Re: Females at Camp
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG)
Fri, 14 Jul 1995 12:40:11 EST
Flame suit on.
Our colleague who wrote the post describing how her committee chairman
has decreed that women shall not spend the night in camp has my
deepest sympathy. I can hardly believe what I read.
First, the CC is wrong. I just got back from Lenhok'sin high adventure
camp at Goshen scout reservation in Virginia, and the leader's guide
specified that women were allowed as crew advisors, provided they were
21. You can even have co-ed crews, that is, teenage boys and girls in
the same group. Separate facilities have to be provided for women, of
course, but women are clearly allowed as adult leaders at camp.
One of the crew advisors of a group from Baltimore was the troop
committee chairwoman. There are also at least a half dozen female
staff members at Lenhok'sin who spend the whole summer there in tents,
etc. They don't seem to be suffering constantly during the summer
from harassment at the hands of crazed, testosterone-laden scouts and
predatory male adults.
Second, in my view the CC is not giving the other adults in his unit
credit for being mature and responsible people--not to mention being
scouters. I spent a week last summer with 8 of my cubs at summer camp,
and the second adult was the divorced mom of one of my cubs. I
couldn't have asked for a better colleague to go along, and we became
fast friends as a result of the experience.
The idea of engaging in any "hanky panky" (apparently what the CC is
worried about) with my colleague was laughable. Quite simply, even if
I had entertained thoughts about such a thing, I love my wife and
wouldn't have engaged in such behavior; second, fooling around under
cub scout summer camp circumstances would have been totally
inappropriate even if I didn't love my wife; and third, such an act
would have ruined a perfectly good friendship and made the week
immeasurably and inevitably more difficult.
In short, it would have been wrong on any grounds one cares to think
about. I think the act of refraining from such behavior is called
maturity and personal morality.
I suggest our colleague start raising a little h*** about this at
committee meetings. This is a completely inappropriate--one might even
say paleolithic--stance for the CC to take, in my view. This is the
1990s, not the 1890s, and female scouters are our colleagues. They do
not need the protection of a well-meaning but out-of-touch committee
chairman--especially at SCOUT CAMP, of all places. Good grief!
ASM, Troop 120
GW District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City