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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Youth Members, All Programs


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#321 NJCubScouter

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Posted Yesterday, 07:56 AM

I showed some mom's at work they BSA FAQ chart that showed the Boy Troops and Girl Troops side tby side. They have scout age boys and girls. They were outraged and said on the news it said nothing about 'Separate but Equal'. I remember one comment well: "So Girls can now earn Eagle as long as the stay in their Girl Ghetto". I then said there may be an option for Girl patrols and Boy Patrols in some Troops and who knows what in the future. They were of the opinion that anything short of mixed sex Boy Scout patrols next year was NOT what Boy Scouts was talking about. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned all that. 
 
I think National has a herculean task of aligning what their proposed policies are what the perception is of the change is going to be both in and outside of scouting. Boys think one thing, scouters another, and the outside public something else.


I don't normally find myself in the position of defending National, but I don't really think it's their fault that a lot of people (including people in this forum) jumped to all kinds of conclusions about what National was going to do, which did not match up with what was coming out of National.  The video of the CSE from the May meeting did NOT say there would be coed Boy Scout troops, in fact he specifically said there would not be.  Based on what I have read in this forum, I think that some council/district professionals gave out some incorrect and/or misleading information before the actual decision, which has not helped.


Edited by NJCubScouter, Yesterday, 07:57 AM.

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#322 Back Pack

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Posted Yesterday, 08:22 AM

Maybe if bsa actually had the plan in place before announcing the change they could avoid this reaction. We’re studying this in a business class right now. Successful companies don’t announce changes to products without having the detail and implementation plan done. This seems to be where bsa continues to have problems. It actually came up in class as a discussion point though few really knew or cared about bsa.
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#323 prof

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Posted Yesterday, 08:32 AM

Agreed! With a huge change such as this, questions should have been anticipated and answers prepared before an announcement was made!


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#324 Eagle1993

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Posted Yesterday, 08:36 AM

I think the media and GSUSA also spread some false information that is causing confusion. The other issue is that their policy is more "inside baseball" and is difficult to communicate in. 30 second news update. People simply hear Boy Scouts now include girls... and then react.

At the Cub Scout level the feedback has been mixed. In general, I have heard only one person who objected in principle of adding girls to Cub Scouts. Most of the conversations have been around answering why the BSA wants to do this and why would they keep dens single gender.

The single gender dens has been a major sticking point after I bring that up. I essentially have to explain ... yes Pack meetings are coed, pack outings and overnights (with appropriate leadership and separation) are coed but dens and den meetings are single gender. Then I get the comments... so, why can't boys and girls go to the fire station together or earn their whittling chip at the same location and time... more comments start coming.. then my den leaders say they don't care they'll meet together because this policy is dumb. I try and move on to discussions of recruiting more leaders...they ask why as we already have a lot of den leaders. I explain the need for separate den leaders for the girls den. Process repeats.

The final set of comments I get are negative comments regarding GSUSA. These go along the lines of ... I really hate impacting the GSUSA followed by a list of issues they have with the GSUSA and the fact that they believe this wil destroy the organization. Somehow it comes back to blaming the BSA. I try to state the GSUSA is a fine organization ... they stop me and complain about cookie sales and the joke of their cooking badge (apparently they are not allowed to actually cook). So in summary, they are mad that the BSA will end up destroying an organization they despise. Ok.

As Tobia Funke would state "Let the great experiment begin!"
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#325 CalicoPenn

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Posted Yesterday, 08:53 AM

I showed some mom's at work they BSA FAQ chart that showed the Boy Troops and Girl Troops side by side. They have scout age boys and girls. They were outraged and said on the news it said nothing about 'Separate but Equal'. I remember one comment well: "So Girls can now earn Eagle as long as the stay in their Girl Ghetto". I then said there may be an option for Girl patrols and Boy Patrols in some Troops and who knows what in the future. They were of the opinion that anything short of mixed sex Boy Scout patrols next year was NOT what Boy Scouts was talking about. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned all that. 

 

I think National has a herculean task of aligning what their proposed policies are what the perception is of the change is going to be both in and outside of scouting. Boys think one thing, scouters another, and the outside public something else.

 

Jumping the track indeed. They have or on the verge of losing control of the conversation and in the middle of the muddle is this thing called 'Family Camping' the train is heading for while everyone is looking elsewhere.

 

Interesting choice of words - "scout age boys and girls" - not boys who are Scouts and girls.  Have you ever asked them why their boys aren't Scouts?  I wonder if the whole "girl ghetto" comment could be a clue.  This is illustrative of what the BSA is seeing out there that volunteers on the ground may not be paying attention too - more and more, parents are avoiding groups like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts because they are segregated.  If you are only paying attention to your Troop and having been humming along at 35 Scouts and not seeing big drops in your numbers, you may not be paying attention beyond your Troops "borders".  Yet there are a lot of Troops and Packs out there struggling - we see a lot of anecdotal stories in here - Troops of 4 boys, Webelos Dens with 1 boy.  My suburban Chicago city of 26,000 people once had 5 Boy Scout Troops and 7 Cub Scout Packs - it's down to two of each - and this was happening long before the "gay decision.   We've seen Councils selling off camps over the past decade or so - and while we gnash our teeth and lament the loss, we don't pay attention to details.  Sometimes the Council is just being inept (such as Chicago Council trying to sell Owassipe) but sometimes when you look at the data, it makes sense - such as a council with two summer camps that was running a 3 week session at one camp and a 1 week session at another because they no longer have enough campers to support both camps.   I've been repeating this for years - society is changing, if the BSA doesn't change, it will be severely diminished as an irrelevant organization.

 

Is it inevitable that we'll have mixed Troops?  Probably - heck, we may have that in practice long before the BSA develops a policy about it (and please understand, it is highly unlikely that the BSA will enforce their policies by removing charters - they don't do it now and this won't be any different.  They have these policies but they run on the A Scout is Trustworthy model.  The DEs are likely to know what's going on but will ahem and cough and maybe even harrumph but at the end of the day will pretend its not happening, and commissioners don't have any enforcement powers so really, a Troop is going to do what a Troop is going to do.  Lets be real frank about this - the policy (if indeed it is not to allow mixed Troops/Patrol) is designed for one thing and one thing only - to insulate the BSA from liability - if a Troop does a co-ed camping trip with Co-ed Patrols and something wildly inappropriate happens among the youth and a parent sues, the BSA is going to deflect all the blame to the Troop for violating the policy and the CO for not making sure that the Troop was following policy.

 

I've tried to stay out of some of this discussion but since "Family Camping" has been brought up again, I have to comment - we already have family camping - it's an official part of the Cub Scout program.  I've not seen anything in the discussion on going co-ed that Family Camping will be part of the Boy Scout program - I think there are people reading things in to what is being said that just isn't there.  If your Troop wanted to do a "family camp" outing right now, they could - it's not part of the program, but it isn't barred as part of a Troops program - if a Troop wants to have an end-of-summer before school weekend fling and camp as families, nothing will prevent that - just don't treat it like a Troop camping trip with patrol camping and separate activities for the Scouts and the families/siblings. 

 

Advancement?  I've not seen the BSA make any suggestions that they are going to "water down" advancement requirements - that's all coming from folks commenting.  Girls that want to join the Boy Scouts want the program that is being given - the exact same program that is being given now - wouldn't it be a bigger risk to have these enthusiastic girls decide not to join because the BSA watered down the requirements to accommodate something they never asked for?


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#326 walk in the woods

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Posted Yesterday, 08:54 AM

Maybe if bsa actually had the plan in place before announcing the change they could avoid this reaction. We’re studying this in a business class right now. Successful companies don’t announce changes to products without having the detail and implementation plan done. This seems to be where bsa continues to have problems. It actually came up in class as a discussion point though few really knew or cared about bsa.

A plan in place before an announcement is good.  Not creating policies you know will be ignored is also a bonus.


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#327 Tampa Turtle

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Posted Yesterday, 09:36 AM

I apologize on "scout age boys and girls"...I should have said parents of sons or daughters some of them have kids in BSA, GSUSA. My point was what the public THINKS was said. We are influenced by the public opinion of folks who have no intention of putting kids in Scouts.


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#328 Tampa Turtle

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Posted Yesterday, 09:45 AM

The Family Camping themed articles appeared in a recent Boys Life edition that went to the older Boys so it is natural for them to get confused. Some of our boys brought it up on their own.


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#329 Fehler

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Posted Yesterday, 10:51 AM

I'm not surprised there wasn't much discussion on implementation before this change was announced.  If there were studies/pilots/fact finding about how to do this, there would have been no way for the BSA to keep the announcement under wraps.  Then we'd be stuck with leaks/rumors/no information about what was happening.  This is as open as we can expect.


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#330 NJCubScouter

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Posted Yesterday, 11:14 AM

I'm not surprised there wasn't much discussion on implementation before this change was announced.  If there were studies/pilots/fact finding about how to do this, there would have been no way for the BSA to keep the announcement under wraps.  Then we'd be stuck with leaks/rumors/no information about what was happening.  This is as open as we can expect.

I generally agree with that, but I think it is also true that CSE Surbaugh contradicted himself on the timing of the implementation of the changes. In the May video he says that the admission of girls into Cub Scouts would NOT take place until the program for girls 11 and up was ready to go. He also said "We are not in a rush" or words to that effect.  In the October video the change for Cub Scouts will be implemented for the "2018 program year" while the details of the 11-and-up program are still being worked out, and it did sound like they are suddenly in kind of in a rush to sign up girls for Cub Scouts.  So I guess this is kind of the other side of the coin of what I said earlier:  National is not responsible for differences between what they announce and what people thought was going to be announced, or what they think actually was announced, but they ARE responsible for differences between what they say they are going to do, and what they actually do.


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#331 prof

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Posted Yesterday, 12:19 PM

Just got this in an email.

 

This is an exciting and important time for the BSA. Our recent historic decision to serve families by inviting girls to Cub Scouts and delivering a program that will enable them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout sustains our mission of preparing more young people to live the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

We have expanded our scope, but our mission and Scouting’s time-tested, proven programs remain unchanged.

We believe this nation needs and deserves more youth focused on the foundations that still serve as bedrock of our movement —
duty to God and country with a desire to help other people at all times.

We know this decision has sparked conversation and debate, but we want to be very clear that we remain committed to serving boys and young men as we invite girls and young women to benefit from our iconic programs by experiencing the same opportunities to develop leadership, face the same character-building challenges, and have the same fun adventures.

The Boy Scouts of America, in name and as an organization, has stood for character development and values-based leadership training for more than 107 years. It is, unequivocally, one of the most recognized, respected and valuable brands on the planet. Therefore, while we have expanded the reach of our programs among today’s youth and their families,
our name remains the same, and our brand will continue to be a source of pride that we will protect and foster as we look to extend the reach of our promise to more families.

While our curriculum is relevant both to boys and girls, our commitment to single-gender offerings remains the same. Our decision does not make our programs co-ed. We acknowledge and celebrate that boys and girls develop differently, and there are times that single-gender learning is most appropriate. We will maintain the experience boys have had in our organization while at the same time expanding our time-tested programs to girls and young women. In fact, we have outlined a structure that would enable us to continue providing single-gender environments — dens within Cub Scout packs and a single-gender Scouting program for older girls within a broader structure that will allow us to serve the whole family.

By expanding the program to more youth, we ensure that families of the present and the future will have an even stronger connection to the values we hold dear.

As we move forward implementing these programs, we keep foremost in our minds that this decision was driven by the many members of our Scouting family, people who live the Scout Oath and Scout Law every day. Together, we understand and believe in the BSA’s mission, and we want what is best for all young people — to experience everything that Scouting has to offer, and to be Prepared. For Life.

Thank you for joining us in sharing this message throughout our communities and this great country.

Sincerely,

 

Randall Stephenson
National President

Charles Dahlquist
National Commissioner

Mike Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive


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#332 njdrt-rdr

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Posted Yesterday, 12:44 PM

He also said in that video that this was just a discussion on whether they should persue discussing the topic. And that they were under no pressure at all to make a decision. And that they should not make a decision until they had everything ironed out on how Girls should earn eagle, how they should integrate into troops, how they should handle OA. Yup he said all those things, then rushed to a decision without the answers to any of the questions that said they definitely needed to answer before making a decision. It's hard to be a member of a ship when you have no faith or confidence in the person piloting the ship. 


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#333 qwazse

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Posted Yesterday, 02:47 PM

The shirts have been pressed and hanging in the cupboard for a while.

He also said in that video that this was just a discussion on whether they should persue discussing the topic. And that they were under no pressure at all to make a decision. And that they should not make a decision until they had everything ironed out on how Girls should earn eagle, how they should integrate into troops, how they should handle OA. Yup he said all those things, then rushed to a decision without the answers to any of the questions that said they definitely needed to answer before making a decision. It's hard to be a member of a ship when you have no faith or confidence in the person piloting the ship. 

How girls should earn Eagle:

  • do the requirements as written. :mellow:

How they should integrate into troops:

  • Charter as a unit of girls. (In a year IT business logic should support that.)
  • Collaborate with the CO's other BSA units, sharing resources/opportunities with their permission.

How they should handle OA

  • Follow the lead of national chiefs (for once).
  • Membership requirements as written should suffice if the chiefs recommend inviting those all-female units.
  • If the chiefs do not recommend it, the committee must rewrite regulations to stipulate "troop for boys." It should be a familiar exercise, having done it once to gerrymander explorers out of the equation.

That's ironed out enough for any scouter willing to give it a go.


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#334 mds3d

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Posted Yesterday, 08:19 PM

I just want to give a few thoughts.  I am not a current scouter, but have been an ASM and a UC.  

 

When I heard the announcement, I'll admit that I was excited.  I have a daughter in kindergarten, and would love for her to have the opportunity for the experience I had in scouts.  I looked into  GSUSA in our area.  None of the girl scout troops I talked to have any interest in focusing on the outdoors ("that is what camp is for").  They all seem really focused on business skills (cookies) and crafts. None were interested in dad involvement and most told me that they didn't allow fathers to participate. The one AHG group in the area told me that they felt it would be inappropriate for a male to come along on trips, but I could come if my wife was there. 

 

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  Now, I am hopeful.  I just hope that there are packs in the area willing to go "co-ed."  I think there was a hole in what was being offered to girls as far as scouting type programs go.  I can't imagine there will be any need to change the cub program at all, and I really can't find anything in the Boy Scout requirements that will need to change. I imagine that the OA will be the real sticking point. My guess is that we will see a co-ed OA with a drastic change in the way ceremonies are handled. 

 

I wonder if the announcement was made with less of a plan because National no longer felt they could continue the discussion without it being obvious what they had decided. They could have waited, but that would have given less time between the announcement and the program year start for people to both get ready for the change and to get over/through the idea the change was happening.  

Now, I just have to convince my wife that this is a good idea...


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#335 Eagle94-A1

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Posted Today, 07:51 AM

As I said all indications was that this decision was made at least a year ago, if not longer Heck I would say it was made before Wayne Brock retired as CSE. I stated previously I believed Surbaugh was selected to be CSE because of his experience in Exploring and Learning for Life. And after reviewing his wikipage and thinking about it, I bet Surbaugh had a major role in coming up with this.

 

I bet the the research focused on those outside of Scouting and was left as generic as possible to avoid any hint of this coming out. That's why they have so much info on what non-Scouting families want. And I bet a plan was created, and we are seeing the general overview of it. Problem is that national didn't talk to us in the field about it in order to keep it from leaking out. Unfortunately the higher up you go with national, the less you know what the volunteers on the ground are thinking and doing. Heck when I was working for national I saw that with my Scout Shop manager. Manager had no clue about  events, pack meetings COHs, sumemr camp, etc, only about selling merchandise, their field of expertise. And the manager interacted with volunteers on a weekly basis because "I'm in the field." Just think about the professionals in their offices at Irving who only come out at jamborees.

 

We all know that the plan as presented will not work. Full integration is the only way.


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