Who am I to complain?  I was a died in the wool “tomboy” until I started Junior High in seventh grade.  I could outrun, outkick, out-throw and outshoot any boy in the neighborhood.  I had my own baseball, mitt, and bat and a smaller size football as well as a basketball.  For fun, I hit tennis balls against our garage door.  By the time I was 8, I could take our big sailboat out by myself, and by age ten had canoed up Lake Champlain to Canada with other girls, sleeping in bedrolls at night and waking up in cow pastures.  I tried Brownies and Girl Scouts but didn’t stick with it.  I would have made a great Boy Scout.

Then came the awakening! I was no longer Boy Scout material.  Every day our school had scheduled activities after school.  There were all kinds of clubs, all kinds of sports.  At five o’clock we walked home a mile or so carrying our books, and after dinner, we sat at the table and did our homework.  I don’t think I remember any of my classmates attending either girl or boy scouts.  Through high school, my life became even more frantic.

I guess as I reveal my life, it allows me to form more of an opinion of girls in scouting.  Just remember this is my opinion only.  I believe all girls who want to should be allowed to be Cub Scouts as long as it doesn’t bring the quality of the Cub Scouts down.  Girls who want this should be able to be equal with the boys in their activities.  I think parents who want the convenience of just bringing all their children to one activity are not being fair to the needs of their children. BSA is just not for everyone.  Girl Scouts is a kinder, gentler means to teach leadership skills.

I have thought about a great deal about the Venturer Scouts.  As you know, they are groups of boys and girls who seem to have bonded.  There seems to be a missing year between Cubs to Boy Scouts to Venturers.  If that could be eased somewhat, it could be a wonderful way for girls in this group to earn their Eagles.  It would also give girls transitioning from Cubs a way to get this honor in an organized manner.

When I discuss this new ruling for girls now being able to join BSA with people I know, I am truly excited for the opportunity for girls.  My friends have only said “liability”.  I hate to be a realist, but we live in a time of lawsuits.  This joining of boys and girls screams of problems to be.  I hope this is well thought out, as I’m sure it is.

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Joyce Olesen

is a grandmother, mother, and daughter of Scouters. She love kids, camping, country music and sport cars. Her Dad was a Scout leader in Chicago in the early 1920’s and having only daughters did not bolster his Scouting hopes. As his “Scout” she was tying regulation knots by the time she was 7.

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