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CatInTheSun
05-26-2013, 10:11 AM
The recent news and poll got me thinking...

I've shied away from both groups because of their conservativeness plus it always rubbed me wrong that girl scouts seemed to be all about business and selling cookies instead of camping and outdoors stuff that MY girls would be interested in. I can tell you my little introverts would never sell a single cookie. :_lol:

DH was in boyscouts as a kid and my brother was, seems like fun, but the whole gender thig and conservativeness still rubs me wrong. If we lived on a more progressive coast of the US it might not be bad, but we're in a conservative backward part of the US so I'm sure its very conservative, so I'm not sure it's even kids I'd especially like my son to hang out with when he's old enough.

All that said, I'm just curious what the others have experienced or thought. :)

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-26-2013, 10:23 AM
I think there is quite a bit of variation in the activities from troop to troop. You may have to "shop around" to see if there's a troop that does the kinds of things you're looking for. Also check out Earth Scouts and Spiral Scouts.

My daughter is in an all-homeschooler Girl Scout troop and there was no pressure to sell cookies. They did lots of neat activities--took a tour of the State House and a firehouse, did some science experiments and cooking, and learned new games and songs. And because the leaders tend to be a progressive, free-spirited bunch, there's no pushing of patriotism or respect for authority.

Gummers
05-26-2013, 11:12 AM
I signed my daughters up because the list of activities the group did last year seemed interesting. They went camping, had dances and tea, bbq, and community service activities. They are not allowed to sell cookies here so that part of it is out. :) Its cheap, only 150$ per year per child and it was close to my house.

The religiosity bothers me a bit and it might have turned me off in Canada where there were other options for clubs. Here there aren't too many affordable non-sport options that are close by so I jumped at the chance to put them in.

farrarwilliams
05-26-2013, 11:45 AM
I think, honestly, it depends sooooo much on your local area and your individual troop. Some Girl Scout troops are very cookie focused. Sell the cookies, take a trip. But others aren't at all. Some are very light on the outdoor skills and are more focused on other areas of scouting like team building and technology and so forth. And others are really outdoorsy and wilderness focused. And some BSA troops do a lot more fundraising that you might realize. Some do a lot of outdoor stuff, but others are very light or are super focused on things like the pinewood derby.

As an organization, I have issues with the BSA. I don't really have issues with the GSA, though I think the days of gendered scouting probably need to end.

Deli76
05-26-2013, 12:30 PM
both boy and girl scout troops vary from troop to troop. Our local girl scout troop from what I hear isnt all that great. And another was formed for that reason. I hear there is more planning on what to do than actually doing it. When we decided to home school, I looked for a couple of activities for dd and although difficult, I found an all homeschooled girls scout troop. And I believe we have joined a great troop. With it being all homeschooled girls, we all have alot more time and opportunities available. So far since August, they have camped, gone to the food pantry, Gone to the Texas Institute of Cultures (there is a girl scout exhibit). They have learned about budgets for clothing, groceries, school supplies. They have learned about animal care and a budget for that. They have learned many songs. They have learned how to cook. They learned the difference between needs and wants.They have planned out meals and activites for camping. And I believe they still have a service project to be completed. We did sell cookies, but it was never pushed or focused on. We also sold nuts too. Oh my and the art work the kids did was awesome! Dd loves it!
I dont know how I would feel about genderless scouting. It would be interesting to see how it would work out. But boys and girls have such different needs and their maturity levels differ. Some boys and girls dont get the needed boy time and girl time they need.

murphs_mom
05-26-2013, 01:14 PM
I don't think it's fair to really compare BS and GS because they really are two completely different organizations. About the only common denominators are that they're geared toward children and they're run by adults (sometimes a parent, sometimes not). BS push their popcorn and GS push their cookies. Meh. Can't speak for the rules within the BS world, but in GS you don't have to sell cookies (or nuts in the fall) if you don't want to. They prefer that you do, but they don't force it. Like others have said, troops vary greatly based on their individual leadership. The troop leader is the key and, if you want to control things, you can always be the troop leader for your child(ren). With GS, they also have a Juliette option; the girl is not part of a troop, does not pay dues to a troop, pays an annual fee to the GS council ($12 I think), and can participate in just about anything that a standard GS does.

From our personal experience, I love what the GS Daisy books (grades K-1) teach as far as character lessons: responsibility, respect, sharing, caring, doing one's personal best, etc. and the books (especially the Journey books) include nature, animals, and global awareness. The only mention of religion I've seen in the books so far is the "My Promise, My Faith" award...what that faith is, is totally up to the parent. Or you can skip the award (we did). The only issue we've had where religion came into play was at a couple of the day camps; the camp leader led a group prayer. IMO, I think situations like this benefit us because it turns into a good learning opportunity for DD. I want her to know how to behave respectfully when someone else is having a religious moment of their own. I don't care what the religion is, I want her to be able to stand quietly and respectfully while they have their moment. Easy way to avoid those, though, (if it's an issue) is to simply don't attend the camp OR to excuse yourself from the group by faking a bathroom break. :p

As to how conservative the GS are, I don't they're conservative at all as a organization. In fact, they've come under attack by the more conservative religious groups as being too liberal. An example of this can be found here: The Catholic Church and the Girl Scouts: A scandalous mess :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/cw/post.php?id=626) Take the 'facts' in the article with a grain of salt. So far, though, we haven't had anyone try to proselytize to DD. Except DH & me. :D

Teri
05-26-2013, 01:20 PM
We are in both. It's been a very positive experience for all of my kids. I have disagreed with BSA, although I am greatly encouraged by their recent change and fully believe that it will go all the way in the very near future.
As a homeschooler, I think we tend to be viewed as on the fringes of society. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are organizations that people understand. My kids enjoy them and I wouldn't force them to do it, but for my purposes, I like that they have something "normal" that they are doing (not that German dancing is not normal :p).

Jeni
05-26-2013, 02:34 PM
The recent news and poll got me thinking...

I've shied away from both groups because of their conservativeness plus it always rubbed me wrong that girl scouts seemed to be all about business and selling cookies instead of camping and outdoors stuff that MY girls would be interested in. I can tell you my little introverts would never sell a single cookie. :_lol:

DH was in boyscouts as a kid and my brother was, seems like fun, but the whole gender thig and conservativeness still rubs me wrong. If we lived on a more progressive coast of the US it might not be bad, but we're in a conservative backward part of the US so I'm sure its very conservative, so I'm not sure it's even kids I'd especially like my son to hang out with when he's old enough.

All that said, I'm just curious what the others have experienced or thought. :)

As a general rule, Girl Scouts is much more liberal then Boy Scouts. They are all about empowering girls and making strong women who can work in leadership roles as adults. But troops are varied and can have leaders that don't follow that line of thinking.

I just got home from picking up dd from her first camping overnight with GS. She had a blast. I imagine that's a troop level thing. If you have a troop leader that's into it and has the organizational skills, the troop will go camping. If not, they won't. But you can always sign your kids up for GS camp without their troop.

My dd doesn't sell cookies unless she's doing a troop booth. I don't allow it. We don't live in a neighborhood. I buy enough for her to earn her online selling badge. Someone usually buys enough to earn the overseas solider badge, and then a couple other people buy. Sometimes it's just not practical for anyone but close friends and family to buy.

I agree with you about the Boy Scouts. Dh was in it for about two years, so he's not real hardcore about it. But ds keeps asking when he can join and I keep putting him off. I feel terrible, but I just don't know how I feel about him joining this particular group.


:) Its cheap, only 150$ per year per child and it was close to my house.

Wow! Really? I thought ours was asking a lot at $50. I was sweating moving to another troop next year who was asking for $90.

wendygrace
05-26-2013, 08:03 PM
We also do both and I agree they are two completely different entities.

For girl scouts, we are in a mixed (school and homeschool) group right now and we shopped around before we found the right group for us. The group we're in has kids of all ages (which is rare, I understand) and I liked that because the older girls helped lead/teach the youngers. It is really neat to see the growth in the girls. We went camping three times a year (fall, winter and spring) although they do tend to cabin camp vs tent camp. However, we hike as well as other outdoorsy stuff. The thing I like about GS is that it is supposed to be girl led so as the leader, the girls and I sat down at the beginning of the year and planned what activities we wanted to do and then I went from there. They got to earn the badges they wanted to earn as a collective. My daughter and I are going to miss our troop terribly as we are moving two hours away. I have yet to really find a group in our new area so we may end up Juliette for awhile. The only time religion has ever been an issue is occasionally there is a prayer said but since we live in a very christian area I have taught my children to just be respectful (be quiet) as if someone was just giving a talk about something. There is a pin that can be earned but it is optional.

My son has been a cub scout for several years and became a boy scout this year. We are bothered about their gay and religion stance however it has not been an issue for us so far. Most of our Troop is pretty inclusive but noone really talks about it. It just doesn't come up. We talked to our son about the issues and he wanted to help change things from the inside. His belief was that unless people who are part of the group speak up, they won't listen (which really is the case with the boy scouts). I do believe that individual boy scouts turning in their surveys about allowing gay youth is the reason that the boy scouts have decided to allow it. Baby steps. He is working towards becoming an Eagle with a Boy Scouts that allows both gay youth and adults and atheists. We do skirt the atheist issue because we are Unitarian Universalists though so that does help although earning the religious values badge was not an issue so far.

oh and our girl scout fee was $12 for council and $20 for dues. as a leader I spent way more than that but it was my choice. My daughter loves selling popcorn (and fall product) so its a non-issue here. I love her entrepreneurial spirit.

boy scouts is $150 but they get a portion of that (and anything else they sell) into their scout accounts. The $150 is earned through selling popcorn or the parent can pay it up front.

CatInTheSun
05-26-2013, 08:43 PM
Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful responses. I really appreciate it!

Since I actually know a woman who is a GS troop leader...and she home schools....and the meetings are held at my church (the congregation is a safe haven for progressives)...maybe I should consider this. A mutual friend's dd was in the troop when she was younger...maybe I can get some info from inside the troop from her before talking to the leader.

Of course, that troop's meetings are a time conflict with their MA class, but one step at a time. LOL

atomicgirl
05-27-2013, 11:55 AM
As others have said, scouting is a very local experience. How scouting functions depends heavily on the personalities involved in individual troops. I haven't had any experience with Boy Scouts in years, but when my brother was young it looked to me to be very regimented, vaguely religious and somewhat paramilitary in flavor. My friend, who is a cub scout den leader, doesn't understand my characterization at all. I have more experience with Girl Scouts, because I've been a co-leader for my daughter's troop for the last 4 years. A friend and I stared the troop as a safe place for our quirky girls to practice social skills in relative safety. It worked well for 3 years, until my friend expanded the troop. The newest crop of mothers really want a mainstream experience for their girls and cookie sales have taken over much of the year; planning for, engaging in, and learning from. If left to my planning we'd skip the sale all together and spend our time in the woods learning to be naturalists, or inside learning whatever complicated skills that interest the girls, and for which they have no other learning opportunities (volunteers with esoteric skill sets in need of an audience abound). My co-leader loves all the songs and dances and traditions, while I can build a fire, organize a hike and tie knots. Together we make a passable team for this kind of thing. If you have some idea of what you want a troop to look like, and have the time, you might want to consider building one for yourself.

reefgazer1963
05-29-2013, 04:50 AM
my kids are in both (10 daughter in girl scouts, and 8 year old boy in boy scouts). here's my take:

I was a girl scout (hated it and quit a year in) and my daughter loves being in girl scouts, but I think they are a useless organization as far as building strong girls; you'd be better off with a team sport if you're trying to build your girl up. the troops I've been associated with all strike me as a clique-ish bunch, with gossip and trivial projects as the main activities. the adults running the show are uptight and rigid rule-followers, in my opinion. that said, your daughter will not be obligated to sell cookies, but will probably want to jump on that bandwagon because they make it fun, with rallys, posters, a kick-off party, and booth sales for the shy. I do not find cookies to be the over-riding activity, but it is a main focus for 2 months of the year or so. girl scouts is not at all a conservative organization; no one is excluded from their troops. uptight, yes; conservative, no.

my son is in cub scouts and loves it; the organization is a blast, and family camping and all manner of other activities are a regular occurrence. in my experience, cub/boy scouts does a much better job of building leaders and instilling responsibility, mainly because the boy scouts are very scout-driven and the boys take the lead by sixth grade, while the adults are in the background. the organization is very conservative, but as you know, they recently modified their rules to accept openly gay scouts. I know this modification did not include gay leaders, but I think that is only a matter of time. like the military and it's "don't ask, don't tell", I think the scouts has to go through this awkward transitional phase to get to full equality. it's not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction and a necessary transition; I saw no discrimination at the pack level (lots of packs just look the other way when enforcing the no-gay rule, anyway). i'm somewhat liberal on the inclusion issue and was hesitant to have my son join a few years ago because of their anti-gay stance, but I feel the best way to change an organization is from the inside, not the outside, and I don't regret joining. there are very few organizations that we have been members of that have done as fine a job with building boys to men as cub scouts (again, I can only speak of my own experience).

we live in a very military town, and have our fair share of conservative scout leaders, and i'm sure that has affected how the organizations are run here.

JinxieFox
05-29-2013, 07:10 AM
Yeah, scouting will vary from troop to troop, circle to circle, etc.

I love Girl Scouts - love that they're liberal, support Planned Parenthood, and focused on teaching girls about leadership. I cherish my own leadership pins from when I was a Senior Girl Scout, all my badges, my Bridge to Adults pin, etc. and I plan to get involved with Girl Scouts once we're settled, if Rowan wants to join when she's older.

Boy Scouts - I don't want Gavin to join until they relent on their stance on gay leaders and Atheists. I think they have a lot to offer and I'm glad to see them moving in the right direction, but it's not far enough for me yet.

I organized and led a Spiral Scouts circle in Dover, Delaware when we were there. I loved it, but the actual headquarters/people running the program weren't very organized or responsive back then. I hope they've improved.

Considering other possibilities for my son. There's two UU churches in Omaha and one in Lincoln (we're moving to Nebraska), and a Pagan friend who was stationed at Offutt told me the UU with the CUUPS chapter in Omaha is excellent. I hope folks there will be able to give me the lay of the land, as far as scouting.

Anyhow, I thinks Scouts is overall a good thing for children, but leadership will determine the "flavor" of the troop, circle, etc. For example, our Cadet/Senior Girl Scout troop (back in the early 90's) did have two very distinct cliques of girls, but the leaders weren't at all like that. We had a really fabulous leader, most of us "girls" are still in contact with each other, and we all have wonderful memories to share (some of those memories even made it into our yearbook blurbs). I want my children to have that too.

kadylaha
06-04-2013, 07:20 PM
I think, honestly, it depends sooooo much on your local area and your individual troop.

Yes. This. We have done 2 boy scout packs less than 30 miles apart, in the last 2 months. Pack A was mostly parents sitting around the tables telling dirty jokes, while the boys sang a song or two and then got yelled at. Pack B (which we're much happier with) is an absolute dream in comparison, with respectable leaders and parents, parades to march in, campout weekends, etc. So if the first group you connect with is a disappointment, feel free to move on.

Leanne71
06-05-2013, 01:12 AM
It would seem Australia is leading the way in progressive Scouting.
We can't and won't keep you out based on gender, sexual orientation, religious belief or race. We have Hindi, Muslim and Buddhist troops.
Scouting in Australia does accept girls and has done for at least 10 years, that is why we are growing, Guides/brownies has hit a slump, they have failed to modernise.
I have been a Leader for the last 9 years and love it now as much as I did when I first signed up. All the boys are now in Scouting and love it.
What you put in is what you will get out! Personally I recommend it to all homeschoolers, but it would seem we are not having the issues that are happening in America at this time.
Anyway why shouldn't gay children and adults enjoy Scouting?

Anderags
06-17-2013, 06:13 PM
My son participates in the Cub Scouts, he loves it! I agonized over the decision to let him join or not, but in retrospect am glad we did it. I was relieved in the progress the BSA made in their policies on gays and hopefully will continue to make. Our troop is in a liberal part of the country - so it is a very open group. We are hoping to continue to press for change from the inside. I do also believe it is a matter of time before complete inclusiveness. The majority of public opinion alone dictates a change. If people overshadow the particular conservative religious groups threatening their exodus from the BSA with joining in support of the new ruling then hopefully BSA will continue in the right direction.

sdvelochick
07-28-2013, 06:58 PM
My son wasn't involved in sports and when his friends joined cub scouts in 1st grade he really wanted to. Dh and I were very concerned about this because of a) being atheist and b) disagreeing with their stance on a lot of issues. We went to the informational meeting and spoke with the pack leadership and realized that this group was very open and somewhat liberal (as far as our area and scouts are concerned.) I think there are some packs out there that are more open and accepting that others. He is now going into his first year as a Webelo and I'm hopeful that we can find a BS troop that is similar to our current pack. I think the skills they teach are wonderful and I have seen my son grow a lot from his experiences.

crunchynerd
07-29-2013, 12:16 AM
The sex thing really bugs me. Sex has absolutely no place in it, not straight sex, not gay sex, not sex talk. Kids really do not need to have sex dragged into pitching a tent or putting out a campfire. If it's covered by underwear, and you don't show it, you shouldn't whip it out in conversations or pass it out in pamphlets, to kids.

I don't think gay people should be excluded. I just don't think that who a person has sex with, or would like to have sex with, ought to be a talking point, at any point, in scouting, so it ought not to matter, so long as everyone comports him or herself decently and without bedroom references or behaviors.

Gummers
07-29-2013, 08:06 AM
The sex thing really bugs me. Sex has absolutely no place in it, not straight sex, not gay sex, not sex talk. Kids really do not need to have sex dragged into pitching a tent or putting out a campfire. If it's covered by underwear, and you don't show it, you shouldn't whip it out in conversations or pass it out in pamphlets, to kids.

I don't think gay people should be excluded. I just don't think that who a person has sex with, or would like to have sex with, ought to be a talking point, at any point, in scouting, so it ought not to matter, so long as everyone comports him or herself decently and without bedroom references or behaviors.

I think its wishful thinking to put a group of 10-12 or 13-17 year old boys together around camp fires or camping, or doing other activities that give some measure of privacy and expect that they won't talk about girls or whisper about sex. I think its natural behaviour once puberty hits.

murphs_mom
07-29-2013, 08:32 AM
Sadly, some kids start even earlier than that. Depending upon what they've seen on TV or in movies, what they've heard from older kids on the school bus or at the playground, or what they've accidentally witnessed at home. I can remember my 6yo cousin coming to visit when I was 8yo...my 7yo sister was playing dolls with us down in the family room. My mom was nowhere around. My cousin announced that it was now time for the dolls to go to sleep and have sex. She turned the lights off, stripped the dolls, and put them in the missionary position. The dolls were rolled around by cuz, and she made moaning sounds. :eek:

As a kid, I was perplexed because I had had no discussions regarding sex. As an adult, however, it's a huge red flag to me that she saw something she wasn't supposed to. And she shared it. Because that's what kids do. And camping, especially when the adults are in a different tent, lends itself well to that situation. So do slumber parties. Pretty much anywhere you can get a group of kids together with little to no parental supervision.

Ideally, I like Crunchynerd's world. Unfortunately, I know it's not as realistic as Gummer's. :(

aspiecat
08-01-2013, 05:26 PM
The Scouting Association of NZ has had gay scouts and scout leaders for decades and it's never really been an issue there. I was a scout leader for a short time in NZ and many of the leaders then (about 18 years ago) were gay and lesbian; it wasn't even an issue and I was shocked a few years ago to learn the US still had a ban on gay scouts and leaders. I really hope that stance changes.

mamaraby
08-01-2013, 09:20 PM
I really wanted my dd to be in Girl Scouts. I have fond memories of GS both with troop activities and summer camp. I desperately wanted her to have that experience. Unfortunately, with the local council all I ever got was the run around. Someone will call you. Someone will email you. It took more than a month to ever get a response back and we were very close to connecting. But then that lady stopped responding as well. It was beyond frustrating and one big let down.

All this to say that it varies widely within a state even. My dh spoke with someone in the next county over and they said it was similar there, though perhaps not quite so bad. So, you'll just have to check around and see what you find in your area. I gave up on GS, we're atheists and I have issues with BS, so we're going to go the 4H route. At least the lady heading up the 4H group called me back.

murphs_mom
08-01-2013, 10:39 PM
If you really want to do the GS, mamaraby, and they won't return your calls, go Juliette. Your DD will be able to do all the things a girl with a troop can; the main difference is that she won't be attending meetings w/other girls and paying dues to a troop. You will be able to attend the group activities like camps, kick offs, parties, etc., and that will give you the opportunity to meet other troops in your area. If your DD finds one she clicks with, it's easy enough to ask the troop leader if she can join that troop. Right now, the GS are having major financial problems and it's sad because it's affecting the way the whole organization runs. Or in this case, doesn't run. We've got similar issues in this area. Too many girls, not enough leaders, and the main office is unable to handle all the paperwork. Juliette may be your best bet for now. It will get your foot in the door and your DD will be able to get things rolling. :)

Oh yeah, 4H does totally rock! :cool: Hope your daughter has lots of fun with that!

mamaraby
08-02-2013, 08:57 PM
Right now, the GS are having major financial problems and it's sad because it's affecting the way the whole organization runs. Or in this case, doesn't run. We've got similar issues in this area. Too many girls, not enough leaders, and the main office is unable to handle all the paperwork. Juliette may be your best bet for now. It will get your foot in the door and your DD will be able to get things rolling. :)

Oh yeah, 4H does totally rock! :cool: Hope your daughter has lots of fun with that!

Well, at least that kind of makes sense. We're just going to skip GS, though. It was meant to be a place where she cold meet other kids and make friends in addition to my own nostalgia so I'm afraid the Juliette route wouldn't work for us. Great idea, though! :0)

KristyG
08-19-2013, 10:46 AM
Have you considered finding or starting your own local Camp Fire club? There's not much information about the scout-type clubs on their international website, but you can search for individual club's webpages and find out more of what they're all about. They have pre-k through grade 12 levels, they're co-ed, all inclusive, and are a great organization so far from my experience. We are starting our own club this year, meetings start September, and our whole family is very excited to start!

Camp Fire's website: Welcome to Camp Fire (http://www.campfire.org)

The only bit they say about their clubs: Club programs are age-specific and connect youth with caring, trained adults in a small group atmosphere. Clubs meet regularly throughout the year, and youth often remain involved for many years. Club participants choose from a variety of fun and educational activities and projects. Family members are encouraged to participate and support their youth involved in our clubs. Family members become actively engaged and often tell us how much they enjoy connecting with families they would never otherwise meet.

Statement of Inclusion: Camp Fire works to realize the dignity and worth of each individual and to eliminate human barriers based on all assumptions which prejudge individuals. Our program standards are designed and implemented to reduce sexual, racial, religious, and cultural stereotypes and to foster positive intercultural relationships. In Camp Fire, everyone is welcome.

Here's a page with a little more info: Camp Fire Inland Northwest (http://www.campfireinc.org/ourprograms/clubs/programlevels/)

Little Brownelf
08-20-2013, 03:14 AM
I wanted to find out more about our local Camp Fire groups. I thought it would be a great way for dd and ds to both participate in a scouting kind of organization. None of the group leaders ever got back to me. I couldn't seem to find any regional info to try there.

I'm thankful we're past the initial thrill of scouting so I don't have to worry about it. FWIW, I did "co-lead" a homeschool Brownie troop. While not cookie oriented, it was more than enough work for me. :p

archaeomeg
08-20-2013, 10:54 AM
We found a homeschool Cub Scout den that's pretty relaxed. The den leaders know we are agnostic/atheist and are blissfully unconcerned - their unofficial policy is "Do what you want and we'll check it off if you tell us you did the requirement" ;) Despite my issues with the BSA's discriminatory LGBT policies and their emphasis on conservative religion, it's been a good experience for my boys. And it's free because the den is part of a pack associated with a Methodist church, and the church pays dues for all boys who join, even when they've never been to their church. I'm not sure we'll stick with it into Boy Scouts, as the homeschool den is going to disband after next year when the leader's son ages out of Webelos - they plan to switch to Venturing instead. My mother is pushing hard for my boys to go on to Eagle, since she's been a Scout leader for years and serves on an Eagle board. I don't know. I'll let the boys decide if they want to keep going with it past Webelos. Not sure we'll be able to find another cool group like the one we're in now. It really does make a huge difference between groups. Even within our pack, the other dens are not as fun/cool/relaxed as ours.

Teri
08-20-2013, 11:10 AM
You can't do Venturers until age 14, are they just going to take off for the next four years?

archaeomeg
08-20-2013, 11:55 AM
He has daughters that are teenagers and are frustrated with the GS's lack of outdoorsy focus, so they're going to do Venturer and the son is going to be a lone scout until he finishes his Eagle and moves over to Venturers (although I'm sure he'll be going along unofficially on the activities, if Dad and three sisters are there). :)

sdvelochick
08-25-2013, 06:20 PM
My son is starting Webelos and I was just reading through the requirements to earn his badge. One of them is learning all about his religion and then he has to talk to a religious leader about 3 things he can do to become closer to "God". Being atheists I'm not sure how we are going to handle this requirement. Previous years have been less strict about this. Any atheists go through this with their kids?

Stella M
08-25-2013, 06:26 PM
Thankfully, dd found her atheism AFTER she had to do her Guide promise ( which allows for for 'a higher power', but imo, should allow for no power at all.) What I'd ideally suggest is that you offer an equivalent activity. Maybe he could learn all about the environmental movement and interview a local campaigner and come up with a eco-plan for the household. Probably not, hey ? Idk. Could he choose a religion to study ? And then instead of 'getting closer to God' a bit on 'how I could learn more about different faiths and non-faiths'. I feel pretty strongly an atheist child should be able to do the equivalent work but in a way that doesn't force them to lie.

sdvelochick
08-26-2013, 01:29 AM
I mean the crazy thing is that dh and I would be totally fine if he wanted to join a church group or something but he has zero interest. He has stated from the time he was 5 that his religion is science and that he sees no way for there to be a God. I didn't plan to raise an atheist. The best option I can see is to explore Buddhism or potentially talk with the leader of a UU church. But it still won't be him grower closer to God.

Stella M
08-26-2013, 01:38 AM
A science project that helps him develop his sense of awe at the universe ?! Good luck. It's ridiculous in this day and age that there isn't an option for children of no religion.

Take2
09-05-2013, 04:52 PM
I just officially became a troop leader for the "Junior" level Girl Scouts. It was encouraging to reread this thread. My dh is a den leader for my son's BS den and I am surprised (after taking the on-line training and attending a leader meeting, how different the boys scouts are from the girl scouts. I am hoping this will be a positive experience for dd and me.

If anyone on this forum has been a girl scout leader, I would love to hear your experience.

wendygrace
09-06-2013, 09:54 AM
I was a brownie leader last year and will tell you that the new journeys are awful the way they are written. I found that if you want to do the journeys, then be sure to make it your own. I googled the journey I was working on, and at least for the brownie level, there were top of gung-ho brownie leaders out there that had basically rewritten the plans for the journeys to something that was much more age appropriate for the girls. Less sitting around reading, more art projects and skits and fun.

My son was a cub scout/is a boy scout and yes, it is very, very different. I do like the skills they can learn in the "optional" skill packs. We did do the journeys (my brownies did all three in two years and earned their pins) but we focused more on the skill packs. But then again, our girls met weekly for two hours so we had a ton of time.