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Differences between BSA and GSUSA


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#41 blw2

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:21 PM

Thanks all! Scoutnut, we are not at all interested in starting another troop.... but your answer does help to explain the hierarchy or "structure". thank you. In our case.... I spent a few minutes looking to confirm if my daughter's daisy unit is the same troop # or different form that of the older girls. The older girl's troop has ZERO online presence as far as I can tell. My gut is telling me though, that this Daisy troop is formed under the same troop number as the older girls, and that would explain why it seems that the other leader is being considered "senior" or "in-charge" Anyway, thanks.
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#42 ScoutNut

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 01:23 PM

It is possible that the girls in your church were registered as a multi-level Group (instead of single level Troops). That is the only way they could all have the same Troop number. However, typically, Groups are smaller, and usually spend at least some time in a joint meeting. The usual way is to give each Troop it's own, unique, Troop number.
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#43 Pack18Alex

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 02:57 PM

The standard GSUSA Troop is basically a single level patrol, similar to a Cub Scout Den at the younger level, a Boy Scout Patrol at the older level. GSUSA is "girl's decide" at all levels, basically a sort of girl-led approach. GSUSA has a multi-level "group" where they could all be "Troops" within the same numbered group. They are often smaller, but occasionally they run more like a Pack/Troop, with age level Patrols doing age-specific activities. That's how my wife's Troop plans to operate. They registered as multi-level, but started with Daisy's because she required two leaders/level to operate. Next year they'll have Brownies/Daisy's, and recruit from there. Goal is to fill all levels adding one every year or two, leaders permitting. The Service Unit is NOT analogous to a District, it's a mess. Basically, since the Troops are small (3-12 girls), they do things at the service level that we'd do at the Pack/Troop level. Outings, activities, etc., are often planned by Service Unit Volunteers so they can get critical mass. The leaders develop a bit of a Service Unit identity, the Girls not so much. Their analogy to a District is an Area, a Council is divided into Areas, and the Area has two professional positions (at least in our Council), essentially a Membership Professional (the recruiting side of the DE job), and the Volunteer Professional (the liaison side of the DE job). As a result, the Service Unit Meetings may, or may not, have a Council professional at them. My wife's is attended by a Council Pro (her Area's Volunteer professional), but only because the troop she volunteers in is in the Service Unit. This has the advantage of small service units aiming for monthly events (our District does 3 per year, tops). It has the drawback that if you need something handled by a Pro, you need to drive to Council, not just attend the SUM. You could absolutely start up a new troop, and if your Church will house you, join it. Alternatively, if you aren't worried about the finances, just join their group and form a Patrol. Technically, the Patrol method is used in GSUSA starting at Juniors, but I don't see any reason that anyone would care if you had two Daisy Patrols, the standard GSUSA response is "do whatever you want." The reason for GSUSA's setup is cookie sales. The bulk of the "revenues" received in a Unit are the cookies. To avoid Sales Tax issues and payment issues, all GS Troops operate under Council's EIN. They have a Charter Partner, but it doesn't own it like a CO, and it's more informal. Because you operating under Council's 501©3, they check up on the finances. BSA leaves that to the CO, since it's the CO's status on the line. Since most CO's are Churches, and don't file with the IRS, nobody really cares. The bulk of the money running through my Pack Account is NOT product sales, even with our bumping up fundraising. Dues, Activity Fees, etc., form the majority, with fundraising running smaller. Keep in mind, for our fundraisers, we get 30%-50% of the revenue. Cookie Sales and other GSUSA Council Fundraisers (ours did nuts/candy), only provide about 15% for the Troop. As a result, sales tax and Unrelated Business Income Taxes would be a MAJOR concern if Girl Scout Troops operated under their own EIN.
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#44 Old_OX_Eagle83

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 02:51 PM

the girl scout leaders run the units like kingdoms.....You are good enough to join, you are, you are, you are not.

Troops are run on the whim of the leader....

Zero accountability of the unit leaders...

Never ever voice an opinion to a leader

You are not qualified to be a leader because you are male.

You are not from our school/neighborhood/social group/race/religion/financial class you cannot join our troop

Oh call the council office they will get back to you with a unit.......Been making that call the first monday of every month now for 2 years.

Oh lets do this crafty thing.....Sell cookies.....

BTW where did all that cookie and dues money go?????


Leader quits the unit is dead.

None of the GS troops I have seen own anything of any significance. No tents, outdoor kitchens.....Nothing.

The only thing the GSUSA has over the BSA is a national recongizable fundraiser. Beyond that it is a train wreck.....


Basement, there is a slightly better way GSUSA units can be ran, and I would have put it a bit more kindly, but in the end you've defined Girl Scout Troop function quite well. My oldest was a girl scout (she's soon to be 30 now), and I did help out in a number of roles, but never that of leader ... it was made clear that my wife was appreciated as a leader, but I was not correctly equipped.

Train wreck sums it up quite well.

BSA needs to go full co-ed top to bottom, I know many girls, from 7-14, who would line up to participate in the program our Pack and Troop offers.
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#45 TeddySlayerZA

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 03:20 PM

Basement, there is a slightly better way GSUSA units can be ran, and I would have put it a bit more kindly, but in the end you've defined Girl Scout Troop function quite well. My oldest was a girl scout (she's soon to be 30 now), and I did help out in a number of roles, but never that of leader ... it was made clear that my wife was appreciated as a leader, but I was not correctly equipped. Train wreck sums it up quite well. BSA needs to go full co-ed top to bottom, I know many girls, from 7-14, who would line up to participate in the program our Pack and Troop offers.

 

Just saw this and thought I'd comment. I had no idea Scouts wasn't already co-ed in the USA until I joined this forum. I'll say from my experience as a Scout in South Africa (where we've been co-ed for a while), that nothing motivates the boys more than having to compete against a well organised patrol of girls. Girls are really stealing the show this side, girl-power must be a real thing!


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#46 scoutldr

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 09:24 AM

Teddy, BSA was all male until about 1970 when girls were allowed to join Explorer Posts.  Exploring was spun off as a separate division, and we now have Venturing which is 14-21 year olds and co-ed.  None of the other age groups is co-ed, (yet).   Back in my day (early 60s) the only role women could play was Den Mother.


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#47 SpEdScouter

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 01:00 PM

Actually you do see alot of girls doing Cub and Boy Scouts "under the table". Meaning they do all the activities (usually with brothers) but have no official status. I remember one girl actually won the Pinewood derby.

 

Another big difference is when you look at BS popcorn sales vs GS cookie sales. In the BS program the boys can earn cool prizes like camping and fishing gear and after selling a certain amount, money goes into the boys account so they can apply it towards things like summer camp fees. With GS cookies the troop gets about 55 cents per box and that money goes into a pot all the girls can use. It doesnt matter if a girl sells 50 or 500 boxes its the same outcome. And the prizes the girls get? These little pins or stuffed animals.

 

And GS troops dont do the variety of other fundraisers like BS does like selling trashbags, mulch, Christmas trees, fireworks, or running pancake breakfasts. With GS its all about the cookies.


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#48 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 03:14 PM

Another big difference is when you look at BS popcorn sales vs GS cookie sales. In the BS program the boys can earn cool prizes like camping and fishing gear and after selling a certain amount, money goes into the boys account so they can apply it towards things like summer camp fees.

Actually, troops aren't supposed to do that (siphon money from fundraisers to the individual scouts). That is called fund raising fraud. While a lot of troops still do it, they shouldn't (a Scout is Honest). See this BSA blog entry on the issue for more info.


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#49 Fehler

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 03:39 PM

Speaking about sales, our Pack's Top Popcorn Sellers get a special call-out, everyone gets their prizes announced, very soon after the sale ended, and thanked for their participation.  For my daughters' GS Troops Cookies, the prizes came in at the end of the year (probably same amount of time in months), and were handed out in discrete paper bags so they wouldn't compare/know who sold the most.


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#50 Gone

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 03:41 PM

Actually, troops aren't supposed to do that (siphon money from fundraisers to the individual scouts). That is called fund raising fraud. While a lot of troops still do it, they shouldn't (a Scout is Honest). See this BSA blog entry on the issue for more info.

 

We had a tax attorney look in to this issue for our unit (and he just happened to be a former IRS and council guy too). You *can* do some funding for individual scouts but you have to follow the IRS guidelines for doing so. Most units don't follow those nor do they manage the fund-raising accordingly.


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#51 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 05:27 PM

We had a tax attorney look in to this issue for our unit (and he just happened to be a former IRS and council guy too). You *can* do some funding for individual scouts but you have to follow the IRS guidelines for doing so. Most units don't follow those nor do they manage the fund-raising accordingly.

True. But what @SpEdScouter described:

... and after selling a certain amount, money goes into the boys account so they can apply it towards things like summer camp fees.

is specifically disallowed. Allocating money based on fund raising performance is a problem. The blog post I linked to goes into this pretty well.


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#52 Gone

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 09:35 PM

True. But what @SpEdScouter described:

is specifically disallowed. Allocating money based on fund raising performance is a problem. The blog post I linked to goes into this pretty well.


As I said, our unit got the advice from the former IRS tax attorney. There are ways to individually allocate money to scouts during fund raising. I'm not the one who was involved in the details. Frankly, when it was discussed at the CC I paid attention to the summary and not the details. The unit asked the IRS to comment on our interpretation (nice to have inside help) and they approved our approach, so we have the proverbial "get out of jail free card" from them. They have blessed our approach so we're good.
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#53 SpEdScouter

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 10:53 PM

Really? it seems pretty open on the form the boys fill out that over a certain amount, the money goes into the boys account which is usually to go for paying their individual summer camp fees. No scout actually touches any money.


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#54 eagle77

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 11:01 PM

Really? it seems pretty open on the form the boys fill out that over a certain amount, the money goes into the boys account which is usually to go for paying their individual summer camp fees. No scout actually touches any money.

 

 What form is that?


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#55 Scourge

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 11:09 AM

The true difference between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts is management and activities.  As a former Girl Scout, I can tell you I hated every second of it.  I was a brownie and I have always been athletic. Before meetings in the gym I would start a game of tag, and the two head troop leaders (a mother and daughter) would scream at us and punish us.  They called us animals and brats because we didn't want to sit around all day and glue popsicle sticks.  Every girl wanted to be outside and camp. My airforce family moved away from that place thank God and we ended up in New Jersey.  I was 9 or 10 at the time.  I was informed of a Girl Scout Troop that "camped a lot" and "was like Boy Scouts".  I registered and liked it at first, but we went camping once, and that was at some Earth Day festival so it wasn't real camping.  I also was bullied and ostracized by the older girls.  When the Troop Leader wasn't around they'd call me names and shove me and criticize me.  Now that I'm a venture scout (working with a Boy Scout Troop) it is ten times better.  We camp every two weeks or so and are currently planning a 50 miler hike in the Washita Mountains.  Seeing the difference between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts really made me see how different the management of both programs were.  Girl Scouts is all about sewing and other uninteresting things like that, while Boy Scouts is a safe learning environment that builds and improves character for boys of all ages.


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#56 Stosh

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 05:12 PM

Welcome to the forums, @Scourge.  I'm glad you got involved in Venturing, it will be a good outlet for your interests and skills.  I have a daughter that had pretty much the same attitude.  Needless to say, my granddaughter has been camping and has enjoyed the massive sugar rush of campfire toasted marshmallows.  

 

My other daughter doesn't like camping, bugs, or anything that smells of campfire, but she's the veteran of a Boundary Water trek and our annual camping trip into the woods.  Now that she too has a little one, that may now pass into the memory only part of my life, but she knew it was important to me and our times together were very special to me and she knew it.  Her birthday is 3 days after mine.  Our camping trip was always in the fall around our birthdays.  For years, it was always her birthday gift to me.  While she doesn't like camping, her little one seemed to enjoy the campfire marshmallow, so there's still hope down the road.  :) 


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#57 vumbi

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 06:33 PM

I was talking to a young woman today who also mentioned that she wished she could have joined boy scouts instead of girl scouts. Also athletic and outgoing. She would have been an exemplary scout. Our loss, I fear. I asked her if she had considered Venturing but there evidently wasn't a crew anywhere nearby for her. Another lost opportunity.


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#58 Scourge

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 11:49 AM

@Stosh Thank you for the great welcome.  I really enjoy venturing and I'm so glad to be out of Girl Scouts :laugh: .  I have been an Air Force brat all my life until recently.  My father, Desertrat77 served for 30 years so it's weird to be in one place for so long.  I thought I was the only girl like this until I met the venturing crew.  Now I get to do things I never thought I could do and more. 


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#59 cyclops

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 02:40 PM

Aha!! Desertrat77! Great guy and no wonder your interest in the outdoors as well as your willingness to state your thoughts. You have a great dad. But I suspect you know that already. Welcome to the campfire from one newbie to another!


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#60 qwazse

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 04:07 PM

@Scourge, it's like my daughter has an evil twin (except 7 years delayed and civilian family)! I've met a lot of GS with that kind of disappointment, but few have acted on it and some, like @ya lazima vumbi, tried but got discouraged by the lack of crews nearby. You deserve credit for taking action as soon as @desertrat77 helped you find the opportunity.

Now, some advice,
- The disrespect you felt from those older scouts, it can happen in the BSA as well. Be on the lookout for it and work to squelch toxic behavior. Let your fellow scouts know how that made you feel, so that they can better lead younger scouts.
- Right now you sound like you are at the "taking it in stage", and definitely you should get every outdoor experience that BSA offers and you can afford. Then look for challenges in acquiring new skills and practicing leadership,

Why? Because there may be that Girl Scout mom who would love someone like the leader you'll become to help break the cycle ... Teach some outdoor skills, and get their daughters comfortable in the wild lands. Giving back is sometimes the best way to get even!
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