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    News Center - Thread: Boy Scouts now accepts girls

    1. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      As I understand it, Girl Scouts was begun almost immediately after the Boy Scouts but has NEVER remotely been its equal. And truth is, a lot of girls LIKE the stuff that the BSA does and when I was involved, I knew of girls who wanted to be involved in the lower levels and especially in the Eagle Scout program. IMO, that's fine..... AS LONG AS they keep the troops separate. One of the things guys like about the BOY Scouts is that it's a guy thing.... in a very (and increasingly) co-ed world, guys like to be with guys and doing "guy things" (whatever that is).... especially in the 9-12 year old age group where Scouting is concentrated. I think if the troops in that age group are made coed, it will significantly change the milieu of things - in a way that's not really needed since these days, nearly everything is coed. And of course the whole point of the BSA is to "build men."
      This is something of an aside to the main thrust of the topic but reminds me very much of issues with things like mens' groups within churches.

      At my former church (the only reason I left was because I moved away from the area), it was interesting to see that mens' groups typically offered a range of activities with the assumption that anyone who didn't like any one particular event would simply not go. Womens' groups typically didn't do anything unless it appealed to everyone and, given it's nigh on impossible to come up with anything that appeals to everyone, they ended up doing little more than prayer breakfasts.

      When the men got together to watch the football it was inevitable that men who weren't interested in football were excluded, at least for that event. At the same time a couple of women I know do like to watch football and were unhappy at being excluded. It created an interesting question of how best to proceed - either the purpose was male fellowship and the event happened to be football, or the purpose was watching the football in which case there was no need to exclude women. From the perspective of the women who wanted to join the group it was very much the latter yet, as you said above, the presence of even one woman in an otherwise all-male group fundamentally changes the dynamic and in many ways shuts down the male bonding that might otherwise occur. In the process of inviting even one woman to the event the group shifts from male fellowship that happens to involve watching the football, to simply a group of people watching the football. There may still be general Christian fellowship going on but the chance for a group of Christian men to get together for mutual support is lost.

      Of course on the flip side ladies like my friend who are more interested in football than in more traditionally feminine pursuits need fellowship too, and are likely to be self-excluded from many ladies' events at church due to a simple lack of interest.

      I agree entirely that in a world that is becoming increasingly feminised it is ever-more important to offer boys and young men the chance to get together in male-only environments to help them grow. It's curious how few people question female-only groups but a male-only group is widely seen as sexist.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    2. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      What things did the girls like to do that they don't do in Girl Scouts, Josiah? Besides be with boys.

      Well, except for the high school groups where they'd ALWAYS been able to "be with the boys" they still won't. The decision is to have SEPARATE troops.

      Whereas I guess the Girl Scouts have SOME of the same activities, as girls have told me - it's nowhere near at the same level as the Boy Scouts - which is one of the reasons why the Girl Scouts is suing the BSA ("going to steal away our customers!") and of course, they don't have anything NEAR the level of the Eagle Scout award.

      As I mention, I only knew two girls involved in the BSA when I was active... both the sisters of active Explorers and the daughters of the Leader. While I guess a girl MIGHT be motivated by being with boys, there's hardly an organization or group available today where they could not "be with the boys" so why focus on THIS one (among millions of such opportunities). And again, except where it's always been allowed, always been coed, it still will be separate - the girls will have their own all-girls dens and troops - just with BSA programs. If the Girl Scouts have equals, I doubt they would be so upset, so critical, even suing the BSA or stealing their customers. But if the Girl Scouts are equal, they'll loose no one - after all, they'd just be moving from one all-girls troop to another all-girls troop.


      Just my half cent as a former Boy Scout....



      - Josiah
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    3. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      I saw the news a few days ago that the Boy Scouts will now accept girls into their organization. Is this a business move? Inclusion? Stupid?
      Yeh. It is a business move. All such organizations are losing members, so they start thinking of broadening the pool of possible recruits.

      When they do so, they invariably make some high-mined announcement about equality or opportunity or progress...but yes, its a business move.

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    5. #14
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      It's handy when you have a son and a daughter who both want that. Less driving here and there. Put em in the same group.

    6. #15
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      From what I've read, the motivation is 1) Girls - who want these opportunities (obviously not equally available in the Girl Scouts), especially the Eagle Scout award 2) Parents - who find it convenient to have their children in the same program (even if different troops). The BSA is a non-profit organization; it looses money on every scout who joins (it simply increases the money it needs to raise) but expanding its ranks does expand those opportunities so I'm sure money is PART of the reason. I think the interesting part of this story is why the Girl Scouts are SO upset, screaming how the BSA is stealing it's members (with no evidence to date that even one girl has switched since the polity has not yet gone into effect) and suing the BSA for doing this.

      Well.... I've given my view as a former BSA (involved for about 9 years).....
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    7. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      From what I've read, the motivation is 1) Girls - who want these opportunities (obviously not equally available in the Girl Scouts), especially the Eagle Scout award 2) Parents - who find it convenient to have their children in the same program (even if different troops). The BSA is a non-profit organization; it looses money on every scout who joins (it simply increases the money it needs to raise) but expanding its ranks does expand those opportunities so I'm sure money is PART of the reason. I think the interesting part of this story is why the Girl Scouts are SO upset, screaming how the BSA is stealing it's members (with no evidence to date that even one girl has switched since the polity has not yet gone into effect) and suing the BSA for doing this.

      Well.... I've given my view as a former BSA (involved for about 9 years).....

      Have you Googled to see how much past CEO's of the Boy Scouts earn? It's atrocious! They aren't losing money on scouts. I think the Girl Scouts CEO makes a lot too.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
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    8. #17
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      Has someone said that the move was done in order to raise more money? That possible motive never crossed my mind.

      And as for girls yearning to be Eagle Scouts, just how many have made it known that they are distressed at not having had the opportunity? For that matter, how many boys who belong to scouting ever advance to the ranks of Eagle Scouts?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      They aren't losing money on scouts.
      Actually, I understand they are. The annual fee the scout pays is only PART of the actual cost to the Council. In other words, the Council LOOSES money on each scout. And the BSA is a non-profit organization (as is Girl Scouts). Now, does the BSA have a budget, do the executives get paid, yes - obviously. But most of the budget comes from donors, not the scouts. The BSA (like many non--profits) does extensive fund raising, and the more scouts in the program, the more money it looses in terms of fees and must raise via fundraising. Finances in the BSA has been "hit" lately, but not because of declining enrollment (all scouting programs are down from the 50's and 60's - in part because there are fewer kids now than in the "baby boomer" years and partly because such programs just aren't as popular; ALL scouting programs are down) but because costs have risen since the BSA no longer gets the "freebees" - donations IN KIND - it once got (free use of government owned camps and property for example) AND because some of its programs have become controversal (gay scouts, gay leaders for example) - no matter what the BSA did, some donors would pull out, and they did. But the economics are simple: Simply getting more scouts - each paying for significantly LESS than what it cost the Council to have them - isn't going to solve anything. What it could do is make the BSA more visible, with more families perhaps donating to them - parents, grandparents, etc.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    10. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      And as for girls yearning to be Eagle Scouts, just how many have made it known that they are distressed at not having had the opportunity? For that matter, how many boys who belong to scouting ever advance to the ranks of Eagle Scouts?
      ,

      ..... evidently, it's significant. And that's understandable: there's nothing remotely like it in any other youth organization. A friend of mine credited his Eagle Scout award as a major reason why he got into Dartmouth.... While girls have always been allowed into the older BSA programs (where the Eagle Scout award is usually achieved), they've not been able to participate in the award. This opens this program to them. No, not many boy scouts attain the Eagle Scout award (I didn't). But that's probably a good reason why it is honored and coveted. My experience is LOTS start..... few finish. Which - if nothing else - shows that those who earn it have dedication, commitment, focus, sacrifice... they stick to things until it is achieved. Truth is, most teens don't have that. I didn't. It would be absurd to suggest this is the only way skills, attitudes, etc. can be learned and demonstrated.... but aside from grades and the SAT (which are purely academic), aside from graduating the Valadictorian.... there's little in our society that marks and verifies and awards these virtues. Certainly nothing in the Girl Scouts, noting in Little League, nothing in youth basketball.... Not even generally in churches.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    11. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      Actually, I understand they are. The annual fee the scout pays is only PART of the actual cost to the Council. In other words, the Council LOOSES money on each scout. And the BSA is a non-profit organization (as is Girl Scouts). Now, does the BSA have a budget, do the executives get paid, yes - obviously. But most of the budget comes from donors, not the scouts. The BSA (like many non--profits) does extensive fund raising, and the more scouts in the program, the more money it looses in terms of fees and must raise via fundraising. Finances in the BSA has been "hit" lately, but not because of declining enrollment (all scouting programs are down from the 50's and 60's - in part because there are fewer kids now than in the "baby boomer" years and partly because such programs just aren't as popular; ALL scouting programs are down) but because costs have risen since the BSA no longer gets the "freebees" - donations IN KIND - it once got (free use of government owned camps and property for example) AND because some of its programs have become controversal (gay scouts, gay leaders for example) - no matter what the BSA did, some donors would pull out, and they did. But the economics are simple: Simply getting more scouts - each paying for significantly LESS than what it cost the Council to have them - isn't going to solve anything. What it could do is make the BSA more visible, with more families perhaps donating to them - parents, grandparents, etc.
      And that's it. No, not money (as you have pointed out) but (as I had contended without using the word) for the sake of pride. When any fraternal organization or society or church faces a steady loss of members for any reason, it faces being eclipsed as a meaningful organization. Of course, it does not want that, nor do any of its leaders.

      A classic example IMO is the March of Dimes. It was famous in the fight against polio. It wanted with all its heart to conquer that dread disease which afflicted so many children. Then polio was, for all intents and purposes, conquered.

      Did the March of Dimes pat itself on the back for a job well done and pass into history? Heck no. It went right out and found itself a new disease so that the organization would continue on!

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