Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Alternatives to Scouting?

After I graduated from college with a degree in American Studies with minors in English and Women & Gender Studies, one of my ideas for a career was to reimagine scouting to be more inclusive of all genders and sexualities. 

Now that I have children, I'm looking for that kind of option! I've been doing research about alternative organizations

Do any of you have any leads or experiences with inclusive scouting?

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Nora said...

As a Girl Scout in the 1980s and 90s, our particular council (and I imagine many nationwide) was very progressive. The leadership was feminist, and there were many out lesbians on staff, and many high school young people who were questioning their gender identity found Girl Scouts to be a haven. Girl Scouts has been welcoming to trans kids. Research shows that girls do best academically and express themselves more freely in environments without their boy peers, so I see girl scouts as playing an important role for girls that participate, while also not being rigid in how they define gender and sexuality. Many people who work at GS have been doing work reimagining gender in scouting for decades.

Unknown said...

Girl Scouts has been integrated and inclusive to all abilities since day one. Juliette Gordon Low was ahead of her time and truly wanted all girls to be a part of Girl Scouts. She would be a great person for your boys to learn about! Girl Scouts does not exclude men (and allows transgender girls), does not exclude gay people or have any kind of requirements about sexuality.

As for Boy Scouts... the idea of them is good but the national leadership is very lacking, religious, still has issues with gay people, etc. so I definitely get your reservations.

Sara E. Cotner said...

I totally agree that Girl Scouts have been inclusive of diversity from the beginning! It's the Boy Scouts that are the big problem. I'm looking for options for my two boys!

Nora said...

Yes, we have a baby son, and at a baby party for someone in my high school gs troupe, I found myself wishing my son could some day have the same experience of freedom to play and laugh loud and explore that I had in gs. I wish the same for your boys!!!

Ari said...

In our area the YMCA has a program called Adventure Guides that is similar to scouting, but includes both girls and boys and is run by parents. I believe it is a national program that is offered at Y's across the country. My family doesn't participate, but I know some families in my neighborhood who do and really enjoy it.

Sara E. Cotner said...

I will check into it, Ari! Thank you!

Kelly said...

Just saw this post, Sara! I know a lot of people who love BPSA Scouts locally. Also check out this list. http://groundedparents.com/2014/01/10/ethical-and-inclusive-scouting/

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