Re: Co-ed Scouts
Jim Ficklin (jficklin@NMSU.EDU)
Wed, 24 Nov 1993 12:27:36 -0700
On Wed, 24 Nov 1993, Jo Paoletti wrote:
> As the mother of a son and a daughter (and a leader in both flavors of
> scouting), I have very mixed feelings about co-ed scouting. On the one
> Still, co-ed activities, such as joint service projects, could help
> boys and girls see each other as co-workers and allies, and perhaps
> eventually as people of equal value, which would benefit both males
> and females. Perhaps that is the way to begin.
Our troop is an LDS troop and as such we've had an opportunity to test
some of the "joint activities" approaches with excellent results.
For those who are not familiar with LDS set-up, we have a youth program called
"Mutual" which includes boys organized in the Scouting programs (Scouts,
Ventures, Exploreres) and girls of cooresponding ages organized into their
own church-sponsored program for girls. In most units, about once a month
a "joint activity" is held. The responsibilty to "host" the activity
rotates between the various classes and scout groups, with all ages and
both sexes participating in each "joint activity." These activities can
range from social gatherings to seminars to service projects... and on and
on. We also occasionally will organize a "joint project" of a grander
nature. For example, last year the Ventures, Explorers, and the girl's
groups of cooresponding ages participated in a joint (all sleeping
arrangements completely separate throughout) adventure trip to Mexico.
In general we have found these "joint activities" to be of great value.
First of all they provide the opportunity each group to gain extra
leadership and planning experience as their turn to "host" the activities
comes around. In addition to building friendships, allowing for a
wholesome atmosphere for mixed association and being fun, the activities
help promote respect for and understanding of youth of the opposite sex in
a context other than dating or romantic encounter. The range of ages also
opens some good opportunities as older youth get opportunities not only to
lead, but to be the catalyst in helping the programs organized by the
younger youth to be successful. Of course, it doesn't work every time, we
have our "flops" as well as the memorable successes. This approach also
has the advantage of providing the interaction that is so good for young
people on a regular basis without eleminating and/or overriding the
excellent programs designed for each age group and sex separately.
Jim Ficklin, Program Manager, KRWG-TV, New Mexico State Univ.,
Las Cruces, NM
firstname.lastname@example.org "All opinions expressed are mine... not KRWG's."
TROOP 177 "According to my 3 sons, my opinions don't count, anyway."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City