Author Topic: Save Girl Scouting  (Read 9567 times)

Offline Dagny

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Karma: 9
Save Girl Scouting
« on: July 29, 2010, 12:58:30 PM »
I hope it's alright that I am duplicating this post, which I also posted in the Outdoor Activities forum, but I feel very passionately about this!

I just recently started a petition to save Girl Scouting from a truly awful new program they are pushing called "Journeys".

"Journeys" was rolled out in 2008, and they have been incrementally adding on to it and shifting the focus from classic scouting onto "Journeys". Next year, they will be revamping all the traditional skill-based badgework in order to re-divert attention onto "Journeys".

Each Girl Scout "Journey" has the girls focus on self-discovery and community activism, instead of skill-building and community service.

What's the difference between self-discovery and skill-building?
Self-discovery involves sitting around in a circle and talking about what makes you special, while skill-building involves going out and learning and doing things to improve your overall level of competence and resourcefulness.

What's the difference between community activism instead of community service? A community activist writes letters and goes to City Council meetings and demand the government change something. A community servant rolls up their sleeves and works to help improve conditions for their family, neighbors, soldiers, school, and community.

The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards (the Gold Award being the GS equivalent of Eagle Scout) now require "Journeys" instead of the traditional requirements of skill-building, interest projects, community service.

I am just sick over this. As a Girl Scout leader, I can tell you that my meetings are the only exposure some girls get to skills related to self-reliance and the outdoors. This "Journeys" program was created by disconnected people in an office trying to get feel-good funding. Make no mistake - many of the *actual volunteers* who lead and work with girls are kindred spirits - our own service unit includes homesteaders, a beekeeper, and a family who operates a community garden. These are people who are unhappy with this program and are not being heard by GSUSA.

Please consider signing this petition and passing it along to others who want to try to preserve a skill-building scouting experience for girls and young women. You'll find that the wording of this petition is very moderate - I am not asking anyone to pressure GSUSA to dump a program they have invested in, but only to retain a traditional pathway in scouting for those who prefer it.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/553/petition-to-render-journeys-optional-for-girl-scout-bronze-silver-and-gold-awards

Offline OKGranny

  • TSP Pooper-Scooper
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1624
  • Karma: 50
  • Death from the knees down
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 01:20:18 PM »
Well I've been wondering what Journeying was all about. I have a grand daughter that's a girl scout and her brothers are both boy scouts so they were learning something even if their parents are grasshoppers of the first order. I hate the sound of this. There, petition signed.

Offline monkeyboyf

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 667
  • Karma: 39
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 08:57:10 PM »
Done, signed it.

Offline bartsdad

  • Scrooge McDuck
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4024
  • Karma: 237
  • We're Vikings, we have stubbornness issues.
    • SPAMMY Link
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2010, 12:28:47 AM »
I hope it's alright that I am duplicating this post, which I also posted in the Outdoor Activities forum, but I feel very passionately about this!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/553/petition-to-render-journeys-optional-for-girl-scout-bronze-silver-and-gold-awards

I'm a firm believer in the good that all scouting does. Duplicate left to generate traffic.

Offline chezrad

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
  • Karma: 10
    • Brush n Soap n Blade
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 04:22:55 AM »
Done and signed. Thanks for bringing this up!

Offline Pathfinder

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2093
  • Karma: 97
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 05:49:54 AM »
This has been happening to the Girl Scouts for some time, ever since feminists, liberals and others with an activist agenda took over the movement. Sad they are pushing this "activist" crap, but that is their way of doing things, indoctrinating the next generation.

Done, though, every little bit helps.

Offline Dagny

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Karma: 9
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 10:30:04 AM »
Thanks, folks. I appreciate it. Please keep it coming.

 And yes, GSUSA has been like this for a while. When I was in GS, I constantly had *Boy Scout Envy* - I wanted to learn these skills and spend time outdoors, but our GS troop did no such thing - and neither did my family. Back then, it wasn't politically correct drivel - it was just weekly craft time. Yet I went to a GS Camp for 10 days and at age 12 met some amazing young women who taught me to canoe, sail, tie knots, start a fire, identify poison ivy, and took me on my first primitive camping experience. I resolved that if I ever had daughters (and now I have two) that I would lead a scout troop for them so that they & their friends could actually *learn things*.


Just as information out there for anyone with daughters - there is another scouting organization for girls - American Heritage Girls - that has was formed in the 90's in response to this stupidity... and recently BSA has presented AHG with a statement of mutual support. AHG is, indeed, more of a traditional scouting organization.

However... AHG is also exclusively Christian, with Christian programming and leaders must sign a statement of faith (meaning, as a Jew, I could not form an AHG troop even if I wanted to.) And.. I do want my daughters in a program inclusive to girls of all faiths (or no faith), while at the same time being involved in traditional, skill-based scouting. But if you are Christian and your local GS Troop is running like this, it's something to look into. I've e-mailed AHG and asked them to consider the needs of non-Christians who may share many of their goals and values, even though of course, there are enough Christians out there for them to thrive and do well without being inclusive. I also feel that the *absence* of these girls in GSUSA is only making the situation worse.

Right now, the girls I lead are young, ranging from age 5-8. It is easy for me to ignore this programming and do what I want, so that's what I'll do. But the other day I received a LOT of pressure from GS leadership to spend my money and time on this programming. I think when they get older, it's going to get worse unless something changes.

There is a Boy Scout Venturing program that is open to both young men and young women age 14 and up. If GSUSA doesn't change when my girls get to that age, we will definitely be considering Venturing - but it's sad, because I'm sure involvement in a *Boy Scout* program is a hard sell to some girls.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 10:33:54 AM by Dagny »

Offline ncjeeper

  • Most Noble Order of the Garter Snake
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4596
  • Karma: 124
  • Oooops!
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 12:01:48 PM »
Done

Offline Zookeeper

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: 0
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 02:05:16 PM »
Signed

SnugInMyPod

  • Guest
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2010, 09:47:34 AM »
Dagny,

Although I don't have children, a world of people with skills to survive and thrive is my dog in the fight, so I signed the petition gladly.  :)

I wish traditional skills-teaching Scouts well, though I wouldn't stake all on just a petition.  The United Way, both nationally and locally in my area, has a bad enough problem with executives and staff who use the non-profit to line their own pockets rather than do the charitable work they profess to do.  Since this is the case, getting action may be problematic.

Since you indicated that you want a Scouting program open to girls of all faiths or no faith, I wanted to let you know that there are at least two possibilities already at work and yet a third possibility.

One example of Scouting alternatives that fascinates me is Camp Quest, a Summer camp for both boys and girls which teaches camping, crafts, foraging, and other Scouting-type activities, but which is secularist rather than religious and open to all interested families and children, regardless or creed.  The main Camp Quest page isn't working for some reason, but these Camp Quest Pages are:

Camp Quest--Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Quest

Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains
http://www.rationalists.org/cq/

Camp Quest UK
http://www.camp-quest.org.uk/

Camp Quest Ireland
http://www.humanism.ie/website/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=135&Itemid=106

The non-credal Unitarian-Universalist Church also has its own Scouting programs as well:

Unitarian-Universalist Scouters Organization
http://www.uuscouters.org/ 

Finally, if these options aren't a right fit or aren't local, there is always the option of getting like-minded parents and children together, pooling the butter-and-egg money, and starting yet another Scouting organization that fits with what you want Scouting to be.

I hope all of this is helpful and I wish well to you, your family, and the girls you lead.  :)

 

Offline CandyBabyE

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 248
  • Karma: 7
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2010, 08:31:41 AM »
I hope all the signatures will help. I had problems with girl scouts when my daughter joined 6 years ago and ended up pulling her out. She joined the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corp and was in that until she graduated high school . Left the program with a rank of Petty Officer First Class.  My boy is in Sea Cadets also. Just got promoted to Petty Officer 3rd class.


I really love this program because they focus on building character, patriotism and goals.  Less than 10% of the kids go on to join the military but if they ever do and they have acheived a rank of E3 or higher in the program, all the services will give them a bump in grade when they graduate boot camp.  Navy will bump them to E3 instead of the normal E1 which is about $5000 a year more money. These cadets usually endup being in leadership postitions, because they already know what they're doing.


Anyway, hope we can save the Girl Scouts, but thought I'd let you all know of an alternative out there  that is ofter refered to as "the Navy's best kept secret" even though it's been around for about 50 years.  If you're interested,you can get more information at www.seacadets.org or send me a pm. I could go on for hours telling you all the great things my kids have learned in this program. One of the best thing they learned is "yes mam". LOL

Candy

Offline Dagny

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Karma: 9
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2010, 06:49:34 PM »
My girls are too young for Sea Cadets, but that program looks awesome! There is also Boy Scout Venturing. If I am still having these issues when they get to adolescence, I will certainly look into options such as those.

Thanks for the links as well, Snug. As a theist, I don't think I'd be comfortable sending my child to the rationalist/atheist camp, but they do look cool. I sometimes feel like I am in no-man's land - I am a conservative libertarian theist. I'm not comfortable with religious right stuff (I do not have an anthropomorphic vision of God, I am a strict evolutionist, etc), but not comfy with the atheist or pagan worldview either. Jewish or multi-faith American Heritage Girls would be great - but, I think I'd be able to count the interested families on 1 hand. My current scout group is 20 girls, but the name recognition of Girl Scouts goes a long way - some of the girls join specifically because they like to sell Girl Scout Cookies! Frankly, I love having the opportunity to share some of the skills I learn with these girls - not just mine, but others too.

With the girls at this age, and right now, it's actually pretty easy for me to circumvent their new "leadership experience" (gag) But they are getting increasingly heavy-handed with pushing it. I'll try to stick it out and hope that the negative feedback they are receiving about this program will put a stop to it before it's *forced*' (If it is forced, I think that will be a crippling blow for GSUSA - as it will cause a mass exodus of leaders and girls.)

mtman

  • Guest
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2010, 07:57:09 PM »
In the mid 1980's I was a Girl Scout. Ya, I'm a guy. I became official because my wife was a leader and I often helped her so I had to become official. I use to teach outdoor skills and the girls loved making snare traps or dead falls. I would hate for them to loose these skills because many girls in Girl Scouts want to learn those kind of skills. Good luck in the battle!

Offline zackandjen2004

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Karma: 16
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2010, 08:26:59 PM »
Signed the petition.  Next time I buy cookies, I will bring this up with the sellers - a great opportunity to discuss the differences between skill building and self-discovery.

Offline CandyBabyE

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 248
  • Karma: 7
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2010, 12:01:19 AM »
My girls are too young for Sea Cadets, but that program looks awesome! There is also Boy Scout Venturing. If I am still having these issues when they get to adolescence, I will certainly look into options such as those
I didn't catch how old your girls are, but the Sea Cadet program has a division for kids 10 to 13 called League Cadets. I love working with the Leaguers at our unit. They have shorter trainings and their own course work and rank structure.

I'm not sure if i've heard of Boy Scout Venturing. Is that the co-ed program. If so, I had looked at that for China when she was 13, but the age requirement was 14. It definately sounded better than the experience we had with the Girl Scouts, but I'm really glad we ended up in Sea Cadets. The kids have learned so much and had a great time doing it. And it gives them something in their back pocket it they ever need it.

Candy

Offline Dagny

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Karma: 9
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2010, 08:37:40 AM »
My girls are ages 5 and 8. There also isn't a Sea Cadet thing near me, but after you posted, I did some Google magic and found that the Air Force has one similar that sounds really cool, and has a unit here at Redstone Arsenal. There are Army Cadets as well, but that one doesn't look as cool to me. Boy Scout Venturing is co-ed starting at age 12 or 14 I think?

I'm wondering if a military-themed or a Boy Scout affiliated program is going to be something that will be hard to sell to my girls, but I have some years off still. I'd like to insist that they do SOME kind of scouting, so that they develop these skills, but I don't have teenagers yet so it may be a different ball game when I get there!

SnugInMyPod

  • Guest
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2010, 08:50:37 AM »
Dagny,

You wrote:

Quote
Thanks for the links as well, Snug. As a theist, I don't think I'd be comfortable sending my child to the rationalist/atheist camp, but they do look cool. I sometimes feel like I am in no-man's land - I am a conservative libertarian theist. I'm not comfortable with religious right stuff (I do not have an anthropomorphic vision of God, I am a strict evolutionist, etc), but not comfy with the atheist or pagan worldview either. Jewish or multi-faith American Heritage Girls would be great - but, I think I'd be able to count the interested families on 1 hand.

Fret not, no pressure.  I'm not a proselyte for Camp Quest or for the UU Scouters and I've never even been to their meetings.  Just pointing out that none of us has to just accept the world with which we are presented.  We can all roll our own associations when desired badly enough.

If you would like to meet more people who share interests in traditional skills, maybe you and your fellow Scouters could demonstrate your skills in a public setting (with the consent of the property owner, of course,) advertise it through PSAs or press releases to local media outlets, and see how many interested people come.  People who come to see you might also be game for signing your petition as well when you provide the link to them.

One thing I would do if I were a Scoutmaster, no matter how organizing efforts turn out, is teach my fellow Scouts to be able to learn and perform skills alone, because we all end up alone at some point in life and with skills, being alone isn't so bad and can be even great too.  

Myself, while I did love the skills that Scouts did, I never was an "Organization Boy" and never joined the Scouts.  The closest thing I ever had to Scouting was that I joined. by invitation, a Junior High School group called The Ramblers.  

It was a group of 20 students led by teachers who were graduates of Outward Bound.  We went on monthly camping trips to local spots like Table Rock, Crowder's Mountain, King's Mountain, Mount Mitchell, Huntington Beach, SC, and other outdoor spots.  No religion was officially taught by the teachers, though there was a philosophical reading around the campfire from some Outward Bound books and some students bought their own Bibles for personal Sunday readings.  

All in all, an excellent learning experience!

Whatever comes of your efforts, I hope you and your fellow Scouts keep up your devotion to traditional skills.  Even if you have to teach the skills extra-curricular and outside of the Scouting organization, traditional skills are well worth it.






Offline Scramblin

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Karma: 4
  • Once an Eagle...always an Eagle.
    • Brian's Facebook Page
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2010, 09:57:05 AM »
THANKS FOR SOUNDING THE ALARM!

Our girls are 5,5, and 7.  We have already had some interesting discussions about what to do.  I was an Eagle Scout and BSA lifeguard for years.  My wife has explained to me how Girl Scouts (even 20 yrs ago) was a far pale from the actual outdoors/skill building and leadership development that is ever present around a BSA camp, jamboree or meeting. 

Like you, we are non christian (Buddhist actually) or the American Heritage Girls would be a great thing. Funny how we don't mind our kids being around proselytizers,  but they with the "strong" faith - can't allow any dissenting (even quiet passive dissenting) belief anywhere near their kids.

Since we camp, hike, fish, etc... We were thinking of starting our own unofficial "Boy Scout" troop for the girls and whatever friends want to participate.  We'll make up a cool girl name for it, then use the Scout handbook and Field Guide to give them the real experience, and skills they will need to thrive in the outdoors.  The service projects will help with their leadership and character building.

I did sign.  Good Luck turning the Titanic.  I might just let it sink.  The real Dagny would too.

Offline Lara

  • TSP Med Control
  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 2
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2010, 02:42:34 PM »
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.  I hadn't heard about it.  I have taught orienteering and backpacking skills for the Girl Scouts as a volunteer in the past.  Key point there being hard skills, not soft skills.  I'll sign the petition.  Interestingly, I was also a COPE (high/low ropes) director for the Boy Scouts in the past also.  ;D  It was a trip being a Boy Scout as a woman (yes, they made me join the Boy Scouts in order to be an employee), after all those years of Girl Scout camp.

Offline Dagny

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Karma: 9
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2010, 03:12:40 PM »
Scramblin, that is a great idea. It is something I have entertained... but I am concerned that if I did something like that, so many of these girls would jump ship. I have them engaged and enthusiastic about the things they are learning, and I don't want to lose them because I do something "weird" like form "Dagny Scouts". I kinda wish I had known what I know know 2 years ago... it would have been easier to start something like that from day 1 than it would be now after the kids already identify themselves as "Girl Scouts".

THEY have no idea what the "organization" is.. they only know Girl Scouts in the context of how I have presented it to them. And to be fair, I KNOW there are individual troops and even "official" GS camps all over the country that have basically given GSUSA the finger and do real scouting in spite of them. Hopefully, those people can prevail.

But.. at the risk of sounding sexist.. I think in the past (back when I was a girl, your wife too), and now, a part of the problem with lackluster scouts is that girl scouts both at the national and to some extent even the local level, is run by women. They just aren't pushing the envelope in terms of what these girls can do. For example, I found an awesome troop in California that does all kinds of great stuff. They go shooting too.. you know what? GSUSA doesn't offer a marksmanship badge..  I guess shooting is not feminine enough? So they got the BS one and stuck it on their vest. GOOD FOR THEM! :)

Offline CandyBabyE

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 248
  • Karma: 7
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2010, 08:25:33 AM »

But.. at the risk of sounding sexist.. I think in the past (back when I was a girl, your wife too), and now, a part of the problem with lackluster scouts is that girl scouts both at the national and to some extent even the local level, is run by women. They just aren't pushing the envelope in terms of what these girls can do. For example, I found an awesome troop in California that does all kinds of great stuff. They go shooting too.. you know what? GSUSA doesn't offer a marksmanship badge..  I guess shooting is not feminine enough? So they got the BS one and stuck it on their vest. GOOD FOR THEM! :)

That is not sexist at all, Dagny.  Despite what the feminists try to tell us men and women are different and sometimes we women need a man's point of view to get things right. I think most of the wormen on this forum are well balanced and realistic, but there are many women out there that haven't a clue.

A friend of mine runs a horse rescue and had a girl scout troop out to earn their Horse Lovers Badge.  All they did the whole time was complain about the flies and dust and never really connected with the animals. So many kids these days are raised in  sterile environments, all of which is reinforced by stuff on tv and radio.  The scouts should be helping correct this instead of reinforcing it.

The Air Force does have the Civil Air Patrol. It doesn't give you the trainings or future bump that The Sea Cadet do, but if it's close go for it.  They will still get the confidence building, patriotism and self discipline that comes with a program in this vein.
Dagny scouts sounds cool.

Offline Herbal Prepper

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Karma: 4
    • Herbal Prepper
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2010, 09:50:14 PM »
Just signed the petition.  I didn't have much of a different experience with Girl Scouts when I was younger... no outdoor skills for our troop.  I didn't stay in it long.  I wouldn't put my kids in a die-hard Christian camp, as I don't want them to feel pressure to believe a certain way in order to get these skills.  Luckily, someone of our spiritual bent stepped up to the plate and did put together such a program.  When my kids are older, they will participate in Young Vikings.  For anyone who is looking to start something that better suits their kids, or belongs to a minority religion and wants to create something similar to scouting for their faith's kids, I'll post the link to Young Vikings and maybe it will spark some ideas.

http://youngvikingsclub.com/

Offline mhallee

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2010, 01:48:39 PM »
I agree with you 100%. I too an a GS leader and have been for 5 years.... yes, Dad's can be leaders too.  And it seems that alot of the skills that used to be taught by the founders have been pushed away.  I ask people what's the first thing you think of when I say Girl Scouts... and 99% say COOKIES.  Now is that how this organization wants to be remembered. They really make it difficult to stay motivated and involved with our girls.

Offline Sarey

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
  • Karma: 5
Re: Save Girl Scouting
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2010, 08:27:12 PM »
I also signed this petition (several days ago and in time)... Thanks for sharing this.