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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cincy's Great American Ballpark Campout: No Girls Allowed

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Didn't state and local taxpayers drop a wad into into the $200 million or so kitty that was used to build Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds? Don't taxpayers come in two genders, female and male? So why aren't girls allowed to camp out this year on the field at the county-owned stadium in downtown Cincinnati?

The local Boy Scout council gets up to 500 spots for the first ever camp out on the field. It takes place Aug. 10 after a Friday night game with the San Diego Padres. Girls are not invited, as the brochure makes clear. Maybe next year. But only if the boys -- who are going to sleep over in left and left-center -- are well-behaved. The Reds are even planning to play a movie for their guests on the big screen scoreboard.

This kind of thinking smacks of the He-Man-Woman-Haters Club. But that was from the 1930s, when Spanky and Alfalfa were kids and a woman's place was in the home. We've come a long way baby . . . maybe not.

Why is this first-time opportunity reserved for boys first? There are thousands of Girl Scouts, equally deserving and probably equally as interested in seeing a game and sleeping over in the ballpark? There's an old saying: Ladies first.

Some lawyer is probably going to file a lawsuit against the county alleging gender discrimination. The county commissioners might want to press the Reds on the equality issue. Or maybe the Girl Scouts just weren't interested. That's probably not the case, because inside baseball has it that they never were invited.


  1. Because it's the BOY Scouts. The GIRL Scouts can organize their own camp out. It is reasonable for TGABP to wait and see if this works before allowing a combined jamboree.

  2. Hi Joe --

    Thanks for stopping by. But I don't take your point that: It's the BOY Scouts.

    My points: Why the BOY Scouts? Why not the GIRL Scouts? I don't cotton to the idea of a combined jamboree at all. Why weren't both sets of Scouts allowed to use the the ball park at separate times this year.

    And why the boys first? It's wonderful they get to use the stadium, of course.

    One more thing: A friend who was active in Scouting (obviously a while ago becaus he is in his early 50s now) laughed about the whole stadium camp out because he thought it was somewhat wimpy for young men to spend the night "camping out" in a Major League baseball stadium. He said the Scouts should camp in the woods, or somewhere a little more rustic, where they can pitch tents, pound stakes, build fires etc. He sees the stadium as a bit, ummm, too unmanly for the kind of Scouting he knows. That's his opinion, and it may not be in line with the Scouting of the today.

  3. Bill,

    I've never been involved in scouting, but since moving back to Ohio I hang out with guys from our church who are very active as scout masters (or whatever) and from the sound of their stories you can assure your friend that scouts still camp out in the woods and learn all the survival stuff. I kid them that they only need to learn the survival stuff because of all the scouts who get lost in the woods.

    As far as the sleeping in the ballpark goes, it is a big who cares. If you (like me) oppose public funding of stadiums there are better arguments than this. Since professional sports are a cash cow business let them pay to build their own stadiums. I'm a big sports fan and I don't like it. Imagine how someone who dislikes sports feels about having a higher sales tax in order to build a stadium. Problem is, teams hold cities emotionally hostage with threat to move elsewhere. As a Browns fan I experienced the way it goes when you call their bluff.

  4. LargeBill --

    Good to hear that Scouts still hang out with the bears etc.

    Your point on tax-supported stadia is dead on -- there is pretty large agreement today that it is a bad deal for the public and a questionable use of their resources. (Of course, no problem for me if public funds are used to college stadia for state schools. Hmmmm. After I wrote that I began to wonder, is athletics what colleges are about?)

  5. Maybe the Boy Scouts asked first, maybe the Girl Scouts could care less about sleeping in a baseball stadium. However, I'm sure the biggest reason why not both (on separate days or not): LAWYERS and LIABILITY.

    Boy Scouts camp in the woods, too, but probably some Dad thought this would be a cool idea - that didn't even cross the mind of a Girl Scout leader - until someone decided to created an "issue" where none existed.

    They should invite smokers to camp out.

  6. Joe C:

    Lawyers and Liability?

    Right now, the risk could be greater that there will be a gender discrimination lawsuit if boys can use the stadium and girls cannot.

    And the stadium gets more than 1 million visits a year from Reds fans, many of whom are drinking, sometimes even drinking heavily.

    The liability issue could be a canard.