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Female Adult Female Webelos Leaders or Parents on Troop Campout?

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As a spinoff on the Female BSA Leaders Discussion,


I understand that each Troop can make its own policies in this area, although BSA allows leaders of both genders.


I am female soon-to-be Webelos leader. One of the local Troops prohibits women from their camping trips.


As a Webelos leader, I understand it's my job to introduce the boys to Troops and to do some camping with them with the local troops (on specific Webelo-invited campouts). I feel it is very bad policy not to allow female Webelos leaders or parents on THESE types of camping trips, as BSA policy for Cubs seems to specify that a parent should be there for each Scout, and obviously the Scout leader should be there. It's put me in an awkward position when trying to give this Troop (which is our feeder troop) a fair shot. Their suggestion may be that one of our fathers (who does have a son in the Troop and some sort of leadership position in it) to accompany my son and the other boys whose camping partner would be a woman. But it seems very awkward for me to tell my den and their parents that we are going to plan a den campout on which I am not permitted to attend.


Anyway, I am just starting the process of learning what it is to be a Webelos leader, and I will need to address this directly with Troop leadership at some point.


But, I was just curious to get feedback from outside sources first.

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Don't know is a local troop policy that gals aren't allowed to camp with the webelos on the troop camp out???


Now I don't think that when the webelos are camping with the troop that both parents and siblings should tag along......


I would hope that the Troop leadership would welcome you irregardless of your gender as the webelos den leader and Parent...



Gals on the troop camp out OK,

One Parent on camp out OK

Siblings or entire families NO.


It could possibly be a Chartered Organization rule, bout a year ago we had a gal on here raising cane about the troop not allowing female leaders. It turned out that the Church that chartered the troop did not want Female leaders....It is their right as owners of the organization.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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I agree, I think it would have to be a CO issue. I would like to know BSA's position on this. Seems pretty stupid from the Troop-recruiting wise at least-disrespecting the lady leader of prospective scouts.


Why not have any ladies campout slight apart?

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Have you spoken directly with the Scoutmaster and asked if you, specifically, can attend the camping trip, and why it would be awkward, in your position as den leader, not to attend?


P.S., I suppose that when I am responding to posts that relate to Cub Scouting, I probably should explain that although my account name includes "CubScouter," the "Cub" part has been out of date for almost 10 years. Scouter-Terry (the site owner) told me way back when that I could get my account name changed, but I never did.

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JTex, I would suggest you contact the SM of the troop and explain that you've heard women aren't allowed on their campouts and that, if that's true, your den can't camp with his troop unless there's a waiver for this policy. Don't be controntational about it, don't suggest it's a bad policy or that they should change it, just point out that if that's the policy, your den won't be able to camp with them like they always have in the past.


Start off with the assumption that it's just a misunderstanding and that the troop would actualy have no problem with a female den leader - or any other Webelos mother - going on a joing campout. But even if it's not a misunderstanding, try not to make it sound like a moral issue, or any sort of big drama(even if it feels like it is). Just state it as an obstacle with no more emotion that it would have if it was a simple scheduling conflict. Then leave it up to him to figure out a solution. Meanwhile, look around for another Troop you can camp with. I would not make any effort to find substitute guardians for any of the boys in your den to conform to this troop's gender policies. It is within their rights to make their rules, and within your rights to excuse yourselves from participating if the rules create a problem.


And frankly, unless you share a CO (and even then, maybe not) I don't think there's any such thing as a "feeder pack." Your families should pick the troop that will be the best fit for them. Besides, the boys in your den don't need to camp with the troop they end up joining, they just need to camp with a troop, any troop, for their AOL. So I wouldn't worry about giving the Calivin troop ("no girls allowed") a fair shot. Attend a troop meeting perhaps (I assume they let you in the door, though maybe you have to promise not to give them cooties) so the families know the troop exists, but if they make it difficult for you to camp with them, that's their problem and not yours.


Live the Scout Law - be friendly, courteous, kind and cheerful with them. Perhaps it's all a big misunderstanding. And if it isn't, cheerfully thank them for clarifying and go camp with another troop.

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If the policy is immutable, I would still let your parents know if there is a dad who wants to visit with his boy, he may. Explain why you can't go on the outing with that particular troop. There's nothing awkward, folks need to learn that much of scouting is local and the people who have been putting a lot into a unit hold sway on how a number of things are done.


If you personally enjoy hiking and camping, I suggest you and your husband camp with troops who would welcome your company. If you are just putting up with the rocks and bogs for your son's sake, this troop may still be an option for your boy, and this dad with a connection may assist you in facilitating that transition.


The troop is missing out. (Unless, of course, all helicopter parents are female, and boys only successfully transition to men if their weekends are with just us guys in the vicinity. Then the the troop wins. ;) )

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A few comments.


1) yep each CO can create their own requirements on ledership,i.e. no female leaders.


2) I'd talk to the SM about it and confirm if true or not.


3) If true, I'd still make the option open, but also go see other troops.


4) If not true, definately go, and still see other troops.

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I realize that each CO can set rules in this regard, but I still find this hard to square with one of the other BSA policies: All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents


This quite literally means all activities, so I don't see how they can say that women aren't able to come along and observe these activities. There might be an argument that women can't camp overnight with the group, but I don't see how they could prohibit you from observing the camping trip.


At any rate, I suspect that the above non-confrontational suggestions are the best approach, and you probably don't really want your son joining a group where you are going to feel like an outcast.


My take is that they should definitely allow women on the trips where Webelos are invited along, but I don't see that they would have to, if they don't allow women in other situations. I personally think it's a bad policy not to allow women to come along in general. We've had excellent success with the few women that we have who come along from time to time. I wouldn't think of prohibiting them. Why turn down good volunteers?


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No more Polish food for lunch.....that post was a mess....All those carbs and potatos, now the sugar crash....



Hawk...I am a huge believer in the Feeder Pack system....Scouting is all about community, The boys join as Tigers or wolves, progress thru the ranks become friends, the parents become friends and bond.......


If the webelos den is blown apart and goes to a number of different troops I wonder about retention and satisfaction.


I agree that all troops are not for everyone....an extremely active outdoor troop would not be a good fit for a young man who is a fluffy book worm type. or the DI type SM is not a good fit for the free thinking young man........


In rereading the OP she is the member of the feeder Pack for the troop.....so it probably is not a CO who does not like or want Female leaders camping.....


I will say I don't like the OP saying giving them a shot??????


So are planning to join the troop your son does as a leader????? if not who cares


How is the quality of the program???? camp every month? SPL active running the troop? Do they have camping gear???? Patrol boxes???? Do the boys look like they are engaged and having fun?????


If your going to exclude this troop from your list of possibilities because they don't want a women at camp then I think your short changing the boys.....You need to look at the program thru their eyes not your own.


Why is the situation awkward??? Just tell the parents that the troop does not allow women on camp outs......End of story...It isn't your problem.

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I have NOT yet directly approached the SM of the other group. I definitely need to do so, and hopefully, will have a positive outcome.


But in answer to why it's awkward, it's awkward because I am the boy's Cub Scout leader, in my role as my Webelo leasder I believe it is MY responsibility to introduce them to troops. In Webelo camping, the den leader would always be expected to be part of the campout, and at least one parent would be invited to attend for each Scout. That's Cub camping, and the boys are still Cubs. So because their den leader happens to be female, they are expected to attend a campout without a registered leader? That's awkward for me to present to my families. I also envision the Webelos campout with a Troop, right or wrong, as an opportunity for the parents to observe the Troop..telling some of my parents they can't participate with their Cubs seems wrong.


Understandably, I am just learning about Boy Scout dynamics, and hopefully, all will go smoothly.



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In response to your post, You said you didn't like me saying I saying I was going to give them a shot? I want to give them a shot, but it seems hard to introduce my Webelos den to them (at least on a Webelos campout which is important) if I'm persona non grata.


"So are planning to join the troop your son does as a leader????? if not who cares:"


I care as a Webelo leader, and I might or might not care as a parent of a Boy Scout..I have to evaluate their Troop with my son to see if it is a good fit.


"How is the quality of the program???? camp every month? SPL active running the troop? Do they have camping gear???? Patrol boxes???? Do the boys look like they are engaged and having fun????? "


That's what I'd like to find out by taking my Webelos den on a campout


"If your going to exclude this troop from your list of possibilities because they don't want a women at camp then I think your short changing the boys.....You need to look at the program thru their eyes not your own. "


I don't want to exclude the Troop from my list of possibilities at all, that's why I'm trying to figure out how to handle it as their Webelo leader. I actually think the Troop may be shortchanging the boys if they can't handle a female Webelos den leader on one campout.


"Why is the situation awkward??? Just tell the parents that the troop does not allow women on camp outs......End of story...It isn't your problem"


It is my problem right now if the Troop doesn't allow the boy's den leader to accompany them on a campout while they are still Cubs and participating as such.

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No, it is not an LDS troop, I think it just the preference of the long-term Troop Leader.


Same CO as my Pack. As a matter of fact, I may become the COR for the Pack soon. So I would like to facilitate relations between the Troop and Pack.


Historically, in the three years I've been around, about half of our Scouts have gone to this Trooop associated with our CO. About 1/2 have gone to a neighboring Troop, and from what I've heard from other parents, the stance on women has been issue at least some of the time.


Anyway, I repect the parents of the other Cub Scouts who have advanced on to Boy Scouts, some of whom have gone on to either Troop. I'd like to have an open mind and find the best fit for our boys. I think it should be each family's individual choice, there is no shame if another Troop happens to fit their son's Scout career better. I don't plan to push anyone to go one way or another, and I actually hope that the Troop at our current CO IS a good fit. But I do have reservations because of some what I've heard, and my own limited firsthand observations.


I need to have an open mind and examine myself instead of relying upon secondhand information, which is admittedly what I've done so far. Hopefully I'll be allowed the opportunity to examine and observe the organization which would like my son(s) to devote MANY of their hours away from home.


I learn about each aspect of Cubs, and now Boy Scouts, as my older son progresses. Don't know much about the Troop workings, and don't know what sort of role I may fit into, if any. I don't even know for sure if my sons will want to go beyond Cubs. But in our particular family, I am the physically active parent, my husband is older and has many health problems. So if one of us were to participate in outings on a BSA level, it would be me. Do I need to be there all the time? No, but I'm not sure how comfortable I could be if one of us could never check in on the outings. That's my long-term concern though, separate from this Webelos issue.

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Having done the transition as Webelos to Troop, I was involved. One needs to be as a leader as you answer parents concerns and deal with encouraging them to transition and stay in scouting.


I remember a particular Troop I went to with my boys and was shocked to learn at the Troop meeting that one applies like an application process and only 3 would be accepted. I had 4 boys. I was embarrassed this was not told to me before hand and the parents were upset to waste their time visiting them.


This kind of 'female' involvement is HUGE factor for many especially when there are single moms and fathers too busy working to provide for their families.


At this point, I would quickly ease your own thoughts and contact the Scoutmaster of the Troop and find out what their thoughts are about females on campouts. Better to face it head on rather than worry.. *winka

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