Publication Date

2000

Abstract

What are the obstacles that "for-girl" youth organizations face in involving male volunteers? This comparative study of the Plymouth Bay Girl Scout Council of Southeastern Massachusetts and the YMCA's father-daughter Indian Princess program examines the experiences of male volunteers, attitudes of female volunteers towards male involvement, and organizational practices of recruiting and supporting male volunteers. Data collection included five in-depth interviews with male Girl Scout volunteers, four interviews with female Girl Scout volunteers, four interviews with Girl Scout council staff, open-ended questionnaires with ten male Indian Princess volunteers, fifteen surveys with male non-Girl Scout volunteers, and analysis of Girl Scout published literature. Findings indicate that gaps exist in the recruitment, retention and organizational support areas of the Girl Scout organization. Male Girl Scout volunteers identified obstacles as undefined volunteer roles and recruitment strategies. Conversely, male Indian Princess volunteers, due to the established role of father to daughter in the Indian Princess program, were aware of volunteer opportunities and the associated recruitment process. Both groups placed high value on being facilitators of girls' intellectual and skills-based development as motivation for continued involvement. Indian Princess volunteers perceived camaraderie with other males as important for retention, while male-male camaraderie was not a factor for the Girl Scouts. Conclusions drawn include the need for a council-driven, action-oriented male recruitment plan, which includes female volunteers as empowerment agents. In much the same way that females have demanded unique guidance for entering into male-dominated fields, this study serves as a basis for providing males with tools required for entering into female-dominated fields.

Share

 
COinS