Re: Co-ed Scouting
Bob Gerrish (u-rpg@NTA.COM)
Tue, 14 Mar 1995 12:11:26 -0800
On Mon, 6 Mar 1995, Rodger Morris wrote:
> 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.
This post struck a bunch of raw nerves, which prompt me to climb up on my
For those of you who do not follow rec.scouting, the USA does have a coed
group for all ages. I know I may also get flammed here, but Campfire
offers a coed program. You don't have to tell me that they were not
started by BP, I know that. They do follow the same ideals, including
religious, leadership, etc. They have a promise and law (which is
similar to GSUSA's law). They have a major award similar to Eagle or the
Gold Award (the WAHELO). They have a similar program in all respects and
are a scouting type program.
Let's let the programs proceed as they are. Because of emphasis on boys
which still remains in many schools, girls NEED an all girl program which
emphasis them. In spite of this emphasis, boys need an all boys program,
All three programs (BSA, GSUSA, Campfire) have their individual troop /
group direction shaped by their leaders (both adolescent and adult).
This gives us some strong programs in different areas and varies from troop
As far as BSA offering things that GSUSA does not offer, what might
those be? It certainly isn't in outdoor activities. Could it be Wider
Opportunities where youth can participate in many and varied activities
in other councils. (oops, thats a GSUSA program.)
GSUSA certainly requires leaders to have more training and does have some
ruler to follow (via SafetyWise). This is for the girls protection and
goes a long way to protect them from idiot leaders like the SM who took
our troop on a 60 mile backpack trip in mountainess terrain and let the
fastest boy (I definitely wasen't) set the pace.
> 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.
I have been a male co-leader going on 8 years. When I first started, I
felt like I was not welcome. It turned out that our service unit
co-chairs made ALL new leaders (not just men) feel like this.
Fortunately, they have long gone. This was just the atmosphere in our
I took twelve different training sessions the first year I was involved
and got the feeling that the women welcomed dads and wished that more
would participate. And more of us are helping. The last Outdoor
Training weekend I was at, there were 4 men in our training session,
alone and about 8 total.
I guess it is time to get off my soapbox.
Bob Gerrish - Co-Leader GS Cadette Troop 747, Totem Council, Seattle WA
- Service Unit Registrar, SU 421, Totem Girl Scout Council
- Totem Council, Challenge of The Totem committee member
- Assistant Webelos Den Leader, Pack 565,
Chief Seattle Boy Scout Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City