When I was younger I was in Girl Scouts. I was in from 1st grade until my sophomore year of high school. The only reason I stopped was because we moved and couldn't find a troop for my age group.
When Sugar Pea was in kindergarten we looked into a troop for her, but I wasn't impressed by the leader. After we moved I started looking for a troop for her. She joined when she was in 2nd grade and was so excited. I told her all the things I did as a Girl Scout, and she couldn't wait.
The first year she was in I wasn't really all that impressed. The leader had 24 girls ranging from Daisy's to Juniors. They did a couple of "fieldtrips" to the stores to buy food for the soup kitchen and toys to take to the fire station. That was it. Their weekly meetings were spend coloring and gluing things to cardboard. I kid you not. They did have a Father Daughter dance and Mother's Day Tea for the mom's and girls, but other than that, nothing.
At the end of that year few us parents talked to the leader and explained what we were looking to get out of Girl Scouts. The next year the leader had a meeting for the parents before the year started. Pretty much she wanted to tell us that we weren't allowed to stay during the meetings and help. Her sister was stepping up to help as co leader. I didn't like this. I didn't stay every week, but I liked being able to go in and help if she needed it and see what the girls were doing.
That year they didn't do anything. One fieldtrip to the store, and nothing else. It got to the point I had to force Sugar Peas to go. She complained that it was boring, but I liked that she was able to interact with kids that weren't in her class.
A group of us parents again tried to talk to the leaders and explain our concern. All this did as cause them to send home a nasty letter about how she's been a Girl Scout leader for 20 some odd years and she knows what she's doing and if we think its better than we should start our own group.
So that's what happened. Two of the mom's started their own group. Needless to say I switched Sugar Pea to this one and so far I love it. There is a total of 3 leaders. They've already had one backyard camp out with the girls. They learned about fire safety from real fire fighters. Then at the first official meeting the leaders sat down with the girls and asked what they wanted to do. They had a list of things that they wanted to do for others and things for themselves. The leaders explained that the list of things they wanted to do for themselves had to be earned and not just given to them.
This week they are doing a canned food drive and then next week they are going to take the food to the soup kitchen and take a tour of it and learn what they do there.
They are also planning a bake sale to help raise money for my husband's medical expenses.
This is what I wanted for Sugar Pea all along. I wanted her to be part of something that helps the community and not just mom making her do it. I want her to be able to tell her own daughter the same stories about her experiences in Girl Scouts.