Why So Much Anger at the Girl Scouts?

by cv harquail on February 22, 2010

Ever since I poked the beehive back in August with my post about Walmart and Girl Scout cookies, my blog and I have been receiving angry comments from people who just hate the Girl Scouts. It’s one thing to be angry at Walmart, but the Girl Scouts? I don’t understand…

Why is there so much anger directed at the Girl Scouts?

All this anger directed at the Girl Scouts (and given an outlet by my series of posts on Thin Minty-gate) really upsets me. It upsets me so much that I can’t  bear to read the 250+ comments on the original post. It upsets me enough that when a new cookie comment comes in, I ignore it.

201002222015.jpgMaybe these comments upset me because I was once a Girl Scout, and I’ve also been an adult Girl Scout volunteer? But I know that this anger isn’t directed at me– it’s directed at the Girl Scouts as an organization. That’s the problem.

In which I try, valiantly, to understand why someone would be angry at the Girl Scouts

Some of this anger is very person-specific. Individuals have written about bad experiences they had as Scouts, or bad experiences they had with Scout leaders, or even anger about ordering cookies that were never delivered. Many (but not all) of this Girl Scout hating can be traced back to some unique experience of that particular person. Maybe it triggered that person’s childhood wounds. Maybe their anger reflects some kind of problem that isn’t really ‘about’ the Girl Scouts but instead is more about them as individuals.

What concerns me more is the anger that is directed at the Girl Scouts of the USA as an organization.

People seem to be angry at the Girl Scouts for having computer systems, clean well-lighted offices, campgrounds with plumbing that needs repair, or anything else that seems to cost money. I guess these people don’t understand that in order to do background checks on potential troop leaders, or to insure campers on overnight trips, there’s got to be some infrastructure back there somewhere.

People also seem to be angry that the Girl Scouts have real managers who earn actual salaries. They are angry that these managers are paid with money that the Girl Scouts raise through cookie sales at the local level and and other fund raising initiatives nationally. I guess these Girl Scout haters are angry that the Girl Scouts think that they deserve professional, full time administrators?

I just don’t understand what could possibly evoke all this anger towards the organization. Certainly, the Girl Scouts aren’t quite up to speed in terms of cutting edge management techniques or fund raising. Certainly, the Girls Scouts as an organization is not quite as good as Procter & Gamble, or Keebler, in branding and marketing its products. Certainly, the Girl Scouts have struggled, along with so many youth organizations, to stay relevant in today’s entertainment-oriented digitally focused kid culture. But none of these challenges that the Girl Scouts face should generate anger at them.

Maybe some of this animus will dissipate with the Girl Scouts’ Every Cookie Has A Mission campaign. Maybe some of this anger will dissipate as the Girl Scout organization unrolls its rebranding campaign. Then again, maybe some people would be less angry at the Girl Scouts if they were less distrustful of the claim that young girls need to learn leadership skills, and business skills, and contribute to their community.

Whatever the cause, this anger is hurting the Girl Scouts as an organization. This anger gets in the way of the Girls Scouts’ ability to pursue their mission. This anger hampers the Girl Scouts’ ability to connect with their larger community though fund-raising. And, it hampers the Girl Scouts’ ability to recruit volunteer leaders and to support the girls themselves.

201002222018.jpg

I suspect that most of this anger is misinformed, misguided and misplaced. But, I don’t really know what to do about it.

Does anyone have any insight about why some people are angry at the Girls Scouts? Or ideas on what the Girl Scouts as an organization can do to address it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

 

See also:Thin Mint-y Gate: Wal-mart’s Socia Media Opportunity

Can Walmart Earn the Girl Scouts’ Good Citizenship Award?

Girl Scouts: Limiting Cookie Sales by Strengthening Their Brand?

Girl Scouts Rebrand Their Cookies: “Every Cookie Has A Mission”


Wal-Mart and Girl Scout Cookies: Thin-Minty Gate
(by Bob Sutton at WorkMatters)

{ 108 comments }

annon March 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

Because most of us are on to their clever tax evasion trick with the cookie sale scam. Girls who don’t sell cookies are punished and girls who do sell them go on outings with the money. This is why they state the cookie sales are not a fundraiser, but we all know it is. Just look at their own page that explains where the money goes. By punishing girls who don’t sell and making them pay for outings is a clear and clever way to get around the 501 (c) 3 status they enjoy. I think the IRS ought to investigate this scam.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

You are not only unfamiliar with Girl Scouts but also with IRS regulations. As a troop leader & a former tax professional I can assure you you are wrong both on what the consequences are of not selling cookies & on the structure of the nonprofit section of the Internal Revenue Code.

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 1:21 am

What a terribly misinformed comment. I can assure you… The girl in my troop who sold 19 boxes of cookies went on all the same trips as the girl who sold 299. The money earned during cookie sales belongs to the TROOP, and the troop decides, as a group, how it will use the money for trips, activities, and community service projects.

Troop Leader October 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I have been the leader of my daughter’s troop for 4 years. Yes, girls are encouraged to sell cookies. I would like to see each girl work 2 hours at one of our cookies booths because it puts the girl in a role of responsibility. There are girls in my troop who sell 400 boxes and girls who sell 12 boxes. The money from cookies sales is used for all the girls to go on field trips. That way every girl has the opportunity regardless of a family’s financial situation. The money is also used for service projects. My troop has cooked meals for Ronald McDonald House and held parties at assisted living homes.

Debbie October 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

Perhaps you need to volunteer with a troop that is run the way GSUSA requires. The policy is clear! All funds that are earned by troops and stay with the troop are used by the entire troop equally. If there are volunteers who are not following this requirement then shame on them! I have led troops myself for many years and have also been a Service Unit Manager (also a volunteer position). I can tell you from personal experience that it is very difficult to ensure that all volunteers follow this requirement, but they are told in their training and it is clearly stated in each state council’s guide book or manual, which is provided to each leader. If you experienced something different I feel for you and understand your anger and disappointment. I hope you can now see it as an error on the side of the volunteer and not the judgment or policy of GSUSA.

Dawn February 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm

“The income from product sales does not become the property of individual girl members. Girls, however, may be eligible for incentives and credits that they put toward Girl Scout activities, such as camp, travel, and Girl Scout membership dues for the next year.”

Based on this, in our troops girls who earn more at fundraisers have extra money credited towards their activities. Why should one girl work hard to pay for another girl who does nothing? Each girl’s fundraiser money is divided % to troop, % to individual girl. ALL girls have the same opportunities to sell cookies. The leaders set up enough cookie booths for every girl to work enough hours to reach their goal – it’s up to them to take advantage of it. One of our top three sellers is one of our low-income families. Our Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops all have a “buy out” option…you don’t want to sell popcorn, you pay a certain amount in. We want to be fair to kids who don’t have money, but we also want to be fair and reward the kids who work hard.

cv harquail March 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

The above is another example of the phenomenon.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm

It’s disturbing to see parts of the comment stream because it means that there is GSUSA hate propaganda going out in conservative newsletters, & GSUSA has traditionally been one of the most loved nonprofits out there.

Anonymous March 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I was researching to see if anyone else was as angry as myself ~ when I saw your posting. Intersesting.

Long story short, my daughter and I have been through 3 troops over the past 3 years — each a ridiculous experience. I tried every way possible to connect with someone at the local Girl Scout office (Plano, Tx) seeking help. Shortly after this incident, I was told about a “Grand Opening” of a new office (Allen, Tx) — a ceremony was being held and I decided to attend in hopes talking to someone from the Girls Scouts. I went from table to table … meeting everyone from Troop Leaders to the CEO herself venting and searching for answers. For the firs time someone listened, they took my name, phone number and promised me that they would contact me and get us back on track.

This was July of 2009 and I haven’t heard a word from a single person. Since then, I continue to speak out and remain very angry. I have met numerous parents who support me. In fact, I recently saw a posting on Craigslist .. another mom who was venting her anger toward GS. It’s all really too sad!

IV August 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Instead of complaining you could be part of the solution. Become a troop leader! That’s what I did. Girl Scouts is a volunteer thing. There are not enough volunteers to step up to the plate.

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 1:23 am

I agree with this. ?

Anonymous September 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I really hate to hear that you have had this experience with Girl Scouts and that no one contacted you back. I work on a Service Unit and have to communicate with people in the Allen office as well as the one in Dallas off of Summerside Dr. I can assure you that if you walk into the Council office that your voice will be heard and something should be done. I am a troop leader and I do everything possible to make my troop happy. I just received 8 new recruits making our number 17. I just wish that everyone realized that it is a team effort to keep a troop thriving and we are there for our daughters and not for ourselves. We as adults sometimes let our emotions get in the way instead of taking a step back and saying, we are here for good things to come, not the bad. I wish you the best and hope that you can eventually get an answer.

Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 1:58 am

It seems to me that perhaps a parent who stampedes her daughter through 3 troops, goes to grand openings venting to every person she can find and continues to barf venom three years later is – perhaps – maybe – at the root of the problem. I can imagine that people would want to avoid you because of the energy and reputation you have earned from not exercising the emotional intelligence to work things out without drama.

dh March 4, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Hi Anon-
I think that the local area GS organizations vary in their levels of competence. They actually seem to vary a lot, so your area may be one of those that is poorly run. It looks to me that at the local/council level, the actual employees are not necessarily highly skilled (nor well-paid) and also much of the work gets done or not by overstressed volunteers. Not an excuse for poor service, but I’d bet that they are hardworking ad well-meaning people, doing their best.
I’m sorry that you’ve had a consistently bad experience, and I can see why that would make you upset.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm

:) glad to see someone else sticking up for the poor Council employees & the volunteers!

Pat March 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm

With the money we make as “profit” from the girls in our multilevel troop, it all goes back to them. Our Daisies when they flew up to Brownies got their vest and flag/council/number patches paid for out of the cookie money. Same with our Brownies who became Juniors. We found that fulling paying for trips left us in a bind when parents cancelled last minute, so now everyone pays a small portion and the rest comes from our funds.

What gets me is the new theory about girls and leadership. That’s okay, but what about the basics in life skills. Camping, first-aid, cooking, and knots may seem trivial but it gives core value to survival in disasters along with teaching leadership skills. If you can accomplish that then you can take those skills and apply it to home, school, church, business and the community.

I have Daisy scouts, 5 and 6 year olds and worked with them on the first Journey. I used sources to make the girls interested but got nowhere after three weeks. Looking at what I was doing, I changed the program to using a story board and activily having the girls do things. (Reading to the girls bored them, made them fidgety and sleepy, no lie!! ) Within the next six weeks using the storyboard that was fast filling up with pictures, the girls understood, also played in the dirt doing two plantings and taking it home and keeping a journal on their plants with parents help. We also made tissue paper flowers to mimic some of the flowers in the garden.

So all the research GSUSA went through, they really need to come out of the office and attend local scout meetings and see what’s really going on. Not to depend on surveys……..and are they really being answered truthfully.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I agree! But as I noted in my post below, the Journeys do seem to be getting somewhat better. And have you picked up the Girl’s Guides yet for your troop? They are terrific! *so* adorable – almost tempted to go back & buy the Daisy one for my daughter so she’ll end up with the complete set. In addition to being super adorable while still substantive, on the binder edge that shows when they are on a bookshelf, the complete set of binders show a girl growing from kindergarten to a young woman.

Sandra March 7, 2010 at 12:49 am

Simply put, between the 1960s and the present day, we (The Girl Scout corporate organization, National and individual Councils) lost our way, and lost respect for “what worked” to employ “what is NEW or EXPERIMENTAL”

We have gone from a local (neighborhood and school/worship community based organization that partner girls with adults to develop a core set of skills and knowledge to enable the girls to become women that are active and engaged adults in their communities.

We have put the burden of rising revenue and funding on the “girl” membership (not the ADULT MEMBERS) through annual “cookie sales” which are BIG BUSINESS and for most Councils, their #1 source of income for operations, from paying the building mortgages to the salaries of employees. Why the girls, and why the youngest ones? Because they look “cute” and “cute sells cookies.”

Cultural changes within the corporate structure has divorced the employees from the Adult Membership. Changes mandated by National has removed the local community and Adult Membership from the governance of the Councils as well.

There is also a disconnect between the expectations of many parents and the reality of Adult Members. Because of the structure of some other ‘similar’ programs there is a REAL assumption by many parents that Troop Leaders are professionally trained employees, like teachers in a school.

Troop Leaders are Adult Members that “volunteer” for the privilege of leading a troop. Training hours have been reduced while at the same time the demands and expectations have increased.

There is a reason why most Girl Scout Troops are under 20 girls, and why there are LONG waiting lists. We have a critical shortage of Adult Members.

I am just an Adult Member, former Master Council Trainer (until National decided that there was no need for a core of people that deliver and mentor new Leaders) and former Troop Leader, not a paid staff member or employee.

Becky September 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

We so need your help right now! I agree that they are totally reducing training. I understand that fees are tight, but reducing trainers is undercutting the foundation for leaders & thus, their troops. It makes it very difficult for leaders such as myself to somewhat reinvent the wheel & figure out which direction to go in. My service unit & regional council people are clueless, & that’s why I’m online today, looking for how to lead my 2nd year Daisy troop. I feel lost.

Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 2:05 am

Training is done by volunteers for volunteers… the trainers in the classroom are gifting their time and energy above what they do with their troops and service units because they see a need and do something about it. No one is reducing trainers; across the board more moms are working and the pool of volunteers is getting smaller. Becky, perhaps when you figure it out you might volunteer to be a trainer and help others?

Anonymous March 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hi Sandra

I’m the Anonymous person who made a comment a few postings above you. In fact I mention that I talked to everyone from the ground level to the CEO herself and I expressed in clear words exactly what you just stated above.

Considering that I have an award winning background in advertising AND I’m also a participating parent who has been involved in Brownie Scouts for over three years ~ I tried desperately to explain all the disconnects you are talking about. NO ONE “wanted” to listen to me.

I spoke to the CEO herself. She never followed through on her promises. So, who is higher that would listen to any of us?

Leader September 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Have you seen the new Girl’s Guide books? They are a massive improvement – an end to the foolish “Studio 2B” attempt at being hip & an updated return to what most of us associate with Girl Scouts. There could be more of an outdoors focus, but I can add that for my troop. I can’t speak to the other issues, but at least that one frustrating point that had major impact on girls has massively improved.

Anonymous May 23, 2010 at 3:14 am

Why am I angry at the Girl Scouts? Because I strongly dislike the new, touchy-feely Journeys . . . they seem preachy, too strictured, and boring. Journeys are “curricula” which seek grading of each girl’s progression in the lesson. Funny, I wanted my child to join an EXTRA-curricular activity–one that I recall from my days as a Scout as being innovative, varied, and wholesome.

I’m also annoyed with the Council, which seems irrelevant to our individual troop. If there are paid employees at the Council, why can’t they be in charge of the mountain of paperwork our troop leader is asked to obtain and maintain? Why can’t they be in charge of sorting each child’s cookie sales for parents’ pickup? The Council asks for a LOT of time from the troop leaders and parent volunteers–too much of the time goes to the Council’s needs and paperwork. Too little is left for the troop.

Finally, in this re-brand, Girls Scouts seems to have forgotten that they have to hook the parents, too. We’re the ones who sign our youngsters up, make sure they go, and sit through the meetings. My daughter is bored stiff by everything BUT the badge-work and camping. We and the troop below us in grade level lose a drastic number of interested girls by too little activity and too much talk in the meetings. Girls learn through doing! As for hooking my interest, I feel alienated by the Journeys program. The values espoused by the Journeys are either (a) found with more variety in shorter doses in the badge activities or (b) contrary to my values.

If you haven’t hooked the girls and their parents by second or third grade, you’re not going to get them later. Between them, my children have an extracurricular activity every night. If Girls Scouts can’t be about hands-on activity, we might as well be home, eating dinner at the table together as a family and doing homework. Simply, the current Girls Scouts’ approach doesn’t maintain relevance for our busy lives. I’m trying to push our troop into focusing on more activity via badge work. But if this coming school year isn’t much better, it will be my daughter’s last year in scouting. And that makes me sad.

504 July 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I am a leader, and I totally agree with your above statements. I just got the new catalogue and I am horrified by the new changes. It is ALL journey work- my girls have never liked the journeys, in fact I have never met someone who has liked them. There are 5 patches that it. Oh and you better like pink if your a junior because that is what you get. I have 16 girls in my troop and they all want to quit. I don’t blame them one bit. We will finish up this year with the old program of badge work and thats it.

April August 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

I am a Brownie (3rd grade) Troop leader and have to agree…the Journeys are not nearly as fun and even informative as the regular try-it/badge work. I’ve already pre-bought the badges that will be discontinued and we will work on those plus one Journey this year (Wonders of Water). The girls feel the Journeys are too much like homework and don’t seem to enjoy them at all. The only things they like are when I incorporate a field trip to tie it in with. We had a lot more fun and flexiability and learned quite a bit when we did regular badge work. Plus we meet every two weeks and it takes forever to earn the Journey set especially when some meetings we go camping and participate in other seasonal activities. There is also the problem of the one girl who only “sometimes” shows up….if she misses half the meetings does she get the Journey badges anyway even though she didn’t do the work and learn what the others learned about the topic? It was much easier and clear-cut when we had the badges that could be done in 1-2 meetings. My troop had the opportunity to earn 14 badges last year plus 12 “fun” patches. Not all girls earned all 14 as it was based on did you participate or not. Some earned all 14 and a few earned 11 and one girl earned 6. With Journeys it is all or nothing for the most part and seems tio have veered into the realm of “participation” patches.
As to Troops….I have 16 in mine and had to turn 4 away just last week. Part of the problem is lack of adult helpers and we do a lot of field trips and without drivers I can’t get all the girls where they need to go. I’m a single mom and work full time yet am constantly told by parents they are “too busy” to help. Very frustrating. We recently had new registration for our Service Unit and frankly I was embarassed by the lack of organization on one hand by the SU and the number of parents who wanted their child in scouting but none who wanted to lead a troop. It is really sad that gilrs who want to participate can’t because there are no troops that can take them and no parent willing to take on the responsibility.

Jean September 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I am currently a Webelos leader (4th grade cub scout boys) and I have a 4 year old daughter that is very interested on being a Girl scout. I am completely willing to be an active volunteer in her group, if we can find one; but I am having a very hard time figuring our how the organization is run, who does what, what requirements are and so forth. There is talk of training, but i have not found it. It is frustrating my a LOT trying to become involved. Perhaps because I am comparing GSUSA to BSA, Everything about having my son in cub scouts has been clear and easy, there is an abundance of information both online in many many places and in the leader type books, which are aslo online. I so whish that GS would be like cub/boy scouts!!!!!!!!!!!
And I looked through the journeys and the little flower garden stuff, which is not at all appealing, very complicaed and unclear.
Still searching, what a sad thing to see (this log of frustration)

Anon December 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

Oh my goodness, I completely agree.

Anonymous May 23, 2010 at 3:33 am

Sorry about the repeated “Girls Scouts.” Meant to say “Girl Scouts,” but was so worked up that I forgot to scan for errors and typos.

DAW May 30, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Just encountered your Thinking Day post. Feb. 22 was the birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Scouting, and of his wife, Olave, Lady B-P.
Why so much anger?
As a former leader of a very large, active Girl Scout troop, I think that in the rush to be politically correct, the Girl Scouts of the USA lost their way. I wonder if the founder, or his wife, whom I met and talked with many years ago, would even recognize this as Scouting/Guiding as they knew it.
How large was my troop and how active? About 60 strong, supported by a committee of 20, with camping and community service activities year-round. I talked last week with a Girl Scout and her mother who told me their troop was big, with eight members.
The Girl Scouts began to bleed when they replaced the GS badge bearing the American eagle with something my sensitive adolescent girls saw as an ad for a brand of sanitary napkins. The bleeding increased when God was made “optional”. There were local councils that actively discouraged GS troops from camping at GS properties, then sold them when useage plummeted.
Required adult training became a joke, with often the blind leading the blind, full of don’ts and warnings of possible lawsuits.
At the girl level, and that’s what it is supposed to be all about, my daughter wanted to be a Scout but abhorred the idea of selling cookies. That’s the only perception a lot of people have of GS.
Recently, when my granddaughter wanted to be a Brownie, it took several calls to the council office before she and her mother were invited to an organizing meeting. Nothing was said or done for the girls. All the talk was about money and adult participation. Months later, my granddaughter did make contact with what appeared to be a good Brownie troop that offered a variety of activities geared to the interest of this age group. The problems developed in a blizzard of paperwork, including a permission slip to attend each weekly meeting. Then I, a Lifetime Member of GSUSA, was told that I could not drop off or pick her up, nor could I sit in the background “for the safety of your granddaughter”.
I don’t know what’s happening at the lower age levels, but if girls hang on through junior high school, the fastest growing segment of the Boy Scouts is the coed Venturing, where a majority of the girls are former Girl Scouts who have discovered that Venturing provides them the self-directed group programs they could not get in Girl Scouting.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm

As a current leader, I will tell you that while I feel there is a blizzard of paperwork, what you are describing for your granddaughter sounds like an experience from another world. Much of the paperwork streams from a general societal shift – you wouldn’t believe the mound of forms I had to sign for my daughter for back-to-school. But permission slips for troop meetings? Please. And I wouldn’t describe my troop of 15 girls as “large.” Now back when I had 20 kindergarteners I was pulling my hair out! I was pretty happy when a few girls switched schools.

Probably as you did as well, I discourage parents from coming to all of the meetings because I want the girls to be responsible for themselves. Parents can come now & then, & anyone the parents have told me is coming to pick up their daughter can come pick up.

While I do think that Lord Baden-Powell & JGL herself would have much adjusting to do if they showed up in 2011, I also believe that our troop reflects the general spirit of the scouting movement. Also, while I’ve never heard a girl substitute an alternate for “God”, I am glad that GSUSA gives that option. As a teen, I most certainly would have had at least a few years incompatible with BSA membership. I’m glad none of my girls will leave due to a phase in their religious development.

Anonymous August 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I really don’t understand either about the anger toward Girl Scouts. I am a leader and former Scout, My girls share and share alike. If one is unable to sell many cookies, we all take into consideration that everyone’s circumstances are different. If someone joins the troop later in the year and missed the cookie sales all together, they still get a share of the money toward trips and events. It is the Girl Scout way, or at least should be.

I am sorry that some of you have had a difficult time with your individual councils. I can only say that as with any large organization, human beings run them and as such, mistakes are made and some things fall in between the cracks. Thank goodness for the hard-workers and volunteers in my area. My payment is the wonderful time I have seeing my daughter and her friends grow with in their communities as competent, self-respecting women and future leaders.

If you have had a difficult time I encourage you to try again. The only one hurt in not giving it that GS try is your daughter. And remember, if you don’t like the leadership in your council, there is nothing stopping you from stepping up and lending a hand.

Thankful leader in MD

Anonymous September 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I’m one of the posters from May 23. My local council is WORTHLESS. I’ve been looking since May (when I volunteered to be this year’s leader) for a concise list of the necessary training, plus a concise list of necessary forms from parents. I’ve already taken several trainings, plus passed the background check. But oops, sorry. . . BLT is not the “Brownie Leadership Training” I took and paid for. And, oops, the next BLT training is not until late September (long after the school year started). You’re a single mother and can’t go that weekend? Well, maybe OCTOBER!! Until then, I’m not official. In the meantime, can I please commit to (and pay for) a two-day camping training? How about first aid training? Fall product sale training? Cookie manager training? Journey Training? Could I please distribute the pamphlet asking for donations to the national organization? What, you want a pamphlet for recruiting new members? Sorry, you’ll have to make one yourself. Nope, we no longer have “Safety-Wise” available. Could you please come to monthly service unit meetings? And no, children are not allowed, so you’ll have to arrange care for them. Want to camp in the Spring? Better sign up now–and let us know how many girls will be coming 7 months from now. Don’t have time for all these trainings, meetings, forms? Then just get some other parents to help! We’ll just ignore the fact that parents haven’t even signed up for snack at troop meetings.

I volunteered to be troop leader so that the girls could do fun and interesting activities. Please, let me when I can focus on these things.

Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Sorry to say- most of the parents will suck at helping. Don’t take that out on your troop and find other ways of getting thngs done. It is about the girls so have them do the work. If at the next meeting one of the girls is given the duty of making cookies at the next meeting- you can bet she will have her parents get the needed supplies. Put the girls in charge and things happen.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I’m feeling your pain on the confusion on trainings! In our council at least, the only required training is New Leader Training. The others are extremely helpful supplements, & the camping training can wait a year if you’re only cabin camping.

My suggestion: put your foot down on 1st Aid – tell the parents if you don’t get 2 volunteers to spend one lousy Saturday at 1st Aid training, then there will be no trips. There’s only so much one person can do.

Anonymous September 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I too loathe the Journeys. My cadettes hate the journeys. They HAVE to do them to get the silver award and want to do them as quickly as possible to get it over with. I hate the new age levels. The cadette badges are not appropriate for 6th grade. Many of the junior badges are perfect for 6th grades but too hard for the 4th and 5th graders who have to do them.

I lost most of my troop to American Heritage Girls because of the Journey’s program and because well, they don’t want to sit around talking about wishy washy values stuff while looking out the window at the Boy Scout troop learning to build fires, tie knots, set up tents, etc. I have 4 Cadettes now -3 are first year and the other is my daughter who is trying to stick it out to earn the Silver and Gold. In fact, the other girls would drop silver and gold aspirations in order to give up Journeys except for wanting to help their troopmate achieve her goal.

Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm

What about doing Journeys means that you can’t go camping, build fires, do knots, or any other outdoor stuff. We are doing the Journey called Breathe. Just a few of the things we have done for the Journey is go to a radio station tour and be interviewed on the air (get it AIR), Go rockclimbing, and jumping on trampolines. You may need to put your creative hat on but there are ways to make the Journeys fun. My girls start our meeting now with relaxation and breathing techniques because they like it.

anonymous September 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I did GS as a child, brownie and juniors. I looked forward to putting my daughter in Daisies in the next couple of weeks. That said, I can definitely see why some people have issues with the organization. I, for one, have issue with the fact that these troops are not closely monitored. I live on a base. A parent started a troop here last year, but it appears he started it so their daughter could be “leader” and the special one as he and his wife treat it as if it was their daughters “girls’ club.” They have also caused alot of problems here. Thankfully, others have found another troop to participate with that was better. This couple has taken people’s money for dues and the girls’ cookie money but has done nothing with it. And it’s “allowed.”

I was also saddened to see that the GS has given up the uniforms. No longer is there an outfit of pride and distinction for these girls. It’s just a vest. Even that isn’t required by many troops. Where’s the badges that are supposed to be proudly displayed? Nope.

For the cookie thing, some of that can be blamed on society. Society, as a whole, wants these cookies BADLY. I announced to family and friends that my daughter will participate and I’m already getting cookie shout outs from fat and thin alike. Whatever bakery makes them is ripping off the GS, giving only $0.50 a box sold. That leads the push to sell even more just for a decent profit. Then the incentives are set HIGH. If these girls want a prize, they have to sell these cookies. No one wants to be left out. Moms don’t want their girls at the bottom simply because they live in a stingy neighborhood or a neighborhood with a TON of scouts(since troops usually live close) so they take those forms to work.

With my daughter, I will be participating as well to ensure fairness and control is going on but to also keep these girls from sitting in a room coloring pictures all day but outside earning badges and exploring.

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 1:35 am

Just a quick comment about uniforms… Girl Scouts is for ALL girls, even those who cannot afford uniforms. It is for this reason and this reason alone that uniforms are NOT required.

Kris Sims January 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Hello,
I am researching a story on the changes within Girl Guides in Canada and the United States, particularly the changing of uniforms, anthems, prayers, etc.
I would like to speak with Moms and troop volunteers, not just head office folk.
Please email me in you are interested.
Thank you.
Kris Sims
Reporter

anonymous September 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I also wanted to point something out. Many posters on the other blogpost had issue with the girls selling infront of stores instead of door-to-door. I would like to put some thoughts in on this. Have you watched the news and statistics over the last decade? That is why many girls are no longer doing door to do. The GSUSA has actually put restrictions in place on door-to-door sales. This is for the girls’ safety. Sadly, there are too many freakos out there that prey on these mini salesmen. Don’t think your neighborhood is safe since it has no sex offenders. Registered sex offenders are the ones that slipped and got caught. I’m more concerned for the ones who are so good at what they do that they DON’T get caught and are not registered.

Lauren Brown September 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Hi adult leaders, parents, and maybe some fellow Girl Scouts

I joined Girl Scouts as a Brownie, and I had an absolute blast. I bridged up to Juniors, and I noticed that things were getting more complicated. My mom, who was the assistant troop leader, had to do more and more paper, more leadership… Everybody was. GSA was starting to get more cautious, more scared of lawsuits and such. Then, in 5th grade, my leader was being charged wrongly of hoarding money, because the council lost a check that she sent in. My mom was furious, and pulled me out. This hasn’t made me ‘hate’ GSA, but I did agree with her decision. (My younger brother was having more fun as a Wolf cub, anyway)

At 14, I joined Venturing, which is a co-ed program for older scouts, a branch off of BSA. I STRONGLY encourage girls (and boys) to participate in this program. It is mostly youth run, and offers more leadership skills than I think any other program can offer. I thought about rejoining Girl Scouts, but decided against it because there were no Senior troops close to me.

I am 16 now, and I joined a troop of mostly Cadettes, so I can work on my Gold Award. These girls are in middle school, and they do really awesome things. They spent spring break canoeing, caving, biking, everything. The leaders, I’m sure, had lots of paperwork to do, but it happened. And it really opened my eyes to GSA. Sure, it has its faults (maybe lots, depending on your council) but it also doesn’t have the set ‘structure’ that BSA has. And it’s really up to the leaders.

While I understand that there is a lot of paperwork involved, and sometimes the council is just ridiculous, please think about your girls before you give up on Girl Scouts. I would not be where I am today without my parents, my leaders, and my advisors, who convinced me to give GSA another chance. I enjoy Girl Scouts, and I am very thankful for the people who gave me the opportunity to do amazing things. (even if they’re very picky about their Gold Awards :p)

Hope this helps somebody bring down the Girl Scout hate :)

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 1:37 am

I like this post. :)

Anonymous September 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I agree with Lauren’s last post. It is really about the leaders! Everyone has different expectations about what they want and what they feel they/their daughter as received. I am a leader and have been for years. I have led just about everything! My current troop is very large for a Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troop. We have over 20 girls, some of whom have been with me for more than 7 years. As long as I stay their leader, they don’t plan to leave! That is a great compliment for me as a leader. They stay because I make sure they have fun. Are the meetings always exciting, no, but the girls run the meetings themselves. They pick and IP and organize the activities. I take care of the paperwork and the outings. Over the years, we have done everything from taking week-long trips (Savannah, Boston, Philly, & Orlando) as well as local activities (horseback riding, rock wall climbing, white water rafting, etc.) We also give back through community service. We help our younger sister troops with projects as well as a local cub scout troop. We also plan at least one Service Unit (200+ people) event every year.

Do I think everything about Girl Scouts is great, no, but as a whole, “it is what you make it”. My troop too, HATES the Journeys. There is no good way to track progress with these programs and who wants to spend that long on one topic. What about multi-level troops? They have to run two separate programs in order to work on a Journey. If my troops actually liked the Journeys, I would have to run the Cadettes & Seniors separately because they don’t share the same Journey program. The there is the whole “forcing” them to do Journey’s to earn their Silver & Gold. That is what they are doing, FORCING them. For the older girls, it is the same thing as studio 2B. When they rolled out that program, they changed Silver & Gold to force girls to use that program too. Even GSUSA now admits that it was a failed program that mainstream girls did not like. They currently offer both a more traditional program (through Interest Patches) and the Journeys. Why can’t they also offer two paths to the Silver/Gold award? The new motto is supposed to be about these pathways, but then they force them into the Journey model against their will.

People don’t always like change and that, in combination with the bad experiences make people dislike Girl Scouts as a whole. That brings us back to the fact that it is all about the VOLUNTEER leaders. If you don’t like how the troop is run, find a new one – or, START YOUR OWN!! If you are the leader, you can make sure the girls get the program you think they should be getting. It is easy to criticize from the “sidelines” – try getting in and playing the game before you trash something :-)

Jean September 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm

My 16yr dughter would do great going for the gold award, but she won’t consider joining Girl Scouts, way to uncool. She is doing great in 4H, but would like to do more, but the GS poor image is definetly what is stoppiong her. No venturing crews in our area unfortunately, that would be perfect.
Wishing again that GS could be more like BS.
I see a huge potential benefit in GS, just not well done.

One has to ask why is it that the BSA is doing so well and GSUSA is not…

HJ October 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Its really not a matter of BSA doing so well and GSUSA not. I volunteer for both groups, and let me promise you – neither are perfect.

But – that is where the rub of it comes in. Its easy to say ‘not what I expected it to be, I’m outta here’, with either group. Its harder to stay IN, get trained, read the program materials, and help ensure that this ideal program you expect for your kids IS what they are getting! If you walk away from it, instead of getting involved, then you are teaching your children to only take part in groups that are already 100% what they want them to be – instead of saying ‘take ownership in what you do and guide your experience in this with me here with you to advise and support’

DebR September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

Wow – Thanks everyone for sharing their personal insights. I have been so saddend with GS and my/their direction for our girls. I am an old GS whom’s mom lead my troop.. Now I lead a troop (my mom helps part time too!). My troop started in Brownies (22 girls) and now in 5th grade juniors. Last year was 14 active girls. This year is 7 girls. I work over 40 hours at my job. My girls do acitivities after school (sports, tutoring, and music..) and we all have a hard time coming to meetings on the same day. They are completing the old style Bronze award (‘cuz I didn’t like the Journeys). There are some who would want to do Cadettes and earn their silver. I have not had the heart to voice my oppinon/enthusiam to them on the Journey BOOK approach as I know they already work hard at other BOOK work.) So, what happens if a Troop boycotts the new Silver journey and goes with the old way? How do you keep girls working together? How do help them approach community projects and not feel too overwhelmed? Is having Girl Scouts start at age 5 making the older girls feel like they belong to a baby girl club – and now they feel they’re too old – just when their leadership skills can really fly?! Well, thanks again for all the well spoken comments, care, and concern for Girl Scouts! (And I say let’s boycott the Journey Bronze/Silver/Gold awards system and/or have our troops come up with a better award because they care and have a better idea!)

Girl Scout Leader in CA October 7, 2010 at 1:24 am

I’m just fascinated by this conversation! I’ve been a troop leader for the past 3 years (this is my 4th year). I tried to use the Journeys program, but it’s really NOT a good program. So, my troop and I are sticking with the badges. I very much agree with everyone’s sentiment that Girl Scout meetings need to be hands-on. I always do the most interactive badges that I can find in the badge book. If it seems too much like school work, we don’t do it. I realize that the only way I’m going to keep my troop together is to offer hands-on activities that don’t require the girls to do extra work or reserach outside of the meetings. They have enough school work as it is. As far as the paperwork is concerned, it doesn’t bother me that much. I guess it’s because I’m a teacher so I’m used to a lot of paperwork anyway. I’m also not too strict about certain policies. For example, I allow my parents to stay or drop off their daughters depending on what they want. I also allow younger siblings to hang out if the parents need to bring them. The majority of my field trips accommodate the entire family, not just the troop. My goal when starting my troop was to watch the girls go all the way up to the Senior/Ambassador level. The Journeys program is not helping my mission. I agree that if we all boycott it and refuse to purchase it, then GSUSA will have no choice but to get rid of it.

Hal October 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Oh my gosh! I am a high school Ambassador Girl Scout who has been a girl scout for 11 years!! This will be my second year leading (completely leading with my troop members, filling out papers, everything…) a daisy girl scout troop. WE were SOOOO disappointed to find out that they would have to be daisies for a 2nd year when they have already done all of their petals! Its been so frustrating (especially for a high school student) to try to find different activities to do that are still GS focused with certain lessons and values. We cannot stand the journey books, because we don’t feel as if the girls actively learn the values. I also feel as if GSUSA just randomly made Daisies a 2-year program, without accounting for the activities they could do. The other solution I have heard is to have 2nd year daisies teach the 1st years but our daisies are the same age!!!

The girls are very smart and actively lesson so we feel as if just reading them a ‘fluffy’ daisy story just won’t cut it. I am extremely disappointed in GSUSA

In terms of GS cookie sales. A small % goes to the troops which is very helpful for troop dues, and paying for activities. Not only is selling cookies very fun, but girls get to plan activities based on the money the earned (earning and working hard is the entire point of girl scouts) In 11 years as a girl scout I have NEVER heard of punishing a girl for not selling cookies. My own leader would have us (when we were younger) come up with ideas on trips/activities we would do, and then would estimate how much individually we should TRY to sell.

I also think that it sends a GOOD message to Girl Scouts, that women leaders are able to profit from a good organization. Also, the money that the GS counsel collects also goes to supporting GS troops and individuals who apply for Council Cares (a program when you cannot pay for the GS things). A few years ago I helped lead a GS troop in an underprivileged area of town, and counsel payed for ALL of their materials, probably from the cookie money.

Amy October 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I don’t HATE the Girl Scouts, but I’m not involved with them anymore. My troop leader SOLD my daughters ticket to their cookie selling trip (to NASA for an overnight) because I didn’t respond to a text sent by her 5 months ago at 10:21pm. The area service unit manager agreed with this troop leader that she did the right thing since I did not give a response, and thats that. My daughter has been crying for two days.

Disgruntled October 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm

At the beginning of this year I had contacted the Girl Scouts organization TWICE because I wanted to get my 10 year old involved. Well, I was sent a few short emails, asking her age and location, then….nothing. No phone call, no email, nothing. I had even contacted some parents in the area involved in Girl Scouts, and they were too lazy to get back to me as well. My daughter WAS excited about becoming involved, but she has now forgotten all about it. I was never in the GS, but I was hoping that she would get to have a great experience with it. Just so disappointing…

Leader for many years November 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

Hi All,

I am a girl scout leader. I also was a girl scout myself (unofficially from age 3-age 5–mom was the leader for the older sister I was a tag-along) officially from age 6-age 10. I was one of those girls, if given the chance, that would have gone all the way through my senior year. Mom burnt out as leader–due to not enough help. That was just as much a problem in the 70′s and 80′s as it is now–it is just more advertised now. I started as a leader when my oldest daughter was 5. That continued until she was 10 at which time she decided that soccer was more important to her than girl scouts. Sad but it happens! I returned as a leader last year when my twins where in 1st grade. I, like many people, was a little upset at first at the changes that had been made just in those 10 years of my absence. Until, that is, I began to see the truth of why the changes were made.

First of all, to the parent that had trouble being heard about whatever the situation, I assure you that your experiences are not nation wide. Our council is very open to questions and suggestion. Ultimately, all councils are governed by GSUSA which are officed in New York City. Using the proper chain of command, if you can’t get satisfaction locally, call or email the national office. They will respond.

Secondly, many people, current leaders parents and other participating adults, do not understand how to fully use all the resources available to the girls. Just because they have instituted the Journeys programs does not mean the the camping, badge earning, service projects, knot tying, and just plain fun are also not appropriate and even necessary. I have two troops. One is a 2nd grade brownie troop with 10 girls and the other is a 4th and 5th grade junior troop with 8 girls in it. I too have girls that would fall asleep if you just did sit down read to me activities. I also have girls that vary in cognitive ability. So you see, it is essential that I incorporate all the resources.

We want our girls to grow up strong in their knowledge of themselves and the world around them. Not to be afraid to step up and take leadership of any situation that arises–that is what the Journeys are about! It is a framework into which all other areas of traditional girl scouting is placed. It is ultimately a way to have a well-rounded program. That way the program isn’t focused only on camping or only on badge earning. A leader has to make herself knowledgeable about all resources so that every activity that the girls want to do can be tied back to a badge or a requirement for being a P.A.C.E. troop. I am very achievement oriented. That means that when I plan the year with the girls, we discuss which badges we want to earn, how much camping we want to do, what field trips that would be appropriate to go with the badges or would be just plain fun, and what we might want to do as service projects for the year (we try to do at least two). Then I plan the skills, camping and otherwise that I think they should learn. I discuss with each girls the badges that they might be interested in earning on their own and show them how to document that. I really think that the councils might need to offer a training in how to connect the traditions of girl scouting with the new updated material.

Everyone needs to remember also that the girl scouts must update the program with the changing times. That is when membership drops off–when the program becomes out of date and not relevant to the girls of today. Our girls need to learn survival skills, that is important, but consider this–if a situation happened where (God forbid) the adults in an area are killed from a natural disaster or one that is not so natural–would those survival skills do them or younger children around them any good if they didn’t have the leadership capabilities to take charge of the situation and stay calm and be able to coordinate people to perform tasks. Or if they hadn’t learned the ability to teach a skill to someone else. Something to think about!

To address the other issue–There are simply not enough adult volunteers female or male (yes men can help the troops as long as there are female volunteers also) to carry the torch. It is important to understand that Girl Scouting is a volunteer run organization. Yes there are paid professionals at the local council and national level. What do you expect, the council would run itself.? There are many not for profit organizations that have paid positions to run the day to day business and then a long list of volunteers to keep the work flowing. If parents and family members do not step up and volunteer a few hours of their time, however, there can not be troops for the girls. To the one that wrote in that couldn’t get her questions answered, my suggestion is to step up and run the troop correctly instead of wasting energy hating girl scouts for something that someone else has done.

The thing I hear from a lot of parents (I am the school coordinator-I put together the troops and interview the potential volunteers) is “But I don’t have enough time to volunteer!” I wholeheartedly do not believe that and here is why. First, you make time for those things that are important to you, make it important to you and you will find time. Secondly, lest you think that I have a massive amount of time to spare, let me explain my family. I have a husband that a year ago was diagnosed with a very rare disease which caused him at the age of 39 to have a stroke and subsequent brain surgery–lifelong illness the episode could happen again at any time, cannot get hit in the head at all. I am the school coordinator, and the leader of two troops. I have 6 children of my own, the oldest grown, the next oldest in high school is homeschooled (I don’t like the public high schools or middle schools), the next is in his last year of elementary he has Asperger’s Syndrome which is high functioning autism, the next two are twins the younger of which is having some behavioral issues, the last is 6 and also has Asperger’s Syndrome. The two that have Asperger’s are on specialized diets which makes me have to cook from scratch to be able to afford it. The oldest boy and the twins all play soccer which is a three day a week commitment–my husband coaches them, I have to be there to make sure that he doesn’t get hit. The middle boy plays golf. And all three boys are involved in Boy Scouts, Webelos, and Tiger Cubs. Oh, did I mention that my husband and I both work full time and go to church and have been helping with his mother who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. My reasons for telling all this isn’t to get sympathy–I don’t want it–it is to make people see that everyone has busy lives and we make time for the things that are important.

Instead of wasting time and energy griping and complaining, Get involved and have a voice. The girl scout program is there as a framework it is meant (within safety guideline) to be tweeked to fit the girls in your troops. That does take a little work on the part of the leaders but is well worth it for the looks of enjoyment and gratitude on the girls faces. Just a little side note–Girls are given the opportunity to sell fall products and cookies as a way to offset the cost of scouting. It is a choice they are NOT punished for not participating. If they choose not to participate then the parents should fully understand that the full cost of trips and activities falls to them. Again it was a choice. And just so you will know our troop chooses to use the proceeds of the sales for achievements-badges, pins, patches and the ceremony costs and activity supplies. This is discussed during the parent meeting at the beginning of the school year so that all parents and girls understand this.

Something to think about!!

Future leader August 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

Hi I just wanted to say thank you. I was a girl scout when I was younger. I wanted to be a girl scout in high school but couldn’t find a troop I want to make my own now that I know I’m old enough. At first I was skeptical because of the journeys but now that I see I wouldn’t HAVE to do them I will take a shot at trying to become one thanks so much. God bless you and your family

Diane November 20, 2010 at 1:24 am

Hi all,

I am in my 5th year as a Girl Scout leader and while I too have had bad experiences at times with unresponsive staff at council or lack of parent volunteers to help me (but plenty of ‘suggestions’ for what else I could do), I believe strongly in Girl Scouting. I love the message that our girls learn that they are powerful and that can and should go into the world and make it better. (As a side note caring about the world does NOT make you unpatriotic. I love our country but am also interested in the rest of the world).

Yes- the program is not a Christian program. It is also not a pagan or new age program. It is a secular program to which girls of many different religious beliefs belong. I have a large and very active troop and among the girls that I know their family’s beliefs- we have 2 fundamentalist Christians, 3 Catholics, 1 Jewish, 1 secular Muslim, and one that does not believe in God. The rest which is the majority, I don’t know. We also have a wide spectrum of political beliefs. When we discuss values I encourage the girls to discuss the issues we bring up with their parents. We wrote President Obama when he was first elected and the kids suggestions to him were varied. Amusingly we had a couple “We must stay the course in Iraq” letters and a couple”Stop the war now” letters. I thought that was great as it is not my job to indoctrinate the girls but to help them find their voice. My girls are very involved with our church but I do not think that they must only participate in activities where all girls are of the same faith we are.

While I may be rambling a bit- it is late here- my general point is that like any volunteer group (church, book club etc) it is a mix of various personalities and inefficiencies and can be frustrating. However I have found that if you get involved you have the power to shape the organization and make it better. My troop doesn’t love Journeys – we’ve used parts we do find helpful. The girls love doing service projects, camping, and exploring the world together.

I treasure my time as a Girl Scout leader and strongly recommend the program to parents of girls. I also suggest getting involved and accepting that it is a group of volunteers and this imperfect. If you don’t like what is happening at the local or national level- speak up.

Anonymous Leader and Parent December 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

I am angry at the Girl Scouts because I feel that the Journeys are being shoved down our throats. I’ve attended leader events and training encampments, and often the leadership there seems like they know what’s going on and I leave feeling like things are going to get better. Then things don’t get better. I’m left feeling like the leadership at council and national are all just running around SAYING stuff about changes and improvements, but not actually DOING anything. Hmmm…very much like troop meetings incorporating the journeys, now that I think on it. My 11 year old wanted to go all the way, wanted to do the Gold Award and maybe be a leader. Then she found out that to get the Silver and Gold she’d have to do a Journey. She doesn’t want to anymore, she just wants to do badges and independent community service. Girl Scouts has rebranded themselves into irrelevance. Since Girl Scouts was the single thing in my childhood that made me feel capable, acceptable, and worthy…yes, I’m angry. Angry that an organization that had so very much potential is fading away into a pathetic shadow. Angry that even now, I don’t think anyone at GSUSA is really listening to what the volunteers and members are saying. The ship needs turning, but I’m sad to say it may already be too late.

Disgusted December 26, 2010 at 6:51 am

I recognize that most of your responses this far have been volunteers (leaders), I have a different perspective. As the wife of a former “ranger”, a volunteer, and a paid cookie cupboard assistant and former scout there are many reasons that I am no longer involved in promoting the benefits of scouting.

With gsusa’s recent re-organization local control is no longer an option. If the girls are in an urban environment chances are they enjoy the same (or expanded) service as before but rural scouts have been left with less. In my capacity as a paid employee (temporary – during cookie season) I was instructed to lie to volunteers to make sure sales were adequate. When I questioned this (yes, it felt wrong to me at the time) I was informed that volunteers were to do as they were told.

When my husband was terminated (lack of work) because the new leadership did not see the value of camping, his insurance was canceled 5 days before his last day of employment. He received no severance package despite a 14+ year record of excelent work (I have copies of all his reviews). I would like to add that 3 other men were treated in the same way but females were given severance. He was denied vacation for 3 years before his termination because it was inconvienient. (he managed the camp alone and no one could “cover”). He is now deceased and gsusa is now ignoring my requests for info regarding his pension.

Do I hate the girl scouts? No, but I despise their leadership and am contemplating spending the same amount of time that I used to devote to volunteering to screaming about their business practices and obvious discriminatory behavior. It’s supposed to be about the girls but it’s really all about the money.

Cadette Advisor in N. VA January 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I hear your frustrations and can honestly say that each of you have valid points. My service unit doesn’t do anything to help promote GS program. I sit at the monthly meetings cringing when they ask for volunteers from the leaders to do various positions. My full time job is very demanding (executive management) and cannot take on anymore responsibilities other than being an advisor (leader) to a wonderful group of girls. This Journey business is not widely accepted by the girls or their parents; which means we haven’t even decided on which one to do. The girls love doing badges (now IPs) and are torn between doing IPs or working on the Journeys. They are all afraid of not completing their service projects for the Silver Award and/or believe all of the requirements are like homework and they do not want to do it. Parents frustrate me the most. I’ve been a leader for two years with Brownies, two years with Juniors and now first year Cadettes. These ungrateful parents complain that their daughters don’t get patches right away or don’t get center focus. And at the end of each year, not a handshake or a thank you. As soon as my daughter says she doesn’t want to be a scout, I’m done and I will be relieved to have the stress of ungrateful parents off my shoulders.

Beth February 28, 2011 at 1:56 am

Both of my daughters (currently ages 12 – Cadette, and 9 – Junior) are Girl Scouts and have been since each was in kindergarten. I have been a leader or parent volunteer since the beginning. I loved it! However, we recently moved from one council to another. The saying “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side” is absolutely true!!! The council we are now a part of is a joke! They have so many extraneous steps in their cookie program/process (from selling, to booths, to paying for cookies) it’s mind boggling.

I haven’t heard of anyone around here “hating” the Girl Scouts the way you described though, but I can understand the frustration. Cookies are PUSHED on us. If we don’t participate in both the fall product sale and the cookie sale (both of which are council fundraisers, that we only get to keep a small profit from) then we cannot hold ANY fundraisers of our own where we can keep 100% of the profit. Not even a bake sale. And the trainings, when and if you are able to attend them on their schedule, are endless and still leave you with a ton of questions.

And the Journeys absolutely STINK!!! The post-er who said they are basically forcing the girls to do them is correct. My sources, from my wonderful former council, say that GS spent so much time and money on developing them that they refuse to let them go the way of Studio 2B, which is why they linked them to the major awards and are revamping nearly everything about GS to link somehow to the Journeys. The only way to get the Journeys to take a hike is to have the girls do the complaining themselves. The powers that be in the GS organization do not listen to the parents or the leader volunteers about how the girls loathe them. But I don’t know if that will help either.

My girls truly love Girl Scouts. They both plan on earning their Gold Award, which is actually equivalent to a Boy Scout’s Eagle Award. The only tough part is getting through the Journeys, and dealing with the cookie sales every year. I honestly HATE selling cookies. But I do my part to support my girls. I just wish it was easier, with less trying to keep up with whoever, and more focus on what the girls really want. Journeys – they don’t want. Less pressure to sell – they want. More hands on activities, more fun, more life skills, more opportunities to come together as girls – they do want. My troop is all about events and activities that bring them together with other troops, learning how to camp, cooking outdoors, etc. They are dreading doing the Journey to help them earn their Silver Award. Heck, I am dreading it too!

Deb March 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Girl Scouts is not an option for my daughter. They have aligned themselves with liberal agencies and have embraced the feminist agenda. Some troops are teaching girls things that I would never allow my daughter to hear or participate with. The national organization leaders have sold themselves out and have left faith and traditional values out. While some troops may still keep these components in at the local level, the cookie money still finds its way to the top. Unfortunate, I was a GirlScout.

Leader in Canandaigua April 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I agree with so many of the posts above. I am a third generation leader and my daughter is a fourth. I was a Girl Scout from Brownies (they didn’t have Daisies WAY back then) through Seniors (also no Ambassadors) until I graduated from high school. It breaks my heart to see what they’ve done to Scouting. The Journeys are horrendous. The girls think they get enough SCHOOL at SCHOOL… they didn’t join Scouts to get more SCHOOL! When I was the leader of my daughter’s troop, we asked the girls, “What do you want to do? What do you want to try? What sounds like fun?” Then we searched for a badge that captured their desires for fun and adventure. And guess what? Along the way they LEARNED… without it being a “curriculum” that was shoved down their throats. And they learned leadership and they learned responsibility by being leaders and being responsible… not by reading about it in a Journey book. My daughter is in high school and wants to get her gold award but does NOT want any part of the Journeys. She is the co-leader of my new little Daisy Troop (they are so darn cute) and helps to plan and run all of the activities that we are doing to earn our petals. It’s a shame that she may not get her gold award, not because she doesn’t deserve it and because she hasn’t worked hard and contributed greatly to Scouts and to her community, but because of those rotten Journey requirements. What a sad comment on an organization that seems to be spiraling downward towards extinction.

And I hear the seething resentment from other volunteers at Council meetings. Council is useless. Providing program is up to the Service Units. It’s disorganized and so poorly managed. It’s truly heartbreaking. Then they wonder, between the boring Journeys and the lack of organization and program, why membership numbers have been sliding fast! Our Service Unit is half the size it was only a few short years ago. Sad. So sad!

Alie April 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Hi everyone, My name is Alie and I am a 16 year old new england girl scout. Can I just start off by saying please read this because I really want input! (sorry its long) Let me kind of give you my scouting background. When I was in kindergarten I saw my older brothers doing boy scouts and thought it just looked like so much fun. I begged my mom to make me a troop. I was a daisy, my mother was the leader, and practically my whole kindergarten class was in my troop! It was a great time. When I became a brownie we were now allowed to sell cookies. I was very excited, but little did I notice at the time but my mother must have been more excited. Throughout the years, I had earned every badge in the brownie book, junior book, bronze award, silver award, 1000+ cookie seller, and 2 time top seller in my state. I earned a religious award for every level, and every additional award for juniors and brownies. Needless to say I had two vests for juniors and brownies. This was all cool until I entered about 7th grade. By this time there were 5 people in my troop, 2 of which were my friends, and one of those two never came to meetings. The fun was over, and I started to dislike girl scouts as much as I dislike lima beans. I started growing older, but the incentives for selling cookies, and the activities for multi-troop events hadn’t seemed to be growing older with me. They were still things like playing name games, and getting stuffed elephants of an invisible ink pen… Now I am a sophomore in high school and I don’t like it when people know I’m a girl scout, for a multitude of reasons.

Frankly, I would like girl scouts much better if it wasn’t a joke. At school there is no real meaning to it besides selling the stupid cookies that make me feel bloated. Also the prizes for the cookies are awful. I’m in high school and let me tell you I don’t find a stuffed elephant or a ‘go green’ T-shirt something that I want to work towards. I really hate how in public eye, girl scouts = cookies, sewing, brownies (around 3rd grade girls). I am 16 and I would rather this organization be respected and taken seriously, but the way that it is run won’t make that possible.

Also comparing GS to boy scouts, I would say its an embarrassing comparison. We get put up in rank according to age, while they get put up according to work ethic and accomplishments. Both of my brothers are eagle scouts and when people hear this, they form a new respect for them, and know exactly how much work and effort that takes. They are immediately looked up to by co-workers, family, bosses, teachers, and even their peers. If I told someone I was working toward my gold award, they first ask me to repeat. Then they generally begin by saying something along the lines of “does that mean you sold the most cookies?” People don’t know what the gold award is, which is why I am hesitant on progressing in mine. The next thing comparing GS to BSA (boy scouts america) is their money management. I have been the top seller in my troop for as long as I know. The thing about this is that my whole troop decides where to go and how to spend the money that I had earned! I mean I got a say, but it was the same about of input as little susie (for example) who sold 20 boxes tops. Do I smell INJUSTICE?

In 5th grade, there were 20 girls in my troop. Four years later, there were four girls, one of which was my cousin, and 2 who were about the most annoying girls you can think of times about 400. To this day that is what my troop consists of. Oh and let me tell you I am not your typical girl scout. My other activities include: varsity field hockey, basketball, and track and field. In addition I play aau basketball (spring elite league), I do dance three times a week, and I play indoor field hockey in the off season, so it isn’t like I sit on my butt all day, or ever.

Ok so I’ll wrap up by saying that I was way pushed over my head in scouting and I am so gosh darn sick of it. I’m trying to get a job, keep my grades high, and succeed in sports, and girl scouting is the bottom of my priorities. My mother is trying to force me to do the gold award. I DONT HAVE TIME OR MOTIVATION. I’m so done with this horrible run organization and I really think about not allowing my kids to do it in about 15 years. Its awful and I can’t stand it.

Jessica April 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I’m a first year Daisy leader and I’m sorry to hear so much grumbling about GSUSA. I was in Girl Scouts when I was a girl, but dropped out due to boredom. And yet, I enthusiastically became a leader as soon as my daughter was old enough to join Daisies, because I wanted her to have a great Girl Scout experience.
I see problems with our Council and even our Service Unit, but the girls are not aware of this. They are exposed to Girl Scouting through our troop meetings and I try to keep the girls’ best interests in mind when planning our meetings and outings. I see myself as a facilitator. I offer the opportunity learn something new, visit a new place, etc. It’s up to the girls and their parents to make the most of that opportunity and to make Girl Scouting what they want it to be.
You get out of life, and Girl Scouts, what you put into it. So, the Journeys aren’t perfect…modify them. Want more of an “authentic” Scout experience, then go for it. Plan a hike, go camping, learn knots. Challenge your girls to really learn skills. Use the resources as a guide, but if you are the leader, you are the one the girls are looking to for guidance, especially at in the younger levels.
My family has been involved with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts for generations. I love Scouting traditions and plan to instill them and the traditional values in my troop. I see a lack of character development in society in general and I think Girl Scouting can still be a great way to teach values.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you don’t like how things are going, with GSUSA, society, etc. why don’t YOU do something to change it, instead of griping? I gladdly agreed to be on the Service Unit team next year, because I want to improve how things are done.

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 1:49 am

I definitely agree with this post. *thumbs up!*

Kiwicutiety May 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I am also a Girl Scout Leader, I have a troop with 15 girls and a bunch of totally awesome parents! I took over the troop when my daughter started brownies 2 years ago. I heard lots of please can we stop doing all the arts and crafts and try something new. We have been rock climbing, horseback riding, water parks, camping, sleepovers. We have earned ten plus try-its each year and many fun patches too. If there isn’t away to make it fun we don’t do it. We are so lucky that for the most part our parents agree with all that we do. If you don’t like your troop, change or start your own. The leader I took over from who did lots of arts and crafts, turns out she was dealing with cancer but didn’t want the girls to disband so she pushed on. All she was really capable off was arts and crafts, unfortunately no one stepped in to help. I think sometimes we forget that leaders are putting in hours of work and I mean hours, often times whole weekends to make these troops work. Try offering support and help, your leaders don’t do it to make you miserable or unhappy, they are doing what they can. We are so lucky that every parent in our troop offers to help. As far as cookies go, I am sorry to those who disagree but. I think all the girls should participate or not rep the rewards for the other hard working girls. We tell everyone involved up front, you help or you won’t reap the rewards. That being said, helpping means sell as many as you can. If that is 5 boxes that is fine. Attend a cookie booth if you can’t sell to friends and family. Just show us that you are showing an interest. Like everything in life you can’t please everyone all the time, I take the good and choose to put aside the not so good and go forth for the good of my daughter and all the other amazing young ladies in my troop.

Troop Leader October 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm

My troop is so much like your troop. We have been horseback riding, zip lining, high ropes, caroling, camping, cook meals, hiking, gone on weekend trips and had sleepovers with all the fun. My girls are asked to participate in cookie sales in what ever way they can to benefit from cookie sale money. I am fortunate to have some great parents who really step up when asked. I have 13 cadettes and I have been the leader since brownies. Yes, sometimes it is frustrating. Most worthwhile things in life take time, effort and patience. These girls are great. I think if I can listen to them and help them to know that they have a voice and they should use it then I am blessed. I am not a fan of the Journeys but I use them and make the best of them.

Anonymous May 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I hate the girl scouts, in essence, because they are not the boy scouts. When I was a young girl, I heard about how great the boy scouts were and wanted to join. No, they said. You have to join the girl scouts. You don’t get to go camping or tie knots or build fires. You get to sit inside and make construction paper projects and bake cookies and talk about feelings.

Yeah, no. I was so angry then at the sheer discrimination that I have been angry ever since. It’s also ridiculous how the “equivalent” girl scout honor to the Eagle Scout honor means nothing. Nobody thinks twice about you having it because girl scouts is considered a joke compared to the boy scouts. And no, going to a radio station or jumping on trampolines is NOT good enough, as a previous poster stated as good “journey” activities. I wanted to camp. I wanted to go to jubilees. I WANTED to do EXACTLY what the boy scouts got to do. Like all of my brothers. Well, too bad. I was a girl.

Also, selling cookies door to door, and in front of stores, is simply disgusting. I did not want to sell cookies. It’s degrading and takes away from the spirit of the organization in my opinion. They don’t make the boy scouts do it (yes, make. I know many girl scouts get punished for not selling enough…way to take away the innocence of childhood by teaching them the world is only about what you have to sell), and the boy scouts are doing much better in the public view.

/rant

JKLD May 27, 2011 at 8:36 am

Actually, the BSs (cub scouts) do have the popcorn sales, but that’s only 1x/year, as opposed to the cookie and nut sales that the GSs do.

I fully understand your resentment. I too was extremely disappointed in GS for my daughter. Having never had GS when I was growing up (I had FHA and 4-H), I didn’t know that GS were, in reality, less than equal to BS. I expected them to be equal in activities and outlook. Was I wrong and I totally regret ever putting my daughter thru the program. All she learned was arts and crafts, not skills that would help her in today’s world.

frankly, GS is totally short-sighted and needs to update their program to reflect that girls and women today aren’t ‘suzy homemaker’ but Suzy LEADER in business and government. That’s what I wanted for my daughter – that’s the type of programs that the BS teach. WHY are the GS so demeaning to women?

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 1:52 am

Selling cookies is NOT required in ANY Girl Scout troop. Troops may raise funds in a variety of other ways. Also, it is against policy to single out girls who do not sell as much as the others in ANY way. The top sellers are recognized, and that is all.

Another Leader September 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Selling cookies isn’t required per se, but if your council is like mine you don’t have much of an option. In my council, troops will not be approved to have a fundraiser if they have not done the two big ones the council benefits from, the cookies and the fall sale (magazines, nuts & candy). And at the training meeting I attended they stated it just as baldly as that. They told us that because they are so broke, they will turn down your request for a fundraiser if you haven’t done the two they receive money from. It makes me seethe.

JKLD May 27, 2011 at 2:38 am

Our daughter was in GS from Daisey – Junior. I will have to say that for the most part, she had good leaders. However, we had to switch troops 1 year due to family upheaveal (parents dying and all that goes with it, and missed deadlines), and the leader she had that year was the most horrible example of a so-called ‘leader’ that I’ve EVER come in contact with. She was, without doubt, a ‘stepford wife’ who wanted the girls in a box and no one goes outside of it. My daughter was 9/10 at that time and between the emotional upheaveal AND the start of prepubacence(sp), daughter got on her bad side big time. In fact, at the end of the year, I got a phone call 2 days before the troop was to go on an overnight trip that daughter was NOT invited back nor was she welcome on the trip.

Now, mind you, this “leader” (ha!) had never bothered to communicate with us at any time whatsoever that there was a problem, and in fact, had handed out the permission slip the week before the trip for me to sign. I was totally blind-sided by her call AND her conversation. When I asked what daughter had done, all she would say is “you know your daughter.” I further demanded an explaination and still didn’t get one. When I asked about some of the things she had done, the only thing that she could bring up was that she had stood up and sung a song from the movie “Grease” that was about virginity. When I explained that daughter loved musicals, just as her dad and I do, I told her I wasn’t suprised, and that she probably knew every word to every song in the movie.

Grease!

I complained to our council and it took nearly a year to get resolved. She was ordered to write an apology to both my daughter and to her dad and me. However, what came was no apology at all. Even daughter looked at hers and said to me that the woman didn’t even say she was sorry for what she did.

In the mediation meeting that we ultimately had with this “leader”, we brought up the so-called ‘apologies.” Her comment? She didn’t know how to apologize and it wasn’t in her nature.

And this woman was a LEADER who had no earthly idea of what being a leader is.

Frankly, I totally and aboslutely REGRET ever putting my daughter through GS. Looking back on her whole time, it was the biggest rip-off and waste of time. They learned NOTHING execpt arts and crafts. If LEADERSHIP is one of the goals, then GSs needs to severely revamp their programs. This is 2011, NOT 1911.

juliette low fan June 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I’m angry because they are selling our beloved camps and lying to the media about why. They told us at the annual meeting we are in the black but they tell the media it’s because of money. That the fees for campsites do not cover the cost of maintaining the camp-duhh-cookies sales should be used to maintain camps-our board will not listen to us! This is so horrible that this is happening!I suspect they are going to personally profit from this. They give wrong figures on the use of camps to the media-can we fire them?

JKLD June 29, 2011 at 1:15 am

We faced that here with our council. The camp is prime real estate (waterfront) and is also, if memory serves me correctly, used as a nature preserve. The council has been offered a small fortune for the property. I can’t remember whether they sold it or not (we left GS many years ago). The excuse was, as you said, they needed the money and the property taxes were getting out of line.

Anonymous June 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I’m lucky to be from San Diego, we have an amazing Council that runs lots of good camping programs, and the community puts together tons of programs for the girls. Our Council supports leader based design, so I’ve been able to use the Journeys as a foundation, but I build my own program around it, and I’ve found that it gives me a good guide.

anonymous August 5, 2011 at 12:18 am

I am from San Diego too. I think our Council tries to be sincere, but it’s all about what national wants. Also, it’s all about the city kids, forget rural girls. Paid staff does not want to travel and hour to provide training to multiple leaders: rather have us travel to them. Now is that green? We do not like journeys at all and they are forced on us. Very little prior information given out because they didn’t want complaints, just accept the program when presented. My troop has tried two journeys. We abandoned one, completed the other but had to do a lot of substitution. And yes, they are too much like school. I have older girls now and am struggling to keep them interested and aimed at silver/gold. We go for learning and fun most importantly, and teaching basic social skills/manners (since they are not taught at home anymore.) I will stay with the program as long as my daughter does, but the administration does not make it easy.

Anonymous June 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm

My daughter has been invited to join a new troop starting next year. We were thrilled with the opportunity till we met the leader, she is 350-400 lbs! I take the leaders in my daughter’s life seriously. I am concerned about the influence this woman will have over my daughter. Will my daughter think this is OK/normal to be obese? She needs messages talking about health. We attended a Girl Scout camp last year and all of the five main organizers were over 350lbs. What is going on here? Even the food they served was a bad example. The camp kitchen served dessert after every meal and in addition, they called the girls back at around 3:00 everyday for chocolate pudding and gummy worms. Ugh!

JKLD June 29, 2011 at 1:11 am

1. Do NOT EVER assume that just because a person is overweight that it is because of food/life style. I know numerous people who are battling weight simply because of meds or metabolism. Your stereotyping is offensive in and of itself.

2. Why not offer to help with the food and/or snacks, substituting lo-cal pudding or sugar free desserts for what they are being served? Or has it ever occurred to you that gummy worms might come in the sugar free form? Or that the pudding they’re serving just might be the sugar free kind? You can’t tell 1 from the other by looking these days. So, to put it bluntly, instead of complaining, offer to help. You might find that they’ll either take you up on your offer, or they’re already doing it and you just failed to see it.

3. The attitude you express (about these women) bleeds over to your child. I’m certainly NOT advocating obesity, BUT I am saying that you judged solely on appearance instead of their ability to do the job.

All I’m saying here is that if you have a problem with it, then be PROACTIVE, not reactive.

GS person June 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm

people hate GS beacuse they wanted to be a GS.

JKLD June 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I disagree. I never had it and actually, never knew it existed because I lived in a VERY rural and economically depressed area of Appalachia. We had 4-H and FFA/FHA. Quite frankly, looking back AND seeing what GS is, having had a child in it, I regret EVER putting my daughter in it. It taught her nothing but arts and crafts. My biggest argument with it is that it SHOULD teach the leadership skills that the BSs do, but for some reason, they relish in being inferior. Not what I want my daughter to EVER learn.

Anonymous Leader and Parent July 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I posted before about the journey programs being shoved down our throats. I’ve just gotten my new catalog in the mail, and low and behold! All badges have been discontinued, anything earned now is tied to a journey.

Girl Scouts wants more publicity for girls who get the high awards, so they make getting the high awards…undesirable. Tie getting the awards (the ones that, if enough girls get enough publicity, get the organization GRANTS) to a boring, stupid, workbook. THEN…take away any other option. Except the one our family selected: ending our membership and involvement.

Juliette weeps. She truly weeps.

504 August 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I agree, I cried when I got my catalog. I even called NY headquarters I was told, “you mean to tell me you want to make a complaint about a program that has not been introduced and you know nothing about!” and then hung up on me. Whatever happened to be a sister to every girl scout? My entire troop wants to quit. We will do the old program this year. I can only wish enough people complain and they keep the “classic” old program.

Anonymous August 6, 2011 at 1:13 am

I got the catalog today. Indeed the skill based badges were reduced from more than 100 to 15….simply means now we will have to go outside the program if we want to award the girls for achivement in those areas. I am astounded that “swimming” was dropped when it in fact is one of the few skills that empower a girl to save her own life and perhaps that of someone else.

We are nearing completion of the “Agent of Change” journey and along the way were able to fulfill the requirements for the “Theatre” badge which has been discontinued (but we will still award it to the girls since the badges themselves are still available !!), so there is some overlap of the old with the new depending on how you steer the open ended exercises. The journeys lend themselves to communications related skills, not so much to tool based skills or physical activities. The problem is that many leaders will be trying to reinvent the wheel if they don’t have a source book like the old “BadgeBook” to draw from to plan age appropriate activities in the areas that have been dropped.

Our troop has made it clear that we will celebrate the achievements of the girls regardless of which system they decide to follow, even if the leaders have to find alternative sources of badges when the stock of discontinued badges run out sometime in 2013 – fortunately the Boy Scout badges and the Girl Scout badges are the same size so for some the substitution can be pretty straight forward…..e.g., compare GS “Finding Your Way” to BS “Orienteering”. Saw some parody patches on the web too like “Duck Tape” that might work as well ( “Duck Tape” has so many possible emergency uses that one could argue it deserves its own legit badge ). Near as I can tell, there is precedent in GS for creating custom awards that are troop or council specific (which is why the GS store sell blanks, yellow background for troop, green background for council ) and I hope that customization is an aspect that is not being discontinued.

I would like to see GS post all requirements on their website, just like the BS do.

Anonymous August 31, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Yes Juliette Weeps! Juliette started Girl Scouts after visiting her friends Lord and Lady Bden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouts. My son, now 17 has been in cub/boy scouts since he was six. Boy Scouts is all about trying/learning/earning while focused on the ideals of service to God, Country, and Others. In the 11 years that we have been involved in Boy Scouts, yes my husband and I are both leaders and volunteers, we have never seen so many changes to the program as we see in only four years of my being a leader in the Girl Scout program. I am constantly wishing that Girl Scouts was more like Boy Scouts. I refuse to do the Journey’s program. My girls are active and fun loving. They want to get out and do things. I end up creating my own program, getting a lot of ideas from my son’s years in Boy Scouts. Now it looks like I’m going to have to do even more of that since Girls Scouts is yet again making their program “better”.

A leader under the radar August 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I , too, was disappointed at the new catalog. I have yet to do a Journey, and I have been a leader for three years. I am a former elementary school teacher, and I felt that the Journeys program was developmentally inappropriate for Daisies to sit and read…um, they couldn’t read!

I will not invest in the new program, as we are second year Brownies, and will try and figure out what to do with my girls. I can teach them about leadership and community service in other ways. We are a tight troop, with all girls being from our school, same grade, and the moms are friends or very friendly with each other.

BTW-I do not sell cookies. I did that with my older daughter, and it was awfully competitive in her troop. Most of my moms THANK ME for NOT SELLING cookies. I have my girls pay dues, and as a teacher, do a lot of crafts that cost very little.

Anonymous Leader August 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I agree the Journeys are a joke. I have a troop of Cadettes, and I am embarrassed to bring the Journeys to their attention. We will simply work on our on badge requirements ourselves. I’ve never been a Badge Nazi in the past anyways. What a shame.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Try the most recent one as they get better. If you’ve got girls who want to work on their Silver award, they’re only required to complete 1 journey, so you can just focus on meeting the basic badge requirements and be done with it pretty quickly. From what I gather there’s either been some confusion or a change of policy on the issue of whether the girls had to complete 1 or 3 Journeys.

Anonymous Old Scouter September 3, 2011 at 3:37 am

My anger comes from a few things. First, my religion was not acknowledged by the GSA, which was because their mottos were not conducive to our beliefs. This was a problem with the organization, not the leaders or the girls or anyone else. Since our religion was not acknowledged (even by a “they don’t agree with some things, but girls from that religion are welcome”) I actually experienced some pretty mean religiously based hate from the girls earning their religious based patches and such. There was no tolerance.

Second, the focusing on girly girly far more than on camping. We had maybe one trip in the 5 years I went, most of the time we sat around doing junk craft and ‘chatting’ like it was a slumber party. Where did we get the junk craft ideas? The manuals. So yet again, problem with the organization. The leaders we had, two of them would whip out a boy scout manual and help us do things that were actually useful, the other would encourage us to make bead necklaces. Yay. For someone like me who WANTED to learn to fish, camp in the cold, camp in the rain, camp in the snow even, hanging around dishing about who’s hot was not something I wanted to do. Where was the scouting? “Well, you want to earn badges right? That doesn’t include camping, scouting, survival, etc. It includes survival in today’s world for girls!” That’s why Wilderness Girls came up I think, because Girl Scouts became Girl Hangouts.

Third, the GSA today that I’ve been reading about and dealing with are extremely feminist. The scouting books seem to encourage a LOT that my religion and many others I agree with would have problems with. Just the idea that they work closely with Planned Parenthood makes me cringe. The liberal feministic ideals that seem pushed with the cookies today make me forgo all cookies and walk away. Keebler makes them just as good. Of course this means I have to say no to my cute little niece, and in a few years when my daughter sobs because she can’t be in the girlscouts I’ll want to strangle someone, but I can’t support what they’re teaching girls. In 20 years, it’s become so much worse than it was that I really do hope the Boy Scouts lets in little girls and blows the Girl Scouts out of the water. I’d much rather have a little girl cub than a brownie.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

GSA is inaccurate. It’s GSUSA (& BSA). But more specifically, how could it be possible that you have a religion incompatible with the GS motto, “Be prepared”? What sort of religion are you that you don’t believe in preparation?

The “girly” part is a function of the troop character. Some of my girls are probably tired of camping & dirt. I mix in some girly parts for them, but as with any group, compromise is a part of the equation.

Generally, you seem pretty unfamiliar with the organization beyond what you’ve read recently in conservative newsletters. GSUSA doesn’t work with Planned Parenthood. There is a report that at a WAGGS (London based) sponsored meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, UK’s Planned Parenthood distributed a safe sex brochure to attendees from around the world, including Girl Scouts. But as I imagine you already know, Europe has a different approach to teens and sex. And, I might add, far lower rates of abortion and teen pregnancy. Still, even if I might have a different opinion from you of the consequences of a safe sex brochure, GSUSA as a U.S. organization hews true to shared cultural values in our country.

Leader September 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Odd how a generic “Yea Girl Scouts” post is now the #1 internet spot to gripe about Journeys. My turn! When my girls were in Kindergarten, one look at the Daisy girl & journey books & I *knew* we weren’t touching them.

We have the new Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for Brownies – wow!! It is terrific!! It’s fun and substantive and packaged so well. I haven’t looked at all the levels but I’ve heard it’s all around great, & extra handy for girls earning their Bronze, Silver & Gold awards. But for those of you with older girls, if the Girls Guides aren’t terrific, then do what my friend is doing with her older troop. Let them do what they want. One year, they decided they could care less about badges, so they camped, caved, chatted at meetings, & did their annual service project. No uniforms, & even no cookies. The next year they decided to work on a major award. That is a perfectly valid troop.

But back to my complaints about Journeys, with new faith & the nonstop guilt trip re: the “Leadership Experience”, I bought World of Girls. The girl book is good, surprisingly good. The leader book – wow. Seriously. 10 meetings to earn the 4 Journey patches, except that each meeting is crammed with 60-90 minutes worth of activities (yeah right) none of which permit any major girl led decisions. That means our entire year could be spent on one Journey – which would mean we aren’t doing trips or cookies or ceremonies correctly.

While World of Girl’s suggested activities are too extensive, I will say they’re better, more natural than all prior Journeys. The consensus in our Council is that the Journeys are improving each release. If so, they need to retire the 1st Journeys ASAP. These are the same program staff who produced the terrific Girls Guide, so I can only think it’s because they tied the book too closely to some random grant proposal they did to fund the development.

For those upset that most cookie proceeds go to Council, what does “Council” mean? It means YOU, just not your bank account. Ever notice how inexpensively you can take a giant group of girls camping, canoeing, etc.? Each trip is subsidized by cookie sales. And if you think troops have a lot of paper work, they’re processing far more at Council. If we didn’t have paid staff, would you volunteer 50 hours a week to process forms? Their salaries are low and they work long hours – a rabid love of Girl Scouts is the only quality that would lead to a Council job.

Finally, for the conservatives posting about the liberal agenda of the Journeys, as a progressive, I will tell you I find GSUSA to be middle of the road moderate, although with a focus on telling girls they should be active in issues, which does lead to some political activism. The Journeys, while poorly written and overly preachy, do reflect generic good values for living, just like the Girl Scouts law. Be kind. Be responsible. Respect yourself. Respect others. Respecting yourself means accepting yourself even if you don’t look like a Barbie. Respecting others requires a respect for different cultures. Consequentially, the Journeys are purposefully multicultural, which is great for me because my troop is multicultural. I hope I’m overlooking something else in those Journeys that has offended y’all, but I can’t really think of anything. Hmm.. maybe I should hand it to my sister & get her to tell me what she doesn’t like.

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 1:59 am

If it were possible to applaud here, I most certainly would. Great post!

Leader/Mom/Former GS September 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm

My husband and I are co-leaders for our daughter’s (now) 2nd year Daisy Troop. We also have a 11 year old son and have been involved in Boy Scouts via Cubs or BSA for about five years. I agree with the post that discussed how well BSA works and is respected on a local and national level and am embarrassed that my husband is witnessing this mess that GS has devolved into.
Having watched GSUSA for a year I am beginning to think there is a fundamental rift between the people making policy and the people enacting the policy. I think the Baby Boomer feminists are fighting it out with the stay-at-home moms for how girls should be raised. You have one group insisting girls need to be trained to take over corporations; one insisting they should be trained to stay home and raise their children; and one group trying to do both.
The tragedy is that pretty much everyone has forgotten about the girls and their leaders. With BSA you have mentoring; GSUSA leaders get to reinvent the wheel from the word go. With BSA you have a strategic shift in content between 5th and 6th grade to the point the entire structure of what comprises a group alters. There is a clear demarcation between what is expected from elementary school aged children and what is expected from the Scouts as they become young adults.
My husband and I met with our scout parents over the summer. We reviewed and discussed the Journeys and where we want the Troop to go. We concluded we would take the best parts of Scouting from both BSA and GSUSA (bearing in mind that girls are not boys) and create an experience any Scout would be proud to be part of.
It seems counter intuitive to me that so many other GS Leaders are doing the same thing and GSUSA is so hidebound they are going to just let it happen. I am encouraged to read that the new Guide is apparently everything the Journeys are not.
I will leave you with one final thought. Years ago I worked for a large regional bank. That bank merged with another large regional bank to be come very large. They hired an outside consulting firm to come up with a name. The name was ridiculous.
Bank products started coming out with the new name, letterhead, business cards, mugs, etc. The bank paid for a huge advertising plan. The name was so silly the employees made constant fun of the name. The bank had spent millions of dollars on this new name. Anybody out there ever heard of Avantor? How about Bank of America?
The point, I don’t care how much money GSUSA spent on Journeys; they should consider it lessons learned and drop them before they implode.

perplexed September 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I just have a few constructive things to say:
1. We leaders and parents alike seem to have anger against the institution that is GSUSA. Poor leadership seems to be the overwhelming factor. Continuing on with Journeys that no one wants to do. Receiving minimal profits for our girls effort. Poor guidiance and minimal training. It is so sad to see.
2. In everything we do as adults, we embrace what we like but some how find a way to work around what does not suit you. I wanted my Daisy girls to look sharp in their uniforms. I required the Daisy long sleeved top and Leggings with the Tunic and beanie. The only option was if the parent found the tee and leggings too expensive at the GS Shop, then a white tee with blue leggings of similar color does the trick. They are so cute! And they look so professional. We will bridge next year, we will adopt a simialar uniform as Brownies.
3. We particapated in the nut/mag and cookie sales last year. It is about being able to present yourself in a positive manner, give a presentation about a product and team work. Any money maid was simply a bonus. I do not collect dues because everyone is always asking for money. I ask parents for donations of supplies. The parents are not encouraged to stay, but are not forbidden from staying. The girls become different people when parents are not around. My daughter suffers as I am the leader and she does not benifit from being more independant.
4. As a Leader you are the quality control manager, you have the power to make things happen. You may not beable to change the behavior of council, but you can effect what goes on in your troop and effect change with in your service unit by stepping up and mold and shape those leaders.
5. Please do not become bogged down by the negatives, there are so many…. Thank God that there are enough of us to effect, shape and guide the handful of girls that we do. Let us not focus on what they do wrong, lets pat ourselves on the back for what we do inspite of what they do wrong.
6. I do it for the girls, to teach them the values that are not often taught in our society. To help them be able to cope with and move beyond seemingly impossible obstacles. To help them be more productive, caring and intelligent well rounded women.
7. Why do you do it? How do you do it inspite of it all? If you don’t continue to do it then who will. March on Ladies, lets make a difference….That is what Lord Baden Powel and Lady Powel wanted, and that is what Daisy did.
8. I salute you all. God Bless.

Little Town Leader September 18, 2011 at 1:04 am

Wow, I was amazed to come across this article and the many, many posts in all manners; good, constructive and down right hateful. But, I must confess I too have had my foot in each of those categories.
I am a Leader, this is my third year. I am the Service Unit Director, this is my third year. When I got “suckered” in as I use to say, I did it because NO one else would and the experience my youngest daughter had with her troop was VERY poor. I was very judgemental about the leadership. Since then I have come to learn that it was not the leader’s fault. It was our local Service Unit and Council that was lacking for our small town.
Nobody told me the amount of trainings I would NOT be getting. Nobody told me that I would have NO resources to even begin a troop. Thankfully I didn’t give up. Being the things I am now have never put money in my pocket but I get paid everytime I see one of my girls, everytime I see another leader step up to take on the challenge and everytime I see our numbers not only growing but STAYING. The girls are not leaving in mass with bad experiences and ill feelings towards girl scouting. We haven’t perfected it but we certainly didn’t get here on our own. We have had to really buckle down and stand up and fight for every inch of success we have had in our 5 light town.
But we made it here because we pressed on, we stepped up when we didn’t like what we saw. Not every parent can do it. It is a commitment…that has no monetary value. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
And for all those sitting around thinking I must be a stay at home mom, your wrong. I work a 40 hour job in which i commute 30 minutes each way. I have two girls in Girl Scouts. I cook, I clean, I do alot…and yes I do have days when I think it is too much. Then I remember where my girls were 3 years ago and i have not only survived this far but WE have thrived. I intend to continue to thrive and recruit other parents on this journey with me.
So if you don’t like what you see at your local meetings, do something about it. Start your own troop, make the difference, be the leader you want your child to have. And don’t be afraid to create a little wave to get what you need to be successful.

suzieq September 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

i am angry at the girl scouts over the demands they make on the parents in general. That they seem to think every minute of weekend free time should be spent running the girls to events…. hours apart from each other, so you can’t hit them back to back.. NO NO! it’s an hour or more inbetween events! I am also angry at the girl scouts for telling me how to spend my disposable income. Trips that require money above and beyond the money raised through sales aren’t bad enough, they also require a parent to go at 50% more than the cost of the child. When we first started, it was the camping trip and maybe once a month somthing on a saturday. Now, its multiple weekend events and trips that cost into the $100′s!!! I just got an email yesterday that starting in two weeks, i will have to shell out an extra $100 a month for a trip for her to take in June!!!!! In my area of Ohio, people are still losing their homes left and right and struggling to buy groceries, so $100 is a very big deal. The inconsideration to the parents has disgusted me. If my daughter didn’t love being in her troop, this would be the final straw that would cause me to pull her out. I never knew you had to have MONEY to have your daughter be a girl scout.

Troop Leader October 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Wow. I am more than shocked at the money involved in your daughter’s troop. I have been a leader for 4 years. I have cadettes now. We have two regular meetings a month (Our dues are $35 for the year which can be paid in installments and that money is used for badges, books and supplies.) and two outside activities a month. These activities may be just for our troop, Service Unit led or Council led. I do “schedule” mutlitple activities a month because my girls are involved in other activities. If a girl can’t make one activity then maybe she can go to another. I tell my families that Girl Scouting is great because a girl can participate in whatever way works best for her family. The troops’ cookie money pays for the all outside activities except for summer camp. My girls are cadettes and some of the girls have been together for 6 years. They decide how to spend their money. Sometimes, they want the parents to pay for things to save troop money and that is when I step in and say “No way”. It is about having the girls be responsible in money management. Again, I am shocked about the amount of money being used for your daughters troop. I suggest a parents meeting. We had one when I became leader and it helped so much.

Troop Leader October 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm

And by parents meeting I mean that the troop leaders are invited also. Be honest and respectful. The troop leader may not know that anything is wrong. Most troop leaders really do want to do the best for the girls.

GS Troop Leader September 22, 2011 at 2:12 am

It is sad to read about the negative experiences of so many dissatisfied people.

The first troop my daughter went into was a nightmare. The leader was very nice and organized, but the co-leader was rude, condescending, and downright mean to the girls. She actually raised her voice to my daughter. She also humiliated her in front of several of the girls in the troop by reprimanding her sternly and loudly for bringing the wrong shoes to an event.

I pulled her out of the troop immediately. I was angry and hurt and frustrated. My next step was not to post my frustrations in a public forum because a person (NOT Girl Scouts) left a bad taste in my mouth. At no point in time did “Girl Scouts” ever mistreat me or my daughter. I decided to do the only thing I felt I could do.

I became a troop leader. Although it is hard work and requires many hours of my time and pays $0 for my efforts, it’s the best adventure I’ve ever been on. The girls in my troop are amazing young ladies, and I see future success in every single one of them.

Girl Scouts gave me an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of girls. I took it, and it’s one of the best things I ever did.

Girl Scouts is what we make it.

formerGS September 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

I am a former Girl Scout who started in the 80′s and went through to earn my Gold Award and become a Daisy Troop Leader. I missed GS, so am now beginning a Brownie Troop, as my daughter is interested. I was so excited and took all required certifications–”be prepared” is the GS way, right? At this point, I want to throw my hands up and walk away! Why? The council in my area, unit mangers, and the like are disorganized and seriously lack follow through in every way! It is the end of September and I still have no word from the unit manager where our meeting place will be, despite numerous attempts. We are supposed to meet with the girls this next Tuesday (it’s Friday)–I can’t call parents if I don’t know where we are meeting. If I do find out, I will look like an unprepared moron calling them at the last minute & GS as an organization looks bad. It doesn’t help that unit manager is burned out, I think. Instead of having my own troop that I am responsible for, she wants to sort of combine my troop with her Cadettes–so I can’t just set a time or meeting place. I had already purchased supplies and planned out or meetings for six months, field trips, cookie goals, etc. Now I’m hanging out waiting for her to answer questions so that I can get started. Word is out that parents who went to recruitment night a month ago are irritated they haven’t received any info—ugh! This is NOT what GS was so many years ago! Any help or advice would be great. It would break my heart to leave GS, but one foot is out the door & my troop hasn’t even started yet…

Troop Leader October 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

As a leader I had to find a meeting place for my troop. I contacted churches and found one church that provided a wonderful room with a lot of space for our meetings. I was fortunate. I have told my girls that they are to treat the building and contents with great care. I don’t know where we would go without this church’s generosity. So, my advice is to start calling. Good luck.

formerGS September 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

I also wanted to say that I work a full time & part time job, two kids with other activities, and am busy as is every parent today. Being organized is key and shows respect to the parents and volunteers in GS. This area has lost much of their members and volunteers because of this unorganized behavior.

Sandy September 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Wow, I feel a bit better about what I’ve been feeling after reading so many of your responses. My daughter was in brownies last year and I felt it was a huge let down, a playdate each week with some random crafts. NO CAMPING at all. Hiking was done in the very local parks. It was not like the scouts I remember when I was a kid in the early 80s. I have been contacting the leaders in this area to try to find the right group for my daughter and have been given huge guilt trips about not volunteering as leader (I can’t remember the last time I was so offended by a comment) and have been told the groups are all full. Apparently if you aren’t in the right clique in K or 1st grade you’re out of luck. Last night I finally asked my daughter if she wanted to do it and she told me no, that she didn’t really like any of the girls. She also saw the camping catalog and wants to do outdoor scouting things, not inside playdates. I am appaled at their disorganization. All of their Fall scheduling should have been planned months ago. I feel bad for the troop leaders who are trying but have limited resources and power.

I complained to my online moms group about the issues I was having with the organization. We’re all familiar with survival camping, extreme arts, creative, know how to get what we want done (we’re all part of an arts subculture in our area). What did we do, we decided to form our own “scouts” troop (not sure what it’ll be called yet). No ages, both sexes, no religous agenda, all are welcome. It’ll be pretty informal and we have to figure a lot out, but we get to set the rules.

Sure, I could have started a troop here, but I just can’t deal with the higher ups in this organization. I can help, but I can’t commit to being a leader and desperately want her to learn life skills. She can play with crafts at home. I want her to learn how to build a fire, what can be eaten in the wild, how to sew, how to build something with a hammer and nails, etc.

ani October 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I just want to throw my 2 cents in. I am a troop leader for a troop of about 50 girls from Daisy to Junior. I am a 300+ pound woman (not for long thank you very much) as well. So I cover a point of view that can address many of the “concerns” explained in some of the comments here. I think that the people who are most vocal in their hatred for the Girl Scouts have no idea of what actually goes into running a successful troop, or what GS are all about. It is an unbelievably challenging and rigorous thing to undertake. Just the infrastructure of a troop has a mountain of paperwork and requirements to uphold. Add the girls, the activities, extra-activities, and the parents it becomes quite overwhelming. It is necessary to have toop leads who communicate well and are committed to seeing the troop succeed. We have been a troop for 3 years and we are still working out the kinks. Also because of the nature of how troops are formed no 2 troops are alike. The simple fact is we cannot please everyone, SOMEONE is going to have a problem with SOMETHING the troop is doing. If you don’t like one troop find another, or start one of your own. It seems to me most of the people who have a problem and are hollering to the point that they are going up the chain of command are also the people who don’t have time to volunteer and help. If something isn’t being done very well, or if something is missed I would wager that this troop needs more helping hands from the pool of parents. I would also like to point out that if you have a concern I am happy to do whatever I can to fix it but approach me with a disrespectful demeanor I am very likely to ignore you. I volunteer my time energy and money for your children and mine. I deserve at the very least your respect. People, the troop leads don’t get paid to do this, if you have a problem you deserve to have it resolved, you do not deserve to to be tyrannical about it. I am sure I am not the only lead who feels this way.

Also, to those who have concerns about fat people being team leads, my suggestion to you is to quit being judgmental. Kids know that fat isn’t healthy as well as the fat people do. Get over yourself and don’t let someones size prevent your child from having a nurturing and educational experience. BTW, the lady who posted that comment said nothing about her plans to volunteer. Either put up or shut up. You have no room to complain if you aren’t going to help.

The journey books. Yeah, I get the frustration and I was right there with you. In our troop we have decided to dispense with the journey books for the Daisy’s and the Brownies in favor of doing our own curriculum and patch program, we feel that the journeys are a little age inappropriate for the littler kids. But in order to be eligible for the scholarships the girls Junior and up have to complete journeys. After having gone to the service unit meeting I am a little more openminded about the journey books. They do have some good content, and are able to be tailored a bit. It seems to me that many of the patches have been more revamped than dismissed altogether. I have resolved to see how it goes before I decide to hate the new programs out of their boxes. I suggest you do the same.

Finally, the accusation of money grubbing. Well, these organizations are expensive to run. They depend of volunteers and donations. They have to be able to pay for all of the opportunities they provide for the girls. Nothing in this world is free people. So while I do think the expense to the girls and parents CAN get a little out of hand, that is what cookie sales are for. Our troop encourages sales (we do not penalize girls who are unable to sell cookies) and we put the money in the troop fund. We use this money to cover as many costs as we can. We get very creative with was to cut expenses for the parents, we strive for 100% participation in our core program activities (meetings, field trips, projects etc…), and every year it gets little better and we can cover even more. We even have a little help fund when one of our scouts needs a little help with the cost of a trip or something. If you find your troop is not as cost conscious as you think they should be offer to help! or find a troop that is.

The bottom line is that the Girl Scout experience is only as good as you make it. Get involved! See how it works for yourself! This is such a great opportunity for girls of all ages and grown ups too! But it can only be great with the nurturing and support from the parents and community. So I challenge all of the haters. Get your background check done and go volunteer before you get too judgmental. We are not the Boy Scouts. We are the Girl Scouts, and we are awesome.

On my honor I will try to serve god/man and my country. To help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Alana October 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm

I was a Brownie leader for five years, of several troops, with first my older daughter then my younger one. I very much enjoyed all the girls in our troops and am grateful for the wonderful experience. (Except the cookies and the cookie paperwork, though I appreciated that it gave the girls experience with business and planning.)

My girls are now in their twenties. I was looking at the Girl Scout website tonight to see what was new in Girl Scouts, and found to my utter dismay what looks to be a really horrible, talky “Journeys” program, along with no patches except “legacy patches.”

????? Have they lost their minds?????

I knew I couldn’t be the only one aghast at this, so I looked for a forum where this was discussed, and found this forum.

I’m glad I’m not a Girl Scout leader today, because I would really be unhappy with this new program, and with the fact that you have to do it in order to progress as an older Girl Scout. It seems too political, as well (a direction it was going in when I was involved, which seems worse now).

If I had been presented with the new program today, I would not have become a Girl Scout leader. This makes me happy I did it when I did!

I don’t know what I would do today. Have boys, maybe, and join the Boy Scouts! :) My older daughter’s husband was an Eagle Scout – here’s hoping they have boys and can continue the tradition!

Anita Young October 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Can anyone help me locate a Daisy troop in the Frisco/McKinney, TX area? My daughter is in 1st grade and we signed up about 2 months ago. We are not interested in commuting to Ogle Elementary in Craig Ranch (near Allen). Please advise. younganita2003@gmail.com

Thanks for ANY help!

GS mom November 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I am having a problem with my girls troops. It seems like everything is all about the money. Going to spa parties, movies, diney on ice, etc… and this is only a month into the GS year. I just added it up and between my 3 girls in right now I have already been asked for 273.00 for dues, trips, and registration fees. In a month. I mean come on really. What happened to doing good deeds and things for the girls to come away with a learning experience? Please someone…

Jennette November 18, 2011 at 1:48 am

Im currently having problems with my 9 year old sister’s leader. She’s very disorganized and kind of ditzy I should say? And because of this my sister is missing out on the experience, and I’m not the only girl scout parent that feels this way. My sisters leader fails to inform half the group about events, for instance, last month I got an email saying they would be spending the night at the zoo, this was Monday. I wrote back immediately that my sister would want to attend. (let me inform you that this was the first time I heard about this plan). So her leader doesn’t write back till Thursday saying she’s very sorry but it’s too late!! She told all the other parents, with the exception of 2 others, about the plan 2 weeks ago!! I’m not mad at girl scouts, but I’m very disappointed. My sister talked about it all week, she was SO excited to go. When I got the email she cried, not little tears but sobbing. She was in the shower and she completely fell apart into sobs again. She cried for hours and was too upset to go to the meeting the next day (Friday). I’ve looked for leaders throughout my whole side of town, but no one has gotten back to me! I’m too busy in this whole parenting my sister thing to become a leader. I’m very upset and honestly I don’t know what to do but talk to the leader, who hasn’t changed. I think this girl scout thing would be a great experience for her, if only she had something to experience…

Angry Junior December 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I was a junior in 2009 with troop 30572 and right around when cookies were being shipped my troop left me! My troop wouldnt answer my calls, or call me back. I am angry because i was the the highest level of girls in my group and i was to be a cadet at the end of that season. So maybe that is why some people are angry: ABANDONMENT!

MrsJazzbert December 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

The Journey books and programs are simply AWFUL! My daughter and her troop are hemorrhaging members because they are BORED STIFF! When the girls were asked why they joined GS they said, in order: woodcarving, sewing, camping, hiking, bird watching, crafts, knitting, fishing, trips,”learning cool new stuff.” Not one of them wants to sit around talking about their feelings and working through what feels like more school work.

I think GS has seriously lost their way. They’ve replaced character-building activities with talk about building character. They do not accomplish the same thing.

I really don’t know who GS focus-grouped for this re-branding, but it wasn’t girls. It sounds like it was done by a committee of consultants who have never been children.

I cannot convey the girls’ collective disappointment at learning that they would not be earning badges like they saw the older girls wearing at the Hershey Camporee in June. The idea that we’re all ‘going somewhere together’ takes away the opportunities for them to explore different things, even from one another, and then bring that experience to the troop to share. I hope this changes soon because I know that my daughter (and many of her troop sisters) are not excited about what they are doing and, I fear, will not continue in scouting.

Galinda January 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

I”m a former Girl Scout employee. More than the cookie scam, and more than the liberal attitudes that people disagree with….I disagree with the way my GS council is run. At the council I worked at our CEO “moved on to other opportunities” after a weekend of drunken sexual escapades at a Girl Scout conference – on the company dime. After french kissing several female staff members, groping a male staff member and asked her fellow staff member (who was sharing a hotel room with her) to sleep somewhere else so that she could bring a man she had just met back to the room to have sex. (Meanwhile sending x-rated pictures of their escapades to other staff members.) No exaggeration.

LoveToEarnBadge February 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

If, like many, you are unhappy with the current Girl Scout program and are looking for other clubs for girls, you may wish to check out a new youth program for girls called Frontier Girls Clubs. They offer more than 1200 individual badges at all age levels from preschool through high school. You can find them at http://www.frontiergirlsclubs.com.

Another alternative that many Girl Scouts have turned to is Quest Clubs. They have hundreds of badges offered as educational incentives that can be used to supplement the current Girl Scout program. Check them out at http://www.questclubs.com.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 2 trackbacks }