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Family Inclusive Cub Scouting!


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#1 dilrod

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 05:54 AM

Attached File  2016_Family-Inclusive-Den-Meetings.pdf   131.32KB   10 downloads

 

"And I heard in the midst of the four beasts,

And I looked, and behold a pale horse,

And her name that sat on him was Little Sister, and chaos followed with her."

 

http://www.northerns...sive-cub-scouts

 

I've got issues with this on many levels and I'm working on a letter to the council.  

 

Before anybody accuses me of being a grumpy grown-up, my Tiger Den has a twin sister that tags along with her brother.  She's great and I have no problem letting her join in on the fun.

 

I think too much sibling participation will get in the way of the Den Leader offering a quality experience.  

 

A Scouter involved with this told me he doesn't like hearing his granddaughter complain that she can't be a Cub Scout, and that since the Northern Star Council is so big, we've got the clout to force the BSA's hand on co-ed Cubs.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 07:12 AM

"And so it begins"

 

Yes, I know it's hard to say no to your kids. But sometimes you gotta. We had siblings do events when I was a DL. The last year was the hardest because the siblings did EVERYTHING, and the parents, or more likely grandparents, didn't help that much. It was overwhelming. 


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#3 NJCubScouter

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 08:09 AM

I am somewhat surprised to see no mention of any need for the "sibling participants" to register and pay a fee.

 

The whole way the document itself (the PDF) is written sort of surprises me as well.  Let's just pick out this sentence: "An older sibling could work as an assistant or the den could consider a Den Chief."  What is an "assistant"?  An assistant den leader?  An older sibling who is 18 or over could always be an assistant den leader.  When I was a den leader there was some consideration given to my daughter (who was over 18) becoming an assistant den leader.  (After helping to keep the kids in some sort of order at a parade, she seemed to cool on the idea.)  As for a "Den Chief", are they suggesting an older sibling as a Den Chief?  An older sibling who is not connected to any other BSA unit?  (And who therefore does not wear a uniform?)  An older sister?  Or are they just suggesting that a Boy Scout who has a younger brother in the den can be a Den Chief?  (Which has been a common practice, probably as long as Cub Scouts has existed.)


Edited by NJCubScouter, 04 October 2016 - 08:13 AM.

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#4 gumbymaster

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 08:27 AM

I apologize for not having the reference or link to point to, however, I am reasonably sure that I did see that female venture scouts CAN be Den chiefs.

 

Now, that said, our pack has always made the events and activities sibling friendly - open to the entire family in fact.  They are welcome on the hikes, pack bowling/climbing/camping, we do a sibling heat for the pinewood derby, etc.

 

At the pack meetings, we generally try to have a table set up in the back where younger siblings can color or do other activities.

 

The siblings are less common at the Den meetings, but it is not unheard of, they might participate in the activities but do not participate in advancement.

 

Over the years, several of our Den leaders have put older siblings to work as helpers - if a Scout, then as a formal Den Chief with the consent of their Scoutmaster; however, adult helpers should be registered, YPT, etc.  If not an adult and not a Scout, well, that's probably up to the Den leaders to decide what works for them - the privilege of volunteering for the job.  I've not yet heard a complaint from parents, although I have seen a few den leaders "fire" their helpers who were not being so helpful.


Edited by gumbymaster, 04 October 2016 - 08:28 AM.

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#5 qwazse

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 08:41 AM

This sounds like a do-what-you-would-normally-do-while-we-market-it scheme.

 

But, here's what I think is really going on ... increasingly, middle-class parents are not joiners. (Consider the amount of efforts political campaigns are putting out begging independents to "not waste their vote" relative to "go talk to your neighbor about our candidate".) They are doing that because families are seen as "islands unto themselves" and everything, from men's clubs to religious/political associations erodes the shores of those islands. (Somehow, soccer leagues and yoga classes are not seen as doing that.)

 

In my opinion, the reality is that successive generations of parents took the "choose your friends wisely" lesson to extremes, and now commute to work and church and recreation rather than live in a nearby row-house and block off the street once a week for the kids to play ball with their nearest neighbors. I walked to my den-mom's place until I was a Webelo. How many of us attend scouts/church within 20 minute walking distance from home/school/work? What do we have against all of the neighbors who we drive past? What do they have against us?

 

So, I suggest we read "family inclusive" as a buzzword for "let us help you build/maintain your Island."


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#6 dilrod

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 09:34 AM

I really see it as a thinly veiled trojan horse effort to make Cubs co-ed.  I just wish they'd be open about it.  

 

They need to consider how the BSA will have to adapt, probably create another new Cub Scout program with all the supporting materials.  Create Ellen to counterbalance Ethan.

 

Plus, when I see words like "embracing" and "inclusive," I suspect there are some social justice warriors behind it.  I'll definitely be investigating further.


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#7 fred johnson

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 09:56 AM

I really see it as a thinly veiled trojan horse effort to make Cubs co-ed.  I just wish they'd be open about it.  

 

They need to consider how the BSA will have to adapt, probably create another new Cub Scout program with all the supporting materials.  Create Ellen to counterbalance Ethan.

 

Plus, when I see words like "embracing" and "inclusive," I suspect there are some social justice warriors behind it.  I'll definitely be investigating further.

 

You could be right, but packs are already heading this way as most packs I know try to make the events family friendly.  In fact, that is one of the main advantages of Cub Scouts is that it can be a family thing.  

 

The biggest problem I see is that the registered sibling is the focus for training, skills development and most importantly recognition.  The other siblings get less.  Worse is if the other sibling is a boy, then that boy will already have seen the program and it will not be new and fresh when he does it.  

 

I am much less worried about Cub Scouts being co-ed or social justice.  I don't mind that at all, either direction.  

 

I am much much more concerned that Cub Scouts and scouting in general is trying to fix so many things haphazardly that it's really becoming broken.  Lowering the age so that families burn out before Boy Scouts which is the great program.  Exposing the program to siblings which removes excitement for the next sibling.  Parents must attend den meetings causing families to run away.  

 

I really think we need to simplify and get back to the basics that created a great program.  


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#8 dilrod

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:16 AM

 

 

I am much much more concerned that Cub Scouts and scouting in general is trying to fix so many things haphazardly that it's really becoming broken.  Lowering the age so that families burn out before Boy Scouts which is the great program.  Exposing the program to siblings which removes excitement for the next sibling.  Parents must attend den meetings causing families to run away.  

 

I really think we need to simplify and get back to the basics that created a great program.  

 

Agreed.   I'm a pretty good administrator, but I've had to put some real effort into planning my year out to meet the requirements without driving myself bananas.  Tell some hapless DL who can barely follow or understand the Den Leader Guide BSA puts out to add this in and it will flop.

 

This could completely disrupt a Den.  


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#9 NJCubScouter

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:40 AM

I really see it as a thinly veiled trojan horse effort to make Cubs co-ed.  I just wish they'd be open about it.  

 

So they are encouraging dens to include siblings from the "much younger" (how young is that, by the way? 2? 3?) to the older, presumably teenagers and young adults, just to get the 5- to 10-year-old girls into the program?  I don't know about that.  There are far easier ways to let girls be Cub Scouts.  And besides, when and if Cub Scouts does go coed, there will be a registration fee involved, you can bet on that.

 

Maybe this is one of those rare times when something is exactly what it claims to be.  The council (and all councils) are probably hearing that one of the reasons a number of boys leave the Cub Scout program is that it requires the parents to make other arrangements for their other children.  As others have said, a lot of parents are bringing their other kids anyway, and they are participating in the dens to one degree or another.  So the BSA, or this council at least, is saying, we give up, you can bring your other kids, but here is some advice to the pack/den leaders to try to avoid diluting the Cub Scout program for the actual Cub Scouts and to try to maintain some sort of control amidst the chaos.


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#10 Snow Owl

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 11:37 AM

We include siblings as members - the girls can be in a den and do everything the boys do.  This prevents the drop in once in a while problem and the den leaders know how many Scouts (boy & girl) they have.  The girls pay less dues since we do not register them with BSA.  We do ask the parents of the girls to be at least an assistant den leader. It has never been a problem.

 

We always included sibling sister but we have started including none sibling girls and it has not caused any issues.

 

We did ask the boys at the various den levels if they had thought girls should be able to be cubs.  There was not a single objection or hesitation.  They could not even comprehend why the girls would be excluded.  We asked the parents as well and there was no issue there either.  So far the only issue has been from the brownies concerned we might be taking their members.

 

Coed cubs is happening all over the place BSA is just not recognizing it.,


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#11 NJCubScouter

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 11:58 AM

We include siblings as members - the girls can be in a den and do everything the boys do.  This prevents the drop in once in a while problem and the den leaders know how many Scouts (boy & girl) they have.  The girls pay less dues since we do not register them with BSA.  We do ask the parents of the girls to be at least an assistant den leader. It has never been a problem.


The potential implications of this are making my head spin. (I'm a lawyer, I can't help it.) Please tell me that you at least make sure these assistant den leaders (and all other leaders) are registered as leaders with the BSA and have taken Youth Protection Training.
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#12 David CO

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 12:01 PM

This is just another instance of our activities being turned into Baby Sitters of America.

 

When my unit leaders volunteer to lead and supervise a group of scouts, they are not committing themselves to baby sit the scouts' siblings.

 

It is not just scouting.  It also happens in sports.  Some parents will try to drop off a non-participating sibling with the youth athlete, and ask the coaches to keep an eye on them.

 

My Chartered Organization is very clear on this.  We will not assume any responsibility for children who are not registered with our program.


Edited by David CO, 04 October 2016 - 12:17 PM.

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#13 NJCubScouter

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 12:20 PM

This doesn't happen all that often, but I am going to agree with DavidCO.

At least if CubScouts went coed, all of the expectations regarding program, leadership, etc. etc. would stay the same. It's just that there would be more kids, some of them girls, and there would have to be more leaders. But this isn't that. This is adding an extra function to Cub Scouting, namely keeping the rest of the family entertained.

And when the Cub Scouts turn into Boy Scouts, why should the parents expect anything different? I wonder if the council has thought about the implications of THAT. (Or the many packs around the country that are already doing this, for that matter.)
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#14 meyerc13

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 01:14 PM

This was already happening somewhat in my Pack.  Since Tigers (and now Lions) requires that an adult partner attend the meetings, in some cases the parents had no choice but to bring younger siblings (somehow I've never lucked out and had older siblings) - it was either that or lose the boy's participation in Scouting.  With Tigers, if we were doing a project and I thought the sibling might be interested, I'd bring along extra supplies.  Also, if we were playing a game and I felt it was safe, I would invite the sibling to participate.

 

For Wolf-Bear-Webelos, this hasn't been as much of a problem because parents aren't required to stay.  However, if a parent did decide to stay and I saw a sibling sitting on the sidelines while the boys were about to play a game, I'd invite the sibling to participate.  However, I wouldn't expect the Sibling to participate in advancement activities because they are typically not age appropriate for younger kids.

 

For Pack Meetings, I expect the entire family to attend and participate, but sadly most of the time I wouldn't see both parents.  Yet we try to make games accessible to all ages at Pack Meetings.

 

So perhaps this isn't as revolutionary as it seems - I just wonder how well it will work because some advancement activities at Wolf-Bears-Webelos isn't going to be very accessible for younger siblings.  Building a robotic hand?  Not likely to see a Kindergartner be able to do that without a lot of parental assistance.


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Yours in Scouting,

 

Chris Meyer

 

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner 2015-Present

Lion Guide 2016-Present

Cubmaster 2013-2016

Father of a Boy Scout 2016-Present

 


#15 Snow Owl

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 06:46 AM

The potential implications of this are making my head spin. (I'm a lawyer, I can't help it.) Please tell me that you at least make sure these assistant den leaders (and all other leaders) are registered as leaders with the BSA and have taken Youth Protection Training.

 Yes & Yes - Anyone who can be registered with BSA is registered with BSA & trained.  The only ones not registered with BSA are the youth girls.  They are registered with the Pack and the School however.   And we require ALL parents to take youth protection.


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#16 gumbymaster

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:44 AM

Maybe as kind of a CYA thing, but in my earlier days I belonged to an Explorer Post (pre Venture Scouts) that provided an NYLT like program - week long summer camp divided into three phases geared for 11-12, 13-14, 14-16 year old boys and girls.  The program was open to Boy Scouts, Explorers, Girl Scouts, etc.

 

If a girl was participating in the program and was not old enough to register as an Explorer, my understanding was they were registered as a Camp Fire Girl, and were then covered for participation in the program.

 

I do not know if something like that would work in this case or not - certainly there was the other thread about the mega "unit" that had venture scouts, boy scout, all levels of Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts all under one roof (as activities dictated).

http://scouter.com/i...e-9#entry443564

 

Or maybe BSA smells the money and creates a new registered youth position of "sibling" and collects a registration fee to cover the liability risk - without opening up the advancement issue.


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#17 qwazse

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:49 AM

I really see it as a thinly veiled trojan horse effort to make Cubs co-ed.  I just wish they'd be open about it.  
 
They need to consider how the BSA will have to adapt, probably create another new Cub Scout program with all the supporting materials.  Create Ellen to counterbalance Ethan.
 
Plus, when I see words like "embracing" and "inclusive," I suspect there are some social justice warriors behind it.  I'll definitely be investigating further.

Well, the thinly veiled trojan horse was when they started circulating "Scouting USA" bumper stickers in the 70s and in the 90s chose their domain name "Scouting.org" (instead of, say, "BoyScouts.org").
 
@Snow Owl may be a social justice warrior, or may be trying to make things easier for parents in geographically disjointed communities.
 
BSA is just trying to keep the units it has. Like @gumbymaster implies, follow the money.

Edited by qwazse, 05 October 2016 - 08:50 AM.

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