Mixing BS and GS(long) ideas included
Lisa Varner (lvarner@FREENET.COLUMBUS.OH.US)
Fri, 3 Feb 1995 13:13:48 -0500
OK, I was afraid I would open a can of worms asking for help for a joint
activity. So, now that I started this I can't refrain from putting in my
two cents. Here goes:
We all know that joint scouting CAN work (as it is done in other countries
other than the US). We don't all know if it is the best for all concerned.
Is there a problem with supporting scouting in general, in all aspects?
We don't need this competitive, "you can't do this attitude". It makes all
scouts (especially the adults) look like feuding little children.
Obviously, the US is very diverse. Shouldn't scouting be diverse as well?
You can't take two troops of opposite sex who've never met, and throw them
together once and say "it was a disaster...joint scouting isn't good". By
the same respect, you can't deny that some scouts have also benefited from
same sex troops. We have to remember it's all in what you know and what
you plan to do.
If a troop starts out joint they will work together, as they will all be
there for the same reasons to accomplish the same goals. It won't be a
novelty to have the other gender around.
In some areas, BSA and GS can survive actively, without mixing troops.
I happen to see some benefits my daughter has gained from a "girl only"
troop. This won't be right for everyone. I can also think of many
benefits she would have gain by being in a co-ed troop. We can not
generalize. But, by the same rights, I don't think dealing with boys
should be such a novelty. I want my girls to be able to work side by side
with any boy. (Please don't read this as a sexist comment as I didn't vote
for the women's movement and I particulary don't like what it has done to
The restraints of GSUSA has made it tough to "be all that you can be". I
would like my daughter to have the same opportunities open to my son (if I
But let's face it. The organizations are not equal and far from it. BSA
has more money, more backing, and the benefit of male and female leaders.
Of which is just starting to happen more in GS.
It all depends on what the basis of a troops interests are whether or not
a co-ed troop will work. But, looking past the co-ed issue. If you do
have seperate gender troops, my interest was in bridging the gap and not
having it be such a foreign idea to work together. Scout leaders
supporting each other, same sex or not.
I can tell you, me and my fellow BS leader have both met with objection on
this venture of having a joint event. But that has not stopped us from
questioning why and forging forward.
As an adult in the real world, I have to work with men and women alike. I
don't treat them equal, because they are not. One is not better than the
other and each individual is treated according to the respect he or she
---off soap bax
For your info, I have recieved some great ideas for events and thought I
would summarize in case you were so inclined to venture to invite
another troop to work with yours. Thanks to all who responded. All ideas
will be saved for future use.
When mixing troops, I must say you need to remember why they are mixing.
It is not to pair them off in twos. It is to teach them how to talk, act
and work with each other for common goals. If they still tend to hover within
their same group, this does not mean it was not successful. At this age
(11-14) many need to learn to feel comfortable in the same room!
We had the general ideas of roller skating, bowling, camping, dance,
historical society, Center of Science and Industry, later inspiration hit
me and I thought of a murder mystery, karaoke, ice show or ice skating.
Suggestions have been added for a going to a Rock Gym, working at a joint
service project, a nursing home, community center, or hospital. We could
go to the theatre, ballet, or even make a newsletter or book on the positive
aspects of scouting or how scouting has made a positive influence in their
lives. (Along these lines, I thought this would be great to design a
brochure to be given at your cities visitor's bureau or Welcome Wagon!)
Maybe these young scouts can find the many ways in which they are alike,
with common interests and common goals! Then they can teach us a few things.
PS For those of you who suggested to let the kids choose and plan, we are,
just needed ideas to bring them. After ruling out activities recently
done, or resourses to an activity too limited, and placing the ideas to
our groups, we are presently pursuing ice skating agreed on by all.
Thanks for your ear...you can have it back now. :-)
Lisa Varner <<email@example.com >>
Haven't been there. Don't want to go. Don't need another t-shirt!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City