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#21 smoortgat

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 10:06 PM

Do any of you have any experience with Indian Guides? I met a few parents and they seem to really like it. IG seems a lot less formal than scouting and I really like that there is no cookie sales.I understand it being a GS tradition but there is some very obvious exploitation aspects to it. Anyway, Indian guides is coed and I am not sure how I feel about it. I do like the fact that fathers are not oly welcome to participate but are encouraged to do so. I feel kind of guilty about removing her from Girl Scouts I am a Eagle Scout myself and really want her to benefit from scouting like I did and especially the female element of the troop. That said I am the only participant father in her troop and the obvious discomfort that I sense from the mothers when I attend the meetings. Does cause me some discomfort. However I am a outspoken person and I do feel that I am winning the mothers over little by little. A lot of attention is placed on single mothers. Try being a single father of a young girl.

That is good advice. I am going to see if we can attend a IG meeting. Since ther does not seem to be any structure to GSA like the BSA has I don't feel she will be missing anything . Perhaps the IG will be the best choice. I like the fact that it is coed and dads take a leadership role along with the mothers.
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#22 jasper18

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 05:29 PM

My daughter is a Daisy bridging to Brownies in a multi-level troop that has 90 girls up to 8th grade. It is organized somewhat like a cub scout pack with a troop executive and patrol leaders below. The patrols are all age-specific like cub scout dens. The troop of 90 does meetings together once a month for court of awards and fun activities. The other meetings are at the patrol level. We do camp as a group once a year and as patrols separately. We hike and camp in the patrols - and we do lock-in type things in malls sometimes, too. The girls drive a lot of what they want to do. My Daisies wanted to learn to sew so we did. But we also did a first indoor camping experience in a gym-like space and we will go camping as a patrol next year as Brownies. We have men who are leaders, but they have to have a female leader with them as well - which is fine since we always need two leaders anyway. It can be done. I will say though that we have a waiting list that is quite long for girls who did not start as Daisies. It is hard to find good scouting experiences for girls.

Unfortunately, we are not in LA. I was just trying to point out that it can be done for girls, but it is hard to find. You almost have to carve out your own troop in order for your daughter to have a good experience.
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#23 ScoutNut

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 07:11 PM

BSA and GSUSA have DIFFERENT RULES AND REGULATIONS. - They are DIFFERENT PROGRAMS! Sorry, the expectation of mirror programs just irritates the heck out of me! Camping in kindergarten - AS WITH BSA, the GSUSA program is AGE APPROPRIATE. Kindergarteners do NOT camp OVERNIGHT. They can, however, do day trips , and tons of other activities. While GSUSA is right up there with BSA as far as age-appropriate activities for the different GSUSA levels, they differ on what is considered age-appropriate. GSUSA allows it's girls to camp - WITHOUT - parents as young as FIRST GRADE. Cub Scouts can NOT do that. However, like Cub Scouts (and other BSA units) what the girls do depends a LOT on how comfortable the LEADERS are with a particular activity. If the leaders in your girl's GSUSA Troop are not comfortable in the outdoors, or camping, then they will not encourage the girls to do those things. If your DAUGHTER wants to do camping with her Troop, SHE needs to do a couple of things. 1) SHE needs to talk to the rest of the girls, and garner support for her activity from the rest of her Troop. 2) SHE needs to get support from ADULTS who will be willing to take them camping (YOU?). 3) SHE needs to talk to her Troop leader(s) and tell them what the TROOP wants to do. So, instead of transferring programs, and taking all learning/growing opportunities away from your daughter, support/teach her how to make changes to HER TROOP'S program. This is another difference between BSA, and GSUSA. BSA waits until the boys are in 6th grade to give them any say in their program. GSUSA starts that (age-appropriately), with the girls in kindergarten. So, bottom line. Put up - or bail out. It seems you are opting for the bail out option. I hope you enjoy YOUR Scouting experience.
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#24 King Ding Dong

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 07:20 PM

BSA and GSUSA have DIFFERENT RULES AND REGULATIONS. - They are DIFFERENT PROGRAMS!

Sorry, the expectation of mirror programs just irritates the heck out of me!

Camping in kindergarten - AS WITH BSA, the GSUSA program is AGE APPROPRIATE. Kindergarteners do NOT camp OVERNIGHT. They can, however, do day trips , and tons of other activities.

While GSUSA is right up there with BSA as far as age-appropriate activities for the different GSUSA levels, they differ on what is considered age-appropriate. GSUSA allows it's girls to camp - WITHOUT - parents as young as FIRST GRADE. Cub Scouts can NOT do that.

However, like Cub Scouts (and other BSA units) what the girls do depends a LOT on how comfortable the LEADERS are with a particular activity.

If the leaders in your girl's GSUSA Troop are not comfortable in the outdoors, or camping, then they will not encourage the girls to do those things.

If your DAUGHTER wants to do camping with her Troop, SHE needs to do a couple of things.

1) SHE needs to talk to the rest of the girls, and garner support for her activity from the rest of her Troop.
2) SHE needs to get support from ADULTS who will be willing to take them camping (YOU?).
3) SHE needs to talk to her Troop leader(s) and tell them what the TROOP wants to do.

So, instead of transferring programs, and taking all learning/growing opportunities away from your daughter, support/teach her how to make changes to HER TROOP'S program.

This is another difference between BSA, and GSUSA. BSA waits until the boys are in 6th grade to give them any say in their program. GSUSA starts that (age-appropriately), with the girls in kindergarten.

So, bottom line. Put up - or bail out.

It seems you are opting for the bail out option. I hope you enjoy YOUR Scouting experience.

Wow. That was good.
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#25 smoortgat

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:09 AM

BSA and GSUSA have DIFFERENT RULES AND REGULATIONS. - They are DIFFERENT PROGRAMS!

Sorry, the expectation of mirror programs just irritates the heck out of me!

Camping in kindergarten - AS WITH BSA, the GSUSA program is AGE APPROPRIATE. Kindergarteners do NOT camp OVERNIGHT. They can, however, do day trips , and tons of other activities.

While GSUSA is right up there with BSA as far as age-appropriate activities for the different GSUSA levels, they differ on what is considered age-appropriate. GSUSA allows it's girls to camp - WITHOUT - parents as young as FIRST GRADE. Cub Scouts can NOT do that.

However, like Cub Scouts (and other BSA units) what the girls do depends a LOT on how comfortable the LEADERS are with a particular activity.

If the leaders in your girl's GSUSA Troop are not comfortable in the outdoors, or camping, then they will not encourage the girls to do those things.

If your DAUGHTER wants to do camping with her Troop, SHE needs to do a couple of things.

1) SHE needs to talk to the rest of the girls, and garner support for her activity from the rest of her Troop.
2) SHE needs to get support from ADULTS who will be willing to take them camping (YOU?).
3) SHE needs to talk to her Troop leader(s) and tell them what the TROOP wants to do.

So, instead of transferring programs, and taking all learning/growing opportunities away from your daughter, support/teach her how to make changes to HER TROOP'S program.

This is another difference between BSA, and GSUSA. BSA waits until the boys are in 6th grade to give them any say in their program. GSUSA starts that (age-appropriately), with the girls in kindergarten.

So, bottom line. Put up - or bail out.

It seems you are opting for the bail out option. I hope you enjoy YOUR Scouting experience.

Your right I am looking for a way to bail out. I don't have the support most of the parents, But most of the parents wouldn't lift a finger to do anything anyway. I went as far a organizing a trip this summer for for the girls and families to the mountains. I have a few takers but the majority made their usual list of excuses why they cant go. I am not willing to take girls without their families this go around. The leadership will be there but if a parent is unwilling to even spend a weekend with a their child then. I set a up a cool list of activities Geo-caching, Native American talk, ranger visit with animals Lots of crafts Leather work, , Basket weaving on and on I even built them a cool patrol box in GS colors . Still minimal response. This is the true troop Beverly hills. If I passed out Disneyland tix I would have 100%.

I made the effort I put my money where my mouth is. I am the most active parent and the only male. I don't think I will be able to make a change to the mindset. I think that is ok. That is why I am shopping around for a better fit.

I hear a lot of parent complain about the lack of activity but they are the same parents that wont lift a finger to do anything.

I just recently moved back to LA from No.Cal we never had these issues before. Parent dose not participate kid does not stay It is true when they say Los Angelinos are superficial. If fact they make it a art form. and its getting worse.
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#26 ScoutNut

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:34 PM

BSA and GSUSA have DIFFERENT RULES AND REGULATIONS. - They are DIFFERENT PROGRAMS!

Sorry, the expectation of mirror programs just irritates the heck out of me!

Camping in kindergarten - AS WITH BSA, the GSUSA program is AGE APPROPRIATE. Kindergarteners do NOT camp OVERNIGHT. They can, however, do day trips , and tons of other activities.

While GSUSA is right up there with BSA as far as age-appropriate activities for the different GSUSA levels, they differ on what is considered age-appropriate. GSUSA allows it's girls to camp - WITHOUT - parents as young as FIRST GRADE. Cub Scouts can NOT do that.

However, like Cub Scouts (and other BSA units) what the girls do depends a LOT on how comfortable the LEADERS are with a particular activity.

If the leaders in your girl's GSUSA Troop are not comfortable in the outdoors, or camping, then they will not encourage the girls to do those things.

If your DAUGHTER wants to do camping with her Troop, SHE needs to do a couple of things.

1) SHE needs to talk to the rest of the girls, and garner support for her activity from the rest of her Troop.
2) SHE needs to get support from ADULTS who will be willing to take them camping (YOU?).
3) SHE needs to talk to her Troop leader(s) and tell them what the TROOP wants to do.

So, instead of transferring programs, and taking all learning/growing opportunities away from your daughter, support/teach her how to make changes to HER TROOP'S program.

This is another difference between BSA, and GSUSA. BSA waits until the boys are in 6th grade to give them any say in their program. GSUSA starts that (age-appropriately), with the girls in kindergarten.

So, bottom line. Put up - or bail out.

It seems you are opting for the bail out option. I hope you enjoy YOUR Scouting experience.

I hear a lot of ideas of what YOU want. What about the GIRLS? Has anyone asked THEM what THEY are interested in?

You stated in your OP that your daughter is a Junior Girl Scout. Juniors are in 4-5th grade. At that age they are plenty old enough to know what they want, and to be making their OWN decisions about THEIR Troop.

Again, it might work better if your DAUGHTER talks to the other girls to get them on board with HER ideas (they ARE hers right?).

You said that you had a "few takers" for the trip to the mountains. That means that there are at least a few girls that are interested in doing more things. Have your DAUGHTER talk to them for a start.

Have you taken any GSUSA training at all? Camping training specifically? In order to take girls out camping (with, or without parents in attendance) you MUST have camping trained folks running the show.

You also stated that you refuse to do anything unless it is in a Mommy and Me format. Why? Girls in 4-5th grade need to start gaining independence. Again - THIS IS NOT CUB SCOUTS! The GSUSA program is NOT built around family. We learned early on with our Girl Scout Troop that having a bunch of untrained, helicopter, parents along on all trips, and outings, prevented the girls from getting the most out of the program.

If you want to help make Girl Scouting work for your daughter you need to -
1) GET TRAINED
2) Find other girls, and their families, who are interested in the things your daughter is. Or girls/parents who are at least willing to try different things.
3) Together with some moms who would like to help their daughters have a different Girl Scout experience - Start your own GSUSA Troop.
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#27 smoortgat

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 02:04 PM

I am GSUSA and BSA trained and certified. Most the kids all want to go. The kids all like me because I do all sorts of activities with them and I treat them more like yonng ladies and not helpless children . That is not the problem it is 100% parents and Leadership. And nobody but me is willing to step up. I do not want the risk of leading the troop with out parental support and backup.
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#28 ScoutNut

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:20 AM

I am GSUSA and BSA trained and certified. Most the kids all want to go. The kids all like me because I do all sorts of activities with them and I treat them more like yonng ladies and not helpless children . That is not the problem it is 100% parents and Leadership. And nobody but me is willing to step up. I do not want the risk of leading the troop with out parental support and backup.

Just a note - the fact that you are BSA trained does not matter - at all - to GSUSA.

It seems your mind is made up. I hope you find an alternate program that meets your needs.

Good luck ! Post to let us know where you end up.
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#29 smoortgat

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:56 AM

Thank you! I hope to find a GSUSA troop that is better fit for her. This weekend I am teaching a outdoor cooking training class with a troop that looks promising.
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#30 jasper18

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:23 PM

I hope you do have luck finding a good GSUSA fit. By Juniors, troops really do have their own personality - especially since there is a lot of Girl-led activity going on if things are done correctly. Some troops are very focused on legacy-type scouting skills and camping. Others are more community service oriented or crafty or what-have-you. I take issue with the idea that you aren't REAL Girl Scouts if you don't want to spend every minute outside camping (though I do enjoy a good campfire!). That said, I think there are plenty of Junior troops out there that have a real focus on the outdoors. You also may want to look into resident and day summer camp opportunities. Have your daughter speak to the other girls who are like minded while she is there and ask what troop they are in. You can find a great troop that way.
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#31 smoortgat

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:51 PM

I agree with you But there has to be a balance. A decent camp experience doesn't mean you can do other activities as well. Honestly, I don't know what a real girl scout is. But if what GSUSA is teaching is not empowerment and self confidence which are things a child gains from the camp experience along with several other activities then what is the point. Frankly if GSUSA spent half as much time providing these activities as the do pushing sales the Scouting experience for girls would be so much better. I applaud the troops that have gotten away from the marketing and focus solely on the girls. I wish I could find a troop like that closer to me.
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#32 King Ding Dong

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:49 AM

I agree with you But there has to be a balance. A decent camp experience doesn't mean you can do other activities as well. Honestly, I don't know what a real girl scout is. But if what GSUSA is teaching is not empowerment and self confidence which are things a child gains from the camp experience along with several other activities then what is the point. Frankly if GSUSA spent half as much time providing these activities as the do pushing sales the Scouting experience for girls would be so much better. I applaud the troops that have gotten away from the marketing and focus solely on the girls. I wish I could find a troop like that closer to me.

I have no experience with GS, but how is selling cookies any different than Cub/BS selling popcorn ? Is there a larger focus on it than is the BSA ?
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#33 smoortgat

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 01:37 PM

I agree with you But there has to be a balance. A decent camp experience doesn't mean you can do other activities as well. Honestly, I don't know what a real girl scout is. But if what GSUSA is teaching is not empowerment and self confidence which are things a child gains from the camp experience along with several other activities then what is the point. Frankly if GSUSA spent half as much time providing these activities as the do pushing sales the Scouting experience for girls would be so much better. I applaud the troops that have gotten away from the marketing and focus solely on the girls. I wish I could find a troop like that closer to me.

By Far ! BSA does do some but not to the level of the Multi National event that cookies are. Even IBF has looked into it with concern
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#34 Jeffrey H

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:04 PM

My daughter has no interest in Girl Scouts around here because in her words, "Dad, they don't do anything outdoors like the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts." Yes, they are two very different programs. Quite frankly, the GSUSA leaders that I see don't appear to be able to handle a good hike or too much physical exertion. So, their program stays indoors. Seems like the only think they do around here is sell cookies.
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#35 King Ding Dong

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:59 PM

I agree with you But there has to be a balance. A decent camp experience doesn't mean you can do other activities as well. Honestly, I don't know what a real girl scout is. But if what GSUSA is teaching is not empowerment and self confidence which are things a child gains from the camp experience along with several other activities then what is the point. Frankly if GSUSA spent half as much time providing these activities as the do pushing sales the Scouting experience for girls would be so much better. I applaud the troops that have gotten away from the marketing and focus solely on the girls. I wish I could find a troop like that closer to me.

OK. So what is the take for the troop/scout? Same 30% as popcorn ? What are the numbers on where the money goes?

I am just having a problem seeing what the issue is with the cookies. We have to bust our ass to sell crappy popcorn and any table I see selling cookies has a line.
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#36 smoortgat

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:23 PM

My daughter has no interest in Girl Scouts around here because in her words, "Dad, they don't do anything outdoors like the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts." Yes, they are two very different programs. Quite frankly, the GSUSA leaders that I see don't appear to be able to handle a good hike or too much physical exertion. So, their program stays indoors.

Seems like the only think they do around here is sell cookies.

Umm! Wink Nod. Glad you said it. Try LA! They can hike here but it has to be in a mall. Cookies, popcorn candy, stupid overpriced gift wrap Its all crazy whither it is the BSA or GSUSA. Whats the point? I know ill get some person writing in and saying it teaches leadership Blah Blah. Really its parent exploitation. But I get it and will play along as long as the troop does something anything else. If they wanted to teach something business like then they should let the troop form their own business venture from the ground up and not force cookies/Popcorn Really Popcorn? In my day it was scoutorama what happened to that I wonder. If the point is to make money for activities. Why not do something to that actually makes money? Smells like Amway to me !
That my soapbox. And its not really my issue. My problem is finding a troop that is active so that my daughter can grow up in a supportive environment but also learn something about the world. Other that Justin Beiber.
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#37 King Ding Dong

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:19 AM

My daughter has no interest in Girl Scouts around here because in her words, "Dad, they don't do anything outdoors like the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts." Yes, they are two very different programs. Quite frankly, the GSUSA leaders that I see don't appear to be able to handle a good hike or too much physical exertion. So, their program stays indoors.

Seems like the only think they do around here is sell cookies.

I don't know what the GS spend their money on, but our pack spends the popcorn money on awards, B&G, snacks at some activities, rechartering fees. The other option is to charge the families for everything or jack up the registration fees. Scouting does take money, it has to come from somewhere. I am very open to suggestions on how to make a 30% margin or more, So you are saying the cookies do not make money ? I hate selling popcorn, but I don't have a better idea of how a 7 year old can raise funds.
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#38 ScoutNut

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 11:21 AM

If you feel that selling cookies is exploitation, have you offered to open your pocketbook, and fund an entire year of Girl Scouting for your daughter's Troop?

No?

Scouting costs money. It has to come from somewhere.

Have you offered to pay for at least your daughter's costs? How many patches, awards, etc, has she earned? How much has she used in supplies? Does the Troop have to pay any type of rental for their meeting space? Are you charged for the TOTAL cost of any outing attended by your daughter?

No worries!, Perhaps the Planned Parenthood Fairy will drop a bundle of cash on your Troop leader's doorstep! Oh, whoops. Sorry, can't have that now can we.

Seriously, if you have not organized a product sale (cookies OR popcorn) you have NO idea what goes into it or what the kids do, or do not learn.

The GSUSA program, as in ANY youth program, including BSA, is only as good as the volunteers involved. If done correctly the girls learn quite a LOT from product sales. That is why GSUSA National has incorporated it as part of their program.

GSUSA Troop/Groups are YOUTH run from kindergarten thru 12th grade. It is age appropriate, and a learning experience, but even kindergarteners have input in their Troop.


It starts with the girls picking a form of "government" for their Troop, It goes on to the girls deciding what awards they want to earn, and activities they want to do, including service activities. Then the question is how do THEY pay for what THEY want to do. Barring any "Sugar Daddies/Mommies/Mythical Creatures", the answer is usually a combo of dues, and product sales. The GIRLS figure out how much their "year of Scouting" will cost, and how many cookies/candy/calendars/etc, they will have to sell to achieve that goal. They also have to decide what kind of profit they want from the product sales. Do they want a higher Troop profit per item, but no gee gaw incentive awards? Or do they crave the fancy stuff, and stuffed animals, and so opt for a lower Troop profit, which means they will have to sell more to reach their dollar goals? (BTW - while a box of cookies might be easier to sell than a tin/box/bag of popcorn, the profit per box is approximately 13%, not 30%.)

So, up to this point the GIRLS have been involved in (to varying degrees based on age) : politics, researching, goal setting, budgeting, math skills, money management, and time management.

As the product sales approach the GIRLS decide if they want to do booth sales, order-taking, or a combo. If they decide to do booth sales the GIRLS help to decide what product to order, and how much. The GIRLS help decide where/when to hold their booth sales. The GIRLS create advertising for their sale. The GIRLS display their product at the booth. The GIRLS sell the product to their customers.

So, to the above we can add, art skills, imaginative thinking, business skills/ethics, public relations, marketing, customer service, salesmanship, and yes, leadership.

Yes, selling cookies is a National sale. Yes, it is considered a sales PROGRAM, along with being a fundraiser for BOTH the Troop and the Council.

Exploitation - NO. A great learning experience for the girls - YES.
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#39 jasper18

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 03:48 PM

If you feel that selling cookies is exploitation, have you offered to open your pocketbook, and fund an entire year of Girl Scouting for your daughter's Troop?

No?

Scouting costs money. It has to come from somewhere.

Have you offered to pay for at least your daughter's costs? How many patches, awards, etc, has she earned? How much has she used in supplies? Does the Troop have to pay any type of rental for their meeting space? Are you charged for the TOTAL cost of any outing attended by your daughter?

No worries!, Perhaps the Planned Parenthood Fairy will drop a bundle of cash on your Troop leader's doorstep! Oh, whoops. Sorry, can't have that now can we.

Seriously, if you have not organized a product sale (cookies OR popcorn) you have NO idea what goes into it or what the kids do, or do not learn.

The GSUSA program, as in ANY youth program, including BSA, is only as good as the volunteers involved. If done correctly the girls learn quite a LOT from product sales. That is why GSUSA National has incorporated it as part of their program.

GSUSA Troop/Groups are YOUTH run from kindergarten thru 12th grade. It is age appropriate, and a learning experience, but even kindergarteners have input in their Troop.


It starts with the girls picking a form of "government" for their Troop, It goes on to the girls deciding what awards they want to earn, and activities they want to do, including service activities. Then the question is how do THEY pay for what THEY want to do. Barring any "Sugar Daddies/Mommies/Mythical Creatures", the answer is usually a combo of dues, and product sales. The GIRLS figure out how much their "year of Scouting" will cost, and how many cookies/candy/calendars/etc, they will have to sell to achieve that goal. They also have to decide what kind of profit they want from the product sales. Do they want a higher Troop profit per item, but no gee gaw incentive awards? Or do they crave the fancy stuff, and stuffed animals, and so opt for a lower Troop profit, which means they will have to sell more to reach their dollar goals? (BTW - while a box of cookies might be easier to sell than a tin/box/bag of popcorn, the profit per box is approximately 13%, not 30%.)

So, up to this point the GIRLS have been involved in (to varying degrees based on age) : politics, researching, goal setting, budgeting, math skills, money management, and time management.

As the product sales approach the GIRLS decide if they want to do booth sales, order-taking, or a combo. If they decide to do booth sales the GIRLS help to decide what product to order, and how much. The GIRLS help decide where/when to hold their booth sales. The GIRLS create advertising for their sale. The GIRLS display their product at the booth. The GIRLS sell the product to their customers.

So, to the above we can add, art skills, imaginative thinking, business skills/ethics, public relations, marketing, customer service, salesmanship, and yes, leadership.

Yes, selling cookies is a National sale. Yes, it is considered a sales PROGRAM, along with being a fundraiser for BOTH the Troop and the Council.

Exploitation - NO. A great learning experience for the girls - YES.

There are a lot of pros and cons about the cookie sales. So far, I have only done the Cookie Activity Pin and Cookie Leaves with the Daisy Girls but everything they did to earn them was valuable:
1) Learn to count money
2) Learn to set goals
3) Understanding needs vs. wants
4) Discuss tithing and using some of their profits for charity
5) Understand how to approach customers
6) Create advertisements that share how the money will be used

It takes a lot of adult effort and it seems like a pain to me. I also know that many girls aren't selling so much as their parents are taking orders at the office. I also realize we are discussing healthy eating at the same time as hawking cookies. All that said, it costs money to run a troop and cookies are a product that people actually want to buy. Learning about and handling money is a skill girls should have. That said, it is a necessary evil.

I also will say that as a Cub Scout leader and a Girl Scout leader that the Daisies understand a lot more about where the money is coming from and going to from their sales then the Tigers do with popcorn. The program really emphasizes the girls understanding of the financial aspects, which I think is great. Society could use more people who can handle money well.
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#40 smoortgat

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:30 PM

If you feel that selling cookies is exploitation, have you offered to open your pocketbook, and fund an entire year of Girl Scouting for your daughter's Troop?

No?

Scouting costs money. It has to come from somewhere.

Have you offered to pay for at least your daughter's costs? How many patches, awards, etc, has she earned? How much has she used in supplies? Does the Troop have to pay any type of rental for their meeting space? Are you charged for the TOTAL cost of any outing attended by your daughter?

No worries!, Perhaps the Planned Parenthood Fairy will drop a bundle of cash on your Troop leader's doorstep! Oh, whoops. Sorry, can't have that now can we.

Seriously, if you have not organized a product sale (cookies OR popcorn) you have NO idea what goes into it or what the kids do, or do not learn.

The GSUSA program, as in ANY youth program, including BSA, is only as good as the volunteers involved. If done correctly the girls learn quite a LOT from product sales. That is why GSUSA National has incorporated it as part of their program.

GSUSA Troop/Groups are YOUTH run from kindergarten thru 12th grade. It is age appropriate, and a learning experience, but even kindergarteners have input in their Troop.


It starts with the girls picking a form of "government" for their Troop, It goes on to the girls deciding what awards they want to earn, and activities they want to do, including service activities. Then the question is how do THEY pay for what THEY want to do. Barring any "Sugar Daddies/Mommies/Mythical Creatures", the answer is usually a combo of dues, and product sales. The GIRLS figure out how much their "year of Scouting" will cost, and how many cookies/candy/calendars/etc, they will have to sell to achieve that goal. They also have to decide what kind of profit they want from the product sales. Do they want a higher Troop profit per item, but no gee gaw incentive awards? Or do they crave the fancy stuff, and stuffed animals, and so opt for a lower Troop profit, which means they will have to sell more to reach their dollar goals? (BTW - while a box of cookies might be easier to sell than a tin/box/bag of popcorn, the profit per box is approximately 13%, not 30%.)

So, up to this point the GIRLS have been involved in (to varying degrees based on age) : politics, researching, goal setting, budgeting, math skills, money management, and time management.

As the product sales approach the GIRLS decide if they want to do booth sales, order-taking, or a combo. If they decide to do booth sales the GIRLS help to decide what product to order, and how much. The GIRLS help decide where/when to hold their booth sales. The GIRLS create advertising for their sale. The GIRLS display their product at the booth. The GIRLS sell the product to their customers.

So, to the above we can add, art skills, imaginative thinking, business skills/ethics, public relations, marketing, customer service, salesmanship, and yes, leadership.

Yes, selling cookies is a National sale. Yes, it is considered a sales PROGRAM, along with being a fundraiser for BOTH the Troop and the Council.

Exploitation - NO. A great learning experience for the girls - YES.

To answer both your questions is yes I have. I do put my money where my mouth is. And I do organize events. Thank you for your opinion! As fare as the planned parenthood comment goes If you haven't figured out from my posts I take my parental responsibilities very seriously and don't appreciate being lumped together with a group that I am morally and politically against. So I would thank you for keeping politics out of the conversation.

I am happy for you if your troop families support your cookie sale efforts. But in my case I was the parent that always came early to cover the parents that dont show up and stayed late because the parents don't show up. plus I have cases of cookies sitting in my house that I will never eat and wont let my daughter. I tell you what Ill sell them to you if you want them.
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