Re: Coed Scouting - Warning: ...
Pat Rodgers (ScareDKat@AOL.COM)
Sat, 18 Feb 1995 14:32:18 -0500
I've been asst. Scoutmaster for our local troop for 2 1/2 years now, since my
son crossed from Webelos and no guys would volunteer to help. As a female
Scouter in a guys' world, I've *loved* the opportunity to learn all the
skills the boys learn and then teach them to others. It's my belief that
having a woman in a leadership position in our troop has helped the newer
guys transition from Webelos, and I know it's helped some of the moms let go
of their kids enough to allow them on trips without parental supervision.
I've taken pains over the years not to act like the squishy female many of
the boys expect me to be, to be as good as I can at what I do, to learn new
things from them and let them see me doing my best at all times, and I think
I've earned their respect.
I've often lamented that when I was in Girl Scouts -- I hate to think of how
many years ago -- we did all the cooking and sewing and
talking-about-babysitting-and-boys stuff and none of what I consider now to
be fun and a challenge. However, in my contact with girls of my son's age,
I've not seen any of my own appreciation of these skills reflected. It's
always true that some girls will want to know what the boys learn in Scouting,
but it's also true that many wouldn't be caught dead in a tent in a
thunderstorm or hiking 10 miles with full packs in 80 degree weather.
You present good arguments for keeping Boy and Girl Scouting separate. I find
I agree with you wholeheartedly. Boys need a "guy" experience, just as much
as girls need their own, at this age. In spite of my opinion, however, I
continue in my leadership role with the boys. I feel I'm doing a great
service to my troop, one which no one else has volunteered for yet or could
perhaps perform as well as I do. And, to be honest, if someone else did
volunteer for "my" job, they'd have to fight me for it! I love Boy Scouting
in general and my ASM role in particular.
I wouldn't care to see Scouting made coed in general. Explorers is fine; by
that time, boys and girls are much more ready to interact. But for the
younger groups, no way. IMHO, as always, of course.
Thanks for the interesting discussion, you guys!
Pat Rodgers, ASM, Troop 98, West MI Shores Council
"I used to be an eagle..." C-31-94
(...but lately I'm turning into <gasp!> an owl!!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City