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  #101  
Old 10-13-2017, 03:49 PM
robby robby is offline
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Here's my take on camping.

First off, camping makes up a huge part of Boy Scouts. My son's troop camps out monthly, regardless of the weather, and in all weather conditions here in New England. We've camped out in nylon tents in single-digit weather with several feet of snow on the ground.

With that said, we actually have a wide variety of camping experiences in a given year. Examples include:
  • tent camping with a troop trailer stocked with equipment and a large portable pavilion or two
  • wilderness backpacking campouts in the back country where you have to filter your own water
  • week-long canoe trips in the back country (like the Allagash Wilderness Waterway)
  • shorter overnight canoe camping trips
  • Camporees and Jamborees consisting of tent camping in a field with a bunch of other troops
  • week-long overnight summer camp consisting of canvas tents on platforms with a dining hall
  • cabin campouts (we usually do one of these in January or February)

Our BSA council has a year-rounder award for Boy Scouts who go on at least one overnight campout per month over the course of a year. My son got 6 year-rounder awards from age 11 to age 17. On his college applications, he figured he'd been on over 75 overnight campouts, including 3 week-long backcountry wilderness trips. (I went on every single one of these campouts, too.)

In my experience, the biggest reason that Girl Scout troops don't do much camping is because most of the adult female leaders generally don't like to camp. We have the same issue with BSA Venturing crews (which are already co-ed units). For girls to go on an overnight campout, an adult female over the age of 21 must also be present. Adult females who are willing to go camping are rare, in my experience. In my town, which has three Boy Scout troops, a Girl Scout troop, and a Venturing crew, I can only think of two women who have regularly gone on overnight campouts. (One of them was actually the Scoutmaster for one of the Boy Scout troops.)

With this proposed change, we are going to have to really encourage troop mothers to start participating in overnight campouts, especially the ones involving tent camping. I'm not sure how well that's going to go over, and it would be unfortunate if the mothers start trying to dictate what types of campouts the troop goes on. For example, one cabin campout per year is OK, but all of the campouts can't be cabin campouts.
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  #102  
Old 10-13-2017, 05:03 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
So you're basically saying the reason BSA has fewer issues with adult volunteers is that parents don't want to "spend time with" their daughters???
Not in the context of Dads and Girl Scouts. Dads don't want to volunteer or participate in Girl Scouts - we couldn't get them to come to a Daddy Daughter Dance for the little girls, much less take a troop camping. Obviously "notalldads" but my experience was that when you could get the Dad's help, it was usually grudging and then to do set up and they were out.

But I saw it with all sorts of activities - when we would go to a baseball game for my son, both parents of the boys would attend. When it was softball for my daughter, there were very few dads. Soccer, downhill ski racing, basketball (we tried a lot when my kids were little) - moms were there regardless of gender, Dads were there predominately for the boys.

I'm not saying that Dad's don't love their daughters - and I suspect its unconscious. It would be worth seeing a study on it. But its been noticeable whether the activity was scouts or sports or girly things like dance.
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  #103  
Old 10-13-2017, 07:25 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Originally Posted by Dangerosa View Post
I don't think its something that the organizations themselves can address - I think its cultural. Your boys are worth more than your girls. Spending time with your boys in this fashion is expected, spending time with your girls isn't. In particular, with the BSA you get Dads as well as Den Mothers - with Girl Scouts there are almost no Dads involved.
I'm a little skeptical of the idea that "your boys are worth more than your girls." The second point, though, about the halving of parent volunteers, since dads spend less time with GSA than moms with BSA, is pretty valid. My daughter just joined Brownies, and even the idea of volunteering with them makes me self-conscious. Would it be viewed as a weird thing for a dude to do? Would the moms there look askance at me?

Breaking that barrier down, both in the minds of fathers and in the minds of mothers, would be helpful.
  #104  
Old 10-13-2017, 09:17 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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IANA parent.

With all we hear about the inherent child molester suspicion directed at any man who that would want to associate with any children not his own, I can certainly imagine a lot of the reluctance of men to involve themselves in their daughters' GSA activities is not lack of interest in their own daughter(s), but fear of the other girls and more specifically those girls' parents.

The consequences of an accusation are so life-changing that it's simply not seen as worth the risk.

I'm not arguing here that their fear is well-founded. Just that I suspect it's a common concern in many men's minds.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 10-13-2017 at 09:19 PM.
  #105  
Old 10-14-2017, 01:35 AM
nelliebly nelliebly is online now
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While I understand the fear, it really doesn't make sense. In the reported sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church, four times as many boys as girls were victims, according to Newsweek. If dads are going to be squiffy about the possibility of unwarranted sexual abuse charges, they should be just as leery of chaperoning boys as girls.

As for women not liking camping, according to the AMC, the gender of campers is fairly close, 53% male and 47% female, with a median age of 33.

But back to the question of why girls should have to hunt out a like-minded troop (if one exists in their area) while few boys have to, maybe it's a matter of autonomy and level of training, as this GSA leader points out:

Quote:
Some parents say that Boy Scout leaders are given much more direction than Girl Scout leaders. One mom, who was a Girl Scout leader, wrote this in a message board:

That is actually a two-sided coin—autonomy is good b/c I get to control how funds are spent and tailor it exactly to my girls’ badges, activities, interests, and plans. It can be bad, however, b/c my troop never had the benefit of being part of a larger group (pack) and I was on my own to “invent the wheel” or set up a badge plan. I was on my own to learn about camping and take the troop out (as a complete novice—having only taken the training and never really started a fire without supervision of the trainer).
Again, GSA needs to find out why girls want to join BSA and what, if anything, needs to be changed to meet that demand.
  #106  
Old 10-14-2017, 09:54 AM
TheMightyAtlas TheMightyAtlas is offline
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Originally Posted by Dangerosa View Post
Not in the context of Dads and Girl Scouts. Dads don't want to volunteer or participate in Girl Scouts - we couldn't get them to come to a Daddy Daughter Dance for the little girls, much less take a troop camping. Obviously "notalldads" but my experience was that when you could get the Dad's help, it was usually grudging and then to do set up and they were out.

But I saw it with all sorts of activities - when we would go to a baseball game for my son, both parents of the boys would attend. When it was softball for my daughter, there were very few dads. Soccer, downhill ski racing, basketball (we tried a lot when my kids were little) - moms were there regardless of gender, Dads were there predominately for the boys.

I'm not saying that Dad's don't love their daughters - and I suspect its unconscious. It would be worth seeing a study on it. But its been noticeable whether the activity was scouts or sports or girly things like dance.
I am for the purposes of my daughter’s activities a single dad. My wife cannot participate for reasons that aren’t relevant. Kid tried to do Girl Scouts at age 6-7. I was pretty directly asked not to enter the activity site. They kept asking my wife to do things. She would keep delegating to me. I would keep getting booted. We just quit after a few months.
This is true in a LOT of parent-volunteer situations. There are whole spheres of activities where Dads don’t feel welcome. But Girl Scouts was easily the worst.
  #107  
Old 10-14-2017, 11:02 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Originally Posted by TheMightyAtlas View Post
I am for the purposes of my daughter’s activities a single dad. My wife cannot participate for reasons that aren’t relevant. Kid tried to do Girl Scouts at age 6-7. I was pretty directly asked not to enter the activity site. They kept asking my wife to do things. She would keep delegating to me. I would keep getting booted. We just quit after a few months.
This is true in a LOT of parent-volunteer situations. There are whole spheres of activities where Dads don’t feel welcome. But Girl Scouts was easily the worst.

That is weird. Men can be Girl Scout volunteers, I know several - not many - but a few, and my daughter has even had several male camp counselors. But it might have been a case where one of the girls had abuse in her background, they wouldn't be able to tell you that.
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  #108  
Old 10-14-2017, 12:27 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Or you have mothers who are afraid to have men around girls with or without evidence or history of past abuse. It's not an unknown position. Anti-male prejudice does exist.

Last edited by Broomstick; 10-14-2017 at 12:28 PM.
  #109  
Old 10-14-2017, 01:59 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Or you have mothers who are afraid to have men around girls with or without evidence or history of past abuse. It's not an unknown position. Anti-male prejudice does exist.
Yep.
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  #110  
Old 10-14-2017, 04:20 PM
Patx2 Patx2 is offline
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I agree and disagree with this. I agree with the part about girls not staying with the program. Whether that's the program or the way it's run is up for debate. I know I only stayed with it for 2 years, but in my case, I only did it because a friend wanted to. I probably stayed in longer than I really wanted to, it just wasn't my thing. I disagree about camping and earning badges. I did it back in the '70s and we were camping and earning badges then. GS camp too, at least they used to.
  #111  
Old 10-15-2017, 03:13 PM
digs digs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby View Post
Here's my take on camping...

In my experience, the biggest reason that Girl Scout troops don't do much camping is because most of the adult female leaders generally don't like to camp.
Our Boy Scout troop ended up with so many "scout sisters" coming on outings/campouts/wilderness hikes that we changed into a Venture Crew.

The female leaders were great -- much tougher than us guys. Fine with us, we made coffee and sat around the campsite while the women felled trees for the bonfire.
  #112  
Old 10-16-2017, 12:47 PM
Crazy Canuck Crazy Canuck is offline
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Originally Posted by robby View Post
Despite this misguided policy against atheists (which hopefully will eventually be revised or dropped entirely), it's not a shitty organization. It does a lot of good things for the community and for its youth members.
You are of course free to feel this way. Given that I was kicked out at 14 and publicly shamed me for both my sexuality and my religion, I feel very differently. I understand that policies have changed somewhat, but I'm not changing my mind on this one.

I am also the father of two daughters who used to be in girl scouts, and I was not allowed to volunteer by the senior den-mother. I was apparently "too scary looking." They wanted me to buy cookies, and that was it.
  #113  
Old 10-16-2017, 03:18 PM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
Again, GSA needs to find out why girls want to join BSA and what, if anything, needs to be changed to meet that demand.
The GSA had YEARS to do this and the evidence was on the wall that girls wanted it but the leadership ignored the issue.

Now they did just recently added in the pinewood derby which used to be exclusive to cub scouts. They also just recently added camping products to their website and reintroduced the GSA knife which was discontinued in the 70's.

Now GSA USED to do outdoor activities (IMAGE OF GS camping in the 40's).

Another image of a 1940's era GS outdoor cookbook.
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