Monday, January 12, 2009

Not getting that fuzzy feeling

When I was young and in Girl Scouts I seem to remember doing a lot of stuff: Camping, outdoor activities, indoor activities that involved more than paper and crayons, learning about different cultures and people and attending different Girl Scout activities.

I had fun. I learned a lot and I looked forward to meetings. Cookie sales were part of Girl Scouts but it certainly wasn't all that Girl Scouts was about. Sales funded our camping trips and whatnot. Sales were but a blip in the entire Girl Scouting experience.

Now it seems like sales is all that Girl Scouts do.

Unruly is in her second year of Girl Scouts and I am less than impressed. The first meeting this year we were handed a packet of information and a pile of Girl Scout calendars to sell. We had to sell magazine subscriptions and nuts/candy. No one wants to buy the calendars, the nuts or candy. They want the cookies and I don't blame them.

Now we are selling cookies. This whole year of Girl Scouts has felt like nothing more than one big sell-fest. I'm not happy. Unruly is not having fun. We've missed the last two meetings because honestly, she's just not really excited about going and I don't blame her. Their meetings consist of hanging out in the church gym and coloring or making crafts. It just doesn't seem very Girl Scout-y to me. We missed a "cookie rally" Friday night because she has riding lessons every Friday night and it wasn't a very difficult decision to make. Riding lesson or cookie-selling meeting...hmmmm.... I don't know if this means she won't be allowed to sell cookies, and frankly, I really don't care.

Last year we sold TONS of cookies and as a troop raised about $1,200. The girls were looking forward to some kind of field trip or camping during the summer to enjoy their hard-earned money. Nothing ever happened and Unruly was very disappointed. To top it off, I can't seem to get a straight answer about what happened to the money the girls earned by selling all that crap.

The leaders from last year didn't continue this year so her troop was rolled into the current troop and so far, they've really done nothing but sell crap. No field trips, no camping trips, nothing. They are just going to sit in that gym and color pictures in between selling crap for all I know.

We didn't join Girl Scouts to sell stuff all year long. My daughter is not a salesman for this organization and I absolutely do not support the constant push to sell sell sell. She's 8. She just wants to have fun and be a real Girl Scout. This is not what we expected and definitely not what we signed up for. I'm pretty sure we're done. Of course, I'll leave the final decision up to Unruly, but I just can't see doing this for the rest of the year.


Krista said...

Wow, that doesn't sound right at all. Sounds like they need new leaders. Perhaps you need something else to do with all your free time... ;)
I would be jumping ship too.

Sona said...

Girl scout leaders are volunteer moms. They either don't know how to do it or don't have the time.

Wendy said...

Hmm, we have similar doubts here, but for the 5 year olds, it's not too big a deal so far.

Alicia said...

This is one of my biggest complaints about current expectations on kids. I totally hate that they are expected to raise money for every activity they participate in ... and even for the school itself. Sell coffee and chocolate; sell wrapping paper; sell magazines; sell popcorn; sell x y and z.

And don't forget that parents are expected to contribute to the auction; buy all the cr*p the kids are bringing home; buy a plaque in the memorial garden or a brick on the new walkway or a seat in the new gym.

I hate the feeling of being nickled and dimed. I hated having to sell candy bars for the orchestra once a year -- so I always paid for the whole box myself out of my babysitting money. I would be so much happier as a parent if the school would simply say: To supplement our budget to buy the extra things you expect your children to have, we need a contribution of $xxx from each family this year. Writing one check (or two or three over the course of the year) is so much less stressful for everyone.

Alicia said...

btw ... are you on Facebook?

I was finally convinced to join last week, and I've been finding some of my blogging friends. It's been nice to have another connection with them.

If you are, look for my email: ajlrosov AT hotmail DOT com.

I'm not putting this on my own blog, because there are certain readers whom I don't want to know that I am there. IYKWIM.

Cheers! Alicia