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

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"Perhaps this thread can be moved to debate, as it appears to me to be just people complaining about others' beliefs now, and has nothing to do with BSA policy? "


^^It has everything to do with BSA policy and the fact that by all appearances, it is a welcoming, non-discriminatory public organization, but the reality, it is beholden to it's CO's beliefs and restrictions.


All I can say is I'm glad I don't live in the south... this would never fly around here.


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I'm not entirely sure how some of us got all twisted up in "beliefs" and "values" on this issue. The OP stated that the CO has a particular policy. Without knowing the reason for the policy, I think it's a bit a stretch to extrapolate what this means. Must we assume that it means the CO feels that women are somehow inferior to men or not qualified to adequately lead young men?


I get a sense here that OP's feeling bit put out that a.) her experience as a scouter doesn't seem to be recognized by the troop and b.) she is being denied the opportunity to be leader of the troop that her son is part of. Nothing wrong with feeling that way. But still a bit of jump to get from there to the troop instilling values in the boy that are contrary to the family's beliefs.


I think some good advice has been given here - always good to get a variety of opinions, right? Opens our minds to new ways of looking at things. But always so good to get all tied up in the emotions of the moment, I think.

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Here's what I'm not understanding...


As the CS Roundtable Commissioner, how did you not already know of this rule? Whether by word of mouth from other District Cub leaders or by the visits/discussions with this troop prior to your joining it? I know that every prospective parent meeting we sit in, stuff like this is brought up by us or the parent (our troop also doesn't allow women to camp with the troop, but they can be an ASM, all of which is another story for a different thread).


The bulk of this parents scout training and experience is in Cubs, where parents (often times, mothers) have to serve as adult volunteers to literally run the program. Boy Scouts is not like that. I've seen time and again, long time Cub adults come to Boy Scout troops thinking they have to volunteer like they used to, and that's not necessarily the case any longer. Why not keep working with the Cubs, while your son moves up to Boy Scouts? What's wrong with being a overly trained member of the Troop Committee or one day, the Chair?


Your Wood Badge training teaches you that all this is about the Boys, not the beads (or any other adult awards/recognition). I'm not saying you should up and leave the troop nor am I saying that you need to stay because your son has already made friends. But what I would say is this, talk with your son. Ask him bluntly and honestly and see if he wants you to be around as much as you're wanting to. Then take his answer and accept it. If he wants you around on these campouts and other outings, tell him of the troop's (CO) woman policy and see what he'd like to do, stay or visit other troops? If he doesn't, accept it, and maybe find another position within the troop (or district) to continue to serve in, and at the same time, have interaction with your son in a Scouting experience.


Our troop doesn't allow mom's to camp with the troop, but that doesn't mean they can't be heavily involved. A number of them are.


The troop I grew up in, not long ago, had serious problems finding enough adults to "staff" troop outings, I think we had some events that got cancelled because we didn't have the adults to do them. My mom really enjoyed camping and hiking and everything (she's done parts of the AT), but for some reason, she never offered to go, or we (the troop or her sons) never asked her to go with us. I have no idea if that made her mad or upset, but she never voiced that to me for whatever reason. All that to say, I still look back on my Scouting days as a youth with very high regard and would do everything all over again in a second and she knows that.


I'm sorry this has you so upset, hopefully you'll figure something out and your son will have a valuable Scouting experience with or without you.

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Um, Zippy, your prejudice is showing, or maybe it's just snobbery.


Where exactly is "around here"? Is it a particular part of the country or is it just the sand pile you have your head buried in?

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I have never seen this policy first hand


Nor have I experienced Religious prejudice, We have all the colors of the rainbow in our Pack and just about every flavor of religion.


Never had a problem with anyone or anything in this vein, Dietary requirements too.


In the inner city we all have to get along

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Moosetracker - I think your emotions are clouding your judgment (I'm resisting a snide female comment here :)).


Do you think there are any advantages from having an all male or all female educational institution? There are some, specifically for adolescents but I have choosen to send my children, daughter and sons, to schools that are open to both genders.


However, I concede that there are advantages (and disadvantages) to single gender educational institutions. So, is it such a stretch to state that there may be an advantage to a single gender scout troop and that those who feel there is, they be allowed to form one?


Heck, we have historical black colleges and universities and some feel these are a great thing, others a superb waste of time.


So like Jerry Seinfeld, there is nothing wrong with limiting the participation of female scouters by a charter organization although it's not my cup of tea. I would hesitate to denigrate those who feel it is beneficial.

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First as a male, I'm not in your case and so can't truly give a good answer but my feeling is that either I'd leave the decision up to the boy OR I'd pull him on a principle that is offending me, not necessarily him. (Although as his Parent I would feel perfectly justified in my attempt to keep him by being influenced by people who hold values(any particular values, not necessarily the example given) other than my own, as a serving Scoutmaster I would be very conflicted about determining his course for him in such a fashion)


Now, if it were my wife in your shoes - there would be a loud POP as the area she and the boy were both previously standing in were filled by the surrounding air from the vacuums they left as they departed.

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Let me say this. I have never camped with the troop. I choose to be in the committee. I camp with the family, but choose to not do so in scouting because my family only has 3 people (husband, son, self) . My husband went camping with the troop. I felt if I went also it would be too much like family camping for my son.


Even so, if I walked into a troop that told me equally trained females are not allowed to go, were not allowed to become an ASM or SM of the troop. I would take my son and walk out. And I will tell you my husband would back me 100%, I have discussed this thread with him. He can not see your viewpoint either. I might be more tolerent if they could become ASM, but due to some moral values they could not permit females on overnight campouts. Female ASM could attend the day outings only. OK, this is some sort of morality issue.. Not my values, but not one I would take my son and leave over.


ASM is more then just the overnight camping trip, they are the main group of people who will be instilling values into my son. Telling me that an ASM is not allowed to be female, tells me that you do not feel that women make good role models, and do not have good values.


This is not an issue for me over "camping" with the boys. It is not an issue for me over even me wanting to be an ASM, because I never did. But, it is an issue for me over your telling me that a women can not make as good of an ASM or SM as any man could.


This is not an issue about ME, it is an issue about my VALUES.. It is an issue about the VALUES I want my son to learn.


Yes, this woman stated she wants to go on outings with the boys. But she also stated..




I have always been in nontraditional positions in my life. I went into engineering and was the only female student in my engineering program in college and I felt excepted. I was hired in an all male office and no one objected.


This is the first time I was told I could not do something based strictly on my gender.


It really annoys me that people still have the archaic beliefs."


(end quote..)


From that comment I can only take it one way. This is the womans VALUES.. Same as my VALUES.. And you are telling her she has no say in the matter. That because her son has made a few friends in a week or two of association. She has no say in his upbringing any more. He now has the ability to choose his destiny as if he were 18 years old. Go find some other childern in a different troop you can instill your values on them. You have now turned over custody of the raising of this child to the troop of his choice.


I have stated already she should discuss it with the son. Hopefully he will agree with the mother. But, if not he hopefully can take ownership it the selection of the next troop. Maybe not if the area is limited. You hope with reasoning your son will see your point of view and value it. If not, it is still her choice to move him.

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Why do I get the feeling that this is yet another potential 50 page thread, lol.


This started out as a thread about what restrictions a CO can mandate for their own scouting program and now has erroded into a womens equality debate. Can a woman be a good leader in a boy scout troop? Yes, it has already been proven many times since women were allowed by the BSA to become SM's and ASM's. Can this CO ban women troop leaders, yes because the BSA allows it, case closed. Whether it is right or not can be debated till the end of time but it still doesn't change the facts of this case.

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"Telling me that an ASM is not allowed to be female, tells me that you do not feel that women make good role models, and do not have good values."


This is one possible interpretation of the CO's policy, but there are certainly other reasons that the policy could exist. My position is that we don't have enough information here to make a conclusive determination.


Bottom line, of course it is the parent's choice to allow her son to continue in the troop or not. No one stated otherwise. Folks here are just trying to provide some different perspectives for the OP to try on for size before making a decision.


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Gunny.. I was not answering you direct. I was answering the thread. Sorry if you felt it was aimed at you.


I am not argueing if the CO can choose and mandate his values or not. I am argueing that the mother has a right to choose and mandate the values she want the scout to learn from the troop by having a say over the troop the boy attends.


Time and time again I have stated she should move her scout to a different troop. Not that she should stay and fight.


I get responses such as the "The boy decides" and "The mother should go to a different troop, if she doesn't like it.. But, the boy stays with the troop if he doesn't want to move."


I am responding to the responses that the mother has no more say in the correct way to raise her son.



Ok.. let's take gender out of this.. Since you feel my "feminine" opinion is worthless on an issue of gender.


If I walked into a troop and they told me a black man could not be ASM or SM.. I would walk, and I am not black.


If I walked into a troop and they told me a Jew could not be ASM or SM.. I would walk, and I am not jewish.


If I walked into a troop and they told me a poor man could not be ASM or SM.. I would walk (well I am not rich, but I could be worse off.)


If I walked into a troop and they told me a person in a wheelchair could not be ASM or SM.. I would walk, and I have two good legs. Like a "women" this person may not be able to go camping or hiking.. I don't care, he/she would have so many worthwhile values to helping to guide my son, I couldn't name them.


I want my child to learn to value everyone for their talents and not judge them on race, gender, disabilities, religion etc.. Therefore I want any institution that is going to help me instill values on my son, to hold those same values as I.


Once in a troop that holds similar values to mine, he can learn to make wise decisions and learn to be a leader, with the guidence of adult leaders who hold the same values as I do.. Choosing the right troop is the choice of the parents and the son.. It is not solely that of the sons.


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Twocubdad was actually supporting you when he made this statement:




That is to say - There are certain times when family matters are more important and override the philosphy of scouting.


And I completely agree with that too.


To everybody saying it's a boy decision thing: Ha Ha Ha - I don't hardly think so!


This isn't about scouting in this particular situation. This is about a CO imposing a certain belief over parental belief...and hiding behind a BSA troop while doing it.


By saying that women cannot be around or serve in a postion of leadership , the Co has ALSO taken any boy led, boy decided involvement away.


But on top of that, the CO is saying "Women are useless and inferior!"


Any mom who did not have an issue with that policy would in fact be proving that policy true and correct by not speaking out about it.


Telling her son that he needs to go to another troop is well within her parental rights and should be reasonably expected.


It is the same parental right to say my son cannot join or stay at a troop who's CO promotes racism, bigotry or as in this case, sexism.


This is not about BSA policy so much as SHOWING a CO that their policy is a load of crap and that as a parent (who's duty is to raise her son and give guidence as well as mentor as she see's fit until he's 18) she will not put up with or allow it!


As a DAD, I will not allow my son to be part of a group that tolerates - much less promotes - sexism, racism, bigotry or predjudice.


I don't care what noble program that club pretends to be a part of.... It's actions are what count. And the day I let my son join a group like that, I am essentially supporting the values and beliefs of that group.



Suppose the CO decides that stealing anything less than $2,000.00 is not a crime. Are you gonna overlook that just because they follow other ideals of scouting?



What if the leadership at the CO decides that having a few shots of Jack and Coke isn't really that big of a deal...AND the boys will be real men if they have a shot also?


Why not go ahead and say a child molester is okay if that molester doesn't molest boys? If he only molests girls...well, no problem in a boys only club right?


What if a Baptist CO advocates blowing up Muslim churches ( or whatever they are called...synogues? )?


Same difference!


Wrong is wrong! Doesn't matter if the CO hides behind a BSA club.

Point is...as a parent, we all have overriding power over a CO's beliefs. We have overriding authority when it comes to our kids.


As parents, it is not a choice, but an obligation!


The only thing I see here is that it's just not a policy that happens to be against one of your more absolute values.


Any parent who says their son has absolute final say OVER what they think as a parent is full of it!

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The ignorance shown in your post is astonishing. A Pentecostal church in our council sponsors a Troop. This is a very conservative church. The church believes that women should not be camping with the Troop, and they don't allow it. They believe that the only places the boys should ever be bare-chested (shirtless) is in the bath house or at the waterfront. As I said, they have very conservative beliefs.


According to you, this church believes "Women are useless and inferior!"


According to you, every woman who attends this church is "proving that policy true and correct by not speaking out about it."


According to you, this church "promotes ... sexism."


According to you, the beliefs of this church are "a load of crap."


I really fail to see how you are respecting the beliefs of this church and many others like it. As I posted before, and can be found in the Boy Scout Handbook, a Scout is reverent. He respects the beliefs of others. Your post is completely lacking in respect.

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