Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 32

Thread: Scouting for girls gives group its biggest boost in years - Guardian Article

  1. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    265
    Thanks
    39
    Thanked 73 Times in 47 Posts
    We've noticed that since a parent at the local school started running Rainbows (which also meets in our hall), we have zero girls in Beavers for the first time in over a decade and I must say it's certainly changed the dynamic and doesn't feel "right". Even our waiting list has 2 girls against 13 boys on it, and they are both sisters of existing members.
    James

  2. #17
    Yes, I've got the T-shirt Sparkgap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    2,178
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked 172 Times in 132 Posts
    The Grauniad:- But would the guides consider the ultimate update and allow boys in?

    “It’s something we think about quite a lot,” says Marvel. But when it was put to the members, she says, the overriding response was that they value their “girls-only” space.
    So, the girls can have their girls-only space but boys have to put up with mixed groups? Discriminating?
    On a relevant note, regarding comments about scouting seeming to be less attractive for boys, are there figures around on whether single sex clubs (ie boys clubs, boys/girls brigade etc) are growing/shrinking or whatever?
    Andy
    SL 1st Wellington
    www.wellingtonscouts.org

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Sparkgap For This Useful Post:

    RisingStar (18-06-2019)

  4. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,275
    Thanks
    1,522
    Thanked 1,177 Times in 855 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    My eldest son has heard similar comments about the Scouts section nearest where we live from his school friends that went there (they've all passed leaving age now) - comments along the lines of "it all got very girlie" and so they started leaving which led to replacements from the girls friends coming in. To be fair its probably as much a criticism of the boys unwillingness to try things they dismiss as "girlie" whereas the girls are perhaps more willing to give anything a try (once). Its perhaps where a bit of careful steering of the outcomes from things like "Youshape" might be needed.
    Hmmm...

    I think we need to be careful how we approach that. There's a lot of peer pressure involved, so it isn't necessarily the fault of any individual boys. I think we also have to remember, being a member of Scouts is still an outlying activity - it's not trendy. So if it is perceived to also be becoming 'girlie' (in whatever context), that just adds to it.

    I think it's important that in the push to get more members, that we don't leave the boys behind.

    We had one lad comment way back when we got our first girl, that he thought it was unfair that girls could join scouts but boys couldn't join guides. He also made a passing comment about Scouts no longer being a boy-only space, and he felt that it detracted from what Scouts was - to him, in any case.

    I told that story on here and was told the boy was obviously a misogynist. I remember saying he was only 12.

    I think there is an assumption that anywhere boys congregate, it will become a chauvinistic environment, and that it can be averted simply by going co-ed. We don't have any girls in Scouts just now. But we've had times when we've had one - and I'm not sure why - but that caused more problems than when we had three or four - which was fine. (Caveat being, the crowd we had then was an outlier...)

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to pa_broon74 For This Useful Post:

    RisingStar (18-06-2019)

  6. #19
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    6,631
    Thanks
    1,532
    Thanked 2,164 Times in 1,264 Posts
    Yep, definitely have to be careful around this area. Leaders may have unconscious or not so unconscious biases, and one set of kids are different to another. A leader might think "ooh, I've got some girls, I'd better make sure we keep them" and slightly start changing the programme to, I'm going to say pander, but that's a bit strong, maybe, change the programme a little to... suit the new girls. Or it could just be the same thing you get as scouts get older, and they struggle to adapt to new ones coming in, and think that things have changed, they're right, they've changed. But I'd imagine we've all had older ones that look at the younger ones and aren't very impressed, or new ones that change the dynamic, or older ones change the dynamic as they change.

    I mean, I get it, sometimes they grow out of it by explorers, and sometimes they don't, sometimes you'll get a group and they'll be a mix of genders, and sometimes you'll walk in a relative strangers will have just coagulated into boys and girls. Sometimes they're all in for a mass wrestle, and sometimes they're giving each other henna tattoos and sculpting brows.

    The only constant is change, or something. And I guess, from a leader point of view, that either keeps things fresh and you keen, or builds up in a "kids these days" way until you say "stuff this".
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ianw For This Useful Post:

    pa_broon74 (18-06-2019),RisingStar (18-06-2019)

  8. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    2,325
    Thanks
    449
    Thanked 524 Times in 323 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Hmmm...

    ................

    I told that story on here and was told the boy was obviously a misogynist. I remember saying he was only 12.
    ............
    That's as outrageous as suggesting that when i go to the pub with my (male) golf playing friends then I'm being mysogynist because I haven't befriended any women and included them in this group.

  9. #21
    Senior Member Puzzledbyadream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Bath
    Posts
    381
    Thanks
    93
    Thanked 114 Times in 71 Posts
    I joined Scouting cos single-gender anything was basically my idea of hell (horrible experience at Guides mostly, bitchy as anything). When I was old enough to be an ACSL I ended up in a pack of all boys. Which was fine, they were (mostly) lovely boys. But I still like the co-edness of Scouts, and I did manage to get a small number of girls to join the packs which didn't change things that much, there were just girls and they joined in like everyone else. Maybe one was a bit more sensitive, but we'd certainly had sensitive boys!

    I'm a staunch intersectional (as in not transphobic and respectful of oppressions faced by people alongside their gender) feminist and whilst I think there's a place for things like women's only bike workshops and the like, it just isn't my thing to be involved in a youth organisation which is single-gender. We're going to have to deal with people of all genders in our life, and so it makes sense to me that we mix and learn from each other. Guiding works for a lot of girls, but I think there's much more scope for teaching everyone to be accepting and decent human beings towards each other in something like Scouting. But saying this, leaders need to make Scouting a safe place for everyone to be. And that does mean shutting down any sexist or homophobic language or behaviour.

    When I rejoin Scouting (and it will be a when) I'll be looking for a group like my old one which was a very accepting place to be who you are, with little agenda other than having fun and upholding a reasonable amount of tradition.
    Nyika (formerly Bagheera)

    On hiatus.
    Archery Leader

    Scouting for All and nobody left behind!

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Puzzledbyadream For This Useful Post:

    hippysurfer (20-06-2019)

  11. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    2,325
    Thanks
    449
    Thanked 524 Times in 323 Posts
    I wouldn't suggest we go back to single sex, we couldn't now, and generally its a very good thing. However I also think we need to be very alive to the possibility that our attractiveness to boys is less than girls - as shown in the growth numbers, and that as the gender balance shifts we don't change as a result, or become less attractive to the boys. Not that that will ever stop TSA shouting to the roof tops about increasing numbers even if they are entirely girls. Last year explorer numbers dropped - that's a cause for concern IMO.

    I do think numbers - or penetration - is/are important, at a local level there is no better single measure of the success of a group - bigger sections or longer waiting lists are always for those groups which do more activities, achieve more awards, have a balanced programme, have more leaders, better uniform standard - the list goes on.

  12. #23
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huddersfield
    Posts
    15,676
    Thanks
    425
    Thanked 2,950 Times in 1,604 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post

    I do think numbers - or penetration - is/are important, at a local level there is no better single measure of the success of a group - bigger sections or longer waiting lists are always for those groups which do more activities, achieve more awards, have a balanced programme, have more leaders, better uniform standard - the list goes on.
    There was a time when I would have agreed absolutely, I ran that Group, but without uniform, without awards, with a "meh" programme ( I think), and a handful of the right Leaders, we are doing okay - There is something else involved in making it work and if I ever manage to pin it down I'll let you know. I think it has more to do with the Esprit de Corps than anything else, if people feel they belong, the they stay and they tell their mates. We just lost one, and when I look at his body language and his interaction with others at meetings, he just didn't get it. Nice lad, sorry to see him go, but he patently didn't "feel it".
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Bushfella For This Useful Post:

    pa_broon74 (18-06-2019)

  14. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    449
    Thanks
    340
    Thanked 303 Times in 150 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Oh in this troop it's not that they're girly, just that they dominate everything, any question they're first to answer, in games they just play with each other - even on opposite teams - when there's free time the two sexes separate in different groups etc.

    I suppose what interests me is that the guides have a view that they "provide a unique girl-only environment, vital for personal and social development. It's a safe, inclusive space where girls can be comfortable just being themselves.". Whether you think girls need that or not it's obviously successful. But boys don't get that option do they?
    Personally, I think the Guides are wrong. The idea that there is something "special" about girls that means they can only be "safe" when they are with other girls is a poor message to be sending to our daughters.

    As the father of one daughter, I have witnessed how each piece of segregation of the sexes slowly builds up an attitude in girls that they are somehow "less" or "other" than the boys. You see it in the roles in television shows, in the different choice of games at school (e.g. why don't boys play netball?), school uniform (why do girls and boys have different uniforms?) etc. etc.

    And there is a mirror reaction engendered in the boys.

    I think that the gender-neutral stance of the Scouts helps a tiny bit to work against this divisive narrative, the gender-specific stance of the Guides helps to work in favour of it.

    Personally, I would not be a volunteer in Scouting if it was "boys only".

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to hippysurfer For This Useful Post:

    nevynxxx (20-06-2019)

  16. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    449
    Thanks
    340
    Thanked 303 Times in 150 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    There was a time when I would have agreed absolutely, I ran that Group, but without uniform, without awards, with a "meh" programme ( I think), and a handful of the right Leaders, we are doing okay - There is something else involved in making it work and if I ever manage to pin it down I'll let you know. I think it has more to do with the Esprit de Corps than anything else, if people feel they belong, the they stay and they tell their mates. We just lost one, and when I look at his body language and his interaction with others at meetings, he just didn't get it. Nice lad, sorry to see him go, but he patently didn't "feel it".
    I agree. If you have "Esprit de Corps" you can make it work without any of the "traditional trappings". However, for the majority of groups that find the "Esprit de Corps" an illusive thing, the "traditional trappings" can help to fill the gap, they can provide a very useful crutch to lean on.

    The other problem with relying on "Esprit de Corps" alone (or primarily) is that it is often embodied in one or a few individuals. If and when those individuals have done their time things can often fail very rapidly. The "traditional trappings" can sometimes provide just enough momentum to keep a group moving whilst a new team try to establish their own "Esprit de Corps".

    The military understand this very well. A local commander can establish an "Esprit de Corps" with his troops that transends any uniform or drill, but it is the uniform/drill/regimental traditions etc that sustain things as commanders come and go.

    'tis what I think anyway.

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to hippysurfer For This Useful Post:

    shiftypete (20-06-2019)

  18. #26
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huddersfield
    Posts
    15,676
    Thanks
    425
    Thanked 2,950 Times in 1,604 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    I agree. If you have "Esprit de Corps" you can make it work without any of the "traditional trappings". However, for the majority of groups that find the "Esprit de Corps" an illusive thing, the "traditional trappings" can help to fill the gap, they can provide a very useful crutch to lean on.

    The other problem with relying on "Esprit de Corps" alone (or primarily) is that it is often embodied in one or a few individuals. If and when those individuals have done their time things can often fail very rapidly. The "traditional trappings" can sometimes provide just enough momentum to keep a group moving whilst a new team try to establish their own "Esprit de Corps".

    The military understand this very well. A local commander can establish an "Esprit de Corps" with his troops that transends any uniform or drill, but it is the uniform/drill/regimental traditions etc that sustain things as commanders come and go.

    'tis what I think anyway.
    I sort of agree, although, when you give the programme control of the section to the section, as I did in Explorers, the Uniform has little to do with anything and the EdC relies on the abilities and capabilities of the Alpha characters. Over the years I saw the quality of the Explorer Unit rise and fall with the input of different Alpha characters. It did work though because we were the only game in town and we had the EdC from the Group. However, when I handed programme contol to the older navigators, the Alpha character turned out to be an unexpected "driver" and not one that I would have chosen. I suspect that the rest were followers rather than him being a Leader, if that makes sense - the result was a near complete loss of that older age range who would spend two hours a week sitting chatting unless I intervened - and of course, when I intervened I was taking control away from that group. Nowadays I try to give responsibility but the Leader team maintains overall control - there is no extended "chatting" period.

    A local commander may come and go in the military and the EdC withstands the disruption, but there is also a completely different ethos, and there have been examples of ruinous EdC in the military. One of the most infamous was that of the legendary George Armstrong Custer. During the Civil War he ate and slept in the ditches with his men, he eschewed offices quarters, he led his unit on dangerous missions and his casualty rate was the highest in the Union Army... but, such was the esprit de Corps that he generated, his command was the one that had the highest recruitment rate, men literally died to be under Custer during the Civil War. A corollary to Custer was Mad Mitch, whose famous "Better we all die..." quote is still pinned up in offices of the British Army.

    But sometimes you take away the commander and his team and the EdC vanishes into thin air, because what comes in its replacement understands the rules but not the relationships. When District stepped in to run Scouts, we saw exactly that happen - kids had lost the relationship they were familiar with and didn't like the incoming approach. We got most of thse kids coming to Navs. We did not have the same relationship with Cubs, and they became the replacement Scouts, or not.

    It is interesting talking with those who have left scouts to establish new groups in different associations. The EdC and the loyalties of members is critical to the development of those new groups. Some may think it is to do with Uniform etc, but I think it is more to do with personalities and approaches.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  19. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    2,325
    Thanks
    449
    Thanked 524 Times in 323 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    Personally, I think the Guides are wrong. ............
    Personally, I would not be a volunteer in Scouting if it was "boys only".
    Well... 5 times as many girls in guides as scouting disagree with you, and Scouting was larger in boys only days than it's ever been since.... Why on earth would the guides change btw? They are larger than us and seem to try to move with the times as well.

  20. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,275
    Thanks
    1,522
    Thanked 1,177 Times in 855 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    Personally, I think the Guides are wrong. The idea that there is something "special" about girls that means they can only be "safe" when they are with other girls is a poor message to be sending to our daughters.

    As the father of one daughter, I have witnessed how each piece of segregation of the sexes slowly builds up an attitude in girls that they are somehow "less" or "other" than the boys. You see it in the roles in television shows, in the different choice of games at school (e.g. why don't boys play netball?), school uniform (why do girls and boys have different uniforms?) etc. etc.

    And there is a mirror reaction engendered in the boys.

    I think that the gender-neutral stance of the Scouts helps a tiny bit to work against this divisive narrative, the gender-specific stance of the Guides helps to work in favour of it.

    Personally, I would not be a volunteer in Scouting if it was "boys only".
    I think this is a tricky one.

    I'm not a girl, so I can't really comment on the why's and if's around girl/women only spaces. They say they need it, it's logical (and I think respectful) to go along with that.

    I also think there are two tracks here running side by side. On one you have progressive male/female relations (as demonstrated by TSA and their mixed approach). On the other rail (so to speak), you have pre-existing male attitudes to women.

    I think if those two things kept up with each other, then what you say is fair enough - but I'm pretty sure they don't. Domestic violence is on the up, the pay gap is still a thing etc etc etc, and deary me, listening to guys in the changing room at the gym... There is still a lot of systemic and default chauvinism doing the rounds.

    I think both Scouts and Guides have it right, like the other stuff we talk about here, these are generational changes, so it starts with the kids - either at school or places like Scouts. However, I think - for the moment - it precludes organisations like Guides admitting boys. Any advantage gained at having another co-ed organisation, is lost because in turn - women and girls have lost a safe space.

    Personally, I'm indifferent about Scouts being mixed or not. I wouldn't change it back however.

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to pa_broon74 For This Useful Post:

    RisingStar (20-06-2019)

  22. #29
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huddersfield
    Posts
    15,676
    Thanks
    425
    Thanked 2,950 Times in 1,604 Posts
    [QUOTE=pa_broon74;464251 Domestic violence is on the up...[/QUOTE]

    Point of order... REPORTING of Domestic violence is up.

    Much of what was considered "normal" in the past is now not acceptable and it is being reported. I am sure, having known a copule of people involved in domestic violence, that the real figure though are still a long way from the reality.

    My view is that single sex provision serves to exacerbate the differences and instill attitudes that can be both accepting and confrontational at the same time. I have never known anything but co-ed Scouting, and what I have seen is a genral building of mutual respect. There have been incidents, and there always will be of inappropriate behaviour, but our role is to educate that this is not acceptable.

    In the early days of co-ed, it was clear that there were Leaders, male and some female, who held old-fashioned views about where men and women should havetheir roles. In time that morphs into acceptance and even pro-active support for both boys and girls.

    I recognise that there are difference - but when we walk through the door they are all equals to me.

    So, how do I feel about Guides? I don't, in 25 years I have only really crossed paths with Guides from time to time and they and their Leaders are an enigma
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  23. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    95
    Thanks
    48
    Thanked 43 Times in 24 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    Personally, I think the Guides are wrong. The idea that there is something "special" about girls that means they can only be "safe" when they are with other girls is a poor message to be sending to our daughters.

    As the father of one daughter, I have witnessed how each piece of segregation of the sexes slowly builds up an attitude in girls that they are somehow "less" or "other" than the boys. You see it in the roles in television shows, in the different choice of games at school (e.g. why don't boys play netball?), school uniform (why do girls and boys have different uniforms?) etc. etc.

    And there is a mirror reaction engendered in the boys.

    I think that the gender-neutral stance of the Scouts helps a tiny bit to work against this divisive narrative, the gender-specific stance of the Guides helps to work in favour of it.

    Personally, I would not be a volunteer in Scouting if it was "boys only".
    Firstly - that it's about safety is a mis-assumption. studies have shown that whilst educationally and socially boys thrive best in a mixed environment, girls thrive better in a single-gender environment. Yet most girls don't miss out on 'mixed time' because in most cases schools are mixed. A single-gender club such as Guides or Girls Brigade sees girls take on leadership roles, tackle activities outwith the stereotypes, and have female leadership role models.

    It also means that they have a choice, membership numbers would suggest a popular choice amongst girls.

Similar Threads

  1. David turners article, Opinion, Guardian.
    By Tony Ransley in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 15-04-2017, 10:15 PM
  2. Scouting magazine's bowdrill article
    By Mang in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 07-10-2011, 07:06 AM
  3. Scout Entrepreneur Badge article in the Guardian
    By Ayers ESU in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 23-07-2010, 05:41 PM
  4. Guardian Article
    By CambridgeSkip in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 23-07-2008, 11:29 AM
  5. Times Scouting Article Gives BBC A Laugh
    By Mark_IOM in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 13-01-2008, 10:51 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •