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How has the addition of girls affected Scouting in other countries?

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#41 qwazse

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 01:18 PM

.. "Today the BPSA consists of 80 groups, with over 1,000 scouts in 35 states." ... April 2016, ...

From one to 1000 in 10 years. Nothing to sneeze at. The next decade's progress will speak volumes.


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#42 NJCubScouter

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 04:28 PM

From one to 1000 in 10 years. Nothing to sneeze at. The next decade's progress will speak volumes.

 

It will speak volumes about the future of the BPSA.  I am not sure it will affect the BSA or offer the BSA any direction on whether to go "coed."  Of course, anything's possible.  In 10 years the BPSA could be larger than the BSA because what parents really wanted was a program where boys and girls aged 5-14 participated together in a single unit.  We'll see.  The older I get the more I realize that predicting the future is a worthless pastime, except for whatever entertainment value we may get out of it.

 

And by the way, if Trail Life USA's Wikipedia page is correct, they went from zero (or "one", if you wish) to 20,000 in ONE year.  At the risk of starting an argument, I suppose one might ask what it says about our society that a new organization built around the idea of exclusion grew at a rate 200 times faster (if my math is correct) than a new organization built around the idea of inclusion.


Edited by NJCubScouter, 06 December 2016 - 04:38 PM.

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#43 Sentinel947

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:23 PM

It will speak volumes about the future of the BPSA.  I am not sure it will affect the BSA or offer the BSA any direction on whether to go "coed."  Of course, anything's possible.  In 10 years the BPSA could be larger than the BSA because what parents really wanted was a program where boys and girls aged 5-14 participated together in a single unit.  We'll see.  The older I get the more I realize that predicting the future is a worthless pastime, except for whatever entertainment value we may get out of it.
 
And by the way, if Trail Life USA's Wikipedia page is correct, they went from zero (or "one", if you wish) to 20,000 in ONE year.  At the risk of starting an argument, I suppose one might ask what it says about our society that a new organization built around the idea of exclusion grew at a rate 200 times faster (if my math is correct) than a new organization built around the idea of inclusion.


Trail Life was created by disatified members of a larger group. The BPSA didn't posch disatified members from the BSA.

For what its worth, my district actually added more youth than we lost for the first time since the early 2000's.
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#44 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 08:58 PM

In America there are some parents who would love their kids to have a co-ed scouting experience, but they are far outnumbered by parents who love the segregated model.

I'm curious where you got this data? Did someone do a survey?


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#45 ianwilkins

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:15 AM

At the end of the day, BSA, BPSA, TrailLife, if they want to grow (or stop shrinking), they need to appeal to more people, be appealing. To the parents who need to think it's something they want their kids involved in, and to the kids, to enjoy doing it.

 

Everything else is noise.


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#46 qwazse

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 06:27 AM

I'm curious where you got this data? Did someone do a survey?

The venturing program is the one natural experiment. And I weight those higher than polls.
Then there's local experience.
Maybe yours is different. Do you have more parents asking you about mixed programs over traditional models?
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#47 deanofmac

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 09:03 AM

My district, like that of Sentinel97, has experienced growth the last three years. And we are considered rural. We had the only positive growth in our Council for two of those years. We owe it to a stellar DE, a strong recruitment committee, and good old-fashioned elbow grease.


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#48 NJCubScouter

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 10:35 AM

The venturing program is the one natural experiment. And I weight those higher than polls.
Then there's local experience.
Maybe yours is different. Do you have more parents asking you about mixed programs over traditional models?

 

This brings me back to what I posted on the first page of this thread.  The CSE has said that the BSA has "stopped growing" and that the way to deal with this problem is to "find ways to serve the entire family."  To me, this suggests that the BSA has done some kind of "market research" that indicates that getting girls involved will allow the BSA to start growing again.  But maybe I'm wrong.  It would be nice if we could assume that when the BSA makes (or at least considers) a major change, it is based on some kind of research.  Maybe we can't make that assumption.


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#49 Eagledad

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 11:36 AM

This brings me back to what I posted on the first page of this thread.  The CSE has said that the BSA has "stopped growing" and that the way to deal with this problem is to "find ways to serve the entire family."  To me, this suggests that the BSA has done some kind of "market research" that indicates that getting girls involved will allow the BSA to start growing again.  But maybe I'm wrong.  It would be nice if we could assume that when the BSA makes (or at least considers) a major change, it is based on some kind of research.  Maybe we can't make that assumption.

Part of the concern of research data is the reaction to that data. New Scout Patrols and First Class in the First Year are a reaction to data that showed new scouts who earned first class in their first year were more likely stay with the program until at least 14 years of age. Nationals reaction was to encourage troops to push new scouts to first class in the first year. That unintentionally led an interpretation of driving the program to be more advancement based. It is likely that the data should have been interpreted to mean that troops that provide a quality advancement program where scouts aren't held back from their personal goals are the kinds of programs where boys like to experience scouting. 

 

I can give several examples of National's reaction to data that hasn't met with good performance.

 

I just don't have a lot of faith in National's ability to respond correctly to their data. As others have suggested in this thread, I'm very much in favor of National first focusing on other problem areas like the huge bureaucracy of running the pack program. I think the number of cubs leaving the program before crossover is near or even above 75%. That is an adult problem that needs attention.

 

 

Barry


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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#50 NJCubScouter

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:17 PM

I just don't have a lot of faith in National's ability to respond correctly to their data. 

 

I share your concern.  I think the First Class First Year thing is a good example.  And in the case of "serving the entire family" we don't even know what the data is, unless I have missed something.  My thought when I re-read the CSE's statement (when this thread began) was that National might have data indicating not only that girls wanted to join the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (and that their parents wanted them to join), but also that there are a substantial amount of boys whose parents aren't enrolling them in the BSA because the parents want their daughters to be able to join the same unit.  In other words, we're not only "losing" the girls because the programs are not coed, but we're losing the boys, too.  Does such data exist?  I don't know.  If it does, we out here in the field should hear about it so we know what National is talking about.  If it doesn't, then maybe National is looking to solve a problem that does not really exist.


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#51 qwazse

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:31 PM

... I just don't have a lot of faith in National's ability to respond correctly to their data. As others have suggested in this thread, I'm very much in favor of National first focusing on other problem areas like the huge bureaucracy of running the pack program. I think the number of cubs leaving the program before crossover is near or even above 75%. That is an adult problem that needs attention. ...

I thought one way of making the pack program less "bloated" was via Venturing females and males who could be den chiefs. Based upon what I had learned from Israeli scouts, and what I had known from capable young men and women, I thought this would be a natural opportunity that any scout who wasn't about advancement might want to consider.

It got zero traction. One or two of my venturers were counselors in their church's youth program or coached at the YMCA or were on staff at cub camp, but it was too much of a leap for any of them to consider adding one more day a week to their agenda. Furthermore, as much as cub moms & dads admire older scouts, they really don't see them as capable of running a cub program with their assistance. What is second nature in other scout groups around the world just doesn't fly here.

I'm hoping the revised cub AoL program allows for better transition into patrols. But, I think the harsh reality is that we don't have enough older youth "serving downward" to the packs they left.  If that culture isn't in place, we don't begin to solve the adult problem. If we don't do that, boy scout membership will barely break even.

 

 ...  Does such data exist?  I don't know.  If it does, we out here in the field should hear about it so we know what National is talking about.  If it doesn't, then maybe National is looking to solve a problem that does not really exist.

 

You know, I think parents of young kids are looking to run around less. But the folks who would gripe about running around less might be the same folks who don't or can't do as much volunteering in the first place.


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#52 Eagledad

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 02:43 PM

I thought one way of making the pack program less "bloated" was via Venturing females and males who could be den chiefs. Based upon what I had learned from Israeli scouts, and what I had known from capable young men and women, I thought this would be a natural opportunity that any scout who wasn't about advancement might want to consider.

It got zero traction. One or two of my venturers were counselors in their church's youth program or coached at the YMCA or were on staff at cub camp, but it was too much of a leap for any of them to consider adding one more day a week to their agenda. Furthermore, as much as cub moms & dads admire older scouts, they really don't see them as capable of running a cub program with their assistance. What is second nature in other scout groups around the world just doesn't fly here.

I'm hoping the revised cub AoL program allows for better transition into patrols. But, I think the harsh reality is that we don't have enough older youth "serving downward" to the packs they left.  If that culture isn't in place, we don't begin to solve the adult problem. If we don't do that, boy scout membership will barely break even.

 

 

Good post, very informative. 

 

Barry


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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#53 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:09 PM

If serving down was critical to advancement than we would see more ticket punching in that regard. 

 

I just did a new parent intro for parents of 10 incoming scouts. All they wanted for their boys was outdoor adventure, working with older boys, and new experiences. When I mentioned STEM or other things it went flat. 


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#54 Cambridgeskip

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 01:17 AM

I thought one way of making the pack program less "bloated" was via Venturing females and males who could be den chiefs. Based upon what I had learned from Israeli scouts, and what I had known from capable young men and women, I thought this would be a natural opportunity that any scout who wasn't about advancement might want to consider.

It got zero traction. One or two of my venturers were counselors in their church's youth program or coached at the YMCA or were on staff at cub camp, but it was too much of a leap for any of them to consider adding one more day a week to their agenda. Furthermore, as much as cub moms & dads admire older scouts, they really don't see them as capable of running a cub program with their assistance. What is second nature in other scout groups around the world just doesn't fly here.

I'm hoping the revised cub AoL program allows for better transition into patrols. But, I think the harsh reality is that we don't have enough older youth "serving downward" to the packs they left.  If that culture isn't in place, we don't begin to solve the adult problem. If we don't do that, boy scout membership will barely break even.

 

 

I think that is what we call the Young Leader scheme here in the UK. Explorers aged 14-17 can volunteer with Beavers, Cubs or Scouts (although the latter typically they tend to be 15+)

 

When done well it can be fantastically successful, but it does need proper buy in from the explorer themselves and the leaders of the Colony/Pack/Troop they volunteer with. It's rare for a 14 year old to hit the ground running and it takes nurturing and training to get them to be really capable but when successful you have an 18 year old ready to go adult leader appear at the far end of it. It also works the other way. A 15 year old explorer scout who knows what they are doing with fires and tents etc showing new adult leaders how to do it.


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#55 qwazse

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 06:54 AM

I think that is what we call the Young Leader scheme here in the UK. Explorers aged 14-17 can volunteer with Beavers, Cubs or Scouts (although the latter typically they tend to be 15+)
 
When done well it can be fantastically successful, but it does need proper buy in from the explorer themselves and the leaders of the Colony/Pack/Troop they volunteer with. It's rare for a 14 year old to hit the ground running and it takes nurturing and training to get them to be really capable but when successful you have an 18 year old ready to go adult leader appear at the far end of it. It also works the other way. A 15 year old explorer scout who knows what they are doing with fires and tents etc showing new adult leaders how to do it.

Similarly, my Czech contacts work a similar program. From the parents' point of view it's a necessity because too few parents step up. (Doing so in the past came with a jail scentence. That culture has carried over to the present, but also there are economic challenges.) From the youths point of view, it's just what they do. I don't think it's part of the advancement program. It's more like the apex positions of responsibility. Think Denner to PL to SPL to DL to Camp Staff (half the older youth in a troop come a week early and set up camp for the Cubs, the other half stay late and take down).

It wouldn't surprise me if the real indicator of growth in any given program worldwide is correlated with the proportion of older youth "serving down."
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#56 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 03:22 PM

The venturing program is the one natural experiment. And I weight those higher than polls.
Then there's local experience.
Maybe yours is different. Do you have more parents asking you about mixed programs over traditional models?

In the cub scout program we would get a lot of parents asking "can my daughter join too?". We did have a few parents not sign up their sons because they couldn't also signup their daughters. They were looking for a single activity that could include both. I don't have a similar experience at the boy scout level.


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#57 Sentinel947

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 03:59 PM

My district, like that of Sentinel97, has experienced growth the last three years. And we are considered rural. We had the only positive growth in our Council for two of those years. We owe it to a stellar DE, a strong recruitment committee, and good old-fashioned elbow grease.


Mine is a surburban district outside of Cincinnati. It's all elbow grease and hard work, mostly from volunteers.
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#58 Hedgehog

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:27 AM

So my experience comes from 5 years of Cub Scouts, 4 years of Boy Scouts and 4 months of Venturing.  Our Cub Scout Pack had the boys only at the Den meetings, but the pack meetings and campouts were very family oriented.  Our Pinewood Derby had a separate race for siblings (eihter too young or too old).  In Boy Scouts, I saw the benefits of having 11 to 13 year old boys be in an environment with older boys that gave them a comfortable space to be awkward "tweens."  Now, I see young men and women in a Venturing Crew operating at an amazing level of youth-led.  The young women who join the Crew don't want Boy Scouts, they don't want Eagle, they want ADVENTURE.  Everyone of them has done or is in Girl Scouts.  One just got Gold another just got Silver.  Four out of six have brothers that have been or are in Boy Scouts.  What is interesting is the young men who have joined the Crew.  Two are active Boy Scouts.  One is a Boy Scout who didn't like how his unit was run (not boy-led) but still wanted adventure, two are boys who love camping and the outdoors but that had never joined Boy Scouts (they were brought to Venturing by their friends).  We have another 2 young women interested plus one who is waiting to turn 14 to join as well as several current Boy Scouts who would love the opportunity to go camping more.  The Crew also is planning to start helping out at Cub Scout events as a long term recruiting tool just because that is where they will get to meet the upcoming Boy Scouts AND their sisters.

 

Based on where we are with our Crew in less than five months, if we want to add girls and increase membership, Venturing is the way to go.  Out of our Crew of 11, only 2 are current BSA.  AND, nobody left the Cub Scouts or the Troop because we started a Venturing Crew.


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#59 David CO

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 01:01 PM

I'm sure that BSA would become a much better babysitter if we accepted both boys and girls.  

 

We would certainly attract a lot more families who would like to make use of an inexpensive babysitting service that is available to serve the entire family.  

 

This is what is happening to YMCA.  The Y is losing their core mission and replacing it with more family friendly activities and services.  

 

I wonder how many scout associations are seeing an uptick in their numbers simply because they are becoming better babysitters?

 

I am not surprised to hear that they have a waiting list for lack of volunteers.  I wouldn't want to donate my time to be a free babysitter to families, many of whom may have little real interest in the program.


Edited by David CO, 09 December 2016 - 01:25 PM.

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#60 Hedgehog

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:44 PM

I'm sure that BSA would become a much better babysitter if we accepted both boys and girls.  

 

We would certainly attract a lot more families who would like to make use of an inexpensive babysitting service that is available to serve the entire family.  

 

This is what is happening to YMCA.  The Y is losing their core mission and replacing it with more family friendly activities and services.  

 

I wonder how many scout associations are seeing an uptick in their numbers simply because they are becoming better babysitters?

 

I am not surprised to hear that they have a waiting list for lack of volunteers.  I wouldn't want to donate my time to be a free babysitter to families, many of whom may have little real interest in the program.

 

I think you misunderstand how the BSA programs actually operate.

 

For most of our Pack's Cub Scout Den functions, the parents are present.  The Dens are divided by grade and so if you have multiple kids, they typically do not meet at the same time.  The only exception is Webelos where the parent's generally start attending less because the Den is tranistioning to the Boy Scout boy-led model.  For Pack activities, the parents are typically there also.  On outings, parents are required (unless they give permission to another parent to be responsible for their kids).  At the Boy Scout and Venturing level, parents can drop off their kids and leave but we have no lack of volunteers.  Just look at the numbers of ASMs and Committee Members that people are reporting here:  http://scouter.com/i...committeetroop/

 

For those of us who see Cub Scouts as a way to engage children with learning and adventure, see Boy Scouts as a way to teach independence and leadership and see Venturing as an opportunity for youth to lead their own adventures, using the term babysitting is insulting.  

 


Edited by Hedgehog, 09 December 2016 - 07:46 PM.

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