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Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:56pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

When I had my thread about the Girl Scouts not wanting to accomodate dd a few years ago, someone posted a link to a page on the Girl Scout website about disabilities. I went back and re-read my post right now, and this is what I quoted off the page on the Girl Scouts website:
"You as a leader need to adapt activities, meeting places, and field trips for girls with disabilities, involving parents and the other girls in the process as needed." It also says under "what is a disability" "Health impairments are physical conditions that alter a portion of a person`s life habits, but may not be readily observable to others, such as allergies, diabetes....." Then it defines inclusion "inclusion means that all girls plan and participate in all Girl Scout activities. Adaptions are made when needed so that everyone can take part."
However, that page that I quoted from a few years ago no longer exists. I tried to go back to it right now and it is no longer there. I think that says it all. It looks good to say that they accomodate disabilities, but what they really mean is "we accomodate disabilities unless it inconveniences us." The fact that the problem you are having is at the organizational level and not related to the leader is even worse.

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:11pm
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Exactly again. I just do not think I want to support such an organization. What's so great about Girl Scouts anyway? I know folks rave about it, but why? I do not see it. I see the girls who come to my door to sell cookies, and the stuff I read here!
I am all for it, if it is fun for my dd, but already, after only one meeting, there is an activity that excludes her. I am not even telling her, since we have an event(the same day) that we can attend which sounds like more fun for the whole family, and is school related.
It is not an official trip for the troup, just an email that went out, offering to bring any who want to go, recognizing it conflict with the school event.
becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:33pm
Daisy's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

Becca,
So sorry you are dealing with this. It is a great organization, but they have to be reminded about it's focus on inclusiveness. The schools have been getting on board the allergy issue slowly, but surely. I am afraid the outside interests(soccer, ballet, etc.) and activities such as Scouting will be the last to comply.
I have recently become an Asst Leader for DD's Jr. GS troop. I attended "new leader training," our trainer reminded us the focus should not be about which girl (or troop) earns the most badges. Instead, each girl should have a chance to participate and lead. [i]You know, the old quality vs quantity theory.[/i] In fact, most of our Junior training was about reminding us that the *girls*, not the leaders, should begin to lead the meetings and be in charge. And reminding us to guide the girls to be kind and thoughtful to each other.
As a Brownie, DD's troop only attended the Father/Daughter Dance and the yearly service unit gathering. Other than working at a food pantry as a service project, all of their other activities just involved their troop. Only now are they starting to participate in Council-level activities.
You should have a Service Unit Leader (a mom) over the troops in your area. Next is the Council level. These are the GS employees that work at the headquarters for the Council in your part of your state. They oversee all the service units for a certain area.
See the Council website for your area. Perhaps you can find a contact person to help you with this. You've overcome the first obstacle in that your troop leader is on-board.
Have you considered being an assistant leader? The training is very simple, just a couple of morning classes. I am helping out with the meetings, which I was doing anyway. [b]But in attending the Service Unit meetings, I'm much more plugged in to any planning while it's still in the early stages.[/b]
***To all those that don't know, my DD is NKA; it's me with the allergies.***
Best of luck,
Daisy

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:39pm
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

There's always 4-H. An organization with many of the same goals-- so we're planning on doing 4-H instead of scouting. And part of it is my experiences as a GS which lead me to understand that (airquotes) 'inclusion' is only as good as the leader running the local show. It seems little has really changed. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] NO thanks.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:43pm
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Thanks Daisy. I cannot lead(or assist) because of a disruptive 2yo who also naps at meeting time. My one closer friend is the assistant, and I know the other. Dd has played at both homes and I like them both alot. I am the "snack coordinator", lol. So, I can handle that. I drop it off or dd brings it in to school that day with her.
My leaders are on board with accomodating allergies in the troop. Not sure that they are on board for a bigger issue at council levels! I need to be careful not to bring greief down on those I lean on heavily in many venues in my community for help with dd.
Assistant leader is also wife of dd's soccer coach, and dh is the assistant there! I am snack coordinator in that venue as well, lol.
Good friend and connection. I do not want to involve her ian battle she is not ready for. I need to think it through. I just do not trust the politics of the organization locally to not give her grief if I make waves. I would certainly say how wonderful she is, but I still have no trust, based on the stories I have heard here. It all boils down to community cliquiness, IMO. I am not hip to the cliques, so I tread very carefully in this community! becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:48pm
Daisy's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

Bingo! Found the references I had seen earlier. Always browsing for allergy issues...
From the National website May 2005, here is a link to the Directory of Disabilities Organizations and Agencies. It says it is a guide for council and staff for "inclusion" of girls with disabilities. BTW, the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America is on the list, page 11. It also mentions the contact information for a disabilities consultant on the Introduction page.
[url="http://www.girlscouts.org/for_adults/volunteering/disabilities_directory.pdf?store=bookshop&page=prodpages/leaders_guides.asp"]http://www.girlscouts.org/for_adults/vol...ders_guides.asp[/url]
Daisy

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:58pm
Daisy's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

I understand about your being busy with your son. But as I understand it, any assistant or Cookie Mom, etc... can attend the Service Unit meetings held monthly.
I am enjoying being the squeaky wheel, as I get older. [i]Sort of lets loose of some of my tension and keeps me from taking everything out on DH. LOL[/i] My new mission in life is currently as Allergy Ambassador!
We are fortunate to meet in our church preschool rooms. They have several allergic kids, so we have to keep our snacks safe, too. Good for me!
Take care,
Daisy
And BTW, only one or two JR Badges even involve food. One of our girls was interested in a cooking badge. I have had a hard time really finding anything suitable, so we're going to have to wing-it.

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 1:12am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

When I had all the problems with Girl Scouts a few years ago, people also suggested that I be a leader. But I shouldn`t have to be a leader in order for the pa to be accomodated. That is really the point. If they truly believe in accomodating disabilities, they should be accomodating a disability without requiring the parent to be a leader.
And for dd there were way more than two patches involving food. It was about half of them.

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 3:14am
Jana R's picture
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Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

wow
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. And if I didn't have time or energy to devote to something for my child then I wouldn't sign him up. 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.
And yes, I can see for instance, where a hike might be scheduled for scouts that a scout in a wheelchair might have to forego. Certainly this should not happen regularly and there should be plenty of other ways for all scouts to participate in most activities. But to expect all special needs to be accomodated at every event is virtually impossible.
Flame away . . .

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 8:59am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

ROTFL, flaming?!?
Simply thinking they omit nuts in a trail mix when asked about it, and saying no they won't, and at the same time there is a "Be a Pal Badge" and a publication this fall stating to omit nuts if any girls are allergic.
How is this flaming?
I am involved. I coordinate all the snacks for out troop, accomodating the needs of 3 children with 5 combined food allergies, plus the desires of the others, as it is only fair they have a say in the process as well. I will bake on my time, for those that asked(non-allergic children, in fact) safely for all at times, do the shopping, and all at my own expense. I will also be consulted on any food project/badge whatever at the troop level, shop, whatever, also at my own expense. I am more than pleased to do this for my very kind and careful leaders, to give them peace of mind caring for these girls. They want to be safe with the food.
How am I flaming and not putting forth any volunteer time and effort? Have I not complemented my leaders several times in this very thread.
I am also room mom for both of my children, and do other special projects at the school for PTO fundraising, including auctions at both schools.
I think you are the one flaming and not reading the real issue. The attitude was "we will not make any effort on this peanut allergy issue" with a blanket statement that "we cannot accomodate everyone." Then they banned Santa(which is fine with me) but not *life-threatening* to anyone. I am sure we wouldn't be able to go to that either, because they would have some sort of unsafe food. Not particular to Girl Scouts, we just always end up skipping those sorts of things because of the food, and dd accepts it and is being taught that is just how it is. Sometimes it stings, and sometimes the glass is just full from all of these things...
So, I am may be right, that that is just how it is for Brownies, as I had thought/feared. At the larger level, that is. Similar to what Carefulmom said, one should not have to become president of the organization to have it be fair for your child. becca
[This message has been edited by becca (edited October 07, 2006).]

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