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Girl Arrows at a boy troop event

Hello Scouter hive mind! I cannot seem to find an explicit answer to this question, which probably means I’ve been looking in the wrong place.

I have AoL dens, one for each gender. The boy troop at our chartered org (nearest girl troop is at the church across the street) has a fall camping trip tradition where they invite the Arrows to join them. Are the girl Arrows allowed to join this trip?

Personally, I would rather take the girls on a trip with the nearby girl troop since I believe part of the Arrow process is choosing and getting to know your future troop to make the transition easier.

Does anybody have official guidance on this?

Well there would need to be a female leader. They would need a separate campsite or appropriately partitioned one. So they could - the crazy thing in looking at the GSS Camping Age Appropriate chart it says Webelos cannot do weekend camping but can do den camping - who knows.

I would talk to female troop about setting something up or perhaps joining in on this campout


Thank you! I feel like things are getting overly confusing. I mean, if you can’t have mixed-gender buddies it seemed a girl den couldn’t camp with a boy troop.

That’s really odd that Webelos can’t do weekend camping when one of the “Scouting Adventure” requirements is to “participate in a Scouts BSA troop’s campout.” They’re probably updating documents in one place but missing the other references.

They can. They just need to follow the G2SS.

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It seems to me that the goal of the Webelos weekend campout is to decide if they want to join that unit. Since girls cannot join a boys unit, I would expect they should plan their campout with a girls unit.


I agree with your logic. It would make more sense for the girls to camp with a girl’s troop and the boy’s with a boys. This would allow the Scouts to being friendships and make the transition smoother as the new Scouts can picture themselves in the new unit. It shouldn’t be as unknown or “scary”.

But, if the question is it allowed? Yes, it is allowed for say boy and girl Webelos dens to do their campout with a boy troop.

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Please cite your source.

Although not specific to this question, this FAQ response appears to suggest the answer is actually no:

Q. Can a leader bring their Scouts BSA son or daughter to an opposite gender troop activity?

A. No. Scouts BSA program integrity requires single gender units and single gender buddy pairs.

To be honest, the wording of this justification seems to generate the ridiculous (to me) conclusion that a girl who is conducting her Eagle service project could not have her Scouts BSA brother participate. I think this is a poor answer, and an even poorer justification. That said, my bias is in favor of the BSA permitting charters to form coed units at all levels, rather than the strange carve-out of the Scouts BSA program that exists right now.


And how do girls with no female troop nearby complete Arrow of Life if they cannot attend an event with a male troop? How did the first group of girls earn Arrow of Life when there were no female troops chartered?


I don’t disagree with you, @edavignon. I personally think that the FAQ response is ridiculous. However, it appears to suggest the BSA position on maintaining gender segregation in the Scouts BSA program extends not only to active membership in a unit, but even participation in unit activities.

@CharleyHamilton - I agree that we’re going a little too far, but the female Eagle candidate’s Scouts BSA brother can help her with her Eagle project as long as he has a male buddy with him.

Male and female troops can do things together, and they can even share a campsite according to the FAQ. I think the point they were trung to get across is that a boy with a free weekend cannot accompany a girl troop on their camping trip. If his entire troop is going, then it would be okay.

They could have been a bit more clear (explicit) with this.

This official BSA Q and A response lacks context and must be addressed by the BSA. There are many “Troop activities” where other BSA Units are appropriately able to attend. The BSA will provide direct and specific context as to when it is not appropriate for a scout from another BSA Unit to attend a “Troop activity”. And the BSA will stop splitting hairs. It is very much appropriate for the leader to bring their Scouts BSA son or daughter to either Troop’s COH, etc. BSA, what is your context?
(Don’t bother to tell me that some of them don’t read and monitor this forum, or that a COH is not a Troop activity. Some do, and it is JTE #10 “Leadership and FAMILY engagement:” Troop activity.)

To be constructive the BSA response makes most sense when applied specifically to a Troop’s youth advancement and skill building activities, not COHs, etc. And let’s be honest here, this Q and R response is part of the BSA’s Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse program which is purposely focused on higher risk Troop activities, not a Troop’s family focused COH.

Isn’t the requirement something like Attend an Outdoor Activity with a Troop? Not necessarily an overnighter.

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I believe the wording is “campout or other outdoor activity”.


According to the FAQ, girls are not supposed to attend activities with boy troops and boys are not supposed to attend activities with girl troops. It does not limit the activities to campouts, so again, this would preclude girls from earning AOL if there was no girl troop in the area.

Well I guess a District event where units are invited would work

Or you just do what has to be done for the Scouts and take them to any nearby troop event.

The wording in the FAQ implies a singular female attending a male troop’s event. That doesn’t seem to be the case in the original post since the question was whether or not the female AOL den could participate.

If the female AOL den has an even number of scouts such that all females would be able to be paired with another female, then I don’t see why the female AOL scouts would be prohibited from attending as long as all other safety guidelines are met (Female leader present, age appropriate activity, segregated camping space, etc.).

Personally, I think it would preferable to spend time with all girl troops since those are the troops that the female AOLs will be joining. There’s also nothing that I know of stopping an AOL Den Leader from reaching out to a troop’s Scoutmaster to see what upcoming activities their AOL scouts could join or to plan something together specifically for the AOL scouts.

Even if we assume that it’s fine for the female AOLs to attend a male troop’s activity, the male troop hosting the activity may choose to only invite the male AOL scouts because that is who they would be recruiting.

I can see this idea of making sure you have the Webelos buddied-up internally to the den as meeting the letter of the justification without requiring significant linguistic gyrations. I’m still not sure it overcomes the blanket “No.” in the first part of the response, though. That said, the response is silent as to youth not in a troop, or anyone who is not a Scouter, as long as we’re wordsmithing.

I just wish the BSA would get rid of apparently pointless restrictions like this, or at least (1) be very clear and specific as to what circumstance(s) it is looking to prevent, and (2) do a simple sanity check like what @edavignon noted earlier regarding female or male cubs in an AoL den who are trying to complete the Scouting Adventure, but don’t have a matching-gender troop with whom to participate. It’s potentially workable in a major metropolitan area to restrict youth to like-gender unit visits, where transportation and the existence of multiple units could overcome burdens imposed by such a restriction. Once you get outside the city, you could easily have 20+ miles to go just to find a matching-gender troop to visit.

I know my bias toward permitting mixed-gender Scouts BSA troops is likely creating some blind spots here for me, but the wording of the justification seems rather tangential to the question asked.