RE: Girls and Cub/Boy Scouts
Paul Gerwitz (gerwitz@KODAK.COM)
Tue, 25 Jun 1991 13:05:27 EDT
Thanks Monica for your thoughtful comments, allow me to respond not to you
personally but as an exchange of ideas and thoughts:
> On the one hand, I think an organization should be able to set its own
> "house rules" (I read a Miss Manners column about this recently that
> I agreed with), and that people who join know the house rules and abide
> by them or leave, and that if the house rules happen to exclude certain
> people...then so be it.
House rules do not exist to exclude but to set boundries, give focus
and implement an organizations basic goals and objectives. I think
scouting has the same responsibilities to define itself, it's goals and
it's rules in order to give some meaning to the ideals of building
character in boys and young men.
> On the other hand, I've seen that sort of "house rules" used too often
> to perpetuate an unjust situation.
Could you site some specific "rules" and why you view them as unjust?
Does doing justice to someone mean that no organization can set those
booundries upon which they must exist? Maybe we as a culture have
developed a on-sided view of justice.
> For example, do any of you think it
> would be okay to make a rule in the scouting organization to exclude anyone
> who was black? And how is accepting blacks any different from accepting
> girls? We are still only talking about PHYSICAL differences.
You may view the color of one's skin to be just a physical difference,
but the basic needs for all boys remain the same, regardless of color
or any other physical difference. Boys and girls also exhibit
"phyisical differences" but have very different mental, emotional and
psychological needs as well as common needs like feeling wanted,
needing guidance etc. To minimize these differences is to disregard
the uniqueness of the sexes and their individuation as they go through
> Of course,
> in this society, a physical difference that deals with sex blows most people
> away....I admire the European's laid-back stance on matters sexual.
> American culture puts too much emphasis on too many of the wrong sorts of
> things, in my opinion.
And what do the Europeans have to show for deemphasizing these innate
differences both positive and negative ? It would be an interesting
task to study their social culture in this light.
> Yes, Girl Scouts exists, but as another correspondent here once said, it
> is NOT the same program. Cub Scouts _DO_ where Girl Scouts "talk about it"
> or "read about it", or "draw pictures about it". I can see why any girl
> would prefer the Cub Scout program. I was a Girl Scout, and I envied my
> brothers their Cub Scout activities.
So why not band together and fix girl scouting ? Why is it that people
who feel they are not getting what they pay for have a 'right' to tell
organizations that are successful to change. It would be better all
around to fix the problem (girl scouting) then water down the goals of
boy scouting. I am the father of 3 girls and fully intend on trying to
mold the girl scout experience of my daughters into something more
meaningful and fun. Would Juliett Low be happy with the current state of
girl scouts ?
> I suppose one solution would be for the Girl Scouting organization to become
> more like the Cub Scouting organization. But this is not the optimal
> solution for girls like Crystal, the younger sister of a Cub Scout in my
And why not ? Isn't fixing the problems with girl scouting the most
optimal long term solution ? Would it not have the most effect long term
on all the girls ? Giving girls like Crystal priviledges in cubs is a
band aid approach and will cause many more negative effects on the long
term goals of boy scouting.
> Crystal is at every den meeting, because her mom and dad are the
> den leader and assistant den leader. She makes all the projects her
> brother does. She participates in all the games. She is as good or better
> than the boys in the den at a lot of what is done, and she is accepted by
> the boys as a normal part of den meetings and activities. She attends
> every pack meeting, and goes family camping with the other Cub Scouts.
> But she can't win any recognition, because, as Queen Elizabeth I once put
> it she was "born cloven and not crested". She can't attend Cub Scout Day
> Camp. My heart goes out to Crystal and to other girls in her situation,
> and I think she deserves to be a Cub Scout.
I think she really is entitled to a fulfilling experience with girl scouting
> Belief/Atheism is a philosophical difference...and house
> rules require belief. Any Atheist who CHOOSES to express a belief can
> join. But here there is the possibility of CHOICE...unfortunately, where
> physical exclusions exist, there is no choice. You can't choose not to be
> black or female or handicapped, no matter how badly you may want to.
We still must choose. We must choose to accept ourselves as who we are,
male, female, handicaped, black, white, fat, thin, short, tall; the list
goes on and on. When we fail to accept ourselves as we are (and as God
created us) then we fail to have the self-confidence to live life to it's
fullest. And it is this lack of 'self-love' which is at the root of the
I am very saddened by the environment that we have created for our
children to grow up in. There are no easy answers to overcome these
problems, just a lot of hard work by some very dedicated parents and a
few teachers, volunteers and leaders who understand what is really at
stake. Taking the easy way out may solve the short term situation, but
will never take care of the causes of our problems.
| Paul F Gerwitz WA2WPI | SMTP: firstname.lastname@example.org |
| Eastman Kodak Co | UUCP: ..uunet!atexnet!kodak!eastman!gerwitz |
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City