Co-ed Scouting - Canada
Lorne A. Dudley (DUDLEY2@QUCDN.QUEENSU.CA)
Wed, 24 Nov 1993 10:03:00 EST
The Canadian organization introduced the Co-ed Scouting "option"
last November. The implementation seems to be similar to that in
Each group (sponsor) was to determine whether the co-ed option was
to be taken. In our group, each section was asked to poll their
members. The Sea Scout section explained the proposition, answered
direct questions, then conducted a secret ballot. We prefaced the
discussion by saying we wanted personal opinions, not peer-pressure,
to be presented. Three options were allowed. Yes,
Neutral (wouldn't bother me either way), and No. As I remember,
the results were something like
Scouts Yes - 10 Neutral - 7 No - 1
Leaders Yes - 5
It's kind of interesting that we have had a female leader since the
beginning of our group about 15 years ago, when some of our sons
entered the Beaver group. (We live in what was a new suburb at that
time, having previously been farmland.) The other Scout section in
our group (we call them "Land Scouts" to distinguish the program
emphasis) had two leaders who had very strong opinions against the
co-ed option when it was first mentioned. Apparently their vote
was almost 100% against.
Anyway, the end result was that at least one Beaver, Cub, Scout,
and Venturer (already co-ed) section voted to go co-ed, providing
a continuous path for youth entering the program. (This was a
National requirement.) The other stipulation was, once the group
selects the co-ed option, there was to be no return to non co-ed.
So, our sponsor, (The Knights of Columbus), (but membership is
non-denominational), took this information, deliberated for a month,
with lots of lobbying from all quarters, and approved the co-ed stream.
Strongly recommended, but not required by National, was the presence
of a female leader in the section.
So that's the picture from one unit in Canada. We currently have
3 female Beaver members and 1 Cub. I hear the Cub is 10 years old,
so we may see her in the Sea Scout group next April when we accept
our new stream of scouts.
Yours in Scouting
1st Bayridge Sea Scouts
C A N A D A
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City