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my3monkeys
09-04-2010, 11:45 AM
We are seriously thinking about starting an Earthscouts chapter. Does anyone here have any experience with this? Either as a scout or a facilitator?

Thanks!

SherryZoned
09-04-2010, 04:09 PM
What is Earth Scouts?

I have heard of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Spiral Scouts.

InstinctiveMom
09-04-2010, 05:59 PM
EarthScouts is new to me, too ... tuning in :)

SunshineKris
09-05-2010, 08:26 AM
Found this: Earth Scouts (http://www.earthscouts.org/)
DD will be so proud to know it's based at home in Tampa (she has a lot of pride in her state and city, even though she's only actually lived there for 3 years)! I am going to peruse the Facilitator's Guide and learn more. We may become an Earth Scout family. The kids have no interest in Boy or Girl Scouts but this seems to be right up our alley.

Sarbare0704
09-05-2010, 08:29 AM
Also interested to see what people say. When I first heard about it I looked into it and I am pretty sure there is only one chapter in Wisconsin. I love the idea behind earth scouts!

dbmamaz
09-05-2010, 09:09 PM
I'd looked in to earth and spiral scouts, but knew i didnt have it in me to start any. supposedly someone is starting a spiral scouts here, soon, but i havent heard back from my contact.

farrarwilliams
09-05-2010, 09:49 PM
We were invited to join a local homeschool troop, but our schedule just didn't allow it. This is just my take, but from what I've heard from the families involved, it sounds to me like a great program, but less connected with a sense of a larger organization and structure the way the boy/girl scouts are, which means more freedom for the troops to do whatever inspires them but also maybe more planning and figuring it out on your own kind of stuff.

SunshineKris
09-06-2010, 12:09 AM
My initial scanning of the Facilitators' Guide was quick, but it seems to be something right up our alley. Though likely geared more toward the left-of-center crowd (which we are), I think the idea is great for teaching kids the importance of being good stewards of the earth and of the community at large. For the right-of-center people it might be too touchy-feely, grass-rootsy, world citizeny, earth and environment friendly. I need to find the time to read deeper. I do like that it's not required that you join a group (like a GS or BS troop; ES doesn't use the word troop--too military-like, which I find funny being a military family :) ). You can do it individually or as a family. Family is the way for us to go. Maybe when we move back stateside I'd be interested in finding a group, just for the connections to a social group and ease of planning projects.

(On a side note, back in my working mom days I did work for one of the major funders of Earth Scouts, the Hillsborough Children's Board. I mapped every single child/day care, preschool, public and private school in the county in 2005, among other mapping projects for them. A very community oriented organization.)

fbfamily111
09-06-2010, 02:18 AM
I've never heard of it before but sounds interesting, wonder if they're near me? When my Mother was a teenager she was in a program called Sea Scouts, I wonder if it's related? They did a lot of outdoor stuff. They went fishing in FL, Spelunking (sp?), rapelling, you know all the cool things boys had been able to do, now girls could too (it was co-ed). I have always been jelous of her experiences with them. Would love to give my kids the same kind of memories. My problem with boy scouts is the overt christian, and boy only theme. We tried, but in the end I just couldn't do it anymore.

dottieanna29
09-06-2010, 05:39 PM
I've been thinking about joining a local Earth Scouts troop or starting a family when my kids are both old enough. Although I was wondering if they would frown upon me driving around in my gas-guzzling Suburban. :p

RebeccaK
09-11-2010, 12:28 AM
I do like that it's not required that you join a group (like a GS or BS troop; ES doesn't use the word troop--too military-like, which I find funny being a military family :) ). You can do it individually or as a family.

Just to note, Girl Scouts doesn't require the girls (or boys, technically) to join a troop/group either. I was unable to join a troop growing up due to geography, and was a registered independent, now called "Juliettes," all my life ;). I have never liked the Boy Scouts because of their emphasis on religion and use of said religion to justify discrimination. Earth Scouts seems like it is a great program, though!

InstinctiveMom
09-11-2010, 01:53 AM
It sounds really interesting... There doesn't seem to be a group in Texas at all though. I may suggest it to our group to take on in the next year or so.
Thanks for the link!!
~h

Dad The Baker
09-28-2010, 05:58 PM
thanks for the lead! Ima gonna look into this one.

QueenBee
09-29-2010, 06:52 AM
I've heard of this, but we have never participated... I'd be interested to hear an update down the road from anyone that goes for it!

Kylie
10-01-2010, 04:28 AM
Oh I so wish we had this here in Oz....need to look into this a little further.....would be a great consideration for our network. I was a girl guide and was never really worried about the religious aspect, just took it as part and parcel, but now that I am the parent I see things very differently ;)

Fiddler
10-01-2010, 08:34 AM
Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots (http://www.rootsandshoots.org/) seems similar to Earth Scouts, and I believe it is an international organization. I've been meaning to get involved with the group for a while now. Maybe this is our year!

farrarwilliams
10-01-2010, 07:41 PM
Don't Roots and Shoots and Earth Scouts have some sort of relationship, actually? Like, are they under the same larger organizational structure.

Fiddler
10-01-2010, 08:41 PM
Roots and Shoots is run by the Jane Goodall Institute, and Earth Scouts by Earth Charter US. I couldn't find any link between the two.

Fiddler
10-01-2010, 08:50 PM
Roots and Shoots is a little harder to figure out from the website than Earth Scouts is from theirs, and Earth Scouts is based on badges/merit, just like BSA and GSA, while Roots & Shoots is not. But Roots and Shoots has a free eNewsletter (http://www.rootsandshoots.org/newsevents/enews_signup) parents can sign up for, and from that I think you can get a pretty good idea of how people run their groups. There are several already existing groups in my area, but most are either school-based or not the age group I'm looking for, so I'm thinking about starting our own group. Several of Jazz's friends are already a part of COTEF (http://www.cotef.org/Home) (Children of the Earth Foundation), so we'll be looking outside our normal circle of homeschooling friends for this one, I think.

firefly
11-07-2010, 05:53 PM
Just found this thread & want to learn more! I know about Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots but have never heard of Earth Scouts. Wanted to do something like Girl Scouts w/o the skirts & religion! (Cookies would have been nice!) Can't wait to learn more!

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
11-07-2010, 09:51 PM
There are several already existing groups in my area, but most are either school-based or not the age group I'm looking for, so I'm thinking about starting our own group.

I'm in Massachusetts too, Fiddler. I'm looking for some kind of outdoorsy/volunteer activity for my kids, and Roots and Shoots might fit the bill. Are you in the Boston area?

Stephany
11-08-2010, 01:46 AM
Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots (http://www.rootsandshoots.org/) seems similar to Earth Scouts, and I believe it is an international organization. I've been meaning to get involved with the group for a while now. Maybe this is our year!

I am a Roots & Shoots leader although right now we haven't been doing much. I had a great group going in the little town where we lived before. It was amazing we got to fly our peace dove at a Goodall lecture and meet the good doctor, herself. I just can't muster interest here. I've had few organizational meetings and one had an okay turn out but no one seemed too interested in pursuing it and I NEED a co-leader so we've just been keeping our troop going as a family troop.

Stephany
11-08-2010, 01:51 AM
Roots and Shoots is run by the Jane Goodall Institute, and Earth Scouts by Earth Charter US. I couldn't find any link between the two.

I know that the Jane Goodall Institute has signed on to the Earth Charter so that might be where the connection is.

carissanboys
11-10-2010, 04:54 PM
I'm new to the forum, but was very excited to see a thread about Earth Scouts. We're getting ready to send in our registration form to be an Earth Scouts family. I've been checking out their website to try and figure out how we're going to start this adventure.

kewb22
12-04-2010, 10:08 AM
I was a co-leader for our Earth Scout troop a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, our hearth fell apart. We never managed to get a cohesive group. Some kids came every month to the meetings and some did not. Some would show up for scout trips and some would not. We had problems with parents letting us know if they would be attending a meeting. After the year my co-leaders and I disbanded the group due to lack of interest. Another mom from the group started up the chapter again last year. She seems to be meeting with more success.

That said, we loved it while we were doing it.

Mrs. Weasley's Wand
01-16-2011, 11:11 AM
I'm in Massachusetts too, Fiddler. I'm looking for some kind of outdoorsy/volunteer activity for my kids, and Roots and Shoots might fit the bill. Are you in the Boston area?

There is an active Spiral Scouts group in Amherst, NH, which is not far from the MA border. I am not sure how different Earth Scouts and Spiral Scouts are, especially since each SS circle can be pretty different. Our group is deliberately secular. I can find out if there are any active SS groups, or folks looking to start one, in MA if you are interested.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
01-16-2011, 11:53 AM
Thanks, Mrs. W. I'm leaning toward 4-H right now, mostly because my daughter loves animals and would really enjoy activities at farms. My son likes the outdoors (hiking, rock climbing, etc.) but he's not a "meeting" person, so anything for him would have to be very active. Since this is our first year of homeschooling, I'm thinking of holding off on any more extracurriculars until later in the year when we're more in a groove. Thank you, though!

Fiddler
01-16-2011, 12:21 PM
Sorry, AMM--I don't remember not replying to your post about where we are in MA. We're in Metrowest Boston. And I still haven't gotten anything going with Roots & Shoots. . .

onyxravnos
03-04-2011, 03:25 PM
I looked into earth scouts and spiral scouts as boy scout alternatives. In the end i decided both programs were fantastic but earth scouts is geared for more long term goals which seemed to me better suited for older children. Maybe middle school / high school.

I went with spiral scouts which have more pre-k / early elementary badges and activities. we didn't have a group here so i started a hearth with just my own kids and have been doing it for the last year. I love earning badges.:D

Ana
03-04-2011, 07:37 PM
I started an Earth Scouts group in the state in which we lived. My son we in BSA, but they were just teaching things with which we did not agree, so we started our own ES group. we moved on, but I hope when we move to Texas we can start another one if we can't find one already going.

jess
03-05-2011, 11:07 AM
Just found this thread & want to learn more! I know about Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots but have never heard of Earth Scouts. Wanted to do something like Girl Scouts w/o the skirts & religion! (Cookies would have been nice!) Can't wait to learn more!
Girl Scouts as an organization is not religious in the same way as Boy Scouts (completely separate organization from Boy Scouts, despite the similar names). In fact, most conservatives eschew them for being too non-religious and tolerant.

The Girl Scout Promise does say "To serve God and my country" but that's about the extent of religion in most troops, and it's kosher to replace "God" with whatever fits your personal religious beliefs (which would presumably include "humanity" if you were more of a secular humanist bent).

I'm pretty sure a skirt isn't a required part of the uniform these days either :) It's an option, but so are pants and shorts.

Makita
03-07-2011, 02:18 AM
Roots and Shoots is a little harder to figure out from the website than Earth Scouts is from theirs, and Earth Scouts is based on badges/merit, just like BSA and GSA, while Roots & Shoots is not.

I haven't been active in the forums here but the posts on FB have encouraged me to do so. I stumbled upon this thread and am intrigued. I haven't heard of Earth Scouts before and will investigate further soon. I wanted to share, however, that I have coordinated a Roots & Shoots group for 11+ years or so now (5 while in the public school and 6 with my own children). You are correct in that it does not have merit badges. Groups can, however, earn a certificate of recognition each year for completing projects that meet 3 goals: Care and Concern for Animals, Care and Concern for the Environment and Care and Concern for the Community.

As my kiddos have gotten older ... scouts and the motivational factor of merit badges has been a topic of discussion. We've given it a lot of thought and have basically decided to expand upon Roots & Shoots and using the scout model as a guideline, create our own merit badge system.

Here's more information on our vision:
What is Roots & Shoots? (http://academiacelestia.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-is-roots-shoots-part-1.html)
Where Can We Go? (http://academiacelestia.blogspot.com/2011/02/where-can-we-go-roots-shoots-part-2.html)

Jodi
04-12-2011, 08:19 AM
I didn't read all the replies, but did want to say that I had started an Earth Scouts group a few years ago. It went well for a bit, then the members started fizzling out. But I do have some patches left if anyone wants them. And I have the manual, well I don't right now, but I can see if the mom that was going to take over still wants it. Just send me a message if interested.

laundrycrisis
04-12-2011, 09:24 AM
I almost got involved with an Earth Scouts group here, but after lurking for a month I realized we are not left-of-center enough to fit in with the group. My DH would not be pleased to come home to hearing our kids talk about earning their "economic justice" badge !

However we are not "right", God-and-country-HUH ! enough for Boy Scouts either. If I found a less conservative troop I would consider it but so far I have not found one.

We would enjoy a nature and skills based program without a political or religious agenda. Too bad there does not seem to be any such thing for boys.

But I have to say the whole idea of kids working to earn badges is not appealing to me at all. I'm a "punished by rewards" fan. We don't do sticker charts, gold stars, special treats, bean jars, or even reading programs that have some reward associated with them. I have seen at some of the local programs around here that are set up in part to offer badge-earning opportunities for scouts, the scout kids seem to be just going through the motions to get the badge instead of really engaged in the program. I want the experience itself to be the reward.

But I would love a regular group for learning about and doing projects involving nature and practical skills.

Greenmother
04-12-2011, 06:40 PM
It seems that the ugly monster of politics has taken a pooh on everything these days. Even the kids cannot have fun without someone having to hire a think tank to discern "What it all means"! I know that years and years ago there was something called Spiral Scouts under some big Pagan church and boyscouts tried to sue them for copyright infringement over the word Scout. --I mean seriously?

Aandwsmom
04-12-2011, 07:02 PM
I checked into Earth Scouts after reading this post and learned a lot. They are for kids up to 13 only. But talking to an admin on the site, they are looking into expanding into a teen/high school group so to go ahead and create a group.
Now, I am checking more into it in general and reading the resource book to see what it would entail.
My thing would be if it is hard to get members and then have them stick.
So, am reading the downloadable resource/rules book and then will decide if its worthwhile to try and start a group in my part of SE Portland.

lakshmi
04-13-2011, 05:48 AM
I've been thinking about joining a local Earth Scouts troop or starting a family when my kids are both old enough. Although I was wondering if they would frown upon me driving around in my gas-guzzling Suburban. :p

lol.... yeah, me too.

koalaborg
04-13-2011, 08:37 AM
I haven't found a local earth scout group in San Antonio yet. and because we are new, it might be a little while before we are settled enough to start our own. but I have been reading through the handbook and we are definitely interested.

I've also looked into Roots and Shoots and definitely want to get involved in that group. None of the groups listed in our area are accepting new members though, so we might just start as our family for now, and then get involved later with other people. Incidentally, I was able to attend Jane Goodall's lecture here in Bethesda MD at NIH on Monday and it was SO AWESOME. Definitely a motivator for getting involved in Roots and Shoots.

Jodi
04-13-2011, 12:08 PM
Sounds like Earth Scouts must have changed a bit. It was for all ages up to 18. I ran my group how I wanted, with input from the kids and parents. Badge earning wasn't the main focus. We'd do a principle for a few weeks, basing out activities on it. Then we'd have a badge ceremony where the kids got their badge and a certificate. It was a really informal setting. We had a lot of fun and I was sad when we stopped. But it was getting to where the parents weren't treating it as seriously as they should have.. meaning, if something better came up on the day of a meeting, they were off doing that instead. So I did all the prep work, planning, etc. for them to not show up. So when the time came for a meeting and 5 out of 8 said they weren't coming or unsure if they could make it, I said enough and stopped. I passed the info and group over to another mom that had planned to take over, but hasn't done anything as of yet as far as I know.

I am pretty sure Spiral Scouts is still around. I know they had some issues a few years back, but I'm guessing that it is all worked out. And Roots and Shoots is another fabulous option.

rumbledolly
04-14-2011, 12:18 PM
We jumped back into GS about a month ago (with me as co-leader) and so far it bites! The 'leader' doesn't plan anything in advance and she won't allow me to plan anything but instead gives me the big eye roll. It takes her about 15 minutes to even get meeting started and we only have four kids in the group, her's, mine, plus two other's. We've had two cancelled meetings, and one postponed meeting. We've basically done nothing except talk about what we're going to do! We also spend a ton of time trying to get her DD focused. Her ADD med's wear off before the meeting so she can't sit still or be quiet for more than 30 seconds. Luckily I adore the girl because if I didn't....aarghhhh!

This week she wanted to take the kids to see the movie HOP. She's postponed twice and now she's thinking about tomorrow evening. My DD and I both agree we can find something else to do on Friday night since we already had plans to visit my sister.

I have nothing against seeing HOP but it's not high on my list of GS things to do. They were doing to film their own PSA about bullying as all the girls in the group have been bullied at PS. We still haven't even decided what we're going to actually do for the PSA but we did make these ugly plastic doodads for crafts!

I can see this is going to end this year and I don't think we'll be trying again.