#hearLDSwomen: Inequality between Activity Days and Cub Scouts

I’m serving in Activity Days. The girls expressed to me that they wanted to do a pinewood derby like the scouts. At our next planning meeting, we got a member of the Primary presidency on the phone to see if we could combine with the Cub Scouts or split cost of the track and have our own event the same day. She said they had a meeting already with people (men, I’m assuming) and had brought up the idea of including the girls. She relayed that it had been a resounding no. When I asked why, she said, “they said it’s a boy thing.” And the rest of the leaders basically scrapped the idea behind my back and planned something different.

I’ve never been so upset as I was that night.

I think word got around I was pretty peeved because my bishop did come talk to me and said he wasn’t aware of the girls wanting to do a pinewood derby, but if we planned it, he’d give us the money for it. Almost a year later and new activity day leaders we are making it happen.

But I know I’m getting talked about for raising a fuss and bypassing the Primary for the budget.

It really upset me because of how much it hurt my heart for the girls. They were the ones who wanted to do the derby! And then I have to tell them what? Sorry? Something else they ask regularly – can we go real overnight camping like the boys!? And again no idea what to say to them. I’d love to spearhead that. Sadly, the other leaders aren’t even interested in making it happen because of tradition. Instead they get to hear about their brothers’ adventures and camp outs. It’s so frustrating! I know exactly how they feel because I was always begging my leaders for the same things.
– KK


Our stake puts on an amazing Cub Scout day camp every year. Two full days of fun activities with tons of (mostly LDS) volunteers. The activity day girls get a half day. This year the girls’ activity was about the temple and they were asked to come to the chapel in church clothes. How the hell is this anything comparable? I brought it up to our new stake Primary president who showed up at Cub Scout day camp in her full scouter’s uniform, and she said they were absolutely going to do better for the girls, make it comparable. But when it rolled around, there they were – half day in the chapel in church clothes talking about the temple! We just moved states, and in our new stake the Activity Days day camp is the same thing! A morning, in church clothes, starting in the chapel, talking about the temple. The entire activity lasted two and a half hours and focused on teaching the girls how to index.
– Janeen


Pro Tip: Budgets, activities, and resources allocated to boys and girls in the church should be more or less equal. Watch for blatant (or more subtle) inequality and put a stop to it.

Click here to read all of the stories in our #hearLDSwomen series. Has anything like this happened to you? Please share in the comments or submit your experience(s) to participate in the series.

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)

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5 Responses

  1. Jen says:

    I love seeing these little changes being made in my ward (even without my input, lol), but our Activity Girls participate in the same Day Camp that the cub scouts do (shooting guns, ziplining, etc) and they participate in the Pinewood Derby as well. It wasn’t like this even 3-4 years ago.

  2. Andrew R. says:

    In the UK we have a Faith in God evening once a month, at ward level, for all Primary children over 8. That’s it – low budget, simple.

    We do not have scouting, and nor will the US soon. So there is no disparity here, it’s just low budget. Although next month, being Christmas, it’s a laser quest activity.

  3. I asked the cub scouts to include girls in the pinewood derby one year. The cub leaders said yes and I was so excited. The primary arranged for the distribution of the kits and one dad offered to share sawing tools and general help to any of the families who wanted. Then, when we showed up for the derby, they had arranged for completely separate races for the cubs–it seemed to be really important to determine winners just among themselves. The girls were allowed to race their cars probably half as many times as the boys. They cub leaders did their normal thing and “graciously” let the girls use the track a little. So it was progress but it was absolutely not equality.

    My recommendation is to plan your own if the cubs don’t let you join in. The hardest thing with the pinewood derby is getting access to a track. You could instead do the raingutter regatts, which is much cheaper. You just have to buy rain gutters.


  4. amphvivian says:

    Your local Girl Acout Service Unit may have a track, not all of them do, but it’s worth asking about.

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