scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Ahem and sexism in Scouting
Murphy Peter (MurphyP@TCE.COM
Sun Jun 11 2000 - 20:16:00 CDT
First, I'm sorry about the poor treatment you received from the guys on your
committee. They were out of line.
Second, I support females in all adult roles in Scouting. But some of my
below might be taken wrong. I'll try to be careful.
My family is much like yours. We have 3 sons, the youngest is finally in the
troop and the oldest is a few weeks away from making Eagle. My wife has been
den leaders many times over and is now Pack CC and ASM in the troop. She's
been to Cub Wood Badge and has the Silver Beaver. She's also a Lieutenant
Colonel in the Army Reserves. She definitely knows about camping and about
being in a largely male organization. The first year my oldest son was in
troop, my wife was the adult in charge the week they went to summer camp
because the former SM couldn't get the time off. My wife, and other women
in my troop, are qualified and welcome in any role.
Yet it is my WIFE who believes that, IF POSSIBLE, the SM should be male. And
she prefers to let the dads do all the camping if there is enough willing to
go each month. There are several reasons for this which I support:
In most families, the children get more time with mom than with dad. So we
to push most dads into spending more time with the kids. When I was CM, I
no problem getting moms to step up to be den leaders and assistants. But it
took a lot of recruiting to get dads to be den leaders and assistants. So
a lot of work I had 50/50 men and women as DL and ADL. In my troop, there is
enough room for as many moms and dads to go camping with us as are willing
Encouraging more dads to spend time with sons does not mean you have to
the number of women who go camping. As far as ASM goes, I accept either men
women, but only if they are willing to put in the time. I've had to move
frequent "no shows" to the committee.
In some of the families in my troop, there is a single mom. And it is these
moms who most strongly look for troops with lots of men to be role models.
Both men and women can help a boy grow into a man. I would NEVER suggest
a boy can only learn this from men. But I would say that it is important to
have men as part of the mix that is being the positive role models.
On another direction, I would ask you and your husband to reconsider your
to leave your troop. On face value, such a strong, principled stand seems
thing to do. However, for the sake of the boys, forcing a change and
some attitudes might be the better thing to do. In my troop, the SM has
power to set the attitude and direction of most everything. It's not the way
it and I try to be careful not to abuse the situation. But the simple fact
families are content to look to the SM for guidance in all things.
Regardless of how
the official BSA troop organizational chart is structured, the average
the SM is in charge. I would recommend your husband take advantage of that
if it exists in your troop, and fight for what is right.
Peter Murphy, SM, T125, Crossroads of America Council