Submit your questions for my sit-down with the Chief about girls joining Scouting

You have questions, he has answers.

Using the form below, submit your questions now for my sit-down interview with Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh to talk about the BSA Board of Directors’ historic decision to welcome girls into Scouting.

We’ll record the conversation on video, and I’ll share that video on this blog.

Broadly, I want to ask the Chief how our movement got here and where we’re headed next.

But I know you, as dedicated adult volunteers, have specific questions you’d like answered. Please share them using the form at the end of this post.

All topics are welcome. I’ll take your most frequently asked questions directly to our Chief.

Submit your question here

Update, Nov. 9

The window to submit questions has closed. Thanks to everyone who sent in a question.

28 Comments

  1. Here’s the question I submitted: “In your town hall meeting with BSA staff, you said that 95% of Boy Scouts come from Cub Scouting. Why has BSA given up on recruitment of middle school youth who are not Scouts? “

  2. It would have been more useful if an interview was done 1-2 months before the decision was announced.

    How about getting the Exec to discuss some of the down sides about having girls in scouts. I’ll that I’ve read so far has been peaches and cream.

    • That was actually one of the stated reasons for why they’re waiting until 2019 for the older girls program, so that there would be a year of AOL Girls to graduate into it. Obviously, I’d want to hear the answer to this one as well (our CO is looking to sponsor a new girls “Troop” alongside our existing boys Troop), but I would presume the answer would be yes.
      Depending on the response we get from recruitment (and according parents), I could wind up being the girls AOL leader, since I’m running an AOL program right now with the boys.

    • I would up the date to December 1st 2018. I am already hearing about council’s making adjustments to their Cub Scout day camps and residents camps to include girls this summer. If they register in June, when as brand new AOL Scouts, they can earn AOL “… at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.” and thus eligible for Cross Over to a troop.

    • Dan, I have a funny feeling that this will be up to boots-on-the-ground.
      There are some units who do this without the BSA, how soon they do it official as a part of BSA4G is a matter of edict and business logic.

  3. Another question I submitted: “In your town hall meeting with BSA staff, you said that 95% of Boy Scouts come from Cub Scouting. Why has BSA given up on recruitment of middle school youth who are not Scouts?”

  4. Another question submitted: “In your town hall meeting with BSA staff, you said that 95% of Boy Scouts come from Cub Scouting. Why has BSA given up on recruitment of middle school youth who are not Scouts?”

  5. Here’s another question I submitted: “In your town hall meeting with BSA staff, you said that 95% of Boy Scouts come from Cub Scouting. Why has BSA given up on recruitment of middle school youth who are not Scouts?”

  6. Here’s another question I submitted: “In your town hall meeting with BSA staff, you said that 95% of Boy Scouts come from Cub Scouting. Why has BSA given up on recruitment of middle school youth who are not Scouts?”

  7. Here’s another question I submitted: “Sea Scouts, Exploring, Venturing, and STEM Scouts at the high school level, starting at age 13 or 14, are co-ed programs. Exploring and STEM Scouts at the middle school level, starting at age 10 or 11, are co-ed programs. STEM Scouts at the elementary school level, third grade and up, starting at about age 8, is a co-ed program. If BSA has a variety of fully co-ed programs starting in third grade and going all the way to age 21, why can’t Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts be fully co-ed programs too?”

  8. GSA Leaders, in general, seem to be somewhat put off, repulsed, disgusted, and just plain insulted to think that the BSA made this decision without consulting with them first. Many feel that this move is driven by nothing more than financial gain and boosting enrollments. They also feel that it degrades the image and scope of the mission of the GSA by insinuating that the BSA is somehow superior. This is the perception that many hold because of a lack of inclusion in formulating a broad plan that could have involved both organizations. What say ye?

  9. I look forward to getting more detail on the Adult leadership for Girl Dens, and what the transition to “older girls program” and what that will look like. I’m all for this initiative, and so is my daughter, but the more details we can get the more opportunity we have to help this initiative succeed.

  10. This is what I submitted:

    Not quite girls (but almost) — What is the guidance for scouts camping with transgender scouts? (Tenting, showers, patrol hikes, etc)

    Girls –When they design “boy” scout (tan/green) uniforms for girls could they do an overall redesign of fit for all females? Women today are not shaped like the Oscar De La Renta Twiggy models. We need 3 size types: Junior (for the girls), Women (for standard women) and Plus (for larger women). Current uniforms seem to just be smaller or larger measurements of the same body type, but that doesn’t fit well for girls or larger women. If you look around any Round Table you will see a significant amount (maybe even majority) of the women are large and the shirts and pants don’t fit them. They can’t tuck or keep tucked, and larger busts can’t fit at all and must wear men’s (which don’t fit well at all). Larger sizes of women’s pants don’t fit Plus women because the body shape is wrong (hips and thighs too small and waists too big). Over all they look sloppy because the shirts and pants don’t fit. The great percentage of larger women makes it necessary to have Plus shirts and pants available on the shelf without charging custom charges. This would be a perfect time to redesign the cut of all female uniforms using modern sizing to properly fit modern women and girls (Cub blues may be ok, but the girls of all levels should have a skort option). While you are looking at female uniforms, please also add BSA socks with larger calves to fit larger women.

  11. I see this as a detriment to Girl Scouts, while increasing Boy Scout numbers. Parents will now be able to bring their children to one less activity,, while maintaining an already very full schedule. Lots of thoughts to put in one blog.

  12. How do small Troops handle this scenario? You have 5 boys in a Troop, a girl that wants to join, but you have no female leaders. You go on a camping trip, the mother of the girl doesn’t want to go and again no female leaders. How do you re-enforce the buddy system for the girl if she is the only one and would she even be allowed on the camping trip without a female leader. These is a real scenario at the Troop level.

  13. I personally like having Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, but we are already past that decision point, so now we have to figure out how to handle things in our packs and troops so here are the questions I currently have come up with.

    1. When will we be provided guidelines to follow in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts?

    2. Is it the intention in Cub Scouting to have mixed dens by grade or girls dens and boys dens? For staffing purposes, having mixed dens is more efficient because if there is only 1 or 2 girls joining then you just add them to the existing den. However, for effectiveness, the girls and boys work/behave differently so having mixed dens would be difficult.

    3. At the troop level, are we advised to have boy patrols and girl patrols or are the patrols supposed to be mixed? Are there going to be requirements for ensuring that girls get safe and fair treatment in the troops or do we need to begin writing those guidelines for ourselves?

    4. At camp, obviously no co-ed tenting, but do we need to now divide the campsite up into 3 groups. Right now, adults camp away from boys. Do we now need to have a separate set of girls tents?

    5. Will the councils be given any funding to create better latrine situations in the boy scout camps to make them more female friendly or will it still remain the same with the M/W signs? We will also need to enforce this policy as female scouts and male scouts cannot enter the bathrooms at the same time, much like we do for adults and youth scouts.

    6. Will we be privy to any of the information used to make the decision to allow females into the program to help us overcome objections that we are receiving in our communities. There is a lot of negative feedback going on out here on the ground.

  14. Probably too late to submit but

    Most large businesses when they make a major change do a risk analysis. Given the reactions to this decision was one done and can it be shared with the volunteers?

    What is the vision of the girls 11-17 program? Why does it need to be different than the boys? Get a BSHB and start working on the Scout badge.

    Is there too much emphasis on Girl Eagle Scouts? That is not the point of the program but that seems to be a main talking point.

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