Girl Scouts?

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Girl Scouts?

Post by Whiskey » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:48 am

So, I have two girls. One is fresh out of the oven, the other is my wife's first daughter, and is in second grade. Now, I would love to put them into a Scouting program, but obviously, they are girls. My only experience with Girl Scouts is the cookies, which are awesome, but would GS be any good for teaching a little girl preparedness and love of the outdoors?
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by maldon007 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:02 am

Better than going to the mall will! :lol:

...Im in the same boat, two girls, one 6, one 2. We are trying to find some GS to put the old one in, but no luck so far. I have no experience with scouting, but it seems like a good idea!
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by Hoot Harrington » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:05 am

My sisters were in scouts for quite a long time. Thinking back it's more focused on fund raising than anything. I live in Chicago so I don't know how much that factors in on wilderness training, but all said and done you're probably better off looking else where.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by sql_yoda » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:12 am

Hoot Harrington wrote:My sisters were in scouts for quite a long time. Thinking back it's more focused on fund raising than anything. I live in Chicago so I don't know how much that factors in on wilderness training, but all said and done you're probably better off looking else where.
Both my older sister and my younger sister (seperated all of us by two years), learned to build a campfire and... well that's all I can recall as far as outdoor skills.

It was probably just the chapter leader's influence or whatever they call it (all I remember is that they do not call it Den Leader) but most of their girl scout meeting time was devoted to learning to sew, knit, etc and maybe sell cookies as opposed to the boy scout program where pretty much everything we did was somehow related to the same skills we espouse here on this forum.

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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:12 am

My sister was a GS, and I think it could be very good for a girl, even today. Perhaps, even ESPECIALLY today. Scouting still offers guidance in a strong moral code, something I feel is lacking in overall society today, as well as skills in a variety of subjects. Scouting has also tried to keep up with the times- GS isn't just about learning how to stay home and iron diapers while the roast finishes cooking. GS has a few tricks even the BSA doesn't have, and could benefit from.

Every once in a while, I have my youth group in an outdoor setting. Once, it had been raining, and we had no seating. Since "teamwork" was the subject of the day, I had everyone form a circular line, front to back, evenly spaced. On my command, everyone sat down- on the knees of the person behind them. This illustrated that teamwork could overcome obstacles no single person could have- in this case, sitting down and remaining dry. Where did I learn the trick? Stole it out of my sister's GS manual, thirty years earlier. I just KNEW it would come in handy one day! :mrgreen:

I had my daughters in the GS programs- Daisies, Brownies, and Girl Scouts, and they got a lot of good from it- some of the friendships started there continue today, and my youngest is almost 22 now.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by bonanacrom » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:17 am

We have one of there leaders here on the board. NoAmnesty - send her a PM and I'm sure she could answer all your questions on what they do nowadays. I fear nothing that walks on land, but a hoard of girl scouts advancing makes my knees knock and my wallet panic.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by AZMedic » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:31 am

Place her in Boy Scouts.

Ok seriously my mum did the leadership for my sisters troops. Its a lot of fund raising and very minimal outdoorsy stuff. A lot of rules and they camp in cabins and etc.

They have a lot of similar badges and such as the boy scouts but the requirements are easier IIRC. For instance I had to keep financial records for 3 months my sisters. 1 month...wtf really?
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by Chantrea » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:37 am

It's going to depend on the leader.

When I was 12, I had a girl scout leader that taught us primitive camping, took us to the range (got to shoot an M16 complete with grenade launcher), canoe trips, self-defense, took us to the bomb shop on base, ect. She was truly awesome. We were the terror of the base AND her husband's boy scout troop when we went on joint camping trips.

But, you CAN get into a troop that sucks or that is not focused on outdoorsy stuff. (Same with the boy scouts, incidentally.)

So, if you have a very specific goal in mind, you either need to pony up participation yourself (yes, dads can be part of GS) OR you must be willing to do some troop shopping.

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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by phil_in_cs » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:03 am

Chantrea wrote:It's going to depend on the leader.
Like every youth group, it is all about the adult leadership. If you have good troop leaders, you will have a great experience. If not, you will spend a lot of time sitting outside the mall selling cookies.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by Rev » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:20 am

You might have the same trouble my nephew has with his Cub Scout troop. They show you how to do something a couple times and you get a badge. I was pissed when I found out about how they run their troop. If I had time I'd drive over there and volunteer. :evil:
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by Wastelander » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:15 am

phil_in_cs wrote:
Chantrea wrote:It's going to depend on the leader.
Like every youth group, it is all about the adult leadership. If you have good troop leaders, you will have a great experience. If not, you will spend a lot of time sitting outside the mall selling cookies.
^ This

My aunt is a troop leader for Girl Scouts in Illinois, and she hardly ever does fundraising. She takes them hiking and camping, and teaches them basic survival skills like fire starting, shelter building, and water sanitation. My advise would be to contact your local troop and find out what kinds of things they do.

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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by airexurb » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:37 am

When I was a kid, I desperately wanted to be a girl scout...mostly because my friends all were. Now that I have 2 little girls of my own, I would love for them to give it a try. I am mildly concerned about any...religious tint that this organization may have. Can anyone shed any more light on the GS ideology?
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by ksbsnowowl » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:42 pm

AZMedic wrote:Place her in Boy Scouts.
When a girl is 14 she can join Venture Scouting, which is a subsidiary of Boy Scouts. I would highly recommend this. My 14 year old cousin joined, and went backpacking at Philmont this summer.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by lonewolf15002000 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:49 pm

It all depends on the troop and the troop leader's skills that they have. My girls leader is a "Princess" so not too many outdoor skills. She has done an event where they camped overnight in a tent at the local Zoo and has taken the girls to the local county fair and walked through the animals. But the girls did start to learn how to use a sewing machine and at 5 and 6 that is a good start to being self sufficient. As a parent we were encouraged to be involved and if we had the time we could set up a class teach the girls a little bit. If their meetings weren't at the same time as my physical therapy sessions I would have tried to work in some survival skills.

Find your local Girl Scout Council.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by lonewolf15002000 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:53 pm

airexurb wrote:When I was a kid, I desperately wanted to be a girl scout...mostly because my friends all were. Now that I have 2 little girls of my own, I would love for them to give it a try. I am mildly concerned about any...religious tint that this organization may have. Can anyone shed any more light on the GS ideology?
I do know that they use the word god in their Promise. But from the website you can substitute what ever word fits your religion.
Girls Scout website wrote:Girl Scout Promise and Law

The Girl Scout Promise and Law are shared by every member of Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout Promise is the way Girl Scouts agree to act every day toward one another and other people, and the Girl Scout Law outlines a way to act towards one another and the world.

The Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

* The word "God" can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one's spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is OK to replace the word "God" with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by JakkSchitt » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:27 pm

My older daughter went to GS and liked it. By the time she went on her first GS camping trip she had already learned a lot of the skills from family camping. She was the only one in her troop that already knew the basics of building and lighting a fire. That said, I think she gained a lot from the experience and I am looking for a Daisy troop (pre Brownies and GS) to put my youngest one in.

We homeschool and I found a curriculum that is based on the book The Swiss Family Robinson. It was written by a VERY religious family but you can tone that down and hone it to your liking. It teaches survival and self reliance. This week was our "Preparedness and Safety" week. We revamped our BOB's, discussed what to do in different scenerios and it was really nice to see my 14 yr old take the reigns and teach the my 5 yr old about BOB's and why we are storing food and water.

Its called Prepare and Pray. Like I said, it is very religious but I have found you can omit a lot of the religious parts if you like.

http://www.prepareandpray.com/detail.tpl?sku=1002" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by Chantrea » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:16 pm

GS has no restrictions on religion, nor do they discriminate based on sexual orientation (leaders or girls). They don't even have the religious awards like BSA.

However, sometimes there are troops that meet at a religious facility, they can be formed at religious schools. So, there is no guarantee that your kids might not be exposed to religious ideas you find offensive of course, but as an organization they are *not* supposed to be promoting any particular religion nor are they supposed to discriminate against girls that hold other beliefs. People being people though, depending on your area you may run into that.

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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:03 pm

airexurb wrote:When I was a kid, I desperately wanted to be a girl scout...mostly because my friends all were. Now that I have 2 little girls of my own, I would love for them to give it a try. I am mildly concerned about any...religious tint that this organization may have. Can anyone shed any more light on the GS ideology?
While it's important to remember that both the GSA and BSA were started as predominantly Catholic, and therefore Christian, organizations, they have historically been pretty good about being tolerant and accepting of other faiths. Of course, HOW accepting you find your local troops, will depend on where you live. A heavily conservative Christian area will most likely be a bit less so, people being people, or a more liberal area be more accepting. As so often is said on this forum, YMMV. It will depend heavily on the outlook of the leaders.

My youth group was originally started with a VERY heavy christian influence, by another minister. When he was re-assigned to a new parish, he passed the reins to me, and I and my staff decided a re-boot of the group was in order, with a much smaller emphasis on religion. The group is now open to and accepting of ALL faiths, and the only religion we touch on is the influences religions had in history during the periods we focus most on. I only mention this to illustrate how a change in leadership can be reflected by a change in outlook of the group as a whole.

Interestingly enough, we noticed a marked increase in both membership and participation with the new outlook. It would seem that the old Christian Majority outlook of our society has become much less popular with the youth of my area, which is understandable, given the changes in the American population's 'roots' as immigrants from more and more areas of the world come here. now, if we can just manage to get the American tolerance of others to keep pace..... :roll:
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by airexurb » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:13 pm

cool! Thanks guys :mrgreen:
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by Tater Raider » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:21 pm

You could also look into 4H. Both are good programs and I'm sure there are tohers out there as well.

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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by ZombieGranny » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:22 pm

...
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by NoAm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:47 pm

I have been in Girl Scouting for 11 years now, 3 as a girl (our troop dissolved) and 8 as an adult. I have now become the Service Unit Manager for our County, I am over 38 troops. My personal goal is to get the girls more active in the community, along with introductions to prepping/outdoor activities. After all they are SO much more than cute little salespeople!
Girl Scouting can be whatever you want it to be for your child. The biggest problem we always have, is not enough volunteers. There are SO many things that can be done to help! Our girls are now bridging to Seniors (high school level) and still LOVING it! We have had a VERY active troop and we have been able to teach them a lot! Our troop even did a "Queens of Camping" program for their Silver Award. They took younger girls out and taught them how to camp, this all because there are SO many leaders that don't like to camp. They ALL had a blast, even the Leaders!
As far as the religious aspect, there is none. a lot of troops meet at churches because they can use the facilities for free, most all churches will sponsor troops. There is always a Girl Scout Sunday that the churches have during Girl Scout week. They allow whatever girls to come in and have them as part of the service. This is always optional. We also in turn help once or twice a year with clean up days at the church to thank them for sponsoring us. There really isn't any religious aspect to it at all though and the very minimal there is, is not required.
I would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have. It is a VERY worthwhile program, Lil NoAm will be starting on her Gold Award Project here in the next year or so (the Gold Award is equivalent to the BSA Eagle Award) it also helps with scholarships, etc.
I love GS so much I went ahead and became a lifetime member last year. I will always be involved, even after Lil NoAm graduates.
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by LyraJean » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:12 pm

What if you don't have children? Will they still accept you as a volunteer?
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Re: Girl Scouts?

Post by NoAm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:00 pm

LyraJean wrote:What if you don't have children? Will they still accept you as a volunteer?
ABSOLUTELY !!!!! They will have you fill out a background check form and you should be good to go! Just contact your local council :mrgreen:
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