Margaret sent in this question:
Are single moms allowed to be assistant scoutmasters and go along on outings and campouts with boy scout troops as long as there are separate bathroom facilities?
Thanks for the question Margaret. The BSA does not ban women, single or otherwise, from serving in any adult leadership roles in the Scouts BSA program.
I am an Assistant Scoutmaster in our troop and I have been on many campouts. And I have participated when only unisex facilities were available. When separate facilities are not available for women, I ensure that youth know the latrine is occupied. Our troop uses a system of hanging a ribbon across the door. Our scouts know this means the latrine is occupied and the person inside needs privacy. This information from the Guide to Safe Scouting gives practical information about how to handle this situation:
If separate shower and latrine facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers. Likewise, youth and adults must shower at different times. The buddy system should be used for latrines by having one person wait outside the entrance, or provide “Occupied” and “Unoccupied” signs and/or inside door latches. Adult leaders need to respect the privacy of youth members in situations where youth members are changing clothes or taking showers, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults also need to protect their own privacy in similar situations.
So being a woman does not bar you from participating in troop events as far as the BSA is concerned. Of course, you will still need to be approved by your chartered organization and do the appropriate training.
I have heard the argument that women shouldn’t serve in leadership roles in Scouts BSA Troops because the boys need male role models. I don’t disagree that male role models are very desirable. But having women along does not diminish the men’s ability to act as role models. And I feel that our young men will also benefit from learning how to interact appropriately with women. As they grow into adulthood, they will have women as colleges, employees, and bosses. It is beneficial for them to learn how to behave appropriately with both genders.
Readers, what do you think? Add your comments below.