[personal profile] familyvalues

Say you were a parent of a smart, active toddler, and were looking forward to probable but not definite homeschooling. Let's assume from the very start that you are a strong-agnostic queer-friendly household and would rather not promote homophobia or discrimination against queer people.

Let's say you really believe in Girl Scouts and think they rock, but assume that your kid is not going to be within that gender range by the time he's the right age.

Do you consider Boy Scouts for a few years down the line?

I have friends who would never consider them because they still don't allow queer people to be leaders at least, and because they still have loose rules about God.

I have friends who point out that some troops are liberal as far as those things go and think it's more important to get involved as a liberal, queer-friendly parent and change things from the inside.

I have friends who think that what the BSA offers as an organization and what troops offer on the ground level are more important than the BSA's problems, and can't be easily gained elsewhere.

I'd also consider Navigators (which would probably mean starting a group) and less likely, Spiral Scouts. Campfire has changed a lot since I was in (what was then) Campfire Girls when I was little, it's more after-school oriented like the Y now than it is like a scouting group. (That was a vital need and I'm glad someone filled it, but it's not what we're looking for.)

What social, extracurricular, nature-and-service oriented groups would you consider for your kid? Gender-specificity is both okay with us and not essential.


Dreamwidth allows openID posting, so if you don't have an account, you can still respond here, but if you saw my link on LJ, G+, or FB and want to answer there, feel free. And that leads me to another question: I'm pondering changing platforms to something like wordpress and just linking that to places like DW and those above. Opinions? Alternatives, better ideas, etc.? Which platform might engender more interaction? (Yes, I know writing differently and more often would help.)

Also, Owen turned one a couple of weeks ago, I want to make a post about that, and have had a million distractions and time-eaters (including the boy himself comprising about 500k of those) in the way of doing it "right." I'll do it by the end of this weekend, though. I want to make a nice post and all. ;)

scouting options

Date: 2012-04-05 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] braincafe
If I found myself in such a situation, I would look for or start a Roots & Shoots group. http://www.rootsandshoots.org/

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-05 05:52 pm (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
I dunno, I let my girls do GIRLS BRIGADE because their friends do it. I'd prefer them to be in the Woodcraft Folk but no idea if that will happen.
Edited Date: 2012-04-05 05:52 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-05 06:38 pm (UTC)
ocelot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ocelot
We are one of the ones that did Boy Scouts because locally it was OK from a non-discrimination standpoint.

Earth Scouts is another option: http://earthcharterus.org/programs/earth-scouts-and-parenting/

4-H is a well-established alternative, if you don't want to go with a startup org.

Campfire in Davis seemed to be more Scout-ish than Y-ish, so it may depend on the individual group/area.

Frontier Girls looks interesting for girls. We're considering that because I'm not hearing particularly good things about the direction GS is taking (even from a liberal perspective).

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-05 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I struggle greatly with Boy Scouts. They've been around long enough to have resources that other groups can't match, but to me, that makes the discrimination issues *feel* more icky to me, even more of a "see how awesome we are without you unmentionables!" kind of a deal. Your registration fees and a percentage of fundraising do fund the national organization, so your money goes to support those beliefs even if you don't want it to. Boy Scouts does vary from troop to troop, like any group with individual chapters, but that means you have to work hard, depending on where you live, to find a group that will be more liberal where you'll be comfortable and welcomed.

We've put our little guy in SpiralScouts. He is severely speech & language delayed, and is one of the youngest kids in the group, so he's really struggling with the whole concept of meetings and such, but I think we'll get there eventually.

SpiralScouts varies greatly from group to group to - maybe moreso than bigger, more established programs. Each individual troop is exactly what the families put into it, nothing more or less. It is a *ton* of work, because of the lack of infrastructure (and I say that as someone who has been deeply involved in the organization in the past).

I'd also suggest looking into 4H. Where I grew up there were still clubs that focused on livestock, but there were also a lot of neat options for more suburban kids who really weren't in a position to raise a cow.


Date: 2012-04-05 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesliepear.livejournal.com
I thought about that with my son and cub scouts. So far we've been ok with the god part and the sexuality issue hasn't come up. We do have a very diverse troop here, muslim, indian, christan and jewish. I have a harder time with the religous requirements since they assume some formal practice, and we haven't enrolled Alan in any (long story).

I prefer to look at boy scouts at the local level and feel if people who like to see changes don't get involved, it won't change

Fyi, someone on LJ really got vicious on me when I got alan involved in scouts. I did not like that at all.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-06 04:22 am (UTC)
pantryslut: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pantryslut
I'd consider Cub Scouts. And then I'd play it by ear. God stuff doesn't bother me but the homophobia stuff does.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-06 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] simplykimberly
A few years ago there was a really great homeschool East Bay 4H group that we did stuff with for a while. Given the nature of kids, and growing up, they may have fizzled (or grown, I have no idea.) I know Monsanto may be supportive of some stuff, but I think there is a lot more diversity in individual 4H groups and less connection than BSA has with the parent organization. Or not... not sure. I'm sure you'll examine it as you get closer (although, that said, there were a couple of people with babies there, too...)

And yes, the East Bay Regional Park stuff is really pretty awesome, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-06 08:42 am (UTC)
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sashajwolf
I've tended to be led by what the kids actually want, trusting that I can give them a good enough grounding on anti-discrimination at home that they will spot it if they encounter it (which is a useful skill in itself.) Case in point: in his early teens, my eldest briefly attended an Evangelical Christian youth group after being invited by parents of friends. He began to get sceptical of it when they handed him some creationist materials, and left altogether when they started pushing homophobia. That was a useful experience for him that he wouldn't have had if I'd stopped him going. Equally, if there's some cool group or activity on offer that fits well with my politics, I let the kids know about it, but I don't actually sign them up unless they ask me to. My younger son recently became a junior member of the fans' trust for our local football team on that basis, which means he's going to get some experience of how mutuals and grassroots campaigning work.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-06 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I so <3 the sentence Let's say you really believe in Girl Scouts and think they rock, but assume that your kid is not going to be within that gender range by the time he's the right age.

I think it is SO wonderful that my friends who are parents know that that is true.

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