Re: Women as Scoutmasters
Pete Tamas (GNOME@TEMPLEVM.BITNET)
Fri, 24 Dec 1993 10:12:13 EST
On Wed, 22 Dec 1993 23:18:17 -0600 Ben Parker said:
>I think the main job of Scoutmaster, and any troop adult leader (ASM's) is
>to provide the necessary direction and oversight and program planning
>needed for the program. Secondarily they serve as role-models of adult
>behavior for the boys. I see no reason why it makes any difference
>whether that adult model is male or female, as long as they are a good model.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the position of scoutmaster is a
demanding one requiring the ability to delegate. The best scoutmaster
may not be the best at the various scoutcraft skills because his/her
most important role is to motivate others and organize volunteers.
If these volunteers include some positive male role models, the scout-
master has done his/her job.
Having said this I must also say that many women leaders (the Hungarian
Scouts Abroad has male and female troops that often work together)
are overprotective in areas that are innapropriate. A change seems to
happen among many women leaders who have been scouts "all their lives"
and when their kids are about 10. They seem less inclined to be in
favor of camping trips, etc. It is as if they have gotten an idea
that their own kids are helpless (as they were, several years ago)
and are now equally helpless. I have heard of several instances
were relatively tough, demanding leaders became less so once they
were parents. One of the great things in scouting is that camp life
is in some ways a LITTLE more demanding than "real" life and one of
great joys we bring to the kids is their feelings of accomplishment
when the overcome these challenges. One example may be cooking. Kids
rarely cook at home. In camp they may be silly about it and some
food may get wasted and the eggs may be crunchy from the shells and
it may not turn out as well as if an adult cooked it. But 5 years later
the kid might save that that was a memorable thing for him.
I hope that I do not sound as if I am blanket crticizing women leaders.
That is not my intention. But women leaders should be aware of two
tendencies 1) some women think women have a monopoly on the ability
to understand kids; 2) kids join scouts to go camping and participate
in activities that they do not otherwise do and may be just a little
more difficult than they are used to doing. Women who are very clear
on this and have an understanding of scout theory, patrol method, etc.,
make excellent leaders. And this is not because they are women or
because they are women acting like men but because they WANT to be
good leaders and work hard to reach that goal.
Hope I didn't accidently offend anyone.-Pete tamas
Gnome@VM.Temple.edu or TempleVM.bitnet
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City