Girl Scout Drama

Updated on June 13, 2016
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
15 answers

My daughter has been part of a troop for the last two years. After the girls bridged to Brownies last year, one of the Moms stepped up to be the new Troop leader. The former leader of the Daisy troop is an older woman with daughters that have aged out of GS and just takes a troop because she enjoys that age group. She had said that she was developing the two of us to co-lead in the new troop.

Things have run fine for the most part this year. I have stepped up and helped schedule activities for the girls. I have bought supplies (unreimbursed BTW), badges and planned things to do. I feel like I have done more to help the leader than any of the other parents.

Our leader came to the meeting this week and announced that the meeting night had to change due to her daughter's cheerleading schedule next year. The day of the week she chose will not work for us...she knows that we have Cub Scouts that night. Some of us actually have multiple children to manage activities for...

I am so annoyed with the situation. There are so many things that the leader could have done but didn't. She could have given me a head's up, but didn't. She could have looked into other nights, but didn't until I asked her to... She could have looked into alternative meeting places that would work for everyone...but didn't. The original meeting night works for everyone else but her now. She could have offered to help me find a new troop for my daughter, but didn't. Her method of helping was to tell me that she informed someone at Council to be on the look out for a new troop for my daughter. It was very much a my way or the highway situation.

Obviously, the answer is that I am going to have to find another troop for my daughter. It just puts me in the uncomfortable position of breaking my daughter's heart on this. Maybe it's wrong, but I feel pretty offended at the situation given how much I have helped as a volunteer in the troop. The reality is that we will still be in the same GS community and I will still run into this person. I'm trying to take the high road here, but how do I deal with this leader in the future?

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So What Happened?

ETA: There is no way to keep her in the troop. I have leadership responsibilities to Cub Scouts the same night of the week. The locations of the meetings and times make it impossible to do both the same night. My husband and I both have responsibilities to Cub Scouts so it's really not an option to try to divide and conquer in this case. The girls in the troop really have not interacted outside of GS events and they do not go to school together

I'd love to have my daughter in a troop that meets at her school, but there isn't one and I simply do not have the time to start one. My son is in his last year in Cub Scouts, so I really don't want to move him to a different Pack with only 8 more months to go. The more I think about it, the more I think that moving to a different troop might be a blessing in disguise. I don't believe that this was a personal attack on me and my child. However, I also don't believe that the leader stopped to consider the needs of any other child but her own...that is what I take issue with... There wasn't even a discussion with the other parents about this...the decision was made and that was that. Yes, part of this is about my feelings too. I believe that I allowed myself to be taken advantage of this year. The leader seemed to dump stuff on me when she didn't want to do it. Like I said, I spent a lot of my personal time and money to help with the troop. Given that, it seems like the leader could have been more courteous in how this was handled. I get that the day might still have had to be changed, but she also didn't express any regret or help find another troop for my daughter.

Featured Answers



answers from St. Louis on

It sounds as if she wouldn't be concerned whether you spoke to her or not. Perhaps passive aggressive.

Personally, I would move on (with my belongings) and then treat her as if you were not affected by her choice. If she asks how you are doing, let her know how well that worked out for you.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

Hiya T. :-)
I think you know I have many years of GS experience, led two troops K though 8th grade, school organizer, service unit secretary, then event coordinator, oh and was also a mom lol!
I think the big picture here is this, how much of this experience is for your daughter, and how much is for you?
The reason I ask is because I cannot imagine pulling either of my girls from their school friends' troop. I saw it happen and it never worked. The girls always ended up quitting within a year. Girls this age want to be with girls they know, that they go to school with.
I absolutely LOVED being a leader, and yes I also loved being a little bit in control (wink wink) but I think in this case it would be better to let your daughter stay with her troop and step back yourself if you already have a Cub Scout commitment that night.
I worked with all kinds of parents over the years, stay at home moms, working moms AND dads, all with varying levels of interest and enthusiasm. You can be very involved and helpful without ever even being at a meeting. There are always special events, camporees, fairs, etc. that you can give your time and energy to. In our troops we had parents that had either no availability (or interest) to attend meetings so they did other jobs, like being troop treasurer or cookie mom or headed up the annual father daughter dance, or organized some kind of weekend community service activity, like going a food bank or doing a beach clean up.
Just something to think about. The GS experience is about so much more than troop meetings!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

This makes me sad, because it reminds me of how football always came first in my family. My parents were so dedicated to my brothers activities and I was always told, no we can't do X because we have football that day.
If your daughter likes the troop she's in there is no reason one of you can't switch volunteer duties, it's not even until next year. Parents do this all the time, especially working ones with more than one child.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Keep her in the troop. If you can't get her there, carpool. Or carpool your son one week, you go the next, kind of thing. We do this a lot.

I think you let it go. You say your daughter will be heartbroken - so get her name off the list she gave to Council and have her stay with her troop.

ETA: Read your SWH.

I know here, when a leader needs to switch a night, some of the kids can switch and some can't and will need to find a new troop. It happens every year.

Here they announce it at one of the meetings. They don't typically give some a heads up because then it gets out and doesn't come across as fair, and leads to confusion.

Similarly they don't go around asking parents what alternate night works for them because there's no way to please everyone.

Have you spoken to the leader? That's where I would start. Just clarify things.

There may be reasons she did things the way she did. I wouldn't make assumptions as to her character or intentions without starting there.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I'm sorry this has played out in this way. It must be very frustrating for you. I think most of us can definitely relate to the challenges of having more than one child and juggling activities and rides.

I have to say, I think you need to try and make it work with the current troop. It's not impossible. You will have to figure out the logistics, but you can make it work. Are you married, and can your husband take your daughter? Sister, friend, neighbor, another mom from the troop? Surely there is someone who can help you get your daughter to and from the meeting.

Does the Cub Scout Den meet every week? Does the Girl Scout Troop meet every week? As far as I know, the dens and troops in our area meet twice a month (although Cub Scouts do have Pack Meetings once a month ... our den doesn't meet the same night of the week.)

I know you are disappointed and probably angry, but I think you should try to make it work. If she has to change troops and make new friends, it won't be the same, and she probably won't want to continue.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Is there any way you can leave your daughter in that group but take a year off from volunteering? You could maybe drop both kids off at their respective scout meetings and pick them up afterwards. And of course, you could help when you were available, like at special events. If your daughter loves being in that troop, allow her to stay. You take a step back, and stay on that high road.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I know how much it hurts to take on tons of responsibility, hoping for a leadership role that was, in fact, promised to you. You've made it clear that you did so many things including advancing your own money, either to show your dedication or to make them so grateful that they'd "promote" you, or both. But volunteers don't always have the commitment skills we would hope for, and non-profit groups don't always run like corporations. So the leader led you on, and you threw yourself into this entirely in order to get the payoff of troop leader, and then she made a decision based on her daughter's priorities.

But she has the same problem you do - a child (her daughter, your son) with other priorities/schedule. Maybe she remembers you have Cub Scouts, maybe she doesn't. (I have volunteered extensively and honestly don't know who has what on what nights - I'm too focused on my own stuff. But even if she did know your schedule, she's the leader, and she feels she has a responsibility to the troop as well as her daughter. Maybe she figures she can get plenty of other volunteers even if it doesn't work for you.

I am reading your SWH to mean that neither you nor your husband are willing or able to shed your Cub Scouts responsibilities. You are not willing to divide things up (one parent take Cubs, one take GS) or train someone to take your place. Are you both completely indispensable to Cub Scouts? Can you alternate attending the meetings and do the rest of your volunteering at home at other times? Is there no way to carpool with other parents in some way, even if it means families feed dinner to another family's kid and do the driving on alternate weeks?

If not, then look at the bigger picture. Isn't the purpose of Scouts to teach confidence, leadership skills and independence? Wouldn't it be beneficial in many ways for your daughter to shift to another troop and get to work with a new leader? (Alternatively, why couldn't your son switch to another Cub Scout group?) If you don't particularly admire this leader, maybe your daughter would truly benefit from understanding that someone broke a promise and made a decision that requires everyone else to adjust. Maybe she learns to deal with disappointment, and maybe she learns a lesson in keeping promises, because what one person does affects another person. Besides, kids get new teachers every year - they don't stay with the same one, nor do they stay with the same classmates. They learn to meet new people and find new advantages and great experiences.

I am dismayed that you even list the concern of having to run into this leader in the community! Really, is it that grave? If it is, please reevaluate your priorities vs. your daughter's feelings. It really sounds like this is having a much greater effect on you, because you've been cast aside and not valued no matter how much money and time you put in, vs. your daughter truly being broken hearted over the long term. So what you do is you hold your head high, trust that your volunteering efforts will be recognized and appreciated by people of good quality and integrity, and hope that your absence from the first troop leaves a really big hole. This will make it a huge learning experience for the "problem" troop leader. And you smile and say "everything's great" if you are asked. Mostly, you place the value of Girl Scouting above the whims of a few volunteers who don't always make good decisions.

It would also seem to me that you have the whole summer to possibly do what you wish she had done - find another meeting place that works for all, for example, or train some additional leaders/volunteers. Show yourself to be the leader you hoped they would recognize, but do it in a way that doesn't undermine anyone. If you let this devolve into pettiness or hurt feelings, or if you inadvertently add to the drama you feel someone else created, you'll wind up teaching your daughter the exact opposite of what you hope to gain from Scouting.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I don't think it is an attack on your or your child. You said that things have run fine for the most part this year. What it probably is, is a matter of her not thinking outside of the box and only really thinking about her own schedule.

She loses something here too. She loses a volunteer, someone to take her place, and someone who knows how to do stuff.

How do you deal with her in the future? If she ever asks you for a favor again, tell her that you're sorry, but you got burned the last time you worked with her and you don't want to go through the heartache again. She will, probably for the first time, realize that she really hurt you. And that's something she will either regret or realize that she lost a valuable ally.

Honestly? What goes around comes around. People who treat people like this lose later opportunities with them.

I'm sorry about your daughter. Hopefully at some point you can put her back in or wait until the next level up.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

How about starting your own troop since the original night works for most other parents.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think it is old-fashioned jealousy. You seemed to be taking the leadership to heart and it may have shined a light on how much better the troop is this year with you at the helm.

Keep your daughter in the troop. You step back and keep collecting ideas for when they beg you back to lead. I think they surely will.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

how do you deal with this leader in the future? with kindness and courtesy. pretend she didn't do anything wrong and that you changed to meet your own needs. if she didn't care that she messed up your schedule then she won't care how you dealt with it so you let it go and move on.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have three kids that are all very active in the things they choose to do. FB told me that on this day last year, I went to All Star announcements for kid #2, caught the first inning of the All Star game for kid #3, and then ran with kid #1 over to recital. No night of the week is fine for us. And I know when my daughter did do girl scouts, the night changed yearly for meetings. We actually have this with our kids and their sports, we don't get to pick the schedule for practices or games.

Can your husband do one kid and you do the other? That's what we have to do most often. Or have your daughter go with a friend to the meeting. Or have your son go with a friend to his meeting.

I don't think you have to deal with the leader, I think you have to figure out how to make this work. It's my life. I understand how chaotic it can be, but it's life.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You flourish in your new group as soon as you find one and when you run into her you be all smiles and say that although changing groups was unexpected - moving to a new group was the best thing that ever happened.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I don't think you should make your daughter change Girl Scout troops...those are her friends and it's important for her to be with those girls. Our Daisy troop has co-leaders. When my son was in cub scouts the cub scouts had co-leaders too. Can you do this for cub scouts? Then you are the leader every other time. And you can go to every other night of Girl Scouts. Our Daisy troop meets only once a month with a few field trips/extra activities. Then the times you are at the Girl Scout troop meeting your co-leader will be handling the cub scout meeting. Most people I know have to do things like this because when you have multiple kids in multiple activities then some kind of overlap always seems to happen. On the nights I can't go I find a car pool friend to pick up my kid. I know you are annoyed at that other woman but I don't think she did this as a personal attack on you...she could have gone about it in a different way though. I would let it roll off my back. PS - If you do change to a new Girl Scout troop look for the one with her school friends. Ours meets at our school right after school is over for the day (4-5pm). I thought that was how most GS troops did it. Maybe there is a troop right at your daughter's school...that would make your life easier. The cub scouts always met at 7pm at either someone's house or at the school cafeteria.



answers from Rochester on

We had a troop leader who was very difficult to work with. None of the other parents would volunteer at all because she was so flighty. Finally her mom started helping out. But after a year of Brownies she decided to stop being a leader. Our troop ended up dissolving because no one wanted to take over the mess she had left. Out council did zero to help us find other troops. I finally registered my daughter as a Juliette. We do the badges on our own. It hasn't been ideal, but we have made it work. Ironically, when I went to pick up her cookie prizes I happened to meet a Brownie leader who said they would love to find more girls to join their troop. I don't know why our troop council couldn't find a troop for us! I think joining a different troop would the best move. Or try being a Juliette for a year.

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