Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Green Bean on May 25, 2013, 06:22:31 AM

Title: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Green Bean on May 25, 2013, 06:22:31 AM
BG: I'm a Daisy GS troop leader (currently first graders). When we have an opening in our troop, we are supposed to take a girl from the wait list (if there is one) before we add other members. There is one first grader from our school in the official wait list, and two other parents we have spoken with directly but officially on "the list". The formal process anything but clearly communicated, and I'm the only leader/volunteer from my troop that was even aware of it. (We also started the middle of the school year so we are all learning the ins and outs of this whole scouting thing.)

BG 2: the girl on the wait list is the "class mean girl". My daughter and others call her a bully, but I think that term may be too strong. I can tell you that for a 7yo, she is a piece of work. Even my daughters teacher said she us "mean" when I had to address some issues this past year. This girlives on our street and i know the mom. i really like her even, but never spoke to her about issues with her daughter (avoidance was easier). End BG.

Our troop has 2 girls leaving us st the end of this school year (next couple weeks). So, in an attempt at inclusion and hopefully some positive role modeling, (and a desire to follow the rules) my co-leader and I are going to invite all three girls that have expressed interest to join our troop. This will put us one over our self-imposed maximum if 12 girls to keep the number manageable.

My question for eHell: is there something I can say to the mom about concerns I have with her daughter when I extend an invitation? We currently have a great group of girls with involved parents, but they are starting to get to that age where we will have to deal with drama. I'd like to minimize any that we, the leaders, actually invite. (Secretly, I'd hate to lose great girls because the rules dictate we can't exclude known trouble makers.)

Wow! This is a lot to write on a phone. Congratulations if you read the whole post.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: bonyk on May 25, 2013, 06:31:15 AM
The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
Honest and Fair,
Friendly and Helpful,
Considerate and Caring,
Courageous and Strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
And to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.


Put that on the invitation to join, and include a check off box, 'I understand that my daughter must act in accordance with Girl Scout Law and will help her to do so.'  Then if girl acts mean, you can refer to the Girl Scout Law.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: SPuck on May 25, 2013, 06:35:04 AM
Respond to firmly to actual occurrences that might happen, don't bother with what happened in the past or heresay. Also don't bring up anything with the mother it will just put her on the defensive. It is your job to be neutral until something actually happens (unless she has done something that is horrendous that has ben publicly noted), and to respon firmly, give consequences, and document if something occurs.

There is nothing you can do in a situation like this, some girls just change the dynamic of the group. When I was younger and in girl scots there was a girl who joined the group (whose mother eventually became in charge of the group) that cause members to start dropping like flies.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: weeblewobble on May 25, 2013, 06:36:52 AM
More than likely, your girls and their parents know about the rules. And they know that you're supposed to allow the Mean Girl into the troop before taking new members on.  And yes, it stinks that the rules mean you have to take one someone who's known to cause trouble.  But this is a great opportunity for you to serve a good example for your girls in terms of:

1) That it's important to follow the rules, even when you don't agree with the rules.

2) That it's important to give someone a chance.

3) That it's important not to hold grudges.

The troop could be a chance to turn this girl's behavior around.  I wouldn't "poison the well" by talking to her mother about her past behavior before she gets there.  Be very careful to go over the rules with all of the girls about appropriate behavior and your expectations about how they are to treat each other.  Go over the consequences for being mean/bullying.  If/when Mean Girl breaks these rules, talk to her mother about the issues and remind her and her daughter of the consequences. If the bad behavior continues, enforce those consequences.  This will serve as a reminder to the other girls that it's important to stand up for yourself when someone treats you badly.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Redsoil on May 25, 2013, 06:37:44 AM
I think bonyk has  great idea!
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on May 25, 2013, 06:49:33 AM
As a former Girl Scout leader, no, I would not say anything to the mom about concerns of her daughter at this point.

What I would do is write a decree or something that clearly outlines your guidelines and rules, expectations and consequences, etc. of your troop.  This should be signed by mom and daughter at your first official troop meeting for the year.

(In our first meeting, we usually went over our expectations for the year, etc. with girls and parents).

State your consequences clearly....first warning will be:  second warning will be:  third warning, sorry, you are no longer a member of this troop. (Also, you will probably have to be specific.  Anotherwords, make sure that each warning is not related to one specific problem, but could be anything that goes wrong that is deemed serious enough for said warning).

This way you have back up.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 25, 2013, 07:12:33 AM
Your council/service unit must be different than ours.  In our council there is no formal rule that you have to take girls from a wait list in a specific order.

I have been a troop leader for 5 years now.  We started in Kindergarden with just 7 girls.  Five of the seven were hand selected by myself and my coleader.  The other two were sent by the SU registrar.  Over the years, we have only lost girls who moved out of the area (3) and we only added girls who were brought by another girl with a parent recommendation.  I no longer accept girls that are provided by the registrar.  I currently have a 9 girl troop with space for 1 more.  My girls are happy, they have a great dynamic.  The teachers are impressed with their leadership skills and their ability to be inclusive at school.  I do not want to change that by bringing in a child who will destroy the harmony of these girls.  Girl Scouts should be a safe place for girls to explore and develop life skills.  Bringing in a known bully will change your dynamic.  While she might change over time, during that initial phase the majority of your time and energy will be focused on the bully, leaving your other girls feeling unsafe or resulting in them no longer having fun.

Many will slam me because this is not the GS way, but I was once a Girl Scout who was part of a troop where the leader's daughter was the bully.  She made our lives miserable and ensured that I did not have a good scouting experience.  When I was approached, as an adult, to lead a troop...I agreed and made my girls a promise.  I promised them a safe environment where they would be able to explore and have fun, without fear of their sister scouts.  I think the fact that all my girls re-enroll every year, that all my girls look forward to meetings and make it a priority to attend (putting other activities second), and that my troop is recognized in the community as an outstanding group of young leaders and role models proved that what I'm doing works.

Council and the SU offer many guidelines but very few rules.  As a troop leader you are tasked with managing your troop to the best of your ability and with the best interest of your girls your priority.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Snooks on May 25, 2013, 07:18:32 AM
Bonyk's given a great suggestion.  I don't know how it works in the US but in the UK you attend for a little while before making your promise so for all three of the new joiners you could spend some time going through the Girl Scout law before they take their promise.  If she continuously causes trouble you should speak to her parents and if necessary suggest that Girl Scouts isn't for her.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: medowynd on May 25, 2013, 10:05:17 AM
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: *inviteseller on May 25, 2013, 10:29:11 AM
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.



The girl is on a wait list, meaning she was signed up, and just because the kid isn't someone others like to be around (and the teacher should never have said what she did IMO) you can't discriminate in allowing her in.  I have had to deal with the mean girls too for my DD's (and it amazes me how young they are when they start) but excluding her is wrong.  This isn't a play date or birthday party at your house, this is an inclusive organization.  I agree with the others who say she and her mom need to be explained rules and consequences up front (that apply to all the troop, not just her) and it might help to tell mom that she has to stay with her for a few meetings just so she understands they meetings and to make sure her DD is ok with the group.  Her mom probably knows she is a mean girl but doesn't take it seriously (I know one of them, she thinks she is a 'leader').  If the girl does act up, because you have the rules and consequences you can deal with it swiftly.  It also might be a good thing for the girl to be able to learn how to work with the other girls and maybe learn how to act appropriately.  I have had to coach a mean girl 2 years in a row...no one wanted this kid on their team so I got stuck.  I expected her to follow the rules and if not, she had to sit and the other girls did not put up with her stuff and because she was not able to be the queen bee she left on her own.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 25, 2013, 10:30:12 AM
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.

I agree. I don't see why anyone has to invite a toxic influence into a small group.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Docslady21 on May 25, 2013, 10:40:16 AM
BG: I'm a Daisy GS troop leader (currently first graders). When we have an opening in our troop, we are supposed to take a girl from the wait list (if there is one) before we add other members. There is one first grader from our school in the official wait list, and two other parents we have spoken with directly but officially on "the list". The formal process anything but clearly communicated, and I'm the only leader/volunteer from my troop that was even aware of it. (We also started the middle of the school year so we are all learning the ins and outs of this whole scouting thing.)

BG 2: the girl on the wait list is the "class mean girl". My daughter and others call her a bully, but I think that term may be too strong. I can tell you that for a 7yo, she is a piece of work. Even my daughters teacher said she us "mean" when I had to address some issues this past year. This girlives on our street and i know the mom. i really like her even, but never spoke to her about issues with her daughter (avoidance was easier). End BG.

Our troop has 2 girls leaving us st the end of this school year (next couple weeks). So, in an attempt at inclusion and hopefully some positive role modeling, (and a desire to follow the rules) my co-leader and I are going to invite all three girls that have expressed interest to join our troop. This will put us one over our self-imposed maximum if 12 girls to keep the number manageable.

My question for eHell: is there something I can say to the mom about concerns I have with her daughter when I extend an invitation? We currently have a great group of girls with involved parents, but they are starting to get to that age where we will have to deal with drama. I'd like to minimize any that we, the leaders, actually invite. (Secretly, I'd hate to lose great girls because the rules dictate we can't exclude known trouble makers.)

Wow! This is a lot to write on a phone. Congratulations if you read the whole post.

Do not address the mom. Take this opportunity to lead her. There are tons of Girl Scout resources that address bullying that you can use with your entire troop. This is what Girl Scouts is for--helping little girls grow and learn to become strong young women. It's not supposed to be easy, and part of your growth as a volunteer and a leader comes with meeting challenges and overcoming them--same for the girls. Enter the new year with a positive spirit toward this little girl, you may be surprised at what a supportive, kind community can do for a struggling child.

I guess what I am saying is don't borrow trouble. Have her join and address issues as they arise. But don't implicate her until you have a chance to see her in action and attempt to resolve it on your own.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 25, 2013, 10:52:09 AM
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.

My daughter might be called the class mean girl. She is 9 and has no friends. She has definitely brought some of these problems on herself, but she is trying and she aches for friends. Please, please include this girl and help her facilitate friendships. She's only 7 and she needs support and guidance.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Hillia on May 25, 2013, 10:55:44 AM
It rubs me the wrong way to exclude a girl from GS when she has yet to do anything wrong in that context.  As others have mentioned, GS may be the thing that turns it around.  I know it helped me quite a bit - I wasn't a mean girl, but I was pretty self centered and thoughtless, and some of the gentle smackdowns I got were very helpful in jarring me out of that and causing me to re-evaluate myself.  Yes, even in 6th grade.

The first part of the year is a slower time for the scout troops I've been in.  So why not use that time for a short session on the Girl Scout way of doing things?  Go over the laws, the pledge, the slogan; talk about what they mean and how we live them in our daily lives.  We always spent the first meeting coming up with rules for our troop activities; talk about being fair, being kind, being helpful.  And talk about the consequences of not following the troop rules with both girls and parents.  It may be that you or your co-leader have to monitor the new girl's behavior closely for a bit to ensure that she's fitting in, and be ready to step in with consequences immediately if she causes a problem, but don't write her off immediately.

Girl Scouts is supposed to be inclusive, and that sometimes means working a little harder to help a girl to fit in.  I can remember a section in my old Cadette handbook for patrol leaders, talking about how to identify a member who was having a hard time and strategies to include her.  I totally agree that Scouts should be a safe place, but that does not mean to make it safe by excluding someone based on what they 'might' do.  If she definitely causes disruption and disharmony, that's the time for her to be removed from the troop for the specific behaviors.  But she deserves a chance. 

You would be surprised what young children take in from things that adults kind of brush past.  When DS was 7 he joined Cub Scouts.  One night he sprayed cologne in his eyes (don't ask  ::) )  On the way to the emergency room I was trying to get him to keep his hands away from his eyes, and I could hear him muttering, 'Akela, we will do our best!' over and over - he'd learned it in the first meeting the previous week.  What I'm yrying to say is, your problem girl may hear the GS laws and really take them to heart, and have something new to base her behavior on.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: SeptGurl on May 25, 2013, 11:13:17 AM
If the teacher calls her a mean girl and you have had to address issues with her, why would you want that dynamic in your troop?  Don't these girls already deal with her on a daily basis?  Why invite the "mean" into your troop?  I have seen the devastation a mean girl can cause to others, at the age of 6-7.  It is hard to explain sometimes to young children.  Because this is a small troop, that doesn't involve an entire classroom or large group, I would stick to inviting the two girls that will fit into the group.  I am sure the troop members will have many years ahead of them, dealing with this girl in school and perhaps other social occasions.

My daughter might be called the class mean girl. She is 9 and has no friends. She has definitely brought some of these problems on herself, but she is trying and she aches for friends. Please, please include this girl and help her facilitate friendships. She's only 7 and she needs support and guidance.

I have to agree about the idea of excluding this girl. This is an opportunity for her to improve her social skills. That won't happen if people give up on her. And she is still very young.

When it comes to bullying at the elementary school level, I highly recommend the book "There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom" by Louis Sachar. It's a good novel for kids (and parents) about bullying.

ETA: I like the idea of setting ground rules for behavior at the outset. I wouldn't make a special effort to approach the mom at this point.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: NyaChan on May 25, 2013, 11:59:29 AM
BG: I'm a Daisy GS troop leader (currently first graders). When we have an opening in our troop, we are supposed to take a girl from the wait list (if there is one) before we add other members. There is one first grader from our school in the official wait list, and two other parents we have spoken with directly but officially on "the list". The formal process anything but clearly communicated, and I'm the only leader/volunteer from my troop that was even aware of it. (We also started the middle of the school year so we are all learning the ins and outs of this whole scouting thing.)

BG 2: the girl on the wait list is the "class mean girl". My daughter and others call her a bully, but I think that term may be too strong. I can tell you that for a 7yo, she is a piece of work. Even my daughters teacher said she us "mean" when I had to address some issues this past year. This girlives on our street and i know the mom. i really like her even, but never spoke to her about issues with her daughter (avoidance was easier). End BG.

Our troop has 2 girls leaving us st the end of this school year (next couple weeks). So, in an attempt at inclusion and hopefully some positive role modeling, (and a desire to follow the rules) my co-leader and I are going to invite all three girls that have expressed interest to join our troop. This will put us one over our self-imposed maximum if 12 girls to keep the number manageable.

My question for eHell: is there something I can say to the mom about concerns I have with her daughter when I extend an invitation? We currently have a great group of girls with involved parents, but they are starting to get to that age where we will have to deal with drama. I'd like to minimize any that we, the leaders, actually invite. (Secretly, I'd hate to lose great girls because the rules dictate we can't exclude known trouble makers.)

Wow! This is a lot to write on a phone. Congratulations if you read the whole post.

Do not address the mom. Take this opportunity to lead her. There are tons of Girl Scout resources that address bullying that you can use with your entire troop. This is what Girl Scouts is for--helping little girls grow and learn to become strong young women. It's not supposed to be easy, and part of your growth as a volunteer and a leader comes with meeting challenges and overcoming them--same for the girls. Enter the new year with a positive spirit toward this little girl, you may be surprised at what a supportive, kind community can do for a struggling child.

I guess what I am saying is don't borrow trouble. Have her join and address issues as they arise. But don't implicate her until you have a chance to see her in action and attempt to resolve it on your own.

I very much agree with this.  Don't label and dismiss this 7 year old as a lost cause when she still has the opportunity to change.  You as the troop leader will likely have more leeway than others to do deal with her behavior because while it is an inclusive organization, it is an extra curricular, so voluntary for the girl, there are also rules and you are the one who gets to enforce them.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: TootsNYC on May 25, 2013, 12:03:31 PM
I was bullied in school and had relatively few friends. Mom put me in Girl Scouts, and after I got to Juniors (green uniform) and went to 3 meetings, I flat-out refused to go anymore because I didn't like the behavior of the girls. They were mean to the leaders, even.

So Mom made me join 4-H. In retrospect I see that she was desperate to provide me a "safe" place to be involved and to interact with other kids. Somewhere that would be free from the dynamics of school.

So I'm a bit torn. But I also have seen, from being the picked-on kid, how an ADULT'S actions can so competely make a difference in the behavior of the bullies.

(and, in fact, the 4-H group I joined had as a member a couple of girls who were mean to me at school. They behaved differently in the group, which was really an eye-opening lesson to me. *I* learned to view them as three-dimensional people, which helped me a lot with the "being picked on" part.

So I think you need to be prepared to be really proactive. Speak up in the moment with chastisement (but be sure you're seeing clearly and aren't reacting to reports of past actions). If necessary pull her aside and talk to her. You'll have specifics, so you can bring them to her mom.

And you can also, if you're paying attention, figure out how to teach the other girls how to deal with her.

And I'd also make this the year that we really focus on the Girl Scout Law. That's a tremendous tool. And you can use it if it becomes necessary to ask her to leave (not sure what the rules say about that).
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: cicero on May 25, 2013, 12:11:30 PM
I very much agree with this.  Don't label and dismiss this 7 year old as a lost cause when she still has the opportunity to change.  You as the troop leader will likely have more leeway than others to do deal with her behavior because while it is an inclusive organization, it is an extra curricular, so voluntary for the girl, there are also rules and you are the one who gets to enforce them.
I agree. This is a seven year old. and while it is possible that she will grow up to be a bully, you don't know. I have seen kids turn around because of a/some positive role models and positive peer pressure.

On another note, I also find it wrong that the teacher said what they said to you.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 25, 2013, 12:12:28 PM
It's fine and dandy if you want to take on the responsibility of teaching this "mean girl" to behave - but frankly it's not your problem, and you'd be taking on a huge headache with very few tools.  (You don't have the leverage to actually *do* anything about her behavior issues, you wouldn't be seeing her enough to make much of a difference, and it would make your job as troop leader a lot more stressful!)  I see this as one of those places where yeah, you'd be a saint to take her on - but that doesn't mean you have to, or even that it's a good idea.

Can't you just have the other two interested girls sign up (so they're on the waitlist too) and take them?  Having to draw girls from the waitlist doesn't mean you necessarily have to draw them in order.  And if you do try to give the "mean girl" a chance, and it doesn't work out, that would be a significantly bigger drama headache than just not including her in the first place.  I'm assuming you do have some incidents in school you can point to for reasons the mean girl and the other girls already don't get along, so it's really your role as an adult mentor for the girls you already have to keep this one mean girl from ruining the scouting experience for everyone.

(I had a troop a few years ago - and we ended up with one girl who was a particular behavior problem, which compared to the rest of the troop who were all at-risk girls, was pretty impressive.  Girl Scouts didn't magically change her into a nicer or better person.)
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: snowdragon on May 25, 2013, 12:25:16 PM
you know, it's nice of you to want to include this kid, but what about the experiences of all the other girls? Sure, you can do something, when you catch her. But that's after she's hurt someone - do they have to endure her because she "deserves a chance"?

Your daughter has said this kid is mean, where do you hold meetings? I ask because my troop met in my basement, it would not be right to sacrifice  your daughter's sense of safety in her own home to include someone who is mean to her.

I also would figure out before hand how you are going to handle this kid and the problems that may arise. Are you going to punish her and the kid who eventually stands up to her the same way?  and what message would that send?

I can tell you from experience that having a mean girl in the troop will change the troop dynamic, and that will have to be dealt with, too.  In my troop, the troop disbanded with in a year after the introduction of a mean girl --no one wanted to be around her.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: ThistleBird on May 25, 2013, 12:29:25 PM
I'd like to second bonyk and TootsNYC. Emphasize the Girl Scout law from the start (with all the mothers of new girls, to make it not personal) and be really on your game ready to be sharp with anyone who is treating another girl wrongly in the group. That's *if* you feel like you have the energy to deal with this. But it would certainly be better than speaking to the mom ahead of time, unless she was a personal friend who you knew you could say that kind of thing to (which I think you said is not the case.) It makes the average person defensive to hear that their kid has a bad general reputation. Most people can deal better with a case of a specific offense from their kid.

I think others' advice to not take the girl is also an option but you would have to weigh a lot of factors that only you know the details of. Especially 1) just how mean is she, and 2) would you have the option, according to the rules of kicking her out if she crossed a certain line? And is the line reasonable (ie. it doesn't have to escalate to murder before you kick her out)?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 25, 2013, 12:34:16 PM
you know, it's nice of you to want to include this kid, but what about the experiences of all the other girls? Sure, you can do something, when you catch her. But that's after she's hurt someone - do they have to endure her because she "deserves a chance"?

Your daughter has said this kid is mean, where do you hold meetings? I ask because my troop met in my basement, it would not be right to sacrifice  your daughter's sense of safety in her own home to include someone who is mean to her.

I also would figure out before hand how you are going to handle this kid and the problems that may arise. Are you going to punish her and the kid who eventually stands up to her the same way?  and what message would that send?

I can tell you from experience that having a mean girl in the troop will change the troop dynamic, and that will have to be dealt with, too.  In my troop, the troop disbanded with in a year after the introduction of a mean girl --no one wanted to be around her.

And what about those who don't tell on her when she does something to them?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 25, 2013, 12:41:59 PM
A 7 year old should not be rejected from an inclusive group like Girl Scouts. She isn't  a criminal. She is a child who depends on her community to teach her to be the best she can be. She likely faces huge amounts of rejection which, also likely, complicates her problem.

If she acts up in Girl Scouts, deal with the problem. Involve her mother. But don't slam aa door in her face without giving her a chance.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 25, 2013, 01:52:55 PM
I will say it is almost impossible to eject a girl once she is added to your troop.  A troop leader has almost no power in that regard because GSUSA will not support you if you want to remove a problematic girl (or parent).  The only power we have is when we accept girls into the troop.

I'm a volunteer.  I give my time and energy to my troop and my girls...GS leader training barely scratches the surface of discipline and dealing with behavioral issues of individual girls.  Add in parents in denial or who will aggressively defend their child's actions (and won't discipline their child themselves) and you can potentially have a nightmare on your hands.

In the end it is your decision.  if you decide to take her on, you need to sit down, figure out a plan of action.  Think about all the possible scenarios and strategies for handling them.  Know that you will have girls drop out if the situation is not handled.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Mikayla on May 25, 2013, 04:57:45 PM
From the OP: (Secretly, I'd hate to lose great girls because the rules dictate we can't exclude known trouble makers.)

I take this to mean you have to accept her if she expresses interest and/or meets any wait list requirements, correct?  I'm pointing this out because, while I agree with those saying it sounds best to exclude her, if that isn't an option, then it doesn't matter what we think.   

I guess the rest depends on what kind of authority you would have if she causes problems. If you think you'll have a lot of latitude there, I wouldn't say anything.  Just let it play out and address it if needed.  If you won't have any latitude, I'd do the same, but in addition to issuing a warning, this is when I'd talk to mom. 

Like you say, you don't want to lose any of the other girls over issues with one child.  That's why I think whatever you say to mom should be direct.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Roe on May 25, 2013, 06:15:36 PM
PP's have great advice!  All I can suggest is...maybe allowing her in on a probationary period?  This way, if she doesn't work out, no hard feelings.

BTW, my youngest son refused to go to Cub Scouts based on one child's behavior. He disrupted the meetings, was rude to the den leader and to other kids.  My DH would leave the meetings completely stressed out as would my son.  After dealing with this for half a year, one day my son refused to go and that was the end of it.  One child can change the dynamics of the group.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: AnnaJ on May 25, 2013, 08:20:52 PM
PP's have great advice!  All I can suggest is...maybe allowing her in on a probationary period?  This way, if she doesn't work out, no hard feelings.

BTW, my youngest son refused to go to Cub Scouts based on one child's behavior. He disrupted the meetings, was rude to the den leader and to other kids.  My DH would leave the meetings completely stressed out as would my son.  After dealing with this for half a year, one day my son refused to go and that was the end of it.  One child can change the dynamics of the group.

I think if the troops brings this girl in, it has to be in the same way as they would bring in any new scout - she hasn't done anything negative as part of the troop (obviously, since she's not a member) and assuming that she will is a very negative attitude; honestly, if the girl can't be welcomed as a member of the troop, she shouldn't be allowed in at all.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Nikko-chan on May 25, 2013, 08:43:02 PM
If you can't exclude her after she joins the troop, what then? What if MeanGirl does something physical? Can you exclude her then, or is she protected? Because a mean girl might just cause your group to disband. I was in Girl Scouts for a year. ScoutLeader called mom, asking her if I would be willing to join again this year. I was next to her, and heard the whole conversation. I thought about what I would have to go through, and gave an emphatic no to pass on to ScoutLeader.

You see, ScoutLeader's daughter was in the troop, and as such she got all the best parts for everything we did, and she and her older sister were stuck up, and looked down on us. The troop ended up disbanding because no one wanted to go through that again... and ScoutLeader never realized why, because no one told her!
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: lemonfloorwax on May 25, 2013, 08:50:38 PM
I'm a GS leader too and I feel your pain. When my girls start (whether they join at the start of the year or part way in) in my troop, I have the girls and their parents sign a pledge. It says basically that they will respect the rules of scouting (listening to the leaders/co-leaders/adults in charge, being a sister to every GS, etc). They are given two warning at a meeting to change their behavior and if it continues, and they get a third warning, they have to sit at a table with one of the adults until their parent comes to pick them up. They will have to miss the next meeting and write a note saying what they did wrong and why it was not part of the Girl Scout Law. I had to put this in place after a very disastrous meeting at the start of this year.
It's hard not to have preconceived ideas about a girl when you have heard things from other parents, teachers, or girls. I say explain the rules and let her have a chance. Maybe she really needs some positive attention in her life. Hang in there!
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 25, 2013, 09:02:31 PM
If you can't exclude her after she joins the troop, what then? What if MeanGirl does something physical? Can you exclude her then, or is she protected? Because a mean girl might just cause your group to disband. I was in Girl Scouts for a year. ScoutLeader called mom, asking her if I would be willing to join again this year. I was next to her, and heard the whole conversation. I thought about what I would have to go through, and gave an emphatic no to pass on to ScoutLeader.

You see, ScoutLeader's daughter was in the troop, and as such she got all the best parts for everything we did, and she and her older sister were stuck up, and looked down on us. The troop ended up disbanding because no one wanted to go through that again... and ScoutLeader never realized why, because no one told her!

I had a similar experience.

That is why, as a leader I have explained to my daughter that she will be treated the same as the other girls.  If I need to pick a girl for a task, I have a token for each girl that she can drop into a jar.  I then draw a name from the jar.  A girl's name can only be selected once per meeting.  My girls love this method and it keeps me from even accidentally favoring one child over another.

As I said, my troop has lasted 5 years (and we're starting our 6th year in the fall) because I have worked hard to maintain a positive troop experience for my girls.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Nikko-chan on May 25, 2013, 09:04:07 PM
If you can't exclude her after she joins the troop, what then? What if MeanGirl does something physical? Can you exclude her then, or is she protected? Because a mean girl might just cause your group to disband. I was in Girl Scouts for a year. ScoutLeader called mom, asking her if I would be willing to join again this year. I was next to her, and heard the whole conversation. I thought about what I would have to go through, and gave an emphatic no to pass on to ScoutLeader.

You see, ScoutLeader's daughter was in the troop, and as such she got all the best parts for everything we did, and she and her older sister were stuck up, and looked down on us. The troop ended up disbanding because no one wanted to go through that again... and ScoutLeader never realized why, because no one told her!

I had a similar experience.

That is why, as a leader I have explained to my daughter that she will be treated the same as the other girls.  If I need to pick a girl for a task, I have a token for each girl that she can drop into a jar.  I then draw a name from the jar.  A girl's name can only be selected once per meeting.  My girls love this method and it keeps me from even accidentally favoring one child over another.

As I said, my troop has lasted 5 years (and we're starting our 6th year in the fall) because I have worked hard to maintain a positive troop experience for my girls.

*wishes she were ten again and could join girl scouts* I would love to have a leader like you!
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 25, 2013, 09:34:33 PM
Having read all the posts, I can definitely see both points of view. However, from experiences with my children in scouts (boys and girls), I would have to lean on the side of not including this girl.

My older DS's group almost completely disbanded, and did indeed lose quite a few members, due to the behaviour of one girl. She was an absolute nightmare. The day she was of appropriate age to move up to the next level in the organisation she was put in that group. Thankfully she left soon after, possibly because she couldn't get away with as much with the older children.

I feel that the current girl scouts in the OP have a right to attend GS without having to worry that the girl who was mean/bullied them at school earlier in the day (at a compulsory location; ie. school)  is going to continue on with her nonsense at a non-compulsory event. Extra curricular activities are meant to be relaxing and fun, not a (continuation on of a) stressful event.

If I need to pick a girl for a task, I have a token for each girl that she can drop into a jar.  I then draw a name from the jar.  A girl's name can only be selected once per meeting.
That's an excellent idea!  :)
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 25, 2013, 09:51:09 PM
Having read all the posts, I can definitely see both points of view. However, from experiences with my children in scouts (boys and girls), I would have to lean on the side of not including this girl.

My older DS's group almost completely disbanded, and did indeed lose quite a few members, due to the behaviour of one girl. She was an absolute nightmare. The day she was of appropriate age to move up to the next level in the organisation she was put in that group. Thankfully she left soon after, possibly because she couldn't get away with as much with the older children.

I feel that the current girl scouts in the OP have a right to attend GS without having to worry that the girl who was mean/bullied them at school earlier in the day (at a compulsory location; ie. school)  is going to continue on with her nonsense at a non-compulsory event. Extra curricular activities are meant to be relaxing and fun, not a (continuation on of a) stressful event.

If I need to pick a girl for a task, I have a token for each girl that she can drop into a jar.  I then draw a name from the jar.  A girl's name can only be selected once per meeting.
That's an excellent idea!  :)

Please consider how stressful school might be for this girl, as well. The other girls in the group have each other, who does this girl have? Her mom probably wants her in Scouts to make friends!

All kids change a group somewhat. That is what makes a group.

Maybe this girl's mom is willing to attend meetings or even help lead. Someone above indicated that the mom might make excuses for her daughter. On the other hand, the mom might be eager and willing to facilitate her daughter's inclusion.

There are always two sides to a story. The label bully is a strong one to hang on someone so young. How is she supposed to learn to be a friend if she is shunned?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Darcy on May 25, 2013, 10:05:50 PM
As someone who left Girl Scouts due to bullying by other girls, I have to lean on the side of those who say not to invite her in. I think the comfort and safety of the girls already members of the troop should come first.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Green Bean on May 25, 2013, 10:06:16 PM
OP here. I've had a busy day and just read through all the responses. What interest this thread has generated. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments.

I've been thinking about this all day. My co-leader wants to include her, and I totally understand why. I do feel that this girl could use some positive role modeling. I keep telling myself that I can't hold her behavior as a young girl against her her whole life.

My daughter complained about her so much for several months at the beginning of the school year. They sat in the same cluster of 3 desks for several months. My conversation with her teacher was in response to me asking about the dynamic between them, and that's when the teacher said she could be really mean, but my daughter was one of the few kids in the class that could stand up to her. That's why she hadnt moved them at that point. We kept our daughter busy all winter, but when it warmed up outside, my daughter wanted to play with her. (I don't understand what goes through her mind sometimes. Mean Girl lives on our block and is the only girl in the grade in walking distance.  DH and I were hesitant, but allowed it a few times.) while playing in our basement, she put my younger daughter (2.5yo) in the shower stall and slid the door shut while my little one cried. My older DD let her out. While this behavior isn't dangerous, I certainly think it qualifies as mean. I've heard much worse 2nd hand, but this has been my experience.

I really think she needs some guidance... I was just hoping else someone would be tasked with it.  :-\ 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 25, 2013, 10:16:16 PM
OP here. I've had a busy day and just read through all the responses. What interest this thread has generated. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments.

I've been thinking about this all day. My co-leader wants to include her, and I totally understand why. I do feel that this girl could use some positive role modeling. I keep telling myself that I can't hold her behavior as a young girl against her her whole life.

My daughter complained about her so much for several months at the beginning of the school year. They sat in the same cluster of 3 desks for several months. My conversation with her teacher was in response to me asking about the dynamic between them, and that's when the teacher said she could be really mean, but my daughter was one of the few kids in the class that could stand up to her. That's why she hadnt moved them at that point. We kept our daughter busy all winter, but when it warmed up outside, my daughter wanted to play with her. (I don't understand what goes through her mind sometimes. Mean Girl lives on our block and is the only girl in the grade in walking distance.  DH and I were hesitant, but allowed it a few times.) while playing in our basement, she put my younger daughter (2.5yo) in the shower stall and slid the door shut while my little one cried. My older DD let her out. While this behavior isn't dangerous, I certainly think it qualifies as mean. I've heard much worse 2nd hand, but this has been my experience.

I really think she needs some guidance... I was just hoping else someone would be tasked with it.  :-\


I would not foist this young sadist onto a group of young girls.

ETA: Perhaps  the word "sadist" is a bit too strong, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind when envisioning  the secne in which she mistreated a toddler.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 25, 2013, 10:17:36 PM
Please consider how stressful school might be for this girl, as well. The other girls in the group have each other, who does this girl have? Her mom probably wants her in Scouts to make friends!

All kids change a group somewhat. That is what makes a group.

Maybe this girl's mom is willing to attend meetings or even help lead. Someone above indicated that the mom might make excuses for her daughter. On the other hand, the mom might be eager and willing to facilitate her daughter's inclusion.

There are always two sides to a story. The label bully is a strong one to hang on someone so young. How is she supposed to learn to be a friend if she is shunned?

I can certainly sympathise with the other point of view. Sometimes giving a child (or adult) a chance works out well for all involved, but other times it doesn't.

Unlike school where the children have no choice but to interact, scouts is a optional activity and I wouldn't be happy if my child's experience was ruined by the behaviour of another member. 

Behaviour has consequences, and if this girl's behaviour is such that a largish group of people are already disinclined to interact with her, then perhaps that is a lesson she needs to learn now.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 25, 2013, 10:21:20 PM
while playing in our basement, she put my younger daughter (2.5yo) in the shower stall and slid the door shut while my little one cried. My older DD let her out. While this behavior isn't dangerous, I certainly think it qualifies as mean. I've heard much worse 2nd hand, but this has been my experience.

No way, no how, would I be letting this child into an activity I had any control over (scouts, playdate, chaperoning a school group, etc).

What happened after this incident? Did you inform her parents/tell her off/explain how inappropriate this was? How did she respond?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 25, 2013, 10:24:15 PM
My last word, since I can see where this is going. Bullying is ganging up on someone in a weaker position. If this girl is excluded at 7 years old, it is not she who is the bully.

I would advise her mom to "take it up he chain" until she got satisfaction.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 25, 2013, 10:52:24 PM
My last word, since I can see where this is going. Bullying is ganging up on someone in a weaker position. If this girl is excluded at 7 years old, it is not she who is the bully.

I would advise her mom to "take it up he chain" until she got satisfaction.

I disagree with your definition.  According to the dictionary:

Bullying - Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation.

Excluding someone who has proven themselves a bully is not bullying...as long as the girls treat her no differently and do not taunt her about excluding her.  In this case, I would guess the girls in the troop have no idea this debate is going on.  So, they will not have any reason to treat her any differently if she is not invited to join.

The girls in my troop have no idea how many girls I have turned down (sometimes to keep my numbers low and other times because I know the girl would not be a good fit.).

I know one girl who at age 6 attempted to drown another kid in the pool to get possession of a pool toy.  Her Mother witnessed the whole incident (I was the one who forced her to release the child).  Her Mother's response?  "She really wanted that toy and if the kid didn't want it taken, she shouldn't have brought it to the pool!"  At 10, this girl is the biggest girl in the class and verbally torments the smallest girl.  I have witnessed her whispering horrible things into other kids ears.  Her mother has witnessed this too but always claims that she doesn't mean it "that way" and we just don't understand her and we are "bullying" her child.

I have denied this child entry to my troop twice and I don't regret it at all.  It is not my job to "fix" someone else's child.  While she might benefit from a positive role model, without parental support, I doubt my every other week influence for an hour would help.  I probably would have quit myself due to the frustration of dealing with both the child and the Mother.


Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 25, 2013, 10:57:46 PM
Excluding someone who has proven themselves a bully is not bullying...as long as the girls treat her no differently and do not taunt her about excluding her.

SNIP

I know one girl who at age 6 attempted to drown another kid in the pool to get possession of a pool toy.  Her Mother witnessed the while incident (I was the one who forced her to release the child).  Her Mother's response?  "She really wanted that toy and if the kid didn't want it taken, she shouldn't have brought it to the pool!"  At 10, this girl is the biggest girl in the class.  I have witnessed her whispering horrible things into other kids ears.  Her mother has witnessed this too but always claims that she doesn't mean it "that way" and we just don't understand her and we are "bullying" her child.

I have denied this child entry to my troop twice and I don't regret it at all.  It is not my job to "fix" someone else's child.  While she might benefit from a positive role model, without parental support, I doubt my every other week influence for and hour would help.  I probably would have quit myself due to the frustration of dealing with both the child and the Mother.

POD.

On behalf of the girls in your troop, thank you for sparing them the company of this bully.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 25, 2013, 11:04:27 PM
Ok, one more.

From the troop leader handbook:

"Inclusion to the Troop
Girl Scouts embraces girls of all abilities, backgrounds, and heritage, with a specific and positive philosophy of inclusion that benefits everyone. Each girl—without regard to socioeconomic status, race, physical or cognitive ability, ethnicity, primary language, or religion—is an equal and valued member of the group, and groups reflect the diversity of the community. Girls are not to be excluded from a troop or troop activities due to a parent’s behavior or inability to financially contribute to the troop. A troop leader cannot dismiss a Girl Scout from a troop. Please refer to Section 5-Minimizing and Managing Conflict. Contact your troop support specialist for assistance or guidance with conflict."
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 25, 2013, 11:13:55 PM
Ok, one more.

From the troop leader handbook:

"Inclusion to the Troop
Girl Scouts embraces girls of all abilities, backgrounds, and heritage, with a specific and positive philosophy of inclusion that benefits everyone. Each girl—without regard to socioeconomic status, race, physical or cognitive ability, ethnicity, primary language, or religion—is an equal and valued member of the group, and groups reflect the diversity of the community. Girls are not to be excluded from a troop or troop activities due to a parent’s behavior or inability to financially contribute to the troop. A troop leader cannot dismiss a Girl Scout from a troop. Please refer to Section 5-Minimizing and Managing Conflict. Contact your troop support specialist for assistance or guidance with conflict."

So why admit a child who has been mean to many for a long time, and who locked a toddler in a shower?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 25, 2013, 11:14:17 PM
Ok, one more.

From the troop leader handbook:

"Inclusion to the Troop
Girl Scouts embraces girls of all abilities, backgrounds, and heritage, with a specific and positive philosophy of inclusion that benefits everyone. Each girl—without regard to socioeconomic status, race, physical or cognitive ability, ethnicity, primary language, or religion—is an equal and valued member of the group, and groups reflect the diversity of the community. Girls are not to be excluded from a troop or troop activities due to a parent’s behavior or inability to financially contribute to the troop. A troop leader cannot dismiss a Girl Scout from a troop. Please refer to Section 5-Minimizing and Managing Conflict. Contact your troop support specialist for assistance or guidance with conflict."

From what I can see in the OP, the girl is not being excluded due to any of these reasons, none of which the child would have any control over. There is hesitation to include due to her own behaviour.

that benefits everyone

How is including a known bully a benefit to the rest of the troop?

ETA:
OT: A troop leader cannot dismiss a Girl Scout from a troop 
This is wrong on so many levels. It basically gives carte blanche to behave badly, knowing there won't be the ultimate consequence; ie. exclusion from the group.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 25, 2013, 11:22:13 PM
Ok, one more.

From the troop leader handbook:

"Inclusion to the Troop
Girl Scouts embraces girls of all abilities, backgrounds, and heritage, with a specific and positive philosophy of inclusion that benefits everyone. Each girl—without regard to socioeconomic status, race, physical or cognitive ability, ethnicity, primary language, or religion—is an equal and valued member of the group, and groups reflect the diversity of the community. Girls are not to be excluded from a troop or troop activities due to a parent’s behavior or inability to financially contribute to the troop. A troop leader cannot dismiss a Girl Scout from a troop. Please refer to Section 5-Minimizing and Managing Conflict. Contact your troop support specialist for assistance or guidance with conflict."


Correct.  You cannot discriminate based on a protected class or an inability to pay.  It also clearly states that once in, a girl cannot be dismissed. 

I laugh at the final sentence because I have first-hand experience of calling council for help and they basically ignored me.  They said, "Oh my, yes, that is a problem.  I'm not sure what to do...someone will call you back." And then I never heard another peep.  Despite my repeated attempts to get an answer.

There is always an ideal/goal, but then there is reality.  I prefer to live in reality where I am tasked with managing my troop with little or no support from council when things go wrong.  I have chosen the path that allows me to give my girls the best experience I can within my abilities.  I take my required training, I complete the required paperwork, and I keep harmony within my troop by limiting my numbers in spite if pressure from the SU to "just take one more". 

I take my role as leader very seriously.  My girls live the promise and the law.  They are leaders within our small community and become more independent and self-confident every day.  I love working with my girls.

If the bully truly wishes to become a GS, her mother can start a troop and recruit girls to join (like I did).  GSUSA is always looking for more troop leaders and she would be welcome with open arms.  She is not prevented from joining GS.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: delabela on May 25, 2013, 11:25:51 PM
OP here. I've had a busy day and just read through all the responses. What interest this thread has generated. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments.

I've been thinking about this all day. My co-leader wants to include her, and I totally understand why. I do feel that this girl could use some positive role modeling. I keep telling myself that I can't hold her behavior as a young girl against her her whole life.

My daughter complained about her so much for several months at the beginning of the school year. They sat in the same cluster of 3 desks for several months. My conversation with her teacher was in response to me asking about the dynamic between them, and that's when the teacher said she could be really mean, but my daughter was one of the few kids in the class that could stand up to her. That's why she hadnt moved them at that point. We kept our daughter busy all winter, but when it warmed up outside, my daughter wanted to play with her. (I don't understand what goes through her mind sometimes. Mean Girl lives on our block and is the only girl in the grade in walking distance.  DH and I were hesitant, but allowed it a few times.) while playing in our basement, she put my younger daughter (2.5yo) in the shower stall and slid the door shut while my little one cried. My older DD let her out. While this behavior isn't dangerous, I certainly think it qualifies as mean. I've heard much worse 2nd hand, but this has been my experience.

I really think she needs some guidance... I was just hoping else someone would be tasked with it.  :-\


I would not foist this young sadist onto a group of young girls.

I understand the OP's dilemma, and I appreciate that there are good points on both sides of the argument, but it really bothers me to see a 7 year old referred to in this way.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: snowdragon on May 25, 2013, 11:26:24 PM
If she has done much worse than locking a toddler in a shower, then I would be wary of allowing her in an organization that goes camping, works with sharp instruments and ropes and more.

If I were another parent in the group and heard this kid was coming in - I'd find another troop. Sorry, but safety comes first and I think this kid could be a danger to others.


Quote
If the bully truly wishes to become a GS, her mother can start a troop and recruit girls to join (like I did).  GSUSA is always looking for more troop leaders and she would be welcome with open arms.  She is not prevented from joining GS.

This.

And for those who don't like calling a 7 year old a bully - what would be your word for a 7 year old who picks on a toddler?

ETA: What happens if she is allowed in and all the girls shun her because of her behaviour at school, do you force them partner with their tormentor?

That path can lead to all sorts of issues for both sides.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 25, 2013, 11:28:59 PM
If the bully truly wishes to become a GS, her mother can start a troop and recruit girls to join (like I did).  GSUSA is always looking for more troop leaders and she would be welcome with open arms.  She is not prevented from joining GS.

Very true. Not including her in OP's particular group isn't preventing her from joining GS completely. She's free to join any other troop who'll take her (or start her own).
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: CharlieBraun on May 25, 2013, 11:55:04 PM
Boy, what a situation and dilemma.

At first, I was of a mind that - well, you haven't experienced bad stuff first hand, please (please) give this girl a spot so she can learn what is right - socialization - so please invite her.

The locking a toddler in a shower stall is..scary.  So I retreated from my position that you should invite her in, but not completely.

Could you possibly meet with this girl, the school guidance counselor/teacher who first warned you, and a completely neutral party?  (and yes, I am wracking my brains to think of who that might be.)

May I be so bold as to ask - what do you - you - truly want to do?  I sense that you are all over the map about what is right, but tell us - what is your first, strongest, instinct?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: snowdragon on May 25, 2013, 11:58:36 PM
Where are the meetings held? Will your younger DD be exposed to this girl because of her involvement with the troop, at all?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LifeOnPluto on May 25, 2013, 11:58:52 PM
Ok, so a Troop Leader is unable to expel a misbehaving member from the Girl Scouts.

So what other rights do they have, in relation to disciplining misbehaving members? I think this is crucial. If the OP is barred (by the GS rules) from imposing real consequences (ie suspensions from meetings, not allowed to try for badges, etc) if Mean Girl acts out, that's a bad situation for the OP and the rest of the troop to be in. In which case, I would err on the side of NOT inviting Mean Girl to be part of the troop.

If there are consequences which the OP can enforce, I'd consider including Mean Girl. But if she acts out, the OP must be prepared to follow through with those consequences.

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 26, 2013, 12:11:09 AM
GS Troop leaders have about the same power as a US public classroom teacher to discipline a girl.  (Perhaps less since they don't have a Principal or other support behind them).  They cannot expel her, they can make her sit out during a specific activity (for a short age appropriate time out), but they cannot ban her from meetings or other troop activities.  You can assign an adult to shadow the girl during the meeting, to hopefully prevent an incident...however, if the parent complains up the chain (re: disciplne of their child) the troop leader ALWAYS loses.  She will be lectured about GS discipline guidelines; which encourages "proactive" discipline and puts the burden on the leader to "redirect" the girl and stop the behavior before it occurs.  A difficult task that requires some psychic ability.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Darcy on May 26, 2013, 12:29:11 AM
My last word, since I can see where this is going. Bullying is ganging up on someone in a weaker position. If this girl is excluded at 7 years old, it is not she who is the bully.

I would advise her mom to "take it up he chain" until she got satisfaction.

As someone who was bullied at 7, I strongly disagree.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: *inviteseller on May 26, 2013, 12:40:09 AM
She is 7, so let's not call her a little psychopath just yet.  OP, is it possible to talk to the mom and be honest that there has been some issues in the past and you would like to discuss things ahead of time before the girl is allowed in?  You say she is nice, but I think if you talk to her you can get a better feel of how she sees her DD.  There may be issues you don't know about (issues in the home that are causing her to act out for example).  I think she should be given a chance, because if people are willing to write her off at 7 and not give her a chance to learn and grow, then she is going to be a lost cause.  And I am really steamed that the teacher would say things about her to you.  My DD was absolutely harassed by a mean girl in 2nd grade..this girl was just downright nasty and so was her mom.  When I brought it up to the teacher, she worded it very carefully (their personalities do not mesh) without disparaging the child, which to me is the correct way to handle these things.  It sounds to me like the little girl in the OP is being written off by everyone, which will only make her act out more because she wants someone to pay attention to her.  I do understand as I was a coach for girls soccer for numerous years and dealt with cliquey behavior, bullies, criers, whiners...as much as we would love these groups to be harmonious sometimes they aren't and as a leader, we need to teach all these personalities how to work together...after all it is no different when they are in the real world as adults.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 26, 2013, 01:00:32 AM
Another option, if you want to avoid confrontation - don't let ANY new girls in this year.  Say it's an attempt to change the dynamic of the troop by keeping it smaller.  Then you can point to the troop already being "full" (at its new size) instead of having to explain why you want to exclude this girl specifically.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Snooks on May 26, 2013, 01:31:26 AM
One thing that I think gives you an advantage is that you already know there are issues with this girl so you will be hyper aware and can addresses them and hopefully reassure your troop.  I still firmly believe you need to accept this girl.  The incident with your toddler, while scary, sounds like the sort of thing I might have done to a friend's younger sibling at that sort of age and I'm not a psychopath but I am someone who didn't deal very well with my temper as a child . My only caveat is that if you don't think the mom will back up your authority as leader with the girl.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Allyson on May 26, 2013, 01:37:22 AM
Yes, I do know people who did terrible things at that age and grew up to be normal, not sadistic or psychopathic or even bully-like. So, I don't think this girl should be written off forevermore. But, it would absolutely be an additional stress to deal with this girl, regardless of the reasons for her behaviour. And, while it would certainly be great if someone helped this girl--you're already doing a lot by running this troop so...I think that it's totally reasonable to not want to take that on. Not wanting to take that on doesn't mean you're saying the girl is irredeemable, just that she is troubled in ways that would be very stressful and very likely make something fun less fun.

What I wrote sounds wishy washy but I guess I'm saying, I don't see it as an *either* she's likely redeemable and with some help may improve a lot *or* she would be very hard to deal with and change the group dynamic in a bad way. I think both things can be true.

I understand everyone has different experiences that lead them to sympathize with one or the other kids, but these things can turn around so quickly, and the 'mean girls', 'nice girls' and 'outcasts' at 7 may be totally different people at 10, filling utterly different roles.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Margo on May 26, 2013, 05:29:08 AM
Is it possible to admit her (and the other new girls) on a probationary basis, or as guests without being memebers, for an initial period,if you can't exclude girls once they are  full members? That would allow you to gauge her suitability and ability to fit in, without  locking yourself into having her a member if she doesn't behave appropriately.

It does feel slightly uncomfortable for a girl scout troop to be thinking of a clouding a child for something she might do.


Given the rule that you cannot exclude a child for any reason once they are a member, do you have the power to impose conditions - for instance, it this girl does not behave appropriately, could you require one of her parents to attend to supervise her?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Sharnita on May 26, 2013, 07:35:30 AM
I do have to say that I was in GS with some really nice, sweet leaders and some nice girls and a few girls who were mean to different degrees. When we bridged up a new leader took over.  She was not exactly "sweet" - more like no-nonsense.  It didn't take long for the mean girls to clear out of their own free will. The rest of us were perfectly happy withour new leader - she wasn't the same style as the old leaders but she was good to us and she made boundaries clear.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 26, 2013, 07:54:27 AM
OP here. I've had a busy day and just read through all the responses. What interest this thread has generated. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments.

I've been thinking about this all day. My co-leader wants to include her, and I totally understand why. I do feel that this girl could use some positive role modeling. I keep telling myself that I can't hold her behavior as a young girl against her her whole life.

My daughter complained about her so much for several months at the beginning of the school year. They sat in the same cluster of 3 desks for several months. My conversation with her teacher was in response to me asking about the dynamic between them, and that's when the teacher said she could be really mean, but my daughter was one of the few kids in the class that could stand up to her. That's why she hadnt moved them at that point. We kept our daughter busy all winter, but when it warmed up outside, my daughter wanted to play with her. (I don't understand what goes through her mind sometimes. Mean Girl lives on our block and is the only girl in the grade in walking distance.  DH and I were hesitant, but allowed it a few times.) while playing in our basement, she put my younger daughter (2.5yo) in the shower stall and slid the door shut while my little one cried. My older DD let her out. While this behavior isn't dangerous, I certainly think it qualifies as mean. I've heard much worse 2nd hand, but this has been my experience.

I really think she needs some guidance... I was just hoping else someone would be tasked with it.  :-\

In response to the bolded parts:

You will not be holding her behavior against her her whole life.  You will be making a decision to protect the  girls who already are in your troop from someone who has been mean to them as well as to a toddler.

Isn't guiding the girl her mother's job?  Isn't  your jobas a mother to protect your daughter, and as a troop leader, the girls already under your authority?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Shea on May 26, 2013, 09:42:05 AM
My last word, since I can see where this is going. Bullying is ganging up on someone in a weaker position. If this girl is excluded at 7 years old, it is not she who is the bully.

I would advise her mom to "take it up he chain" until she got satisfaction.

I understand that this is a subject that hits close to home for you, based on what you've said about your daughter, but I just can't agree that a child who has repeatedly behaved badly towards other children, acting the "mean girl", bullying, whatever you wish to call it, should be included in the troop because she should be "given a chance". Why should the other girls' comfort be sacrificed? Of course no one should give up on this girl, or allow their kids to be mean to her right back, but if she's acted badly towards the other children over and over, I cannot agree with giving her another place (i.e., the Scouts) to bully the kids she already bullies at school. Excluding her is not "bullying" her. It's protecting the other girls.

Incidentally, I've been the bullied child, and it only makes it worse when adults acknowledge the bully's actions, but make excuses and justifications for it ("she must feel so bad about herself", "her home life must be sad", "she just feels excluded, try to be nice to her"). If the girls in the troop are already made uncomfortable or worse by this girl, bringing her into the troop may make it even worse for them, not only making them vulnerable to the bully's unpleasantness in a new venue, but also making them feel like the troop leaders either don't believe them about her bullying ways or that they value the bully over her victims.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: guihong on May 26, 2013, 09:52:24 AM
Would it be possible to call a meeting of the other parents in the troop, explain the dilemma, and get an idea of how they feel you should proceed?  I also like the idea of a meeting between the girl's parents, her principal, and a neutral person before you let her in the troop.  Does the girl even want to be a Scout, or is her mother pushing her into it?

Has her behavior gotten worse, stayed the same, or improved since last year?

I think it's preposterous that no one can ever be kicked out of Scouts for any reason.  True, it's the very last step, but there must be some guarantee of safety for the other girls (as much as possible).  I just fear that without support from the council or whoever oversees the troops, and no support from the girl's parents, that you're in for a long slog, a mass exodus from your troop, or something disastrous happening. 

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: AmethystAnne on May 26, 2013, 10:07:24 AM
I was a Scout in Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Campus Gold, helped with a Brownie troop during college, was a co-leader, and a leader.

From an adult's point-of-view, I can see the benefit to this girl to be exposed to the good things of being a Girl Scout. But she has to be willing to follow that what is expressed in the Promise and the
Laws. Maybe a very small troop of maybe 3-4 girls could be formed by her mother?

If I were the OP, no way would I allow the girl to join my troop. I liked a PP's suggestion of not taking in more members right now. Then just after Christmas, quietly ask the other 2 girls to join your troop.

What I remember from my years of being in Juniors and Cadettes....there were about 4 girls who talked a lot and didn't pay attention. The leader had to take the time to correct these girls. Several 5-minute periods (out of a 60 minute meeting) of correcting these girls just got to me. I was also blessed <insert eyeroll here> to be in the same class in school with these girls from 5th grade to 12th grade. So my thought each time was, "<sigh> here we go, again" and then I would tune out.




Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Jaelle on May 26, 2013, 10:19:17 AM
Very torn on this.  :-\

I was in a Scout troop at about this age. It started off well, but when a few new girls joined, they encouraged the others to gang up against quiet, shy little me. (I was a nerd, I was weird, I was creepy, I didn't do things "right," they didn't want to be seen with me, if my old friends were with me, they couldn't be friends with the new girls, etc.) The adults didn't notice, and when I tried to speak up, I was essentially told not to be a complainer and not to "pick on" the new girls.

I quit not long after, to my mom's confusion, and it set a tone with my life that went on for years. I was bullied, but felt like I couldn't say anything. I tried to join a few other things, but these girls (especially one) would join too and I would no longer feel safe (for good reason) and would quietly back away again.

So I know what it's like to be in a group I love and suddenly seeing a tormenter allowed in, knowing what was going to happen next. It ruined many things for me. Sure, I should have developed the tools necessary to simply deal with it ... but that's hard to do when you're 7 and you're being told you're the weird one.

But it also makes me queasy to exclude this girl not knowing what's going on with her (did she start out in the same position?) or how it could help. The "no one kicked out of Scouts" thing makes it an all or nothing proposition and that makes it really tough.

citadelle, I'm curious. You seem to think your daughter has been branded a bully or mean girl, but you of course want her to be included. Do you know why this has happened?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: DragonKitty on May 26, 2013, 10:45:09 AM
It is my opinion, because of the "can't be kicked out for any reason", that the girl should not be included in your troup at this time.  You have no way to punish her for misbehaviour, and so no way to correct her.

Maybe if she can prove that she deserves it by not acting out for a year, you can reconsider her in a year.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 26, 2013, 12:32:34 PM
snipped

citadelle, I'm curious. You seem to think your daughter has been branded a bully or mean girl, but you of course want her to be included. Do you know why this has happened?

This thread explains a little about my daughter:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=127145.0

It is difficult for me to express how this kind of exclusion has hurt her. It has been devastating, and nothing she has ever done warrants it. She has never been physically aggressive, ever. She's a little immature for her age, quick to anger, and stubborn. She's difficult, I know that. But she's human, and she wants, needs, to have human connections.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 26, 2013, 12:39:11 PM
snipped

citadelle, I'm curious. You seem to think your daughter has been branded a bully or mean girl, but you of course want her to be included. Do you know why this has happened?

This thread explains a little about my daughter:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=127145.0

It is difficult for me to express how this kind of exclusion has hurt her. It has been devastating, and nothing she has ever done warrants it. She has never been physically aggressive, ever. She's a little immature for her age, quick to anger, and stubborn. She's difficult, I know that. But she's human, and she wants, needs, to have human connections.


Emily doesn't sound anything like the girl in Green Bean's situation!

(((((citadelle & emily)))))
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: SeptGurl on May 26, 2013, 01:04:02 PM
I posted earlier in this thread, and I want to share my experience with a similar group. I wasn't in GS, but I was in Campfire, which was only for girls at that time. Only four girls from my school were in CF. Most girls were in GS. There weren't enough of us to have our own group, so we were joined with another, larger group from another elem. school. This meant that not only were we "different" at our school because we were in CF and not GS, but we also weren't accepted fully in the CF group from the other school. We were picked on incessantly. I went to CF summer camp, was separated from my four school friends, and experienced some of the meanest mean girl behavior. Yet I remained in CF for 6 years.

At the time, I thought it was mean and awful the way those girls treated us. They made sure we were very aware that we didn't belong. I know exactly how it feels to be excluded.

In hindsight, I think that the experience strengthened my character and helped me become the champion for the underdog. It is that experience that prompts me to advocate for the girl in the OP to be given a chance.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 26, 2013, 01:06:45 PM
I posted earlier in this thread, and I want to share my experience with a similar group. I wasn't in GS, but I was in Campfire, which was only for girls at that time. Only four girls from my school were in CF. Most girls were in GS. There weren't enough of us to have our own group, so we were joined with another, larger group from another elem. school. This meant that not only were we "different" at our school because we were in CF and not GS, but we also weren't accepted fully in the CF group from the other school. We were picked on incessantly. I went to CF summer camp, was separated from my four school friends, and experienced some of the meanest mean girl behavior. Yet I remained in CF for 6 years.

At the time, I thought it was mean and awful the way those girls treated us. They made sure we were very aware that we didn't belong. I know exactly how it feels to be excluded.

In hindsight, I think that the experience strengthened my character and helped me become the champion for the underdog. It is that experience that prompts me to advocate for the girl in the OP to be given a chance.


But, what about the girls already in the troop who will not be strengthened, who will be harmed? What about the troop once it breaks up if the girls leave?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 26, 2013, 01:33:41 PM

Emily doesn't sound anything like the girl in Green Bean's situation!

(((((citadelle & emily)))))

Thank you for the hugs for us. They are appreciated.

I respectfully suggest that the reason you think Em doesn't sound like the girl in the OP is because you are hearing our situation described from Emily's point of view. It is very likely that the mom of a girl in Em's class would just call her mean.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: kudeebee on May 26, 2013, 01:34:08 PM
OP--coming at this from years of experience as a teacher, GS leader, CS den leader.

I would not accept any new girls into your troop at this time.  Think about it over the summer, have some long talks with your co-leader about it.  If you don't accept any girls, then you cannot be accused of passing this one girl by in favor of others.  You may find that you like a smaller troop and that the dynamics of the smaller troop work better for you.

You have a great troop dynamic at this time.  Bringing in a girl who is known to have problems, and especially one who locked your 2.5 year old in a shower in your home (did she have any regrets???), is not something you do lightly or with the guise that "we will let her join and she will she our positive role models and things will magically change."  It just doesn't work that way.

As pps have said, you will have her for one hour a week, once a week or every other week depending on when you meet.  You will not be working with her one on one, you will be working with many girls.  When she misbehaves, how will you handle it?  will she accept the redirection or will she cause more problems?  Will mom be willing to come and sit with her every week?  Is co-leader (since she wants to have her join the troop) willing to be "in-charge" of her during the troop meetings/outings/etc and especially when she misbehaves, sitting with her and missing out on the fun/activities the other girls are doing?  I could be wrong, but co-leader's thoughts may change if you present it to her as "you will need to be in charge of her".

Alsom things will not magically change between her and the other girls just because this is scouts and not school.  They are in school together, they know her and how she treats them and others. It doesn't end or go away when the bell rings and school is over for the day!

It might be best for this girl to find another activity to join, one that is away from school and those who know her in order to give her a fresh start.  That might help her and in a couple of years, maybe your gs troop will be a good fit for her.

Are you willing to have your troop possibly fall apart because of this one girl?  Because if she joins and continues her behaviors, the other girls may decide girl scouts isn't any fun anymore and drop out.  Or the night you meet "won't work" and other mothers will form their own troop to meet this need.  Then where will you be?

It is sad to think that this even has to be discussed, but it does.  This girl needs help and that help is not going to be given/received in a one hour troop meeting every week/every other week.  i would hope that the school and the counselor are working with her.


citadelle--quote from you

It is difficult for me to express how this kind of exclusion has hurt her. It has been devastating, and nothing she has ever done warrants it. She has never been physically aggressive, ever. She's a little immature for her age, quick to anger, and stubborn. She's difficult, I know that. But she's human, and she wants, needs, to have human connections.

I am sorry your dd is struggling so much.  However, she is doing things that alienate her from others; she is not being physical nor is she being a bully.  But she is doing some things that are cutting her off from the other girls--immature (comments and behaviors, I would assume), being stubborn, getting angry.  This could easily make others not want to be around her.  I know that you are struggling with helping her as she doesn't want to hear it from you/have you help her.
It can be hard as a parent to watch this and not be able to help. Is your dd getting any kind of help/therapy to deal with the anger and being stubborn?  Sometimes hearing it from an outside source is best and can help her recognize triggers, learn how to deal with them, etc. 

I know our school district runs a "help" clinic that is offered to parents with children who are struggling with these same types of issues.  does your district offer anything like this?  If not, I would definitely look  into doing it on your own.  You need to get her help now before it becomes worse.  Just moving her to another school district won't magically change it unless she gets help with these behaviors and learning how to control them.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 26, 2013, 01:37:32 PM

Emily doesn't sound anything like the girl in Green Bean's situation!

(((((citadelle & emily)))))

Thank you for the hugs for us. They are appreciated.

I respectfully suggest that the reason you think Em doesn't sound like the girl in the OP is because you are hearing our situation described from Emily's point of view. It is very likely that the mom of a girl in Em's class would just call her mean.

Did you catch Green Bean's post about the girl locking her toddler in the shower in the basement?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on May 26, 2013, 01:46:38 PM

Emily doesn't sound anything like the girl in Green Bean's situation!

(((((citadelle & emily)))))

Thank you for the hugs for us. They are appreciated.

I respectfully suggest that the reason you think Em doesn't sound like the girl in the OP is because you are hearing our situation described from Emily's point of view. It is very likely that the mom of a girl in Em's class would just call her mean.

Did you catch Green Bean's post about the girl locking her toddler in the shower in the basement?

Green Bean said not door was "shut" not "locked".
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 26, 2013, 01:55:18 PM

Emily doesn't sound anything like the girl in Green Bean's situation!

(((((citadelle & emily)))))

Thank you for the hugs for us. They are appreciated.

I respectfully suggest that the reason you think Em doesn't sound like the girl in the OP is because you are hearing our situation described from Emily's point of view. It is very likely that the mom of a girl in Em's class would just call her mean.

Did you catch Green Bean's post about the girl locking her toddler in the shower in the basement?

Green Bean said not door was "shut" not "locked".

There's no difference to a  toddler who presumbly was not tall enough to reach the handle or strong enough to open it or smart enough to even figure out what to do.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: ClaireC79 on May 26, 2013, 01:55:32 PM
and no mention of the time scale - 'mean girl shut the door after toddler wanders into the shower after bugging older girls who were annoyed by her and she wouldn't listen when they told her to go away, toddler cried but immediately let out by her sister who was standing there and got there before mean girl did' or 'mean girl shut the door after toddler went into shower and watched toddler get hysterical in the 20 minutes before older sister found her and let her out' or 'mean girl picked toddler up, put her in the shower and held door shut, laughing as elder sister tried toset her sister free'
Any of those three scenarios would be covered by the explanation by the OP, and the first one I wouldn't count as being that bad or a reason to denote her as mean girl, the other two I'd be very against my older child being in contact with her and wouldn't have the mean girl in my house
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: snowdragon on May 26, 2013, 02:33:07 PM
and no mention of the time scale - 'mean girl shut the door after toddler wanders into the shower after bugging older girls who were annoyed by her and she wouldn't listen when they told her to go away, toddler cried but immediately let out by her sister who was standing there and got there before mean girl did' or 'mean girl shut the door after toddler went into shower and watched toddler get hysterical in the 20 minutes before older sister found her and let her out' or 'mean girl picked toddler up, put her in the shower and held door shut, laughing as elder sister tried toset her sister free'
Any of those three scenarios would be covered by the explanation by the OP, and the first one I wouldn't count as being that bad or a reason to denote her as mean girl, the other two I'd be very against my older child being in contact with her and wouldn't have the mean girl in my house


To me which scenario it was does not matter, she meant to upset the toddler , that means the toddler (and any much younger child) is not safe around her. This is not someone I'd want to take responsibility for,  and if I had a child in that troop and this girl joined, my kid would be in a new troop.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: gramma dishes on May 26, 2013, 03:45:45 PM


If the bully truly wishes to become a GS, her mother can start a troop and recruit girls to join (like I did).  GSUSA is always looking for more troop leaders and she would be welcome with open arms.  She is not prevented from joining GS.

This is an excellent point.  There are often more than one troop of girls within the same age bracket in even fairly small communities.  I like this idea!!  That way no one could say that the girl is being left out of scouting, just that there wasn't room for her (at the time) in that one existing troop.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: gramma dishes on May 26, 2013, 03:57:59 PM
...   Would it be possible to call a meeting of the other parents in the troop, explain the dilemma, and get an idea of how they feel you should proceed?  I also like the idea of a meeting between the girl's parents, her principal, and a neutral person before you let her in the troop.  ...

Um ... I don't think the other parents should be brought into this AT ALL.  That comes scarily close to spreading gossip about this one child and allowing outsiders to be involved in a decision that isn't theirs to make. 

Even the suggestion for a meeting between the girl's parents and principal and a "neutral" person (whatever that might be in this case) would be in all likelihood against the law.  The GS troop is not directly associated with the school or any school function and I can't imagine that anyone from the school (principal, teacher, school psychologist, etc.) would be legally permitted to participate in such a meeting even if they wanted to. 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: guihong on May 26, 2013, 04:30:57 PM
...   Would it be possible to call a meeting of the other parents in the troop, explain the dilemma, and get an idea of how they feel you should proceed?  I also like the idea of a meeting between the girl's parents, her principal, and a neutral person before you let her in the troop.  ...

Um ... I don't think the other parents should be brought into this AT ALL.  That comes scarily close to spreading gossip about this one child and allowing outsiders to be involved in a decision that isn't theirs to make. 

Even the suggestion for a meeting between the girl's parents and principal and a "neutral" person (whatever that might be in this case) would be in all likelihood against the law.  The GS troop is not directly associated with the school or any school function and I can't imagine that anyone from the school (principal, teacher, school psychologist, etc.) would be legally permitted to participate in such a meeting even if they wanted to.

You're right.  Disregard-bad idea. 

I like the idea of Mom making a troop more and more, if she had the follow-through.  It's still troubling though, how little support the troop leaders seem to get from council.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 26, 2013, 05:53:28 PM
To me which scenario it was does not matter, she meant to upset the toddler , that means the toddler (and any much younger child) is not safe around her. This is not someone I'd want to take responsibility for,  and if I had a child in that troop and this girl joined, my kid would be in a new troop.

Ditto.

OT: In the US, are scout troops formed of children only from the same school and kept relatively small in number? Here in Australia, most suburbs have a designated scout den and children from anywhere are welcome to join. Most troops I know have between 20-30 kids in them. At one stage, my local group had to offer a second night as they had about 40 children on the books. I've never heard of anyone (here) holding a scout meeting in their own home.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 26, 2013, 06:41:11 PM
To me which scenario it was does not matter, she meant to upset the toddler , that means the toddler (and any much younger child) is not safe around her. This is not someone I'd want to take responsibility for,  and if I had a child in that troop and this girl joined, my kid would be in a new troop.

Ditto.

OT: In the US, are scout troops formed of children only from the same school and kept relatively small in number? Here in Australia, most suburbs have a designated scout den and children from anywhere are welcome to join. Most troops I know have between 20-30 kids in them. At one stage, my local group had to offer a second night as they had about 40 children on the books. I've never heard of anyone (here) holding a scout meeting in their own home.

Depends on where you live.  When I was a girl, our troop was made up of the girls from my grade at my school, and we met at after school in the gym.  My daisy troop now is made up girls from several different schools and we meet at a church on Saturday mornings. 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: dietcokeofevil on May 26, 2013, 07:13:44 PM
To me which scenario it was does not matter, she meant to upset the toddler , that means the toddler (and any much younger child) is not safe around her. This is not someone I'd want to take responsibility for,  and if I had a child in that troop and this girl joined, my kid would be in a new troop.

Ditto.

OT: In the US, are scout troops formed of children only from the same school and kept relatively small in number? Here in Australia, most suburbs have a designated scout den and children from anywhere are welcome to join. Most troops I know have between 20-30 kids in them. At one stage, my local group had to offer a second night as they had about 40 children on the books. I've never heard of anyone (here) holding a scout meeting in their own home.

Depends on where you live.  When I was a girl, our troop was made up of the girls from my grade at my school, and we met at after school in the gym.  My daisy troop now is made up girls from several different schools and we meet at a church on Saturday mornings.

My troop started off as 1st grade daisies with 7 girls, went up to 16 Brownies by 3rd grade, had 11 girls in 5th grade Juniors, and I have 9 girls bridging to cadettes.  Of those 9, 2 of them joined this year.    The only troops I know that hold meetings at the schools are for private schools.  The public schools require a payment of $10/girl (for insurance purposes).  However there's lots of public facilities that we can get for free.  I think it would be very difficult to have a meaningful discussion with 40 girls...that's more kids than would be in their classroom.  When we had 16 girls, it would sometimes be difficult to get all the girls through their badge requirements in the meeting time.

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: dietcokeofevil on May 26, 2013, 07:21:08 PM
My troop is currently 5th grade Juniors, but we will be bridging to Cadettes next week.  There was another troop of 5th grade girls from our elementary school, that is disbanding since the leaders daughters do not want to continue.   My co-leader and I discussed offering the other girls in that troop the chance to join ours if they wished to continue, but ultimately decided against it because one of the girls was a bully.   Several girls within my troop had run-ins with the girl throughout 1-4th grade.  I know the girl and I know her mother, and while I had never had any issues with that girl myself, I did not feel it was fair to my existing scouts.

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Coruscation on May 26, 2013, 07:52:53 PM
  I think it would be very difficult to have a meaningful discussion with 40 girls...that's more kids than would be in their classroom.  When we had 16 girls, it would sometimes be difficult to get all the girls through their badge requirements in the meeting time.

Thread jack:

Scouts Australia is co-educational and a minimum of two leaders are required at all meetings. The recommended leader to child ratio varies depending on the activity and the age of the child (I lead Scouts not Cubs so I don't know what it is for Cubs) but there would probably be four or five for that many children. My husband and I are co-leaders so we often break up our group of eighteen into the three patrols and rotate the patrols through the lessons over three weeks. Even if they are all doing the same activity, they are divided into three.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: dietcokeofevil on May 26, 2013, 08:09:35 PM
  I think it would be very difficult to have a meaningful discussion with 40 girls...that's more kids than would be in their classroom.  When we had 16 girls, it would sometimes be difficult to get all the girls through their badge requirements in the meeting time.

Thread jack:

Scouts Australia is co-educational and a minimum of two leaders are required at all meetings. The recommended leader to child ratio varies depending on the activity and the age of the child (I lead Scouts not Cubs so I don't know what it is for Cubs) but there would probably be four or five for that many children. My husband and I are co-leaders so we often break up our group of eighteen into the three patrols and rotate the patrols through the lessons over three weeks. Even if they are all doing the same activity, they are divided into three.

In the US you wouldn't be able to lead with your spouse.  It has to be two unrelated adults.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 26, 2013, 08:20:57 PM
It sounds like Australia is run similar to Boy Scouts.  In the US, it's girls only and it is rare to have a multi age/multi grade troop.  I do know a few leaders who have done it and it is run similar to how you described.

For the majority, it is one grade per troop.  Troops are formed based on geographical boundaries (usually within a school district) that are part of a larger Service Unit that is part of a larger council.  We have girls from only one school because my tiny town only has one school per group.  (One Elementary k-3, one intermediate 4-6, one junior high 7-9, and one high school 10-12.). Our SU actually encompasses all of the small towns (like ours) and a small part of the bigger city close by.  I currently have the only 4th grade Junior troop in town.  But, I know there are enough other girls interested to form a second troop for our grade level, the problem is NONE of those parents are willing to become a troop leader.  That's part of the problem.  They want the benefits of scouts for their child, but they are unwilling to do the work.  Leading a troop is work.  I work full-time outside the home, my daughter is in other activities and ye, I manage to lead a troop too.

A PP is correct, leader and co-leader MUST be unrelated adults.  So, you must have two unrelated adults to run a troop...for the girls safety.  And all adults involved must go thru a complete background check every two years.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 26, 2013, 08:24:50 PM
I think it's preposterous that no one can ever be kicked out of Scouts for any reason.  True, it's the very last step, but there must be some guarantee of safety for the other girls (as much as possible).  I just fear that without support from the council or whoever oversees the troops, and no support from the girl's parents, that you're in for a long slog, a mass exodus from your troop, or something disastrous happening.

In a similar situation, our solution was relatively simple.

We did not kick her out.  The group broke up and a new group was formed immediately after that just happened to have the same leaders and members minus this one particular spoiled bully.  Pure coincidence.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: AngelBarchild on May 26, 2013, 09:43:44 PM
I'm a little late to the party but I feel I need to make a couple of points.

To everyone saying that it's not a scout leader's responsibility to help this child, this is simply not true. It is exactly what a scout leader is supposed to do. The Girl scout mission statement "Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place." http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/facts/  It's not about selling cookies, playing games, or socializing, it's about teaching little girls, so they grow up to be good people. This is not a birthday party where you only have to invite the kids you like, it is an organization designed to teach. Heck one of it's guiding principals is inclusiveness. If anything this girl needs scouts more than the others.

You can wring the rules this way and that, but in doing so you are subverting the very purpose of Scouting.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Rohanna on May 26, 2013, 09:53:03 PM
Seeing adults so willing to throw a 7 year old away as lost or unsaveable makes my heart ache for the weird, angry little kid I was too.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: kareng57 on May 26, 2013, 09:59:57 PM
I was very unpopular as a child- I grew up socially isolated with a mentally abusive parent. I was "weird", dressed strangely, and didnt' know how to interact with other kids well. Kids didn't like me, made up excuses to adults about things I'd done (most of them untrue) to get me into trouble so they wouldn't have to hang out with me.

I am SO grateful that I was able to join an organization that didn't discriminate about who they let in (the school insisted and my one parent put their foot down that I was allowed to join to the other- a rare and bright event in my childhood).

It was the making of me, to be honest- having other female adults to guide me on grooming, getting to sleep over on camp-outs, being coached on proper behaviour- finally eventually making friends again (something I hadn't done since I was a small child, before mental illness intruded on my family) - it was fantastic.

Seeing adults so willing to throw a 7 year old away as lost or unsaveable makes my heart ache for the weird, angry little kid I was too.


I too agree. I didn't have daughters, but my late Dh and my two sons were heavily involved in Scouts.

My Dh felt very rewarded when kids who were considered very marginal blossomed after their involvement.  Of course he was not a miracle-worker, and some marginal boys ended up leaving after a short time.  But for the ones that no one gave up on - it was incredible.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: lemonfloorwax on May 26, 2013, 10:00:13 PM
I'm a little late to the party but I feel I need to make a couple of points.

To everyone saying that it's not a scout leader's responsibility to help this child, this is simply not true. It is exactly what a scout leader is supposed to do. The Girl scout mission statement "Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place." http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/facts/  It's not about selling cookies, playing games, or socializing, it's about teaching little girls, so they grow up to be good people. This is not a birthday party where you only have to invite the kids you like, it is an organization designed to teach. Heck one of it's guiding principals is inclusiveness. If anything this girl needs scouts more than the others.

You can wring the rules this way and that, but in doing so you are subverting the very purpose of Scouting.

I absolutely agree. I have a few girls in my troop who are "difficult". I have been very tempted at times to split up my troop and tell the difficult girls to start their own troop. But that isn't a good solution. I can't pick and choose who is in my troop and let it ONLY be my daughter and her friends.

One option is to tell the mother you are sorry, your troop is full. Offer to have your Service Unit Director talk to her about starting a new troop. I don't know about where you live, but we ALWAYS get new girls in the Fall, pretty much for every grade level. I would tell the mom that there will most likely be new girls who are interested in joining in the Fall and she can either A) start her own troop then or B) ask another interested new parent to be a leader and she can have her daughter join that troop. Most of our younger levels (K, 1, 2, 3) have 2 troops. In larger Units, you might have several. If the mother is unhappy, have your SUD refer her to your local Council. They might be able to place her in a nearby troop. It depends on the exact rules. Our Council is pretty flexible because of the area where we live (lots of suburbs smooshed together), so I have girls from 4 different towns and 5 different schools in my troop.

If you do decide to have her join your troop, DO NOT involve the other parents (except for your co-leader). I would be furious if I found out other parents were meeting behind my back to discuss if my child was "appropriate" for their group. Decide over the summer how you want to handle discipline. I said before, I had all my parents and girls sign a behavior contract that spelled out exactly what the rules and consequences were. Girl Scouts is more than crafts and singing and games; it is a way to prepare girls for the future.

Again, talk to your SUD and/or Council representative. Their job is to help you!
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Firecat on May 26, 2013, 10:02:48 PM
I was never in Girl Scouts, so don't have the background knowledge to comment on the rules specific to scouting. But I was bullied as a child and young teen. If I had found a group that was a "safe" place for me, and the adults in charge knew about the bullying, but allowed one of the children who was bullying me to join, I'd have been extremely upset. I'd likely have quit the group, and would never have fully trusted those adults again.

Rightly or wrongly, I'd have seen it as the adults either not believing me about the bullying after all, or them deciding that the bully was more important than I was. I see posters saying that the bully needs the help, etc., etc. But I still see allowing her to join as penalizing the other girls. Because either they'll have to put up with mean behavior that they didn't have to before in the group, or the adults will be spending so much time monitoring behavior that there won't be much time for anything else. Either way, it's still allowing one child to dominate an activity that isn't all about her. Further, I agree with the posters saying that, without support from the girl's parents, it's highly questionable that a troop leader is going to be all that effective in changing the girl's behavior.

I think there is a distinction between excluding someone due to that person's own behavior (shutting a toddler in the shower and laughing when the toddler became upset), and excluding someone as a mean girl power play. That doesn't mean I think the girl should be forever shunned...maybe in six months or a year it might make sense to re-evaluate.

This is one of those situations where I don't know if there is one right answer; I think it's only possible to consider the options and the possible consequences of any choice, and do the best you can.

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 26, 2013, 10:10:22 PM
I'm a little late to the party but I feel I need to make a couple of points.

To everyone saying that it's not a scout leader's responsibility to help this child, this is simply not true. It is exactly what a scout leader is supposed to do. The Girl scout mission statement "Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place." http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/facts/  It's not about selling cookies, playing games, or socializing, it's about teaching little girls, so they grow up to be good people. This is not a birthday party where you only have to invite the kids you like, it is an organization designed to teach. Heck one of it's guiding principals is inclusiveness. If anything this girl needs scouts more than the others.

You can wring the rules this way and that, but in doing so you are subverting the very purpose of Scouting.

As I've stated GSUSA talks a good talk and has a noble purpose on paper.  But in reality, they offer little to no support to the VOLUNTEERS who work for the organization.  The training offered is poor and rarely helpful to new leaders.  They push cookies sales on the troop and try to incent the girls to sell more and more.  in reality less than 12% goes to the girls selling the cookies and is basically a legal pyramid scheme.

In the past few years, they changed the programming and it costs more and more to purchase the program materials for your troop.  If you follow the guidelines in those program materials, your girls HATE it.  I spend HOURS every week working on troop business, even in a mostly girl run troop. The LAST thing I want to do is spend all my energy dealing with someone else's behavior problem or become an unpaid baby sitter.

Scouts is successful when run by strong leaders who are willing to do what is right for the girls in their troop.  Sometimes that means making hard decisions after weighing the pros and cons and knowing your own limits as a troop leader.  If my girls or their parents are unhappy, they can contact our SU and ask to transfer to another troop...or they could leave and start a troop of their own.  People can "vote" with their feet.

I may be a rogue troop leader and many purists will disagree with how my troop is managed, but I will say I've been successful.  My proof that my method works is in my girls.  They are amazing and make me proud every day.  I've watched the bloom from shy Kindergardeners to vivacious 4th graders in leadership positions at both school and in their other activities.  They will earn their bronze award next year.  And, so far, every girl plans to go for gold.  I know many leaders who strictly followed Girl Scout rules, accept every girl, and follow the program materials to the letter.  Their troops have disbanded and their girls do not have positive things to say about their scouting experience.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 26, 2013, 10:59:37 PM
I was very unpopular as a child- I grew up socially isolated with a mentally abusive parent. I was "weird", dressed strangely, and didnt' know how to interact with other kids well. Kids didn't like me, made up excuses to adults about things I'd done (most of them untrue) to get me into trouble so they wouldn't have to hang out with me.

I am SO grateful that I was able to join an organization that didn't discriminate about who they let in (the school insisted and my one parent put their foot down that I was allowed to join to the other- a rare and bright event in my childhood).

It was the making of me, to be honest- having other female adults to guide me on grooming, getting to sleep over on camp-outs, being coached on proper behaviour- finally eventually making friends again (something I hadn't done since I was a small child, before mental illness intruded on my family) - it was fantastic.

Seeing adults so willing to throw a 7 year old away as lost or unsaveable makes my heart ache for the weird, angry little kid I was too.

I'm very sorry this happened to you and am glad that scouts was a positive influence in your life.  It sounds to me like you were the being bullied, or at least ostracised to an extent, not the one doing the bullying.

I think this is vastly different to the girl in the OP who is a known bully.  For a troop member who is being bullied at school by the girl, maybe scouts is the one place she can go to get away from her, so to let a known bully into the troop would take away the victim's safe haven, which is why I agree with this below (bolding mine):

I see posters saying that the bully needs the help, etc., etc. But I still see allowing her to join as penalizing the other girls. Because either they'll have to put up with mean behavior that they didn't have to before in the group, or the adults will be spending so much time monitoring behavior that there won't be much time for anything else. Either way, it's still allowing one child to dominate an activity that isn't all about her. Further, I agree with the posters saying that, without support from the girl's parents, it's highly questionable that a troop leader is going to be all that effective in changing the girl's behavior.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: EMuir on May 26, 2013, 11:29:04 PM
As someone who was often bullied, I would say do not let the bully in, even if it means you let nobody else in.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 26, 2013, 11:34:33 PM
Seeing adults so willing to throw a 7 year old away as lost or unsaveable makes my heart ache for the weird, angry little kid I was too.

There's a big difference between turning down a girl for a specific extracurricular activity and calling her "lost" or "unsaveable."  It's entirely possible this girl will make huge progress over the next few years and become friends with everyone in her grade - but she's not there yet, and it's not fair to the girls already in the troop to force them to pretend she's already fine just because the adults want to avoid confrontation.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: AngelBarchild on May 27, 2013, 05:34:10 AM
It doesn't make any sense to not take a little girl (let's remember she's 7) who needs help, into a program designed to make girls into better people, and only let in the girls that don't need the help as much. The OP spelled out the rules in the first post, if she wants to change them from first on the list to, people we like better, then get rid of the list, and tell everyone involved that she's being selective in who gets into this girl scout troop. Be very clear on the admittance police. Don't leave the first grader waiting for something that is never going to happen. That's just cruel. Oh and for goodness sake don't lie and say you have no room and then let someone else in. That's a disaster waiting to happen.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on May 27, 2013, 05:46:22 AM
It doesn't make any sense to not take a little girl (let's remember she's 7) who needs help, into a program designed to make girls into better people, and only let in the girls that don't need the help as much. The OP spelled out the rules in the first post, if she wants to change them from first on the list to, people we like better, then get rid of the list, and tell everyone involved that she's being selective in who gets into this girl scout troop. Be very clear on the admittance police. Don't leave the first grader waiting for something that is never going to happen. That's just cruel. Oh and for goodness sake don't lie and say you have no room and then let someone else in. That's a disaster waiting to happen.

This.

Most of what has been said about this girl is rumour and may not even be true.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: bonyk on May 27, 2013, 06:24:15 AM
I'm also a bit surprised that the teacher called the girl 'mean'.  That's a huge no-no.  As a special ed teacher, I've worked with students who have been classified as emotional disturbed.  Yes, they were definitely on the extreme side of mean. 

But I would never, ever, ever tell another parent or student that.  If I certify the student as mean, the other students/parents will start being hyper-sensitive about everything that occurs, and even make things up.  I've seen it happen where the other kids will gang-up on the 'mean' student and start reporting things that don't happen.

IDK if the OP should let the girl in or not, or if the girl truly is a bully or not, but if everybody is treating this girl like she's mean, she's going to need some serious guidance to get past this.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Kimberami on May 27, 2013, 07:04:21 AM
I think the title of the thread says it all.  Does your troop need drama?  Is it fair to disrupt the happiness of a group of children for one child?   I believe that this is one of those times that mean girl will have to reap what she's sown.  Will MG's mom know if you've brought other girls into the group?  Does she have to know? 
It isn't your (or any girl scout volunteer's) job to "fix" someone.  You have no remedies if she joins your group and shows her behind.  Do you want your group held hostage to her attitude?  I vote have fun.  Let Scouts be something that you and your troop can enjoy.  Avoid the drama. 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: *inviteseller on May 27, 2013, 09:15:51 AM
Ok, the girl did a naughty thing once at OP's house.  How did she react when she was called out on it?  Has anyone ever really tried talking to this girl or is everyone just shunning her?  I was the weird kid without a lot of friends (not a mean girl, just considered different as my mom had died and was being raised by my dad..this was early 70's).  My dad put me in Girl Scouts and I was in a troop of peers from school who were obviously not happy with an outsider in the group (sorry magiccat26, it was a lot like the group you lead which is cliquey IMO).  I was never accepted, always left by myself and the leaders never took the time to help this shy, awkward girl (I was 9) and I hated it.  All it would have taken was one adult to look past my awkwardness and see that I just wanted to be a part of the group (I was top cookie seller and never got the award for it).  If, because this girl did one naughty thing (she's 7, not known for their brains at that age) and because teachers are already spreading the word about this girl (instead of working with her and her mom) you don't want her in, fine but know her and her mom will see the other girls let in and wonder why because it doesn't look like, at this point, anyone has taken the time to work with the family to recognize and help change the child's behavior.  Maybe mom is completely unaware because she only acts up outside of the house.  She is 7, she has some bad habits and if schools and social groups just say she is a lost cause, well, that is just sad.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: LadyL on May 27, 2013, 09:51:23 AM
I get that you can't kick her out if you let her in, but as others have suggested, can you have a probationary period?

I was something of a mean girl in grammar school. It had to do with my parents getting divorced and the fact that I myself had been bullied and abused by a girl I was friends with. I stopped being friends with her once she escalated to physical violence, and rejoined my old friend group. However we then proceeded to pick on the abusive girl. If you had only seen us picking on her you would have thought we were very mean (we made up taunting songs about her family - nasty stuff I still regret). But we were kids and I didn't know what to do with my anger and confusion about our abusive friendship.

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 27, 2013, 10:32:20 AM
I take offence at being accused of having a "clique". My girls are very welcoming and helpful.  We have added new girls as others have moved out and my girls always welcome them.  Within the troop there are friendships that are stronger than others and we do have two girls who are quite socially awkward.  They are treated no differently and any of my girls are happy to pair up with them.  As far as I can tell, talking to my parents and listening to the girls, everyone feels good after a meeting and no one feels bullied/excluded.

My rules for adding to my troop are simple.
-No more than 10 girls.  That is the max that I can handle comfortably.
-No known bullies.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on May 27, 2013, 10:52:52 AM
You don't know she is a bully.

As so often happens, I agree with *inviteseller.

I also agree with bonyk - that teacher was way out of line.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Firecat on May 27, 2013, 11:00:56 AM
Ok, the girl did a naughty thing once at OP's house.  How did she react when she was called out on it?  Has anyone ever really tried talking to this girl or is everyone just shunning her?  I was the weird kid without a lot of friends (not a mean girl, just considered different as my mom had died and was being raised by my dad..this was early 70's).  My dad put me in Girl Scouts and I was in a troop of peers from school who were obviously not happy with an outsider in the group (sorry magiccat26, it was a lot like the group you lead which is cliquey IMO).  I was never accepted, always left by myself and the leaders never took the time to help this shy, awkward girl (I was 9) and I hated it.  All it would have taken was one adult to look past my awkwardness and see that I just wanted to be a part of the group (I was top cookie seller and never got the award for it).  If, because this girl did one naughty thing (she's 7, not known for their brains at that age) and because teachers are already spreading the word about this girl (instead of working with her and her mom) you don't want her in, fine but know her and her mom will see the other girls let in and wonder why because it doesn't look like, at this point, anyone has taken the time to work with the family to recognize and help change the child's behavior.  Maybe mom is completely unaware because she only acts up outside of the house.  She is 7, she has some bad habits and if schools and social groups just say she is a lost cause, well, that is just sad.

I think that what the girl did at the OP's house goes well beyond "naughty" and straight on into "mean." Awkward is one thing (I was somewhat that way myself, and suffered for it plenty) - but tormenting a toddler was not something I would have done. Yes, this girl will feel rejected if not allowed to join, and I do feel bad for her. But I'd feel a lot worse for the other girls who would have just gone from "safe space" to "potential victimhood" again if the girl is allowed to join.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: NyaChan on May 27, 2013, 11:39:34 AM
Ok, the girl did a naughty thing once at OP's house.  How did she react when she was called out on it?  Has anyone ever really tried talking to this girl or is everyone just shunning her?  I was the weird kid without a lot of friends (not a mean girl, just considered different as my mom had died and was being raised by my dad..this was early 70's).  My dad put me in Girl Scouts and I was in a troop of peers from school who were obviously not happy with an outsider in the group (sorry magiccat26, it was a lot like the group you lead which is cliquey IMO).  I was never accepted, always left by myself and the leaders never took the time to help this shy, awkward girl (I was 9) and I hated it.  All it would have taken was one adult to look past my awkwardness and see that I just wanted to be a part of the group (I was top cookie seller and never got the award for it).  If, because this girl did one naughty thing (she's 7, not known for their brains at that age) and because teachers are already spreading the word about this girl (instead of working with her and her mom) you don't want her in, fine but know her and her mom will see the other girls let in and wonder why because it doesn't look like, at this point, anyone has taken the time to work with the family to recognize and help change the child's behavior.  Maybe mom is completely unaware because she only acts up outside of the house.  She is 7, she has some bad habits and if schools and social groups just say she is a lost cause, well, that is just sad.

I think that what the girl did at the OP's house goes well beyond "naughty" and straight on into "mean." Awkward is one thing (I was somewhat that way myself, and suffered for it plenty) - but tormenting a toddler was not something I would have done. Yes, this girl will feel rejected if not allowed to join, and I do feel bad for her. But I'd feel a lot worse for the other girls who would have just gone from "safe space" to "potential victimhood" again if the girl is allowed to join.

*inviteseller, I had a similar experience in girl scouts.  My mom finally said enough when they changed the meeting location for our amusement park trip from the school to the troop leader's home.  No one told me.  I showed up to an empty school and a confused receptionist.  Turns out the troop leader's daughter who had been put in charge of permission slips "forgot" to pass mine along and the troop leader never bothered to check.  I don't think the troop even noticed when I left the group.  As for the shower thing - I wish OP would clarify as to how this happened.  I remember my cousin and I making her little brother cry when we were kids - we'd run away knowing he couldn't run fast enough to keep up and then he'd start crying because he'd get left behind on the stairs.  We'd also build roller coasters on the stairs and send him down first so we could see if it was safe.  Yeah, it was mean and more dangerous than sticking him in the shower.  I don't think it said anything about me as a human being that I did something mean when I was a kid and still learning. 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: *inviteseller on May 27, 2013, 11:49:33 AM
The thing that is kind of sticking out is people keep saying that the other girls will not feel safe.  This is a small group run by at least 2 adults who should be able to control the environment with these 6-7 year olds.   I coached for soccer for numerous years starting when they were 6 up to when they were 12. We had some girls on the team I would have preferred weren't because they were SS's or mean.  The coaches 2-3 of us kept an eye on the problem ones to make sure they were not acting up and treated all the girls as equals and gave out discipline (sitting out for a time during practice or a game) equally.  We didn't want to be accused of playing favorites so no matter the personality they were all treated the same.  The only issue that ever came up with a mean girl was because of mean girls dad and we quickly took care of that.

As far as what the little girl did...yes it was wrong.  But how did she act when corrected?  Is she used to being around toddlers?  Again, at 7, kids don't typically think before they do.  That is what the adults in her life are around for, to guide her into correct behavior.  It already sounds like mom is clueless, and the teacher has judged her and gave up, so what is left?
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Docslady21 on May 27, 2013, 12:05:56 PM
I'm a leader and I would take her. Our troop is multi-level and has 22 girls and 4 leaders. There's no way I would exclude a child who needed help. When I chose to volunteer, a part of my desire was to actually help children--not just have a troop of perfect girls and perfect parents. And you can tell her to leave. It doesn't matter if the council won't help you. Most parents don't have any clue about the rules and will take your word when you tell them their child cannot come back.

Why don't you consider this: What if she had special needs? What if she had Asperger's, was in a wheel chair, or had some other developmental issue that cause her involvement to be more difficult? It would certainly affect the girls if you had to remove hiking because the girl in the wheelchair couldn't be included or had disruptions because the girl had issues interacting because of Asperger's. Would you exclude those children? Girl Scouts is inclusive for a reason. And part of that inclusiveness is about teaching the other girls how to grow and meet challenges, including when they do not get along with others.

With such a small girl to leader ratio, I just can't understand how this can't be managed.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: citadelle on May 27, 2013, 12:11:55 PM
I'm a leader and I would take her. Our troop is multi-level and has 22 girls and 4 leaders. There's no way I would exclude a child who needed help. When I chose to volunteer, a part of my desire was to actually help children--not just have a troop of perfect girls and perfect parents. And you can tell her to leave. It doesn't matter if the council won't help you. Most parents don't have any clue about the rules and will take your word when you tell them their child cannot come back.

Why don't you consider this: What if she had special needs? What if she had Asperger's, was in a wheel chair, or had some other developmental issue that cause her involvement to be more difficult? It would certainly affect the girls if you had to remove hiking because the girl in the wheelchair couldn't be included or had disruptions because the girl had issues interacting because of Asperger's. Would you exclude those children? Girl Scouts is inclusive for a reason. And part of that inclusiveness is about teaching the other girls how to grow and meet challenges, including when they do not get along with others.

With such a small girl to leader ratio, I just can't understand how this can't be managed.

POD
Thank you, Docslady21
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on May 27, 2013, 12:19:08 PM
As someone who had to deal with a "mean girl" in my GS troop, I would say don't let her in.

My mom ran a GS troop with 1-2 other moms. There was a girl who was going through some serious issues at the time (parent being ill, among other issues). We all felt sorry for her a little, but it's hard to feel sorry for someone who intimidates you and makes GS not fun. The girl in my experience made running the troop more difficult for my mom with her acting up and saying rude things to the other girls. As an example, she called me stupid when this glittery goop she made me hold was dripping out of my hands, and she called certain girls in our troop really vile names that I can't repeat on this board. Like the girl OP talks about, she wasn't pure evil or anything close. But dealing with a personality like that for at least 1-2x a week is draining on both scouts and leaders.

If this girl is truly not nice, it's not the OP's responsibility to take her on with the idea that she'll help her learn how to behave and make friends. I agree with the other people who suggest the mom of the girl form her own troop if she feels so inclined.

With all deference to Docslady21, since she has actually led a troop, not being nice is not the same thing to me as having a medical condition which requires a wheelchair, or a condition like Asperger's. Those are conditions which a girl is born with and has to work around; the girl could have refrained from shutting a toddler in a shower.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Hillia on May 27, 2013, 12:20:31 PM
What if you took her on the condition that her mom attend all events and assist with monitoring her behavior?  Not as an official co-leader, but as another set of eyes to see problems and nip them in the bud quickly. 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: dietcokeofevil on May 27, 2013, 02:01:46 PM
A girl does not need to be in a troop to be a girl scout.  Troops are only a small part of scouting.  I'm assuming most service units are like ours.  Our SU  has 6 or 7 events per year that every one can attend, and then each age level has their own event.    I pulled out my council program book and for this semester there were 99 programs available for Daisy girl scouts to attend.  In the summer, there is girl scout day camp every week.  There is also overnight camps, but you have to have finished 3rd grade before you can attend those.   There's a lot this girl can do without being in a troop.


Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: snowdragon on May 27, 2013, 02:12:41 PM


Why don't you consider this: What if she had special needs? What if she had Asperger's, was in a wheel chair, or had some other developmental issue that cause her involvement to be more difficult? It would certainly affect the girls if you had to remove hiking because the girl in the wheelchair couldn't be included or had disruptions because the girl had issues interacting because of Asperger's. Would you exclude those children? Girl Scouts is inclusive for a reason. And part of that inclusiveness is about teaching the other girls how to grow and meet challenges, including when they do not get along with others.



    I would not eliminate one activity because one person could not participate. Sorry, it's sad that some people are in wheelchairs but to tell the entire troop "sorry we can never go hiking because Nancy can't go" is not fair to the rest of the girls.  Inclusion should not mean that everyone else is denied parts of the experience. Would that mean if one girl has CP and can't handle a sewing needle or a crochet hook, the rest of the girls are denied those skills and badges?
      The child in question is a bully, she's proven that to the leader and the leader's own house when presumably there was a smaller child to adult ratio. So I have no doubt that the child could bully others at the meetings. 
       Why exactly is this child so  important that the other's experience should be compromised for her?
 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: jaxsue on May 27, 2013, 03:13:10 PM
My last word, since I can see where this is going. Bullying is ganging up on someone in a weaker position. If this girl is excluded at 7 years old, it is not she who is the bully.

I would advise her mom to "take it up he chain" until she got satisfaction.

Per the bolded: I disagree with this. There is a proverb: Even a child is known by his doings. Honestly, after reading about this girl shutting a toddler in a shower stall, I'm on the side of "do not invite."
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on May 27, 2013, 03:15:49 PM
Seven year olds do stupid things.

Judging her, and giving up on her, after a single proven incident make me feel very sad.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: jaxsue on May 27, 2013, 03:19:04 PM
My DS #2 was in Cub/Boy Scouts. It was a pretty positive experience, but it's very true that one child can make a big difference. I remember one boy whose behavior was terrible. What made it worse was that the parents weren't involved - at all. One of the rules of Scouting was that the family/parents participated. The boy's behavior became so bad (he was truly a bully) that he was put on probation, and his father had to stay with him during the meetings and campouts.

I believe that the boy quit Scouts after a few years. IIRC, everyone was greatly relieved.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Specky on May 27, 2013, 03:28:30 PM
Why are the wants of the bully girl more important than the needs of the others?  Maybe when, or if, she can pull herself together and show that she can be trusted, it may be possible.  I think the regard should be given to the girls who are already in the troop.  I think the teacher did a service by alerting/confirming that this girl is trouble and should be avoided.  Not your job to fix her at the expense of the other girls.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 27, 2013, 05:07:26 PM
OP, I think you have received lots of opinions and advice... with pros and cons for each decision.  You really are in a tough place and only you (and your coleader) can make the final decision.

Please know that regardless of what you decide, I would be interested in hearing how it works out.  If you do add her to your troop, I really hope you prove me wrong and it  is a positive experience for everyone.

I wish you the best.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: lemonfloorwax on May 27, 2013, 05:59:01 PM
Seven year olds do stupid things.

Judging her, and giving up on her, after a single proven incident make me feel very sad.

THIS. When I was 6-7ish, I put my younger cousin (4ish) down the laundry chute at Grandma's house. I knew I wouldn't fit but I wanted to see what would happen. (Duh, he came out the bottom.) He was quite excited at first, but ended up screaming on the way down and crying. (It was just from one floor to the middle of the next, where a big pile of laundry was...sort of a cabinet.)

I got in a heap of trouble for that. I also was pretty mouthy at seven, as my mother was dating a man (eventually became my step-father) and I really didn't like the situation. I spent many an afternoon clapping erasers after school or writing  "I will not..." 100X on paper.

I did not turn out to be a psychopath. I've never even been arrested. I'm sure at some point as children we have all been not the favorite of some adult: a teacher, a coach, a scout leader. Thank goodness all those people didn't turn their backs on us.

I stand by my suggestions to talk to your SUD and Council and consider a written behavior contract.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 27, 2013, 06:30:45 PM
Basically, it seems like you just have to make a decision -

What is more important, the potential hurt feelings of this one little girl, or the potential hurt feelings of the other girls in your troop?  Potentially providing the guidance this little girl is not getting from her parents, or damaging the safe space of the other girls in the troop?

I'm a fan of the tough love approach.  A child that is not nice to other children does not get to do activities with those other children.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 27, 2013, 06:59:35 PM
Basically, it seems like you just have to make a decision -

What is more important, the potential hurt feelings of this one little girl, or the potential hurt feelings of the other girls in your troop?  Potentially providing the guidance this little girl is not getting from her parents, or damaging the safe space of the other girls in the troop?

I'm a fan of the tough love approach. A child that is not nice to other children does not get to do activities with those other children.

Why are the wants of the bully girl more important than the needs of the others?  Maybe when, or if, she can pull herself together and show that she can be trusted, it may be possible.  I think the regard should be given to the girls who are already in the troop.  I think the teacher did a service by alerting/confirming that this girl is trouble and should be avoided.  Not your job to fix her at the expense of the other girls.

This is where I stand, especially the parts I bolded.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: *inviteseller on May 27, 2013, 07:05:04 PM
Why go into this automatically assuming there will be dissension ?  Who is to say that the other 2 girls will be a good fit?  I think it would be good for the other girls to learn not to just push someone away but try to befriend and work with them.  Any of those little girls, at any time, could develop into the drama queen or bully or any other type of child that no one likes to be around.  A BF of my older DD went from the sweetest girl in first grade to an out there SS by second grade.  Personalities are still developing at this time and what someone is at 7 is not necessarily what they will be at 8 or beyond.  Yes, there are some rotten kids out there but because other girls say they don't like her and one instance of stupidity and on the unfortunate words of a teacher, everyone wants to write this child off.  And I would love to know if anyone has ever spoken to the mom to find out if there are issues in the home or if the girl does have some issues that the family is working on. 
Not only would I welcome this girl into the group if I were the leader, but I would discuss with existing kids (not parents) about how to act towards others and hope that with acceptance this girl could shine.  I would also talk to the mom and say that she has to be there for meetings until everyone is comfortable.  If this girl would continue to act up, then I would ask the mom to remove the girl from the group until her behavior was under control.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: sammycat on May 27, 2013, 07:08:16 PM
Why don't you consider this: What if she had special needs? What if she had Asperger's, was in a wheel chair, or had some other developmental issue that cause her involvement to be more difficult? It would certainly affect the girls if you had to remove hiking because the girl in the wheelchair couldn't be included or had disruptions because the girl had issues interacting because of Asperger's. Would you exclude those children?

I don't think bullying and disabilities can even remotely be considered in the same context. One is a choice (to an extent) and the other is something no one has any control over.

My children's troop does actually have a child in a wheelchair. Some allowances are made for him, but not at the expense of the other children (ie. camps/hikes are scheduled as normal, but they find ways to include the child in the wheelchair). 

On the other hand, the badly behaved child they had at one stage, took up more time and attention than just about all other 25 kids combined. So many children left the group whilst she was in it, it wasn't funny. Once word got around that she was no longer involved, many of those families returned. No one has ever left due to the child in the wheelchair.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Sharnita on May 27, 2013, 07:16:38 PM
I am under the impression these girls still interact at school or under other circumstances, right?  So keeping her out of the troop doesn't mean they are free from her sphere of influence. Now, if she is in the troop and allowed a free reign of terror then she might make the girls more miserable.  If she is in the troop and boundaries are enforced she might be better not only in GS related interactions but at school, socially, etc. It might not benefit her alone, it could pay off in the long run for all of the girls.  There is no guarentee and it takes the investment of a lot of work and patience but it might be worth it.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Firecat on May 27, 2013, 07:34:36 PM
I am under the impression these girls still interact at school or under other circumstances, right?  So keeping her out of the troop doesn't mean they are free from her sphere of influence. Now, if she is in the troop and allowed a free reign of terror then she might make the girls more miserable.  If she is in the troop and boundaries are enforced she might be better not only in GS related interactions but at school, socially, etc. It might not benefit her alone, it could pay off in the long run for all of the girls.  There is no guarentee and it takes the investment of a lot of work and patience but it might be worth it.

And if it's not worth it? What if this girl, instead of getting better, just gets sneakier about tormenting others? Personally, I'd say either possibility is about an even chance, at this point. And adults, no matter how well-intentioned, can't be with the girls every minute - and bullying doesn't have to take a long period of time for any specific incident; a few seconds will do just fine. In my experience, kids can be a lot more aware of chances to seize these opportunities than most adults would ever expect.

In that scenario, the other girls would then not only have to deal with her at school, but in the troop, too, and the experience designed to build their confidence and skills becomes precisely the opposite. And at that age, lectures about how I should be "understanding" or trying to befriend this girl, would not have gone over well. At most, it would have convinced me that the adults didn't have a clue, and I'd have lost all trust and most of my respect for them.

I'm not advocating that this girl should be shut out and shunned forever, but that perhaps it might make sense to evaluate her behavior over a period of six months or a year...a probationary period might make sense, IF the OP and her co-leader are willing to make the commitment to observe very, very closely.

Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Wordgeek on May 27, 2013, 07:55:53 PM
The discussion seems to be getting ahead of itself, so it's closed temporarily to allow people to catch up with the reading. 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Green Bean on May 29, 2013, 08:20:41 PM
OP here. The below quite summarizes my feelings so much on the matter.

I am under the impression these girls still interact at school or under other circumstances, right?  So keeping her out of the troop doesn't mean they are free from her sphere of influence. Now, if she is in the troop and allowed a free reign of terror then she might make the girls more miserable.  If she is in the troop and boundaries are enforced she might be better not only in GS related interactions but at school, socially, etc. It might not benefit her alone, it could pay off in the long run for all of the girls.  There is no guarantee and it takes the investment of a lot of work and patience but it might be worth it.

My daughter and her friends will be in school with this girl for many years to come. If it ends up not being a positive experience, at least I will know I tried. If it works out, then even better!

I spoke with the both the mother and daughter to invite her into the troop. The mom really thought her daughter would benefit from being in a troop, but daughter didn't really understand what scouting was all about. I explained what we do at meetings, what outings we went on last year, and what we have planned over the summer. At the end, she said she really wanted to join.

My co-leader and I will be doing some serious planning over the summer to better structure our meetings and contingency plan for issues. As someone mentioned up thread, these girls are still young. I'm sure there will be drama of some sort from probably each of them. As leaders, we need to be prepared to handle it. (I feel so out of my element here. This parenting thing isn't easy, is it?)
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: NyaChan on May 29, 2013, 08:22:16 PM
Nice! I'm glad you have things settled.  Got my fingers crossed for you and the girls!
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: *inviteseller on May 29, 2013, 08:40:48 PM
OP, I am so glad you are going to give this girl a try.  I would also keep an eye on the other girls to make sure they don't get into retaliatory rudeness against this girl for past transgressions.  I hope you keep us posted and I wish you the nest of luck.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Peregrine on May 29, 2013, 09:24:28 PM
I didn't get a chance to post earlier....but thank you for including this little girl.

I was another weird kid....I did, and still do have a strong personality, and had very few friends in school.  My mom lead a 4-H club for 18 years, of which I was a member for 12 years.  Mom had another co-leader who helped out at times...but that club was my saving grace.  It gave me a chance to interact with kids in a different manner than I did in school.  I learned how to dial back on intensity and become a leader.  It stood me in excellent stead in college and my career.

You never know how kids are going to do in a given situation, and it sounds like you have a great plan to keep things very structured.  The more structured things are for your kiddos, the less opportunity there will be for mayhem.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Firecat on May 29, 2013, 09:56:21 PM
I'm still unconvinced that it's a good idea...but I wish you and all the girls in your troop the very best.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: AnnaJ on May 29, 2013, 10:59:10 PM
Thanks, OP, for doing this - I'm crossing my fingers this is a good experience for all involved  8)
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Bethalize on May 30, 2013, 05:52:24 AM
OP here. The below quite summarizes my feelings so much on the matter.

I am under the impression these girls still interact at school or under other circumstances, right?  So keeping her out of the troop doesn't mean they are free from her sphere of influence. Now, if she is in the troop and allowed a free reign of terror then she might make the girls more miserable.  If she is in the troop and boundaries are enforced she might be better not only in GS related interactions but at school, socially, etc. It might not benefit her alone, it could pay off in the long run for all of the girls.  There is no guarantee and it takes the investment of a lot of work and patience but it might be worth it.

My daughter and her friends will be in school with this girl for many years to come. If it ends up not being a positive experience, at least I will know I tried. If it works out, then even better!

I spoke with the both the mother and daughter to invite her into the troop. The mom really thought her daughter would benefit from being in a troop, but daughter didn't really understand what scouting was all about. I explained what we do at meetings, what outings we went on last year, and what we have planned over the summer. At the end, she said she really wanted to join.


Applause! I think it's wonderful that you have the willingness to spend your resources on this. It's a great gift to your community.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: SeptGurl on May 30, 2013, 08:11:23 AM
Another note of thanks for including the girl and giving her a chance. I hope all goes well for everyone involved.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Scuba_Dog on May 30, 2013, 09:49:43 AM
I've been following the thread but haven't posted yet.

OP, huge applause to you and the troop for including this young girl.  I hope so much that it will be a turning point in her life - she's only 7 after all and this is such a wonderful chance for her!

You did the right thing.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Roe on May 30, 2013, 09:56:49 AM
Good luck! I hope it works out. 
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: Lynn2000 on May 30, 2013, 11:35:34 AM
Just read the whole thread--whew! Lots of great advice, some of it contradictory, which always makes things interesting. OP, it sounds like you have made your decision and are going to give the girl a chance, but have plans in place to take action if she does cause problems.

That is the ideal scenario, IMO. Although I've never been involved in GS to me the whole point is to help girls be better people, even if they start out with some negative personality traits. In fact those are the girls who need guidance the most. Since you're starting a new year with new member(s), that might be a good time to overhaul the rules and the consequences for breaking the rules (up to and including kicking someone out of the troop), making them stricter since the girls are getting older and should be more in control of themselves and aware of others' feelings. Of course these rules and consequences would apply to everyone equally. It also seems to me like a good venue for discussing "bullying" and being "mean" and how people can stand up for themselves against that.

That is, as I said, my ideal situation. In reality, the thing that gives me pause is wondering just what kind of consequences you will be able to enforce. Not you personally, but in terms of what the larger organization's rules will even allow. Honestly, if my situation was such that I knew I couldn't discipline/remove a problem child once they were in the group, I would rather keep them out entirely. Because just letting them in isn't the part that's going to change anything. It's letting them in, and being able to teach them that their bad actions have consequences they don't like, and modeling the way they should behave instead. If you don't have the power to do that, letting her in is pointless, because she won't actually learn anything.

Since you've decided to let her in, I hope you and the co-leader can make firm plans about how the rules will be enforced, with punishments that will actually be meaningful to the girls. From the comments I've seen here I'm not entirely certain how you will be able to do that in the framework of the GS rules, but there are certainly a lot of details and nuances I don't know about, and I hope you're able to use those. I do think the girl deserves a chance, but only if you are truly able to punish any bad behavior that arises.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: lowspark on May 30, 2013, 12:10:30 PM
I just read the whole thread through. My opinion is that it really should be totally up to the leaders to decide to admit a girl into their troop. It's easy for us, sitting here reading the very limited details here on the internet to vote "take her" or "don't!" but ultimately, only the OP, who knows the girls in her troop and the girl in question, can decide if it's a good idea or not.

I was a Girl Scout leader for 10 years before I had kids so my motivation was completely the love of the GS program and the interest in working with girls. No daughter in the troop meant I went in thinking of all the girls the same. In all the training and documentation I received, it was never stated to me that I did not have the right to ask a girl to leave my troop. Maybe things have changed. I left the program 20 years ago (after giving birth to two boys!). But the very idea that the organization can prevent you from asking a girl to leave or dictate whom you can accept into you troop is perposterous.

What, exactly, will they do to you if you do? Leaders are volunteers. And when I say volunteers, what I mean is, not only do they not get paid, but it actually costs money in addition to a great deal of time to be a leader. Will GS take away your troop? Good luck finding another leader to take it over! I think this statement by the organization is nothing more than an empty threat.

When I was a leader, I did kick a girl out of my troop. We were on an out of town overnight trip and spent the day at an amusement park and I was giving the girls some final shopping time at the gift shop before leaving and this girl got caught shop lifting. Wow. It was a huge big deal. I won't go into all the details of it now but I had to deal with the management and security people at the park, the other parents who were on the trip, the other girls in the troop (who were incredulous since we were Girl Scouts!!!), the people who were hosting us (we were sleeping at the house of a relative of one of the girls) and the shoplifting girl's parents.

After all that, I told the parents that I could no longer take responsibility for having their daughter in my troop. Of course, my service unit manager found out about it but curiously, neither she, nor anyone else recpresenting the council ever said a single word to me about it. I did get trickles of talk from fellow leaders about what they were hearing council thought, but no one ever ever came and said anything to me about it. I was a leader for a few more years.

I know a lot of you will say I should have kept her in the troop for the very reason that this girl probably needed the scout program more than anyone. And yeah, that sounds very noble and altruistic. But until you're in the situation where you are actually having to take responsibility for a group of minors, it's not so easy to pass that judgement. It's not just about the girl herself. It's about what it takes for the volunteer leader to deal with her and how she affects the dynamics of the troop. It's just not a simple black & white question. There's a whole lot of gray.

Which is why I say, it has to be the leaders' decision. Because the leader is the one who will have to deal with all the ramifications of having the girl in the troop.

I don't know what I'd do in the OP's place because I don't know the little girl nor the entire story (which clearly can't all be posted here). But I do commend you for taking her in and wish you the best of luck.
Title: Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
Post by: magiccat26 on May 30, 2013, 12:25:39 PM
I just read the whole thread through. My opinion is that it really should be totally up to the leaders to decide to admit a girl into their troop. It's easy for us, sitting here reading the very limited details here on the internet to vote "take her" or "don't!" but ultimately, only the OP, who knows the girls in her troop and the girl in question, can decide if it's a good idea or not.

I was a Girl Scout leader for 10 years before I had kids so my motivation was completely the love of the GS program and the interest in working with girls. No daughter in the troop meant I went in thinking of all the girls the same. In all the training and documentation I received, it was never stated to me that I did not have the right to ask a girl to leave my troop. Maybe things have changed. I left the program 20 years ago (after giving birth to two boys!). But the very idea that the organization can prevent you from asking a girl to leave or dictate whom you can accept into you troop is perposterous.

What, exactly, will they do to you if you do? Leaders are volunteers. And when I say volunteers, what I mean is, not only do they not get paid, but it actually costs money in addition to a great deal of time to be a leader. Will GS take away your troop? Good luck finding another leader to take it over! I think this statement by the organization is nothing more than an empty threat.

When I was a leader, I did kick a girl out of my troop. We were on an out of town overnight trip and spent the day at an amusement park and I was giving the girls some final shopping time at the gift shop before leaving and this girl got caught shop lifting. Wow. It was a huge big deal. I won't go into all the details of it now but I had to deal with the management and security people at the park, the other parents who were on the trip, the other girls in the troop (who were incredulous since we were Girl Scouts!!!), the people who were hosting us (we were sleeping at the house of a relative of one of the girls) and the shoplifting girl's parents.

After all that, I told the parents that I could no longer take responsibility for having their daughter in my troop. Of course, my service unit manager found out about it but curiously, neither she, nor anyone else recpresenting the council ever said a single word to me about it. I did get trickles of talk from fellow leaders about what they were hearing council thought, but no one ever ever came and said anything to me about it. I was a leader for a few more years.

I know a lot of you will say I should have kept her in the troop for the very reason that this girl probably needed the scout program more than anyone. And yeah, that sounds very noble and altruistic. But until you're in the situation where you are actually having to take responsibility for a group of minors, it's not so easy to pass that judgement. It's not just about the girl herself. It's about what it takes for the volunteer leader to deal with her and how she affects the dynamics of the troop. It's just not a simple black & white question. There's a whole lot of gray.

Which is why I say, it has to be the leaders' decision. Because the leader is the one who will have to deal with all the ramifications of having the girl in the troop.

I don't know what I'd do in the OP's place because I don't know the little girl nor the entire story (which clearly can't all be posted here). But I do commend you for taking her in and wish you the best of luck.

Lowspark, you have articulated the point I was trying to make very well.  The bottom line is that being a GS Leader is hard work.  You give your time, energy, and financial support to a group of girls who you may or may not know well.  Each leader should know her limits and what she can or cannot handle, and build her troop accordingly.

I've been told I'm a mean person because I prefer a small troop and won't accept every child in my town into my troop.  I choose to ignore it.  My troop is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  I have a pathological liar (and her crazy mother), a girl obsessed with ninjas, another who likes to pretend to be a cat.  I have a child who is very literal and her twin who is obsessed with facts and will go on 10 minute monologues about topics that interest her (you cannot interrupt or she has to start ALL over again!).  I have both shy and outgoing girls.  My girls would not normally be friends outside of GS, but they all work well together. 

The only personality type I do NOT have is a bully.  We had one and lucky for us she moved away.  She was a cancer on the troop slowly eroding our harmony and it was draining on me and on the girls.  She started targeting the girls of our troop specifically at school and told them that they had to put up with her because it was the GS way.

For that reason, I am very careful when adding to my troop and all girls are screened (discreetly) before I will give them a spot in my troop.

I really do hope it works out for the OP and this girl turns over a new leaf and benefits from being involved.