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I am thinking of putting DD in Girl Scouts but I am leary...mainly because of the stupid cookie thing. I hated selling stuff when my DS was in public school and when DD was in K at our church school. It is a pet peeve of mine, although I understand the concept of why. What kinds of things do kids do? Another reason, and I will just be totally honest here, is that I am paranoid that someone will molest DD. I hardly ever let her out of my sight. She has spent 1 night at my BIL/SIL's house and 1 night at a very good friend of mine's house and many nights at my own sister's house. Are parents welcome at all the activities, even if we have to sign up for duties?

Thanks!

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I'm sure there are people with more experience, but we just started a Daisy troop for my daughter and her friends. The Moms are welcome at the meetings if we want to stay. We all help out if they are doing a craft or something but we don't all have official "jobs." I would imagine the troop leader would be fine with you staying if only for crowd control!

 

We just started our troop right as cookies were getting under way so we decided not to officially sell them but to send out emails to our friends and families to see if they wanted any. They did. It was really easy to sell them. But, not everyone participated and that was okay too.

 

Talk to the leader of the troop you are thinking of joining. She should be able to help you with your concerns. And usually there are enough troops around that If one doesn't fit there is another that might.

 

HTH. Good luck.'we've only had a few meetings but my dd loves Girl Scouts.

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My DD is a Brownie this year and was a Daisy last year. This is actually the last weekend for cookie sales in our council, and my daughter sold 275 boxes without even really trying. Like someone said, they sell themselves. Family and friends who know she's a Brownie asked US if they could buy cookies, and she also took shifts at cookie booths. So, I wouldn't let that stop you because everyone knows about and loves Girl Scout coookies, so it just feels different than other fundraisers I've done with my kids in the past.

As far as parents at the meetings and activities, in our troop the parents are encouraged to volunteer. I can't imagine a troop leader turning down an extra pair of eyes or hands.

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My oldest will be 15 in August and has been in Girl Scouts since she was 5. My 10 y/o started at 5 and my 5 year old started this year. :D (I was a Girl Scout growing up and am now a registered adult Girl Scout!)

 

We are never told to leave. My 5 y/o is on the spectrum, so we stay with her. (We always stay when they are young, anyway.) All my dds have the same troop leader, but they are in separate troops. The 2 younger girls are in a "super troop," meaning, mixed ages/grades. My oldest is in a troop of all seniors??? Anyway, they have been together since Daisy days.

 

The cookies really do sell themselves and I have never felt any pressure to sell more or anything. My girls do booth sales with their troops, sometimes we do a booth sale as a family. But we enjoy it.

 

I would NOT allow my dc to be involved in anything where parents weren't allowed to be everywhere, all the time. We might not be at all events, all the time, but I need to know I *can* be, that the choice is mine, kwim?

 

Every troop has its own flavor. Talk to the leader. It is the only way to know what that individual troop will be like.

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My daughter was in Brownies for I think two years and now is in her second year of Juniors. She really enjoys it.

 

They meet at an elementary school one evening a week. I drop her off and parents do not stay that I know of, but I felt comfortable with leaving her there with her group and her leaders.

 

They mostly do craft type stuff, or they do stuff with starting indoor planting, or they do a little bit of food prep, or they do like a first aid segment, a fire safety segment and so on and so forth.

 

I actually wish they WOULD get outside more and do more "cool" outdoorsy stuff, like you hear about with Boy Scouts, but they don't very often.

 

Sometimes they do like a "winter fun day" or a "fall hike" and so on- and parents ARE welcome to stay for those things.

 

The cookie thing hasn't been a big deal. In Brownies she could either sell some on her own, or she could volunteer to go with her leader for a segment of time outside of a store, or she could participate in "mall day" with her troop which also included cookie sales.

 

In Juniors they haven't done any of that stuff yet, we just sell on our own. There's no requirement as to how many boxes we have to sell. I have like 5-10 people (relatives/friends/neighbors) who are typically happy to get the annual "we're selling GS cookies again, would you like to order?" emails.

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I was roped in to co-leading my daughter's Brownie troop this year, so I'm at every meeting, but so are at least 2-4 other moms.

 

Our troop of 10 girls sold 873 boxes of cookies w/o a cookie booth and just taking orders from friends and family. Some troops are really gung-ho about selling cookies. We're not.

 

The girls do lots of crafts and lots of giggling. That's been our Daisy/Brownie experience so far. My daughter loves it.

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It will greatly depend on the leader. All leaders are required to have background checks done every three years, if that helps. The flavor of a Girl Scout troop is much more dependent on the leader than what I have heard about Boy Scouts (where things are much more "from the top down").

 

Talk to the leader about parent involvement. I'm currently a leader for my daughter (a Junior) and have been for 3 years, in large part because the leader of her first Brownie troop midway through the year decided parents weren't welcome to stay. You might want to offer to be an assistant leader or registered volunteer with a background check. I'm sure that would make the other parents happy to know that moms staying to help had also had background checks.

 

Another thing to consider is whether your staying means that your 2 year old will also be staying. Depending on the younger child (and the leader), that can be a huge issue or not much of one. Be very upfront about whether the younger one will be with you. Realize that the facility or activity may not lend itself to 2 year olds and that a leader's hesitation to have you stay may be about that rather than a desire not to have parents around. She probably doesn't know you or have any idea about how your 2yo would behave. We've all had the experience of the mom who simply *can't* seem to see issues caused by their child---not that yours would, but expect that the leader has had that experience.

 

Talk to the leader about how she sees the troop working in terms of badges, patches, etc. In our first Brownie troop, all the moms looked at me like I had 3 heads when I asked how we reported activities from the book that my daughter did independently (even when I offered to be the one to track that sort of thing). A friend had a leader actually refuse to accept anything a girl did independently "so that the other girls don't feel bad if they don't have exactly the same awards." This is contrary to the spirit of Girl Scouting, but it happens. I like to tie in our schoolwork to badgework, so my daughter has a lot of badges. All of the girls in my troop (and their parents) know that it is up to them if they want to do things independently and that I will help them if I can to find things that match their interests.

 

Talk to the leader about cookies. She may be amenable to you making a donation in lieu of participating (but realize that your daughter probably wouldn't get cookie badges/patches/incentives that girls participating would). We do a combo of individual preorders/sales with booth sales. See if you can get a feel for how focused on cookie sales the particular troop is. You do need to realize that this is the primary way of fundraising for the girls and that troops are supposed to be as self-supporting as possible. Also, at least in our council, troops can't do any other fundraising unless they participate in *both* the fall sales (magazines and/or nuts and candy) and the cookie sale. I personally hate door-to-door, but don't mind sitting at a booth.

Edited by KarenNC
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No girl has to sell cookies in scouts, even if the troop is.

 

What they do will depend on the troop. We belong to a hs troop, and I am a registered adult member, so that I can attend all activities, even overnighters.

 

In our troop, moms are welcome, and we do tons of outdoor stuff. Not as much as the boys, but we do camping and hiking and such. Most of the girls I know who attend troops at an elem. school are like a PP mentioned above. They only have meetings and do crafts on site. We do field trips and parties and all kinds of things in our hs troop. We seem to be more active than the school troops.

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It will greatly depend on the leader. All leaders are required to have background checks done every three years, if that helps. The flavor of a Girl Scout troop is much more dependent on the leader than what I have heard about Boy Scouts (where things are much more "from the top down").

 

:iagree: This was what I was going to say. Word of mouth counts a lot when looking for a new troop.

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My daughters are both GS and I'm a leader. What each troop does will definitely vary from troop to troop. We have homeschool troops, so most of the parents stay at our meetings. We have gone to council events (overnight at a GS lodge, etc.) where only a certain number of parents are allowed. Also, at GS events siblings are generally not allowed (at least in our area). Of course, we have certain parents who don't want their dds to go overnight without them, so they just choose not to participate in those events if they can't be one of the parents on the trip. I'd suggest talking to the leader of the troop you're thinking of joining first!

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We were part of a homeschool troop. I was a leader but all the parents stayed. The cookie sales weren't a big deal at all other than the management of this for the leaders. But for moms and girls selling is easy.

 

I honestly found it a waste of time because all they really did were silly things. There isn't a lot of guidance like there is in other programs, so it really depends on the leader. I think it also depends on the area - we had a very hard time with our local council. And the main leader wasn't on top of things. So it may just have been our troop and coucil. (I did learn through that experience that I can't work with disorganized unprepared people!)

 

My girls had fun. But they didn't do much, so we moved onto other things.

Edited by Steph
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I'm one of the leaders for our HS troop. In our troop, moms (and siblings) are welcome to stay for meetings. Moms and siblings are also welcome on field trips and camping trips. Daisies (K and 1st graders) must have their mom along for camping.

 

We are just wrapping up our cookie sale. Girls are not required to participate, but this is really our only source of income for camping, activities and crafts so we really encourage the families to do the best they can. We do collect monthly dues but they pretty much cover the cost of the girls patches they earn. Some families are in a position to sell a lot and some don't sell as many and it all works out. They are much easier to sell than other fundraiser items and we also do cookie booths.

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So much depends on the leader. The troop leader my daughter started out with didn't plan much in activities and was very much of the mind that the girls should do everything themselves and that parents need to cut the cord. So, she was very pushy about limiting parent involvement. If they went camping, only one parent was allowed to go.

 

I went on one of these camping trips and found her completely unsympathetic to a little girl who was away from home for the first time and had a phobia of insects. The little girl's mom called to check on her and the troop leader "allowed" her to talk to her daughter but then later said she wished she'd told the mom the daughter wasn't available. I found that pretty shocking considering I had asked her if it would be okay to call and check on my daughter when she went on her first camping trip and she was all sunshine and light about it to my face.

 

Fortunately, she quit and we now have a wonderful troop leader who does worthwhile and fun activities with the girls and is doing a mother/daughter camping trip. It's a total 180 degree turn. The girls are going ice skating in April and using their cookie money for the camping trip and to go to the pool at the end of the year.

 

I was the cookie mom this year and there was no pressure on anyone to sell cookies. That, again, will depend on the troop.

 

Lisa

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In our town, we are not pressured at all to sell cookies. In fact, for $20 we can opt out of any fundraising activities. Also, the troops are always looking for moms to help out, especially during meetings.

 

Our experience with Girl Scouts hasn't been all that great because dd11's troop does crafts every.single.month. That is all they do, ever. Makes me want to scream. They don't work on badges, (although they get a handful at the end of the year) they don't do any community service. This will be our last year at girl scouts. Boy scouts is a much better organization around here.

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as well as the Cookie Mom for our troop.

 

Everything all depends on the leader and their vision for their group. I have 11 Brownies that meet at my house every Monday night for a little over an hour. Most of the moms stay and most bring their younger children. I convert my son's bedroom into a small playroom for the little ones every Monday, is it a pain - yes, but there have been times where my oldest could not participate in something because siblings were not invited to stay.

 

With cookies, girl scouts are NOT required to sell them AT ALL, so if you do not want to do it, then you don't have to. I know most parents do most of the selling but it suppose to be the girls doing the "work". I have a couple of girls that were to shy or embarrassed to ask people if they wanted to buy some cookies, but now they want to do it - frankly most of my girls are sad that cookie sales ended - me not so much :D

 

We are the middle of working on our water journey, and to end it we got a booth at an Earth Day event in our town. The girls will be explaining the properties of water, why water is important, and how to "save" water (not only by using it less but also by not polluting it). The skills that the girls obtained during cookie sales will help with the this project.

 

With badges, I think it is dumb not to let the girls do the requirements at home. If a girl is so excited and wants to try something in the book then let them, if they are bored and crack open the book and do a project, why can't they receive a badge for it. Some of my girls come from "broken" homes and doing the projects with dad have brought them closer together. I have had a couple of girls come to me and ask why they did not get a certain badge or why someone has so many badges, I say they did it at home and if they want the badge they can do it at home as well. All but 1 really has stepped up, so you can guess who I will be working on the next couple of months.

 

I look at the Girl Scouts not as babysitting gig or even as teacher gig, but as a guide. The girls are exposed to a lot of different things that they normally would not do on their own or even school (growing crystals, starting a garden, or even sewing a sit-upon), and with the help of their other girl scouts, their leaders, AND THEIR FAMILIES they can achieve a goal that they might not even have had before the scouts.

 

But that is just me (I will get off my soapbox now)

 

GOOD LUCK

 

PS - you don't feel comfortable joining a local group their is a Girl Scout Path called Juliettes, where your daughter and you can work on your own.

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I am thinking of putting DD in Girl Scouts but I am leary...mainly because of the stupid cookie thing. I hated selling stuff when my DS was in public school and when DD was in K at our church school. It is a pet peeve of mine, although I understand the concept of why. What kinds of things do kids do? Another reason, and I will just be totally honest here, is that I am paranoid that someone will molest DD. I hardly ever let her out of my sight. She has spent 1 night at my BIL/SIL's house and 1 night at a very good friend of mine's house and many nights at my own sister's house. Are parents welcome at all the activities, even if we have to sign up for duties?

Thanks!

 

If you're religious at all you might want to consider Heritage Girls if you have one near you. Girl Scouts has been moving further away from what it was originally intended to be and seems like there is less of a similarity between it and what Boy Scouts IS and the indoctrination that is making it's way in through leaders. I would NOT let my girls attend Girl Scouts without me present at every meeting, beyond the molestation thing, there has been more and more activity sponsored, promoted, and pushed by Planned Parenthood agenda to "educate" young girls. :(

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If you're religious at all you might want to consider Heritage Girls if you have one near you. Girl Scouts has been moving further away from what it was originally intended to be and seems like there is less of a similarity between it and what Boy Scouts IS and the indoctrination that is making it's way in through leaders. I would NOT let my girls attend Girl Scouts without me present at every meeting, beyond the molestation thing, there has been more and more activity sponsored, promoted, and pushed by Planned Parenthood agenda to "educate" young girls. :(

 

Yes, I had intended to switch my daughter to AHG this year, but she really didn't want to leave her troop. I like the activities and mission of AHG better than girl scouts overall.

 

Lisa

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If you're religious at all you might want to consider Heritage Girls if you have one near you. Girl Scouts has been moving further away from what it was originally intended to be and seems like there is less of a similarity between it and what Boy Scouts IS and the indoctrination that is making it's way in through leaders. I would NOT let my girls attend Girl Scouts without me present at every meeting, beyond the molestation thing, there has been more and more activity sponsored, promoted, and pushed by Planned Parenthood agenda to "educate" young girls. :(

 

Could you provide some concrete examples of what you mean and the age level to which it is promoted (links to the actual material as used in Girl Scouts would be especially appreciated)? Also, specific examples of the indoctrination you say is aimed at leaders? Specific examples of what you mean by "the Planned Parenthood agenda"?

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Could you provide some concrete examples of what you mean and the age level to which it is promoted (links to the actual material as used in Girl Scouts would be especially appreciated)? Also, specific examples of the indoctrination you say is aimed at leaders? Specific examples of what you mean by "the Planned Parenthood agenda"?

 

I'd like to see some examples too. Our troop covers Daisies through Juniors (K-5th grade), and I've yet to see anything even remotely linked to Planned Parenthood. There has never been anything in the coursebook for leaders in our area involving PP or even any topic that might be remotely linked.

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I know in my area, our concil has *no* connection or link or tie to Planned Parenthood. I have heard that there are councils who partner with Planned Parenthood for part of their program. But that is, again, individual to the troop, leader, council, etc.

 

I have to say that I "balk" at the whole "indoctrination" phrase. In over 30 years with Girl Scouts, I have yet to see or experience anything of that ilk. I am *not* saying it doesn't exist somewhere, but it certainly isn't Girl Scout wide, by any stretch.

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We have been involved in girl scouts the last year and a half. My dd is a cadette now, and she loves it. I am welcome at meetings and such, but I haven't felt the need to attend more than one or two. I know the women who run the groups and I am comfortable with dd being under their care. This past fall she went to a Dude Ranch in NY for a weekend. It was a fantastic experience for her and her first trip away from home without a family member.

 

As far as cookie selling goes I have her sell to family and friends and she does a couple of cookie booths (where the whole group sells outside a grocery store), and that's it. I don't allow her to sell door to door.

 

I'm not too worried about any Planned Parenthood stuff creeping in. The moms who run the Jr's and Cadettes are devout Catholic's and wouldn't allow any of those teachings. The worst experience we had so far was that dd learned about gossip and mean girls (through discussions--the girls are all really sweet) and it wasn't so much a bad experience, just dd realizing she couldn't participate in the conversation because she had never experienced anything like that.

 

For us, it's a great experience.

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I also am a girl scout leader, it is my fifth year as a girl scout leader. It sounds like your daughter is young, maybe K or 1st? It has been my experience that the younger girls tend to do mostly crafty, artistic badgework.

 

No girl has to sell cookies, ever. BUT, to earn the cookie badge a girl has to see 24 boxes of cookies. Usually, girls want that badge. I am not a big cookie seller, but we usually do not have any problems selling 24 boxes per girl. Also, keep in mind that troops earn money for every box sold, our council earns 50 cents a box. If you choose not to sell you might consider offering a donation to the troop. This should not be any problem. I have had girls not sell cookies in our troop, and the mom just paid for what we ended up doing with our cookie money.

 

PERSONALLY, I prefer not to have parents just sitting and watching. Most of the parents in our troop just drop off and leave. Occasionally they will stay, and I prefer it so much more that they not just sit and watch. Helping out, I love! I have no problem with any parent who wants to come and join our group and help out. I would love to have a parent offer to plan out some badge work for the younger girls.

 

As far as camping. My experience has been that fathers are allowed to attend a camping trip at a girl scout camp, but they are not allowed to enter the sleeping areas ever. They must sleep in separate quarters, and never enter where there are cabins or tents, they are not allowed near during daylight or evening.

 

To me, if your daughter goes camping, it is usually quite fun, and would be the perfect time to go with her! The more the merrier on camping. And, usually adults are needed.

 

My recommendation is to try girl scouts. If you don't want to be an actual leader or co-leader, then offer to plan some badgework for the leaders. (They will appreciate this...) Attend the meeting and join the group and help out with what they are doing. Attend whatever trips they have planned out, and then whenever you feel comfortable you can leave her. If she or you don't like it, then there is no reason to continue.

 

Okra

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If you're religious at all you might want to consider Heritage Girls if you have one near you. Girl Scouts has been moving further away from what it was originally intended to be and seems like there is less of a similarity between it and what Boy Scouts IS and the indoctrination that is making it's way in through leaders. I would NOT let my girls attend Girl Scouts without me present at every meeting, beyond the molestation thing, there has been more and more activity sponsored, promoted, and pushed by Planned Parenthood agenda to "educate" young girls. :(

 

This just made me laugh out loud. I have read most all of the new materials. I have not found any planned parenthood "education" in the new materials. I also would love to know what she is talking about. Any Planned Parenthood agenda to "educate" girls would not fly well with our parents.

 

Now, there are many new materials they are using. They are called the Journeys. Go to your library and look at them, you will get an idea where girl scout is headed. They have separate books for all ages. While they are not the "camping", "outdoorsy" thing, there really isn't anything bad in there at all. The Junior one we are doing is called Agent of Change. Is has the girls have the power they have within themselves. Then they have the girls work together to find out what a team can do, and then they do something nice for their community.

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I'm not sure what links woul dbe allowed, so put "girl scouts planned parenthood" in a Yahoo search. There is a detailed Washington Times article, for example.

 

Each local group will have its own flavor, of course. Just as some disagree wtih BSA at the national level, but feel comfortable putting their boys in the local group because it doesn't reflect that, so some parents don't see problems in their local groups even if they disagree with national GSA. Some are not willing to participate at all based on the national organization's policies. It is up the individual family, but it is good to be aware of any potential issues.

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I'm not sure what links woul dbe allowed, so put "girl scouts planned parenthood" in a Yahoo search. There is a detailed Washington Times article, for example.

 

Each local group will have its own flavor, of course. Just as some disagree wtih BSA at the national level, but feel comfortable putting their boys in the local group because it doesn't reflect that, so some parents don't see problems in their local groups even if they disagree with national GSA. Some are not willing to participate at all based on the national organization's policies. It is up the individual family, but it is good to be aware of any potential issues.

 

Here's a response to what I can only assume is the issue to which you are referring---the one that was going around last year---- from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and Girl Scouts of America

http://www.girlscoutsofwesternohio.org/whatsnew.htm

 

It's also worth noting that the Washington Times piece (if you are referring to the one from March 18, 2010, titled "Ruse"--unless you are willing to be specific I can only guess) is an opinion piece, not a news article from a reporter at the paper.

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Here's a response to what I can only assume is the issue to which you are referring---the one that was going around last year---- from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and Girl Scouts of America

http://www.girlscoutsofwesternohio.org/whatsnew.htm

 

It's also worth noting that the Washington Times piece (if you are referring to the one from March 18, 2010, titled "Ruse"--unless you are willing to be specific I can only guess) is an opinion piece, not a news article from a reporter at the paper.

 

I don't think it matters what type of article it is. If pp want to know what the potential issue is, that spells it out, as do other sites. You will also see responses from GSA such as the one you posted.

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I don't think it matters what type of article it is. If pp want to know what the potential issue is, that spells it out, as do other sites. You will also see responses from GSA such as the one you posted.

 

I definitely think it matters. Someone writing an op-ed piece almost invariably has an agenda that he/she wants to advocate. A good journalist writing a news article will present an unbiased representation of the facts concerning an issue or event.

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I definitely think it matters. Someone writing an op-ed piece almost invariably has an agenda that he/she wants to advocate. A good journalist writing a news article will present an unbiased representation of the facts concerning an issue or event.

 

Right. And if you follow the link to the GSA page, they have an opposite agenda in this case. I don't think that requires a disclaimer, either.

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Right. And if you follow the link to the GSA page, they have an opposite agenda in this case. I don't think that requires a disclaimer, either.

 

I think these are different types of sources. An organization commenting on its own policies and practices is very different than a journalist who comments on one topic today and another tomorrow usually with an aim to stir up the passions of their readership.

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