Barry C Runnels (Barry_C_Runnels@MMACMAIL.JCCBI.GOV)
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 10:11:57 CST
I have been a little surprised by the post. What is right for the kids and
in this case the boys? Tracy, you have a right to be offended but the truth
of the matter is the only time this post comes up is with complaints about
GSUSA program quality.
Keep up the good work. Teach others around you your success. I think GSUSA
is depending on it. My Scouting Mentor was a the GSUSA District Leader of
two outstanding programs in two states. She taught me to always think of
the boys first. When she came to Oklahoma she quit GSUSA and joined the
BSA. She said the GSUSA program was so bad and there was such a resistance
to change that she took her girls out and put them into the Explorers
I asked her opinion about Cubs and Boys Scouts going coed. With a confirmed
look on her face she said, boys and girls are together all the time in
School, Church, clubs and now even sports. They have no time to be
themselves without the other sex watching. Between the ages of 10 to 14
this is a very difficult time for these kids. They are confused and trying
to understand their new feeling of adulthood. It is normal for each sex to
talk about this with friends but usually of the same sex.
She put her son in the BSA because she wanted him to have a chance to be
around male role models without the pressure of the female influence. I
asked her to be our CM because she was so good with the boys. She refused
because she believed in a male role model for her son. Then proceeded to
teach me everything I know about Scouts.
She also believed that a women's place in the Troop is on the committee.
Not with the boys. "My son is around the opposite sex almost 24 hours a
day. What is wrong with him going on a campout once a month and spending
two hours a week with just males"?
We have a Australian SM in our District. One day this subject came up and
he ended it quickly. He said, I have been the SM for two troops in
Australia and one here in the States. I have learned that there is not
nearly as many pressures on boys here to act appropriately as there are in
Australia. The boys are more relaxed here and there is not so many
restrictions on the Troop either.
My son right now is under a lot of pressure by his school mates to get a
girlfriend. He just turned 13. What's the hurry? The Troop is the one place
where he can relax. About the only place.
The adults seem to have a lot of pros and cons but what do the boys say?
All the pressure is coming from the adults. Think of the Scouts. Ask them.
Would bringing the opposite sex into your Troop help them? They have the
rest of their lives with the pressures of the world. Do they want to add
one more to it at a very difficult age. If the Boys feel the need to
combine the two groups then lets go for it but please, let them make it
In our Troop the boys have no problem with women leaders. But we make sure
its their decision. Debbie doesn't agree with the policy but is glad we
left up to the boys.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City