times - either a Scout comes from another Troop and joins ours, or a Scout & his parents do not like our way of doing things and they leave. It's ok. If a parent comes to me and starts in on dislikes of what our Troop does and how we do it, the stock answer is "find another Troop". It's not a bad thing, just finding the best fit for both Scout & parent.


2. Having seen both male and female ASM and supporting Committee members in action, I can tell you that a trained leader is a trained leader. As such, that leader, regardless of the relationship with a particular Scout, will treat all Scouts the same. From watching how Scouts interact with adult leaders, it appears that they see all adults pretty much the same - sorta like how the adults appeared in the old Peanuts cartoons... just big bodies that said, "blah, blah, blah..."


3. Having adult female leaders working with Boy Scouts (or male adult leaders working with Girl Scouts) is completely different than having boys and girls of similar ages together on a camping trip. Apples & oranges - or more like apples & eggs! Very different. My experience: Female leaders work, boys and girls camping together does not work.


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