Brownies (Girl Scouts)

Updated on April 20, 2012
C.F. asks from Arvada, CO
10 answers

Hello to other Moms,
My daughter belongs to brownie troop at her school. I have some frustrations with her troop, as I feel they do the "minimum". Sure they do cookie sales and have field trips, but as for community service projects few! I thought that is what a big part of girl scouts was; community servive. I also feel they could meet more often than they do. So, my question to all of you is...What do you love about your daughter's girl scout troop (or former troop), and what do you strongly dislike? Just trying to see if my thoughts are warranted. Is there a guidline they are suppose to follow (journey). Any opinions, ideas, thoughts regading this organiation is very appreciative.

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answers from Austin on

I agree with JW, why don't you head a community service project? These leaders are not being paid so they should not be criticized...

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answers from Philadelphia on

Maybe you could offer to head up a couple community service projects for the troop? Or offer to run a meeting or two?
My daughter belonged to girl scouts and the leaders were moms with multiple kids and volunteered for several things. The girls only met twice a month, which was fine by me. But I am sure if anyone offered to run something for them, they would have loved it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

I am not sure what the guidelines could probably find them on-line.

Maybe you could talk to the troop leader and see if she needs help organzing/doing some of those things. You never know how overwhelmed she might be with it all.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It all depends on the leader(s). My daughter is in her 5th year in GS. For the first four years the troop was led by 3 moms who just wanted to do the minimum. They stepped down at the end of 3rd grade, and me and four other moms took over. We all work together (some do more than others) and we have done a lot more with the troop this year even though we only meet once a month. We've been working on a Journey all year which we're almost finished with, we've done a lot of the Vista events, and we've done some community service stuff.

Since you're not satisfied, maybe you can offer to work with the leaders or give them some ideas.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm a troop leader of a Brownie Troop and I will tell you that no matter how many hours I devote to my troop, it is the dedication and willingness of the parents to donate THEIR time and resources that makes or breaks a troop. I recently planned a big service project and only two of the girls (other than my daughter) showed up. If the parents aren't willing to participate, there's no point in planning for such things.

I suggest talking to your troop leader to get a feel for how involved the parents are. It may be what's holding her back from having a more 'gung-ho' troop. Get more involved, offer suggestions, tell the leader you are willing to help. I have had parents express dissatisfaction with some activities but they aren't willing to do anything. Don't complain unless you're willing to be part of the solution.

Being a troop leader is a tough job! It takes a lot of hours of my personal time, and it's all volunteer. I spend a lot of my own money and efforts to put together every single activity and meeting that our troop does. We meet twice a month and that is more than enough.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

i just came from my Daisy meeting. If i were to answer for some mom's i think they would say that what they love best is the free babysitting. lol

We actually do have very nice parents, they have supported us alot. We only meet 2 x a month and only for 1 hr. It's all i can fit in my schedule. In fact tonight, my daughter had to miss another activity that she enjoys to be able to be at Scouts.

I feel we did a good mix of communty service which on this level ment, doing a craft to send to a nursing home., we will participate in our community clean up coming up, and we've a had a few social events. We have done no camping things because I don't want the responsiblity of camping in the woods, at some point if they show a big interest I might look to partner with another troop and do that together, but i'm not there yet, this is my first year and i'm still learnign the ropes and all the required stuff..

While I suppose in grown up land, peoples suggestions to offer to organize a community service project is the right answer, For me personally, you would need to be very very nice when you ask that and not be critical, or i might tell you to shove it. juvenile and not girl scout ish, but I am workign sooooo hard, a critism woudl really break my heart.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

It is great that your daughter has the opportunity to be in a troop. It is difficult to find them because there are few that volunteer. I wanted my daughter to experience GS but no leaders were I volunteered myself. With full time work, two other younger siblings and a house to run I will tell you, GS is not my only focus. The biggest help for our troop is the willingness of the other parents. If you want more of something perhaps you could volunteer in coordinating and planning the event. On another note, lots of stuff costs money....for our troop we have been keeping it cheap for multiple reasons, one, they are brownies, they don't need expensive/costly activities to learn and earn the daisy peddles and second, they really just want to connect with each other...girls just have a higher need to connect with other girls. We also keep our troop dues low ($3 a month) If you want more field trips you may want to suggest higher monthly dues.
Lastly, GS is run by volunteers so if you're willing to volunteer you can make her experience richer and fuller for doing so. Our troop will likely end after one year because my co-leader is unable to continue and no other parent is stepping up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Being a troop leader is an enormous job. It takes a special person to devote hours upon hours of work and dedication, all as a volunteer. You have to have the patience and desire to manage and active group of children with lots of energy, different ideas, behavior issues, and peer conflicts. Your DD's leader may have had a vision to run the troop one way, but for various reasons she had to modify plans. No matter what you do or don't do, you are never going to please all the parents. Remember your DD's leader is strictly a volunteer, perhaps with an additional paid job and definitely with her own family's needs that have to come first. Behind the scences in the world of girl scouts, there are mandatory trainings, additional leader meetings and committees, paperwork, meeting planning, organizing, field trip planning, supply purchasing, planning snacks, putting together uniforms, logistics, cookie sales, additional fundraising pressures from the council, permission slips, banking duties, and list goes on. It is a lot of work! I honestly had NO idea how much was involved until the year I became a co-leader in my youngest DD's Daisy/Brownie troop. My older DD was in a great troop for a few years that did not have the girls purchase any of the guide books. The leader just organized the badge activities and it worked out just fine. I don't think my DD missed out on any of the experience not following a strict cirriculum with her own book, I'm actually glad to have been spared some expense. If your DD's troop has only 1 leader, she would probably be overjoyed with your offer to help plan and lead some additional meetings and/or community service projects. You should talk to the leader and find out how you can help the troop do more of the things you would like to see them do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My girls are now both senior girl scouts. There have been a lot of changes over the past 11 years. Each troop is different. Each troop has it's own special dynamics.

I've seen troops that meet weekly, bi-weekly, once a month with an outing once a month. Some troops go on several field trips, some only once a year, and some will save and go on one big trip when they're ready to move on to the next level. My personal experience has been that a troop should gather (meeting or outing) at least 3 times a month.

"Journeys" is actually a program. It's fairly new. My daughters' troop is not interested at all and they're not doing any of it. Personally from what I've seen of it and heard from several leaders, is no one is impressed and most of them don't want to use it, but it's something that needs to be followed for girls to progress from daisies to ambassadors and get their various awards along the way.

Community service is a part of GS. It's varies a lot, although most troops will do something at least once a year.

Today GS has "co-leaders", whereas, my girls went through the ranks with a "leader". (don't get me started) Some leaders like parent involvement, others don't want any parent involvement. Which type of leaders to you have? Many times they are somewhere inbetween so it's difficult to know.

Communication is very important. If you're willing to help out, talk to the leaders. If you'd like to see more community service, suggest a project and offer to help.

Also, if you feel the troop that your curently in is not providing the type of GS experience that you would like your daughter to have, look into switching troops. My very first experience with GS was horrible. I won't go into details, but another mom and I got togehter and found a leader who currently had a brownie troop and offered to start another one. My youngest daughter was in a cadette troop that was horrible and she was ready to quit, but she stuck with it until she was ready to move up to the next level with her older sisters troop. She now loves it again.

Love - one of the troop leaders was very involved in the community, although she was often late to meetings and slightly disorganized, her heart was in the right place and she opened up opportunities for the girls. She organized community service projects, brought them to the mayor's office for a personal meeting with the mayor in the city council's chambers, and helped them to get their silver awards.

Dislike - the leader who's big thing was crafts, which is what the troop did 90% of time. The troop that didn't have any parent involvement, and didn't do much other than just meetings, but they did a lot of badge work. The troop with the 2 co-leaders where one would let many of the "problem" girls get away with constantly breaking the rules.

Overall it's been a great experience for both my children. Stick with it!

PM me if you have any other questions.



answers from Washington DC on

Since I'm my daughter's GS leader (through Brownies and now in Juniors) I'm not going to try to answer what I love about the troop (other than the girls!). But I would say, have you had a friendly talk directly with the leader before posting here?

She may truly welcome your help. Does she have a co-leader, or does she have a sign-up roster where parents take turns helping during meetings? If not -- she may do what you consider "the minimum" because she is trying to take on too much by herself. Ask her if she would like help in the meeting time. Does she feel the troop could do different activities if she had another adult around? Volunteer to do that, or to coordinate an e-mail roster of parents taking turns.

Come to her with ideas: If you want to see a service project done, tell her, "Hey, it would be great to get the girls involved in the community. How about if I look up some ideas for service projects and we can talk about them, and I will take the lead on putting this one project together?" You're not trying to take her place; you're just volunteering to lead one project for the short term. Your local Girl Scout Council should have online listings of service projects they either run or know about that are open for Brownies to participate. (If you don't know what your Council is, ask the leader or go to Most of all, have the girls themselves come up with service project ideas -- GS is all about girl empowerment. At Brownie level, I would present them with several possibilities to talk about rather than going to them "cold" and saying "What would you like to do for community service?" because they may not have a grip yet on just what that means.

GS is entirely volunteer run at the troop level, and sometimes leaders DO opt to do a certain level of more or less activity because, frankly, they have lives and families. So parent help to do more is essential. And comparing one troop to other troops isn't always helpful. Leaders and the girls themselves determine what a troop does, so hearing that one troop camps every month while another is only about crafts and another earned money to go to Disney -- that isn't always useful. Your troop's girls may not be interested in the same things, or have schedules that don't accommodate certain kinds of activities.

If your troop is only doing cookie sales and "fun" field trips -- are they earning any Try-Its (Brownie "badges")? Troops can still do this; the Try-Its are still in use as of right now, though national GSUSA is trying to replace them this fall with the "Journeys" programs at all levels. If your troop is not doing badges or a Journey, you can suggest that. (I will be honest; the Journeys program is not popular with some leaders because it is quite "workbook"-like, with reading requirements and questions, etc., and GS is eliminating many of the badges it has used for years, which is not popular with many leaders and girls, so your leader may have good reasons she has not embraced the Journey model.)

So, basically, talk to the leader rather than comparing this troop to lots of other troops. The leader should be talking with the girls about what really interests them. And if you would really like to see more going on, ask if she wants a co-leader next fall, and take that on. It's very rewarding to be a troop leader or co-leader and you will get training and a lot of support from your Council and local Service Unit (group of troop leaders in your local area) if you ask for it!

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