Child Being Excluded from Activity

Updated on March 05, 2008
W.M. asks from Toledo, OH
22 answers

Hi Moms,

I have a issue that I was hoping for suggestions on how to handle. My 7 soon to be 8yr old daughter was held back for 1st grade due to a learning disability. She is a very happy child who makes friends easily and is fun loving. The problem falls in this year they have a new Brownie leader who just excluded her never contacted us about girl scouts (We did not even know the troop was meeting). Yesterday My daughter came home in tears she found out at school there is in fact 2 brownie troops and either one included her. She has been in girl scouts for 2 yrs prior. The lady who is in charge of the troop my daughter is suppost to be in keeps avoiding me and even acted like she didn't know who I was even though we have had several conversations at school and have volunteered together on several occasions. How am I suppost to explain this to my daughter? How do I handle this situation in a professional manor? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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A.M.

answers from Columbus on

I contacted Seal of Ohio Girl Scouts. My own daughter was a Girl Scout for 13 yrs and I think no girl should be excluded from experiencing Scouting. Maria Nieves, Administrative Coordinator-Membership, Seal of Ohio Girl Scouts agrees with me and will help you with this problem. Please contact her directly [email protected]____.com wishes,
Marsha

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D.C.

answers from Tampa on

Hi W.,
I don't know if there is someone over the lady that you could contact, but I would do that. They say in a business to go up the ladder and since you haven't recieved any response to her, go to the next level. I hope this helps and I have a 4 year old who has a learning disability too. She is great at being a friend, but it seems that every year on her birthday, NONE of her friends want to come to her party! They expect her at theirs, but won't come to hers. I think this is partly because of the parents. We aren't even having a party this year. I know what you are going through.
D.

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D.R.

answers from Dayton on

That is very tough. You could certainly contact the Girl Scout directly www.sealofohio.org. We both know though if they are forced to include her in the troop they will treat her poorly. I personally would not put my daughter through that. I would just explain to her that it isn't her, some people just aren't very nice and rather than worrying about girl scouts maybe you could get her into a different activity. Although it is completely unfair that she can not participate in what she prefers. Good Luck.

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L.G.

answers from Cleveland on

I would call the girl scout counsil and tell them what she is doing. There is no reason she should do that and you should not have to try and explain any of that to your daughter. Good Luck with your situation.

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R.K.

answers from Canton on

Call the new group leader and ask her when is the next meeting. If that is not feasable, call one of the girls parents and ask them when the next meeting is. Or have your daughter ask one of her friends when is the next meeting........Communicate, communicate, communicate. Being that the leader is new, she probably doesn't know all the ins, & outs of being a leader. Give her time, things will come around and be good. Your action is needed. Somehow I don't feel that your daughter was excluded on purpose. Good Luck to you mama.

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C.C.

answers from Columbus on

I have seen a similiar situation happen in a troop my daughter used to be in. I would suggest you try one more time to contact the troop leader and if not satisfied then contact the council in your area. I live in the Seal of Ohio area and know that they will respond to your problem. Being cookie time you may have to be patient but, your concern will be addressed. What I have seen happen is a meeting between the troop leaders(s) and the parents while the council representatives act as moderators. The ideal is that your daughter would be welcomed back but they can not force a leader to take a girl into their troop. At least in the situation I know of. There are plenty of troops out there so you could just call for a referral to another troop.
If I were in your situation, I would have a hard time not at the very least reporting this leader. What she has done goes against everything Girl Scouts is about.

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B.I.

answers from Louisville on

Contact Girl Scouts Headquarters! They would not approve of these leaders if they knew what has happened. The same thing happened to my child, fortunately rumor got around and sure enough another group close by called and invited her to join them!

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J.F.

answers from Toledo on

Hi W.
My question to you would be what area do you live in. I am the "assistant leader" of a 1st grade troop at my daughter's school. While it is a little late this year with the cookie sale being almost over and all, I will be taking over this troop on my own next year and would love to have her (providing you are in my area). You can contact me directly at [email protected]____.com.

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J.M.

answers from Lexington on

Hi W.,

I was a den leader for my son's Cub Scout pack and there is no reason at all that your daughter should be excluded. The whole point of scouting is to teach the kids values and morals. Obviously this leader is just in it for the cookies! You need to talk to the leader in your area over the different troops. In Cub Scouts there are individual dens that are all part of a pack which has a leader of it's own. I would think that Girl Scouts probably works on the same kind of system. You need to go higher up in the ranks and get this taken care of. Scouting is a wonderful opportunity for children and they shouldn't be excluded for any reason. Good luck! J.

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A.L.

answers from Cleveland on

My suggestion would be to talk to the other troop leader; if that doesn't resolve anything, go to the council, which I think is on White Pond Drive. They will definitely help you there. Girl Scouts is supposed to be a group for girls to enrich them not only through activties but also that friendship is important and that everyone is the same, no matter what. I guess you call it "Girl Power", being successful young ladies in society. I hope everything goes well!!!!

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B.M.

answers from Columbus on

Believe me, I've been there! We had issues with our girl scout troop here (Pataskala). I ended up taking my daughter (who is also 8) out because of issues with the troop leader. My daughter was diagnosed with adhd at the beginning of first grade, we've had some experiences with the whole "being left out" thing. The only advice I can give is, make sure your daughter knows she's great despite all of these things. If you can, have special mommy/daughter time with her (my daughter really loves it). I got my daughter into horse back riding and it has really built up her self-esteem. Good luck!

Also- if you want to go this route...contact the district girl scouts leader and make her aware of what's going on.

B.

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K.N.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi W.-

Obviously these women should not be Girl Scout leaders based on the treatment that you have received.

I would go on www.girlsouts.org. If you go to "Contact Us" there is a way to register on-line. Or, you can call someone at the local council and explain your situation.

I too have a special needs child (boy) and would not take kindly to his being intentionally left out of an activity.

Good Luck-
K.

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S.K.

answers from Cleveland on

W. - I'm sorry to hear that a GS leader and a mom would act this way, especially towards a child. I'd have to say, she's probably not a person I would want around my child anyway. I am a GS leader to both my daughter's troops (a 3rd grade and an 8th grade), so speaking from experienc, it's very possible that the 2nd troop did not know that your daughter was interested in joining. I think I would try to contact both leaders directly to see if you could work something out. If that does not work, then you should contact Girl Scouts of North East Ohio - GSNEO (it used to be Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council - GSLEC, but recently merged with others in the area). Their phone number is ###-###-####. They will be able to tell you the Service Unit that is in charge of your city and give you contacts to other girl scout troops in your area. There are lots of fantastic troops and leaders around - good luck finding one that is perfect for your daughter. S.

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H.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi, W. --

That's such a terrible and frustrating situation that you're in. I really feel for you.

Well, first of all, the problem with volunteer organizations is that they're run by volunteers ;)! If being a troop leader were this woman's job, you could have her cited, demoted, or pay docked! If she won't respond to your contact, it seems there's little you can do... I mean, her behavior, if it's intentional and not just a result of her being overstressed and overtaxed with things to do, would indicate she would certainly not be a very good troop leader for your daughter.

Perhaps, if one more direct attempt to get her attention doesn't work, you could appeal to the person in the organization directly above her for intervention OR maybe for referral to another troop that is more conscientious and fair. I'd definitely want to see my daughter involved in a troop where she'd flourish and be led by someone who cared about her development and enjoyment.

So, that would be my second suggestion -- see what other troops are in the area and involve her with one of those instead. That way, she'd not only have the friends she'd made at school but also friends from another area via her troop. Maybe that would be neat. I don't know how the whole thing works, but it seems that could be an alternative.

I wish you all the best!

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T.W.

answers from Dayton on

Hello W.,

I agree with alot of what was already posted to you. I would meet with the troop leader first, to make sure it isn't a mistake (which I don't think it is). If after the meeting (if there is one) your daughter is still not allowed to participate. Go to the Girl Scout site http://www.girlscouts.org/ and click on contact at the bottom.

Tell them what is going on and they will help. I have a now, 19 yr old son with mental disabilities and I have seen and heard it all. Although, if she is forced to accept your daughter into her troop, I would be worried as to how she will be treated. You might want to go to the Girl Scout site and put in your zip code and see if there is another group close by. I wouldn't want my daughter to learn anything from a person who acts as this person does.

Good Luck
T.

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R.A.

answers from Cleveland on

Dear W.:

I believe that your next step should be to contact the regional director of the Girl Scouts and let her know what is going on. You may need to contact the national leadership of the Girl Scouts as well. What the local troop leader is doing is totally against the philosophy of the Girl Scouts as it is an inclusive group. I would start with the website for the Girl Scouts and work from there. I hope this helps!

Brightfox

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J.B.

answers from Columbus on

the brownie/girl scout leaders are under the direction of someone up higher than they are. I suggest finding out who that is and explaining the situation. I think that you all need to sit down and talk this out. Find out why they excluded your daughter. I would think that the leaders higher up would not want these types of people leading the groups. And if they do, then I certainly wouldn't want my daughter to be a part of it. I would just explain to her that these people are some of the uglier side to life, but that all the people that make up the world are not nice. Tell her that you are trying to work things out, but if they don't that she has to be the bigger person and just act nice to the people and don't show them that she is upset, but that she really doesn't have to like them if she doesn't want to, just be polite.

Being the bigger person and not getting heated is the tougher job by far!

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4.

answers from Toledo on

It seems to me that there might be several things happening to make this situation an issue.

Speaking as an active Brownie Leader myself, I know it can take a while to really get to know each of the girls in a troop. As a new leader of an existing troop, the leader you're referring to probably did not know that your daughter was "missing." This is especially true when parents miss "Girl Scout registration nights" or other membership drive events that are geared at getting girls registered for a new year. (Girls must be re-registed every year as their membership does not automatically "roll over" from one year to the next.)

I realize that you are frustrated with this Girl Scout leader, but when parents do not re-register their girls, leaders (particularly when the Girl Scout year is busy) tend to assume that the parents or their daughter is no longer interested in Girl Scouts. So it really isn't her fault. Please try to give her the benefit of the doubt.

The good news is that you may register your daughter at any time during the year. Once you've done so, your daughter is considered a fully-functioning member of the troop. It's not too late! Contact the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio at www.girlscoutsofwesternohio.org or call the Maumee Valley Regional office in Toledo at ###-###-####. (If you are not a resident of the Maumee Valley Region, they will be able to direct you to your local regional office.)

Good luck to you and your daughter!

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J.D.

answers from Columbus on

W.,
I think that it is getting harder and harder to convince our children that activities they are involved in are "just for fun". These days it seems like everything is a competition or a group focused on popularity and even financial staus. Its very sad and sends a terrible message to our children. Unfortunatly for your little one, for whatever their reasons are, she is getting a taste of todays "MEAN GIRLS" society.
My two oldest have experienced similar injustices (mostly with ongoing bullying problems) and the best way I have found to handle it is by telling them that in this world there are people that do not do things nicely or fairly. YOu can not control how they act or what they say or what they think. What you can do is control how you feel and act respond. Explain to her that it isnt fair. There is no way around that. It really isnt. Tell her that as much as she loves being apart of Brownies that if she would have to be around girls that are not nice, do not treat her fairly and are not people she wants to act like, maybe you can find another activity that she would have more fun in. I also tell my children to remember how they are feeling when something like this has happened and how never to make anyone else feel that way. I know it is working because my son came home from school the other day and said there was a new boy in his class and the other kids were teasing him and my son went over and said that he would be friends with him and they played basketball together.
My point is that as much as you want to march over there and ring someones neck and tell them how it is, these are life lessons for our children that they have to learn in order to grow into well rounded people. I would never allow another child to physically hurt my child without getting involved, but you can not protect her from getting her feelings hurt or having injustices done to her. The best thing you can do is teach her how to handle her emotions when she does get hurt. If they dont fall, they will never know how to get up. She will be a stronger better person in the long run.
If that doesnt work, go over and punch someone in the nose! That always makes you feel better!.....just kidding!
Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

I have not ran into this yet with my daughter so I am just looking back at my experience. When I was in the Brownie troop I had a similiar situation. All my friends were in the troop but this troop leader had it out for me and one other girl. My mom had several converations with this lady and finally my mom just went ahead an bought all the materials I would need and taught me. I later found out that the troop mother did not like me or my mom because my mom had already taught me a lot of what she was trying to teach the girls and I would always have the answer. SO with that said there really is no excuse for that kind of behavior from an adult or a child. Maybe talk to the other troop leader and see what is being said and talk to the other moms in the group. She might be doing this to other children and that is not what a Brownie leader is about. If she is avoiding you for some reason, you need to confrount her. You need to let her know that this is not acceptable. It should not matter if your duaghter was held back or not.

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A.T.

answers from Columbus on

Hi W., I am a new mom to this Mamasource website and well you are the frist one that I have seen. I have a 17yr. old Son who has Down Syndrome. My son was involved in Boy scouts since he was 8 yrs. old. At first the troop leader was a little hesitate about my son joining but I went to the Boy Scouts of America's website and contacted them. I explained to them what this troop leader was doing and within a matter of days. They responed to me with information that my son would be involved or they would no longer be the troop leader. Tyler made it all the way to an eagle scout before he fell in love with All-Star Cheerleading with a Special Needs Team and is now active in Junior Late Model Racing. Don't let these people isolate your child because of their stupidity on disablities. There is always one or two people who are blinded by the loving manner of these children. Hope this helps. Just contact your local Girl Scout representative that is in your district.

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S.C.

answers from Lexington on

W., how heartbreaking for your daughter. I would first try to get a private meeting with the troup leader to discuss the issue. If she refuses to meet with you to discuss the situation, I would call the Girl Scout Council to see if they can offer some assistance.

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