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  • Troop is not very fun

    I am a single father of a Junior Scout in the Los Angeles area. I brought my daughter to scouting because I had such a positive experience as a Cub, Weebalo then Scout and I wanted my daughter to have a similar experience as I did. Now my daughter and I spend a great deal of time outdoors together fishing,camping etc. And I do Outdoor cooking demonstrations so I think it is probably safe to say we are the most experienced in the troop. Our troop does very little in the way of activities that my daughter finds interesting. The last event was a sleepover in the mall ( I know. but remember this is LA) . And the summer camp that they have been building up to looks like nothing more than another sleepover They go up to the mountains to cut out pictures in a magazine no swimming no hiking. It doesn't look like they do anything that is normally associated with going to camp.
    I got frustrated so I signed up to be a volunteer for the troop and took the GS outdoor training program which was by the way was taught by Boy scout leaders. One thing seems to be becoming very clear; The Girl Scouts are not the Boy Scouts! Ive noticed that the Boy Scouts are about becoming men and embracing and overcoming challenges. The Girl Scouts seem to be fixated on reasons that girls cant do things. Don't get me wrong I am not trying to make this a boy vs girl argument! On the contrary, I am a father of a girl and I am appalled by this attitude. I don't want anybody telling my daughter she can't do anything because she is a girl.

    My efforts to assist the troop set up a camp out that the Girls will find fun and educational and reasonably priced is meeting with resistance. At this point I am wondering why I even bother.

    I have two questions. First does anybody know of a troop in the San Fernando Valley that is active or should I be looking into Indian Guides or another program?
    Is the previously described attitude indicative of the Girl Scouts as a whole or is it just in Los Angeles.
    What do you you think I should do ?

  • #2
    In another couple of years she can join a Venture Crew? Sorry I know that doesn't help you right now.

    Comment


    • #3
      This breaks my heart on so many levels, I can't stand it. My wife and I endured a similar disheartening experience with our daughter. There were only a couple GS troop's who camped, and they were full! (Or they thought they were. I've never seen a BSA unit where there wasn't room for one more.) Our solution: 1. camp with the kids on family vacations, and 2. send them to a church camp which included a pool, a paddock, several field sports areas and lots of folks singing 'bout Jesus. In both of those situations we usually partnered with another family we knew who had kids our age. Other things to consider: Campfire USA. Turns out my aunt is one of the oldest living Campfire girls, and her experience with them as a child in the depression era (camping under canvas all summer) is part of what motivated me to become a crew advisor. American Heritage Girls: looks good on paper, very BSA-like (a little more Jesus than your average pack, but reports from non-Christian participants are coming back generally positive.) I do hope you can push your GS troop a little. It will be good for all of those girls. But of you're getting push-back, it may be time to find something that meets the goals you have for your daughter.

      Comment


      • #4
        At least they let you sign up.....Our GS council would not let a man run a troop....So my daughter tags along with the Pack and Troop....

        We experience some pretty significant discrimination from the local girl scout units. Too young too old, wrong school, wrong neighborhood, just short of wrong color....

        I do not like the AHG, there have been a few reports of them Bullying their way into events that were closed because it was at capacity by using that mutual support letter.......


        Comment


        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          KDD, right you are. This is a problem. Tagging along with the troop is inappropriate. Sure, you can host a family camping weekend or two, but I think it has the potential to just remind a girl that "she's not one of us." Until the young lady can actually be part of a patrol, and follow the tracks that we've laid out for the boys, we're just playing a "separate-but-equal" game poorly.

          But, if my boys and the adults in the Troop had been willing to get over their hang-ups to welcome my daughter into the big woods -- even if POR's and rank advancement was not in the offering, I would have jumped on the chance just like BD did. As it stands, last night I was explaining the patrol method to a 19 year-old lady who could have experienced it first-hand.

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Let me see my parents are dead. Wifes parents live 600 miles away...Sometimes my wife is my second adult for outings.....Daughter comes along because she has too, She is 11 and can't spend the weekend home alone.

          I am not doing anything off hand, she doesn't run with the boys....but she and mom participate in the activities.....

          At 11 she is tougher than any member of the troop.

        • gsdad
          gsdad commented
          Editing a comment
          I was in the same boat. I signed on to help my wife, the parents and kids loved it. The camp Rangers treated me like I was Richard Allen Davis. My daugter is now in a Crew and loves it.

      • #5
        As an active cub scout dad with a rising Kindergarten aged girl and her 2 year old little sister.... I find this an interesting thread.

        I've ben in contact with our CO's GS leader a few times re. recruitment efforts in the parish. haven't met her, just email and a couple phone calls. My last call to her was to get info. to sign up my daughter in the daisy program next year. She asked if my wife would be interested in leading a daisy 'den' or whatever they call it, since they don't have any active girls that age.... Noticed that she conspicuously didn't ask my availability for leadership.... hum, strike 1. (I didn't push it, figured that's a question for a different day...)

        Asked about camping, and they don't really. Sleep overs at MOSH, stuff like that..... strike 2.

        I've heard things about GS ties to planned parenthood and such..... Big strike 3.

        ..... and based on my recent observations of no uniform and no coherent identity or focus, I'm not thinking too highly of the program.
        ... but I want Cub Scouts for my daughter so I'll continue to try and see how it goes for now....


        I really wish that BSA would structure the program to have Girl dens in the pack, and come up with something that would work on the troop level..... I can see the need for it to not be co-ed, but maybe parallel troops that come together occasionally???
        Whatever it is, this to me seems like so much more of an issue that needs attention, than the big hubbub about gays.
        Worried about recruitment and headcounts BSA? You are missing a huge market potential!!!

        Comment


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Strike 3 is jumping the shark. I bet you got that from Fox and Friends, Drudge or 700 Club. I think what happened is some pamphlet got put in a goody bag at an event a troop visited and the mountain out of molehill folks turned it into some double secret alliance.

          Other observations are valid. You may get to be an assistant but not a leader. (They view men as evil creatures, like the BSA does gays). They are selling off primitive camps so they can build modern ones with climate controlled cabins, WIFI, lots of concrete and vats of glitter glue. Like Sandels Resorts.

          BSA accepting girls in cubs or scouts would be viewed as a hostile attack upon GSUSA, not likely in the near future and a PR disaster. Big bad BSA taking away our cookies. That said some packs go rouge and let in girls. There is that 11-13 donut hole. Except if you join BD's troop.

        • blw2
          blw2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Actually, no King Dong, that's not where I got it from.... but if I had, would it make it any less legitimate?
          The thing is, Drudge just collects headlines. he doesn't write the stories and he sure doesn't make the news.
          Fox and Friends, while I haven't seen it in year, isn't any different that any other talking heads static show..... just conservative folks instead of liberal....
          and the 700 Club????/ Man, is that still around? Not even exactly sure what that was.

          I have no idea actually, where I first heard this.... but 10 seconds with google, and here's a clip of a CEO of GSA (or maybe she's former CEO, I have no idea....
          http://www.speaknowgirlscouts.com/in...ood-Connection
          Not exactly a criminal addition, but there is no doubt that they have a partnership. now how much of the story that they give money to them is true, I don't really know...... and really, that doesn't matter.....
          it's the black mark against them that I'm writing of.....

      • #6
        blw2, your scouts aren't old enough yet..........but boys absolutely positively lose their minds when girls are around. My normally in control SPL, turns into a hormone raging lunatic...


        I don't know if the US male way of treating women or what it is.. I simply don't know, and the way some of the teen age girls dress, goodness gracious......



        I don't profess to have an answer....

        blw....here is a suggestion, we experimented with it in the Pack....We ran a BPSA den in our Pack for the Girls, making an effective sib den.... The problem is with folks to run it......BPSA it is more important than in the BSA to have scout skills...... I refused to let her run the cub scouty crafty crap and award them Cub scout ranks......just not right in my book...... so in a short period the experiment failed. The gal was registered as a den leader with the Pack so background checks and stuff were done......

        Comment


        • #7
          The GS program has the flexibility to allow for what you are describing you want. I've seen it in action. In fact, I think the GS program done well can challenge young girls as much as, if not more, than the CS program can.

          My suggestion, find a couple of female adults and start a troop together. In the GS system, you need at least a female co-leader.

          Once you get that Troop running, follow the GS program, just operate it similar to a CS pack or BS troop. You'll wear different uniforms, have different badges, etc..., but the fundamental goals can be pretty much the same. The interaction of girls vs. boys will be a bit different (girls like to sing more), but beyond that it doesn't need to be all that different.
          Last edited by ParkMan; 05-23-2013, 03:13 PM. Reason: typo

          Comment


          • #8
            I can understand the point that they would like to keep Female Leaders. Personally I feel that any male that takes on the role of a leader of a Girl Scout troop is taking a HUGE risk to himself and his family. Especially here in California where paranoia is a way of life. No thank you not my idea of fun! I am appalled at the attitude of the women and the leadership of my troop and most of the troops we have visited. Mothers do you really want to instill upon your daughters that girls are fragile and can't fend for yourself and that the only place for girls is the mall and sleepovers? Come on. Do you remember the struggle that women had to go through to get where they are. Now they want to throw it away. Isn't that reverse sexism? My 10 year old daughter can camp cook better that most Boy Scouts. she swims, shoots, hikes, backpacks she has even done rock climbing. She can start a campfire using flint and on and on . When I went to the Girl Scout camp training they didn't even want them to have pocket knives. I was aghast!! And the mothers just sat there agreeing.. Really!?

            Back to my original question does anybody know of a girl program in the San Fernando valley area ( Los Angeles) that does real scouting types of activities. I know I can take her camping myself and I do. But after my divorce my daughter needs to be with girls her age. I want to support her and Ill do what I can.
            Last edited by smoortgat; 05-23-2013, 05:55 PM. Reason: Fixed typos

            Comment


            • #9
              Do any of you have any experience with Indian Guides? I met a few parents and they seem to really like it. IG seems a lot less formal than scouting and I really like that there is no cookie sales.I understand it being a GS tradition but there is some very obvious exploitation aspects to it. Anyway, Indian guides is coed and I am not sure how I feel about it. I do like the fact that fathers are not oly welcome to participate but are encouraged to do so. I feel kind of guilty about removing her from Girl Scouts I am a Eagle Scout myself and really want her to benefit from scouting like I did and especially the female element of the troop. That said I am the only participant father in her troop and the obvious discomfort that I sense from the mothers when I attend the meetings. Does cause me some discomfort. However I am a outspoken person and I do feel that I am winning the mothers over little by little. A lot of attention is placed on single mothers. Try being a single father of a young girl.

              Comment


              • smoortgat
                smoortgat commented
                Editing a comment
                The exploration aspects comes from the back end of the cookie sales. And the pressure put on the girls by troop, leaders, peers and counsel. Eating the cookies are not the problem. As far as inspecting for tick and other aspects I have always taught the kids that I have camped with to inspect each other nightly before changing before bed and unrolling their sleeping bag. What I was talking about is the epidemic of false allegations by young girls. Just the mere suggestion of something inappropriate happening even it is proven to be untrue will ruin a man and his family's life. IE: Guilty by suspicion. That is a risk that I am unwilling to take. I will gladly teach outdoor cooking classes and camping skill class or any other class that I am skilled in. But I am unwilling to become a leader and face the possibility of a angry girl making taking out her frustration on me and having to face public opinion of male lead Girl scout troop.

              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                I don't envy challenges facing you as a single dad. I know how much work it is to earn moms' trust when their HS girls want to join my crew. Sometimes there is just nothing you can do. (And I have a seasoned GS mom as a co-advisor.) One boy in my crew had fond memories of IG, so I think I'd look into it if I were in your position. If a couple of GS mom's are willing to step out and form a troop that emphasizes the out-of-doors, I would encourage you to step forward. Let them know that your success depends on them, and try to plan a couple weekends under canvas in the next six months.

              • smoortgat
                smoortgat commented
                Editing a comment
                That is good advice. I am going to see if we can attend a IG meeting. Since ther does not seem to be any structure to GSA like the BSA has I don't feel she will be missing anything . Perhaps the IG will be the best choice. I like the fact that it is coed and dads take a leadership role along with the mothers.

            • #10
              My daughter is a Daisy bridging to Brownies in a multi-level troop that has 90 girls up to 8th grade. It is organized somewhat like a cub scout pack with a troop executive and patrol leaders below. The patrols are all age-specific like cub scout dens. The troop of 90 does meetings together once a month for court of awards and fun activities. The other meetings are at the patrol level. We do camp as a group once a year and as patrols separately. We hike and camp in the patrols - and we do lock-in type things in malls sometimes, too. The girls drive a lot of what they want to do. My Daisies wanted to learn to sew so we did. But we also did a first indoor camping experience in a gym-like space and we will go camping as a patrol next year as Brownies. We have men who are leaders, but they have to have a female leader with them as well - which is fine since we always need two leaders anyway. It can be done. I will say though that we have a waiting list that is quite long for girls who did not start as Daisies. It is hard to find good scouting experiences for girls.

              Comment


              • smoortgat
                smoortgat commented
                Editing a comment
                Is your troop here in LA

              • jasper18
                jasper18 commented
                Editing a comment
                Unfortunately, we are not in LA. I was just trying to point out that it can be done for girls, but it is hard to find. You almost have to carve out your own troop in order for your daughter to have a good experience.

            • #11
              Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
              blw2, your scouts aren't old enough yet..........but boys absolutely positively lose their minds when girls are around. My normally in control SPL, turns into a hormone raging lunatic...

              I don't know if the US male way of treating women or what it is.. I simply don't know, and the way some of the teen age girls dress, goodness gracious......

              I don't profess to have an answer....

              blw....here is a suggestion, we experimented with it in the Pack....We ran a BPSA den in our Pack for the Girls, making an effective sib den.... The problem is with folks to run it......BPSA it is more important than in the BSA to have scout skills...... I refused to let her run the cub scouty crafty crap and award them Cub scout ranks......just not right in my book...... so in a short period the experiment failed. The gal was registered as a den leader with the Pack so background checks and stuff were done......
              Yeah, Cubs for sure aren't old enough.... but I see what you mean. That's why I think it needs to be separate. For me it's really about the program being offered for girls.... with maybe some come together for family trips that we do together anyway in cubs. Too bad your experiment failed. Seems like a good potential solution on the cub level anyway..... But to work, I think it would have to be more official and on-book.

              Comment


              • #12
                BSA and GSUSA have DIFFERENT RULES AND REGULATIONS. - They are DIFFERENT PROGRAMS!

                Sorry, the expectation of mirror programs just irritates the heck out of me!

                Camping in kindergarten - AS WITH BSA, the GSUSA program is AGE APPROPRIATE. Kindergarteners do NOT camp OVERNIGHT. They can, however, do day trips , and tons of other activities.

                While GSUSA is right up there with BSA as far as age-appropriate activities for the different GSUSA levels, they differ on what is considered age-appropriate. GSUSA allows it's girls to camp - WITHOUT - parents as young as FIRST GRADE. Cub Scouts can NOT do that.

                However, like Cub Scouts (and other BSA units) what the girls do depends a LOT on how comfortable the LEADERS are with a particular activity.

                If the leaders in your girl's GSUSA Troop are not comfortable in the outdoors, or camping, then they will not encourage the girls to do those things.

                If your DAUGHTER wants to do camping with her Troop, SHE needs to do a couple of things.

                1) SHE needs to talk to the rest of the girls, and garner support for her activity from the rest of her Troop.
                2) SHE needs to get support from ADULTS who will be willing to take them camping (YOU?).
                3) SHE needs to talk to her Troop leader(s) and tell them what the TROOP wants to do.

                So, instead of transferring programs, and taking all learning/growing opportunities away from your daughter, support/teach her how to make changes to HER TROOP'S program.

                This is another difference between BSA, and GSUSA. BSA waits until the boys are in 6th grade to give them any say in their program. GSUSA starts that (age-appropriately), with the girls in kindergarten.

                So, bottom line. Put up - or bail out.

                It seems you are opting for the bail out option. I hope you enjoy YOUR Scouting experience.

                Comment


                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Wow. That was good.

                • smoortgat
                  smoortgat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Your right I am looking for a way to bail out. I don't have the support most of the parents, But most of the parents wouldn't lift a finger to do anything anyway. I went as far a organizing a trip this summer for for the girls and families to the mountains. I have a few takers but the majority made their usual list of excuses why they cant go. I am not willing to take girls without their families this go around. The leadership will be there but if a parent is unwilling to even spend a weekend with a their child then. I set a up a cool list of activities Geo-caching, Native American talk, ranger visit with animals Lots of crafts Leather work, , Basket weaving on and on I even built them a cool patrol box in GS colors . Still minimal response. This is the true troop Beverly hills. If I passed out Disneyland tix I would have 100%.

                  I made the effort I put my money where my mouth is. I am the most active parent and the only male. I don't think I will be able to make a change to the mindset. I think that is ok. That is why I am shopping around for a better fit.

                  I hear a lot of parent complain about the lack of activity but they are the same parents that wont lift a finger to do anything.

                  I just recently moved back to LA from No.Cal we never had these issues before. Parent dose not participate kid does not stay It is true when they say Los Angelinos are superficial. If fact they make it a art form. and its getting worse.

                • ScoutNut
                  ScoutNut commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I hear a lot of ideas of what YOU want. What about the GIRLS? Has anyone asked THEM what THEY are interested in?

                  You stated in your OP that your daughter is a Junior Girl Scout. Juniors are in 4-5th grade. At that age they are plenty old enough to know what they want, and to be making their OWN decisions about THEIR Troop.

                  Again, it might work better if your DAUGHTER talks to the other girls to get them on board with HER ideas (they ARE hers right?).

                  You said that you had a "few takers" for the trip to the mountains. That means that there are at least a few girls that are interested in doing more things. Have your DAUGHTER talk to them for a start.

                  Have you taken any GSUSA training at all? Camping training specifically? In order to take girls out camping (with, or without parents in attendance) you MUST have camping trained folks running the show.

                  You also stated that you refuse to do anything unless it is in a Mommy and Me format. Why? Girls in 4-5th grade need to start gaining independence. Again - THIS IS NOT CUB SCOUTS! The GSUSA program is NOT built around family. We learned early on with our Girl Scout Troop that having a bunch of untrained, helicopter, parents along on all trips, and outings, prevented the girls from getting the most out of the program.

                  If you want to help make Girl Scouting work for your daughter you need to -
                  1) GET TRAINED
                  2) Find other girls, and their families, who are interested in the things your daughter is. Or girls/parents who are at least willing to try different things.
                  3) Together with some moms who would like to help their daughters have a different Girl Scout experience - Start your own GSUSA Troop.

              • #13
                I am GSUSA and BSA trained and certified. Most the kids all want to go. The kids all like me because I do all sorts of activities with them and I treat them more like yonng ladies and not helpless children . That is not the problem it is 100% parents and Leadership. And nobody but me is willing to step up. I do not want the risk of leading the troop with out parental support and backup.

                Comment


                • ScoutNut
                  ScoutNut commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Just a note - the fact that you are BSA trained does not matter - at all - to GSUSA.

                  It seems your mind is made up. I hope you find an alternate program that meets your needs.

                  Good luck ! Post to let us know where you end up.

              • #14
                Thank you! I hope to find a GSUSA troop that is better fit for her. This weekend I am teaching a outdoor cooking training class with a troop that looks promising.

                Comment


                • #15
                  I hope you do have luck finding a good GSUSA fit. By Juniors, troops really do have their own personality - especially since there is a lot of Girl-led activity going on if things are done correctly.

                  Some troops are very focused on legacy-type scouting skills and camping. Others are more community service oriented or crafty or what-have-you. I take issue with the idea that you aren't REAL Girl Scouts if you don't want to spend every minute outside camping (though I do enjoy a good campfire!). That said, I think there are plenty of Junior troops out there that have a real focus on the outdoors. You also may want to look into resident and day summer camp opportunities. Have your daughter speak to the other girls who are like minded while she is there and ask what troop they are in. You can find a great troop that way.

                  Comment

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