PDA

View Full Version : Thinking about taking DD out of Girl Scouts...



elkhollow
02-26-2011, 02:55 PM
DD's Girl Scout leader said something to me last week and it's sort of the proverbial straw. I'm thinking about taking dd out of scouts. She figured up the money we owed for our Girl Scout cookie order wrong. She charged us twice for one round of orders, a $77 mistake. Of course when all this happened I was trying to keep my 4 yo from tearing up her house and I just wanted to get out of there with our order. I watched her count the boxes and everything was fine. The totals were right on the receipt so I signed it but didn't realize until I got home that the money due was $77 off. It took me some time to figure out what happened and I sent her an email to alert her to the problem and to let her know the amount of money dd was obligated to turn in. I was very nice about it, it was a simple mistake, no big deal. She wrote back that bc I signed the receipt we were responsible for the total, whether it was correct or not, but since she could see what happened she would overlook it. Pardon me?

This really hit me wrong. I'm sure I'm overreacting here but this lady is supposed to be responsible for my child in my absence-at meetings and on overnight camping trips. She's not a person for whom I ever had real warm fuzzy feelings but she seemed capable, responsible and organized. She's very...businesslike IYKWIM. They have an activity tomorrow and she just sent us an email last night that our kids are supposed to wear certain clothes. Well, we don't have anything like what she's saying they need to wear and I think she should have given us more than 48 hours notice if we had to provide special clothing. We've also got this overnight camping trip looming and maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to back out of it. DD doesn't really want to go but I thought it would be good for her to have some time away from me every now and then and gain some independence (please gain some independence...) Every Monday night when it's time to go to the meetings I have to force DD to go. Afterwards, of course, she always says what a good time she has. I'm making her go bc I think she needs to be around other kids her age more. We don't have kids in our neighborhood and the only real social time she gets is at the fellowship, at h/s group park days once a week, and scouts.

To be totally honest, I'm not all that impressed with the Girl Scout program in general but I've been keeping her there for socialization (yes, I know, dirty word) and she seems to have a good time after I drag her in there. It seems to me that, for the amount of time we invest, dd doesn't get a whole lot out of it, though. They go in and do a craft or a game, have a snack, and sing a song. That's pretty much it. What's the point of all of it? What are they supposed to be learning? Leadership skills, self esteem, girl power. Um, okay. It seems like most of it is about selling cookies to make money for the council bc the troop keeps only 50 cents for every box they sell. The governing body gets all the rest. They push the girls to sell these things, offering them cheap toys and trinkets as incentives, and the whole time what they're doing is just earning money for the company.

I guess the deal is that I don't really want to keep being involved in this but I'm worried that I'll be robbing her of some social experience if I take her out. How many social activities do they need?

hockeymom
02-26-2011, 03:38 PM
Does your daughter feel like you'd be "robbing her" of something important to her? Or if you told her today you'd had enough of it, would she jump and down and clap her hands? She seems plenty old enough to make that decision for herself; I would think that if she is so reluctant to go every week, there's probably a good reason for it.

outskirtsofbs
02-26-2011, 03:55 PM
Yeah, I think that I'm waaaaaayyyyy over the girl scout thing, too. DD stopped going last May after 2-3 mean girls were rude to her (lying while playing games after the meeting, I witnessed part of it and on another occasion, refusing to let DD sit down with the other girls). These are the same, rotten mean girls from PS and they are ALSO at the 4H. And this was just after I had told one of the two leaders why DD was being removed from PS AND I had just paid for a sash/patches to the tune of $30. All of this BS was going on right after my parents finally made it back from Mayo(four months passed) after my Dad nearly died up there early last spring.
I know what you mean about not being real impressed with the whole concept of GS. Running around selling these cookies that are so overpriced. And I thought the meetings were very lame, also. It was all about socialization for us though (sorry I had to say the word) because there are virtually no resources here. I'm still trying to get DD to go back to 4H, because there is nothing else here. DD doesn't have ANY activities or friends for that matter......but I won't make her go if she says no. .

lynne
02-26-2011, 04:16 PM
I think she was really rude about the mix-up with the money. She doesn't sound like the type of troop leader I would want my kid involved with. That coupled with the fact that your daughter doesn't sound thrilled with scouts would be enough for me to pull her out. I'm sorry it's not working out though. I know I am struggling to with finding way to get my child involved in things for social interaction.

alexdk
02-26-2011, 04:29 PM
Don't get me started with girl scouts! My oldest went to girl guides here in Canada. I was very disapointed. I do think it depends on the group and leaders. Some people have wonderful experiences.
I would listen to your gut feeling if I were you, and also ask your daughter how she feels about it. Maybe there is something else she would be more intereted in that she could start in the spring.

WindSong
02-26-2011, 04:36 PM
I have been wrestling with the same decision regarding dd and brownies this year. She likes the meetings because she gets to see her friends from ps. She admits that the meeting activities are boring but she likes being with her friends. The meetings consist of a craft and then they run around and play games on their own- nothing structured or lead by the leader. Girl Scouts is all about teaching the girls about leadership and the importance of community service. The girls are supposed to be involved in the planning of each meeting, activities and trips. None of that happens in our troop. She pretty much just goes to a craft club once a week. I'm leaning towards keeping her in for the rest of the year since she does like it. It is a wonderful group of girls. It's just not Girl Scouts.

If your dd has other social opportunities and she isn't enjoying it anymore, then I would consider maybe not continuing next year. I agree that this woman's response was unacceptable, but maybe she won't be a leader next year? Maybe there is another troop in the area she could join? Is there a 4-H group in the area? Just brainstorming out loud here. :)

CathleenB
02-26-2011, 05:01 PM
I was never involved in 4H, and I know almost nothing about it. Some online friends have explained it a little bit and it sounds soo fantastic I am going to be looking into it for my daughter. We did Girl Scouts and it was great, but the cookie thing rubs me the wrong way. The last year we were in GS I volunteered for cookie coordinator and I wanted to scream!!!

elkhollow
02-26-2011, 05:39 PM
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I did ask dd her feelings about going and she was relieved to be let off the hook. I was a bit surprised that she was that happy about it because she really did seem to enjoy it after she got there, but I guess she was just making the best of it since I was forcing her to go. I'm certainly relieved. I wish we had Earth Scouts here. That's the sort of thing I wish she was learning and doing in Girl Scouts rather than being an unpaid sales representative. There has to be something else, I've just got to find it.

Thank you to all who responded.

hockeymom
02-26-2011, 06:09 PM
I'm glad that's worked out, Ashley. It sounds like you both made a good decision. :)

Batgirl
02-26-2011, 06:10 PM
I second Hockeymom. Good for both of you!

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
02-26-2011, 06:10 PM
Well, it's good to know that Girl Scouts hasn't changed in 30 years! Sounds like the meetings are the same as I remember--crafts, songs, cookie selling. I am so not interested in my kids selling stuff, especially if the troop only gets a fraction of the proceeds. I'm looking into 4-H for my animal loving kids. At least they might learn some practical skills there.

Spiral Scouts and Roots and Shoots might be other possibilities, Ashley.

Melissa541
02-26-2011, 06:10 PM
As my troop's cookie mom, I'm totally qualified to say that she was completely out of line in the way she responded your cookie/money issue. What a jerk.

Kylie
02-26-2011, 06:24 PM
I'm glad you got it sorted, your post sounded as though you had already made up your mind and that in reality your DD wasn't really getting much out of it anyway. :-)

SueEllen Grieves-Curl
02-26-2011, 06:29 PM
ok I must add in here. Last week was the first visit that we went to. Now mind you I have a 6 year old and 4 year old girls. Well to start it off they told me that my 4 year old could not be there. Well there was a room next door so I figured that she would be fine with it. I could have been more wrong. She screamed the whole time we were over there until someone actually asked us to leave. When this happened the leader also came in and said that she would make an exception but I would have to pay 5.00 a meeting for her to be there. But since that was our first visit there would be no charge. Than when they were doing their art activity they were told to make valentine's day cards for the kids in their classes at school. And to make sure that they were also inviting them to join their troop. Um ok well my child is schooled at home so to speak. Who does she make a card for? Well she decided to make one for our neighbor who is her friend. The lady said that was not what she was supposed to do and tore it up in front of her. Ok we are done we were leaving and never going back. I called up the leader's leader and told her about this and she said that the troop leader was a public school teacher and she must have had a reason like my child was not following the directions. So we are never going back, they wanted us to try a different troop but Brit has no interest in being there anymore. At least she tried it, and that is good enough for me.

But to set your mind at ease I would sit down with your daughter and ask her how she feels. Than honor that. If she wants to keep going than she is getting something out of it. If she is strong about not going back than by forcing her you are telling her that her feelings don't matter. As far as her having fun while she is there, that is normal.

We did fostering for about a year and half and one of the last kids I had she hated everything and it was a fight to get her to go anywhere. The church that we went to was doing VBS and asked that the teens help out. Well she was not going no matter what. I told her that she was not sitting in the house all day long, and it would be good for her to go. Well this was an all week thing. Every day she did not want to go and every day I took her. I took all the kids but she was my only teen. everyday at pick up she was so happy that she went and was glad to go again. So with that said it is normal for kids to not want to go and glad they went afterwards.

SueEllen Grieves-Curl
02-26-2011, 06:31 PM
hmm Earth Scouts sounds very interesting.....

SueEllen Grieves-Curl
02-26-2011, 06:34 PM
I love the internet
There is such a thing
http://earthscouts.net/Page/Home.asp

inmom
02-26-2011, 06:35 PM
I want to also suggest looking into 4-H as an activity. My dd was also in Girl Scouts, but got tired of the the girls being catty and the fact that the activities were chosen by the leaders.

With 4-H, each child can pick which and how many projects that interest him or her. There is also the social aspect of the meetings, service projects, and topic workshops. There is the additional factor of the chance for leadership roles while still young. My son has been the club reporter (writes up the club's activities to the county) starting at age 11, while my daughter was treasurer at 13. I think it has really helped teach them responsibility and people skills.

This is also a club that is NOT homeschool kids only, but an entire mix of public school, private school, and homeschool kids. It is just a nice group of kids--about 100 of them!

elkhollow
02-26-2011, 07:06 PM
Thanks, everybody! 4-H sounds like just the thing. DD loves animals. I'll see what I can find in my area.

Riceball_Mommy
02-28-2011, 12:04 PM
I'm off to look for 4-H myself. I've considered Girl Scouts before because my homeschool group started their own troop, there were several problems with us joining (days of meetings, age requirement, no open spots). Of course I wasn't really fond of the idea of the cookie selling. I'm hoping I can find a 4-H club that's close. I'm also worried about having enough social activities. We're thinking of trying out ballet, and I'm thinking of trying to organize a weekly park day closer to us.

Laina
02-28-2011, 12:19 PM
This post has been interesting to me. DD just joined Daisy Scouts. I've been less than impressed in the two meetings she has gone to so far, but she seems to love it. I can't figure out why she loves it--it's a bit chaotic, the troop leader's older daughter bosses everyone, and her 3yo daughter disrupts everything. They sang a song about selling cookies safely, and I realized the cookie season is at least three months long. Then they did a craft and everyone had some crystal light and cookies and that was it.

We'll stick it out for a while. Because we're planning to homeschool next year, I want to have a cheap social activity locked in that is guaranteed to have girls dd's age, and there appears to be time for just running around and then getting yelled at for running around. But a lot of your experiences have confirmed my initial impressions--I'm hoping there is more to it than what I've seen so far.

kewb22
02-28-2011, 03:10 PM
My daughter was a Brownie for 2 years. She started when she was in school and I kept her in the year we started homeschooling to help her maintain contact with her friends. She always had fun but the majority of it was a craft activity. She earned tons of fun patches but over 2 years only 3 triangle patches. I found the whole thing meaningless and I hated the cookie push.

After talking with other friends I discovered that it really all comes down to the troop leader. I was not willing to step up to the plate so I have nothing but Kudos for the troop leader. I know she was doing the best she could. By the end of the 2nd year my dd would leave the meeting telling me how her best friend was ignoring her or sitting with someone else because she promised her in school that she would. It became less then fun so we decided not to continue.

archibael
02-28-2011, 03:40 PM
Our girls are still in, but I echo what folks are saying-- it's up to the troop leader. We had our eldest moved to another nearby troop because the old troop was very cliquish, and the new leader has been awesome-- to the point of kicking out a mean girl who was bullying our daughter. (The kid's mother was flabbergasted... really? You don't know your own kid? Or you just expect everyone else to just deal with it because you can't figure it out?)

That said... get ahold of a Girl Scout manual from the 1950s or 1960s. There were badges for etiquette, specific learnings about nature, how to plan and then throw a party (unisex and with mixed sexes), farming, etc. Things have changed culturally since then (many changes are good ones-- women's place in society not least!), but setting that aside, there was a lot more to being a Scout in those days than just cookies and songs.

KristinK
02-28-2011, 03:43 PM
my 7yr old is in brownies, and my 5yr old is in sparks. I wish I hadn't signed them up. But I was a Brownie as a kid, and a guide, and a Ranger, and I loved it all. My mom was "Brown Owl", and she rocked. I am less than impressed with my girls' troops. They have had many Disney-related activities, and I see zero learning going on. And my 5yr old is too young for an evening activity. It really messes with her. BUT she was having such issues never having time to make her own friends (when we're out at HSing things as a family, dd7 always dominates, and dd5 always feels like she's left out, so I wanted something social for JUST her). I don't know what I'll do next year. I'm kind of hoping to find something else to intrigue them and not do guides again. Which is too bad, as I really liked it growing up.

ESNQueen
02-28-2011, 05:36 PM
We're lucky to have a good troop, though we don't participate much because the activities are frequently too far away or too expensive. It's a homeschool troop so there is no school or church to meet at - they have met at libraries, parks, local attractions, etc. They do some great activities and my daughter loves it. On the other hand, my experience as a scout 30 years ago was similar to what you're saying, with the singing and crafts and nothing useful. I think I quit after third grade. I rejoined in high school and it was great. The troop was girl-run with a leader there for insurance purposes, more or less. It really is unfortunate that there is such a variation in how the program is administered, because if done right, it can be a great benefit.

WindSong
02-28-2011, 05:59 PM
After talking with other friends I discovered that it really all comes down to the troop leader. I was not willing to step up to the plate so I have nothing but Kudos for the troop leader. I know she was doing the best she could.

You are right on here, kewb22. It all depends on the commitment level of the leader. The leader attends mandatory training before starting a troop. However, the leaders are on their own after that. The training doesn't provide much guidance on how to run your meetings. If the leader(s) isn't motivated and can't put in the time and doesn't have volunteer help, the experience won't be as good as it could be. I think what's lost in leader training is showing how to incorporate the values of the Girl Scout organization into your troop meetings. It is a lot of work to plan this out without any help from the council. Therefore, I think many leaders stop trying and do the best they can. It's unfortunate because in the end, the girls lose out on a meaningful experience.

elkhollow
02-28-2011, 09:01 PM
The nerve of that woman!

She sent me an email with the incorrect total AGAIN. Not the same incorrect total, a new incorrect total. So, I sent her another email back, still nice believe it or not, explaining why the total was wrong (and it was wrong in my favor this time). She had looked at the money we'd already turned in and said it was the balance, so I wrote it out for her, step by step. I went up there tonight to pay the balance plus 6 additional boxes of cookies my s-i-l wants to buy. This lady AGAIN reiterated that I was responsible for the total on the receipt-the one that was $77 too much but she understood what had happened so she would let it slide. I started to see red but I swear I said absolutely nothing. I had already turned in the cash for the balance plus the 6 boxes to the cookie person, gotten my receipt, and I was ready to go, but I needed the 6 boxes. She said, "Well, is your daughter coming back this year?" I said, "No." She said, "Well, then she can't have the 6 boxes. I need them for the other girls." At this point, I just wanted to get out of there. I said, "That's fine, I need a refund of $21.00 and another receipt showing the transaction because I've already paid for them." I showed her my receipt and the envelope of cash with my dd's name and the total written on it that I'd given the cookie leader. She said she'd just let me have them then because she didn't want to go through all that. I am simply giddy over her kindness.

She left the $234 in cash in a folder on the table, after everyone saw her put it there, and walked with me out to her car to get the cookies. Then I let her know that the cookie leader tore out both my receipt and theirs out of the receipt book so she'll need to go fetch that out of her pocket, which is where I saw her stuff it after she wadded it up, if she was going to have a record of my payment.

Any bets that I'm going to somehow be held responsible for all this? I know one thing. I've made copies of all the email traffic between us and I'm hanging on to those receipts. BTW, this lady is the head cookie person for the entire service unit in our area. Unbelievable. And she said not one word to my daughter, who was sitting there the whole time. Not "Hi, how are you," Not, "Well, we sure did enjoy having you here," not "We'll miss you." Nothing. I'm taking deep, cleansing breaths. Very slowly. In and out.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
02-28-2011, 09:44 PM
And what a great role model for the girls in the troop!

Riceball_Mommy
02-28-2011, 10:35 PM
That is just awful I'm sorry this happened to you.

rumbledolly
03-04-2011, 09:40 PM
I'm in the middle of deciding if we're going to revisit GS. My DD had a crappy experience with Brownies (her knuckle head leader did knowing except let them watch video's - except that time they spray painted plastic garbage cans in a basement with no ventilation.....she was as bright as a burnt out bulb). DD joined GS when we moved here and had an issue with a girl who bullied (ended up being the same girl who bullied her in school).

Now the same leader wants us to return. She stopped being a leader based on the girl who was bullying and her mom who was the co-leader of the group. I know the leader and like her. I don't always agree with her but she's great with the girls and she always plans fun things for them to do. She's very community service minded and I like that about her. The only girls who are currently involved will be her DD who I adore, my DD, and another girl who was also picked on and left the group. I will be her co-leader.

I want to do it because of the stupid S word - socialization. On the other hand we get nothing 'extra' out of it as my DD will not go on any overnights with out me - no camp, nothing like that. She can barely stay over night at family members homes.

On the upside cookie time is over so we won't have to sell. I hate the amount of work the selling is and how we keep almost nothing.

I'm torn. My DD seems on the fence about it. She'll go if I want her too but doesn't care if I back out.

rumbledolly
03-04-2011, 09:45 PM
Not "Hi, how are you," Not, "Well, we sure did enjoy having you here," not "We'll miss you." Nothing. I'm taking deep, cleansing breaths. Very slowly. In and out.

That's it - time to hijack the cookie truck! Who's with me?!

She sounds like a real tool. Maybe she spray painted in a basement with no ventilation.

I so feel your pain on the money. I would have a papertrail too. She can't be teaching responsibility if she's leaving all that money just laying out in the open.

higgledypiggledy
03-11-2011, 02:42 AM
Thanks for this thread. DD was wanting me to find her a scout type activity. Now I can save myself the trouble of looking at GS.

melhoen
03-11-2011, 04:35 PM
I have to say it really, REALLY depends on the troop. I was a leader for a few years for my three girls until I burned out. I kept thinking every year...surely everyone's done and they won't come back, LOL. But every year maybe one dropped and we'd gain another two from a different troop who liked what we were doing but not what they were. Word of mouth. Listen to it. Find a troop in your area that is doing what you want. My oldest daughter is now the only one still involved. She's 12 and there are still 8 girls in her troop that have been there since kindergarten. The other two dd's decided to get out but GS just doesn't seem like something I can tell my dd she can't do anymore. Not if she still likes it and no matter how much other stuff we have going on...piano, trombone, violin, gymnastics twice a week, baseball for one, softball for two, soccer for one, etc etc etc. Her troop has done sooo much, community oriented and not. On the other hand, there are LOTS of troops in our area that I've heard only do crafts. That seems way boring to me and would to my dd as well. It's all in who the leader is. Plus, pretty much all the mom's are involved and that helps!

Outofrange
03-13-2011, 01:22 PM
we have been contemplating switching from GS to 4H. I was a GS for 11 years and I loved it. I learned so much and had so much fun in the scouts but my daughters troop is SO BORING! They don't follow through with anything and do hardly any extra activities. I have also considered being a leader next year or just going Juliet.

karemore
03-13-2011, 08:02 PM
I'm sorry to hear so many are unhappy with their Girl Scout troops! I was hoping to get my DD in a troop this past fall, but quickly realized the best route would be for me to become a leader. The training was easy, one night for a couple hours.

The smartest thing I did was getting into a great community. They organize by school districts. For the same reasons I didn't want DD going to our local school, I didn't want her in scouts at that school. I went to the next district over to join scouts. We were offered a spot in a troop in a third district, but I had heard much better reports about the one we chose. It's worked out very well.

Even in a great community of troops, you can have leaders who are not organized, not creative, or not tuned into the girl's interests, but to be a leader it's great to be surrounded and encouraged by others who are doing a great job.

Jeni
03-18-2011, 12:29 PM
I totally know how you feel!

Dd loves it. Dh, myself, and a friend of mine who's dd is in the group as well are not so keen on it. I hear you on there not being any warm fuzzies there. My friend had almost the same issue with the cookie money order the OP did and it was a similar feeling of not wanting to continue.

The problem I am having is a strictly homeschool one. Dd is the only homeschool kid in the group. While she gets along just fine, she likes them and they like her, some of the lessons leave her behind. For example, one week they did a Black history month project. I had to get up and speak to the co-leader and explain that as homeschoolers we don't do our lessons that way and dd might not understand what they are talking about. It's drilled into the public school kids heads and my kid is left wondering what/who they are talking about. We had just been to the Civil Rights museum a few weeks before and read some MLK books in January, but they didn't bother to ask that kind of stuff, it was just an expectation that all the kids know exactly what they mean by BHM. Not to mention the fact that they didn't even know their own local Civil Rights history. I mean, if you are going to bother teaching a lesson on it, then at least know your own history.

Another example, the lesson on bullying. Of course it's a hot button topic in the public schools so it's talked about a lot. We don't have to deal with that. Dd brought up the fact that her brother hits her (*hang my head in shame*).

I hate when she is expected to be on par with these kids. It's a mixed group of Daisy and Brownies. Dd and her friend were able to move up to Brownies mid year because they had been in a Daisy troop the year before and finished their pestles. So at 7 she's in a group with girls around 9 years old. This isn't a huge difference, but it does make me uncomfortable because they do pick things at school that I wouldn't want my dd hearing.

jess
03-18-2011, 02:36 PM
I'm sorry to hear so many are unhappy with their Girl Scout troops! I was hoping to get my DD in a troop this past fall, but quickly realized the best route would be for me to become a leader. The training was easy, one night for a couple hours.
I'm disappointed too. DS enjoys Cub Scouts, I was a GS myself up until high school, and DD is very very excited at the idea of joining Daisies next year. But I hear very little positive about it these days. A lot of this is from the conservative homeschool community, so I take it with a grain of salt (I think it's a positive that they don't care about the sexual orientation of their leaders!), but I'm not hearing a whole lot positive from the liberal side, either.

I do think girl only and boy only activities serve a valuable purpose, and there doesn't seem to be any other gender specific activities that aren't either sports or strongly Christian.

Hopefully our local troops are decent.

Kalani
03-18-2011, 02:38 PM
We've done the girl scout thing...and hated it!
I got stuck being the cookie mom...and honestly what a hassle! My older daughter was only one of two kids being in her PS....most of the kids were from Private school and the other PS kid was a bully. (And the private school parents....what snobs!)

Being cookie Mom sucked and it seemed that that was all that GS was about. I had to keep track of and sort crap while the troop leader kept calling me saying "I need this and this and this.....then calling at the end of the day saying she needed "this and that and that". To top it off, I had a parent stiff me on almost $1000 of cookies. Last time I was asked about it, it seems GSRI never tracked the parent down....she moved somewhere. My total troop cookie amount handled was well over $3000 for only 9 kids.

The straw that broke the camels back when the troop leader showed off all the "incentives" that her daughter got to the other girls when rewards were given out. She could have handled that alot better. (BTW that made me hate fund raisers with a passion) I really should have told the council but instead I chose to take my daughter out of it.

Other then cookies, all they did was stupid crafts. There was nothing really to make it worth it the $30+ dollars we paid for my daughter and I to be registered girl scouts. To me girl scouts was always about the outdoors and camping....and they did nothing like that.

Jeni
03-18-2011, 04:06 PM
I'm disappointed too. DS enjoys Cub Scouts, I was a GS myself up until high school, and DD is very very excited at the idea of joining Daisies next year. But I hear very little positive about it these days. A lot of this is from the conservative homeschool community, so I take it with a grain of salt (I think it's a positive that they don't care about the sexual orientation of their leaders!), but I'm not hearing a whole lot positive from the liberal side, either.

I do think girl only and boy only activities serve a valuable purpose, and there doesn't seem to be any other gender specific activities that aren't either sports or strongly Christian.

Hopefully our local troops are decent.

Yeah lots of people seem to really dislike them. I guess it's like anything, you look to these people to lead your kid but they are just normal folks, they don't have any leadership skills or the personalities don't jive, it makes it hard. And girls are just naturally nasty beasts, so as the girls get older, I think it becomes much more difficult to find any value in the group. I also think there is a lot more asked of leaders then when we were kids. It seems really stressful. It's a lot of required classes, many that cost money. The cookie stuff is a hassle and there is a ton of pressure to succeed in cookie sales. Here there is a 13 month waiting list for the girl scout camps and Daisies are not allowed to go, so we have to wait. We don't even have the option of organizing a camp out on someone's property because it would be unsanctioned.

BrendaE
03-18-2011, 04:23 PM
Girls are not just naturally nasty beasts. I'd prefer a girl over a boy any day. In any case every child is different regardless of gender. Anyway, I like my daughter and she doesnt have much of any kind of nasty bone in her.

The only reason we avoid GS's is because of the constant cookie selling... its too insane .

rumbledolly
03-18-2011, 10:30 PM
We don't even have the option of organizing a camp out on someone's property because it would be unsanctioned.

Our group just started up (actually restarted) and we're in the position of not being about to do camp, though my DD won't do anything overnight. We also can't raise money because we didn't do the two major fundraisers, one being cookies. But they were happy to take our money for yearly dues! I'm the co-leader and the other leader is much more straight and narrow than I am. Personally I'd have rather just started a group - made up a name like 'Nice Girl's Doing Good Things' and said phfft to the GS's!

As a troop we're so going to miss the .60 per box we'd have made on cookie sales and the 100 hours worth of work that goes into selling the cookies. Which would have been a net of about $100.00. Gee maybe next year we'll start late again! With 4 girls in the troop it would just be easier to donate $25. each!

notebookmom
04-13-2011, 11:48 AM
I've just sent the link to this thread to my husband who keeps prodding me to get our older daughter into scouting next autumn. My memories of Brownies range from dull but pleasant to painful and terrifying. My mom was a den mother in Cub Scouts so I go to see what the boys were doing... it was FAR more interesting than anything I ever did in Brownies. Plus they didn't sell those darn cookies, a campaign that seems to get more aggressive each year.

Some of my friends had excellent GS experiences, but they were definitely the exception.

We're also looking into 4H and Campfire. All I know is that I'm not paying dues for my kid to "socialize" by singing a few songs and baking some cookies with an arbitrary group of girls and a leader who may or may not actually hate children.

jessica14
04-14-2011, 08:21 PM
I love the 4-H suggestion! We have one five minutes from our house. If we decide to homeschool, I want something like this in place for and outside activity.
I liked some of my GS experiences, but now we have a program within the schools at recess which is pretty much a coloring page. The problem is that they push the cookies (which by the way I've eaten too many of in the last week) in a school that has a high poverty level. A lot of the parents feel obligated and I just have a huge problem with it.
Jessica

MoonSprite
04-14-2011, 09:08 PM
Dd and her friend were able to move up to Brownies mid year because they had been in a Daisy troop the year before and finished their pestles. So at 7 she's in a group with girls around 9 years old. This isn't a huge difference, but it does make me uncomfortable because they do pick things at school that I wouldn't want my dd hearing.

This was happening in my dd scout troop too. She had been grandfathered in under the old age rules because of when we joined, but there were no troops available so she was a Juliette. Then we found a troop run by a homeschool mom (but with a mix of homeschooled and public schooled kids.) BUT, they were a new troop, so they had to go by the new age rules for all their new members, altho DD was still able to join as we just went from Juliette to Troop. And it really wasn't too much of a big deal when she was 6 and they were all 8, and she was 7 and they were 9...but I knew that it could get to be a bigger deal in the future.

We found a new troop this year and they asked that even tho she had technically bridged to Juniors with her last troop before it broke up, if they could place her in Brownies. We HAPPILY said yes. So, she has been a Brownie for 4 years now :rolleyes:.

I don't love the way GS is run in general, I HATE COOKIE SALES, and our council here is horrendous, but her leaders now are GREAT, and she likes it. So she's still going. For now, anyway.

Accidental Homeschooler
04-15-2011, 04:11 PM
I just sent in the paperwork for 4-H yesterday. We start next month. I never did it but my youngest sister loved it. Does your daughter like sports? That is another thing I am considering. Good luck!

cloudswinger
04-30-2011, 11:39 AM
My dd is in a Daisy troop that was started this past year by a mom we knew(who also used to be an elementary teacher, so she has some experience managing the meetings), and most of the girls were friends from our hippy preschool program(in my dh's mind - child led really). Some are homeschooled, including mine, but most are in a school nearby so we do have a space to meet. The troop had 2 co-leaders, but one has found it harder than she thought, and so is not continuing in the role. The leader was able to pick the kids she wanted in the troop though, so that helped a lot with the unity of the troop. This year there will be 3 co leaders, one other mom will be taking the role of cookie manager and Daisy co-leader, and I will be the Brownie co-leader(we're expanding our troop, mainly because the 2 hs kids are bridging to Brownies, this way we can keep our happy group together!). I kept coming up with more suggestions for things to do, even though we are fairly active. And I'm the one with the enthusiasm for camping. The two moms/co-leaders were not able to get the certification for camping due to time constraints, so we weren't able to do any troop camping trips this year. I was disappointed about the camping, but I found out that the camping certified person doesn't have to be the leader, so as long as the troop has one person with the certification, the troop can do camping activities.

The leader makes a huge effort to keep it girl led though. Like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. The leaders are volunteers and moms, so if they seem to be light on ideas, make some suggestions. And I don't recall a lot of cookie sales pressure, but then again our leader is not so enthused about all the sales, so it's not high priority. Apparently we're known it the council as the hippy troup. I keep teasing her and telling her if we get kicked out of GS we can become spiral scouts or something.

Also I looked at the curriculum, and am treating it as a leadership curriculum(at least the Journeys) to be added to part of our homeschool. There is the socialization aspect which is very useful. It's hard to learn about working together when you're a solo. And I don't mind her learning about kids being mean(not that this group really is) so long as she learns skills to manage that too. Also the badges can be done by the girl outside of troop meetings, so you can buy the manuals and do them yourself. I treat them as unit studies with a bonus. My dd likes the badges. We also do the Junior Ranger programs at the national parks and collect those badges too.

We also do Roots and Shoots. It's not so child-led as our GS troup which is ironic since it's run by people from the same hippy preschool arts program our kids all went to. Things are planned and we just show up.

MoonSprite
05-01-2011, 12:52 AM
My dd is in a Daisy troop that was started this past year by a mom we knew(who also used to be an elementary teacher, so she has some experience managing the meetings), and most of the girls were friends from our hippy preschool program(in my dh's mind - child led really). Some are homeschooled, including mine, but most are in a school nearby so we do have a space to meet. The troop had 2 co-leaders, but one has found it harder than she thought, and so is not continuing in the role. The leader was able to pick the kids she wanted in the troop though, so that helped a lot with the unity of the troop. This year there will be 3 co leaders, one other mom will be taking the role of cookie manager and Daisy co-leader, and I will be the Brownie co-leader(we're expanding our troop, mainly because the 2 hs kids are bridging to Brownies, this way we can keep our happy group together!).

You might have to be careful with this. GS is trying to phase out multi-level troops, at least in some areas.
The Troop we are in is like a hybrid multi level group - There are Daisy, Brownies, and Juniors, that all meet at the same time, in the same space together - but they each have their own troop number. They do opening and closing together, but will often break off into the separate groups for level specific work (tho not for every meeting, they also will have all ages doing things together too, depending on the activity, kwim?)
But each group needed to have a Main Leader, not just One main Leader with Co-Leader for each group.

But I know different councils follow the "official rules" to different extents.



We also do the Junior Ranger programs at the national parks and collect those badges too.

Oh, I hadn't heard of this! Sounds neat - Going off to google!

cloudswinger
05-04-2011, 07:11 PM
You might have to be careful with this. GS is trying to phase out multi-level troops, at least in some areas.
The Troop we are in is like a hybrid multi level group - There are Daisy, Brownies, and Juniors, that all meet at the same time, in the same space together - but they each have their own troop number. They do opening and closing together, but will often break off into the separate groups for level specific work (tho not for every meeting, they also will have all ages doing things together too, depending on the activity, kwim?)
But each group needed to have a Main Leader, not just One main Leader with Co-Leader for each group.

But I know different councils follow the "official rules" to different extents.




Oh, I hadn't heard of this! Sounds neat - Going off to google!

With 3 leaders, it does sound like there will be one main leader for each level, and maybe we can share the cookie mom. Who knows, nothing official has been done yet.

Junior Rangers are at NPS.gov, under each park listing under kids. It's easiest to ask at the park you happen to be at, but sometimes they have their booklets online, which I look through and sometimes have dd work on ahead of the park visit, especially if it's a road trip. They are related to the park, so sometimes the answers are in the exhibits or plaques. Some of them are pretty involved, taking up 2-3 hours. But usually that includes a video presentation, talking to the ranger and hiking a trail. The booklets take about an hour or so.

There was a girl who managed to do something like 200 parks.

ESNQueen
05-06-2011, 01:23 PM
With 3 leaders, it does sound like there will be one main leader for each level, and maybe we can share the cookie mom.

That's what they did with my DD's Daisy/Brownie/Junior troop this year.

It really hasn't gone well, honestly... the different ages of all the girls creates a bit of difficulty trying to coordinate activities. I think they though it would be convenient for parents to have all their kids in one troop but the girls just don't really interact with each other. The 5-year-old daisies don't want to do the same activities as the 10-year-old juniors. That led to some problems when trying to figure out what to do with the cookie money.

speech mom
07-05-2011, 11:18 PM
I have been a Girl Scout leader for 7 years. I am a leader for my 2 daughters and my niece, so some years it is two troops, some years three depending on how old they are. This fall, the entire program is changing. There will be a one year transition period, but materials are already hard to find for the old program. You may want to google the new girl scout program as part of your decision making process. This really is a volunteer program though, so all things hinge on who is volunteering. There are also some corporate issues that some people may not agree with. (Personally, I am not a big fan of coca cola sponsorship or of closing camps to build bigger centralized leadership camps.) I hope you all have better experiences with scouts in the future. I HATE cookie season. I have ran it for all my troops and one year for all the troops in the local school districts. It is really hard. I would never treat a parent the way you were treated though. I am too nice. Even when they don't bother to pay or pay weeks late.

coloradoalice
07-06-2011, 02:27 AM
We did 4H this year and really enjoyed it. In our area it's very relaxed. I like that parent involvement is encouraged and that it's open to boys and girls. We are in fair season now and the kids are so excited to enter their projects. My oldest also was able to participate in the talent show they had earlier this year, she was able to sing a song and it was very sweet. Everyone has been helpful and nice while we figure out the whole process. I know it can vary from club to club depending on leaders and all that but I would recommend it. We will be doing it again next year!

jenpenny5297
07-06-2011, 02:47 AM
I am thinking about this as well at the moment. Not so easy for me since I am very good friends with the leader being an official troop helper in the Brownie troop here. We are in England on a four year tour and DD has now moved up to the Guides troop from the Brownies. The problem I have is not the leader (I think she is great) it is the other girls. Don't get me wrong a lot of them are really nice, respectful girls but the others. Wow. Curse words abound and they are blantantly rude to the leaders. Just don't like my daughter being exposed to that sort of behavior. The worse thing is those girls who are completely horrid are very popular. So I am afraid DD will think- hmm if I act like that perhaps I will be popular as well. But, I have chosen at the moment to leave it and trust her to know right from wrong. She is only 10 which to me is still pretty young. So we shall see what happens.