BSA has provided guidance for marketing Family Scouting. In some part it is simply a reminder to follow the Scout Law in marketing with concrete examples of violations of the Scout Law in this context.
Even so, it gives a checklist of “don’ts.”
Make sure you review this against your unit websites and emails.
As the BSA moves to being 100% co-ed, we need to study carefully what makes the BSA uniquely successful. In business this is called “best practices.” Best practices are an attempt to articulate in clear language and procedures what patterns of behavior in a business consistently lead to success, wherever tried.
The BSA has a history of moving adult leadership toward co-ed, so that once what was solely the province of men is now open to open women, too, especially the role of Scoutmaster. Even within our own district we have had successful female scoutmasters and cubmasters leading boys.
As girls move into the provinces that were once for boys only, we should consider with diligent care what are the Best Practices of leading scouts and cub scouts.
Since BSA adult leadership has been dominated by men with consistent involvement of women, some of the habits and practices that we have generated have come spontaneously from typical male leadership patterns. They are habits arising without thought or discussion. Some typically-male practices have been encouraged, such as the tendency toward a rougher and more chaotic pattern of play and participation. Some typically-male practices have been discouraged or outright banned, such as yelling orders at boys or hazing.
Psychologically we know that women tend to be more nurturing, protective, and risk avoiding, especially of infants and younger children; men tend to be more physically playful, bombastic, and risk inviting. According to Professor of Psychology Jordan Peterson, these two patterns help support one another in developing the most well balanced children. Both are essential to a psychologically healthy child. (Most of the analysis below is Peterson’s.)
Mothers create a safe environment where a child knows that the child will be well cared for when the child runs into problems, conflicts, or chaos. Mothers physically embrace and comfort children without hesitation when problems arise. Mothers speak soothingly and tenderly, allowing the child to right himself from whatever has upset him. This comfort and soothing are critical to allow a child to quickly find balance after something disrupt the calm surrounding the child. When my son was small, and even today as prepares to leave for college, when he is upset or frustrated, he is most likely to talk to my wife. My wife gives my son peace of mind.
Fathers create a risky environment where a child can explore the boundaries of the child’s body, its capabilities, and its limitations and of the world-at-large. Fathers are more likely to engage in rough and tumble play with the children. Children learn the limits of their bodies in such play. They learn that dad is heavier and harder to hurt. They learn there are consequences for inflicting pain on playmates. They learn difference between play and real fights. But most interestingly, children are so motivated by play that when dad tells them to do their homework before playing with dad, the children are more likely to do the dreary work first in order to be able to play with dad. This is one of the first and most effective means of teaching children the value of delayed gratification. When my son was younger, assuming dinner wasn’t ready, I would often toss my infant son up in the air and catch him, or tickle him. As he got older, I would change clothes then wrestle with him on the bed or do whatever game caught his attention at the time.
The father’s role in learning makes sense. Since we are creatures with bodies, our learning begins in the physical body’s interaction with the world. Our actions teach us more about the world than do our brains. We learn stoves are hot and dangerous through feeling heat (and hopefully avoiding contact). We learn how balls bounce through playing with balls, not reading books.
We learn how to walk through trying, while scientists are just now figuring out how to have robots do the same thing. This is called “embodied learning.” Robot designers have struggled with how to teach robots how to perceive and adapt to the world. They have used enormous amounts of computer processing and had little success. When they changed their perspective and focused on how a robot with a body would interact with the world, they quickly made huge break throughs. We embody learning because our bodies are our point of contact with the external world.
We learn love from mother’s caresses and hugs. We learn to walk by climbing up tables and trying our first steps. We learn to read by touching the page with our fingers to track where the next letter will be. We learn to treat others well through rough and tumble play. We learn to clean dishes after a meal when there are no clean dishes at the next meal. We learn to plan ahead by physically suffering from bad choices previously made. There becomes a desire to avoid the suffering the next time.
This physicality of embodied learning is a natural strength for male leaders. It encourages trial and error. It encourages individuality. It allows maturity-appropriate suffering while always avoiding and teaching the risks of life- or health-threatening suffering. Embodied learning is a core component of scouting.
So as girls become more involved in scouting, we have to be able to assess where male and female leaders strengths best serve our Best Practices.
We need to consider our Youth Protection Training and natural inclinations arising from chivalric principles about how men should treat and interact with women and young girls. How do we offer girls the benefits of embodied learning and physicality generally without overstepping our bounds, especially for male leaders?
I would suggest we recognize that these girls are joining Cub Scouts and likely will join Scouts BSA to have the experience of risk-taking, embodied learning, and other characteristics of male play that the girls have found lacking in other extracurricular offerings. We need to offer these girls what they have come for.
That means that mothers and fathers who are more risk averse for their “fragile” daughters need to be coached about the value of embodied learning that challenges these girls’ self-imposed limits. We need these mothers and fathers to recognize these challenges will make the girls anti-fragile. As a result, these girls will be happier, more self-confident, and more resilient.
In other words, we need to grow comfortable with telling the daughters’ parents that we don’t intend to water down the BSA program for their daughters. It is the undiluted BSA program that works. In essessence, we need to be prepared to explain why scouting works for boys and girls.
Mark your calendars for Thursday July 12 – the 2018 Membership Roundup meeting will be held that evening from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th St., Indianapolis 46260. This will be held in rooms N101 and N102. More details to follow!
From Crossroads of America Communication Executive Karrie Baxter:
Join us on Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/bsacrossroads. Follow us if you aren’t already for updates!
Here’s what you can expect to see:
Supplies to promote your pack at the open house, through your school, and through your community. We’ve got some really exciting and interactive pieces to show you!
Why is it important to attend the open house? Let us show you!
An example of an Open House Table Set up
Breakdown of our NEW lead generation technology and how we will help communicate with people who are interested in your pack.
Trust us, you won’t want to miss it. Come represent your unit LIVE on Facebook- May 30th at 7PM!
Can we develop better national soccer teams using Baden Powell’s methods than travel soccer? The evidence is coming in that answer is profoundly “yes.” From my years of backyard athletics, I can attest the skills development was profound. Read this blog post and the new book Shoeless Soccer for more.
Memorial Day is fast approaching. The American Legion would like to invite all of the North Star District for breakfast. The district will make a short trip to several local cemeteries and put decorations on veteran’s graves in honor of their service. In past years this has wrapped up before lunch.
Your service is Requested:
Date: Saturday, May 26, 2018
Start time: 7:00 am
Breakfast location: Broad Ripple American Legion Post # 3, 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN
Teams will be formed at breakfast to serve the various cemeteries.
Units will be asked to provide adult and youth headcount as well as a point of contact in the event updates need to be made during the morning.
*UPDATE* Please RSVP to Rees Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU for your Service!
Boy Scouts will become “Scouts BSA.” The organization’s name will remain same. That was what former Crossroads of America Council Executive Patrick Sterrett advocated for as he moved to Number 2 in the BSA. It looks like his recommendation held true.
Here is Scouting Wire’s more detailed version. This includes information on “Scout Me In” recruitment campaign.
UPDATED 5/3/18: Here is local council’s press release: Read the rest of this entry »
On behalf of Chuck Fippen, Crossroads of America Council Silver Beaver Nominating Committee Chair (email sent to Council / District leaders on April 12):
This year the Silver Beaver selection process is changing and I wanted to communicate some very important information that needs to be shared with your committee(s) in order to facilitate the new process.
- The nominations are now open and the updated application is on the Council’s home page (link included here).
- NOMINATIONS for 2018 ARE DUE JULY 25th…..yes its much earlier this year.
- The Silver Beavers for 2018 will be awarded in a special dinner held in November 2018 (no longer at the University of Scouting).
The selection committee will meet in August to determine our next class of Silver Beavers and hope to have many nominations submitted. Changes to our process and timing are for various reasons. The Silver Beaver is the highest and most prestigious award the a Council can bestow and we want to have a ceremony that is fitting for those selected. Our evening event in November is designed for this recognition and will be a formal event with a venue unto itself.
We have designed notes and training around our selection process this year. I will be updating you with this information very shortly, but in brief here’s a summary:
- We have revised our application to enable online completion. We have had a hard time deciphering hand written applications and we will ask that they be filled out with the PDF entry form that is now available.
- We have emphasized the written part as one of the first items in the application. This often is where we will see information about the nominee that isn’t already part of their Scouting history.
- Applications must be complete in order for consideration. It is highly recommended that multiple sources be used in the formation of the recommendation; people from the nominee’s place of employment, their church and their unit or committee that know them best should be involved.
- Nominations are open for all Scouters that are eligible under the criteria set forth by the BSA. At no time can a volunteer or professional deny or negatively influence the decision to submit a nomination. If anyone feels a nomination is worthy of submission then you are encouraged to make sure that nominee receives the full benefit of the selection process. It is up to the Silver Beaver nominating committee to select those who are to receive the award.
I welcome any questions you may have and look forward to a wonderful ceremony for some very deserving individuals. I hope you also find our process and information helpful and more seamless as we move forward.
Yours in Scouting,
Silver Beaver Nominating Committee Chair
Starting this year (2018), girls will be welcomed into the Cub Scouting program and this will be the beginning of the transition to what is known as “Family Scouting.” This opens the door for girls and young women to benefit from the skills, leadership and character development training offered by the Scouting organization.
Please peruse the BSA Family Scouting website for more information on how this transition will work as well as more details on the timeline for implementation of these changes (see graphic included here for an overview). And don’t forget to ask yourself: “how can I help”?
Thank you for all you do for Scouting (and now for Family Scouting, too)!