Boy Scouts

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by kempodisciple, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. rlobrecht

    rlobrecht Brown Belt

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    My son joined as a Tiger, and is now a Second Class Boy Scout. I was Committee Secretary, Den Leader, and Committee Chair through his Cub years, and am currently Assistant Scoutmaster in his Troop.

    I was a Scout as a kid, quitting at 16 as a Life Scout. Eagle Scout didn't seem so important at the time, but I've regretted it since.

    Despite the National policy, the attitude is largely about the local leadership. My son's Cub Pack had an openly (female) gay couple with a son in the Pack. There was none of the homophobia that I've read about in the news.

    Despite our current Troop being affiliated with a Methodist Church, our only religious involvement is grace at meals, and occasionally a quick non-denominational prayer. We also once a year attend service at the Church in our Scout uniforms.
     
  2. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Has anyone been to any of the International Jamborees? Perhaps making connections to Scouts and Guides in other countries would be a way to connect with the original ethos of Scouting?
    The Scout Association here has a large amount of resources for use by any Scout leader, endorsed by the World Scout Conference http://scout.org/en/information_events/library
    this is the Inter America section.
    http://scout.org/en/around_the_world/interamerica

    Scouts are really an international organisation not just a national one or one belonging to one religion or faith, it belongs to the world. Do your Scouts feel this or do they feel they are in isolation? http://scout.org/en/about_scouting
    This is something your Scouts might want to consider http://scout.org/en/information_events/events/world_scout_events/moot/14th_world_scout_moot

    This might help too http://scout.org/en/about_scouting/global_support
     
  3. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    It's something I have looked at very seriously, even though my own experience in the Girl Scouts was not very good. One of my passions is getting girls interested in STEM concentrations (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and the Girl Scouts offers an avenue for that...I even played a small role in bringing a science program to a GS camp locally.

    Here, there is little outdoorsy stuff for the girls to do, rather shocking when you consider that our council encompasses VT and NH....two rural states with a rich outdoor culture, so much so that it is even reflected in the council name....GSGWM, for Girl Scouts, Green (Vermont) and White (New Hampshire) Mountains.

    I find training girls to fit the women-as-decoration stereotype to be a bit horrifying, yet this is exactly what some of their volunteering projects are doing. For an ultra endurance event, GSGWM is volunteering. Are the girls going to be taking on new physical challenges to see how they can push themselves? No, they will be decorating aid stations with instructions to be perky. At least with cookie sales, the girls get insight in to actual business processes of estimation, territory, follow up, and fulfillment.

    Unless my personal life changes significantly, I doubt I will ever be involved in scouting. Generally speaking I am not welcome with the Boy Scouts as I don't have a son. I'm not willing to join the Girl Scouts because a few hours of rudimentary robotics classes is not worth a year of grooming girls for little more than "service with a smile".

    Although I picked up on Owatagoosiam right away when I was a wee kitten ;)

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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  4. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Did the boy scouts tell you you are not welcome?
    Maybe your local chapters are well stocked with volunteers. I know ours would never send one away (who passed the background check ;))
    There are a lot of female leaders in the organization (to the point that they have a female uniform), the office has many female employees.

    Granted, most start out as moms, but many times the guys grow up and out of it, mom stays on.
     
  5. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    well, they are different by having programs tailored to the age group (6 through 10 and hen 11 to 18)

    The Cubs are much more family oriented and the participation of the parents is a must.

    I think it's a good deal. The kids get introduced to scouting in a safe situation and get gradually pushed out of their comfort zone.
    Then, when they completed the Cub program there is a big ceremony and the kid is crossing over, (literally, over a bridge) to be welcomed by the Scout Master of the troop.

    The principles are the same. It's just for the younger child.
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    To be honest I've never found little boys of the 6-11 age group wanting to be in a comfort zone, far from it, they are the ones that need channelling into learning how to light fires safely, how to build dens in appropriate places and how to do 'dangerous' things in a safe way, they only go off and do it themselves otherwise. They really don't want their parents involved in the things they do. They go off to camp, sleep in tents, do all sorts of things including using knives btw, come back hugely tired and usually unwashed, the grins on their faces is worth all the leaders hard work. The group that they go to before Cubs is Beavers where the activities are less hectic but are still designed to be exciting. B-Ps guildelines are very much followed.

    Guides are even more robust which I love, when they camp they still make their own 'camp gadgets' from wood, outdoor activities are very much to the fore, Guide philosophy is very much to train the complete girl to can turn her hand to anything, wherever she is and yes I admit all these years later I'm still influenced by the 'Be Prepared' motto, certainly the training in self sufficiency and the 'I can do this' attitude has stuck with me.
    When Scouts and Guides are a bit older they usually also go for the Duke of Edinburgh awards, they are for anyone to do, no restrictions.

    Guide badges http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/guides/gfibadge/badges/index.html

    http://dofe.org/
     
  7. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Maybe it's the parent's comfort zone then. :)

    But that age group, I don't know if I want a bunch of them on a camping outing.
    But the trips we took with them where pretty good. A good way to connect with the other parents, which is a bit of a problem when the kids are older and just jump out of the car for meetings.

    While I do have a hands off approach to most things in the group (boys need to do stuff without mom) the troop cannot run without parental help.
    And I enjoy just pointing at stuff that needs to be done and it gets done (unlike at home...)
     
  8. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Was I told specifically no, but most of the digging I was doing was online, where I saw a lot of "boys and parents welcome" verbiage. I totally get the background check, but if the expectations are that the vols are parents, I've certainly seen in the past that trying to inject myself in to such a situation is not a whole lot of fun. However, I didn't speak directly with a scoutmaster....perhaps I should have.
     
  9. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Like many places, it's on the ground level where the help is needed.
    We have several comity members who are no longer parents of scouts for various reasons, but stayed on.
    We had a Merit Badge Fair where we looked high and low for people qualified to teach certain subjects. The closest ones where a good 60 miles away.

    But I would certainly suggest to see if a local troop is interested. Of course much of how that works is again the chemistry of the troop.

    Considering that the Scouts offer 'Nuclear Science' as merit badge, I am sure science geeks are always welcome!
     
  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Cub camps are brilliant fun for everyone, I'd recommend them. I've done several, loved every minute even when the weather was bad or we got bitten by mosquitos in Germany (something about them German mossies lol. We didn't take the kids abroad it was an RAF pack). it just surprises me that Americans are very vocal about self sufficiency but make scouting a parental thing, it was never designed to be. There's plenty of help with the pack leaders going ( they have to do courses with the Scout Assoc. before taking anyone camping) leaders are male and female, there'll be Scouts to help as well. Parents may do the transport but don't have a lot to do with the camp. It's easier that way, anyone working with children needs to be CRB checked here and Scout leaders need to be trained, there's regular courses to be done. It is a volunteer postition but taken very seriously and taken as professionally as possible.
     
  11. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    I am guessing it is still a bit of a back lash from all the bad stuff that happened.

    Also, much of our society has become urbanized. Even in my small town you find that too many people depend on takeout or delivery for food...or sew or crochet or knit. all around sad.
    The constant need to be connected does not help: iPhones are the death of outings like that.

    (on a side note, it amazes me how naive kids are these days. I think I was more clever when I was their age, even though I lived a sheltered life and had to rely on encyclopedia for knowledge, not having google at my finger tips.)
     
  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    That doesn't sound good?

    thought people might enjoy this, I love the lassie in the red with the plaits!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipm5BKQx7Qw&feature=related
     
  13. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Actually someone messages me offline and suggested that I consider asking about a merit badge counselor position, or working specifically with a coed group....to be honest that appeals to me a lot. I really wish more scouting here was coed....seems bloody ridiculous in my eyes to have to choose between working with young men or young women. What's wrong with wanting to work with both? :idunno:

    I am a volunteer with the Appalachian Mountain Club now, and they also have some neat programs for people of all ages. They are open to folks of all backgrounds as long as a person meets some basic requirements, be it passing a background check when needed or showing basic physical and mental competency. As a bonus, the AMC will feed, and even lodge, the volunteers...depending on assignment.

    The advantage to scouting is that when you works with a local troop, you are making a difference in your own community, whereas with the AMC, my volunteering usually involves gathering at one of their lodges in the mountains...or in some cases, going to their headquarters in *shudder* downtown Boston. Meaning: a day of volunteering = allocating 3-4 hours just for the round trip commute plus ~$40 for gas, parking, rapid transit...whichever is applicable.

    This winter I hope to be working with the adaptive ski program at Bretton Woods, which is an idea that dates back to the WWII era. Injured/disabled veterans returned from their time in theatre and taught themselves to ski all over again, the adaptive ski program teaches disabled athletes to ski...or in the case of the severely disabled, gives them a chance to ski with special equipment navigated by the instructors.

    I think being outside and adventuring is like nothing else...and introducing someone to this life can change their life forever...in a positive way. Scouting is one way to do this. But, it is not the only way! I didn't let my own concerns or disagreements stop me from reaching out and volunteering and I hope it does not stop anyone else. :asian:


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  14. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    After having seen how the hormones can get the better of a bunch of 15/16 yo boys....coed is not all that it's cracked up to be. :)
    seriously, from the age of - hmm - 12 on, segregation is not a bad thing. :D

    But you go, Girl! :)
    (did I mention: if you were closer I am sure we'd love to have you!)
     
  15. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think it's good to have the choice, here girls can go into Cubs and Scouts or they can go into the Guides which is single sex. It seems to suit people that they can choose.
     
  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Puberty ought to be recognised as a form of insanity.
     
  17. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    Carol,
    The coed portion of Scouting is Venturing. Venture crews are 14-20, male or female. Venturing is more difficult than Boy Scouts as the crew is expected to do more of the work with less assistance, and the primary focus is high adventure outings rather than simple camp outs. It's also much harder to get properly trained adults as the number of adults that are willing to be advisors only, and also go on high adventure outings, is very limited. Here's a link for those curious ... http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Venturing.aspx
     
  18. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    A long time ago at a scout camp, I met a scout from Germany who told me that Scouting was not single gender in his country. From what I'm hearing you say this isn't really the case or maybe he was talking about Guiding? What is the real story, from your perspective?
     
  19. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    At one of our summer camps, one of the senior members of the troop was caught in his tent with the rangers daughter. Also of note was the poison ivy a little past his tent, where the 2 of them ran through after being caught. The remainder of the camp was uncomfortable for them both, for several reasons. :D
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I don't know anything about scouting in Germany. When I lived there it was as part of British Forces Germany (BFG), the Cubs we had were British and in British Scouting.
     

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