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School-age girl mamas: what's your take on Girl Scouts?

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2014 at 7:20 AM
  • 30 Replies

My daughter is a Daisy, (about to graduate from Kindergarten). I enrolled her in Girl Scouts last summer to help boost her confidence and get her used to making friends before Kindergarten began, and I thought it was a great opportunity to expose her to many different interests, that we may not be able to afford to do otherwise. I was never in Girl Scouts and didn't really know what it's all about. We live in a tiny town and our troop ended up being VERY tiny, just 3 girls! Cookie season has passed and we didn't even make enough money for our troop to OPEN a bank account. Obviously the options to do things are VERY limited. We may as well just have play dates, it's less complicated. We just went to Tringo night at the camp last night and these girls were less than interested, they just wanted to go outside and run around. Looking forward to Daycamp this year though. :)
My question is, what is your experience with GS, and for someone like me, do you think it's worth enrolling her next year? She's having fun... just not as much fun as I had hoped. :\

by on Apr. 26, 2014 at 7:20 AM
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by Member on Apr. 26, 2014 at 7:25 AM
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That's a total bummer. I have no experience with GS but would've hoped for a better experience. You might look into Campfire Boys & Girls. Or maybe your troop can merge with a nearby one. Sorry mamma.
by Member on Apr. 26, 2014 at 1:46 PM
3 moms liked this

Living in a small town, especially in a VERY small town, can be a challenge with any type of youth organization. Your fund-raising pool is small, and your youth member pool is even smaller.

Is your VERY small town saturated with Girl Scouts already? Were you allowed to sell cookies at places outside of your town? Now that you have participated in the cookie program, you can apply to council to hold your own money earning project. Consider something that the girls can have fun doing. Is there a local church that will let you use their parking lot, and hose/water, to do a car wash?

Girl Scouts, as with any other group, is only as good as the leaders involved. If the leaders are energetic, creative, and willing to go outside of their comfort zone, the girls generally have a better/broader experience.

Also, a lot of the "flavor" of the Troop comes from the girls themselves. It is THEIR Troop after all.

My first/best suggestion is, if you want to improve the Scout experience for your daughter - volunteer!! It is not necessary that you have any previous experience in Scouting. Just a desire to help the girls grow, and have fun.

Your little Troop could also use some new members. Do you have any friends with girls your daughters age? Talk up Girl Scouts, and encourage them to sign up with your Troop. The girls can also help to recruit. Have them talk to their friends at school. If each girl can bring in one buddy, then you have a troop of six!

Stick with it, volunteer. Scouting is a GREAT program for kids (both GSUSA & BSA). 

by Chrissy on Apr. 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM
I had a blast in Girl Scouts as a kid. We have boys so no girls scouts for us. I have several friends whose daughters have been in Girl Scouts for years. It may be worth looking into merging with another troop. It really can be a lot of fun. Also there may be more girls in the older age groups.
by on Apr. 27, 2014 at 8:28 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree with nuts. GS can be a lot of fun, but great volunteers make a world of difference. I was a leader for seven years and we had a blast. The girls picked the activities/badges we worked on and they loved it.

Did your troop do the journey book? Those are too much like schoolwork IMO. We started one because gs was pushing them so hard, but quickly set it to the side. I'd skip those and let the girls pick badges or petals instead. The messier the better for our troop. :)

by on Apr. 27, 2014 at 9:33 AM
1 mom liked this

My own experience with Girl Scouts was pretty blah. My troop leader didn't like camping, and we never did any community service. We basically just got together and did crafts.  That's really all I remember anyway.  I would have benefitted as much just from well-organized play dates. I remember going to a day camp once, and that was fun I guess. Anyway, when I was a kid, GS was the "in" thing to do.  Every girl did it!  My daughter is 9 and she has never even mentioned it before.  I don't think any of her friends do it.  I'm happy with that, I'm not good at keeping up with extracurriculars anyway.  And she sells enough crap for school fundraisers, I really don't need to deal with cookie sales too!

by Member on Apr. 27, 2014 at 9:35 AM
I was in GS when I was little and really enjoyed it. I have thought about putting dd in it but haven't really gotten around to it.
by Member on Apr. 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I was a Blue Bird as a child (Campfire Girl equivelent of Brownies).  Several of my friends have kids who are in Brownies and they love it.  My daughter asked to do it and I asked what she wanted to give up to do so.  She takes gymnastics and acro; next year if shemakes dance team, she'll be taking 3 dance classes and having to drop gymnastics.  She chose not to do Girl Scouts because she didn't want to give up anything she already does.  From what I see with my friends, there's a ton of commitment.  They have 10 or so girls in their troop and meet weekly plus they march in parades, do different community service activities around town and go to different "fun" days like bowling, etc.  Between Jess's dance and gymanstics commitments and my high schooler's sport of the season commitment, girl scouts would have required too much from us.

by on Apr. 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM
I loved being a junior scout. Dd was a Brownie and her first troop was great! Arts n crafts, outdoor activities, field trips... then her leader moved up to Juniors with her daughter and it went downhill. Her new brownie troop only did outings at the mother house (nun retirement home) and thats it. I was so disappointed that she didnt want to continue with Junior scouts. That last year of brownies was a huge let down for both of us.
by Member on Apr. 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM
I was a daisy all the way through earning my gold award. I was even a counselor at 2 girl Scout camps.

The experience is all based on the girls and the leaders. My troop was in a small town, but we went on trips to NYC, Philadelphia, London and Paris because we had orders who cared.

The girls are still little so of course they'd rather be outside running and playing.

Try to recruit a few more girls for the fall. But a badge book if you haven't already and see what your daughter can do from it. Talk to the leaders and plan days to do badges. The more involved everyone is the more girls will want to join.
by Member on Apr. 27, 2014 at 10:04 AM

We had a crummy experience. My daughter was about 6. The Brownie mom in charge had a very aggressive dog that she let run all over the place in the yard. One of my friends (the one who talked me into putting my daughter into Brownies) knew my daughter found out that there was no Santa. She told the other moms, who asked her to call me and tell my my daughter NEVER to tell the other girls. It just ticked me off, and I thought , maybe there is someone else who knows, and if it comes out, my daughter will be blamed. I also didn't like the idea of people standing around talking about me and my daughter, and what are they going to do about this 'problem'. I took my daughter out, and she survived just fine without the Girl Scouts (she's 31). Why don't you just do the play date thing. You're right, it WILL be less complicated!

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