Re: "Tradition"; was "BSA Membership Stats"
Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 01:28:27 -0700
At 12:24 PM 10/10/96 -0400, Hank Nest wrote:
> Also (and I know I'm going to get flamed for this ;> ), it's
No, I won't flame you. I _will_ point out areas wherein you are in error.
>tradition. It's the same reason why girls are not allowed in Boy Scouting;
Wrong guess. See items #1 and #2 below.
>why boys aren't allowed in Girl Scouting; why women aren't allowed to
Wrong guess. See item #3 below.
>join fraternities; and why men aren't allowed to join sororities. It's
Wrong guess. See item #4 below.
>just the way it is. Tradition.
Whose tradition? Certainly not the mainstream world Scouting tradition
within the World Organization of the Scouting Movement (WOSM).
We covered these subjects in some depth earlier here on SCOUTS-L, and I
don't intend to jump into yet another round of them. Having said that,
I do think it appropriate to point out briefly that:
1) Girls are allowed in all levels of Boy Scouting in the great majority
of the Scouting associations worldwide that are members of (WOSM). The BSA
is a member of WOSM, and thus we recognize the girls who are members of WOSM
as being Boy Scouts in good standing.
If you doubt this, I invite you to participate in an international
camporee. We'll be having one here in California next August in San
Diego County. About one third of the Mexican Boy Scouts are girls. Female
Boy Scouts in Mexico outnumber Girl Guides in Mexico by roughly a 10 to 1
2) Girls comprised about 42% of the Boy Scouts who participated in the
last World Jamboree in August of 1995 in Dronten, the Netherlands. They
were all members in good standing of WOSM.
3) In some countries in Scandanavia (Sweden, for example), all members
of the Scouting association(s) of that country are members of both
WOSM and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
Thus, the boys who are members of those Scouting associations are Girl
Guides as well as Boy Scouts, and the girls are Boy Scouts as well as
Girl Guides. The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is a member of WAGGGS.
4) Women are allowed to join many fraternities. The fraternity associated
with Scouting in the USA, Alpha Phi Omega, is one of them. The prestigious
Phi Beta Kappa is another good example. About the only fraternities with
single-sex policies are a majority of the social fraternities.
As you can see, your world-view is incorrect in at least three areas
concerning girls in Boy Scouting and boys in Girl Guiding (Scouting). One
also presumes, based upon the internal evidence contained in your posting,
that you have not been in the BSA all that many years, as you would
otherwise be aware that women were once barred from holding any leadership
roles in the BSA, save only that of "Den Mother".
That too, was tradition, and we are well rid of it. Now, women may serve
in all positions within the BSA. The boys and girls we serve in Scouting
here in the BSA have been well served by admitting women to full membership
at all levels of the BSA.
I respectfully point out that if "tradition" were the sole determinant
of proper Scouting that you deem it to be, then none of the things I have
mentioned in this posting would exist, and we in the BSA and WOSM would be
much the poorer for it.
Finally, since you appeal to tradition, let us look to B-P himself. In
1908, the year he launched Boy Scouting, he wrote, "...I have received many
pathetic letters from little girls asking if they may not join in the
wonderful adventure of Scouting as their brothers have. But of course they
may! They may form patrols..."
He wrote that a year _before_ the Girl Guides were formed. I have paraphrased
what B-P wrote from memory, and I would be grateful if somebody (Norman
McLeod, are you out there?) could post the exact quote. However, my paraphrase
is pretty close to B-P's exact words on the subject at the time.
I trust this will provide a bit of food for thought in re this matter.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <email@example.com>
Scoutmaster, Troop 852 Woodbadge 416-18
Ventura County Council Philmont, 1973
Camarillo, California, USA "I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City