Girl Scout Issues

Updated on January 09, 2013
C.R. asks from Brownsburg, IN
12 answers

Ok, so I am the leader of our K. Daisy Troop of 10 girls. So far I have only been able to assist parents in upcoming events, paper work, bank accounts etc. (but I really wanted to be teaching the girls things arts and crafts, badges, the book etc.) I know I should be grateful. Right? But my issue and a coupe other parents also mentioned. They want their girls to learn what they are getting patches for. So when someone asks whats this for they can tell them why they got it. My co-leader don't exactly see it that way and has just been on a patch handing out frenzy! They all have their promise patch and not a one of them can come even close to knowing the promise. She buys extra patches for whatever reason and hands them out. We have spent a bit of cash on the daisy flower not to mention the 1 set of books which we haven't even cracked open. I suggested taking them to the park for a few meetings and my co-leader was totally not going for that! I think we are about at a split as to 1/2 the parents don't care they just want the patches and go, go,go. The other 1/2 are more interested in learning and doing different activities related to girl scouts. So what should I do? I hate to split up the troop but I am afraid that is where we are at?

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answers from Appleton on

I'm with you. Nothing is free in this world. If you want something you need to earn it. I believe kids really need to learn this lesson. Handing out the patches without the work being done to earn them is pathetic. It's like handing a 16 yr old a drivers license and the keys to a Mercedes, without any drivers training. (Okay a bit over the top)

You are the leader. The word is not only a noun but a verb or action word -- so take action. Tell the co-leader NO MORE handing out patches unless the girls earn them. If she doesn't like it then she can form her own troop.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Troops can only work well when the leaders are on the same page. If your co-leader doesn't want to do anything, why did she become a leader? It's pretty bad that she's handing out the patches without the girls meeting the requirements. My daughter's head leader would have a coronary if she heard that!

You should talk to your co-leader and tell her that things need to be taken more seriously. Let her know she can either step down or you will split the troop. Now is when this should happen before this goes on any longer.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You need to start your own troop and conduct it like the Girl Scouts of America meant it to be conducted. Your "co leader" probably should not be involved with the Girl Scouts.

She should probably be a coach on a team where everyone gets a trophy win or lose.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Please talk to your Service Unit leadership. They should be experienced leaders who can give you guidance and advice. If you're not active in your GS Service Unit or don't know what I'm talking about -- contact your GS Council and get your Service Unit information, especially contact information. Some SUs are stronger than others but it's a good resource for new leaders to get input from more experienced ones in your area. I am not saying tell your SU and they will handle it for you because that's not how things work; I'm saying, ask them for advice as fellow leaders, especially those with experience at Daisy level.

I disagree entirely with the person who posted that co-leadership is a bad model; it works wonderfully in our troop and in some others I know, but the key is to have two co-leaders who truly are on the same page and who communicate extremely well with each other. It sounds like you and your co-leader do not communicate and she does things without consulting you -- note that I am saying "consulting" and not "asking" because if you truly are a team it's not a matter of permission, it's a matter of consultation, together.

Have you had a parents' meeting for this year? You need to. I would hold a parents' meeting where you and the co-leader and parents discuss the year's plans, what you expect to happen, rules, etc. That's usually done at the very start of the year and you might have had one already....That is a perfect time for parents to express -- in a civil, GS way -- "Our girls love patches, but we want them to understand what the patches mean. Is there a way to tie patches to the program that they are doing at meetings?" Frankly, if you are close to a parent who feels this way, you can plant the seed by asking that parent to bring it up at the meeting. I agree with the parents that the girls should not be handed patch after meaningless patch. You need to be already moving on to the girls earning the Daisy petals -- that is your structure for the rest of the year and requires specific activities so get onto that now; the paperwork and bank stuff can be done as it comes up but it's past time to move on with activities. That will get the girls to understand better that they EARN petals.

I am not going to be quite as tough on your co-leader as some other folks here. Sounds like she is unfortunately carried away with ordering cute patches. I'd tell her that your troop has spent X dollars on patches that aren't related to the Daisy petal program and now it's time for the girls to start earning petals. If she tries to say "Oh, I'll buy patches on my own," you might want to tell her that that's not fair to her -- and that the girls will get more out of earning petals than having patches. I would not make this the make-or-break, split-the-troop issue -- I would be more forceful with her in terms of, "At the next meeting the girls need to start earning their first petal. Let's discuss what the activities will be and how many weeks they will take, " etc. Move ahead and frame everything in terms of girl activities -- not paperwork on your end and patches on hers. These girls need to be doing more, or they'll get tired of patches soon.

I'm sorry you and she arent' having a good experience as leaders and hope you can get through this year and form another troop over next summer that is much more oriented toward real activity, not just go, go, go, as you put it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Ugh, sounds like our daughter's first Daisy Scout troop. Gave out patches for no clear reason, no field trips, totally disorganized. I'd say if you can't commit to doing this right and the co-leader won't, please end the troop. We ended up leaving the first troop and now belong to a super one. It's what the Daisy Scout experience should be like. Every patch is clearly earned and there is a game plan for every meeting and activity.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

This is what I hate about the new structure of GS. Co-leaders just doesn't work. (It used to be a leader with one or more assistant leaders).

Done venting. Troops can be run in many different ways, some leaders are very focused on earning badges and the journeys (don't get me started on the journeys), while others are all about crafts, fun and games. My experience has been that when you have a combination, you have the best troops - something for everyone. IMO badges should not be given unless they are earned and that means not everyone will receive the badge. This sets a strong foundation not only for GS, but for life in general.

I would recommend meeting with your co-leader and someone from your council and discuss your concerns. See if you can come to a compromise for the remainder of the year. Next year, each of you should find another co-leader that wants to take a troop in the same direction as you.

Note: I have 2 girls in GS and both are now ambassadors.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I remember being in Girl Scouts, and I LOVED IT. I made it all the way up to my Silver Award. Thought about going after the Gold but never did.

But I remember when I was younger and I would look through the book of patches and just say that I did this and this and this, and most of the time-no I didn't. I could have but I didn't, so my patches really didn't mean anything to me.

When I got older, I actually did try for my patches and I loved every moment of the experience.

I think you and the parents are right, the girls need to understand what their patch means and signifies. They have to understand that with hard work they will be rewarded. Being rewarded for no reason isn't helping them in the long run, and that's not what Girl Scouts is about.

You are the leader. She is the co-leader. She needs to be reminded what Girl Scouts is all about. Sure she can go patches happy but you both need to make sure they are earning the patches for the right reason.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I had similar issues with my boys in their cub scouts. I finally asked myself "why are they in scouts if they are not learning?" Part of it was just being with their friends but why couldn't I just have a play date? That made the decision pretty easy for me to quit the whole business.

I did meet very cool parents and my kids made friends. We got together and did field trips and such. It was so much nicer without the whole "cub scout" specter. Leaders make all the difference and I commend those parents that really try. If your troop is not working out, then move on for now and try again next year or not at all. There are so many options out there for kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

If the parents have an issue with it, they need to bring the issue up to the coleader. How did the two of you decide to split the responsibilities?



answers from Chicago on

Can you have one of the parents say something to the entire troop at one of the meetings? maybe something like: "Would it be possible for the kids to learn what the patches mean and why they are getting them?"

Splitting up the troop is teaching the opposite of what should be taught in Daisys.



answers from Tulsa on

Don't split. You are the leader so you and your coleader need to decide.
I wanted the girls to know what every patch was. The head leader did not.
To this day, unless a patch says what it is for, the girls are clueless and they are in 5th grade. I let that go.

If some M. decides to start a new troop, let her. We KNOW how insane the training, paperwork, and organizing is. The worst is dealing with parents. LOL


answers from Columbia on

It sounds to me like you need to talk to your co-leader. Let her know that 1/2 of the moms want their kids to actually earn their patches, not just get them.

Split the troop if you must. I'll bet most of them go with you.

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