Re: Co-ed Scouting
Rodger Morris (rlm@SUNED1.NSWSES.NAVY.MIL)
Mon, 6 Mar 1995 22:25:17 PST
>After reading your post and several others, I am wondering why so many
>people appear to think that the only way to have co-ed Scouting in all
>sections is to merge the Scouts and Guides (Girl Scouts) into a single
>Association? While this has happened in several countries, it has not come
>to pass in many others.
If you go back and re-read my postings on the subject of co-ed Scouting, you
will see that I have not advocated the meger of the BSA and the GSUSA. I
simply mentioned that both organizations had studied and ejected the
possibility during the 1970s, and a couple of the reasons why, as seen by a
local GSUSA pofessional Girl Scout.
>I do NOT think that merging the BSA and the GSUSA would be a good option.
>Not only would that limit the wide range of opportunity that already exists,
>but a ;ot of diversity would wither away.
I am in favor of opening the BSA's programs to girls. We offer things the
GSUSA does not. This could be done by opening a new BSA division for girls
or by incorporating them into the currently existing divisions. The wishes
of those who do not want girls in their Scouting units would have to be
accomodated, of course. The successful paradigm for doing so already exists
in the Exploring program.
I am not a member of the GSUSA, so I express no opinion of what they should
do in re opening up their program.
>As I understand the last round of "proposed merger" discussions between the
>GSUSA and the BSA fell apart once it became apparent to the GSUSA folks that
>there was a hidden agenda akin to what would be called an unfriendly
>take-over bid on the BSA's part. This information came to me from a GSUSA
>professional who is quite well-versed on how things went - or failed to go...
Could be. I wouldn't know. Historically, the GSUSA has had an inferiority
complex when it compares itself to the BSA, even to the point of minimizing
or omitting B-P as the founder of both the Boy Scout and Girl Guide
movements. Certainly, the GSUSA professionals I met when I was a registered
Girl Scout in my kid sister's Junior and Cadette Troops treated me like some
kind of loathsome leper because I was male.
In my considered opinion, the GSUSA has repeatedly shot themselves in the
foot, so to speak, in the way in which they treat men. This, of course, is
their right as a private, non-profit organization. However, it sharply
limits the resources available to the girls.
The GSUSA continues to do so. At least in the Tres Condados Council, they
enacted a few unbelievable policies during the 1970s. One of these was a ban
on going camping anywhere that did not have flush toilets. This policy was
so inane, that it has since been rescinded.
We had a Canadian Girl Guide leader who came to live here in southern
California. She became so frustrated with the way the GSUSA administered the
program that she left the GSUSA and crossed over to the BSA. She felt that
the GSUSA had pretty much departed from traditional Guiding and that it was,
as run, a pretty poor excuse as a program for girls.
The GSUSA program, as written, has the potential to be outstanding. As
implemented, the outdoor portion of said program is pathetic.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 852, Ventura County Council (CA), BSA
National Woodbadge 416, Philmont, 1973
"I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City