Author Topic: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.  (Read 16564 times)

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Roe

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #135 on: May 30, 2013, 10:56:49 AM »
Good luck! I hope it works out. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #136 on: May 30, 2013, 12:35:34 PM »
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.
~Lynn2000

lowspark

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #137 on: May 30, 2013, 01:10:30 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.

magiccat26

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #138 on: May 30, 2013, 01:25:39 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.
“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” — Catherine Aird