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moving to the next level a year early

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My daughter's Junior Troop is composed of mostly soon to be 6th graders, she is a soon to be 5th grader. There are 5-6 other girls that will be entering 5th grade too. The leaders are going to Cadettes with the 10-12 older girls this fall. They have invited my daughter to join them a year early. The leaders have actually asked the Council if they can take her up early. They don't want any of the other younger girls, only my daughter.


My daughter is a GS in the USA and a Girl Guide in Canada (we live in a border area and I'm Canadian and was a Guide myself). Long story on how this happened, but she enjoys both programs. Her leaders think this is neat and my daughter has lots of GS/GG knowledge and experience. She's the only girl in the troop that has been to resident camp (3 years worth) and she has lots of Pack family camping experience with brother's Cub Pack.


My daughter is torn. She wants to hang with the big girls, but wants to do her Bronze award too. There will probably be no Junior Troop in the fall. No parents have stepped up to run the unit. (Don't suggest that I do it, I Cub Scout with my son, serve on District/Council Committees and assist with daycamp and now I'm woking 60 hours week due to my husband's job loss. I will actually have to curtail a lot of my involvement due to work) My daughter doesn't want Mommy to be her leader either. She wants her time alone.


My questions: Do I allow her to move up early? How do I draw the line on activities that she isn't ready for when the rest of the Cadettes do an event? Will she be able to keep up with the requiements (she has a learning disability)? She can't do a lot of Cadette Council events due to her age, so is going up ealy going to be a sore point rather than a benefit?


Please help, I know Cub Scouts and Girl Guides, I don't know Girl Scouts.


Thanks a Confused Mom in Michigan

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If a separte junior troop can't be formed, one proposal would be a muli-level troop. This would include both the Juniors and the Cadettes. Would one of the other 5-6 girls' parents be willing to sign on as an assistant leader to lead the Junior Patrol? Sometimes stepping in as an 02 is easier. They would need to go through the full training for your Council if they wanted to do separte Council-sponsored Junior events. I would personally at least recommend Junior level training so that the 02 would be comfortable with the programming. The Juniors and Cadettes could continue to meet and camp together. Much of the badgework/IPs could also be done together - the Juniors would do a little more and what does that really matter in the long run as long as they are learning and having fun!


BTW, this is exactly what my troop looks like this year! We will just do multi-level Council events so that girls aren't left out and will plan plenty of troop outings and projects.

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I would not assume that your council will allow her to move up early. A few years back, GSUSA changed the structure of the levels. They went from age and/or grade with a flex year in between levels to strict by grade levels.


Are the 5-6 other 5th graders brand new to Scouting? Or have they been in a 4th grade Junior Troop? If they are not new Scouts, what happened to their old Troop? Are their any other Junior Troops in your area? What about the girls in your daughters class in school? Are any of them in Scouts?


It sounds to me like you have valid concerns about moving your daughter into a program that she might struggle in. I would also question the leaders motives for pushing for it. To me it sounds like they are doing it for themselves (their very own GG!), rather than doing what is best for your daughter. If it was me, I would find her a Junior Troop.


Talk to the GS School Coordinator for your daughter's school. Also talk to your Service Unit Manager (SUM) about available Junior Troops.


Good Luck!

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another option is that if there is no junior level troop forms she can stay with her GG unit/troop (don't know what that's called sorry) and then sign up as a Juliette with GS staying a junior level and can complete her bronze.


she can also be a part of the newly bridged cadette troop, but stay a junior scout... many of the badges do mix well between the two levels. I have a troop with Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors. Some badges the Juniors will do more work that is "required" for their badge.


here is a website that helps with badges and level equivelants:


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