Re: Girl Scout program vs Boy Scout program
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Sun, 27 Aug 1995 15:39:03 EDT
You wwondered -
> It's obvious some changes need to be made somewhere. I don't relish the
>thought of having girls in my troop, because I'm not sure my younger Scouts
>would stay in a co-ed outfit. I also am a bit aprehensive about what
>campouts might turn into.
> But something needs to change. Maybe a new co-ed program? Gee, *I*
>don't know the answer, but there's a lot of hurtful things going on out
There really isn't a need for an additional programme, Besindes, it would
appear as if the BSA has managed to get the rights to who gets be called a
Scouting organisation in the USA though their Congressional Charter - unless
I misunderstand the situation.
Take a look to the north and see how the adition of girls to the Association
was accomplished. Here, as in most nations where Scouting has the co-ed
option, the local Scout Group decides whether or not it is going to accept
girls as members. In effect, chilren and their families now have three choices:
An all-boys Scout Group
A mixed-gender Scout Group
an all girls Guide Group.
Each is run by a leadership team who are comfortable with their choice of
I do not believe you would have to worry about obys leaving your Troop if
you decided to accept girls. When we surgveyed our two Troops in the British
Group I was with in the years before the UK Scout Association began
accepting girsl in the junior sections, we only had one boy who was
adamantly opposed to our having girls in the Troops. His reason? He did NOT
wish to have his sister in the same Patrol. Once assured that we wouldn't
place a brother and sister in the same Patrol - any more than we would
plaace brothers in teh same Patrol (unless they specifically asked to be),
he was alright with the idea.
We found that the majority were of the mind that this shouldd have been done
years before. There was another portion who "wouldn't mind, so long as you
don't change the programme to make it easier for the girls". Once the girls
began to arive, none of the boys left. Even though there were now girls in
the Troops, the tone of activities and meeting times did not change.
Campouts pose no special problems. As another Leader pointed our, they
police themselves, since they don't wish to mess up the Troop as a result of
inappropriate activity on the part of any of the other Scouts.
If you wish to see co-ed Scouting in action, why not take your Troop to a
week-long camp or Provincial Jamboree in Canada next summer? It won't be all
that expensive if the Scouts start working toward it now. We took an
American Troop from Delaware to Newfoundland for a Jamboree in July, and it
cost the Scouts $365 apiece - including the ferry ride between Nova Scotai
and Port aux Basques. If you go, you will be able to see for yourself if
co-ed Scouting is a threat or a benefit to Scouting as a whole. Canadian
kids are pretty much the same as American kids - so there isn't the bit we
used to hear - "American kids are not the same as European kids..."
The reaction of the Scouts we took north? "Why can't we have girls in our
Certainly is something worth thinking about...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City