Thursday, October 12, 2017

Scouting 2017

Boy Scouting is going to let girls join. This is not the end of civilization as we know it. I suspect it has been in the planning stages for some time. Girls can already join Venture Scouts (AKA Exploring). Scouting is responding to pressure and mostly it's a yawn.

The Girl Scout Organization is the one with the most lose in this. Girls that want the outside camping and high adventure programs that Scouting offers are going to make the jump. Some others will be looking for the lifelong honor bestowed by the rank of Eagle. And for teens, hey it's co-ed camping!

Not surprisingly, the president of Girl Scouts of the USA called the Boy Scouts’ “covert campaign” to recruit girls “reckless” and “unsettling”. It might be reckless, but it's only unsettling to the Girl Scouts at this point and it will be anything but covert. Scouting is going to be recruiting hard, trying to build it's numbers back up, and recreate itself as still a meaningful organization for young people in this century.

Scouting is a corporation. It makes money, pays salaries to it's professionals, owns a great deal of property. Scouting sells the patches and uniforms, owns the Council summer camps, provides the training materials, etc. This provides a framework for thousands of volunteer leaders to dedicate millions of hours every year to run Troops.

I'm not saying this is bad or good, that's just how it worked out. When I was a Scouter, I ignored as much of that as I could and focused on running a great Troop, developing the Scouts as leaders, running an active camping program, and giving the every Scout the opportunity to advance up the ranks. If I was still Scouting, I would do the same thing again.

Girls won't hurt the program, but they will make the logistics of running the Troop more complicated. You will need female leaders willing to participate in all activities. Summer camps will need new shower houses and bathroom facilities. Guidelines will have be established on how patrols set up campsites. That list will go on and on. It will take a decade or more for the change to be fully implemented and then we can all assess how it worked out.


John Matus said...

I have two daughters and live in Alaska. My girls were in the Girl Scouts for a short time. There is an incredible amount of time focused on selling the cookies. Not one camping trip was planned the year my daughters were in the Girl Scouts, but meeting after meeting about cookies, you betcha.

Borepatch said...

What is at risk is the Boy Scouts' mission to teach boys how to be men. Sure, there's the outdoor experience for girls, and there's the attraction of co-ed camping which will keep some boys in the organization. There's the attraction of getting Eagle Scout rank for girls who will stick it out.

But the "teach boys to be men" thing? Color me skeptical that this will last.

ASM826 said...

The goal, the real goal of Scouting, was to teach boys to be citizens. I think we can expand that to "teach young people to be citizens."

Borepatch said...

Well, there are a lot of "teach young people to be citizens" organizations. There are precious few "teach boys to be men" organizations. It looks like there is one less now.

Anonymous said...

As I learned from following an Australian blogger some years ago, outside of the USA, scouting has been co-ed for a while

Apparently, there is a lot of potential politics between WOSM and WAGGGS, but that is way beyond my understanding.

I was never a scout myself so I can't speak to the "boys into men" aspect, but as an outsider, the thing that interested me was certainly the camping/orienteering/adventure aspect.

Hopefully, the organization manages to balance the need to adapt and be "relevant" while retaining some of its traditional values.

If my daughter is interested in scouting a few years from now, I think we will only benefit from having the option of choosing between BSA and GSUSA (as much as I like eating the cookies, I don't want to have to worry about selling them).

Matt W said...

We already redirected our girls from Girl Scouts to American Heritage Girls because there is far less focus on selling something and far more focus on the girls becoming strong women with a focus on faith and service.

Our boy is only 2 right now, but we may be on the lookout to see if any other faith based scouting organizations for boys emerge.

Cecil Henry said...

Sure they will hurt the program.

This in envy and SJW activism to control a male only activity.

And it sends they clear message: only what the boys do matters.

Which is what the 'progessives' claim to deny.

Another pozzed organization. Very sad: start another one.

Glen Filthie said...

I agree with BP.

This is going to hurt the scouts because the focus will now be on teaching girls how to be men, and the organization will be just another platform for fourth wave feminism, social justice warriors and the homo/pan/transsexual lunatics. Focus will shift away from being prepared to being tolerant - and what boy in his right mind wants to spend his time with crap like that?

It will hurt the girls most of all. They need space and role models to learn to be good women too. It's too bad but the problem is easily rectified by ditching the organization but keeping its original mission and ethos alive on a local and informal scale.

grendel said...

Teen boys and girls need the chance to be in a single-sex environment from time to time, so that they can think about something other than social status seeking and getting laid. Anyone who can't see that must be experiencing amnesia about what it's like to be a teen, and/or severe gonadal atrophy.