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Hi! I work for a Girl Scout council and we are having a discussion on how we can get more homeschooled girls involved. As a girl-led leadership program that focuses on working together to make the world a better place, I know that Girl Scouting would complement homeschooled/unschooled families, but I know we don't have a lot of homeschooled girls. I have some questions you may be able to help with...

The primary way we contact families about Girl Scouting is through the schools. Obviously, this doesn't help you any. How could we go about getting information to you?

And what kind of info would encourage you to volunteer or get your daughter involved? Are there issues that are keeping you from participating now?

Feel free to PM me with answers or if you have any questions about Girl Scouts!
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Please don't take my question as offensive in any way for I really do like the idea of scouts. Do the girl Scouts discriminate against gays the way the boy scouts do? I wish my son could join the scouts but I can't in good conscience support an organization that discriminates against anyone for such a reason. I used to be a girl scout and hope my daughter may someday join as well if they are still tolerant of different people? Thank you. :)
 

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Maybe if you could get your local Girl Scout stuff visible at community events homeschoolers would notice too and consider joining - volunteer and/or set up a both or something with info about what you do and how to join? Maybe have a craft set up for visitors to do to draw people in?

I was a brownie as a child, we aren't involved in girl scouts because we only have a little boy right now
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jackpackbaby View Post
Please don't take my question as offensive in any way for I really do like the idea of scouts. Do the girl Scouts discriminate against gays the way the boy scouts do? I wish my son could join the scouts but I can't in good conscience support an organization that discriminates against anyone for such a reason. I used to be a girl scout and hope my daughter may someday join as well if they are still tolerant of different people? Thank you. :)
Heh, girl scouts are way more liberal than boy scouts last I heard, some of the gay boys up and joined girl scouts when that whole mess happened (guys can technically join too still I think).
 

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TBH, I have an almost 6 yr old that I would *love* to get involved in Girl Scouts, but I have no idea how to do that. The info just isn't available unless you're in PS. I'm having trouble figuring out how to get her involved. I think she would really enjoy it!
 

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I would encourage leaders to research and contact any local co-ops/email lists.

For me, we might not do scouts because much of our life is like a scouting group. We have a garden, we participate in learning cooporatives, take lots of field trips, etc. GS is an enrichment activity and I just don't think we'll be in need of it as much because our whole life is an enrichment activity. LOL

I suppose if there was a troop that met during school hours, I would be more likely to do it. Evenings are family time for us. We are drawn to activities that meet during the day.
 

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If there were a homeschooling group or one that met during the day, I'd be interested. We tend to avoid activities that you have to do in the evening or on weekends because I want to be able to have family time.
 

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I would get in touch with homeschool groups to spread the word. Perhaps, some churches too. I am the Daisy leader of a multi-age troop. This scenario would totally work for a troop of homeschoolers. That way, they could meet during the day. Sometimes our activities are "big group" and sometimes we break down into our smaller groups. We only meet twice a month and in the evening, but since it is a multi level troop, all my girls are there so it is family oriented too.

Amy
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
If there were a homeschooling group or one that met during the day, I'd be interested. We tend to avoid activities that you have to do in the evening or on weekends because I want to be able to have family time.
I think homeschooling groups of girls are a great idea. WE used to be in a troop but it disbanded and since then we have started homeschooling and now I am not really sure what to do. I was assuming we would have to sign her up for juliettes and have been meaning to do so. But I would really love her to be part of a troop for the community of it. I guess I need to get on it LOL
 

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We are in girl scouts. I would suggest putting up info at the library. I had to search out girl scouts here b/c they only send out info to the schools.

My one big problem with gs right now, though, is the prayers before they are "allowed" to eat. I don't remember that when I was a kid. Is this only a local thing or do all gs do it?
 

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I am hoping to be able to get my daughter in Daisy Scouts this year, TBH. I wish I knew how to go about it but I don't. My plan is to call the local elementary school, and if that doesn't work, try the GS Council.

I would love to see a sign up at the grocery store (sort of a community bulletin board there) or in church newsletters on Sundays or on community signs in the neighborhood.

I am afraid we'll get turned down because of homeschooling, so this post actually makes me feel a little more sure about it!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
We are in girl scouts. I would suggest putting up info at the library. I had to search out girl scouts here b/c they only send out info to the schools.

My one big problem with gs right now, though, is the prayers before they are "allowed" to eat. I don't remember that when I was a kid. Is this only a local thing or do all gs do it?
I think it's a tradition (we did it when I was a kid), but it isn't the least bit mandatory (another difference between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts is that you can be both an atheist and a girl scout.) You could talk to the leader about it if it makes you uncomfortable. We sing the "Johnny Appleseed" prayer before snack, because many of the families of girls in our troop believe that it's important to say grace before eating. It's quick, and no one is checking to see if every girl participates.

For the OP: you might contact the local school district and see if they will help you send a mailing to local homeschoolers (I would guess they have access to addresses.) Our school district has done that for library programs before. I'd also ask local librarians and churches if they can put you in touch with local homeschoolers-- once you've met one or two homeschoolers, they can probably help you figure out the right way to reach your local homeschooling community.

ZM
 

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I am currently a leader in an all homeschool girl scout troop. We are a multi-level troop and at this time have 19 girls. At one point we had nearly 30 girls and split into 2 troops.
This is our 4th year in the troop and my 2nd year as a leader.

Our troop started when 2 homeschool families met in a brownie troop. They decided that they wanted to start a homeschool troop. They posted on several homeschool yahoo groups.

There is another troop in a nearby SU that has been going a lot longer than our troop. It started through a group co-op. We were about to join that troop when I found out about the troop we joined.

Right now there are 3-4 homeschool troops just in our service unit. I believe there are 15-20 in our council.

I would suggest contacting local homeschool groups and asking if you can post info on their discussion groups (such as yahoo groups), hand out fliers at activites or even give a presentation.

Also many groups have curriculum fairs in the late spring and during the summer. You could set up a booth at the fairs.

I am seriously considering volunteering to be the coordinator and new troop faciltator for homeschoolers in our SU next year.
 

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Prayer has never been an issue with our troop because right from the start we've been a very diverse troop. Therefor we never started saying grace before snacks.

I've actually only been to one GS activity where grace was said, and that was at an all day badge event at one of the camps. During the day there were actually 3 graces that were said. The superman one, a Jewish prayer and I don't remember what the 3rd one was but the 3rd one did make me a bit uncomfortable. One of the troops present was a Muslim troop. They stood out of respect but did not participate in any of the graces.

When our Jrs and Cadettes went to Savannah, the daughters of one leader asked if thy could say grace at the meals. I had no problem with. I was the only non Christian parent/leader there but about 1/3 of the girls there were not Christian (8 out of 19 girls are not Christian). The mother spoke up and said no, she had left the list of inclusive prayers at home (the discussion came up when they were at home). I spoke up and said that I would not be offended at all, as did the non-Christian girls who were their without their mothers (as I know both mothers well I back up the girls).

Even just the other day we spent the night at the TN aqurium. I notice one girl praying in silence before breakfast and I stop eating and bowed my head in respect. I then spoke up to her later that day on front of her mother and encouraged her to speak up and ask if any of the girls want to join her next time.

ETA: I remember not only saying grace at our meetings, but when we went troop camping at the local GS camps, there would always be a Sunday AM childrens service at the camp.
 

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First thing I would if I was you is call your council prettending to be a homeschool parent. That is were the nightmare can begin. If your front people don't know about any homeschool groups it doesn't help. If you are trying to start one have the people asnwering the question collect info.

Also encourage troop to shop around. Unforantly if it doesn't work with one troop many people don't think you can shop around for a troop that works.

Also multiage groups and modification of badge work might be needed.
 

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I think this is great. I would have no problem with my DD going to a troop connected to a school, but the one experience I have had was . . .less than friendly about the whole thing and seemed overly exclusionary to me. At this point, I know of no group that would accept DD.

When DD was in school, GS asked parents to start a group and run meetings. I had 2 toddlers and the meetings were going to be held during the day in the school-- there was just no way my toddlers would let me run a meeting (and no one else stepped up to do it either). So, the idea of having to volunteer with 2 younger children in tow (well, 3 come Nov!) seems impossible to me. That would be another big obstacle.
 

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Thank you for asking for our input!


My homeschooled dds are Daisies this year, and it was *really* difficult to find a troop for them to join. I am in MA, too (I see you're in Worcester), and I started with the national website, which was not very user-friendly and had no links to the state websites. Once I finally found the Massachusetts website, I discovered that it was also very difficult to navigate. Counties covered by the different Councils are not listed -- just "regions" or landmarks. I had to actually open another tab and bring up a map of the state, then look for the landmarks referenced on the "Which Council?" page. So, one thing that would help would be a more user-friendly website, as well as the ability to request information by email or even sign up over the internet. I also agree that the initial point-of-contact staff need to be aware that homeschooling exists, that homeschoolers are not freaks, and that we often have answers that don't fit into neat little boxes.


I think I called my Council a total of 3 times, getting 3 different people. Each time, the person on the other end truly could not comprehend that my kids were not enrolled in a school and that I didn't want a school-related troop. All 3 times, I ended up just telling the person the name of the school my dds would have attended, because I couldn't think of any other way to satisfy their need to put a public school's name on the form. Also, there seemed to be no way to have my daughters be part of a troop that was in another town. It *had* to be our town, no exceptions. By the time I was given a contact for a troop for my dds, I was so fed-up with the Girl Scouts had actually begun looking for information on 4H. I stuck with GS in the end b/c my daughters really wanted to be in the organization that sold cookies (hey, they're 6!). It really felt to me as if there wasn't a lot of communication between staff at the Council level.

I'd really prefer a homeschooling troop -- especially a multi-level troop! I also don't mind my dds being part of a school-related troop, but even at the K level, the exclusionary behavior is already starting to show up, and that sort of behavior is what led me to quit GS, myself, when I was 13.

Soooo . . . . how *do* I find a multi-level homeschooling GS troop in MA?
 

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Yay! We're hoping to find a troop for dd for next year. Things that would help IMO:

policies that accommodate mixed age groups (including levels that are not grade-level dependent)

homeschool troops (schedules of homeschoolers are different!)

open camps and other facilities for homeschoolers during the week- just found out that our council does that and I think it's SOO cool.

-Angela
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

Also multiage groups and modification of badge work might be needed.
Actually, I think the badges work pretty well for the age ranges within the levels. I lead a multi-age homeschool brownie troop, and while it's sometimes challenging to come up with an approach to a particular badge that works for both my youngest and my oldest brownie, there's plenty of flexibility in the badges to allow for that.

If your troop is going to include different levels (e.g. brownies and juniors), you'd need to break up by level for badges, but given the difference in abilities between, say, a 7 year old brownie, and an 11 year old junior, I think its appropriate for them to do different activities from time to time.

And now a rant:

There is a new program now called "Journeys" that I find much much less flexible -- far too much bookwork. Given that a lot of homeschoolers believe in delayed academics, the expectation in the Journey program that brownies will write independently in their workbook at each meeting could be an issue (and I can't imagine all the workbook stuff is fun for kids who do it all day in school either). We're not doing any of the workbook stuff-- they're kind of expensive for what they are, and I was uncomfortable with some of the content. For example, there was a section where the girls are invited to point out what is unhealthy about a fictional family's lifestyle. I found it a very negative way to approach the subject of healthy living, and it was coupled with a recommendation that I coach the girls on how to convince their parents to go for a family walk after having been told "no, I'm busy" or "no, I'm too tired". I don't think it's HIGHLY inappropriate for a Girl Scout Leader to be undermining her scouts' parents that way.

I've been in girl scouts forever, as was my mother and grandmother, but I'm hoping they reassess the Journeys approach and bring it back into line with the scouting tradition.

ZM
 
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