Women as Scoutmasters
Jo Paoletti (jpaolett@ARHU.UMD.EDU)
Wed, 22 Dec 1993 22:18:54 EST
As a leader of both a Girl Scout troop and a Wolf Den, I am intrigued
by the discussion re: female scoutmasters. In Girl Scouts, troop
leadership (and that's the highest level there is, that works with
girls -- no "cub master" equivalent). can be one person or two or
three. There can be one main leader and one or more assistant leaders
or two or more co-leaders (implying equal responsibilities). Men can
serve in any of those capacities. Our council offers specialized
training for male leaders to help them cope with the vagaries of
female culture, and I assume many other GS councils offer the same. My
observation is that most Boy Scout troops have an ample number of male
role models. What difference would it make if the scoutmaster were
female? So far, at the Cub Scout level, all the adults have been
really helpful and no one seems to have a problem with female
leadership -- just like in real life, at the office. etc.! I have a guy
friend who is a Girl Scout leader and he says that when the girls need
to talk to an adult female, they talk to his assistant leader. Is
there something inherently male in the Scoutmaster's role? (I'm trying
real hard to imagine the biological imperative involved...)
By the way, IMO, a far more likely scenario for coed scouting is that GSUSA
and BSA both go coed, with BSA being for families who want to shield
their children from "God-haters, homos and secular humanists" and
GSUSA being for everyone else. Course, they'd still have to argue over
who gets to call themselves Scouts America.
Now I'd like to raise an issue that hopefully won't heat up the net so
much. I had a real good troop up intil last year. Actually, I still
HAVE a real good troop, but the turnover among my seventh graders was
amzing! Girls who had been with me since first grade suddenly got "too
busy", but it was painfully obvious that Scouting was terribly uncool.
(A feeling I remember...) I am no hot glue-gun queen who is going for
a world's record on refrigerator magnets. We camped, we trekked, we
did science and service projects and basically anything they suggested
that wasn't illegal, unsafe or too expensive. They had a great time!!!
Then they entered middle school and I lost 6 of my 9 seventh graders!
Has this happened to anyone else?
Jo Paoletti firstname.lastname@example.org
"It is a higher joy to teach than to be taught"-- A.N. Whitehead
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City