Girl Scouts/ Indain Princess groups

Posted on: Fri, 05/26/2006 - 12:13pm
Gwen 5's picture
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Joined: 01/24/2003 - 09:00

Do you and your PA girls attend and belong to either of these types of groups?

How does it work with all the activities, adventures, overnites etc with the food allergy component?

I have shyed away from these with my dd but she is wanting to do Indian princesses (From what i understand this is a monthly activity with dads/daughters)- Like tonite they are having a sleepover at the Zoo.

I would love to hear your experiences-

Thanks

Posted on: Fri, 05/26/2006 - 1:11pm
kandomom's picture
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Joined: 01/12/2006 - 09:00

My DD is in Brownies/Girl Scout. She joined her 1st troop in TX in gr 1. They met weekly after school at the school. She did not partipipate in the 3 might sleepaway camp (did not want to), but did participate in the 1 night backyard camp at the co-leaders house. I checked the food- she slept in a tent w/ 3 others girls and an adult chaperone (CPR/1st Aid). All was fine. Snacks were supplied by the troop, the same packaged cookies every week. I also included a snack just in case.
She is just finishing her 1st yr w/ her 2nd troop in WA. It's a smaller troop, they have not done any camp outs, but there is an opportunity for week long summer day camps, at the Girl Scout property. She is not interested in attending the camps. For the meetings, Moms provide the snack- parents are aware of the allergy and I also pack her a snack. This troop meets every other week after school at the school. So far this program has been fine for her regarding food allergies.
She has participated in 2 sleepovers at the science center (optional school activity). Her Dad went w/ her and the food served was safe, I also packed food just in case. Perhaps you can speak w/ the people responsible for the program you are interested in, to find out information regarding type of activites etc. She may not be able to participate in everything they do (off site stuff), but she can still have fun in what she does participate in.

Posted on: Fri, 05/26/2006 - 2:12pm
Sarahfran's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

My DD is in her second year as a Girl Scout--one year of Daisies, one of Brownies. The food allergy issue has been much more of a pain with the Scouts than it's been with the school. With the Scouts you're dealing with an entirely volunteer group of adults in charge with radically different levels of understanding, experience, and training. At the local troop level it isn't so bad--same 30 girls, same two leaders, occasional helper leaders. They all know of Claire's allergy and the parents are careful to provide safe snacks (and the leaders check it) so we haven't had a problem for weekly meetings. That's this year--last year there was a slow learning curve. I took her out of one meeting because the leader planned an African cooking activity that involved PB; she had completely spaced when planning but at least thought to tell me when we arrived, so I took Claire home. Then they had a field trip to a chinese restaurant and I kept her out of that as well. This year the leaders are more with-it and other parents more aware of Claire's allergy. There's also a very active mother in the troop whose ten year old son has a peanut allergy and I know she keeps a careful eye out for Claire. But once you move into multi-troop activities, all bets are off. Other troops don't necessarily have any restrictions for food and it's rare when one person is in charge of the food at an event so it's difficult to coordinate safe meals and snacks for day-long or overnight activities. My solution is to just go along with her to everything. I let her do one overnight (at a bowling alley) and stayed to help so that I could make sure she was safe. Morning doughnuts weren't (unlabeled commercial bakery--outside of my comfort zone but most people wouldn't think to question them because they were plain glazed doughnuts). This year they cut out the PBJ option at the day-long events--yay!!!!! I'm totally dreading the two night Encampment next week. I don't know how many hundreds of scouts will be there. We went for a day last year and they had "make your own PBJ" as an option at the lunch table. I could just picture PB everywhere, on the same table where the rest of the food was being served, all over the tables where the kids were eating in shifts without the tables being cleaned between. I saw them setting this up and turned into Activist Mom--went into the kitchen and convinced them to make the sandwiches in advance if they had to have them, package them up separately, and wash their hands thoroughly before touching any other food. I still didn't like it, but it kept her safe. This year I'm packing disposable placemats so we dont have to worry about the tables. Her leader has made sure we have safe breakfast options both days, we bring our own meal on Friday night, so I just have to worry about lunch and dinner on Saturday. I'm calling the person in charge of the kitchen this week to arrange the same set up as last year, if they are planning PBJ again.
The group things are scary because it's such chaos--noise and disorganization. I'd feel very nervous letting my DD go to one of those alone because I know that it would be way too easy to overlook the start of an allergic reaction among the chaos. And at Encampment, they are in the middle of bloody nowhere--just getting offsite takes a good 20 minutes if you hurry, then it's another 25 or 30 minutes to the nearest rural medical facility. It's just easier to always be there to prevent anything from happening and to be the one person who always has my eye on my DD at all times.
Overall, even though dealing with DD's allergies is much more difficult in scouts than elsewhere, it's been worth it because they really get to do some fun and interesting things. But until Claire is old enough to speak up for herself loudly and take action quickly if need be (which might be never at the rate we're going), I'm going to stick by her side like a leech at these events!
Sarah

Posted on: Sat, 05/27/2006 - 1:52am
Gwen 5's picture
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Joined: 01/24/2003 - 09:00

Thanks for the feedback-
This is what my fear is- too big and not enough people that really care to go out of their way to make it safe.
I believe in Indian Princesses the Dads are always part of the event, in some ways that is worse- they are not as conscientious- esppecially the lay dad's who have no clue.
I guess I will give it a little more thought- I hate that my dd can not do the activities she wants to do because of her food allergies- I know it could be worse... but I hate to see her unhappy.

Posted on: Sat, 05/27/2006 - 2:40am
DonMary's picture
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Joined: 09/03/2002 - 09:00

Hi, My DD (PA and TNA) has been a member of an Indian Princesses group for 2 years and she loves it. We have had a good experience with the group and she attends the events including the camp outs with my husband.

Posted on: Sat, 05/27/2006 - 11:08am
smudgesgarden's picture
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Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

my daughter is a daisy..she has no allergies
the troop leader told me that when they turn brownies they will be selling nuts..(and cookies)
i said we have a peanut allergy in our house so we will not be selling them.
and the moms just rolled there eyes.
im thinking next year of starting up my own troop.

Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2006 - 3:50am
KatiesMom's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

I think it depends on the people leading the troop.
This is my daughter's 4th year of girl scouts. She loves being a girl scout, she lives her life according to the "girl scout law". Her leader avoids most food stuff, when there is food, it's check throughly. Last year she took the girls to a special wildlife presentation. When they did an activity that was putting peanut butter on pinecones, she promptly spoke up, and said do not open the peanut butter because there's a girl here with a severe allergy. Not suprisingly the people running the event didn't listen to her and were going to do the activity anyway, at that point she gathered up the girls and went home.
My daughter also attends girl scout sleep away camp for 1 week each summer. When I called them a few weeks ago to make sure it was still safe for her to go, the comment was "if we need to go peanut free for a week, that's what we'll do, no problem". Her counselors will carry her epi around for her so that's not an issue.
So what I'm saying, is don't immediately say your daughter can't be a princess or a scout without checking it out. You may luck out like we did. Being a scout gives my daughter such pleasure, I can't imagine her not doing it.

Posted on: Fri, 05/26/2006 - 1:11pm
kandomom's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/12/2006 - 09:00

My DD is in Brownies/Girl Scout. She joined her 1st troop in TX in gr 1. They met weekly after school at the school. She did not partipipate in the 3 might sleepaway camp (did not want to), but did participate in the 1 night backyard camp at the co-leaders house. I checked the food- she slept in a tent w/ 3 others girls and an adult chaperone (CPR/1st Aid). All was fine. Snacks were supplied by the troop, the same packaged cookies every week. I also included a snack just in case.
She is just finishing her 1st yr w/ her 2nd troop in WA. It's a smaller troop, they have not done any camp outs, but there is an opportunity for week long summer day camps, at the Girl Scout property. She is not interested in attending the camps. For the meetings, Moms provide the snack- parents are aware of the allergy and I also pack her a snack. This troop meets every other week after school at the school. So far this program has been fine for her regarding food allergies.
She has participated in 2 sleepovers at the science center (optional school activity). Her Dad went w/ her and the food served was safe, I also packed food just in case. Perhaps you can speak w/ the people responsible for the program you are interested in, to find out information regarding type of activites etc. She may not be able to participate in everything they do (off site stuff), but she can still have fun in what she does participate in.

Posted on: Fri, 05/26/2006 - 2:12pm
Sarahfran's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

My DD is in her second year as a Girl Scout--one year of Daisies, one of Brownies. The food allergy issue has been much more of a pain with the Scouts than it's been with the school. With the Scouts you're dealing with an entirely volunteer group of adults in charge with radically different levels of understanding, experience, and training. At the local troop level it isn't so bad--same 30 girls, same two leaders, occasional helper leaders. They all know of Claire's allergy and the parents are careful to provide safe snacks (and the leaders check it) so we haven't had a problem for weekly meetings. That's this year--last year there was a slow learning curve. I took her out of one meeting because the leader planned an African cooking activity that involved PB; she had completely spaced when planning but at least thought to tell me when we arrived, so I took Claire home. Then they had a field trip to a chinese restaurant and I kept her out of that as well. This year the leaders are more with-it and other parents more aware of Claire's allergy. There's also a very active mother in the troop whose ten year old son has a peanut allergy and I know she keeps a careful eye out for Claire. But once you move into multi-troop activities, all bets are off. Other troops don't necessarily have any restrictions for food and it's rare when one person is in charge of the food at an event so it's difficult to coordinate safe meals and snacks for day-long or overnight activities. My solution is to just go along with her to everything. I let her do one overnight (at a bowling alley) and stayed to help so that I could make sure she was safe. Morning doughnuts weren't (unlabeled commercial bakery--outside of my comfort zone but most people wouldn't think to question them because they were plain glazed doughnuts). This year they cut out the PBJ option at the day-long events--yay!!!!! I'm totally dreading the two night Encampment next week. I don't know how many hundreds of scouts will be there. We went for a day last year and they had "make your own PBJ" as an option at the lunch table. I could just picture PB everywhere, on the same table where the rest of the food was being served, all over the tables where the kids were eating in shifts without the tables being cleaned between. I saw them setting this up and turned into Activist Mom--went into the kitchen and convinced them to make the sandwiches in advance if they had to have them, package them up separately, and wash their hands thoroughly before touching any other food. I still didn't like it, but it kept her safe. This year I'm packing disposable placemats so we dont have to worry about the tables. Her leader has made sure we have safe breakfast options both days, we bring our own meal on Friday night, so I just have to worry about lunch and dinner on Saturday. I'm calling the person in charge of the kitchen this week to arrange the same set up as last year, if they are planning PBJ again.
The group things are scary because it's such chaos--noise and disorganization. I'd feel very nervous letting my DD go to one of those alone because I know that it would be way too easy to overlook the start of an allergic reaction among the chaos. And at Encampment, they are in the middle of bloody nowhere--just getting offsite takes a good 20 minutes if you hurry, then it's another 25 or 30 minutes to the nearest rural medical facility. It's just easier to always be there to prevent anything from happening and to be the one person who always has my eye on my DD at all times.
Overall, even though dealing with DD's allergies is much more difficult in scouts than elsewhere, it's been worth it because they really get to do some fun and interesting things. But until Claire is old enough to speak up for herself loudly and take action quickly if need be (which might be never at the rate we're going), I'm going to stick by her side like a leech at these events!
Sarah

Posted on: Sat, 05/27/2006 - 1:52am
Gwen 5's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2003 - 09:00

Thanks for the feedback-
This is what my fear is- too big and not enough people that really care to go out of their way to make it safe.
I believe in Indian Princesses the Dads are always part of the event, in some ways that is worse- they are not as conscientious- esppecially the lay dad's who have no clue.
I guess I will give it a little more thought- I hate that my dd can not do the activities she wants to do because of her food allergies- I know it could be worse... but I hate to see her unhappy.

Posted on: Sat, 05/27/2006 - 2:40am
DonMary's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2002 - 09:00

Hi, My DD (PA and TNA) has been a member of an Indian Princesses group for 2 years and she loves it. We have had a good experience with the group and she attends the events including the camp outs with my husband.

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