Do you have a Girl Scout? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 04-21-2011, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I  never did Scouts when I was a girl, but I always wanted to.  My daughter has seen the other girls in their uniforms and is very very interested.  She's five and has a neurological issue that require using a walker sometimes.  She's SO READY to have some activities so I'm trying to find things she can do that will accommodate her walker and occasional difficulty with walking.  Scouts seems a good fit or at least they give a lot of lip service to being inclusive.

 

What's it like?  Is it expensive?  I'm happy and eager to volunteer with anything she's involved in but as I said, I have zero experience with Scouts.  Is there anything I should know in advance?  Would you recommend Girl Scouts and does your daughter enjoy it?

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#2 of 13 Old 04-21-2011, 10:24 PM
 
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My DD isn't old enough for scouts yet, but my best friend leads her DD's Daisy troop (they're Daisies for K and First, then "graduate"). Scouting is definitely not expensive.

 

I think the overall experience depends on who the troop leaders are. My friend works really hard to give her troop a wide range of interesting experiences (visiting a fire station, going hiking, etc.), as well as the standard arts-n-crafts stuff, but I know other local girls who are in troops that are pretty dull. It takes quite a bit of time and commitment from the leaders to make it fun.

 

If you have a network of moms where you live, start letting them know that you're looking for a good troop.

 

best of luck,

-e


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#3 of 13 Old 04-21-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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My DD is in her third year of Scouts. She did two years as a Daisy and she's now in her first year of Brownies. Her troop is non-traditional in that it's a 100% home school troop, and our meetings tend to run hours and hours long and turn into park/home day long play dates and sinlings and parents are all involved. However, it's not expensive (I think it's $12 or something for registration, and then the troop has their own dues. I can't remember how much we paid for dues this year, maybe $20?), plus the uniform cost (but most of us actually made our own vests). Some of the trips/events cost a little extra, but it's never much (like we took a trip to an organic farm, and the farm asked for donations, so each family donated $5). We don't have any girls in the troop with obvious special needs, but it wouldn't be a problem for us to accommodate a child with physical limitations like your daughter. Overall, it's been a very positive experience for my DD.
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#4 of 13 Old 04-21-2011, 11:57 PM
 
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We are Boy Scouters here but I imagine the administration is quite similar.  You can call your local Girl Scout Council and ask to speak to the administrator.  This is the person who deals with all the local troops, knows the leaders and how they run the program, and can answer any questions you may have.  You can explain your situation and what kind of experiences you want your daughter to have, and they can point you to the best fit in your area. 

 

This is how we found my son's troop, by speaking to the Scout Executive at the local council, and then spending a month visiting troops - and then went with the one the Executive recommended as the best fit in the first place.  

 

Hope this helps.

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#5 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 01:35 AM
 
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girls scout CAN be expensive. 

 

we live in a big city. there are always events happening here. perhaps two a month. attendance is optional. our troop does not do all things together. 

 

dues are only 12 a year. however for instance this month the mommy and me tea was $20 and the horse ranch was $35 (still cheaper than going independently). 

 

we have a great troop. however it now meets only once a month as everyone is really busy and now different parents take turns to hold events. 

 

it IS a lot of fun. 


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#6 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the info!  My daughter really wanted to play tee ball or soccer this year but those just aren't options at this time.  Given her personality, I am certain she would hate them both and beg to quit on the first day.  I think she's looking for something she can join and a uniform so Girl Scouts seems like a good fit.  Are they active all year or is it one of the many, many things that shuts down for summer and starts up with the school year?  Is there a standard time for intake or you can you start at any time?

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#7 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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GS is VERY different from BS in many ways

 

depending on what you make of it - it can be great

 

some troops let the girls use their own 'cookie' money that ment for my DD she was able to go to several out of state camps and it opened her up to many activities outside of her local council 

 

also if you stay in your GOLD awards helps with college (and looks and IS good on a resume)

 

some are run better than other so you need to check around


 

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#8 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

Are they active all year or is it one of the many, many things that shuts down for summer and starts up with the school year?  Is there a standard time for intake or you can you start at any time?


Depends on the troop. if most of our troops are not on vacation we stay open. you can join anytime.

 

the key is FINDING a troop with an opening. we tried really hard. couldnt find one.

 

in the end there were enough girls that we opened our own troop. 

 


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#9 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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I have one DD who has been in girl scouts for 5 years now and a DS who has been in cub scouts for 2 years now and I have found them to be VERY different.  Maybe it's how the counsels are run.  I think they are both fairly inexpensive especially given what they get out of it.  It really does depend, though, on the leader(s) just how much is done.  We've found cub/boy scouts to be much more family inclusive and willing to help in ways that our area girl scouts have not.  Additionally, in our area, each troop while a part of the town is on their own while in cubs we are part of a much bigger group (pack).  In answer to your questions, in my experience with our local girl scouts, your DD would fit in just fine.  You will need to find a troop that is willing to be inclusive of her and her needs.  It really will depend on the leaders and the parents of the girls in whatever troop you find.  Give your local counsel a call and if you do not get a response, ask around in your town for who the town registrar is and/or find a leader who leads an older troop and ask them for help.  I know of several leaders in my town who lead senior troops who would be more than willing to help anyone who approached them :)  Good luck - scouting is a wonderful experience!!


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#10 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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I know for our town, there is registration in early September for new girls. They do registration next month for returning girls.  If you can find a troop that will work for you and your DD, in September you can just tell the registrar that.


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#11 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 09:19 AM
 
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We love Girl Scouts.  I find that they are incredibly inclusive, and there is a much more laid back vibe than I've experienced in my interactions with Boy Scouts.  it's just... different. 

 

GS will never turn someone away because of financial difficulty.  They will usually go above and beyond to make sure that any girl who wants to participate can participate.  I loved GS as a kid, as a teenager (yep, I did get my Gold) as a GS camp counselor, and as an adult Leader.  My daughter has gotten a lot out of it, and will be attending GS camp this summer for two weeks.  

 

I think that, for me, GS was the first place where I realized I could be myself and still be involved and included. It was also the place where I learned that women were still feminine even when they didn't shave their legs or wear high heels and skirts.  It was, for me a very empowering organization, and I can't recommend it enough if your child seems to show an interest in it. 

 

All troops should accommodate your daughter- but some may be a better fit than others.  You can call Council and ask for referrals to local leaders so you can talk with them well in advance and ask them any questions you want to.  Here is a link to help you find contact information.

 

http://www.girlscouts.org/councilfinder/

 

 

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#12 of 13 Old 04-22-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Girl Scouts is pretty awesome and should be able to accomodate her fine. No, it isn't very expensive and the slightly more expensive things are paid with cookie sales. Volunteers are wanted.

 

(And Girls Scouts is open to all girls...unrelated as an organization to Boy Scouts which is not. Makes me sad that my daughter will have a scouting experience and my son will not.)

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#13 of 13 Old 04-29-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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Nite Nicole.. I am a Brownie leader and a 3rd generation one! My DD is in her 3rd year of Girl Scouting. Yes, we think it's a great experience. I 2nd what others said, however, that the leaders make or break it.

 

Every troop has certain rules -- leader training, safety rules, etc. that MUST be followed. But activities vary from troop to troop. As a Cadette/Senior scout (middle/high school), my troop had a member in a wheelchair. She did EVERYTHING we did... we would not have left her out for ANYTHING. She went camping, on a cruise, whatever we did.. we found a way to make it work. The GIRLS found a way.

 

To me, what is important that I believe so strongly in is that the entire program is based on girl/adult partnership. Starting from Kindergarten on up, the girls are learning to be leaders. The troop is for them, they learn to make the decisions, manage the money, and everything. School doesn't teach you that. Not much does.

 

I have no personal experience with Boy Scouts, so cannot say much. 

 

HTH.  National membership is $12 per year, and financial assistance is available for anyone who can't afford it. Financial assistance is also available for a uniform if needed. You are not required to have a uniform by the national organization, although some troops do require it.

 

 

 

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