Girl Scouts... - Richmond,VA

Updated on September 09, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
17 answers

Whatever happened to Girl Scouts? It was such a big thing when I was a kid... my daughters have been on a waiting list for TWO YEARS to be placed in a troop... unless I want to start my own, which I do NOT. Now, scouts are held in community centers and churches... whatever happened to holding meetings in someone's living room?!

Were you a former Girl Scout? Do your kids do scouts?

I ALWAYS wanted to be a BOY scout and was super jealous of my little brothers... are boy scouts still in? I feel like I see more boy scout stuff than girl scout stuff....

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answers from Washington DC on

I was in girl scouts and right now my daughter is in Daisy's. We didn't have a waiting list or anything. The school sent home a flier saying they were starting a group and if you want to be in it, then go and sign up. Her meeting is at her school

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My son is in boy scouts. At his school's open house we had a boy scout table and there was a girl scout table. I talked to them and my daughter can join next year when she's in kindergarten. Hopefully when I decide to have her join I won't be put on a waiting list.

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answers from Chicago on

I was in Girl Scouts for 5 years, and now my daughter is in Daisies (K & 1st grade). The troop is just for her school, and meetings are held after school (she goes to a private school). I know there are troops at our local public schools too. But if no one is willing to lead the troop, then I guess there wouldn't be one!

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answers from Washington DC on

I"m so sorry your daughter has been on a waiting list for so very long. This should not happen. The problem almost always is lack of leaders. I've been one for four years, starting our fifth this Friday, and have found it very, very rewarding for me and for my daughter. I didn't want to be leader either but the situation was: Troops were full, and there were seven girls waiting to get in; if someone didn't step up and lead a troop those girls would do without GS or have to find other troops elsewhere (more on finding troops below).

Who keeps this "list" your daughter is on? Is your girl on a waiting list with a school coordinator (if you're wanting to put her into a troop based at her school)? A list with a "service unit" which is the larger geographic area? A list with your Girl Scout Council, which covers an even larger area? Or just a list kept by one individual leader who tells you she is waiting for an opening in her particular troop? If you're waiting on one leader -- find another leader and another troop. You are not limited to one particular troop or location! The council can help you, as can the service unit (which you find through your council). You do not have to have your child in the troop that meets "at school, after school" as many troops do; that arrangement is convenient for everyone but is NOT a requirement. Please check further and see what troops are in your area. Go to to locate your council for the Richmond area and contact them, and tell them that your daughter has been eagerly waiting to join a troop for two years and you want to find a troop for this fall! But please realize --leaders do have the ability to decide if a troop is full; some leaders can handle only 10 girls, others are fine with a troop of 20, but it's up to the leader so they don't get overwhelmed. No one likes to turn a girl away, but the real need is -- more leaders.

I was in GS for about eight years growing up (our area didn't really have troops beyond about age 14, unfortunately) and my daughter is starting her fifth year. Troops can be very, very active or mellow; very focused on badges (not a good thing) or focused more on earning badges as a route toward doing certain fun activities; very camping-oriented or not; super-crafty or less crafty and more physically active or some combination -- it is all down to what the leaders want and most importantly to what the girls want. GS is changing lately, with a new emphasis on building leadership skills in girls, and I am still finding out what that means for programming. But ultimately the leaders and girls have had a huge amount of leeway to decide what they want to do and how they want to do it.

As for meetings in someone's living room -- my house wouldn't have the space for the games we play, or all the table space for the crafts we do, and it isn't next to a park for outdoor activities like our meeting space (at a school) is!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I just talked to the neighbor about it this morning. Our neighborhood hosts it. They meet at someones house once a week and go do something once a week. Im going to get my daughter in them. We are going to make a killing at those cookie sales! LOL!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

It might just be the area you live in. My daughter is in Girlscouts. Has been for 4 years now. The meetings are always at the troop leaders house. I wouldn't want to be a troop leader either.

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answers from Savannah on

Funny, I see more girl scout stuff than boy scouts. I was a brownie back in 1982, and we had meetings in the community center. I thought it was neat, I poured over my book, but don't really remember much else. I don't think mom was into it, because I just did it 1 year.
I will put my sons in cub scouts when they're of age, let them try it out a year. If they like it, I'd love for them to continue through Eagle Scouts. But, that will be up to long as they try it for 1 year, I will let them tell me whether they want to skip it the next year or continue on.
My bff's son has been in scouts for 3 years so far and loves it. I took him and my sons to the national scouting museum and they really liked it.

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answers from Washington DC on

We meet in the church. THat way the leader or I don't have to clean the house. And it is a central place for everyone to get to. And there is so much more room in the church than in our living rooms.
Cub Scouts also meet in the same church, they are sponsored by the church too. And again I don't have to clean my house or make room for them.
We have met at our house or one of the other leaders's houses for special badge work or Pinewood Derby workshops.
I see so much of both. My daughter is a Cadette this year and my son is a 2nd year Webelo. I am an assistant GS leader, my hubby is the Webelo's leader.

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answers from St. Louis on

My daughter's troop meets at school, after school. Most grades have two troops.

I agree Boy Scouts got all the cool stuff.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

There are still Brownies and Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in my area.

I think meetings may be held now in public places for obvious, controversial reasons.

I was not a Girl Scout. My mother didn't believe in organized play.

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answers from Charleston on

My daughter is a Brownie and had to wait 2 years to get in. (she wanted to start as a Daisy, but couldn't) The lack of troops is because of the lack of interest in moms taking the troop leader role. I won't lie, it's a lot of work, but if there are other moms willing to be assistants, it makes it a whole lot easier.

We meet at a local church, because of space. My daughter's troop leader has a small house, and there are 16 girls. So not a lot of room to craft, sit in a circle, etc... I'm sure if you're in a small troop, meeting at a house would be fine. All the parents in this troop have a JOB for the troop, and we all have to attend and help lead 2 meeting a year. This takes some of the load off the troop leader. Cookie sales has their own manager who does all the work for that (and it's a job within itself btw).

Good luck in your daughter getting in! It is worth waiting for or if you can find a few willing moms, maybe reconsider starting the troop together and being co-leaders??

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answers from Washington DC on

My daughter is starting her third year (Brownie). We were wait listed too, but eventually a parent stood up to do it. I have been very disappointed in it overall, although with time the troop leaders have gotten their act together. It was one of the first parent led things I have doen with my child, and it has been a good lesson. These kind of groups are only as good as your leader. There is very little standardization and very little training for leaders. So whatever there vision is, is what you get. If the leader thinks GS is about crafts and friendship bracelets, that is what you get. If they think it is about learning about nature, then you get that, And so on. So the best thing you can do, once you are in a troop, is to share your ideas and expectations.


answers from Hartford on

I never had meetings held in a living room when I was in Girl Scouts. It wasn't allowed and having regular, frequent meetings in someone's home still isn't allowed.

My two older girls are in troops. My eldest couldn't get into a troop until I was the leader of one in her 1st grade year. Then I had to take on 13 kids and an assistant leader, with kids all different age ranges because there was a shortage of leaders. The next year I had to back out due to health problems, and due to her "aging out" I was able to get her moved to an established troop while my assistant leader took over as leader.

My middle daughter just joined a troop during her 2nd grade year. It took that long to get her into a troop even though that troop had existed since they were Daisies.

My youngest daughter is in 1st grade and we're having a really hard time finding her a troop now. No one wants to take on the leadership role. I enjoyed running and planning the meetings, but let me tell you, parents suck. Everyone has a special snowflake and their child is the most important, and NO ONE wants to help or spend money for the sake of the troop. Especially when it's a new troop that doesn't HAVE any money. No one wants to take on the responsibilities of treasurer, cookie mom, QSP mom, or help plan events and field trips. It's just glorified babysitting. Parents are rude, mean, and take up too much time during the meeting that could be spent on the girls.

Ahem. Anyway, my girls love scouting and benefit highly from it. It's a pretty big deal around here. If only I could get my youngest into an established troop now where parents know the deal and aren't helicoptering and ruining the experience... and if I knew that wouldn't happen again I would start up another troop in a heartbeat.



answers from San Francisco on

I think there's a lot of geographic variation in this - IME some areas have a well-established scouting tradition and somehow manage to get enough volunteers each year to keep things going, and other in other areas it's just not a big thing. It's not necessarily a social/income level thing either - the area where we live now seems to have a very strong scouting tradition (some of our troop leaders grew up in the area and were scouts themselves) and there's some well-established traditions of older girls' troops planning events for younger ones (the middle schoolers always host the International Fair, 5th graders host the Father-Daughter dance, etc.) and annual service projects (every year there's a troop holding a coat/shoe drive, etc.). The local paper always has something about older Boy & Girl scouts earning their Eagle, Silver, or Gold awards or completing a community service project.

By contrast, in the area where I grew up (maybe 20 miles away, with a very similar social/economic profile to where I live now), we had a fair number of girls from my class in Brownies but none of us stuck with it past Brownies, and maybe 2 or 3 had older sisters who were Juniors, but that was it.

My girls are part of a huge troop - probably more than half the girls in their grade at their school are part of it, and every year it seems at least one more girl from their grade joins. Hubby thinks their activities are pretty lightweight (sewing, cooking, roller-skating, etc.) and DD2 and a couple of her athletic friends agree (one of them is actually a member of her older brother's Boy Scout troop), but I think they still enjoy it and I like that they get involved in service projects and activities with older and younger scouts. Some of the troops in the area do have a more "practical" bent - one leader of a HS troop said their scouts enjoyed participating in a hands-on auto care seminar and that shortly afterwards, her daughter had a flat tire and felt great that she and her friends could change it themselves.

Boy scouts is also big in our area - my neighbor is a scout leader and it seems she's always busy with scout stuff....



answers from Washington DC on

Girl Scouts seem pretty big in my area, as is Boy Scouts (northern VA). Sometimes a school isn't into it much... and when that happens you need to get your daughter enrolled through a different school. Both of my daughters that are in scouts, both belong to two different troops where their home base is not their own school (not super convenient, but WELL worth it, we've got great troops).

So, check out other schools/churches and see if they have troops (chances are, they do)

In response to what others have said: the troops in our area generally meet at the school (public school)

PS: I wanted to be a boy scout, too! lol:)



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter's troop met at school because they were a big group and sometimes they did messy projects. Not everyone wants that in their home or has the space for it. If there's a waiting list maybe you could find friends that are on it and co-lead a troop. You don't have to meet weekly if it's too much. I was the camping mom for my daughter's troop, I didn't want to be, but no one stepped up. If I didn't they never would have gone camping. I'm glad I did it.



answers from Minneapolis on

I did Brownies and Girl Scouts up until 6th grade, though I really didn't like working on badges and selling cookies, lol! My older daughter was in a troop from 3rd to part way through 5th grade when she abruptly quit due to some mean girl ickiness. That was too bad because her leader and most of the girls were great. She sold cookes for 2 years and had no interest in doing that one more year. A friend asked me for help starting a troop when my youngest was in 1st grade. There were 4 of us "co-leaders" but I will not lie, it was A TON of work! That only lasted 2 years until the main leader sent her daughter to a new school and dissolved the troop so her daughter could join a new troop and make new friends at her new school. We could have kept it going, but the fact was none of us were willing to step up and lead the meetings. Plus by then my youngest was also totally done with cookie selling. So. . . we're finding other activities now.

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