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Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 9:17am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i think she meant she was prepared to be "flamed" for her comments; like she was aware others would disagree. i wasn't sure if you understood her intention when she said "flame away." if you did, sorry. just wanted to clarify what i think she meant.
also, we do not do girlscouts because of the food issues....too many food activities and sales for my tastes....and because we are already so busy with other activities. but, i do think it would be nice if they'd be as accommodating as possible (and removing nuts from trail mix is not a tough thing to do).

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 9:54am
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

Becca - No I wasn't intending to flame you - as joeybeth said, I expected to be flamed (not that I feel I have to give permission to anyone to flame me but really, that's what my ending comment was).
I wasn't intending insult to your situation. And it wasn't your posts that got me the most upset about how some think Girl Scouts should be run. I think you are doing lots for your troop (and other activities) and I agree you were very supportive of your volunteer leaders. My concern is that we don't take all the activities that are not safe for our children as personal attacks on fairness to our children. Life is not fair and sometimes that hurts more than others.
I rolled my eyes like you about removing Santa but not the nuts and don't really get why they can't do that but then I don't know what else they've been asked to do. I really don't believe all activities can be made suitable for all Scouts. But certainly most should be suitable for each scout.
It always seems like kids are way more easy to persuade inclusivity than adults and with the last GS law reading "Be a sister to every other Girl Scout", maybe enlisting the girls themselves to make changes would be better than talking to deaf ears.

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 11:14am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I think the issue really is that they are very two faced. If you don`t want to accomodate my child, fine, just come out and say it and I won`t put her in. But to claim that you accomodate disabilites, so I put dd in, then watch her be excluded from activity after acitivity, it would have been better if I had never put her in at all.
And as moms of pa or MFA kids, we are already spread thin. We are already at school events, field trips, class parties, various other outside events such as sports, ballet, or whatever. Sometimes it just isn`t possible to be the head person for every activity. That doesn`t mean our child should be unable to participate.
I think all or almost all of us who had to pull our kids out of Girl Scouts due to the food allergies, we were all involved in the snacks like Becca. I volunteered to bring all snacks to all meetings (but they would not let me, but they did pass out a safe snack list). Yet there were a ton of activities dd could not do. I remember some big Girl Scout event for the whole city, it was the cookie kickoff event and they served peanut products. This was discussed at several meetings both before and after. Each time it was discussed at the meetings, it was yet another reminder to dd that she missed it due to the pa.

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 1:06pm
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Well, with three PA girls in this one year, in our one troop, all from just one school out of five in our town, it seems there must be plenty of nut allergies in our town. I know my community very well. I know there are powerful people, and connected people, "townies" too. I know there have been those who have undermined my efforts at preschool level to keep my dd safe, and I know they lurk out there now. I know. I never even asked for a nut ban at preschool, but the preschool decided to do it on their own. However, eyes were rolled and jokes made by a neighbor right behind my back, literally, at a cocktail party across the street from me. Two women laughing and nudging and eye rolling about not forgetting they couldn't pack PB sandwiches. I heard them, I looked at them, and they actually thought they were not being offensive. Well, these are the general group who are likey the next level up above my leaders.
These volunteer things will vary greatly from town to town, clique to clique. Face it. Its just the way the social circles go and life goes. The whole "Queen Bee" thing carries on into adulthood. Period.
I am not sure how I always feel about the exclusive girly things anyway. I was never that kind of girl, and I just want my dd to be happy and have fun. She wanted this, and I let her try. Now we might have to consider the heartbreak of it not working out.

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 2:12pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

[i]Soooooooooo over-rated[/i], IMO.
We joined briefly, [i]and even tho the whole "food" issue never bothered *us*,[/i] my son found it incredibly bo-ring. When my son was elated after a meeting/activity had been cancelled------[i]I released him from his committment.[/i] (more jumping up and down---I swear, he found [i]the dentist[/i], beyond a doubt, far more enticing. )Actually, my cubs *live* for those dentists visits, he runs a phenominal pediatric practice that could be a "kingdom" at Disney World.)
He had tried to hide his loathing of the whole "Cub Scouts" thing, because he wrongfully assummed his attendance was something *we* as parents needed.
IOW, he was trying to please us. Seems a whole lot of "children's group activities" focus on that goal: [i]Pleasing parents.[/i]
Besides, the whole "Cub Scout" thing was totally horning in on our [i]real quality family time[/i].

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 10:13pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Jana R:
Girl Scouts is run by volunteers at the local level. They have a lot of demands put on them and spend a lot of time training and preparing for the program and I can't imagine just expecting them to accommodate food allergies just because 'they should'. I always expected to be heavily involved in any organization run by volunteers since my child has special needs. Maybe it's not fair but that is just the way it is.[/b]
pardon me, but parents of "special needs" children need [i]respite[/i] not more [i]duties[/i]. Would it be so hard for those in charge, (or the membership) to practice that principle of "inclusiveness" without needing to be infiltrated?
They *are* the ones advertising...
"Be Prepared"... How about an "intake" form that [i]inquires[/i] of it's troop membership if there are any special needs that require accommodation [i]in advance[/i]?
Quote:[b]And if I didn't have time or energy to devote to something for my child then I wouldn't sign him up.[/b]
If I have to devote [i]time and energy[/i] to something [i]that shouldn't require it[/i] ie: "Girl Scouting is [b]Committed[/b] to Inclusiveness" (in capitals and taken from "the Mile High Council" website) then I will [i]blow them off[/i] as a serious case of wishful thinking, or suggest they change their [i]Mile High Proclamation[/i].
Looks nice in a high resolution screen, but hey, [i]lip service[/i] always does.
Quote:[b] Yes, he missed out on some activities but it was very important to teach him that he will face disappointments due to his "disability" - that he couldn't dwell on everything the others were doing that he couldn't. It's great preparation for real life.[/b]
Excuse me, but I don't need "Scouts" to teach my children that. It happens all the time. [i]Sheesh[/i].
And they are [i]people magnets[/i]. Go Figure.
Now "Scouts" thinks they are going to [i]teach my children the inevitable[/i]. NOW THAT'S THE KIND OF FUN I'M LOOKING TO [i]DEVOTE TIME AND ENERY TO[/i]! (dripping in sarcasm)
Talk about your respite!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
But I could be persuaded....I mean, [i]will I get a badge for it??![/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Talk about real life---I'll tell you about real life: In real life, don't expect badges for [i]doing what you should[/i]. There's not going to be a monthly meeting where we get badges, rewards, whatever, even if we've earned it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
The greatest acts of courage, kindness, duty, and service go largely unnoticed.
And right well they should. They are what makes the world go around. Not the deeds that are motivated by personal reward.
But I digress.
But speaking about rewards and badges.
I don't know about anyone else, but personally? [i]I'm not selling my special needs children short.[/i] They [i]deserve[/i] inclusiveness. They've [i]earned[/i] it. I don't look at them and think: "Oh, fehetaboutit!! [i]It's too hard to include you----there's no reward for anyone in doing it.[/i]" (even more sarcasm)
But all that aside, I have, personally, found Boy Scouts [i]highly over-rated[/i]. (still jumping up and down along with my cubs).
Which reminds me: [i]Personally? Inclusiveness is highly over-rated[/i]. Especially when it involves something that detracts from my [i]real family time[/i]. A put on show. Trying to be part of an ideal that doesn't exist.
That's not advice, that's just personally, Individual Mileage May Vary. It's been said my family leans on each other too much. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
If there was any "good" that came out of my family's own "Scout" experience, it was that it was one that taught us how good we had it without the "Scout" experience. That we weren't missing out on anything. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]
~no advice, some people swear by it, just speaking personally. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Quote:[b] But to expect all special needs to be accomodated at every event is virtually impossible.[/b]
Well, then, how about they [i]put that on their "Mile High" website?[/i] Wouldn't give the same "lip service", I know, but sure would help with the "Be Prepared" aspect...
edited to add a quip.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited October 08, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 1:37am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

The other day in the grocery store we were approached by Boy Scouts selling popcorn. I told them dd might not be able to have it because she is allergic to milk, but let me check the ingredients and if she is able to eat it, I`ll buy it. Turned out their kettle corn was a may contain peanuts. I was so surprised. Most popcorn is not a may contain peanuts. I thought that was really odd. It isn`t hard for them to find popcorn that is peanut free---why are they selling popcorn that is not safe for pa people? The Girl Scout cookies almost all being may contain peanuts did not surprise me, since so many cookies are.....but popcorn? Most popcorn is pa safe.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 4:22am
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

Just so we're clear . . . I'm speaking about [b]reality[/b] not how things "should" be.
Reality = if leadership is not doing it right in a volunteer run organization, you [b]DO[/b] need to "infiltrate". Hate to break it to you but my son is 18 and that has been our personal experience.
But I certainly wouldn't "infiltrate" something that my child doesn't want to participate in anyway. Who's got time or energy for that since we are overloaded already? But if it's something that the child really wants, we come up with the personal resources to make it happen even though at first glance it's not something we want to take on.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 4:37am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i see what you are saying, jana. i find myself "heading up" a lot of the stuff my kids do. i imagine i'd do that anyhow but i find it almost necessary with the PA. i get what you are saying about 'reality.' you would think a group like the girlscouts who espouse to be so inclusive would make greater attempts, but they don't always (and maybe they can't in every situation....but with PA, for ex., i think they could make it happen if they chose to).
anyhow, i find that if i'm "in charge" to some degree (in the groups we are involved in , which do not include gs's), i have a lot more say than i would otherwise.
like mommabear said, though, i do agree that parents of children with special needs usually don' t have the extra time and energy (and i might add finances) to be in charge of things. nor should they have to be. who else would be in greater need of a little break from time to time?
but...in truth... reality doesn't always mirror the way things "should" be so jana is possibly right in that we sometimes have to make things happen rather than depending on others to do it for us. or find other groups and activities to join. stinks, but it's just the way it is.
still, i'm just as disappointed as the rest of you. scouts (girl or boy) would seem to be one group you could count on to be more inclusive.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 5:14am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Three comments:
MB is absolutely right on, IMO... scouting has little enough to offer my DD that for us, this battle is [i]definitely not worth it.[/i]
Jana is right too... if it [i]were[/i] the most important thing in the world to my DD, we'd fight tooth and nail and FIND A WAY. Smiling, gritting teeth and all... like the [i]library.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]
Becca makes an excellent point that I think bears repeating. (Though I know not all scouting experiences are like this, okay? I [i]know.[/i] )
Why would I WANT my daughter to be involved in a social situation in which the "Queen Bee" rules with her court? Emphasizing catty traditional "female" behaviors? I don't, and that's a fact. I would rather that my daughter found like-minded children through [i]shared interests[/i] instead of an accident of shared gender and age. Well, so 4-H it is for us. A nice additional benefit is that our local 4-H clubs are [i]genuinely[/i] inclusive. Check 'em out-- 4-H is a lot more than livestock these days. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
But for this year, we're just plain TOO busy. (Again, tipping my hat to MB here... [i]us too.[/i] Family time, I mean.)



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