Asked to leave GS event...because I had my 9 week old w/ me in sling - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was at my oldest dd Girl Scout Jam Camp today. I have a 9 week old son, exclusively bf'd but really don't think that matters here, and I had told her troop leader eons ago when we registered and I was still pregnant that he would have to be with us.
Well half way through the day I happened to walk past the day's organizer and to make a long story short, my son and I had to leave. No siblings allowed...no exceptions under any circumstances. The organizer said it was bceause if she allows one, she has to allow them all, and because he wasn't a reg. GS insurance wouldn't cover him if he got hurt (BTW myself and none of the other mothers are reg GS either, so that malarkey) Oh and my dd is a Daisy so she had to have a parent with her.
So my daughter cannot go to events because she has a baby brother?
What message are we sending these girls? Mothers are second class citizens? Babies don't need to be with their mommies?
Had it not been for the fact that I would have mortified my daughter and her entire troop I would have sat on a bench and made security remove me ... but there's along way to go before she is out of school and I don't want to cause her problems already. So we left.
But I am livid and depressed. My dd is a 4th generation GS, I LOVED Gs's but then again my sisters were able to come with me to everything that my mother did. So now, because i have a larger family my kids are going to miss out? I'm sorry I'm just venting....
Right now I plan on writing letters to anyone and everyone I can think of, and i'm considering pulling her out of scouts. Her troop is great, but do I really want to be a part of this kind of organization? I was supposed to be assistant leader next year, but now that certainly won't happen.
Alright I'll step down now. Anyone want to start a rogue gs like organization that is actually family-friendly?

Mom to DD 7, DS 6, DD 4.5, DD 2.5, DS 1.5 and expecting DD4 anyday now. Planning my second : and ready for fun!
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#2 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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What?!! That is totally WRONG I would write. Can you start a letter complaint that people could send the national GS groups because this is so ubsurd! I was thinking about DD and DS being into the scouts but we have two younger ones and this makes me not so sure. I'm so sorry

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#3 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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I'm skeptical that infants were intended to be included in that rule. I think the letter-writing thing (or maybe better, a phone call to whoever is in charge of your whole district) might be a good idea.

I'm sorry that happened to you. My daughter just bridged from Daisies to Brownies and I've seen babies at lots of events.
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#4 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Oh no! That's terrible! I'm so sorry for you, mama. It really stinks to be in a situation that you really feel very strongly about and you want to stick to your guns for change, but feel like you can't because of sensitivity to your daughter's emotions.

Write your letters mama! I want to know how it turns out! I think there is a pagan scouts-like organization, I don't recall the name of it though. They might be a bit more inclusive if you lean that way at all.

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#5 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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Well half way through the day I happened to walk past the day's organizer and to make a long story short, my son and I had to leave. No siblings allowed...no exceptions under any circumstances. The organizer said it was bceause if she allows one, she has to allow them all, and because he wasn't a reg. GS insurance wouldn't cover him if he got hurt (BTW myself and none of the other mothers are reg GS either, so that malarkey) Oh and my dd is a Daisy so she had to have a parent with her.
So my daughter cannot go to events because she has a baby brother?
What message are we sending these girls? Mothers are second class citizens? Babies don't need to be with their mommies?
Had it not been for the fact that I would have mortified my daughter and her entire troop I would have sat on a bench and made security remove me ... but there's along way to go before she is out of school and I don't want to cause her problems already. So we left.
But I am livid and depressed. My dd is a 4th generation GS, I LOVED Gs's but then again my sisters were able to come with me to everything that my mother did. So now, because i have a larger family my kids are going to miss out? I'm sorry I'm just venting....
Right now I plan on writing letters to anyone and everyone I can think of, and i'm considering pulling her out of scouts. Her troop is great, but do I really want to be a part of this kind of organization? I was supposed to be assistant leader next year, but now that certainly won't happen.
Alright I'll step down now. Anyone want to start a rogue gs like organization that is actually family-friendly?[/QUOTE]

This is exactly why we are not involved in GS--and I have four living daughters. I too was told no younger sibs. I can't hire a sitter for every GS meeting and event. Can't afford it.
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#6 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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Write letters!! Go all the way to the top! That is ridiculous.

I and another mom were talking with GS about starting a Brownie Troop, and the GS rep looked at my 2 yo and said "Siblings are not a problem, they can attend" so that seems pretty clear to me!

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#7 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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When I was in eighth grade, our entire GS troop morphed into an Explorer post because the leaders (including my mom) were tired of the GS rigid rules. It may not be the case here (a 9w/o in a sling??) but it's a pervasive issue elsewhere.
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#8 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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At one of my daughter's daisy activities, we were told "no siblings" as well. I did email the organizers and I don't remember their exact reasoning. I did inform them that some people would not be able to come because of this. I also said that if my youngest child (age 3) was still nursing or in a sling that we would be there no matter what. I have no clue what would have happened if we showed up, but I found the whole thing dissappointing. Parents were not required at this activity, so the leaders could have driven the girls to the activity and the parents could have stayed with the siblings. I organized a paydate at my mother's gym for the siblings at $5 a child. That worked pretty well. I totally agree with you that it is a pretty poor rule.
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#9 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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I'm a GS leader, and yes the council's rule are very rigid. Though this rule only applies to council events (not troop meetings or troop outings). With the logic being the event could 1) possible not be safe for different age siblings. 2)To be a special event for just the adult and GS, so the parent doesn't have to divide their attention between dc. 3) On some trips adults act as chaperones and the extra dc would change the required GS ratios.

Even GS of a different age group are not allowed to "tag-along".

OP it's the leader's fault for not making the parents aware of the rules.

Just to clarify, the council buys extra insurance to cover the non-scout adults at events such as these and I'm assuming you didn't register your infant hence not being covered, (otherwise someone at the council should have spotted it)

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#10 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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Could the rule be changed to say something like "Babies in arms", I mean a 9 week nursing babe is certainly much different it's an extention in my opinion of the mother. She could not be at an event without her nursing infant. I think that's what get's me. You should write the letter explaining that unique situation as they might have no clue as to what that situation is really like. Seems like something needs worked out.

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#11 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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We find other things to be a part of. not user friendly
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#12 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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Reminds me of when I was told my 4-week-old son, Noah, was going to be charged to go into the IMAX theater, even though he was 4-weeks-old and asleep....
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#13 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Kiddoson View Post
We find other things to be a part of. not user friendly
Like what? What other scouting-type options are there for little girls. And it really breaks my heart because GS has always been so important to my family.

Mom to DD 7, DS 6, DD 4.5, DD 2.5, DS 1.5 and expecting DD4 anyday now. Planning my second : and ready for fun!
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#14 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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That's just absurd. A 9 week old baby- where else should he be?

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#15 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Reminds me of when I was told my 4-week-old son, Noah, was going to be charged to go into the IMAX theater, even though he was 4-weeks-old and asleep....
Wow. Please tell me this was just an ignorant employee, not their actual policy?

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#16 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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Wow. Please tell me this was just an ignorant employee, not their actual policy?
I also think this was a mistake-most theaters say under two is free.
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#17 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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Like what? What other scouting-type options are there for little girls. And it really breaks my heart because GS has always been so important to my family.
http://www.campfire.org/start.asp

http://www.rootsandshoots.org

Just throwing a few ideas out your way...good luck!

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#18 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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As much as it broke my heart, we dropped out of girl scouts this year for a similar reason. ALL adults had to be registered members to even attend a meeting or outing and NO siblings were allowed under any circumstances. Couple that with a leader who only focused on fundraising- cookie sales,okay. Cookie sales at the mall with the leader yelling at the kids to sell, not cool. Magazine sales with a nasty call to say we didn't meet the quota- BUH BYE

I'm not sure if the insurance thing has scared many councils but I feel like it has veered far from the organization it once was. Maybe you could post a note at your library to form a like minded girls group? Our library had a kid's knitting club for a while that eventually morphed into a really cool group. (I think the leader must have been an MDC reader. She was completely rad.)
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#19 of 76 Old 06-14-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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I used to direct a girl scout camp, and as far as I know, it really is an insurance issue, although it is a really awful one that should be resolved. I also wanted to mention that the way your daughter's membership paperwork was written, an adult is usually registered for each family, even if you're not a leader or involved in any other way like that. It's easy to not even notice that you're registering yourself along with your daughter.

My best advice, if you can swing it, is to consider being a troop leader. It's easier to bend the rules if you take the troop to non-girl scout properties, and no one is breathing down your neck that way, but your daughter and her friends can still enjoy all the benefits of the program, and you'll have more control over messages like these.
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#20 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 08:21 AM
 
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Here's another GREAT alternative to GS- which I participated in and WON'T ALLOW MY GIRLS TO DO. EVER.

http://www.spiralscouts.org/ ALL siblings are allowed to attend- even if they have moved on in rank.

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#21 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 08:46 AM
 
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That bites!
I love our troop (although it's ending because of a Great Cookie Debate involving council LOL)
Anyway, I am a reg volunteer but my son is not. He comes to many of our meetings and has gone on any trips we have. I started my DD in it when my DS was just born. At 3 weeks old, we went on a hike at the Blue Hills (which will mean nothing to you if you don't live in MA but it's up a big hill, lots of rocks etc- the point is there is opportunity to be hurt).
Anyway- siblings are totally OK in everything that we do but our troop is really, really lenient so IDK how most of them are. We also haven't done any "official" girl scout things but do go places as a troop- make sense?
I would def try writting a letter, but IDK where it will get you.
I am sorry that it happened, though.

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#22 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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My neighbor is dealing with this. Her dd is in Brownies, and she has a younger ds who cannot come to the meetings or outings. Plus she's expected to volunteer and participate often. Lousy policy!
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#23 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 12:06 PM
 
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My dds GS troop is very welcoming of siblings also. For the OP, I would call the council and let them know what happened (particularly that you had asked about bringing the baby before signing up). It may be the real policy, or you may have been dealing with a difficult person, but it shouldn't have played out the way it did.

Typically, the way troops are run is decided by the leaders, and so if your dd's troop doesn't allow siblings at the meetings and you need to be able to bring a sibling along to volunteer, you might be able to ask around and find another troop that is a better fit for your family.

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#24 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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WOW! I am shocked at this policy. We are in Cub Scouts and siblings are always welcomed at events. In fact most of the Pack events are open to the entire family. We all go camping together, go bowling, etc. This is a very unfamily friendly policy! I don't know what I would do if I could not take my 3 year old dd to most Cub Scout meetings are events!
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#25 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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wow thats ridiculous! i was a gs all the from brownies until i graduted hs. our siblings came to everything (with the exception of over nights) my gs day camp even hadn group for the boys 2 and up whos moms or dads were there and a group for small ones (called pixies ) i dontt remember specifics about young babies but i doubt it would have been a problem... how insane to exclude a mother and child b/c of that.
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#26 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dolcedaze View Post
My best advice, if you can swing it, is to consider being a troop leader. It's easier to bend the rules if you take the troop to non-girl scout properties, and no one is breathing down your neck that way, but your daughter and her friends can still enjoy all the benefits of the program, and you'll have more control over messages like these.

Yep, this is truly the key. The troop level of GS varies a lot. It's not as much bending the rule, but who gets to make decisions.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#27 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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I second Roots & Shoots and Spiral Scouts. We have both groups locally and they're great! And Campfire Girls seem to have a lot of fun too http://www.campfire.org/all_about_us/.

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#28 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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While I'm totally supportive of your anger in this situation, I have the unpopular opinion that it's a good policy. There's no good way to allow "some" siblings and not others. You can't say breastfed babies are allowed, because plenty of toddlers (and beyond) breastfeed. You can't say "only girl siblings" or specify an age limit (which doesn't solve the problem anyway). If everyone brought siblings, then it really isn't a "girl scout" experience---it's a family experience. I can also understand the liability issue...if the girls are using knives or making bonfires or something, then it's an age appropriate activity and can be dangerous for younger ones. It's also a numbers game. If you have siblings, then how do they plan for snacks and crafts? How do you tell a sibling who is one year younger, that she can't join in? My kids aren't old enough for scouting, but I was a girl scout. Part of the whole experience was being with girls my age; bonding with a small group and focusing on learning a new skill without the normal interruptions. I'm with the GS troop policy on this one---but I'm sorry for the OP, that you were asked to leave. I don't think that was fair---she should have just said "next time please leave the siblings behind."
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#29 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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I second Roots & Shoots and Spiral Scouts. We have both groups locally and they're great! And Campfire Girls seem to have a lot of fun too http://www.campfire.org/all_about_us/.
this is what i would do if i had dd's. there are so many things that many GS troops do and dont do that i would not participate in GS.
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#30 of 76 Old 06-15-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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Yes, I can see what Uptown Girl and Chel are saying.

I sympathize with you OP, but as I'm reading this what's also flashing through my mind is the birthday parties we had where occasionally a parent would assume that if one sibling is invited, the others are also. We never turned any siblings away but I think it's important to kids to have a few of events they can go to with their mom without their little brother or sister present.
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