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#1 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest 2 want to be in Girl Scouts, they have friends in Brownies and Daisies. I tried over the summer and called, they took my information and said that they'd get it to the local group for registrations and then the troop would call me at registration time to get them signed up. Well, here it is February and they never called me back. Should I even bother next school year with trying again? I'm certain our local GS has hs'ed kids in it, there are a LOT of hs'ers in my area so there's literally no way they couldn't have hs'ed kids. But dang, my girls are feeling like I went back on my word to get them into GS this year (they begged me and I promised I'd do what I could, they were in the kitchen when I made the call even) and I feel bad about it. What do I do now? Should I call them again and pitch a fit over this since somebody screwed up? Or just wait for next year and try again? Or should I not even bother, and find a different scouting group that they may enjoy more? I don't want to disappoint them again, this is what I get for telling them flat out that I'd try to do something before I do it.

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#2 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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I have been girl scout councils to be very slow to assist in placement. Back in Ohio it took months for them to finally let me know they couldn't find placement and she'd have to be a juliette (scout w/o a troop) That was after I had already found her a home through word of mouth. Same thing here in GA.. I don't know if they are super over worked at council level or poor communication... but word of mouth seems to be better. Plus there are troops for every person's idea of ideal. Some we've been to were a horrible fit for us, some have been just amazing.. I like being able to be in better control of finding the best fit for us.
As for timing - we are in cookie sales.. last year when we moved the first troop we came to wouldn't let dd do any activities (without paying a huge fee) because she didn't sell cookies for that troop. Obviously her cookie sale money went to the troop she was in. So I would check with troops about how your dds would fit into the scheme of the sales/activities before deciding to join or wait.
Good luck!

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#3 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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I would ask around to other moms you know and find one of their troops, then talk to the troop leader!

It's true that each troop does a lot of different stuff. As a kid my troop went camping once a month year round and it was tons of fun, but some girls joined and then quit because they weren't the outdoors type...they had to rejoin a different troop that did completely different activities instead!

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#4 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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I usually see flyers out in the fall for troops. I think that finding a troop and then contacting them probably is the best way to connect. Also consider calling large churches or community centers and seeing if they have troops meeting there. Most of ours do.

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#5 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 11:19 PM
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I am a daisy scout leader. We have a multi level troop. The council very rarely places kids with us--it is almost always by word of mouth. You said that your dds have friends in brownie/daisys. Call them! Make contact with their leader and go from there.

As far as timing goes, our troop accepts girls at any time. We do have dues ($6/month) that cover the basics--our cookie money goes for bigger stuff. So, if a girl didn't join in time to sell cookies, we don't really care (we are a large troop though and can cover an extra kid or two). We do expect girls to sell some cookies though that are in the troop at that time. We don't nag them, but if we are going to keep dues low AND still do the fun, big stuff, then we need the cookie sales.

So, in short don't give up. The Girl Scout organization in general isn't the best. They are great at restricting us, and that is about it. Find a leader and go from there.

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#6 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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I would just call them again. Let them know you have been expecting their call since last summer. They should have called you back, but generally I find people are very forgetful. I always feel it is up to me to call, and call again, if I want something to be done.
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#7 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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I think you should start calling troop leaders. Also, post to the listserv of your homeschool group. Work that network!

Happy scouting!
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#8 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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no experience with girl scouts but were a boy scout family. Often summers are the most hectic times because frankly leaders are turning over troops or what not so the org may not know who is taking over next fall. i would talk to your DD friends who are already started and get in contact with their troop leader. Not sure how GS works but boy scouts allow members to join at any time within the scouting yr.
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#9 of 32 Old 02-10-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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Yes to calling again. It's completely possible that the office you called DID hand off your name to a local troop leader and it simply got misplaced/overlooked. The leaders are moms of the girls and often pretty busy (I should know - I was one last year! It was a lot of work and there was a lot of paperwork to keep track of!)

I'd try calling a local elementary school and asking if they could give you the name and number of the coordinator for the school. That person should be able to point you in the right direction.

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#10 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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In my area, there are very few troop leaders so it is hard to get girls into girl scouts unless you are willing to lead a troop. If you are willing to go into whatever troop is open, even if that means a long drive, you may have a better chance of getting in. If you are willing to go through the training to lead a troop you will have a better chance of getting them in. It isn't a prejudice against homeschooled kids, it is just a lack of volunteers.
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#11 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 02:37 AM
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Yes to calling again. It's completely possible that the office you called DID hand off your name to a local troop leader and it simply got misplaced/overlooked. The leaders are moms of the girls and often pretty busy (I should know - I was one last year! It was a lot of work and there was a lot of paperwork to keep track of!)

I'd try calling a local elementary school and asking if they could give you the name and number of the coordinator for the school. That person should be able to point you in the right direction.


ITA...I've been given several names and email address from council or the service unti director. I emailed all 3-4 times. Only 1 out of the 5-6 ever responded and they kept making arrangements to visit the troop and then wouldn't show up. I turned away girls because I was holding spots for the 2 daughters over the summer then the mother never responded to the info about the parents meeting or first meeting. She then made arrangements to visit about mid fall and once again never showed up. I found it just didn't pay off to follow up council and SU leads. I would rather post on homeschool group lists.

Anyway, so OP I too suggest you find out who the troop coordinator for your area is or just start asking around the homeschool groups or neighborhood etc.


I also agree with One_Girl: There is a huge shrotage of leaders and other volunteers right now. We had to turn away a lot of girls last yr for daycamp because we didn't have enough volunteers to keep camp as big as it has been in the past. Also someone from council is acting service unit director for several of the SUs because of the shortage of volunteers.

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As for timing - we are in cookie sales.. last year when we moved the first troop we came to wouldn't let dd do any activities (without paying a huge fee) because she didn't sell cookies for that troop. Obviously her cookie sale money went to the troop she was in. So I would check with troops about how your dds would fit into the scheme of the sales/activities before deciding to join or wait.
We don't do that with new girls but finally had to decide to do that with current girls that decide to not participate in sales. It just wasn't fair to the other girls. Now we don't care if they sell 1 box or 1000 or if their only sales are through booth sales. We are just requiring that they participate in some way before the troop will pay their way.

Quote:
Same thing here in GA.. I don't know if they are super over worked at council level or poor communication... but word of mouth seems to be better.
Both... the complete restructuring of all councils, an email problem over the summer, the fact that Greater Atlanta lost the lease on their offices, and the lack of volunteers has made the last 1 1/2 yrs pretty interesting for scouting in GA.


ETA: most troops form and recruit from fliers sent out at schools or churches, so sometimes there seems to be some misunderstanding that you will get word of troops in your area.
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#12 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 08:49 AM
 
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We used the troop finder on the web site 2 years in a row with no match. I also contacted someone in my area I found by googling for a local reference, and was able to locate some potential Daisy troops. But that was a dead end too. DD is enjoying a dedicated all-levels home school troop that meets at a central location who we found through our home school group. It would have been nice to make friends with some neighborhood girls though, was my thinking. But the home school troop is exceeding expectations.
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#13 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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I am a Brownie leader. I don't know where you are, but there have been a lot of...organizational issues this year and before last year we had tried several times to join 4H and GS unsuccessfully for the reasons you've stated. Finally, dh worked with a Brownie leader and she got us in. I would call the regional GS office, tell them your problem, and ask for a local leader's direct number. They can still get your girl in this late. Or at least, I would have no problem with it. We have a lack of leaders and state reorganization this year and it's been INSANE.

As for sales-I think they're ridiculous. We have 7 cases of cookies left over from people who wouldn't pay (not parents) and more than that of parents that paid for people who wouldn't pay. But we aren't allowed to sell them and have to take a loss if we don't sell nuts/chocolates/magazines right now. One of my daughters has a severe nut allergy and I *refuse* to lead that sale for health reasons-no nuts in my car or home no matter what. I would never penalize a girl for not selling.

Most of my girls are very destitute and several have parents in jail for drugs. These girls do what they can, and participate in projects. Especially this year when we sold cookies 6 months before our "first" sale of the year, plus had the caravan and booth sales-most people still had cookies when we went around to ask. Plus the UW black out and Boy Scouts selling (BS get 75% of money they collect, GS get 8-15% at most from cookie and other sales) at the same time. So most people were hostile at best about buying cookies again. Not to mention such high poverty and unemployment here-most people can't afford a $4 box of cookies. So no matter if my girls sell or not (and I am firmly philosophically against turning them into salespeople) they will be able to participate one way or another.

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#14 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK I will start making phone calls then and see what I can do for them with getting them into GS. Honestly the only reason I'm so willing to do this is because I want to buy cases of the cookies LOL We have a serious cookie addiction here (samoas and tagalongs rock!) and I could buy all the cookies myself that my girls would need to sell probably. LOL I'll also put out a call on the local homeschool group to see if there are more than just the troop my girls' friends are in locally. I don't see why there wouldn't be more than one troop, our town is big enough to need 9 elementary schools................ lol

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

And waiting impatiently on baby Isaiah ******* to appear around 3/12

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#15 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Never wait on someone else for something you can do on your own. That's my motto...

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#16 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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Never wait on someone else for something you can do on your own. That's my motto...
Good motto

I'm a Brownie Leader and we accept girls anytime. We have no cut off dates for girls to join. We are allowed only to take 10 girls/leader in Brownies. I would have your children ask their friends for their leader's information and then give them a call. That seems like the best way for them to get involved.

About girls having to pay fees if they don't sell cookies--that's terrible. In our troops we try to let every girl have the opportunity to be in girl scouts regardless of their income, ability to sell cookies (we did ask that each girl sell at least one box for the cookie patch, but we didn't really stress about it), ability to purchase uniforms or books. . .I wasn't going to let DD sell cookies, but since I'm the leader I thought she should. I'm glad I made that decision, she was so good at talking with people, counting out money, making change. . .a good activity for homeschooling children.

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#17 of 32 Old 02-11-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Start your own homeschool troop?


I found Girl Scouts to be pretty clique-y .. just like the moms that run them. There's troops for schools and sometimes troops for churches... but it depends more on who's the mom in charge and the dynamic she has with her own child in the troop. Keep fishing around.... but realize that you may need to help out.
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#18 of 32 Old 02-12-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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I had this same experience with Girl Scouts and quickly found that a phone call to the office of the local elementary school got me the troop leaders' name and phone numbers immediately. This actually also worked for Boy Scouts. This was after - with both Scouting organizations - I got no response from emails and phone messages left.

Good luck!
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#19 of 32 Old 02-12-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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Keep in mind that whoever "screwed up" is likely a volunteer mom just like yourself who is not only running her own GS troop and quite possibly whatever additional PTO or fundraising duties her school has, but has taken on an extra position of "troop organizer," and is also responsible for putting girls in troops. This is what they call it where I live, but it's not as standardized as boy scouts. Some extra phone calls to the school or other leaders would be fine, if you have the time. Keep asking until you get to the right person. Most troops in our district are HAPPY to add girls at any time.

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#20 of 32 Old 02-12-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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Hi Cat,

I remember you from the Large Families board on BBC (which I totally don't visit much anymore).

Anyhow, I'd try again. I'm a Co-Leader of my older DD's Daisy troop and quite frankly I'm crazy busy. I try to get back with people but I'm a busy mom with a million things going on... so sometimes I forget.

Also, depending on who is volunteering in your Service Unit... some of them are really great and some of them mean well but are highly disorganized people. It's all run by volunteers.

As for the whole money thing... we use cookie money to buy the patches that our girls earn and to pay for registration for the next school year. If we had a girl who joined late in the year and did not participate in cookie sales I'd just let her mom or dad know upfront that they would be responsible for the registration fee for next year (which is only $12).

We do add girls in whenever they come to us. And other than our "starter" group of around 5 girls we've gotten 5 more "referrals" from friends.

HTH,
Beth
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#21 of 32 Old 02-13-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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I second the advice to start you own troop.
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#22 of 32 Old 02-13-2010, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I second the advice to start you own troop.
I literally know NOTHING about scouting or anything that even remotely resembles it. I was not allowed to do ANY of that kind of stuff growing up, so me leading a troop would be a monumental mistake I think. At least, not until I've had kids in the program for a couple years.......................

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
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#23 of 32 Old 02-13-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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I literally know NOTHING about scouting or anything that even remotely resembles it. I was not allowed to do ANY of that kind of stuff growing up, so me leading a troop would be a monumental mistake I think. At least, not until I've had kids in the program for a couple years.......................
I was never a girl scout & I started up a homeschool Daisy Troop 2 years ago. I had NO clue what to do, but I found a ton of stuff on the web & just went with it. My DD really wanted to do it & I didn't want her in our local troop. I also chatted with another leader & she gave me some hints. There really is a whole lot of information about running the meeting, ideas, field trips, etc. It's been fun & I'm looking forward to our girls moving on to Brownies.

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#24 of 32 Old 02-15-2010, 04:16 AM
 
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It's really not hard. GSA has books with instructions on how to run a meeting and lists of suggested activities for each badge. You just have to figure out a place and time to meet and a few activities to do at each meeting. You'll probably find a few of the other moms are willing to do a ton of the work to help support you. You don't have to do the cookie thing if you can find another way to raise money to pay for troupe activities. As the troupe leader you get to select the parents and children in your troupe. The moms an our troupe have gotten to be really great friends and we've had a ton of fun figuring out to be "momscouts"
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#25 of 32 Old 02-15-2010, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I also lack a desire to lead a bunch of kids. I do fine with my own girls, but couldn't IMAGINE having to lead a group of kids like that. I never was good at leadership, I had a leadership position in high school (yes I know that was 10 years ago LOL) and just did not do well.

If I were to start my own troop it would take a lot of prayer on my part to prepare for such a thing, and probably getting my anxiety meds adjusted to accomodate the increased stress.................. lol

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

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#26 of 32 Old 03-03-2010, 02:22 PM
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hi, i'm a brownie leader, and wanted to mention two things.

i totally understand how frustrating it can be to find a troop. usually towns have a town registrar - and depending on how they advertise, it can be impossible to know what's going on. talking to moms is one of the best ways to find out and call the leader directly.

also, i took on the '01' leader role for our troop this year - and what a blast! don't worry about having no experience... everything is there for you to learn form and choose. there is a 'brownie try-it' book that has all the try-its listed, and all the activities to go along with it. so you can pick (or have your scouts pick) and go for it!

if you google brownie try-its you can see everything that is out there.

the only thing that makes things a bit 'organizational' is the training and paperwork. it's not much by any means, but necessary to cover yourself and your troop from an insurance standpoint. the training us usually free, or nominal depending on what you're doing. and they give lots of creative ideas too.

good luck!
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#27 of 32 Old 03-03-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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the only thing that makes things a bit 'organizational' is the training and paperwork. it's not much by any means, but necessary to cover yourself and your troop from an insurance standpoint. the training us usually free, or nominal depending on what you're doing. and they give lots of creative ideas too.

good luck!
susan
Maybe it depends on your area, but I strongly disagree. My troop this year has been nothing short of a full time job. Massive paperwork, multiple trainings 1+ hours away required, money I have to put in from my own pocket for meetings/training/etc., hours a week spent preparing for meetings with materials and such. We have to pay for our required visit to the state meeting, trainings, everything, all out of pocket. Plus co-leaders are hard to come by. I had two drop out and lose contact within a month and was left with 12-20 3rd grade girls by myself.

It is a LOT harder than people tell you. And stressful. I have so many parents who don't feed their kids, let them ride to meetings in the back of trucks and one time with 5 kids in the back of a 2 seater car (in the hatch)...most don't have decent homes and come to rely on you. That's nice, but very stressful having to deal with the parents. Not to mention when parents are an hour late because they forgot their kid and the girl is crying. Or the parents who show up yelling at you the first half hour of every meeting because they wish the meeting place was ___ instead of ___, etc. The house we have to use for gs also doesn't have plumbing/running water half the time and raccoon and mice issues. We can't use the kitchen-so there go a lot of cooking/science things to do.

I love my girls. They are the best part of being a leader by far. The bureaucracy and parents (not all! I have some fantastic parents!) are the big issues. You need to be prepared to deal with that. Not all areas are this bad. My SIL an hour north has fantastic flexibility and support from her area council. We do not.

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#28 of 32 Old 03-06-2010, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, today we took the kids out to get our family pictures done (ho boy what an event THAT was lol but beautiful pics so we're happy) and we stopped by a GS cookie booth at the mall. I decided to say something to the women running the booth that time, and they just *happen* to be the local Daisy and Brownie leaders! Soooo, Monday at 6pm dd2 starts Daisies and Tuesday at 6pm dd1 starts Brownies. And even more fun, the Daisy leader has her dd in her troop and they also use the same k12 school we do, she had her dd with her in uniform selling so my dd2 got to meet a girl in her troop (dd1 also got to meet a girl in her troop, as her leader had HER Brownie dd with her in uniform) They are soooooooooo pumped now, and are bugging me to go get their pants and shirts they need for uniforms (I'm going to wait til tomorrow morning right after breakfast when the stores are totally empty to do that, I hate crowds)

I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I got 13 boxes of cookies in the process (for the 3rd time in 2 weeks I bought at least a case worth of cookies) I also got my dad recruited to watch the girls that aren't going on their GS nights so that I can take them solo (they both want me there with them and I will GLADLY accomodate, I always wanted to be a girl scout!)

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

And waiting impatiently on baby Isaiah ******* to appear around 3/12

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#29 of 32 Old 03-06-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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That's great. I'm so glad things are working out. FTR I know myself well-enough to know that I would NOT be a good leader for 12 first graders! But I happily do all of the finance stuff and I'm pleased to work with other adults. I think it's important to know where your talents lie and it's not with younger kids for me.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#30 of 32 Old 03-06-2010, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
That's great. I'm so glad things are working out. FTR I know myself well-enough to know that I would NOT be a good leader for 12 first graders! But I happily do all of the finance stuff and I'm pleased to work with other adults. I think it's important to know where your talents lie and it's not with younger kids for me.
That is TOTALLY me! I can work with my own kids just fine and dandy with no trouble, but you throw me into a situation where I have to work with a bunch of kids and I literally shut down. I don't do well in those positions, and am more than happy to do whatever behind-the-scenes stuff they want and/or need. Heck I'll even sew patches or petals on the sashes/vests/smocks/whatever for EVERY child in the troop if they want me to LOL

But I also found out WHY we got lost in the shuffle, they combined 3 regions into one and the office for what was our region most likely lost us when the national office sent our paperwork and then when we called it just as they were starting to combine the offices. Soooooo paperwork issues lol No big deal really, and the kids learned a valuable lesson that sometimes patience and persistence is necessary to get something done. At least, I hope they learned that lesson LOL

I think I may be more excited about Monday and Tuesday night than the kids are..............

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

And waiting impatiently on baby Isaiah ******* to appear around 3/12

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