Re: Girls in BSA, med-long
Rick Touchette (Rick.Touchette@SEAG.FINGERHUT.COM)
Tue, 29 Aug 1995 11:54:14 -0500
Here's my $.02 worth.
1) Don't merge BSA & GSUSA, These are different programs. the main similarity
is in the name.
2) Don't change the GSUSA program, it seems to serve a need for many young
3) Don't change the BSA program, it also serves the needs of many young people.
(sorry for using the "don't" so much)
4) Give troops the option of being all boys, co-ed or even all girls. And
do it without changing the program ( ie: activities, requirements etc..)
Apply this to both BSA and GSUSA, and perhaps make a suitable name change
to scouts, guides or whatever.
Why: To make available the existing and proven worthwhile programs to more
Younger Boys & Girls have a tendency to segregate themselves.
I would agree with that. They also already tend to segregate themselves
by age, interests and buddies. This is a non-issue. I have seen this
in 4H as well. Girls and boys often choose segregate themselves, they
also choose to do some things together.
Boys and Girls need activities on their own.
Allowing troops to choose does not prevent this. Also just because a
troop is co-ed does not mean that all that activities will be co-ed just
that the activities are open to both boys and girls.
These are private organizations and shouldn't be compelled to change.
Not being involved in GSUSA I have no comment. But as for the BSA I have
two observations. First, there is allot of government support. Second,
There is also allot of prestige and benefit for Eagle scouts. While GSUSA
also has equal or better awards, these awards don't seem to carry the same
recognition as the BSA awards. While this isn't fair we should not ignore
the problem. Because of the 'political/government" support and the higher
prestige given to BSA Eagle rank, I am of the opinion that BSA can and
does provide a program that many youth can benefit from which is not
available from GSUSA, 4H, Youth groups, etc. For these reasons I think
there is more than a little legal 'grey area'.
I have also heard the idea of "Girls have the all the opportunity in GSUSA
that boys have in BSA". This simply is not true. BSA and GSUSA, gender
issue aside, are very different programs. Besides, it seems to me that
as a nation back in the 60's we came to the conclusion that
"Separate but equal" is anything but fare/equal/the truth.
As for the 'for profit' scout shop angle in some postings,
I hadn't thought of that one. I guess I consider a BSA non-profit service
To sum it up, I have one of those that feel that BSA should (and someday, will)
come out of the dark ages and provide the option for it's member troops to go
co-ed. It's just a matter of time.
Rick Touchette, proud father of
Chris age 11 a first class scout
Sarah age 8 a clover bud 4H'er
Rick Touchette Rick.Touchette@seag.fingerhut.com
ASM Troop 173 Scandia MN Indainhead council Northlakes district
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City