Re: Boy - Girl Talk
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@Dynasty.Net)
Thu, 03 Jul 1997 15:44:02 -0500
Denise wrote earlier and I believe confused the G.O.L.D. Award for Explorers
with the GOLD Award for Senior Girl Scouts and Cadettes.
I was the primary creator of the precursor to the G.O.L.D. Award, called the
Exploring Acheivement Award. With two additional requirements calling for
the Explorer to reflect on their work within the Post or Ship and the
reciting of the Explorer Code, the award is the same as the one that I and
two others, including two Regional Explorer Chairs, lobbied for in 1976 and
77. The Award was approved by the BSA's National Executive Board in 1977
and the first awards presented in 1978.
>The problem is that the G.O.L.D. award isn't
>the same as Eagle, and I have been told repeated by boy scouters with
>whom I have talked that the girl scout program doesn't do the same types
>of things as the boy scout program.
I beg to differ, as an Eagle Scout, Denise. The requirements for the
G.O.L.D. Award are basically the SAME as the Eagle Scout requirements with
*Merit Badges: We went round and round on this to get Explorers to be able
to earn merit badges in a similiar nature as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts do.
National said "no way, we're not going to budge". So instead of working on
series of merit badges in "required areas" and in some "personal areas",
the EAA/G.O.L.D. Award requires Explorers to work in four of the six
"Exploring Experience Areas" (which, I remind you, are
Citizenship, Social, Outdoor, Fitness, Vocational, and Service) alongside
and with the advice of an adult (either associated with the Post or Ship or
some other adult).
*Leadership roles: I didn't want to "X out" those Explorers that weren't
elected as Post or Ship officers but are officers in other organizations. Like
Junior ROTC, or Red Cross volunteers, or on a sports or civic club. Or in
school as a class officer. All of those are qualified "leadership roles"
for the purpose of the G.O.L.D. Award (which is vastly different from the
Boy Scout Eagle, which sets up only a short list of Troop officers to choose
*National/Regional/Area participation: One of the reasons why I worked so
hard on the old EAA was because as Area Explorer Chair, I saw the number of
Explorers attending my Area's Conference increase; but the number of
Explorers that "participated" in the Conference itself drop.
Everyone wanted to have a "good time" but it was getting to a point whereby
the same old folks were actually there to "learn". So, the Award is bent
toward those "participators" instead of those "attendees".
Other than those three changes, you can take the Eagle Scout requirements
and superimpose them on the G.O.L.D. application and they will match. It
takes an Explorer 18 months or more to earn the G.O.L.D. Award; it takes 18
months or more to earn Eagle. Both awards have a square knot (thanks to
some ingenious "device placement" which I did when the first awards were
presented). Both awards have an impressive
certificate and award emblem (now more than before). ANY Explorer can
earn this award; any Boy Scout can work toward Eagle. The climax Eagle
project, in which the Scout has to plan, organize, carry out and evaluate a
project to benefit some other organization other than Scouting is EXACTLY
the same kind of thing found in Requirement 5 and CAN benefit the Exploring
program or the unit.
And we Sea Exploring leaders STILL have the Quartermaster.
>At one time, I thought it unfair that boys could get Eagle Awards in Sea
>Exploring but girls could not. I am still reserving judgment on that,
>because I don't like to see limited exploring resources being expended
>on programs for which only the boys are elligible.
Which is exactly why I started the ball rolling with this award and work
really hard to promote it wherever I go!! This award is a "true equalizer".
ANY Explorer in ANY Explorer Post or Ship located ANYWHERE with ANY kind of
speciality can earn this award. You just can't get any better than
that.....the arguments up to my writing out the award requirements on the
backside of the Sheraton letterhead in our hotel rooms, were simple:
*Exploring is a co-ed program. Eagle was made for Boy Scouts to earn.
There should be something like the Ranger or the Ace for Explorers to earn,
without the restriction that only "outdoor Explorers" or "law enforcement
Explorers" can get it
*Exploring has so many specialities that it would be hard for even
speciality associations (and we had nine at one point!) to come up with
their "own award" (except for Sea Exploring, which we know here that the
Quartermaster has lasted forever!); therefore, the award must be able to be
WORN by ALL Explorers (the original award was a lapel pin and square knot in
addition to the certificate; I have been holding out (and still am holding
out!) for a patch for those special holders to wear in a similar manner as
Eagle Scouts can)
*Exploring is an INDIVIDUAL program; each Explorer comes to the program with
their OWN ideas as to what they want to do. Why have an award that limits
their creativity and restricts them to doing things in
"their own Exploring group" or speciality? At the same time, Exploring is
also a GROUP INTERACTION program, and Explorers should be encouraged to get
others involved for the good of the program and their communities.
>Telling the girls to go get a girl scouting award is not the answer as
>explained above; but if we are going to tell the girls to go to girl
>scouts and get a G.O.L.D. award, then we should also tell the boys to
>get their Eagles in boy scouts, not exploring.
There are some Boy Scouts that lack the, well, I'm going to say it, maturity
to earn Eagle Scout within the Troop setting. They are 13 or 14 years old,
and aren't interested in "Eagle Scouts" (some aren't interested at 15 or 16
either!) Having them to earn Eagle within the Exploring setting gets them
involved in a new setting.....with teens that are interested in what they
are doing or trying to do and which doesn't need as much "handholding" as
the younger boys back at the Troop does.
The same can be said for Senior Girl Scouts and Cadettes working toward the
Gold Award in Girl Scouting.....they are burnt to a crisp working with those
same old girls....they want a change and Exploring gives them that change!
>Exploring is a co-educational program, so the commitment of its
>resources should reflect that co-educational component. Girls and boys
>should be treated equally. What we have instead is a "boys club" into
>which girls can enter after reaching a certain age but in which they
>have lesser privileges by virtue of their late entry into the "club."
That's true, but it's also National policy and I'm not ready to address
National policy in this forum except to say that I'm not altogether in favor
of it, but have to go with the flow because it IS *current policy*.
I understand your point-of-view, Denise...honestly I do. However, I firmly
believe that the Exploring Achivement Award/G.O.L.D. Award is the closest
compromise between not having ANY kind of recognition or advancement program
for the MAJORITY of Explorers and having some formalized program for each
and every speciality grouping within Exploring (which would not get any more
approval now as it would back in the 70s!)
I'm a firm and proud supporter of Exploring....has been since my youth. I
worked really hard and argued a lot to get this program off the ground and
continue to lobby for those things to come to Exploring that Boy and Cub
Scouting already have in this country. I coach other adults on how to
implement, use and further this program and am the VERY PROUD Advisor of
five of the EAA receipients in three different local Councils. It's a very
special award which, with the right kind of coaching and encouragement, can
*truly make the difference* to an Explorer just "appearing* and those
*participating* in our program!
National Exploring Instructor
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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