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BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!

DigiTrad:
BARGES
CANOE PADDLE
EACH CAMPFIRE LIGHTS ANEW
GIRL SCOUTS TOGETHER
HERE WE ARE
I CAN SAIL
I LOVE THE DAFFODILS
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
OUR CHALET
PEACE I ASK OF THEE OH RIVER
RISE AND SHINE
TALL TIMBERS
WE ARE CALLED THE GIRL SCOUTS
WEAVE
WHEN E'RE YOU MAKE A PROMISE
WHO CAN SAIL


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katlaughing 30 May 01 - 06:48 PM
Sorcha 30 May 01 - 06:52 PM
RichM 30 May 01 - 06:59 PM
gnu 30 May 01 - 07:20 PM
RichM 30 May 01 - 08:59 PM
Sorcha 30 May 01 - 09:05 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 30 May 01 - 09:33 PM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 12:01 AM
hesperis 31 May 01 - 12:41 AM
toadfrog 31 May 01 - 02:03 AM
toadfrog 31 May 01 - 02:10 AM
Sorcha 31 May 01 - 02:47 AM
DougR 31 May 01 - 03:11 AM
Clinton Hammond 31 May 01 - 03:17 AM
Clinton Hammond 31 May 01 - 04:08 AM
InOBU 31 May 01 - 10:26 AM
John P 31 May 01 - 10:53 AM
Sorcha 31 May 01 - 11:09 AM
mousethief 31 May 01 - 11:41 AM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 01:11 PM
Gary T 31 May 01 - 01:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 31 May 01 - 01:22 PM
SINSULL 31 May 01 - 01:33 PM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 01:38 PM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 01:39 PM
Gary T 31 May 01 - 01:57 PM
DougR 31 May 01 - 02:03 PM
Clinton Hammond 31 May 01 - 02:03 PM
mousethief 31 May 01 - 02:15 PM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Dr. Ruth 31 May 01 - 02:52 PM
mousethief 31 May 01 - 02:58 PM
Melani 31 May 01 - 05:05 PM
Trapper 31 May 01 - 05:07 PM
Clinton Hammond 31 May 01 - 05:08 PM
Trapper 31 May 01 - 05:19 PM
mousethief 31 May 01 - 06:16 PM
DougR 31 May 01 - 06:21 PM
InOBU 31 May 01 - 06:28 PM
mousethief 31 May 01 - 06:29 PM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 06:34 PM
mousethief 31 May 01 - 06:37 PM
Gary T 31 May 01 - 07:04 PM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 07:11 PM
Sorcha 31 May 01 - 07:36 PM
hesperis 31 May 01 - 07:39 PM
Gary T 31 May 01 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,NH DAve 31 May 01 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,NH Dave 31 May 01 - 10:52 PM
JeZeBeL 31 May 01 - 11:00 PM
katlaughing 31 May 01 - 11:24 PM
DougR 31 May 01 - 11:39 PM
toadfrog 01 Jun 01 - 01:41 AM
Trapper 01 Jun 01 - 11:29 AM
Melani 01 Jun 01 - 12:43 PM
NH Dave 01 Jun 01 - 02:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Jun 01 - 09:05 PM
toadfrog 01 Jun 01 - 10:57 PM
InOBU 02 Jun 01 - 01:46 AM
NH Dave 02 Jun 01 - 10:58 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jun 01 - 09:07 PM
Trapper 05 Jun 01 - 11:12 AM
Fibula Mattock 05 Jun 01 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Melani 05 Jun 01 - 01:58 PM
Trapper 05 Jun 01 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Melani 05 Jun 01 - 07:11 PM
MsMoon 05 Jun 01 - 10:32 PM
Fibula Mattock 06 Jun 01 - 06:04 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 06 Jun 01 - 09:43 AM
Melani 06 Jun 01 - 12:12 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 06 Jun 01 - 08:09 PM
Marion 06 Jun 01 - 11:26 PM
Melani 07 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 07 Jun 01 - 04:34 PM
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katlaughing 08 Jun 01 - 02:52 PM

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Subject: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 May 01 - 06:48 PM

I just received this from a friend in Girls Scouts. I figure we must have some former G.S.s here at the Mudcat, so wanted to share this. I consider it pretty important.

Thanks, kat

GIRL SCOUTS ATTACKED FOR INCLUSION OF LESBIANS AND GAYS

A group of religious extremists called the American Family Association, based in Tupelo Mississippi, is attacking the Girl Scouts because that organization refuses to discriminate against lesbians and gays.

Unlike the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts has always been inclusive. In the mid-90s, the organization went on the public record with a statement to the Associated Press that said it does not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

A few months ago, the Girl Scout national president, Connie Matsui, made favorable remarks about a video called "That's A Family," which positively depicts lesbian and gay family groups. (Ms. Matsui attended a screening at The White House during the final days of the Clinton Administration.)

The bigots at the American Family Association have sent 10,000 letters of protest to the national Girl Scout organization, demanding that Ms. Matsui retract her statement and/or resign. In contrast, the Girl Scouts have receive only 5 -- that's right, five -- letters of support.

Please write to Ms. Matsui and let her know that we appreciate the Girl Scouts' stand on behalf of diversity and of gay and lesbian families. And please forward this message to all of your friends.

**Send messages to cmatsui@girlscouts.org**

It's important that the Girl Scouts hear from us, since they are beginning to equivocate on their stand. Let them know that they are doing the right thing!

Thank you


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 May 01 - 06:52 PM

Well, good grief. The Boy Scouts are attacked for not including them, now this!! I am all for including anybody who is interesed in joining. Still mad at BSA for including girls but not gays............(or atheists)


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: RichM
Date: 30 May 01 - 06:59 PM

Did it...I sent off an email to Connie Matsui. It's important that straight people support gay people in matters like this. It's our fight too!

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: gnu
Date: 30 May 01 - 07:20 PM

Well gee.... as for being accepting versus tolerant being pro(motive), there's some pretty tricky ground here. After all, we're talking about children and their parents' rights. I believe it is parents' right to teach their child what they want and, equally, what they will allow others to teach their child. How can anyone dispute that right ?

Don't get caught up in the debate over whether or not what parents are teaching the child is right or wrong. That's secondary to their right to teach their own child without interference from others. Of course children should learn tolerence of others and their beliefs. I can "of course" ad infinitum. However, when I see "others" attempting to have a say in the parenting of children which are not their own, I see trouble.

A man was recently punished for hauling his ten year old boy into a shower to wake him up in the morning after he refused to get out of bed. Perhaps the age of enforced tolerance and interference has gone a little too far ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: RichM
Date: 30 May 01 - 08:59 PM

No parent has the right to insist that the Scout organizations reject gays--or anyone else because of sexual orientation.
They do have a choice; the choice not to have the child participate. They should not have the choice to dictate if other people's children can join.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 May 01 - 09:05 PM

I'm with Rich!! Join, or don't join, but don't try to limit who is ALLOWED to join. Let the Organization do that. Boy Scouts take girls, Rotary, Lions, and JayCees take women; no doubt there are other organizations also. Let the organization set the parameters then you dedicde whether you want to belong or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 30 May 01 - 09:33 PM

I am also with Rich- well said! Message sent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 12:01 AM

gnu, as has been said, nobody has to enroll their girls in Girl Scouts, so no one is forcing anyone's idea of how to raise their children on them. It's the same thing as saying some church shouldn't be allowed to have gays and lesbians because someone might send their child there and they might be parented against their will. It isn't against their will as they have chosen it for their child; one would hope because of their respect and agreement with that organisation's ideals, etc.

Anyway, thanks for the support, phoaks. My friend, who is a lesbian, and I, a bisexual, appreciate it.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: hesperis
Date: 31 May 01 - 12:41 AM

After reading the hoax site linked from another thread here... Are you sure this isn't a hoax?

What I mean is, the information may be correct, but if this does go all over the internet, and several thousand people email the person, it could get rather annoying.

Also, there is no date on the message, so how do we know that the situation isn't resolved already?

When is this supposed to have happened? "A few months ago" sounds a little too wishy-washy to me... has anyone checkd the Girl Scouts website?

Nothing against inclusivity, just checking the facts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: toadfrog
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:03 AM

No. Sorry. Not a hoax! If you don't believe me, Click hereor else Clack! Or in the alternative, Cluck!. And there's lots more where these come from, folks. See for y'self!


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: toadfrog
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:10 AM

No. I disagree with gnu and Rich. Anyone has the right to exclude anybody they want from their organization, so long as the organization does not get public funding and is not treated as a charity for tax purposes. But since the Boy Scouts get all these kinds of breaks, they are not a private orgainzation, and have no right to exclude Gays.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:47 AM

toadfrog, that makes NO sense at all.........both BSA and GSA are registered charities......what is your point? EX-clusion, or IN-clusion? Your first post does not exactly sync with your second........I'm really confused about this one...............just join or don't join. What is the big deal?


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: DougR
Date: 31 May 01 - 03:11 AM

Sorcha, I think both the BSA and the GSA are private organizations. In the U. S., as long as they don't received public monies, they should be allowed to set the critera for membership. I would LOVE to belong to the Phoenix Country Club. It is surrounded by a beautiful golf course that I would love to play, but as a private club, they have certain rules. The first one is: a membership fee of $50,000. I don't even have to write the additonal criteria.

I personally do not feel that Gays or Lesbians should be banned from joining GSA or BSA, but neither do I feel the government has any business dictating what a private organization's rules should be. I think it is short-sighted of both organizations if they do not accept them, but that's just my opinion.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 May 01 - 03:17 AM

See... I'm all in favour of inclusion.. if yer a young gay amle, you should be able to Boy Scout... if you're a young gay female, you should be able to Girl Scout...

I do however object to having girls in Boy Scouts... and vic versa...

Men need 'men' time... girls need 'girl' time...

One of the reasons that -I- heard (for all that's worth eh! LOL!!) there was a push in include girls in boy scouts was because in girl scouts, the girls didn't get to do the 'cool' stuff... Building fires, Cub cars, and what have you... what that tells -me- is that there's a problem with GIRL SCOUTS!

But what the hell do I know eh?

sex... Baaaaah! It's all a tempest in a tea pot!


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 May 01 - 04:08 AM

what the hell's an "amel"???

LOL!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: InOBU
Date: 31 May 01 - 10:26 AM

I have to think that those who think that it is a tempest in a teapot, or that private clubs exclusionary rules, when based on prejudice against immutable charactarsitics of a person's being, are likely members of the domenant community. Wether by law or by protest, the end to discrimination in the forms of Jews, Gays, Blacks, Roma (Gypsies) being refused seating in restaurants, golf courses, and scouting, must end.
If it happens by force of law or protest is all the same to me. We saw the Americans With Disabilites act used to enforce fairness on the golf course this week, and yet, this country still does not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to anti gay prejudice, when one of the most common causes of teen suside is the fear of non-acceptance when a teen is gay.
I hope that enough people of good will boycott all aspects of BSA, funding, etc. and any other institution which continues to not accept people for immutable charachtersitics written on their souls and skin by God.
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: John P
Date: 31 May 01 - 10:53 AM

I agree that any organization that doesn't receive any public funds should be able to set their own membership rules. But I also think that being a tax free charitble organization means they are receiving public funds. Donations to the Boy Scouts should not be tax-exempt, and the organization should be paying taxes on their income. The same is true of churches that don't allow practicing homosexuals to join. And churches that don't allow women to be priests, for that matter. The Boy Scouts should be banned from any access to any public school. They should be castigated from pulpits everywhere. The only reason people are able to get away with being bigoted toward homosexuals is because they are not yet legally required to not be.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 May 01 - 11:09 AM

Both groups recieve United Way funds, that means they are no longer Private. Yes, both used to be. Not any more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: mousethief
Date: 31 May 01 - 11:41 AM

Actually I agree that churches should not be tax-exempt; then again taxing donations is double-dipping. (Tax it once when the person earns it, and again when they give it to the organization.) Just more ways for the gov't to wring $$ from us.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 01:11 PM

Please note, although the drift has merit, there is nothing in the original message about the government mandating anything. This is about ultra-consevative groups of private citizens who think they should have the right to enforce their "way of life" on anyone and everyone. They do not stop with gays and lesbians. They go after any and all groups who do not conform to their so-called standards.

If you do not think they should have that right, please support the GS by sending a note.

Thank you,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Gary T
Date: 31 May 01 - 01:14 PM

Thanks for the links, toadfrog, but they really don't address hesperis' concerns. The question is whether asking the world to e-mail notes of support is going to achieve some good.

I support the GSA's position here. I am very skeptical about the merits of the suggested letter-writing campaign, most especially in terms of e-mail letters. Anyone who's been around has seen that extremist groups with an axe to grind can get a lot of letters delivered for their cause. People who don't have a problem with the way things are hardly ever say anything. So ten thousand letters "against" and five letters "for" don't mean anything. It's not a vote. In reality, the proportion of folks who are "for" and "against" is probably closer to the INVERSE of those who wrote about it. Surely the Girl Scouts are sharp enough to be aware of this and accord these protest letters their proper weight (essentially, none).

I've lost count of how many e-mail campaigns I've seen that turned out to be groundless, out of date, and/or MUCH more of a problem than the situation they purported to rectify. Hesperis' concerns are quite valid. I would say there's a 99.9% chance that an e-mail campaign will not help to speak of, but will cause additional problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 May 01 - 01:22 PM

Thanks kat...

this thread needed that bucket of cold water tossed on it!

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: SINSULL
Date: 31 May 01 - 01:33 PM

I sent a note. I just don't understand why a young woman should be barred from participating in a social activity because she is gay. I do not understand why a Lesbian leader would automatically be suspected of teaching deviant behavior to her charges.

As for "tempest in a teapot"...sorry guys, it is not. I know it is not every time a gay man or suspected gay man is harrassed or beaten in my own neighborhood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 01:38 PM

:-) @ Clinton.

Here's another bucket of water: Please note

The original message came to me from a person who is a very active adult in Girl Scouts; she a highly respected member on all kinds of their committees, boards, goes to national meetings, etc.

I assure you this is NOT a hoax and that the request for emails comes from her and other concerned Girl Scout leaders, parents, members, executives, etc. who want to show their support.

Even if the opposition did receive 10,000 responses, wouldn't it be nice for the GS to hear from their supporters?

I know hoaxes, believe me, please. I do not send them out, not even the long-time one on women in Afghanistan, anymore, and those of you who know me, know that THAT issue is very important to me.

I don't buy the argument to not send an email just because of other hoaxes. If you don't want to send an email, pick up the phone and call your local GS office or the national one, or send a letter by snail-mail, please.

I am sorry to get on the soapbox, but some of this logic I am hearing seems to be saying "do nothing" as it is pointless otherwise.

kat, stepping down off the box, now


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 01:39 PM

thanks, Sins


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Gary T
Date: 31 May 01 - 01:57 PM

Message received, kat. I don't advocate doing nothing. I worry about the potential for them getting so many e-mails that it clogs their system. Asking for e-mails and for forwarding that request to others can be like opening Pandora's box. I would suggest snail mail. It takes a bit more effort, but is likely to be more effective while avoiding the above problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: DougR
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:03 PM

Sorcha: I don't think the fact that GSA and BSA receive funds from United Fund or United Way would qualify them as having received public funds. I guess it depends upon your definition of "public." (Sort of like what one's deifinition of "is" is.)

To me, public funds means tax monies. United Funds receive voluntary donations. It should be up to the United Funds to police their own distribution policies.

Denying private nonprofit organizations the benefits of nonprofit status because the government does not approve of the organization's membership requirements might be a possibility though. I would think that sexual preference might have to be recognized as a disability though, for the government to get involved. I doubt that the Gay and Lesbian communities would approve of that.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:03 PM

What I ment was SEX is a tempest in a tea pot... Too much 'deal' is made of sex...

really.. who cares... or rather who SHOULD care...

If yer not f^cking me, I don't care who you're f^cking...


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: mousethief
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:15 PM

Thinking aloud here. Bear with me; I don't necessarily have an answer for any of these questions.

Do BSA or GSA receive tax funds?
Does United Way have the right to refuse to fund BSA because of BSA's policy vis-a-vis gays?
Does BSA have a right to determine who they want to allow to join?
If they excluded blacks or Jews, would that be okay?
Do people who "disapprove" of homosexuality have the right to write letters to GSA?
Will GSA really change its policy due to the number of letters pro- or con- that it receives?
What role, if any, does the government have in telling private individuals or groups what to do?
Is BSA a religious organization?
Should it be?
If it is, does this change what the gov't can force it to do?

So far the discussion has been rather civil; I hope we are able to keep it that way.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:47 PM

Good questions, Alex. I'll have to see what I can find out. I do know the United Way lost a lot of lesbigay supporters when it continued to give funds to Special Olympics. They had nothing against Special Olympics. They chose United Way as a protest, because after many years of calling their athletic competitions "Gay Olympics" they were taken to court and forced to quit using "Olympics" in any of their titles. It was a clear case of unequal justice and they cited "Special Olympics" in their argument to continue using "Olympics" in their titles. They lost, so many made a monetary protest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: GUEST,Dr. Ruth
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:52 PM

Clinton, just a suggestion, if you're describing sex as a tempest in a teapot I think you might not be doing in the best possible place. You might like to try experimenting with other furnishings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: mousethief
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:58 PM

I thought he was referring to the anatomy of his partner, Dr. Ruth. But you may be right.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Melani
Date: 31 May 01 - 05:05 PM

I am currently a Sea Scout mate for the very reason Clinton mentioned--Girl Scouts don't get to do enough cool stuff. I was a Girl Scout from the age of seven, but when my daughter wanted to learn to sail, the local council told me that our only alternative was Sea Scouts.Sea Scouts are a branch of "Venturing," which is what BSA is currently calling what used to be "Explorers." It is the only branch of the BSA that allows girls.Ships (which is what they call troops) can be all-girl, all-boy, or mixed. We currently have a girls' ship and a boys' ship functioning together as a single unit under one skipper, but technically separate. Girl Scouts virtually no longer have Mariner Scouts. There are two Mariner troops in our immediate area. The closest one does only rowing, no sailing, and the other one has a power boat--no sailing. Both are cross-registered with Sea Scouts, since that is the only way Mariner ships function these days.

Meanwhile, there are many Sea Scout ships in this area. I have bitten my tongue over BSA's discriminatory policies for two reasons. One is the fond hope that since at least 90% of the kids and leaders I have talked object to these policies, the national council may eventually enter the 20th century--now that we're in the 21st. The other is that it's the only way we can afford to sail. At $60 per year, it's the cheapest yacht club in town.

About a year ago I got disgusted with both the national policies and my own ship's politics and decided to start my own Mariner ship. I had to go to leader training sessions that had beeen instituted since I had been a Girl Scout leader. At that time I discovered that Girl Scouts must get special permission from the council for "high risk" activities, such as camping, sailing, water skiing, swimming, ice skating--you name it, anything fun. They are never allowed to do certain activities, such as flying in single engine planes. (This explained why our Junior troop were the only Girl Scouts ever to participate in the Hayward Flight Rally--we didn't realize we weren't supposed to. The rest of the participants, of course, were Boy Scout troops.) Anyway, my Mariner troop never happened, and at the moment, I have made my peace with Sea Scouts.

As for BSA being a religious organization, they do give out religious awards in several denominations, which must be earned like badges. Just to annoy him, I told one of our young mates who was discussing this that they needed one with a little Venus of Willendorf on it for pagans. He told me very seriously that the worship of one God is required. Of course, his Dad is a Russian Orthodox priest. I could not find any mention of the "One God" requirement in the manual, but would not be surprised if he is right.

As for gays, at least one of our mates (though he's not around much) is openly gay. They were perfectly unconcerned about this when they needed his boating skills to lead a cruise. They referred to the gentleman he lives with as his "roommate."

So I keep hanging in and hiding my head from this crap in the hopes that some of the old guys will die off, and some more forward-thinking types will take their places. Our skipper, who is religious but not especially homophobic, is of the opinion that with all the bad press, they won't hold out much longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Trapper
Date: 31 May 01 - 05:07 PM

InOBU said...

I hope that enough people of good will boycott all aspects of BSA...

Politics is politics, and kids is kids. Someone at the "top" of the Boy Scouts has made this decision (coincidentally headquartered in TEXAS - hmmmm....) On a PRACTICAL level, local troops and councils are still operating very much the way they always have - taking ALL of the help that anyone is willing to offer. I know that gay leaders and gay youth are still very much actively participating in Boy Scouts, and doing their best collectively with their straight counterparts to help young people grow up to be well adjusted and productive adults.

Kids have a hard enough time growing up today without us depriving them of an organization that does so much to ease their way. I know I would have grown up an entirely different (and most likely worse) adult had it not been for the Boy Scouts. It's doubtful I'd even be reading or posting in this forum, since I learned my love of folk music from Scout camp. Before you "Boycott all aspects of the BSA", I beg you to think of the kids you'll be turning on the street to find their OWN fun when they can no longer use our schools for their meetings, or receive monies from willing charities, etc....

This is very much a political issue, being played out by "grown-ups" at a level in the organization where the players barely even KNOW they work with an organization centered around children. Write letters, stage protests, do whatever you want to do politically, but Don't Punish The Kids.

I know I have crept from the thread, and I apologize. Kudos to the Girl Scouts for taking their courageous stand.

FWIW -

- Al Eagle Scout, Former Camp Counselor


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 May 01 - 05:08 PM

Is any one gonna mind if I push Dr. Ruth off her chair for being a goof?!?!

LOL!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Trapper
Date: 31 May 01 - 05:19 PM

PS...

It sounds like the Girl Scouts are now facing same kind of "Rock and a Hard Place" choices that the Boy Scouts have been under -

A) Choose to openly accept lesbians and gays, risking losing the sponsorship of organizations that object to that policy.

or

B) Choose to refuse participation to lesbians and gays, and risk losing the sponsorship of charities, government, and "people of good will".

Like it or not, these organizations cost money (as Melani stated in her message), and if they lose sponsorship from either side, it is likely to send the program into a downward spiral that could mean then end of it. Another blow to kids.

How do you win?

- Al


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: mousethief
Date: 31 May 01 - 06:16 PM

Hey Melani, you're involved with Sea Scouts? I was a Sea Scout the whole time I was in High School. I loved it! (Of course the political thing hadn't arisen 'way back then!) We had a blast. We had a coed ship, and a 50' power vessel (the "Argo") we used for cruises, and a 24' sailboat we used for sailing. A very important part of my growing up, my learning self-competence (such as I have), and how to get along with girls.

Unfortunately the local council (Chief Seattle) was very anti-Sea-Scouts. They did everything they could to minimize the program -- largely because it was so costly to insure us.

Do you have regattas (competitions) in your area?

We should take this offline. Sorry everybody.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: DougR
Date: 31 May 01 - 06:21 PM

Trapper, you sure you want to take on Texas? They got a motto there, you know;don't mess with Texas. :>)

I think there have already been some efforts to cut off United Fund funding to the BSA here in Arizona because of their stance on gays. I don't remember how it all came out though.

Also, in Tempe, Arizona the mayor, who is gay, tried to block the city's annual donation to United Way. He did so because BSA received funding from it. I think he backed off, though, because he got a lot of pressure from citizens who supported the BSA's stand.

I suppose, in a way, both organizations receive some tax support in that donations made to them are tax deductible. That's a legal question I can't answer though.

What about it Larry, what do you think?

I think Dr. Ruth is getting senile. LOL.

DougR

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: InOBU
Date: 31 May 01 - 06:28 PM

Trapper:
I appreciate the humanity of your concerns, however, the kids who committ suiside for fear of lack of acceptence, in my mind, trumps the kids need to have some fun concerns. There is another way to accomplish gay rights in Scouting, start another, truely American (inclusive) Scouting organisation. As to the tax deduction question, Doug, without reseach, I could not say... I am fairly certain there is a difference between direct governmental funding and tax deduction, though, I believe your point is a good one, that that does constitute a governmental endorcement of prejudice.
Well, anyway, good for the Girl Scouts. I might even buy a box of cookies...
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: mousethief
Date: 31 May 01 - 06:29 PM

Will teenage gays stop committing suicide if the BSA suddenly starts officially allowing gay members? That would be a small price to pay to save lives. But I doubt it's that simple.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 06:34 PM

The acceptance and recogition has to start somewhere, Alex, especially if they kids are not getting it at home. It may not put an end to it, but it would certainly help in self-esteem, etc.

There IS an alternative boy scouting group. I can't remember the name of it just now, but their goal is to become included in the BSA when and if it ever becomes open to lesbigay people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: mousethief
Date: 31 May 01 - 06:37 PM

Okay, kat, I can buy that. It just seemed a lot was being laid at the feet of the BSA -- almost as if they were the only reason young gays committed suicide, which seems doubtful.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Gary T
Date: 31 May 01 - 07:04 PM

Pardon me for opening another tangent here, but how do Camp Fire Girls/Boys fit in with respect to inclusion policies and fun activities? Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 07:11 PM

Gary, sorry, didn't mean to rant and rave, earlier.:-)

This just in from my friend:

GS follow rules in the GSUSA publication Safety Wise and probably GS insurance prevents many high risk activities. I think many BS parents would be horrified at the unsafe things BS do compared with GS.

Non-God believers are definitely OUT of BS. There was a law suit over that one. GS promise allows girls to insert whatever word they want. On my honor, I will try , to serve God/goddess/Buddah/Nature and my country, ...

I don't know about Campfire, though my son was in it for one year about 18 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 May 01 - 07:36 PM

Melani, I don't think the One god thing will hold water. The religous medal Dharma is for Hindus.........


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: hesperis
Date: 31 May 01 - 07:39 PM

Thanks, kat. If you know the person who sent it to you is in GSA, and really is concerned, then that's good enough for me.

Maybe I will call the local Canadian ones, and see what their policies are?

Hmmmm...


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Gary T
Date: 31 May 01 - 07:40 PM

No harm, no foul, kat. I was just focusing on a technical aspect, perhaps a little too heavily. I didn't mean to dissuade folks from responding, but I can see where it might have looked like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: GUEST,NH DAve
Date: 31 May 01 - 10:21 PM

Do BSA or GSA receive tax funds? Does United Way have the right to refuse to fund BSA because of BSA's policy vis-a-vis gays? Does BSA have a right to determine who they want to allow to join? If they excluded blacks or Jews, would that be okay? Do people who "disapprove" of homosexuality have the right to write letters to GSA? Will GSA really change its policy due to the number of letters pro- or con- that it receives? What role, if any, does the government have in telling private individuals or groups what to do? Is BSA a religious organization? Should it be? If it is, does this change what the gov't can force it to do?


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: GUEST,NH Dave
Date: 31 May 01 - 10:52 PM

Sorry, that one got away from me on this 'puter.

I'd like to address the concerns that were expressed in previous messages.

Do BSA or GSA receive tax funds?

No, not as such, but they DO enjoy a special status with the Military and many state institutions that ARE funded from public funds. This includes cut rate lodging at military institutions while on trips, and early dibs on military equipment that has been declared surplus to military needs.

Does United Way have the right to refuse to fund BSA because of BSA's policy vis-a-vis gays?

Yes, the United Way is a private organization who determines who may receive funds donated to them.

Does BSA have a right to determine who they want to allow to join?

Certainly. This was determined by the Supreme Court in Dale vs BSA. We may not like it, but it has been decided to be the law of the land.

If they excluded blacks or Jews, would that be okay?

No, but that was not the issue, merely, "could they as a private organization, determine who may be a member?"

Do people who "disapprove" of homosexuality have the right to write letters to GSA?

Certainly. Everyone can/may write letters to almost anyone, on any subject, saying almost anything. n.b. Letters to the White House threatening the President are guaranteed to focus more attention on you than you ever could have imagined possible, by large, serious men in drab business suits.

Will GSA really change its policy due to the number of letters pro- or con- that it receives?

Probably not.

What role, if any, does the government have in telling private individuals or groups what to do?

None whatsoever as long as they don't threaten the public safety. i.e. The KKK can say and do anything they wish as long as they don't trespass, burn thingsw on YOUR lawn, or injure another.

Is BSA a religious organization?

They claim not to be, but their stands are those of a conservative religious organization. This is one of the issues between the BSA and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Should it be?

The BSA claims to be an secular organization, which by its very definition implies a Christian thrust. In spite of this, BSA honors most of the recognised faiths even those which don't have a central or clearly ennunciated "God". Having said this, BSA states that religious beliefs are essential to becoming a good citizen, one of the aims of the movement, so a case could be made that it enforces religious standards of sorts.

If it is, does this change what the gov't can force it to do?

Nope. Same logic as above.

The BSA awards religious awards.

The BSA does NOT grant religious awards, but recognises awards from many of the more conventional faiths. They have refused to recognise any awards from the Wiccans, and currently do not recognise UUA awards, mostly because the UUA points out the hypocracy evident here, and teaches their youth how to recognise double standards like those promulgated by the BSA. i.e. BSA rejects the teachings of Wiccans and UUA as they may not recognise a "God" but embraces several Eastern faiths which also don't recognise a "God" as such.

This last is the cause of much bandwidth between the BSA and the UUA, which can be better viewed on the UUA website.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 31 May 01 - 11:00 PM

Everybody is different...I'd just like to point that out to these bigots in this AFA. If we discriminate against one person for a certain reason, then why is it ok for one person to be excluded for one reason and someone not to be excluded for another. Hmmmm, ok I aint makin much sense at this time in the mornin, but anyway....

I don't think anyone should have the right to say who should n shouldn't be able to join.

Can I ask, after all, Idon't know if my facts are right, but wasn't Lord Baydon Powell of the boy scouts gay?

It's a while since I've been a scout leader.

If it was my troop then I would let whoever wanted to join join. The only reason I would ask one of them to leave would be on very bad behavioural circumstances.

Emma xxx


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 May 01 - 11:24 PM

Here's the website for the alternative scouting org. I couldn't remember the name of; it should have a lot of answers to some of the questions raised: Scouting for All


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: DougR
Date: 31 May 01 - 11:39 PM

Other than that, Dave, do you have any specific opinions on the subject?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: toadfrog
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:41 AM

GUEST N.H. DAVE I do not know what the Boy Scouts are up to lately, but back when I was a member, they did have religious awards: The God and Country Award for Protestants and Ad Altare Dei for Catholics. Perhaps they changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Trapper
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 11:29 AM

InOBU Wrote:

... the kids who committ suiside for fear of lack of acceptence, in my mind, trumps the kids need to have some fun concerns.

Larry, the thrust of my message was that Scouting, although fun (why would ANYBODY be trying THIS hard to get into it if it wasn't?!), is an organization that tries to help youth grow up to be well-adjusted and productive adults. Take Scouting away, and how many MORE youths will commit suicide, take drugs, fall into trouble with the law, etc.?

The old saw "Idle hands are the devil's workshop" definitely applies here, and Scouting, albeit imperfect politically, gives millions of those "idle hands" something positive, educational, and yes, FUN to do. "Boycotting all aspects of Boy Scouting" will, to my mind, only increase the number of troubled kids in the world.

Respect-

- Al


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Melani
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 12:43 PM

The latest edition of the Sea Scout manual, which I am holding in my hand (it features one of our mates on the back cover, at the helm of a sailboat), lists the following "religious emblems": Etz Chaim (Jewish), Life and World (World Community (?)), God and Life (Episcopal), Living Faith (Lutheran), God and Life (Protestant), Pope Pius XII, and God and Life (Salvation Army). "The requirements and procedures for earning any one of the emblems illustrated here are available at your council service center."

From what I have heard in news reports, the BSA will come down heavy on dissenters if they go public. Although I don't remember the details, a couple of years ago I seem to recall a case of a longtime leader being kicked out for publically objecting to their nasty policies. Practical reality is another matter. The other adult leaders seem to have no problem with our gay mate when they need him, but if somebody got pissed off at him and reported him to higher-ups, he'd be out. I can think of at least two other adult leaders from other ships who I would not be surprised to learn were gay, though they are certainly in a deep, dark closet. It's the hypocrisy that annoys me.

But the other point is that Sea Scouts and Boy Scouts do give active young people something to do besides get in trouble. A great many of our guys go into the Navy, the Coast Guard, or Cal Maritime Academy, including at least one very talented sailor who otherwise might have ended up in very big trouble. He's now doing well in the Navy. And there is no other way for girls to sail in an organization this inexpensive--Mariner Scouts are ALL also Sea Scouts. The whole GS Safety Wise thing rather annoys me--since when is camping or swimming a "high risk" activity? They're probably in more danger crossing a San Francisco street to visit an old people's home, for which they do not have to have special permission.

As far as I can see, one major difference in the organizations is that Boy Scouts charge $60 per year and give you everything, including insurance for activities like swimming. Girl Scouts charge $7.00 per year and give you fund-raising tips, and REQUIRE that troops sell cookies. The thing I like best about Sea Scouts is that they don't sell anything. Oh, and scholarships are available for those who can't afford $60.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: NH Dave
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:51 PM

More to my previous post . . .

Personally I wish the whole issue would die down, BSA would get our of the religious and sexual lives of their youth and leaders, and live and let live. Just a personal view.

As I said earlier, BSA does not RUN the religious award program, but has chopped it to the various faiths, so we now have more awards than Carters has little green pills[Carters was a patent medicine company who advertised their "Little Liver Pills" until the FDA showed that the pills had no effect on the liver at all and the FTC made them retract their "liver-benefit" claims. They sold for a long while under the above name, to the benefit of Carters.]. BSA DOES decide whose religious awards it will RECOGNISE, so the mainline religion faiths like Catholicism, Judaeism, Lutherans, etc., have religious awards that are recognised by the BSA while the UUA's awards are currently not recognised, and the Wicans never even got their foot into the door.

The trouble with the situation as it now stands is that there is so much bandwidth about the problem, that various more inclusive sponsors are telling BSA either let us accept whomever we want or get your program out of our organization; and Jesse Helms has sponsored an Congressional amendment proposing that schools who refuse to give BSA access - i.e. use their facilities - can have their federal funding yanked! WAAAAAY overkill.

For the BRitish among us, Jesse Helms is sort of like a secular Ian Paisley, or more properly the enthusiastic pro-Irish female MP, whose name currently escapes me.

Oh, yes. The up front BSA fee is $ 7.00 plus $ 0.80 for insurance, but after you buy uniforms, camping equipment, pay for summer camp and other outings, the cost gets upwards of $ 250 per year.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 09:05 PM

Nobody's mentioned The Woodcraft Folk.

I don't know if the Folk's song book still contains the Red Flag and the Internationale, but they've always been open to both girls and boys. I can't imagine the ideas of excluding people because they are gay or lesbian would even occur to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: toadfrog
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 10:57 PM

While digging around on line for material on this, I ran into one site which remarked, that the difference between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts was that the BSA was supported by the Mormon Church (I hadn't heard about that connection, but then I don't follow too closely) and GSA ran on cookie sales. It looks like the source of Girl Scout independence is the very poverty deplored above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: InOBU
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 01:46 AM

Hi Al
You say "is an organization that tries to help youth grow up to be well-adjusted and productive adults. Take Scouting away, and how many MORE youths will commit suicide, take drugs, fall into trouble with the law, etc.? "
Well, the point of liberal democracy (which in spite of liberal becoming a bad word, we still in principal are a liberal democracty)is that minorities are not sacrificed for the good of the majority. Once you begin to do that, none of us are secure enough in our insider position, to insure that by birth or happenstance, we may not someday be a member of the sacrificed outsider group. The fact is that including gay teens in scouting will not end gay suiside, excluding them, will add to the cultureal environment which leads to gay suiside. The fact that the mainstream majority needs scouting to produce well ajusted kids, well, that is the reason that marginalized folks need it as well. If the majority mainstream can't get by without it, well tough, share it or loose it.
best to all,
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: NH Dave
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 10:58 AM

the BSA was supported by the Mormon Church

The LDS faith uses a slightly modified version of Boy Scouting as its youth program for the young men of its congregations . . . unfortunately they don't offer a similar opportunity for their young women.

The LDS program makes up either the second or third largest area of the BSA program depending on if you are countin total youth or total units. I seem to remember that the Methodists are at the top, with the Catholic Church coming in second or third, same caveats as above.

Larry, that's about how I feel currently.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 09:07 PM

Here's one I found on the links page of that Woodcraft Folk site I gave earlier - The Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, with whom they are affiliated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Trapper
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 11:12 AM

InOBU said:

...If the majority mainstream can't get by without it, well tough, share it or loose it.

Larry-

You will note that in none of my posts have I ever defended the BSA's position of gays in Scouts. I agree with you that "marginalized" kids need Scouting every bit as much as the "mainstream majority", and that we can't sacrifice the minority for the sake of the majority. All I've ever said is don't punish the kids. Scouting is not perfect, but neither do I think it is so bad we should scrap it altogether. Let's work to CHANGE it, so that it meets the needs of our times.

To "lose it" completely seems to me to be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

- Al


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 12:22 PM

Wow, I've only just read this thread. I hadn't realised some of these issues had been raised. I take a Girl Scout pack (except they're called Guides in the UK). The Guide Association here is very into including everyone - except males - into their units. They changed many aspects of their system to do so - which I think is great. For instance, when the girls were enrolled to the pack and chose to make their Promise, they used to promise to "Do my duty to God". That has now been changed to "Love my God", with an emphasis on the religious diversity. I still don't feel this is enough - it's not a promise I would make, and I've made it clear that if, as a leader, I am required to do so, I'll leave. Nor am I terribly happy about other aspects, but I love working with the girls and am glad to give my time.
The issue of sexual orientation has never arisen through any of the training I've recieved. I'm going to check on that, though I do imagine that like the Girl Scouts, UK Guiding is inclusive.
Just as a final dig - I'm not sure what it's like in the States, but over here Girl Guide leaders seem to receive more training and stricter safety guidelines than the Boy Scouts, which is why it always seems to be Boy Scout expeditions going wrong and young kids falling off mountains...


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 01:58 PM

Well, Fibula, you're probably right about training, they never gave me any, but so far we haven't lost anyone overboard. Our ship has safety training as part of sail training, of course. The problem I have with the GS Safety Wise stuff is a niggling feeling that girls are being protected more than boys, just because they are girls. I spent my whole life being told, "Girls can't do that," starting in 4th grade (age 9 for you Brits) when I wanted to take a course in how to run the school's movie projectors. Another reason Boy Scouts are always falling off mountains and such is that they are boys. Our Junior Girl Scouts once took an orienteering course where the instructor told us he preferred working with Girl Scouts to Boy Scouts, because the boys would ignore the instructions and run out whooping and hollering, and screw up the course and lose the path. The girls would listen quietly, follow the instructions, and sucessfully finish the course. In Sea Scouts, we have a number of "capsize stories" from the boys' ship, but very few from the girls. That's just what happens when you put a bunch of teenage boys in a sailboat. We try to teach them to do it right, of course, but there's always some clown who wants to take risks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Trapper
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 04:57 PM

Fibula, Melanie -

Besides being a Red Cross certified Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Training Instructor, I also am the advisor for a Venture Crew that specializes in Swimming Instruction. We teach between 3-400 students (Scouts and siblings) each winter, all volunteer.

Anyway, regarding Boy Scout training - with regards to Aquatic training, it is a REQUIREMENT that each Unit planning any activity on or near the water train in and practice the "Eight Point Safe-Swim Defense Plan". This requires an adult leader of 21 or over be present for every 10 youth, a Lifeguard certified with either BSA Lifeguard or Red Cross Lifeguard, a Lookout (in a high place that can see the entire swimming area), Scouts swimming in "Buddy" pairs, a MARKED swimming area with clearly-defined ability areas, etc.

Any unit going on a "Float" trip (canoeing, sailing, etc.) requires that at least one of the adult leaders going on the trip be trained in "Safety Afloat", a program with boating rules similar to the Eight-Point defense plan above.

ALL Boy Scout trips require the filing of a Trip Plan with the local council, with EACH parent of the kids going on the trip getting a copy, as well as any Ranger station through which the unit will be passing. All BSA trips also require a physical exam for every participant, youth and adult alike, once every 3 years for anyone under 40, and annually for anyone over 40.

These are some of the OFFICIAL safety rules of the Boy Scouts. If a unit ignores them, or if they have not been made aware of them, then they are in violation of the BSA rules. There are many other Official Rules of the BSA, but I am most familiar with the aquatics-based ones.

With regard to Melani's quote... "...That's just what happens when you put a bunch of teenage boys in a sailboat..., that smacks vaguely of sexism in this extremely Politically Correct thread... but is probably true... LOL!

- Al


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 07:11 PM

Trapper--Our unit does follow all the guidelines you mentioned, as well as "two deep" adult leadership. The latter to this extent: I offered to spend "liberty day" on summer cruise with one of the girls who had to leave early, as I did. She is my neighbor, and my husband was coming for both of us. The other kids would not be back from their outing in time for her to go along with them. I was told I couldn't do that unless she was a family friend, since it violated the "two deep" leadership policy. The alternative was for her to spend her liberty time at the marina, since she couldn't go off by herself. Of course, she IS a family friend, but I am of the opinion that somebody who makes these rules has a really dirty mind. The impression I got from this conversation is that the policy is not a matter of physical safety (i.e., if one leader gets run over by a truck, there'll still be another one), but rather to prevent the kids from being molested.

Our council requires that we have a pilot (that is, someone who has passed the Sea Scout test to command the boat in question)on board any boat that leaves Aquatic Park Harbor, and that the boat must have passed a yearly Coast Guard inspection. Our male adult leaders are all pilots, but the other female mate and I are not. It's only recently, after nearly four years, that anyone has suggested I take any training. It certainly has not been required of me. We have both been useful primarily as female chaperones for outings, and for several years it was made clear to me that that was all I was supposed to do. I was even told at one time that parents were not welcome in Sea Scouts. That is not our current skipper's attitude (his daughter is a crewmember), and besides, my daughter has dropped out, so I am no longer the parent of a Sea Scout.

All in all, it has been a very weird experience. I always felt welcome as a Girl Scout leader, but I had to survive three years of crap from both kids and adults to finally feel welcome as a Sea Scout mate. If the Girl Scouts actually had a separate Mariner program, I'd be there is a minute, but the fact is that they don't, and I am stuck with BSA. So I will do my best to quietly foster the idea that their discriminatory policies suck--but of course I will have to do it quietly, so they don't kick me out. It just really burns me that an outfit that is supposed to be so "wholesome" advocates something as scummy as I feel these policies to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: MsMoon
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 10:32 PM

I can't stand idly by while there is tacit agreement that the Girl Scouts "don't do enough cool stuff." That is aboslute nonsense. I was a Girl Scout until I graduated from high school -- not so I could wear green and sell cookies, but because I joined a council-level troop that did nothing but backpacking trips -- week or two-week excursions on the Long Trail, in the Adirondacks,in the Catskills, and on the AT, among other places. Plenty of firebuilding, if you like that kind of thing. There are also Wider Opportunities, programs where girls from around the country meet together to participate in adventure travel/learning. If the local council doesn't do "cool stuff" it's up to the parents to start the cool stuff. Scouting can only be as good as its leaders.

The best thing about Girl Scouts to me has always been its forward-thinkingness and inclusivity. I know GSA will never buckle under a letter-writing campaign such as is described here; I'm not too worried.

Aas an educator, I don't recommend the Boy Scouts to most boys. For some it seems to be a wonderful thing; but I don't believe it's developmentally appropriate, or does much to encourage boys in any direction other than highly traditional, rigid modes of interaction.

They are two very different organizations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 06:04 AM

I totally agree with Timbrel! It depends on the pack you join as to whether or not you do cool stuff. When the Scouts in the UK decided to let girls join, there were a lot of children happy that they could go and do "boy stuff" with the Scouts. Fortunately we didn't lose any of our girls - they were already doing what was termed "boy stuff" - hiking, camping, survival etc, combined with cooking (they always love to eat), singing, gossiping (except we call it "our campfire") and discussing the plot lines of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The way I see it, I generally want to do the same things they do, and I'm lucky to have the opportunity to organise it with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 09:43 AM

Please wear your Lifejackets/Personal Floatation Devices whenever you are on a boat, on a wharf near the water. Gives people like me a better chance of saving a survivor, instead of recovering a body. Cold water kills quickly and even if you are an olympic swimmer, you cannot swim to stay afloat for long in cold water. (gay or straight people drown the same) Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Melani
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 12:12 PM

Dave--everyone--adults and kids--is required to wear a PFD when in a boat. Period.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:09 PM

Melani. Not everyone does though thats the trouble. You would be dismayed at the number of times Coastguards find the kids afloat, alive and wearing PFD's but the parents drowned. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Marion
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 11:26 PM

Jezebel, Lord Baden Powell was married; actually his wife Lady Baden Powell founded the Girl Guides when she met some girls trying to join Scouts.

Not that it matters, but since you brought it up...

Marion


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Melani
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM

Dave, we enforce that rule rigidly. A couple of years ago, two young mates managed to capsize a 30-foot sailing whaleboat (I missed that trip!) with eight people on board, all wearing PFD's. The only injury was to the boat's mast. They were all picked up by the Coast Guard within 15 minutes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 04:34 PM

If only others were as diligent as you Melani it would be great. Carry on the good work lass. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: Melani
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 02:31 PM

I have just heard a very interesting radio show. Anyone who is interested in the gay-atheist-BSA controversy, please go to scouts-honor.com and/or scoutingforall.org. Sorry I don't know how to make them blue. "Scout's Honor" is a documentary on the subject that will be broadcast on PBS soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all!
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 02:52 PM

Melani, thanks for that info. I had a clicky to scoutingforall up there, somwehere.:-)

Dave, thanks for the reminder. I don't know if these people didn't have their flotation devices on, but, already this year, we've lost 7 or 8 people who were fishing out at PATHFINDER RESERVOIR. The first batch got caught out in a nasty freak snowstorm with high winds which capsized their boat. The second batch was just this last week, when the water got choppy and their boat went under. The dogs and authorities are still searching for their bodies. It is damn sad and mostly unnecessary.

BTW, everyone, I've been telling my friend about this thread and she is delighted that we've had such a wonderful discussion. I asked her about the GS here and she said they do all of the stuff the boys do. I am glad to hear it because when my sisters and I were Scouts it seemed to me we thought nothing of camping, hiking, cooking out, etc. We did that as a family, too, but also as Scouts. Maybe it's because it was in the West, I don't know?

Thanks,

kat


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