Discussions with Chartered Organization

The first 5 BP Pointers from “The BP 2019 List” were all about “What’s the Change” and “How Does It Work”, which are essential to know if you’re going to consider establishing a Scouts BSA troop for girls.  Some initial reactions to Scouts BSA seemed to be based on rumor and misconception, and these BP Pointers are intended to reduce rumor and minimize misconceptions.

With that as the background, how do you build consensus about whether – or how – cor 2to establish a Scouts BSA troop of girls at a Chartered Organization.

For this, the decision begins and ends with the Chartered Organization itself, though there are a a lot of other stakeholders.  If the Chartered Organization wants to make use of a Scouts BSA troop of girls as a part of its total program for youth, then parties interested in the troop can get to work on putting together a package for the new troop.  You’ll want to be sure they understand why Scouts BSA is now welcoming girls in all program levels, and that we’re trying to “serve the whole family” and have more families “do Scouting”.

But some Chartered Organizations may be reluctant to approve a Scouts BSA troop of girls.  Reasons for this include the following (and some notes about mitigating factors that might change a Chartered Organization’s view are added below):

  • The Chartered Organization may be adamantly opposed to anything like a “co-educational” program.
    • Of course, most (but not all) churches and schools are co-educational, so this may not be a common objection.cor
    • Also, Scouts BSA troops for boys and girls can, with adequate leader and other resources, operate completely separately, so a Chartered Organization that believes the values of the Scout Oath and Law apply as well to young women as to young men may well welcome a Scouts BSA troop for girls that runs separately.
  • The Chartered Organization may be worried about adequate space and scheduling issues.
    • All Scouting is Local, and all meeting space issues are local too.  There may be other space options at other community locations, and there may be opportunities to recognize that joint meetings, if approved by stakeholders, will reduce the stress points of space and scheduling.
  • The Chartered Organization may be worried about how current Scouts and families will view a Scouts BSA troop of girls – some will be worried about the negative impacts of girls around the boys, and vice versa.
    • This is absolutely a valid concern, and BP Pointers to follow shortly will address discussion points for Scouts and for families.
    • Organizers of a possible Scouts BSA troop for girls are wise to assure the Chartered Organization that there have been, and will continue to be, discussions with Scouts and families about the establishment of a Scouts BSA troop for girls, and how it will operate, because separate operation will often ensure that concerns about “coed” activities are addressed.
  • The Chartered Organization may be worried about whether there is sufficient adult leadership to support a Scouts BSA troop of girls, especially depth of female leadership.
    • Another valid concern, and BP Pointers to follow shortly will address discussion points for current leaders and how to recruit new leaders.
    • Organizers of a possible Scouts BSA troop for girls are wise to assure the Chartered Organization that there have been, and will continue to be, discussions with leaders of the existing troop of boys, and a robust plan for ongoing recruitment of new leaders.
  • The Chartered Organization may be worried about whether there are sufficient interested female youth to join a Scouts BSA troop of girls.cor paper
    • Another valid concern, and BP Pointers to follow shortly will address recruiting and organization and planning in advance of launching a troop.
    • Organizers of a possible Scouts BSA troop for girls are wise to assure the Chartered Organization that there have been, and will continue to be, recruiting efforts with youth in the age range, and share progress reports on those efforts.
  • The Chartered Organization may be worried about whether a Scouts BSA troop of girls might negatively impact other youth organizations supported by the Chartered Organization – especially any perception that the Scouts BSA troop will draw down participation in other organizations.
    • Another valid concern, and BP Pointers to follow shortly will address discussion points for dealing with other community organizations.
    • Organizers of a possible Scouts BSA troop for girls are wise to assure the Chartered Organization that there have been, and will continue to be, discussions with other youth organization about the establishment of a Scouts BSA troop for girls, to identify the extent of concerns, and the opportunities for cooperation, as there may be opportunities here, not problems.
    • That said, this might be a “deal breaker” for some Chartered Organizations, at least for now, at least until the success of other Scouts BSA troops can be shown.
  • The Chartered Organization may be worried about the general community it serves, and “what will people think” since it is a relatively novel concept for girls to participate in what has been known as “boy scouting”.
    • Another valid concern, and organizers of a possible Scouts BSA troop for girls are wise to work with the Chartered Organization to share the story of Scouts BSA and why it has evolved to serve girls.
  • The Chartered Organization may be concerned about “branding” the troop … whether it can have the same troop number or whether it can have a distinct troop number.  Other stakeholders may have the same concern.
    • The good news here is that a new troop of girls may use the same number as the troop of boys or use a new number from those otherwise available.  The bad news is that if stakeholders are split about this issue, it may be difficult to reconcile.
    • More on this to follow in a later BP Pointer, including some tips on how to reach consensus, and differentiate troops even with the same “number”.

Ultimately, a Chartered Organization might approve a Scouts BSA troop for girls cor-training-course-pgg-161108-1-638“tentatively” or conditionally, provided that the unit organizers can demonstrate that the troop will be successful (plenty of youth and adult leaders), with a good program plan, while minimizing negative reactions from current Scouts, Adult Leaders and families in the troop of boys.  But … that’s all part of the plan for launching a successful Troop, and will be the subject of BP Pointers to follow.

And if you have, or project, difficult issues that may arise, feel free to contact District resources, as District Executives and Commissioners may be able to assist you in these discussions.

For more, see posts here and to follow for past and upcoming items in the BP 2019 List (and for upcoming items that are not complete, shoot your comments to this Family Scouting email, as that might result in updates and clarifications).  More about what troop leaders might want to know about family scouting and girls is found on this District page of Scouts BSA resources and ideas.

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