Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Boys vs Girls


Ok, I had a bit of a feminist outbreak this evening at mutual. I tried to ignore it, but I'm afraid that didn't help much.

Here's the thing: every year the scouts have a blue and gold banquet that fills the gym with supportive people, parents, and friends for the boys age 8-13. Every year they ask the young women to provide a nursery for the event.

I'm not all that convinced that scouting is a good program to associate with the Church's YM program to begin with--it seems like a way to ensure an inherent structual inequity between the YM and the YW programs. (That said, if they opened scouts to anyone who actually wanted to participate, boys and girls, and didn't force the kids that didn't want to, then I'd be more willing to consider the possibility. But that's still a complicated relationship with YM/YW.) And that inequity just seemed rather prominent tonight. Here, let's celebrate these young men and put the young women back where they belong, in a small, unventilated room crawling with young children.

Argh.

The YW program does have an event meant to celebrate the young women and their achievements over the past year--it's called Young Women in Excellence. The past two years we've moved from the gym into the relief society room, partially because it just wasn't worth arguing with the young men wearing scout uniforms who wanted us to finish up so they could play basketball. Even when we did have it in the gym we couldn't fill it the way it was filled tonight. I don't know why; both events celebrate achievements from the past year and provide a program for that recognition.

So tonight, looking at their blue and gold luau, I'm afraid all my apprehensions concerning scouts, YM, and YW came together. If I had a son in scouts, I'd have him join a troop not affiliated with the youth program. Grrr. I

But, now that I'm calmer, I realize that my thoughts may be totally off track. And this distinguished group knows more collectively about scouts and YM than I do. Any thoughts? Am I overreacting? Underreacting? What do you think about scouts and the church? (See, I've been good and haven't even mentioned the problems of said relationship in the context of a world-wide church in an age sensitive to cultural colonialization....) Ok, I'm really done now.


18 comments:

randy said...

Reading your post, I think I can understand your point of view, Jenny.

There is definitely more effort spent recognizing the boys' achievements on a wider scale than girls' for primary-aged children. I am Cubmaster of our ward pack. I just went through our luau-thingy. I gave out a lot of awards. The gym was full. (our age range is 8-11, though, so I'm not sure what cub scout program you guys are on... :-) )

I think the fundamental reason, at least that I can come up with, is that boys and girls ARE different. Physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, boys and girls can be quite distinct. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes it is always dangerous to make generalizations, but I'm pretty confident about this one. It reminds me of the "women and the priesthood" discussion. Why do men have the priesthood? Well, that's just the way it is, and besides, THE MEN NEED IT! Why do boys in the church "get" (yes, like you mentioned, some don't want to be) to be in cub scouts and the girls don't? THE BOYS NEED IT! In my mind, it fundamentally boils down to the fact that, generally, girls are better at growing and learner than boys.

As a father, I admit that it is really hard sometimes to accept that my children "long" for their mother in a way that they probably won't "long" for me. But I've been blessed to be able to bless them and perform miracles in their lives. That almost makes up for it. :-)

Anyway, I hope this doesn't start any flames...

Nick said...

I can't speak much about the younger crowd (8-13), but I think there definitely could be some changes in the 14-18 youth program. Whatever program exists in a ward needs to be tailored to the individual youth in a ward. In my ward growing up and in every subsequent ward, scouting was virtually non-existent for the teachers and priests- in fact whenever my teacher/priest quorum advisor told someone that we were a scout troop, we always gave him weird looks. The program became more of a "how can we prepare these guys to go on missions" kind of program. So all of our lessons were (and are) usually doctrinally based, or on some practical topic like how to share the gospel with a friend.
I've noticed that the young women's lessons tend to be more on the practical side and don't focus so much on gospel doctrine (at least this is what I hear from Jenny- the lesson manuals are chalk-full of lessons like "how to be a good housewife" and such). On a possibly related note, most of the young women in our ward seem to me to be complete ditses who know extremely little about the gospel- could that possibly be related to the lessons these girls are receiving in their classes and the message we send them that they are really only good for babysitting while they're young, and having babies when they're older? I realize that this is only one data point (two if you count my home ward growing up, which was somewhat similar), but I can see the cause for concern. So I've always told Jenny to screw the lesson manual and to teach them the gospel instead (as if she needed me to receive revelation for her calling)

So I was thinking one day, what actual changes could be made to the young women's program that would make them the focus of just as much attention as the boys. I've always been a fan of simply giving them more important responsibilities- the boys have the sacrament, hometeaching, fast offering collections, the knowledge that they have a responsibility to go on a mission, etc. What responsibilities could be given to the young women that don't obviously require the priesthood (like blessing the sacrament)? Should they be called as visiting teachers? Could they act as ushers or could they (gasp) set up the sacrament (I'm not aware of any scriptural requirement that only a priesthood holder may set up the sacrament table). What else could the young women do?

Youth only grow if they have challenges and responsibilities, and are publically recognized for doing them.

Anyway, I'm about to have my guy-card revoked so I'll stop.

(by the way, I'm REALLY wary of any arguments based on girls being more spiritual than guys and that guys need more attention or responsibilities or what have you...)

Jenny said...

Ok, I'm calmer today. And Randy I think you raise some good points. (Oh, and before I forget, I don't know why they had the deacons in with them but they did.) I was talking about this with one of my friends and she said that when she had this discussion with her husband (who was scoutmaster at the time), that he made the same point as Randy: boys are different than girls, and the scouting stuff is one of the only ways that they can get the boys out to activities. Basically implying that they had to be lured by the promise of big, fun events and that then the leaders would "sneak in" some of the spiritual stuff too. His response to her was essentially "if you take away the scouts, we'll have nothing left to motivate the boys with."

I can appreciate that perspective--no one wants to give up something that's working as far as getting young men to participate in church-related activities. But if it's important for the boys, I have a hard time thinking it's not important for the girls too. I'm pretty sure our YM have over a 75% activity rate when it comes to these activities. Our YW, for all our visits, cards, cookies, calls, saying hi at school, etc., are almost consistently below 50% activity for our big events. So fine, keep scouting, but equalize the distribution of resources (time, leaders, money, recognition, etc.) with the YW. And have the YM share in the responsibility of providing babysitting for ward activities (and don't say "well, you can't have YM alone tending kids, they'd need their leaders there, and they're not that good at it" because the YW have to have leaders there too and maybe the reason the YM aren't so good at it is that they've never practiced/it's never been expected of them. If YW are supposed to grow up to be good mothers, it only makes sense that YM are supposed to grow up to be good fathers. And good fathers generally spend more time changing diapers, calming fussy kids, and playing than they do tying knots alone on a mountain for weeks at a time.)

In the end, I'm still wary of the rhetoric that gender differences = spiritual differences. I think that allows for a default of responsibility on both sides. And, drawing on Nick's remarks, the equation doesn't make sense. If YW really are more spiritual then why aren't we more focused on refining that spiritual capacity? Why all the lessons lately on how to create a happy home? (Note: we're now on a new section and things are looking up. We're studying communication skills and effective communication promotes harmony in the home. See, it's really different ... ok, I take the snideness back. If you can't communicate well you end up with contention, and we all know about the Spirit's relationship with contention.) And if YM need more help being spiritual, why are we throwing lots of money at them and having them participate in a program--a good, character-building program--but a program that in the end is not the gospel?

I think Nick might be on a right track in suggesting that a place to start might be an equalization of responsibility. My girls really don't have much they can be responsible for church-wise--they can conduct opening exercises or run BYC--but I don't think any of them feel essential to the community of worshippers. And without responsibility, it's hard to feel connection ...

JonnyF said...

I have a lot to say on this - I wrote an 1833 word response that's sitting in a word file, but I'm not sure I need to publish it. I will point out that the church programs as laid forth in the handbook are pretty well balanced, e.g. Activity Days for girls, Cub Scouts for boys. Any lack of balance in funding or attention is purely the work of your ward or maybe stake leaders.
Whether the the church ought to change its relationship with BSA is another matter. I also have a lot to say about that.
I will also point out that our ward's Cub Scout program is pretty sad, 2 boys. Our Activity Days program has 12 girls. Katie is their leader and they do way cooler things than the cub scouts. Also, our YW are better funded per girl than our YM are per boy. Not all the problems you describe are universal.
I will agree that boys and girls are different. But I am also wary of arguments that use that premise to justify differences in resources or something. The problem is that people rarely say specifically which difference it is that we're talking about and why more resources needed for it. If they do it is often bad logic. In other words, "Boys and girls are different" is no more a justification for sending more resources to the boys than it is for sending more resources to the girls. If I don't stop now I'll say everything in that word file I chose not to publish.

Jenny said...

Jon, I really want to read your 1833-word response (this is a compliment--I'm in the middle of editing a book today ...). Would email it to me if you don't want to post it?

Also, I'm glad you pointed out that my frustration is really with a specific situation first and my general extrapolations from said situation second. While I think your ward sounds wonderful, my inclination is to believe that what's going on there is the exception rather than the rule. (But that's just due to my limited experience. I would love to be wrong on this one.)

Your comment also made me reflect and realize that part of the frustration I'm expressing here comes from the fact that I wish I were a better/more organized/better at doing cool things YW Pres. I mean, let's be honest: if I feel like my girls aren't getting the opportunities they deserve, who's fault is that in the end? I'd love to pass the buck and say some big adventures should be organized and handeled by the stake for girls (something that I think is actually a good idea for reasons I won't go into here). But even then, the ultimate responsibility for what goes on in the program does lie with me. I need more hours people! More hours! Can you come up with that one for me? Thanks. :)

Nick said...

I'll add my vote that JonnyF should publish his word file.

Yeah, I'll agree that it is definitely not church policy that there should be disparities in funding levels- that is the fault of the wards.

As for the boys babysitting (with their leaders) once in a while I think that is a great idea. What better way to prepare for fatherhood than to actually take care of a two year old for a few hours?

randy said...

Obviously we've all had extremely different experiences in a number of varied wards. However, since Jenny's original post refered to Cub Scouts, it seems rather unfair to compare that to YW. I agree with all your comments regarding YM/Boy Scouts and YW. Funding shouldn't be different. Emphasis should always be tailored to the individuals and their needs, with a good doctrinal/practical balance. However, I am wary of straying far from the Proclamation on the Family, wherein it lays out very clearly what the ultimate family responsibilities are for each gender (generally). (I'm really trying to get your goat here. :-) )

I really don't understand, though, why "caring for children" is looked down on. I love it, albeait trying to be a good parent is one of my most difficult undertakings to date.

Since none of us have children of these ages, most of this discussion is just on the surface, I'd say. Should the boys be exposed to more "fatherly" duties? Of course. But if they're genuinely not interested, do you force them? Tougher to answer. As a parent, probably (although any value from a forced activity is usually zero), but as a church leader?

If we all had more time and energy, I'm not sure it'd help, Jenny. Sorry.

randy said...

By the way, if I remember correctly, the YM/YW programs are typically supposed to be "run" by the youth themselves, with "guidance" from the adult leaders. Isn't that right? It probably never really works that way, but I think that is the goal.

That is in stark contrast to the primary programs.

JonnyF said...

I guess I shouldn’t have even mentioned it if I really didn’t want to publish it. I’ve added to it after reading some of your comments. It is now 2533 words.

Wow, Jenny. I don’t know where to start. I’ve been thinking about many of the same subjects recently for different reasons. I guess the easiest way to respond to everything I want is to go sequentially.

1. The blue and gold dinner should be a cub-scout event. It should involve the families of boys ages 8-10. If they are doing it for boys aged 8-13, they are making it up.
2. When you say nursery, do you mean infants, or toddlers, or both? Do they expect the YW to feed the kids dinner while their families are eating in the other room? I just don’t understand why you need a nursery if the activity is supposed to involve the families of the boys. If they insist they need one, maybe you should tell them to “ask” the older YM to do it (the same way they “ask” the YW – so that they feel obligated to do it) next year. So anyway, I don’t blame you for feeling a little slighted that they ask the YW to do it every year.
3. I’m not sure what you mean about the scouting program ensuring an “inherent structural inequity” between the YM and YW programs. Maybe there are one or two extra adults (scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster) involved with the young men so that the YM presidency doesn’t have to do as much work themselves, but I’ve never been in a ward where that was the case. In my ward we have 6 adults in the YW program (presidency + 2 instructors = 4 + 2 = 6) for about 8 girls and 6 adults in the YM program (presidency + scoutmaster + assistant scoutmaster = 6) for about 12 boys.
Keep in mind that there is the Activity Days program for 8-11 year old girls which was set up specifically to be opposite cub scouts and 11-year old scouts for boys.
4. That said, you’re definitely not the first one to question the marriage of Boy Scouts with the YM program. In fact, it seems like a pretty regular complaint. “What if my son just isn’t interested in camping and hiking and all that stuff?” or maybe, “My son doesn’t have time for that.”
To the first question I would answer by pointing out that the Boy Scout program is built to appeal to a broad set of interests. It’s true that the camping merit badge is required to receive your eagle. So are the first aid, family life, environmental science, and communications merit badges. There are many non-required merit badges that cover many things from beekeeping to home repair (no calculus though, or even algebra).
To the second question I would answer that you can make time for it if you or your son or, rather, both of you decide it’s important enough to do so – more important than whatever it is they’re doing that makes them too busy for scouts.
5. I’m sorry you felt you had to move from the cultural hall to the RS room for Young Women in Excellence. I would have been extremely tempted to handle it in a more snarky (snarkier?) fashion. If a young man expressed any impatience about having to wait for the program to end I would thank him profusely for volunteering to help clean up, ask him if he thought he could find anyone else to help, and tell him that I’d let him know right away when we were ready for him to start helping. Perhaps that is a bad way to handle it, but I must admit that I have a tendency to want to behave badly when others are being selfish.
6. As far as the discrepancy in attendance goes, I don’t know how to interpret that without more information. Are there as many young women to be recognized at Young Women in Excellence as boys at the blue and gold dinner? Do you invite families of the young women, or just parents? Are the two programs equally advertised? Is that particular day of the week busier than whenever they have the blue and gold dinner?
7. Please, please don’t sign your son up for a non-church sponsored troop. Let me make my case like this. From what I’ve seen the following structure is fairly typical: For boys, there is Cub Scouts from ages 8-10. At age 11 they are supposed to graduate into Boy Scouts, but because they are still not part of YM they are put into a separate category in LDS troops called, simply, 11-year old scouts (it used to be called Blazer Scouts). When the boys turn 12 they become part of the YM program and “regular” members of the scout troop.
What sometimes happens is this: A boy is interested in scouting and some of his friends at school are in the scout troop sponsored by the school. The ward is often not well-staffed enough to have a properly running 11-year old scout program for him and the, at most, two or three other boys that are 11-years old. The boy signs up with the school scout troop, giving up very little by not attending the sporadic activities of the church-run 11-year old scouts. When the boy turns 12 he stays with the school scout troop and generally doesn’t show up on for scout night at church. The troop loses out on a motivated boy and motivated parents. The boy loses out on companionship with his quorum.
Boy Scouts is the “activity arm” of the Young Men’s organization in the church. I personally don’t think it works quite perfectly – with 11 year olds being effectively in limbo in many wards. However, I do believe that it can and will work well if the parents are on board and don’t let their kids get away with illogical excuses (see #4 above). In fact, I challenge anyone to come up with a good excuse (It has to be likely. “My son has leukemia on Wednesdays” may be a good excuse, but that’s not what I’m talking about.) for why their son shouldn’t have to participate in Boy Scouts. I am not advocating forcing any boy to achieve any particular rank; I’m only talking about participation.
8. Yes, I think you’re overreacting based on the information you’ve given me. It surely wasn’t anybody’s intention to celebrate the young men at the expense of the young women, nor to put the babysitters in a poorly ventilated room.
Of course, you make some good points, and people need to conscious of fairness. But I think that we ought to be careful when we charge the church or a ward with institutional sexism, or any leader of sexism. It better be a really good case.
9. On cultural colonialization (or colonization, I don’t know if there’s a difference)…
I’m not sure exactly what you mean. Do you mean that there is some sort of culture associated with Boy Scouts that the church is spreading worldwide by having it be part of the YM program? I would probably dispute that there is a scouting culture. You’ll have to be less subtle for me to get it.
Also, whether people are sensitive to it or not, not all cultural colonization is a bad thing. Religious freedom (for men and women) might be considered part of western culture. I will debate until I’m blue in the face anyone who tells me that any people shouldn’t have religious freedom because it’s not part of their culture. We, of course, shouldn’t be intent on spreading the culture of making sure our potlucks all have lime Jell-o with shredded carrots (it counts as a fruit and a vegetable). I recognize that there are lots of other undesirable manifestations of cultural colonization too. I’m just saying that political and social circumstances are aspects of cultures, so if those circumstances (say sexism, or lack of religious freedom) are undesirable, then I don’t think cultural colonization, in the form of changing those circumstances, is a bad thing.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the balance of activities and leadership attention for different groups in the church. It all started a few months ago at a PEC meeting. The High Priest group leader mentioned that he thought we should make sure to have an Aaronic Priesthood Restoration Commemoration Campout, a.k.a. a Fathers & Sons campout again this year. He expressed concern that some fathers in the ward had started taking their daughters on the campout, which, in his mind, was missing the point and also put pressure on the other fathers to bring their daughters too. This caused an eruption from one of the Bishop’s counselors who was upset because that would mean we were excluding fathers who didn’t have any sons, or at least none old enough to camp (a fair number). He went on to talk about how we shouldn’t exclude all those families and also lots of girls like camping, and some women too for that matter. So maybe we should make it a ward campout.
I can see both sides. The HP group leader had a point. You can dilute the purpose of the activity by inviting everyone. On the other hand, you don’t want to exclude people just for tradition’s sake. I don’t think that a Fathers & Sons campout is specifically called for in the Church Handbook of Instructions
The Counselor had a point too. There’s little point in having a priesthood activity where there is some implication that some brethren (those without sons) aren’t invited and are excluded. Also, these brothers have daughters as well who are no less important in their lives, so why should we exclude them. On the other hand, every time any activity is intended for one group it necessarily excludes other groups. When the Young Men went sledding, they didn’t invite me even though I would have liked to go. When the Activity Days girls had Karaoke night, I wasn’t invited even though I would have enjoyed it. We have adult firesides, youth firesides, Primary Activities, even Blue & Gold dinners that are targeted to subsets of the ward. We shouldn’t be upset when we are excluded even when we would have enjoyed the activity. That’s just how it works. We especially need to be able to say “no” to our children when they want to go to an activity to which they’re not invited.
I guess my synthesis of all that is 1. We shouldn’t exclude people when there’s no good reason for it, e.g. simply for tradition’s sake. 2. We shouldn’t be so afraid of excluding people that we miss the point of targeted activities.
Part of the reason this is such a big deal in my ward is that there are roughly 40 girls between the ages of 3 and 18 in our ward, compared to about 20 boys.
Some final notes on my ward:
The YM and YW budgets are the same even though there are fewer YW than YM. Also the YM have to pay out of pocket for scout camp, where girls camp is paid for by the stake. The YM are allowed to fundraise for camp, but church policy prevents them from any extra fundraising.
There are 2 11-year old scouts (with no leader) and two cub scouts. There are 12 Activity Days girls (age 8-11). Katie is their leader. They meet every other week and have way cooler activities than the cub scouts who meet weekly. The blue and gold dinner was apparently a big deal (we didn’t go), but the Father & Daughter Fiesta Dance that the Activity Days girls did was the talk of the ward.

Regarding older boys & participation in Boy Scouts…
I didn’t address this above, but, as Nick pointed out, there is a common problem where the YM program doesn’t know what to do with the older boys who aren’t interested in Boy Scouts either because they already are Eagle Scouts or because they were never interested in Scouts to begin with. First I would refer to my #4 above. A properly run scout program will not just appeal to those who want to camp and hike. Of course, older boys are sometimes not fond of the idea of hanging out with the younger boys no matter what they are doing. There are scouting options for older boys. I don’t know if there’s an official name for it – in my ward growing up we called it Varsity Scouts and in my current ward they call it Venture Scouts. These programs are generally not so much focused on rank as on life “skills and experiences”. Don’t get me wrong, it requires a great amount of creativity and attention to make this work right – especially to get it to work without spending a lot of money. In my experience though, more people complain about the problem of disinterested older boys than try to actually make it work.
This is sort of related to something our Stake President told us in Bishopric meeting before Ward Conference. He told us that we need to teach the youth and their parents that they shouldn’t be “consumers” of activities – picking and choosing which ones to go to based on whether they think it will be fun for them. They have a responsibility to attend whenever they can (the responsibility, of course, needs to be balanced with personal and family responsibilities) whether they think they’ll get anything out of it or not. In fact, any of them that are in class or quorum presidencies have a specific responsibility to plan and attend and encourage others to attend. It’s sort of the same principle as coming to church with your spiritual cup full prepared to fill others versus coming with your cup empty expecting someone else to fill it. Does that make sense? If this principle is properly taught we will have fewer problems getting our active YM and YW out to activities and we can concentrate on the inactive ones more. Of course, we need to do our best to make the activities fun and so forth, but in order for it to work on any budget the parents and kids have to be active, rather than passive, participants.

Regarding the lessons in the YW manual…
Katie has done her fair share of eye-rolling at the lessons when she was the Beehive instructor. Just looking at the lesson titles for the YW 2007 manual versus the YM manual I am reminded of what you are talking about. However, I wonder which manual they should consider changing more. The YM manual has maybe six lessons that they recycle under different titles. I think that there will always be huge gaps in anyone’s knowledge if they never talk about or study the gospel outside their church classes. When I was teaching I felt better once I realized this and realized that I wasn’t meant to be their primary source of gospel knowledge. Anyway, I don’t know if you actually needed help or were just pointing out some of the eyebrow raising details.
Now I’m just rambling, but this is an interesting subject to me.

Nick said...

Quick snide response to Randy- So if we're not supposed to force the young men to babysit (and therefore teach them about their divinely inspired gender role), why do we have the young women babysit and learn to be good housewives?

I want to say more, but still need about 40 more minutes to finish reading JonnyF's thesis.

randy said...

Quick snide response to Nick--

[I admit I am not as elaborate and articulate as most other posters on this blog, so it's probably easy for me to be misunderstood.]

I think you've mixed up two things that are, in my mind, separate. What is your purpose in having them babysit? Is it because the babysitting needs to be done, or solely to expose them to the experience (in the case of both, one or the other probably triggered the idea, so that would be the underlying need)? If it needs to be done, "force" them. If not, take a poll for the interest level.

Babysitting would be a great Priest/Laurel/etc. combined activity. Make them both do it... I'm fine with that. I'd rather babysit than go to cub scouts any day (every pack meeting kills me... I'm just not the Cubmaster type).

I really like, though, JonnyF's comment about how we have to remember that the church cannot be responsible for the complete education of its members.

Nick said...

It should be the same reasoning as why we always ask the young women to babysit, whatever that might be. If its out of need, the responsibility should be split. If its out of a desire to teach them about taking care of children, then both the young women and young men need it since fatherhood and motherhood are roles of equal importance.

I'm really just reacting to some of the chauvanist attitudes in my own ward. One of our bishopric members was absolutely incredulous at the idea of boys babysitting (with supervision). He was shocked that anyone could have such an idea, and tried to offer nonsensical reasons as to why they shouldn't: "but but but they wouldn't know what to do with the kids!!!"

So really I just saw your response and was reminded of him. How could I ever be snide to someone who waves his dusty stinky socks in my face?

Nick said...

JonnyF- Don't worry, our son will not go to a non-LDS scout troop. She is forgetting who presides in this family.... OUCH! (dodges a lamp thrown at head)

Jenny said...

Lucy's falling asleep and I really should be working ... but ...

First off, most importantly, I never actually throw things at Nick that are not frisbees. Not unless he deserves it.

Second, I think Randy's right in pointing out that I was complaining about a cub scout event (although I know our deacons and their families were there too, which is how I made the jump to YM in the first place) and that the comparison to YW is a bit flawed. To be fair, our activity days girls have a great program too.

Third, I'm not trying to challenge the Proclamation's take on gender roles in this post. That said, I still don't think that an acknowledgment of those differences necessarily leads to scouting vs YW. More on this later, under cultural imperialism. (da da da da di-da da di-da)

Fourth, I think Nick responds pretty well to the childcare issue. The reasons they always ask the YW (helps them prepare to be parents, the organization needs help taking care of the kids, etc.) are just as good reasons to split it up and ask the young men. And if they young men aren't interested? I'd say force them. They can learn to have fun with it (it often involves snack food and various bodily functions--sounds right up their alley.) It's not like all of my young women are thrilled by the opportunity to babysit, but they do it because their leaders stay positive and help them turn it into a rewarding activity (whereas whenever I've mentioned sharing the responsibility to the YM leaders they groan and say they don't want to. No wonder the YM aren't so hot on the idea. Randy, move here and be a YM leader with Nick. Both of you like kids. I could work with that.)

Fifth, Randy you're right about how the youth programs are run in contrast to the primary. Our young women (especially the Beehives and Mia Maids) put a lot of work into planning their activities in advance. They can come up with great ideas. But more times than I care to mention they've scrapped their plans last minute to provide childcare. I actually complained about this in ward council and said that if the stake wants the YW planning three months in advance (which we try to do) then the ward should be curteous and realize that a week before an event the YW already will have something planned to do on that night. I asked for a month's notification. And to be fair, the Blue and Gold people did ask in advance.

Sixth, Randy I think you are perfectly articulate. No putting yourself down on this blog :)

Seventh, I really have to work now, but Jon, I'll be back ...

Nick said...

"... but Jon, I'll be back"

That sounded ominous.

randy said...

Speaking of ominous, isn't it about time the Webbs made another addition to their net? You're not forgetting your commandment to multiply, are you?? I'm already one up on you guys (okay, so I got one for free, but still). Kiya is turning out to have quite the attitude (from her mother, of course), but everyone always says what a cute boy she is (from her father, of course). :-)

Nick said...

Randy- Was it a deliberate choice of yours to use the word 'ominous' as a description of our potential to have more children? I can just see the Webb's depicted in a horror movie: Nick staggers into the room. The lights darken as he declares "We must have more offspring!". Lightning flashes...

Are you sure she got the attitude from her mother?

Cabeza said...

I was going to post a comment on this, and really meant to, but I delayed.

Now I just say amen and amen to everything Jon said. Way to express everything I wanted to say and more. I withhold my heartiest amens for the mild jab at tradition, though. I do not share the same continually dimming view of that. But that's a topic for another post.

In conclusion: I agree with Jon on the YM vs. YW issue.