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Abolish Scouting Before It’s Too Late

Long before I had any boys, I was determined to bring about the demise of the long-standing affiliation between the church and the Boy Scouts of America.

It’s not that I hate the scouting program or what it stands for. I’ve just always been bothered by the disparity between BSA and the Young Women program du jour.

As a young girl, with two older brothers involved in scouts, I was deathly envious. They had meetings and activities and hikes and camping adventures. They had uniforms and hand-carved neckerchief slides and badges and pins and red berets and socks with fancy thingees on them. They got to play with fire and learn Indian hoop dancing and lash latrines. (OK, so that last one I didn’t envy so much.)

And they had their own magazine: Boys’ Life.

I spent hours pouring over Boys’ Life. It was so cool. And I was pretty much a girly-girl. It had fun stuff to do and neat things to make and amazing things to buy (like live sea horses). Wow.

When I was eight, I didn’t get to do much of anything. Of course I could look forward to being ten, when I’d get to crochet a hot pad and make a Kiddy Care Kit.

As vocal as I am about it all, I’ve tried to keep it from my daughters. I don’t know how my annoyance will serve them. And I keep doing what I can to bring some level of parity to the programs. If you’ve been around here for long, you’ve already heard a bunch of it.

As my oldest son approached his eighth birthday with the scouting program well entrenched in US mormondom I realized my quest had failed. And much to my surprise, I found myself kind of excited. Not for what the girls don’t have, but for what he will have.

Today just five days after his birthday I got the “dreaded” call. The scoutmaster was calling to tell me that scouts ?has been cancelled for the summer. We’ll try again in August.

I guess I have two more months to ratify my sinister plan. Then I’ll probably be shopping for a uniform.

{ 89 comments… add one }

  • Lewis_Family June 30, 2008, 2:23 pm

    ha! Is that an old discussion or did you pull that out of the air in response to Davidson’s discussion :smile:

  • Alison Moore Smith June 30, 2008, 2:25 pm

    I’ll call it a variation on a theme. :smile:

  • davidson June 30, 2008, 2:30 pm

    HA! Alison, you’re giving me lots of good chuckling opportunities today. You are delightful.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 30, 2008, 2:49 pm

    :smile: I just didn’t want to threadjack your great thread with this.

  • Tinkerbell June 30, 2008, 3:46 pm

    My oldest (of four sons) turns 8 tomorrow. Just spent $100 on the uniform/book. I am very excited about it. I can see how much he needs it. I used to think the church should disassociate with scouts and just focus on Faith in God (that was when I was a Bear leader and hated it), but now I really hope they don’t because scouts meets a need boys have.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 30, 2008, 10:45 pm

    I don’t so much disagree that it meets a need. But what is the need the boys have that the girls do NOT have?

  • kjk June 30, 2008, 11:28 pm

    I am new to Mormon Momma, commenting at least. I have read the site for awhile. This time I had to chime in. I have had my scouting calling for quite awhile now and even managed to get my husband roped in. We don’t even have any sons. While it took awhile for my to learn about the calling I do enjoy working with scouts and I would be sad if the church ever cut their ties with the scouting program. Also it is a big deal to incorporate Faith in God with our activities. So the two programs are beginning to come together. I agree that the boys need the program.

    To counter the boys needs, I have seen some really great things going on with Achievement days for the girls. The program in my ward is just as involved as Cub Scouts is for the boys that age. Does the creation of the achievement days program help from you all have seen?

  • spande2 June 30, 2008, 11:57 pm

    kjk: The answer, at least in our area, is “no”. The girls are not allowed to get any awards for their achievements, while the boys spend hundreds every quarter for awards and Courts of Honor. (I used to be the Scouting Advancement Coordinator, so I know how much is spent.) And “Achievement Days” was changed to “Activity Days” a couple of years ago. Activity Days do provide some fun things for the girls, but not the adventure, the challenge and the sense of accomplishment that Scouts does. I know it didn’t hold a candle to Scouts in my oldest daughter’s eyes. I’m actually talking to her on her cell phone right now as she walks from campus to my mother’s house. She said I could quote her: “I think that Scouts is better, hands down, except for the people who attend. [On Activity Days:] Sometimes girls are too girly and don’t want to do anything fun. I would much rather do something exciting than sit around painting each other’s nails, like playing things like “Red Rover”, “Capture the Flag” or going swimming or going on hikes.” (This was all said in a British accent. She is attending a Theater Camp. :)) We’re pretty much past feeling any rancor over it, mostly because our oldest got his Eagle four years ago and doesn’t do Scouts anymore–and he’s the only boy, so the younger girls aren’t making comparisons. I do not doubt that those in charge have their reasons for doing it the way they do. I just think it seems unfair.

    I do think it is interesting that the boys now have a program that parallels Young Womenhood Recognition. That is fairly new, within the last five years, I think. I wonder if it will, eventually, replace Scouting. Is it the “Faith in God” program? I can’t remember what it is called.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2008, 12:21 am

    kjk welcome to the land of posters!

    Posted By: kjkThe program in my ward is just as involved as Cub Scouts is for the boys that age. Does the creation of the achievement days program help from you all have seen?

    I do think Activity Day fills a need. A bit. But if it is really “as involved” as Cubs, then I think your ward isn’t following the program. Don’t scouts meet every week? If I remember correctly, AD is specifically designed to meet twice per month–or a bit less than half as often.

    The girls program has very little structure and none of the infrastructure that the boys have. Uniforms? Badges? Awards out the whazoo? None of it. In most wards I’ve been in they do crafty stuff.

    And as spande said…THE MONEY! A good friend who has served in scout’s for just about her entire adult life (she has six boys and one girl) dropped by to bring some of her kids for a play date this afternoon. We discussed a couple of similar issues and she also mentioned that the money spent on scouts is staggering, relatively speaking. And it certainly dwarfs what the girls get for nail polish and die-cuts.

    I’ve blogged about it before (way back in 2003 when Achievement Days were done away with). From what I’ve seen, most wards didn’t change anything at all–even though it was supposed to. In my ward, they didn’t even change the name until this year.

    Hey spande, tell Katie hi! Is she at Theater Workshop? Alana’s going to Young Ambassador’s camp next week. Her dream week.

  • Lewis_Family July 1, 2008, 8:20 am

    I have friends in the Young Ambassadors, so fun for Alana, they are all quite the characters, but glory would I have loved to go to Australia with them :smile:

  • east-of-eden July 1, 2008, 8:36 am

    I always grit my teeth when in SacMtg, the boys are recognized for the Eagle’s and the bishop or whoever is conducting goes on and on about how hard it is to get that Eagle. Then when a YW gets up to recieve her YW Award, the comment of, “This is just like an Eagle Scout award.” is made. It is not like and Eagle, it is tons more work and effort and unlike the boys you know that girl’s mom did not do any of it.

    But that aside, I can see how Scouting fills a need for boys, however I think some of the men take it to the extreme. Scouting has ruined my family. My father is totally into scouts and makes himself avalible to any scout or leader in the stake, and beyond who needs help, advice etc, to the neglect of my Mother and when we were younger, his children. He was never home on weeknights or weekends because he was always off helping some boy get a merit badge or an Eagle project done. But when it came to my brothers time for those things, he was not there. Even now, they will get phone calls on Thanksgiving and Christmas from brothers in the stake or ward regarding scouting, which infuriates our family, not to mention is totally rude, and makes my Mom feel totally unwanted. He always has time for the scouts, but not his family.

    One of the happiest day’s of my life is when my Dh was released from his call in scouts. It was amazing how much more time he had to devote to our family, home and life. And it was such a relief to him to not have to police boys who had no regard for the principles of scouting — they were just there because mom and dad made them be there, which I realize is age approprate behavior for teenage boys, but seriously, fake it if you can’t make it.

    I would be ok if scouts were to go away, but I know it won’t so I will continue to grit my teeth and hope that when our son is born and enters the program, he will be able to have a good, meaningful experience.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 8:57 am

    Duty to God for the YM is the equivalent of the Young Womanhood Award. Both are recognized in Sacrament meeting. In our ward, they don’t recognize Eagle Scouts during Sacrament meeting. Also in our ward, both cub scouts and Activity Days girls meet twice a month. Cub Scouts have pack meetings once per month, and Activity Girls have parents’ nights regularly (once per quarter, maybe?)

    I would like to see the YW do more outdoorsy stuff. YW camp isn’t even all that outdoorsy. It is more focused on spiritual things than survival things. But, I would hate to see scouts abolished just because the YW can’t do it – I would rather add more to the YW program.

  • kilpatrickclan July 1, 2008, 9:30 am

    In my last ward I was in the Primary presidency and over the cubs. I totally sucked at it. I confess. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor because when we moved to our new ward, I got called as a Cub Scout leader! Anyway, I share your concerns, but I also think the boys need it. Girls need it too though. My daughter is in Girl Scouts and it has been fun. It’s a much less conservative organization than Boy Scouts, so I can see why the church doesn’t support it. I hope Activity Days is a little more pro-active as well. My daughter starts up next year. I will say, my Girls Camp was just a gritty as the Boy Scout Camp. We had to sleep on the ground on tarps. We were not allowed to have a tent. We were only allowed 1 shower, which most of us saved for the day we came home from our big hikes. We did have a cafeteria. I know some camps don’t even do that and they cook all their meals by the fire or camp stove. I grew up in Northern CA so shout out to Camp Liahona! When I moved to Utah and was a leader in YW, the camping experience was way paired down and not so gritty (or smell).

  • agardner July 1, 2008, 9:47 am

    Tink, I had to laugh that you wish YW were more outdoorsy…just because I probably would have been one who was considered inactive if YW were more outdoors-focused, because I wouldn’t have been there. Not my thing. :-)

    FWIW, our girl scout troop was not very outdoorsy either.

    I guess what it comes down to for me with scouts in the church is why couldn’t we just do our own thing? The girls do! I’ve actually seen some really fun and meaningful activity days and YW programs. I will admit that for me a lot of it comes down to money. When I became primary president, I was shocked to see that the few cubs and 11-year old scouts in our ward were getting 3/4 of the total primary budget, and I know the disparity between YM/YW budgets can be just as bad. I guess my main issue is just why do we have to go through the bureaucracy of the BSA for our boys to become leaders? Usually the argument I hear for that is that the BSA already has the structure and organization in place, so why re-invent the wheel? But I would argue that a lot of the BSA stuff if just really not necessary to developing those skills. Like why do we need belt loops, badges, and mother’s pins to show that we know how to tie our knots? Why should we pay millions of dollars in membership fees to BSA when we could do the same stuff on our own? These are the things that bother me when I get on my scout musings. Maybe I should just stop musing. :-)

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2008, 10:58 am

    Love your musing, Angie. You go.

    I actually like camping as long as I can have full bathroom facilities. That said, however, I honestly don’t think OVERALL that the best way to serve the YW is to give them a copy of scouts. I think they ABSOLUTELY need some parity here, but it might be better to go more along the lines of “separate but equal.”

    Not ALL boys like camping. But I’d guess MOST do. So, what do MOST girls like? What will serve the MOST girls? I don’t necessarily it’s going to YW camp and learning to make a campfire with flint. Although I know they LOVE sleepovers.

    With just a fraction of the money spent on scouts, the YW could have one heck of a fabulous week at a resort.

    And, honestly, I’m really not kidding. I think we fool ourselves into this idea that all the scout activities are “valuable survival skills” and so, somehow, whatever the girls do is inconsequential unless it pretends to prepare you to be “Survivor Man.”

    I think a week in a hotel in a nearby city, taking some classes, visiting some museums, doing some service, etc., would be just as educational as scout camp AND more girls would really love it.

    I just asked my two YW-aged girls. They said they’d like to alternate doing something like that with doing camp. They like camping sometimes, but not every year. “But I’m afraid that if they had the choice, almost everyone would pick the city thing and then we wouldn’t ever get to camp.”

  • Ray July 1, 2008, 11:48 am

    Fwiw, if the Church pulled out of Scouting it would have a severe impact on Scouting overall – not for the Church, but more for the rest of Scouting nationwide. I think we won’t be getting our any time soon for that reason alone. I think the Church leaders feel an obligation to keep it functional for boys who dont’ have the support of the Church and an alternate program like Duty to God. (Duty to God was developed primarily as a way to reach those in other countries where Scouting is not available – and probably as an alternative here at a future day.) I can see the Church leaving Scouting in the future (the way to do so certainly has been established), but I don’t see it happening during Pres. Monson’s tenure – unless through direct and explicit revelation.

  • jennycherie July 1, 2008, 12:55 pm

    Posted By: agardnerLike why do we need belt loops, badges, and mother’s pins to show that we know how to tie our knots? Why should we pay millions of dollars in membership fees to BSA when we could do the same stuff on our own?

    that is my biggest complaint with scouting–the cost! When my 11yo son went to camp, they said a scout shirt was a must—a shirt that cost $24.99. Now, to most of you that may not be too bad but NO ONE in this family has ANY item of clothing that cost $24.99. We were lucky to get a hand-me-down for cub scouts but I figured there was no chance of that for Boy Scouts! That and the manual and, if we were really doing it right, the kerchief and the shorts.

    Really, overall, I don’t mind the scout stuff and I am glad when it gets my husband and son doing stuff together. It also encourages my son, who tends to be a bit cerebral, to do things that are more active and useful. My biggest problem with scouting at church is just that it is not done well. We have one brother (that I know of) in our ward who is really IN to Scouting stuff and he seems to carry the load for the whole ward, and he shouldn’t be. Things are SO disorganized, particularly when Scout leaders change frequently and everything seems to be a mess a lot of the time. That is my main frustration–we are doing it, but not doing it well and it leaves a very bad impression of our church with the BSA.

  • kiar July 1, 2008, 1:12 pm

    in our primary, we as a presidency have made sure that if there is a boy that needs a shirt, and the family cannot afford it, we take care of it. I know that that might be frustrating to some, but I don’t want our boys to feel left out. As for our acheivment day girls, they were having acomplette blast until there was a leader change. the new leader, as wonderful as she is, just doesn’t seem to see that the girls don’t want to sit and read scriptures and do family history every week. They want to cook, and play fun games and get to know each other. We are struggling with keeping our girls attending.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 2:12 pm

    As much as I love scouts, the cost is my biggest complaint, too. $100 for the whole uniform to get my first one started. OUCH. (to be fair, I wouldn’t have purchased it all if I didn’t know it would get passed down 3 times).

    If the church incorporated Duty to God with Scouts all in one program, that would be awesome. Like Ray said, though, I think Scouts itself would fall apart without the church.

  • Ray July 1, 2008, 2:57 pm

    I just read the stat: The Church sponsors about 28% of all scouting units in the US. As much as we bother other local troop leaders, the top leadership prays daily that we don’t leave.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 3:00 pm

    Hmm, I actually thought it would be higher. I am glad that so many outside the church are involved in scouting.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2008, 3:01 pm

    Posted By: RayI think the Church leaders feel an obligation to keep it functional for boys who dont’ have the support of the Church and an alternate program like Duty to God.

    I understand this sentiment but, frankly, I think they should feel a much greater obligation to support the YW in the church, than boys who aren’t in it.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 3:02 pm

    Alison, do you feel that the YW aren’t being supported?

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2008, 3:05 pm

    Not on par with the YM.

  • spande2 July 1, 2008, 3:28 pm

    I do feel that there is a disparity. I do not understand the reasons, except to tell you that I asked my Primary President to talk to the general church leadership over Activity Days and find out why we were not allowed to give awards. I was told that the reason is that the YW do not need the recognition and that I should trust the leadership. Okay. I’m fine with that. I think it has something to do with the fact that, as adult women, most of what we do goes unrecognized by the world. Maybe it’s best not to get used to the recognition? Just thinking aloud…

    Ray: I think there is great value in helping keep scouting afloat. Obviously, I also think our YW could use a bit more funding.

    Another thought: One time when my son spouted off the Articles of Faith in the presence of my uncle and my dad, my uncle said “Give him a buck, Ernie.” My father said: “Virtue is its own reward.”

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 3:36 pm

    Alison, in the church as a whole, or in your ward?

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2008, 4:33 pm

    spande, I totally understand your thinking. It’s a logical conclusion to that response. It just makes me sick to my stomach. (Not you, but that that IS a logical conclusion…)

    Tinkerbell, as a whole.

  • agardner July 1, 2008, 5:27 pm

    Ray, that’s the most common argument I hear for staying in scouts also.

    However, not to sound harsh, but WHY should the church have to support this particular youth organization? Are there not plenty of other worthy endeavors as well? Or better yet, can’t we do a similar thing on our own without expending the vast amounts of tithing funds on it that we do. I can’t help but think that my measley tithing could be better used on local programs (i.e. activity days/Duty to God in lieu of BSA) and would go much further than it currently does.

    I guess part of my issue is that I have a family member (actually my dh’s family member) who is employed by the BSA. It’s not a bad living – a LOT of the BSA fees and such go towards salaries of professional scouters. I’m not saying that they are not entitled to earn a living, and to do it through scouting if they want to…it just kind of makes my blood boil when I see the amount of ward budget money that goes towards that.

    Also echoing what Alison said about YW. I don’t think I’ve lived in a ward yet where the YW or activity day girls get anything even in the ballpark that the boys do. I’m not just talking in pure dollars either, although that is a part of it. I’m talking in all resources – personnel, what they are willing to let the girls participate in or not, etc.

    Even just talking about staffing a scouting program is overwhelming sometimes in the Primary, and I’m sure in YM as well. If you are running a good cubs program, you should have at least 8 people called – right? Two for each den, a cubmaster, and a scout committee chairman. Also I’ve seen advancement and awards people called. We even had a lady in our old ward who’s sole calling was to go to the scout office once a month to buy all the awards for pack meeting. And yet, filling these callings was a chore. In smaller wards, I know they often combine these callings and run it on less. I think in our current ward all we have is a married couple that run all the dens combined and a cubmaster – but we only have maybe 3 boys that age. In our Utah ward, which was large, I think we had 11 or 12 people called to scout callings just in Primary alone.

  • Ray July 1, 2008, 5:46 pm

    Ladies, did I say anywhere I support that argument or our continued involvement in Scouting? I said I can see it going away in the future – and I wouldn’t mourn. I just don’t see it happening under the tenure of a Prophet who holds Scouting’s highest possible award.

  • jennycherie July 1, 2008, 6:26 pm

    Posted By: agardnermeasley tithing could be better used on local programs

    here is what I wonder – – what is the Scout budget for? Particularly when we, as parents (or the scout himself), pay camp fees and for a book and uniform, etc. Is it to buy the badges and to put on the events?

  • agardner July 1, 2008, 6:44 pm

    Ray, sorry if it sounded like I was disagreeing with you. I was simply agreeing that I often hear that argument and why I don’t like the argument.

    Jennycherie, it differs by ward, but when I was in Primary, we (Primary budget) paid for registration fees, manuals (one per boy, if they lost them they had to replace them), den meetings, pack meetings, awards, day camp registration…hmm, what else? Pretty much we covered everything other than uniforms (although we did help out if there was a financial need), replacement books, and mother’s pins. The previous presidency had bought the mother’s pins and we discontinued it – and had a lot of people upset with us over it. But still, we had one of those wards that for some reason was really heavily female in our senior Primary, it seems like at one time we had like 8 scouts and 24 activity day girls – but about 3/4 of our budget went to scouts. Having three girls, that was a big shocker and disappointment to me, and I didn’t even spend as much on scouts as the previous president had.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 7:27 pm

    Okay, Alison, I disagree. In our ward, I think our YW are getting the better end of the deal, and I think it has a lot to do with the leaders. Our YM program has been suffering. But, new YM presidency was called on Sunday, so we’ll see. Really, our YM don’t do anything more from a program perspective than our YW do. We both meet once a week for mutual, we both play basketball and volleyball, we both do one summer activity (YM do either Scouts or High Adventure). I can definitely see an argument for a High Adventure activity over girl’s camp.

    Hmm, maybe I take part of that back. Our YM camp every couple of months, and our YW do not do sleepovers (in fact, when I became YW Pres in both wards, I nixed them – sorry!)

    Angie, our tithing dollars paying the salaries of scouting personnel is the best argument I have heard for severing ties.

    When I was a cub scout leader, the budget paid for awards and a nominal amount for activities (same as Activity Days), so basically the experiences were the same, the larger budget just paid for the patches and things. Parents pay for day camp, books, etc.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 7:30 pm

    Also, in both wards, our YM/YW have had exactly the same budgets. In this ward, a large donation was made by someone just for scouts, so they have extra money. But, I don’t see that as a problem. People are entitled to donate to what they want to.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2008, 9:01 pm

    Posted By: TinkerbellOkay, Alison, I disagree. In our ward, I think our YW are getting the better end of the deal, and I think it has a lot to do with the leaders.

    Of course there is sometimes a discrepancy in leadership. But that isn’t an imposed limitation. It’s a chosen one. We’ll always have some great great leaders and some not so great. But no ward or auxiliary is–by policy-relegated to getting poor leaders.

    Really, our YM don’t do anything more from a program perspective than our YW do.

    Understand that in the post above, where I spoke of following the program, I was referring to Scouts vs. Activity Day, not YM vs. YW. Just to clarify.

    Our YM camp every couple of months, and our YW do not do sleepovers (in fact, when I became YW Pres in both wards, I nixed them – sorry!)

    Interesting, no?

    When I moved here to EM, most of the families in the ward didn’t allow their kids to go to sleepovers. Apparently some local leader a few years prior had “outlawed” them in the name of possible abuse. Strangely, though, the sleepover ban didn’t apply to scouts. And where have the sexual abuse issues mostly come from? Scouts or YW sleepovers?

    When I was a cub scout leader, the budget paid for awards and a nominal amount for activities (same as Activity Days), so basically the experiences were the same, the larger budget just paid for the patches and things.

    Just? Just all the cool stuff that sets them so far apart.

    Posted By: TinkerbellAlso, in both wards, our YM/YW have had exactly the same budgets.

    Except that the YM ALSO get scouts and the YW don’t.

    In this ward, a large donation was made by someone just for scouts, so they have extra money.

    Exactly.

    But, I don’t see that as a problem. People are entitled to donate to what they want to.

    Yes and no.

    No, because there is official policy that prohibits members from using personal funds for church events. It was a HUGE deal in Boca because we had a relatively rich ward (the stake pres called us “the Boca Raton Ward and Resort”) and lots of the stake (and even some in our ward) were destitute. They worked us over on the policy because ignoring it made a real disparity between the various wards in our stake.

    Yes, because BOY scouts seems to be this infinite loophole. (At least in practice.) “People are entitle to donate to scouts if they want to.” So they do. But there is no loophole for the girls.

    Not only is there no loophole for the girls to get “extra money” but the same stereotype (that boys NEED the money for their stuff, and girls don’t need all that stuff) is perpetuated when, year after year, the girls make do and the guys play with the “extra money.”

    I have a great deal of personal experience with this as a leader.

    Like the year the boys got $2,000 in scrap metal handed to them for camp. I asked what $2,000 item the girls were getting. “Uh….well…we didn’t think about it…” We got exactly $0.

    Or like the fact that the every year the boys got a “super activity” that was “donated” by an “anonymous donor.” (I know who it was, everyone does, but I won’t impugn his character here. He’s a good guy.) The last year, for example, he paid for every single boy in the ward to certify for scuba.

    When we (the YW leaders) took the complaints of the girls to the bishopric, we were told that we could have something comparable. Problem was, no matter what we proposed, it was never approved.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 9:16 pm

    Scouts is a tough one because of all the patches and fees. Would it really be fair to give the activity girls the exact same amount so that they end up with really cool field trips and activities while the scouts just get patches? Would it be fair to ask the parents to pay for all the patches? What do they do in “normal” scout troops? Oh, fundraisers. Fundraisers galore. That was what half the roundtables I went to were about.

    I nixed sleepovers because the week before I was called, the Beehives had a sleepover. I got an earful from a parent whose daughter learned about “pubic hair” after the YW leader went to bed at 3 a.m. I honestly had to WORK to keep from laughing at her outrage, but it was outrage nonetheless (just one of the many, many times I got an earful from parents. One reason I am glad not to be the Pres anymore. :smile:)

    Actually, we’ve talked about taking the girls camping on the lake for a night. I should ask about that again. I guess that makes me a hypocrite.

  • Tinkerbell July 1, 2008, 9:20 pm

    I liked it when we got little charms in Valiant Miss (the old-old activity days). Technically, activity days vs. cub scouts is in the same boat as YW vs. scouts. Faith in God for Girls and Faith in God for Boys are comparable, and both are recognized the same way just like Duty to God and Young Womanhood Award are recognized the same way. Scouts is “extra” in both cases. Overall, I would rather see more added to the girls than all of scouts taken from the boys. I agree there could be more equality, but I really don’t want to just nix scouts. It serves a lot of good (of course I am partial because of my four boys, but I also love my YW a lot, and I have never heard one of them complain. They plan their own activities and have a lot of fun. We do a lot of cool stuff.)

  • Alison Moore Smith July 2, 2008, 10:51 am

    Posted By: TinkerbellWould it really be fair to give the activity girls the exact same amount so that they end up with really cool field trips and activities while the scouts just get patches?

    Well, if the boys NEED the patches and the girls don’t, why wouldn’t it be fair?

    OTOH, maybe if the girls had “patch money” that they used for “really cool field trips and activities” the boys would find they suddenly didn’t “need” the patches. They might learn this amazing lesson of opportunity cost and that you can’t have everything in a universe with limited resources.

    FWIW, I think the patches are fun and cool. I don’t know if they are worth the cost, but I DO know that GIRLS also LOVE those kinds of rewards. I’ve seen it over and over with the elementary aged kids.

    Really, how hard (relatively speaking) would it be to create a standardized reward program and a bit more structure for Activity Days? That would at least be a start.

  • Tinkerbell July 2, 2008, 11:13 am

    Alison, I agree. But I also suspect that any standardized reward program implemented from the church would cost a lot less than the patches purchased from BSA. So, if we had a reward system for the girls but still spent more on cub scouts because of the patches, would you think that was fair?

  • Tinkerbell July 2, 2008, 11:29 am

    I had a thought. I suspect the reason the church doesn’t do awards for activity days is that the Faith in God program for both girls and boys is a worldwide program, while scouts is only in some countries. So, it is an extra benefit for some boys in the church. I do agree with Alison that it would be fair in the wards that have scouts to do an award program for the girls. I read a website (not official church one) that said to talk to the Primary leaders about seeing if it could come out of the budget. I can tell you that if I am ever a Primary President or in the Presidency, I’d push for it.

    I suspect that in the long-term, as the church becomes even more world-wide, that it will disassociate officially with scouts. Just my opinion.

    I think another benefit of scouts right now is the insurance it provides for overnight trips. That may be a reason why boys get to do them and girls don’t.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 2, 2008, 11:47 am

    Posted By: TinkerbellAlison, I agree. But I also suspect that any standardized reward program implemented from the church would cost a lot less than the patches purchased from BSA. So, if we had a reward system for the girls but still spent more on cub scouts because of the patches, would you think that was fair?

    I don’t know. That’s a hypothetical that’s too vague for me. Fairness or parity is, of course, impossible to perfectly assess. And it does involve more than just money. Money is just one of the easiest to measure. So equal funding would be fair in at least one sense.

    At this point I don’t see parity in really area. The boys get TONS more money, they get uniforms, badges, endless rewards, they have more choices, they meet more often, they camp out every month, etc.

    Posted By: TinkerbellI suspect the reason the church doesn’t do awards for activity days is that the Faith in God program for both girls and boys is a worldwide program, while scouts is only in some countries.

    Actually that was exactly my contention in the post linked above. It used to be that boys had scouts, girls had Achievement Days and the BOTH had Gospel in Action. When they got rid of Achievement Days, Activity Day became the implementation OF Faith in God. Boys get both. Girls get one. (At least in policy, not so much in practice, at least here.)

    I suspect that in the long-term, as the church becomes even more world-wide, that it will disassociate officially with scouts. Just my opinion.

    I do, too. I know they did try to implement it in other countries (Australia was one, if memory serves) but gave that up a few years ago.

    I also think that as our older leaders…how do I say this delicately…move on, more gender-sensitivity will emerge. Expectations about gender have changed so much. Not to mention that President Monson has…what is is?…the BSA Silver Buffalo or something. I thought he only had the Silver Beaver. He is somewhere in the top .000000000000000002% of scouters. No way, no how is he going to opt-out.

    That may be a reason why boys get to do them and girls don’t.

    Don’t let that get out. I’ve never heard that used as an excuse for the disparity. No pile ons. :wink:

  • Alison Moore Smith July 2, 2008, 11:48 am

    Actually, I think the disparity is due to the “unwritten order of things.”

  • Oregonian July 2, 2008, 3:49 pm

    i have two sons and now that my daughter is older I really notice this problem. its wrong on so many levels.

  • naomlette July 4, 2008, 12:18 am

    Isn’t doing Scouts an option, not a requirement? I guess YW’s is an option too, but there is YM and Duty to God that boys can do. They don’t have to do Scouting, do they? Because I’m not going to be pushing my sons (if I have any) to do Scouting at all if they don’t want to, but I will push them to do YM and get their Duty To God thing, just like I will push my girls (again, if I have any) to get their medallions (are they still doing those?) and do YW. For some reason that I don’t know, Scouts just grates on me. We will see if that changes now that my husband is the leader for the 11 year olds, but I don’t know.

  • east-of-eden July 4, 2008, 8:28 am

    Scouts is optional., but since most of what the 12-13 year olds do in their mutual activites is scouts, opting out would mean, by default opting out of mutual. As the boys get older the activies are not so scout oriented, but still scout heavy.

  • vinniecat July 5, 2008, 1:08 pm

    Alison, I sooo understand your point. I grew up with an older brother who got to do so many fun things as a scout that I didn’t get to do – and I really feel the church needs to “put your money where your mouth is” in regards to programs for the girls. Activity Days is in a much lower league than scouts. Our budget for cubs is about $1500/yr where it is $100/yr for activity days. I don’t want to take anything away from the boys, just bring the girls’ program up to par with it. It has always bothered me, and every time I have brought it up to leaders, I get the silent treatment, like I’m an apostate. I kid you not. I don’t equate scouts with the gospel.

  • Ray July 5, 2008, 1:18 pm

    Just one simple point from the land of 150-200 member wards:

    There is no way whatsoever to bring the Activity Days budget up to the level that Scouts historically requires in wards where the budget is based on average attendance of less than 200 members. If we were to even out the budget funding, it would have to be by lowering the Scouting budget to a level that would make it impractical. I’m not saying I oppose that action, but that is the only option in smaller wards like ours: fund disproportionately or abolish Scouting.

    . . . and now we’ve come full circle to the original title of this post.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 5, 2008, 2:20 pm

    Posted By: vinniecatOur budget for cubs is about $1500/yr where it is $100/yr for activity days.

    15/1 in favor of the boys. Wow. Yea, that’s perfectly reasonable because, well, “girls don’t need as much.”

    Posted By: Raybut that is the only option in smaller wards like ours: fund disproportionately or abolish Scouting.

    Not at all. The budget funding is based on the idea that each person costs a certain amount. It has ALREADY been calculated in a way that allows boys to have a large amount of money. If the girls were to be COUNTED as costing as much, the amount per person would just have to go up.

    It’s not magic. It just means we need to be willing to support the girls to the same level we support the boys. And, frankly, EVEN THEN the girls would likely not get the same benefit because they wouldn’t have this huge organization (partly funded by charitable donations–i.e. a group where the MEMBERS don’t bear the full cost of the benefits) that the girls won’t.

  • Ray July 5, 2008, 7:24 pm

    Alison, the higher calculation for the boys is because of Scouting costs. Period. If the Church calculated the girls as costing as much, I’m not sure we would have the resources to fund that higher average calculation. Which is one of the main reasons why I wouldn’t cry if the Church got out of Scouting all together.

    I would love to see if there is such a disparity in countries where the Church is not involved in Scouting.

  • Rachel July 5, 2008, 9:20 pm

    Posted By: vinniecatOur budget for cubs is about $1500/yr where it is $100/yr for activity days.

    As the counselor over Activity Days in my ward, I would loooove to be able to spend $100/yr for Activity Days. I’m embarrassed when we have a new AD leader called, because I have to explain over again that they somehow have to hold activities with no money. Our cubs’ budget is at least over a thousand (not totally sure on the exact amount–I’m assuming close to vinniecat’s $1500), and they are talking about “borrowing” from the Primary Activity budget because they “don’t have enough.”

    Beyond mentioning that I’ll be heartbroken for my little girl when she gets older and feels less than her brother (if she does), that is all I will say. No matter the outcome it is a shame because someone will lose.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 6, 2008, 6:08 pm

    Posted By: RayAlison, the higher calculation for the boys is because of Scouting costs. Period.

    Did I suggest otherwise?

    If the Church calculated the girls as costing as much, I’m not sure we would have the resources to fund that higher average calculation.

    Phooey. By “we” U I mean the church, not your ward. I’d be stunned if the church as a whole couldn’t afford to fund the girls at the same level as the boys.

    I would love to see if there is such a disparity in countries where the Church is not involved in Scouting.

    Me, too. That would be interesting. I’ve always assumed there isn’t.

  • marlygf July 8, 2008, 6:57 pm

    I love this topic because I felt the same way when I was in yw. I actually heard the guys talking about going ice fishing. I complained. Well, what happened? We went ice fishing with the ym. I was tired of them getting to do fun activities and we made another decoration for my future house. It was getting old. I don’t even care about the patches, I just hated that we didn’t get to do anything fun!

    Also, when I got my young womanhood medallion I had a big thing, like an eagle, with a friend. I found out it was the last time they did one in my ward growing up. The bishop didn’t think it was appropriate and all the future ones would be given to them in sacrament meeting.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 8, 2008, 10:21 pm

    Posted By: marlygfWe went ice fishing with the ym.

    EXACTLY! Because things like ice fishing are inherently noble and valuable. I mean when global warming is over and the ice age hits, the scouts who can ICE FISH will be the sole survivors.

    But the girly things that females like to do are just a WASTE OF RESOURCES that COULD be used to LASH LATRINES!

    I was tired of them getting to do fun activities and we made another decoration for my future house.

    marlygf, if you haven’t already, you HAVE to see Latter-Day Biscuit. If you hate decorating with crafts, you will CRY watching this DVD.

    When I got my own YW award, we could choose between the medallion and a little “swirly girl” statue. I picked the statue because I did NOT work on goals for SIX YEARS just to get a GOLDTONE medallion. And if you’ll whisper me your old bishop’s address, I’m going to TP his house.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 7, 2009, 1:47 pm

    I decided to resurrect this old thread to post something that happened last Sunday.

    A man who apparently is one of the scout leaders in my ward got up to bear his testimony. He said, “Last week my daughter asked me, ‘Why do the boys get to do all the fun stuff?’ And I realized that the scouts hear my testimony more than my family does. So I’m here to bear my testimony in front of my family.”

    I sat there kind of stupified. Did no one else hear that his daughter thought BOYS DO ALL THE FUN STUFF??? Or was I the only one who didn’t understand that what she MEANT was, “Why can’t girls have more testimony meetings?”

    But it did make me wonder how girls can say things like this over and over and over and no one seems to notice.

  • facethemusic January 7, 2009, 5:36 pm

    I thought the same thing, Alison. How did he get “I need to bear my testimony to my family more often”, from “How come the boys get to do all the fun stuff?”
    I mean– I’m GLAD he wants to bear his testimony to his family more often— but it was a strange catalyst for his realization. And I wonder how and if he ever answered his daughter’s real question.
    Funny you bring this up today by the way. Just last night my husband told me that he let the Bishop know that if they can’t find someone who will REALLY do scouts with the boys in our ward that he’s going to pull our son out and stick him in another troop outside the church. He even asked the Bishop to let HIM (my husband) act as scoutmaster, even though he’s not suppose to since he’s in the bishopric. The Bishop didn’t give him an answer yet. :)

  • Lewis_Family January 7, 2009, 5:36 pm

    HA!

  • kiar January 7, 2009, 5:37 pm

    Hee hee, I have just been made the 8-11 year old girls teacher in Primary. I am making it my mission to find really fun things to do with them, since I will have my husbands ear to bend (he’s done scouts forever, and wants our girls to be able to do everything that the boys can) The PP just asked me if I can help with the Activities, and boy howdy, will I!

  • nanacarol January 7, 2009, 5:39 pm

    So Kiar, will you be doing the achievement days with the girls? How many? I need some ideas. I only have 2 girls and one is the only active girl.

  • kiar January 7, 2009, 5:43 pm

    I have 4-5, and I will be “assisting”. Whatever that means. the leader works alot, and doesn’t plan, so it has been the PP doing all the activities. So she asked me to start doing them. I am hoping that I can get the girls to come ot my house, since I don’t want to drive up the hill all the time. Plus then we can do stuff like camping and the like in my backyard.

  • nanacarol January 7, 2009, 5:54 pm

    Thanks for the info. Just let me know some of your fun ideas.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 7, 2009, 6:04 pm

    You go, kiar! :cheer:

  • Alison Moore Smith January 7, 2009, 6:07 pm

    Thought I’d update you on something else. Samson started scouts summer, officially, but they only had one activity and cancelled the rest. Since moving, he’s been in a new troop. The leaders are great and he’s totally having a ball.

    I don’t hate scouts. I hope you know that. I hate the disparity. I hate that when I go to the scout office to pick something up (which, obviously, I’d never done until the past few months) my girls are nearly blown away by all the STUFF. Even my teenagers are saying, “Wow, this is cool. What is this? That looks fun.” And they wonder why the GIRLS don’t have ANYTHING.

    And, for the record, they have never heard the stuff I say about this to you all.

  • facethemusic January 7, 2009, 6:59 pm

    I don’t even have a problem with the disparity– I just don’t like that scouts is a “church” thing instead of an “outside of church” thing. The girls could be in girl scouts and have all that cool stuff, too – (minus the emphasis on faith and God– so it’s not exactly the same, but in the general area) But Girl Scouts isn’t a part of the church program for girls, and I’m glad it’s not. I’d prefer the church drop the “scout” aspect of the Young Men program and just work on their spirits and let the BSA handle the knot tying and repelling.

  • jennycherie January 7, 2009, 7:03 pm

    Posted By: facethemusicI’d prefer the church drop the “scout” aspect of the Young Men program and just work on their spirits and let the BSA handle the knot tying and repelling.

    I completely and totally agree!

  • agardner January 7, 2009, 7:58 pm

    Amen Tracy

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 1:30 am

    Posted By: facethemusicI don’t even have a problem with the disparity

    Seriously? When the boys get funding, what is it?, 50 to 100 times what the girls get, that doesn’t even ruffle your feathers?

    The girls could be in girl scouts and have all that cool stuff, too -

    They COULD, but do you know that in the very early ’70’s the church came out and specifically asked LDS girls NOT to join the Girl Scout program? I realize that’s a long time ago, but it just happened to be at the time I desperately wanted to be a Brownie. The stigma against GS is still around in the church. (I’m not necessarily saying I disagree with the counsel–it was because God isn’t part of GS.)

    I’d prefer the church drop the “scout” aspect of the Young Men program and just work on their spirits and let the BSA handle the knot tying and repelling.

    I would, too. And, of course, in many parts of the world that’s the way it is. I can’t imagine that President Monson would ever consider it, however. Maybe Uchtdorf? I bet he wasn’t a scout.

  • facethemusic January 8, 2009, 6:08 am

    Seriously? When the boys get funding, what is it?, 50 to 100 times what the girls get, that doesn’t even ruffle your feathers?

    I’ve never been in a ward where the boys got more money than girls– not that I’m aware of when I was in YW leadership at the time. They got the same money and any extra money needed for camps and such had to be earned.
    Are you talking about money from the Church? Or that the BSA gets more donations than the GSA?

    They COULD, but do you know that in the very early ’70’s the church came out and specifically asked LDS girls NOT to join the Girl Scout program

    Yes, I was. I WAS a Brownie and had already become a Junior when my mother heard about it, and pulled me out. And having BEEN there, it was wise counsel. It wasn’t just about God either– I heard a LOT of naysaying against stay-at-home moms. It was very career oriented.

  • Ray January 8, 2009, 8:56 am

    When the boys get funding, what is it?, 50 to 100 times what the girls get.

    What Face said. If you mean from the ward budget, which is the only common source of funds, I have never seen that.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 9:37 am

    OK, guys, I misspoke. I’ve had this discussion in other venues over the last umpteen years, but just looked back in THIS thread. This is what I found:

    Posted by: RayThere is no way whatsoever to bring the Activity Days budget up to the level that Scouts historically requires in wards where the budget is based on average attendance of less than 200 members. If we were to even out the budget funding, it would have to be by lowering the Scouting budget to a level that would make it impractical. I’m not saying I oppose that action, but that is the only option in smaller wards like ours: fund disproportionately or abolish Scouting.
    ?
    Alison, the higher calculation for the boys is because of Scouting costs. Period.

    Posted by: vinniecat:Our budget for cubs is about $1500/yr where it is $100/yr for activity days.

    Posted by: RachelAs the counselor over Activity Days in my ward, I would loooove to be able to spend $100/yr for Activity Days. I’m embarrassed when we have a new AD leader called, because I have to explain over again that they somehow have to hold activities with no money. Our cubs’ budget is at least over a thousand (not totally sure on the exact amount–I’m assuming close to vinniecat’s $1500), and they are talking about “borrowing” from the Primary Activity budget because they “don’t have enough.”

    So it isn’t “50 to 100.” The specific examples given in this thread show 15 times greater funds and a number approaching an infinitely greater amount given to support boys’ activities. This is church budget.

    As for earning more money for events, yes, both YW and YM can do so. But the YW are limited to ONE annual fundraiser according to the handbook. Scouts have no limit on the number of fundraisers. Not to mention that sometimes scout leaders use strong-arm tactics to do so.

  • Lewis_Family January 8, 2009, 9:46 am

    Ward budget + friends of scouting money…? is there a ym and scouting category?

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 9:59 am

    Posted By: facethemusic
    Yes, I was. I WAS a Brownie and had already become a Junior when my mother heard about it, and pulled me out.

    Wow, new travels slowly in your part of the woods, eh? :wink:

    But that’s my point. I’m not sure I’d consider GS as an option for LDS girls.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 10:05 am

    Lewis, I don’t know how ward budget figures into scouts at the mutual-age level. I’ve only seen specific Primary-age discussions. My experience has been that scouts ask for donations (door-to-door AND from the pulpit). I’ve never seen such donation requests for girls’ events. As I’ve discussed before, I’ve also seen ward donations (as in the scrap metal, etc.) given to scouts with no parity for the girls. The also can do fundraisers without the limits imposed on the YW. As far as I can tell, the YW must adhere to church rules, while the YM adhere to scouting rules.

  • facethemusic January 8, 2009, 1:32 pm

    Wow, new travels slowly in your part of the woods, eh?

    Well…. outside of the LDS West, yes, it does! I’ve mentioned before how our Stake in South Carolina was still collecting dues for Scouts 9 years after the Church stopped doing this!!
    But I don’t think we were late in the GS situation, were we?
    Maybe you think I’m younger than I really am?? I’m 40. I was in Girl Scouts in the 70’s when the announcement was made. So I doubt it was very long after the news got out that my mother pulled me out. I’m trying to remember where we lived when she pulled me out— I think it was when we were in Virginia– so that would have been in ’76 I think. Is that too much later than when it was announced?

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 1:58 pm

    Posted By: facethemusicI’ve mentioned before how our Stake in South Carolina was still collecting dues for Scouts 9 years after the Church stopped doing this!!

    LOL

    Just for the record, Tracy, ward budget donations have been discontinued and Merry Miss, Blazers, and Targeteers have been deprecated. :wink:

    But I don’t think we were late in the GS situation, were we?

    Well, you said you were junior when your mom heard about it. The statement came out before my 3rd grade year. That would have been before the fall of 1972. I’m thinking that juniors are fifth grade or so? So if you’re four years younger than I am and it came out when I was eight and you heard about it when you were ten, I think the Pony Express took over half a decade or so to get to you. But at least you got it!

  • Lewis_Family January 8, 2009, 2:59 pm

    Woah, hold up, you guys are in your forties? :devil:

  • agardner January 8, 2009, 3:03 pm

    I got into this budget thing with my husband the other night. He claims that the boys and girls in our ward get the same amount, but I don’t believe it. :-) I said, “what about the fundraisers?” and he said that both the boys and girls only do one and they split the money. I asked about YW/YM budgets and he said, “exactly the same”.

    Not to disagree with my husband (he has sat in on far more budget related meetings than I have), but I can only go by what I experienced as a Primary president, and that is that just the fact that the church is hand-in-hand with BSA causes the boys to need at least 10 times what the girls get. Primary budgets aren’t big, and scouting costs are. That leaves very little for other activities (for the whole primary) and activity days (for the older girls).

    In other words, when I was primary president, we spent about 80% of our budget on our 8-12 boys and the other 20% was split between everyone in the ward between 18 months – 12 years. I don’t care for the system at all. Especially as a mom of 3 girls.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 3:29 pm

    Lewis, you MET me last summer. You know very well just how ancient I am!

    You go, agardner!

    I don’t know if I’d be surprised to find that YW and YM got the same amount of money. Hmmm… OK, well, yes, I would if the ward has many active scouts of mutual age–unless the parents pay for ALL the scout stuff out-of-pocket. When you look at the MONTHLY campouts, plus badges and awards and court of honor and jamboree and … I don’t know what all older scouts do.

    In November our bishop got up in Sacrament Meeting and asked us all to consider donating to the ward for the scout program. He discussed how much it costs for each boy each year. (No, I didn’t write it down.) Those donations that go to the ward and then to scouts ARE ward expenses.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 3:31 pm

    Oh, my last ward always had separate fundraisers, until the last two years we were there, they did a big auction thing and split the money. I assume it was a 50/50 split, but I don’t know. But they scouts still had the Friends of Scouting drive that was a door-to-door effort with support from the pulpit. They asked for $25 per family.

    Either way, the boys aren’t LIMITED to the one fundraising event the girls are by policy, though some wards may choose that.

  • jennycherie January 8, 2009, 4:02 pm

    is Friends of Scouting just a UT thing? Or is it everywhere and we just don’t experience it since our scouting program is so. . . basic?

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 5:57 pm

    I just googled “Friends of Scouting” and it shows up in Utah AND all over the country: Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, California, Indiana, etc. There are even references for European military troops.

    While looking for that I came up with some other info. The Friends of Scouting assessment (does that mean participation is optional?) is between $1600 and $2,000 per troop.

    This was also interesting: Scouters are thrifty, but some leaders are well paid. As in some are paid more than the president of the US. Hello?

    Here is a key piece of info:

    ? Such salaries come while Friends of Scouting fund-raising drives here are different than anywhere else. In Utah, LDS Church congregations are assigned to visit all homes in their boundaries to solicit funds. Quotas are often set. If congregations fail to meet them, they may not receive discounts for camps and supplies that others enjoy. Elsewhere nationally, Scout leaders merely tend to explain needs to parents and seek funds without quotas.

    I think I need to go to pushups and kick my wave master around a bit.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2009, 5:58 pm

    Or maybe I’ll lash a latrine.

  • agardner January 8, 2009, 8:04 pm

    Lashing a latrine sounds good. Or lashing anything. Lash a scout?? Just kidding.

    I know some professional scouters who are very well paid. Not that they don’t deserve to earn a living but I get extremely frustrated that part of their salary is my TITHING and the FOS money I have at times given.

    Since we moved to Louisiana, we have not been asked to donate to FOS. Thank goodness.

    In Utah, one year our bishop got up in Sacrament Meeting and said that we lived in an affluent ward (we did, although we were not affluent ourselves) and that each family should be able to donate at least $75 for FOS that year. A few days later the YM president showed up at my door (what, no actual scouts gathering their own money??) and said, “I’m here for the friends of scouting assessment. Will you be giving $75 or can you afford more this year?”.

    Ha! I was so mad, steam was probably coming out of my ears. Unfortunately, I was Primary president at the time and felt that if I didn’t donate and it got back to others in the ward that it would look like I wasn’t supporting the program. Today, I wouldn’t care what people thought, lol, but then I did, so I paid it. Begrudgingly.

    I think now if I were asked to donate to FOS, I’d just say something like, “I have three daughters, and I have to pay for their activities since the church has no scouting equivalent for girls. I pay my tithing and plenty of that goes to scouting, so I think that’s enough this year, thank you and goodbye!”

    I probably posted this here before, but one time in ward council something was being discussed with scouts and that something they were doing seemed “frivolous”. I made a side comment to the YW president (yes, inappropriate, but I was just trying to be funny) and I said, “Isn’t everything the scouts do frivolous?”. The high council rep said, “You won’t think that when your daughters start dating a non-scout”.

    Again, HA! I couldn’t care less if they date a scout or not. I married a non-scout, my dad is a non-scout, and my brothers are for the most part non-scouts (they did participate somewhat but none has their Eagle). Those are 6 of the best men I know. I want my girls to marry a man who is a good person, treats them well, etc. If he has an Eagle, great. If not, that’s okay today. It’s really not a requirement in our house.

    And no, I will not be donating to FOS again. Ever.

  • facethemusic January 8, 2009, 9:26 pm

    is Friends of Scouting just a UT thing? Or is it everywhere and we just don’t experience it since our scouting program is so. . . basic?

    Our ward has done it a couple times over the past 5 or 6 years, Jenn– they actually talked about it for a few minutes immediately following Sacrament meeting both times. (Which frankly, I found to be a little tacky, personally.) Maybe you just happened to be up at your Mom’s both times???

  • davidson January 8, 2009, 11:33 pm

    “Again, HA! I couldn’t care less if they date a scout or not. I married a non-scout, my dad is a non-scout, and my brothers are for the most part non-scouts (they did participate somewhat but none has their Eagle). Those are 6 of the best men I know. I want my girls to marry a man who is a good person, treats them well, etc. If he has an Eagle, great. If not, that’s okay today. It’s really not a requirement in our house.”

    Amen to the sentiment, Angie. :smile:

  • jennycherie January 9, 2009, 5:18 am

    Posted By: facethemusicMaybe you just happened to be up at your Mom’s both times???

    that’s possible. . . I always miss the interesting stuff!

  • mormondad April 18, 2009, 8:26 am

    Since I live in Utah, I have to deal with that stupid FOS thing every year. Once I found out our head scout guy in Utah makes about $250,000 annually, I decided they could take FOS and stuff it in their you-know-what. When one of the ward leaders came by and asked if we were contributing to FOS this year, my wife said no.

    My wife and I really hate scouting even though we have 4 boys. Big whoop if they don’t earn their eagle (lower case was intentional). Ted Bundy (notorious killer and rapist) earned his eagle award. That’s always my counter when people get smug about getting the eagle.

    One time when I was Ward Clerk, during Ward Council, the scout master went off on how daughters should marry guys who have eagles. Funny thing was as he was saying that I knew the bishop, the 2nd counselor, the Exec Secretary and I didn’t have our eagles. If this had been a corporate meeting, I would have verbally ripped him to shreds. But instead, as I was taking notes, I wrote a smug comment that only the 2nd counselor could see and he laughed.

    Another time, there was a stake meeting about the YM program and the high counselor over scouting was there in full uniform. He was talking about the virtues of scouting when my wife raised her hand and said we don’t support scouting because of scout Nazis. Yes, she actually used the word Nazi. By the way, you ever notice that the scout color for the shirt is the same as what the Nazi youth used to wear? ;) She gave the example of how our son was not allowed to race in the pinewood derby because his car was one ounce too heavy. The high counselor was shocked, apologized for what had happened and tried to continue to say how beneficial scouting is. For me and my wife, it fell upon deaf ears.

    As some of you have already posted, girls get the short end of the stick if you compare scouting to YW. Girls have to work so much harder to get their award than some guys do to get their eagle. Some eagle projects are even down right lame. And then there’s the comment that the YW program is set up to teach girls how to become good wives. What program is supposed to teach guys how to be good husbands????? I teach my boys how to cook, wash laundry and fold clothes and even iron their own shirts. Ok…I’m beginning to lose it so I’m going to end it. Thanks for letting me rant…

  • Alison Moore Smith April 18, 2009, 12:28 pm

    Posted By: mormondadOk…I’m beginning to lose it so I’m going to end it.

    Please, go on! It’s nice to read ranting from someone ELSE once in a while!

  • jennycherie April 19, 2009, 8:08 am

    Posted By: Alison Moore SmithIt’s nice to read ranting from someone ELSE once in a while!

    :rolling::rolling:

  • Sally Brown August 14, 2011, 6:46 pm

    Hi Allison,

    I love the post. I had my two boys in scouting as well. My daughter went to girl scouts, but didn’t like it as much. I can understand why, because she and I were both tom-boys and would prefer hiking and camping out to knitting and other girly things.

    Great post! Sally
    Sally Brown recently posted…Dr. Suess – 6 Things Bloggers Can Learn!My Profile

  • Andrea March 10, 2014, 4:13 pm

    Thank you for this post, I could have wrote it word for word, and I have been discussing the issue with my husband recently as our son is approaching 8. I told my husband that he was completely in charge of helping him get to Eagle, because I didn’t think it was fair that woman are supposed to help while at the same time telling their little girls that they can not be in boy scouts simply because they are a girl and need to go learn how to make a white sauce or tie a quilt. However, I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting pretty into his scouting despite my protests to the contrary simply because I am excited for him…

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