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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Youth Members, All Programs


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#121 numbersnerd

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:41 AM

I don't see how these changes "Ruin" the character of scouting. To say otherwise is to say every other member of the World Scouting movement is doing Scouting wrong, or improperly. 

 

The argument can be made that if enough of a significant leadership and membership exodus occurs, how Scouting in the US is designed and, but more importantly, executed and promoted at the local level could be fundamentally altered and not for the better.

 

You've touched on the poor process by which this was done, I think it's only symptomatic of deeper problems. Reckless decision making gets further emboldened due to decreasing criticism, further changing the program and with lessening degrees of review from the core constituency. We see it happening now.


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#122 Hawkwin

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:47 AM

First I apologize for any bitchy un-scout like comments yesterday. I care a lot about this stuff and I found Nationals timing off. 

 

An issue with me, and it is a big issue, is how National rolled this out. Obviously they were going to do this...how many females suddenly started appearing in pictures of the scouting magazines, the meetings at Council were really about 'exploring an option' but seemed like a one-sided sell job. Why did they not take the time to include a FAQ of the issues confronted at the local level. We are the front lines and at my Troop things started LAST NIGHT. (One mom wanting to know if her 15 year old daughter in Venturing can join the Troop in January, our Scout Master and one of a neighboring Troop {and guys who have commanded and experienced integrating females into military and LEO units} stating they will not continue next year, several parents emailing they may quit including a Life Scout's, and both our Committee Chair and Life to Eagle Coach saying they will leave. And we are pretty mixed unit politically and socially. It was a rough night and we still have not heard from the boys. I do know my two Eagle boys have recently aged out said they now will not continue their plans as young ASM's and they love Scouting.)

 

 

 

This is the part of the angst that I just don't understand. If your CO doesn't want to change, if your CO doesn't want to allow girls, or gays, or trans, then don't allow them.

 

No one is forcing your troop to change or to admit new members.

 

I support this change but I also VERY STRONGLY support the freedom of COs to not change if they don't want to. If that mom wants her girl to be a boy scout and your CO says no, then it is on that mom and other like-minded parents to find a CO that will say yes. That might mean that they need to create their own. I am OK with that.

 

And, I would hope you and yours are OK with that as well.


Edited by RememberSchiff, 12 October 2017 - 08:43 AM.
typo. Second sentence, replace all with allow

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#123 Cambridgeskip

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:52 AM

The view from across the pond….

 

One of my favourite American performers is stand up comedian Lewis Black. (Not everyone’s cup of tea I know). I recall in one of his shows him criticising one politician or another saying “You don’t have to give a dam, but you have to at least look like you give a dam. That’s the deal!” He’s quite right. My job means I’m involved in a lot of change management and even when you don’t intend to act on what people feeding back have to say you have to at least maintain a facade that you do. And that is something your HQ has failed to do here. As with Ian, you have my sympathies.

 

What’s done though is done and for those who chose to stay with BSA I imagine that thoughts are turning to how you implement this.

 

I’ve seen all kinds of concerns about going coed expressed by users of this forum over the years I’ve lurked and commented and I can say that not one of them is unique to the USA. Every concern expressed was expressed in the UK before we went fully coed and I have little doubt was expressed in every other scout association world wide before moving to a coed model. And yet world wide scouting is thriving. Take heart in that. It can work. It does work. Just take a look around the world. In cultures as diverse and different as Afghanistan, Japan, Brazil it has been made to work.

 

I won’t sit here and dish out any further comments on specifics beyond joining Ian in saying we’ve been there and done it. Both of us run coed groups. Like him I am always happy to help my fellow scouts in other countries and if you want any questions on answers along the lines of what if? And how do you? And have you ever? Blah blah blah you only have to ask!

 

Good luck, I doubt you'll need it though.


Edited by Cambridgeskip, 12 October 2017 - 07:53 AM.

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#124 dilrod

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:57 AM

I wonder how many of the people who asked for this change not already in leadership positions are willing to step up, train up, suit up and become registered leaders.

 

Seen it too many times before in other volunteer work.  People show up once, complain, we change, they don't come back anyway.

 

My advice to CCs and CMs that if parents want to sign their girls up, tell them they must sign up as well.  Only way to make lemonade out of these lemons, in my view.


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#125 Carter

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:03 AM

The view from across the pond….

 

One of my favourite American performers is stand up comedian Lewis Black. (Not everyone’s cup of tea I know). I recall in one of his shows him criticising one politician or another saying “You don’t have to give a dam, but you have to at least look like you give a dam. That’s the deal!” He’s quite right. My job means I’m involved in a lot of change management and even when you don’t intend to act on what people feeding back have to say you have to at least maintain a facade that you do. And that is something your HQ has failed to do here. As with Ian, you have my sympathies.

 

What’s done though is done and for those who chose to stay with BSA I imagine that thoughts are turning to how you implement this.

 

I’ve seen all kinds of concerns about going coed expressed by users of this forum over the years I’ve lurked and commented and I can say that not one of them is unique to the USA. Every concern expressed was expressed in the UK before we went fully coed and I have little doubt was expressed in every other scout association world wide before moving to a coed model. And yet world wide scouting is thriving. Take heart in that. It can work. It does work. Just take a look around the world. In cultures as diverse and different as Afghanistan, Japan, Brazil it has been made to work.

 

I won’t sit here and dish out any further comments on specifics beyond joining Ian in saying we’ve been there and done it. Both of us run coed groups. Like him I am always happy to help my fellow scouts in other countries and if you want any questions on answers along the lines of what if? And how do you? And have you ever? Blah blah blah you only have to ask!

 

Good luck, I doubt you'll need it though.

 

Thank you for your informed, experienced view. I have yet to see anyone on any social media actually mention actual co-ed scouting experiences from any other part of the world or show where it has brought horrible consequences to their scouting. And as for social media and the backlash this is causing, there is an old retail saying, that 10 happy customers will not share their experience with anyone, but 1 unhappy customer will tell 10 others.


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#126 MikeS

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:04 AM

Considering most Scouting in the world is co-ed, I think it's about time we jumped into the current century. Why would it not be possible to see how other countries that have had co-ed Scouting for years and years deal with it. In fact Polish Scouts and Ukraine Scouts are actively established right here in the US (a fall out from WWII, I believe)  - 'ZHP' and 'Plast' are both co-ed, and right here in the US - why not learn from them?? 


Edited by MikeS, 12 October 2017 - 08:05 AM.

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#127 Sentinel947

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

In light of @Cambridgeskips comment I have started a new thread: http://scouter.com/i...uting-overseas/

 

Purpose of it is for us American scouters to have our concerns or questions laid out for our foreign friends to be able to see and talk about how they handle it overseas. It is not a thread to continue to discuss the appropriateness of the change. This thread will be the place to continue to argue the merits of the decision. 


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#128 krypton_son

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:24 AM

Boy Scouts has always been a safe and fun place for boys to be boys.  A place for boys to learn to be men.  That's exactly what it was made for in the first place.  It has always been a place were boys gather together to learn from men.  It builds better men for the future.  It's not anti-girl, but pro-boy.  I think that's important.  At the same time, girls should have the same thing.  That's what Girl Scouts are about.  What is wrong with it being a boys club?  Why is exclusivity so hated now?  Mentorship and education for boys from men is a good thing, not a bad thing.  I would never want to force boys into Girl Scouts, that's their thing and should stay that way.  This move goes against everything that the group was established for in the first place.  I have no problem with a coed group that teaches both boys and girls the same thing as Boy Scouts, if parents want to put their children in it, that's fine.  But don't force it upon a group that doesn't want it.  Someone earlier said that this won't "ruin" Boy Scouts.  I disagree.  It completely changes it and makes it something completely different.  It fundamentally is no longer BOY Scouts.


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#129 Sentinel947

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:33 AM

Boy Scouts has always been a safe and fun place for boys to be boys.  A place for boys to learn to be men.  That's exactly what it was made for in the first place.  It has always been a place were boys gather together to learn from men.  It builds better men for the future.  It's not anti-girl, but pro-boy.  I think that's important.  At the same time, girls should have the same thing.  That's what Girl Scouts are about.  What is wrong with it being a boys club?  Why is exclusivity so hated now?  Mentorship and education for boys from men is a good thing, not a bad thing.  I would never want to force boys into Girl Scouts, that's their thing and should stay that way.  This move goes against everything that the group was established for in the first place.  I have no problem with a coed group that teaches both boys and girls the same thing as Boy Scouts, if parents want to put their children in it, that's fine.  But don't force it upon a group that doesn't want it.  Someone earlier said that this won't "ruin" Boy Scouts.  I disagree.  It completely changes it and makes it something completely different.  It fundamentally is no longer BOY Scouts.

So you want to keep your troop single gender. The change allows that. So nothing has changed. How has your troop been ruined by other troops in your town or across the country allowing girls? Was scouting ruined when Venturing went Co-ed? If so, why are you still here?


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#130 Hawkwin

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:47 AM

Why is exclusivity so hated now?  Mentorship and education for boys from men is a good thing, not a bad thing.  I would never want to force boys into Girl Scouts, that's their thing and should stay that way.  This move goes against everything that the group was established for in the first place.  I have no problem with a coed group that teaches both boys and girls the same thing as Boy Scouts, if parents want to put their children in it, that's fine.  But don't force it upon a group that doesn't want it.  Someone earlier said that this won't "ruin" Boy Scouts.  I disagree.  It completely changes it and makes it something completely different.  It fundamentally is no longer BOY Scouts.

 

Again, no one is forcing your unit to accept girls. In fact, it is entirely possible that not a single existing unit would change. This change, much to your point, simply allows girls to experience a group that, "teaches both boys and girls the same thing as Boy Scouts."

 

No one is forcing it upon a group that doesn't want it. It is still BOY Scouts if your CO wants it to be.

 

This is an OPTIONAL change. Not mandatory.


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#131 CalicoPenn

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:00 AM

 

 

What I find interesting is they referred to the survey of non-Scout families about their thoughts, desires and motivations regarding the BSA. 

What about the findings of the survey of existing membership asking about THEIR  thoughts, desires and motivations in being members? Oh, you mean there wasn't one?

 

 

 

First - there were internal surveys done.  If they were overwhelmingly against, this decision might have been different - if they were anywhere in the 50/50 to 60/40 range, it probably wouldn't have changed anything.

 

The BSA is a business - it may be non-profit - but it is a business.  National's interest is NOT the same as individual unit's interests - it hasn't been for decades.  Its biggest motivator is membership - that's why you see so many statistics about membership numbers.  Without members, the organization will sputter out and eventually die.  Any organization that does not change eventually suffers from entropy and withers away.  I've been repeating this every since I've been here - like all businesses, the BSA has to adapt in order to remain relevant - not to its current customers but to attract new customers.  What is happening here is very much like what happens with commercial businesses all the time.  Think of it like this - you have a favorite restaurant and you have a favorite menu item.  The restaurant never changes its menu and over time, fewer and fewer people go to the restaurant - so the restaurant changes a bunch of menu items - keeping some of the old menu items but eliminating a bunch of others.  Let's say they eliminate your favorite menu item so you decide to stop going.  You're now thinking that the restaurant is kind of stupid because they're now losing customers except the restaurant, though wishing you would stay, is also betting that for every customer that leaves because of the menu changes, they gain 2 or 3 or more new customers who like the new menu.

 

The BSA is betting that they'll gain more members than they lose.  Is that a wise bet?  Only time will tell - but the BSA has to try something - the current configuration isn't sustainable in the long term for the changes that society is going through. 


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#132 CalicoPenn

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:17 AM

Going by the majority of the responses in the boyscouts and bsachief Twitter feeds, the BOD really didn't exactly have the pulse of the general public on this.

 

As a numbersnerd, you should know that people who want to complain about changes on social media will always outnumber people who like the changes or the people who just don't care either way commenting in social media- by significantly large numbers - so I take any twitter or other social media comments with a very large grain of salt. 

 

Now with this change is it possible for someone to challenge and revoke the Congressional Charter? It explicitly states,"...the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others..."

You can argue that yes, it will still serve boys. But between the purpose of the charter and the very purposeful name BOY Scouts of America, how likely is it that someone will attempt (most certainly in the near future) and succeed (that's the real question) in getting the charter revoked? The argument being they have strayed from or abandoned the stated purpose in the charter.   Sure - some conservative congress critter could decide to try to repeal the Congressional Charter - it likely wouldn't get very far because congress critters are at heart politicians and know that by election time, no one will remember why a congress critter voted to repeal the charter, they will only remember (because it will be featured as a sound bite in an ad) that "Congress Critter X voted AGAINST the Boy Scouts of America" - and very few of them will want to face that - no explanation in the world would be short enough to counter that.

 

The resultant effect is that if this were to happen, would it then be possible for other organizations to use the imagery and terminology (Scouts, Scouting, et al) to promote their program if it passes muster with the WOSM? I've seen the sentiment that for Scouting to get back on track, the volunteers need to take the program back. This would be the beginning of that effort I would think.  No - actually it wouldn't be possible for other organizations to use  the BSA's terminology.  It is not the Congressional Charter that protects any of these - the charter is pretty much just a honorary charter - Congress doesn't even issue charters anymore.  The BSA's trademarks, etc. are protected by US Copyright and US Trademark laws - they are registered with the necessary federal offices to keep those protections.  Losing the charter would not affect those at all.

 

Just musing.


Edited by CalicoPenn, 12 October 2017 - 09:18 AM.

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#133 Hawkwin

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:22 AM

Edited by RememberSchiff, Today, 10:43 AM.
typo. Second sentence, replace all with allow

 

LOL! Thanks! :D  :D  :D


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#134 dilrod

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:23 AM

Boy Scouts has always been a safe and fun place for boys to be boys.  A place for boys to learn to be men.  That's exactly what it was made for in the first place.  It has always been a place were boys gather together to learn from men.  It builds better men for the future.  It's not anti-girl, but pro-boy.  I think that's important.  At the same time, girls should have the same thing.  That's what Girl Scouts are about.  What is wrong with it being a boys club?  Why is exclusivity so hated now?  Mentorship and education for boys from men is a good thing, not a bad thing.  I would never want to force boys into Girl Scouts, that's their thing and should stay that way.  This move goes against everything that the group was established for in the first place.  I have no problem with a coed group that teaches both boys and girls the same thing as Boy Scouts, if parents want to put their children in it, that's fine.  But don't force it upon a group that doesn't want it.  Someone earlier said that this won't "ruin" Boy Scouts.  I disagree.  It completely changes it and makes it something completely different.  It fundamentally is no longer BOY Scouts.

 

Agreed, and for those who point out you can still keep an all-boy Pack or Troop, please tell me how long you think that will last and how much volunteer input will influence the next round of changes.

 

It is indeed no longer BOY Scouts.  No girl wants to be a BOY scout.  Scouting USA, back after 40 years!


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#135 SemperParatus

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:24 AM

At the last (elementary) school in which my wife taught, a teacher started a club called "Girls Run the Nation".  There was (and probably still is) a huge banner in the lobby proclaiming Girls Run the Nation, they have special activities and events just for girls in the school and there has been a push to replicate the club in other schools as well. As 50% of the school's population (boys) walk under that banner every morning, I can't help but think what message they are taking away.  Add to that the fact that the overwhelming majority of the teachers are young females that have no clue how to handle active young boys (besides pushing for a diagnosis) and I am afraid that boys have become the second class citizen of the public education system. Unfortunately, the push for "empowerment" for girls has translated into boys (in general) falling behind as less positive attention is given them.  Boy scouts has been a 'safe space' for boys to go to, where they can be themselves and develop strong character based on positive male role models.  Over the past twenty years, it really had become one of the last places to which a boy could escape the growing feminization of our culture.

 

My son earned the rank of Eagle.  My daughter earned the Gold Award.  I served as a Den Leader, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster and Committee Chair.  My wife served as a Girl Scout Troop, Cluster and Community Leader.  We all cherish the memories of our scouting adventures and would not change the years we poured ourselves into making the respective scouting programs the absolute best they could be.  We had our family time, our daddy-daughter time, our mommy-son time, and our separate time with the boys and the girls. It was all good and important to us to have all of these experiences. Just as my wife and daughter looked forward to their girl relationships in scouting, my son and I found that boy scouting created special bonds of friendship that have endured.

 

Unfortunately, this policy change will bring an end to "boy scouting". The camel's nose is now under the tent and it is only a matter of time before the program is fully co-educational in every respect. Separate but equal has never been enough for the progressive elements of our society. Scouting will be just another youth activity, albeit with strange garb, high participation costs and no real mission that is indistinguishable from other youth groups. It is difficult to witness a program that you loved so much to disintegrate before your very eyes. For the BSA, I am sure it is all about the money to prop of their declining membership.  For volunteers such as myself, it is a time to mourn what once was an institution that shaped who we are as individuals and a community.


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#136 CalicoPenn

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:27 AM

Agreed, and for those who point out you can still keep an all-boy Pack or Troop, please tell me how long you think that will last and how much volunteer input will influence the next round of changes.

 

It is indeed no longer BOY Scouts.  No girl wants to be a BOY scout.  Scouting USA, back after 40 years!

 

We'll probably be able to keep all-boy packs and troops for another 50 or so years until a newer generation decides that separating the genders is just stupid.

 

No girl wants to be a BOY Scout?  Never use an absolute - there are people in this thread telling you how excited their girls are to get the chance to be a Boy Scout.


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#137 dilrod

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:35 AM

We'll probably be able to keep all-boy packs and troops for another 50 or so years until a newer generation decides that separating the genders is just stupid.

 

No girl wants to be a BOY Scout?  Never use an absolute - there are people in this thread telling you how excited their girls are to get the chance to be a Boy Scout.

 

The problem today is there are not enough absolutes adhered to.


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#138 Carter

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:42 AM

We'll probably be able to keep all-boy packs and troops for another 50 or so years until a newer generation decides that separating the genders is just stupid.

 

No girl wants to be a BOY Scout?  Never use an absolute - there are people in this thread telling you how excited their girls are to get the chance to be a Boy Scout.

We have 2 sisters now that would jump in the troop, they have spent the past 5 years wanting to be cubs and now in a troop. They have been waiting to hit 14 to join Venturing. They are Girl Scouts and they are not happy with it because it is all cookie sales with a little arts & crafts sprinkled in.


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#139 Back Pack

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:55 AM

Scouting will change. Boys and girls at summer camp together will change how boys act. No way I want to look like an idiot in front of a girl so the notion of learning through failure won’t happen. Who wants to fail in front of girls? I have three sisters and the last thing we want to do is spend more time together. I want to hang with my friends. I don’t want my sisters along on camp outs.
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#140 dilrod

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:56 AM

My point about the name BOY Scout is that as of yesterday, it died.  The BSA spokesperson stated "There are no plans to change our name at this time."  

 

Really?  They probably have to sell tons of BSA branded merchandise and books first, then print new edition handbooks with 50/50 girls and boys in the pictures.

 

Again, what girl wants to tell her friends she's a BOY Scout??  


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