Re: COED Scouting - Gotta add my 2 cents
Sam Fairchild (SAMF@OHSTMVSA.BITNET)
Wed, 9 Dec 1992 10:13:00 EST
I have sat on my hands and followed this discussion thread for a while.
No one, I recall has addressed the core leadership of local BSA
programs, those adults who *love* to serve the needs of scouts
for years at a time (not just while their own child is in The Program).
Those are the folks that *make* scouting work! Youth Protection
training is a great big step for them to swallow right now.
(You might recall the YPT was preceeded by a spate of court cases.)
Perhaps, success with YPT will ease the way for some coed training.
We adult leaders already train ourselves in a coed atmosphere!
How well do you think those men and women are equipped to handle a
coed program? Note that many still follow the myth of the "self-made
man", which they were taught as children.
As an new leader (whose boy is a Cub Scout Bear),
I find a very traditional organization, whose founders/supporters are
rather adverse to quick changes (for the most part of my experience).
The remainder are pressured to find time to devote to Scouting.
Time is precious, so the "old ways that still work" are quite helpful!
In our Cub Scout pack (whose boys may profit from coed programs a few
years from now) we thrive on the amount of "choices"our boys and adults
have for varying degrees of involvement. We demand the parents involve
themselves as much as they are comfortable with. We have lots of choice
as to which pack activites folks can attend. Dens have lots of
self-direction as to program content (within the published guidelines).
Our new den leaders are amazed (once they get trained) at the wealth of
activity available to "their" boys.
My vote is *for* coed atmosphere for Boy Scouts who are is that
difficult age from twelveteen to twenty. Done well with planning, grace
Caveat: be sure to get a well-planned training program for the adult
P.S. I've heard from the older leaders that "once boys smell gasoline
and perfume -- they're gone!" Perhaps, the coed program for Scouts
from Tenderfoot onward will nullify the losses from that difficult
transition young men face while growing up? Perhaps we will help
young men mature in better ways than the past? What are *you* going
to do about it?!?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City