Author Topic: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.  (Read 16580 times)

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Nikko-chan

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2013, 10:04:07 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!

sammycat

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2013, 10:34:33 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!  :)

citadelle

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2013, 10:51:09 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?

Darcy

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2013, 11:05:50 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.

Green Bean

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2013, 11:06:16 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.  :-\ 
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 11:12:57 PM by Green Bean »

LeveeWoman

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2013, 11:16:16 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.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 07:43:10 AM by LeveeWoman »

sammycat

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2013, 11:17:36 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.

sammycat

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2013, 11:21:20 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?

citadelle

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2013, 11:24:15 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.

magiccat26

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2013, 11:52:24 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.


« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 11:57:25 PM by magiccat26 »
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sammycat

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2013, 11:57:46 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.

citadelle

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2013, 12:04:27 AM »
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."

LeveeWoman

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2013, 12:13:55 AM »
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?

sammycat

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2013, 12:14:17 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:16:50 AM by sammycat »

magiccat26

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Re: Little girl drama and Girl Scouts.
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2013, 12:22:13 AM »
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.
“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” — Catherine Aird