Girlscouts rant, 2006...

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:55am
becca's picture
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I always swore I would *not* get sucked into joining with dd, but there I went. Her good friends do it and two great moms, allergy sensetive themeselves, are the leaders and I decided that made it cool.
Well, of course, the first larger event(coucil sponsored fundraiser of some sort), is a fun day with trail mix being served to kids by older scouts. They apparently have decided that since they cannot accomodate everyone, this accomodation is not being made. I was told that blunlty, by my friend, who I think was sympathetic and frustrated with a few things that were coming up. It was equated to not celebrating Christmas stuff(Santa).

I just think a life threatening food being handed out is different than deciding on how to deal with winter celebrations/fundraising and multicultural families.

Anyway, it sounds like a fun day. But with nuts being passed out to all the children, we cannot go. We were told we can pack our own food.

I have quite an issue with this, especially since there is a "Be a PAL" patch to do through FAAN! Get real. This is certainly not a be a PAL event, and no group serving up nuts should be allowed to get that patch! becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:07am
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In our first year of Girl Scouts, I had to deal with this a lot--troop meetings were *generally* OK (except for one horrible day when the leader "forgot" about DD's allergy and had a cooking activity planned as part of an African culture patch that involved peanut butter) but council level events were always dangerous. PBJ served as the vegetarian option for lunch, unsafe snacks ("may contains") etc. I chaperoned everything, oversaw handwashing for girls who ate PB, made them sit away from the rest of the troop while eating, policed the kitchen picking packages out of the trash to read the labels, called people in charge of cooking at events to check stuff in advance, and marched into the kitchen at camp and told them the "make your own PBJ sandwich" table would have to go (they agreed to make the sandwiches inside on a separate table, wrap them individually, and put them out for kids who would eat all at the ends of tables. And they also discovered that this was A LOT easier and less messy for them.).
The next year, miraculously, there were no peanuts anywhere. No more PBJ at council events, no peanut-laden GS cookies served at meetings, no PB anywhere to be found at camp, and at one point at camp, there was a trail mix activity--the girls got one scoop each of several foods to make their own mix, and when I went behind the table to check the labels not only did they have them easily accessible, but they said that they made sure to get only peanut safe items since this was such a concern now!
This year, the co-leader of DD's Brownie troop has an 11 year old son with a peanut allergy so she is hyper-aware and fabulous about keeping things safe.
So I guess the lesson is to stick with it and be a pain in the butt--it seemed to have worked for us, and it's been really worth the effort because Brownies has been awesome!
Sarah

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:10am
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How do they earn a 'Be a PAL' badge? Wouldn't part of being a PAL be to not eat foods containing nuts when you are trying to keep someone allergic safe? To truly follow through with the message of that badge, I would think, would be to understand the importance of inclusiveness and safety for FA people -- and most importantly for the Girlscouts who are FA members!

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:47am
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Been there, done that. As you might remember I had to pull dd out of Girl Scouts as there were so many events that were unsafe for her. I had a meeting with some big wig (don`t recall her title) and I printed out information from the Girl Scout website that someone on this board had posted the link to. When it really came down to it, they do not practice inclusion. It is just lip service. You probably remember the field trip to the bakery that used peanuts--even the bakery owner said it was unsafe for dd to go. I wanted it changed to something that dd could safely attend. The Girl Scout big wig condoned the field trip with the famous "It isn`t fair to the other girls to miss out because of one child." That is certainly not inclusion. And like the girls really care whether it is a bakery with peanut products or a bagel bakery without peanut products. When I saw the thread here a few weeks ago about the Be A Pal patch, all I could think was how hypocritical it was. Not at all what they practice during their events.

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 7:11am
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We also had to quit Girl Scouts due to all the unsafe field trips and peanutty snacks. It seems no matter how many times I talked to them, they just didn't get it. The leaders did not want to be bothered and I had a newborn and a 1 year old at the time and instead of fighting, we quit the troop. (This was a few years back) The last straw was the field trip to a chocolate factory (that made tons of nut candy) after I had spoken to them about dd's allergy MULTIPLE times!! I remember when they passed out the permission forms, one of the leaders even came up to me and said "This probably won't be a field trip for xxxx, but I hope she can make the next one!" With this smile on her face that made me so angry!! They were absolutely aware she could not go, just didn't care.

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 7:12am
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The troop level is not the issue. I have been assigned in charge of snacks, and am consulted on all food(when the time comes). This is a council level issue. I do think our leaders inquired about nuts, so we would know, and must have tried to speak out on our behalf, because she soundes snippy when shw mentioned the nobody is being accomodating thing. I do think she was feeling snippy about the way it was said to her, and not feeling snippy about me. I simply called her to ask for a higher up phone number to get more info on the food, and she said it did have nuts. They did caution about i, for those with allergy concerns. I mean, easy enough to make a trail miz without nuts! They are just not even trying. I wouldn't rany about may contains, even, but just the flagrant handing out of nuts knowing it can kill some girls there. Not just mine.
Would they hand out toxic chemicals for them all to touch, or spray the area with pesticices before they all go there to play? I usually do not rant on about stuff, because we have just avoided such food-oriented groups. But, this just bugs me in light of the new patch and then this flagrant disregard.
BTW, the patch info is on the FAAN sight, and was mentioned here a week or two ago. That is how I know of it. becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:06am
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Maybe remind them of the latest issue of their leader magazine: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/001847.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/001847.html[/url]

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:10pm
becca's picture
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Thanks for that Gail!
Wow. I am so torn at wanting to make this my battle. On principle, especially given this badge they offer and now that in their recent leader publication! Geesh!
I have composed an email to my friend, but am hesitant to send it. It is not her issue. She, as a leader, even wanted to be snack free! Kids parents complained and they have a very long day. I provide all the snacks and have been offered reimbursement. I also take care that it is safe for all the allergies in the group. PN, TN, egg, milk/dairy.
This is a higher up issue, and I fear if I make a huge issue, I will bring it back onto my leaders, who are very sweet and caring about this whole thing.
Sigh...
I was just going to send all this(the leader magazine quote) as a friend to friend vent to my leader friend. But I am afraid she will take it wrong and be hurt or offended. You hate to have something come back around to a leader who *is* keeping with that publication statement.
I just think she would really lose sleep over it if she knew how steamed I was, and not take it how I intend. As just a friend to friend vent. She invited my dd, and has bent over backwards to let me feel safe.
I need to restate this is an event out of her planning and over her head. She is also new to leading.
becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:14pm
becca's picture
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Interestingly, at this same meeting, Santa was banned from a fundraiser in the winter, but they will still serve deadly food at a major area event.
If I have to choose not to attend an event that could threaten my child's life, why can't folks who are not into Santa, just not go do the Santa thing?
How fair is that? Santa banned, but not nuts. becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:18pm
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You know, I just had a thought -- yes, scary, but it happens every now and again.
What is the Girlscout policy with respect to accommodating other disabilities? I know this brings up quite a few of the 504 arguments, but would they just say too bad you can't attend to someone in a wheelchair, or that was blind?

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:24pm
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Exactly! Grrrr. becca. Let's just say, we might stop after this year. Dd has plenty to do with soccer and piano, and can add watercolor in her new spare time. She loves that.
I just do not like supporting such establishments that are two-faced. One statement to the public, and weak in actual practice. becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:56pm
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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).]

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 9:17am
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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
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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
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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
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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.
becca

Posted on: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 2:12pm
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Scouts.
[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
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Quote:Originally posted by Jana R:
[b]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.[/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
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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
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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
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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
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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.)

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 7:58am
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]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. [/b]
[i]thank you[/i]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img] It's also so [i]backwards[/i] to publish a mission statement unless it's the [i]status quo[/i] already. Not needing [i]infiltration[/i]....depending on the luck of getting a [i]volunteer[/i] who's willing to back it up.
Backwards, I tell ya.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 9:19am
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I think the GSs are way overrated, too. But there is this aspect - if you aren't involved in a troop at our school, you really are an outcast.
The rebel in me says so what - or, even - good,
but the reality is different for my child. She doesn't want to make a social statement on noncomformity - she wants to make friends like the other little girls.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 9:53am
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Quote:Originally posted by Christabelle:
[b]I think the GSs are way overrated, too. But there is this aspect - if you aren't involved in a troop at our school, you really are an outcast.
[/b]
you just got to ask yourself, "What the **** is going on philosophy wise that makes it this way??"
I'm with Becca: [b]"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." [/b]
Personally speaking and not as advice, I [i]was[/i] the outcast and probably still am. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]
IMHO, my mother and father spent too much time worrying about the consequences.....sure, it hurt, but now.....[i]I'm a much stronger person[/i]----I have difficulty feeling [i]vulnerability[/i]. Maybe it's a fault, but I always forget failure is a possibility. As much as my parent's fretted about my feelings, they seemed to have succeeded in building my self esteem despite that circumstance.
I'll empathize with my children, console them, be [i]overly-involved[/i] in their lives [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img], make it up to them, but I refuse to assist them in validating groups that create that atmosphere by paving a path to them or through them...or forbid, [i]increasing their membership[/i].
...maybe it's just me. But some lessons are best learned young and are [i]inevitable[/i]. There is formidable strength in the resolve acquiescing to one's individual identity brings. Now that is something I want to ensure my children experience. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] That is something worth fighting for. Suffering over, even. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I know what I speak of. There is no way my children can escape it, even if I assisted them to. Inevitability. It's everywhere.
~no advice, just personally speaking. I think like a rebel [i]and[/i] and outcast. People tell me I make their heads spin.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 10:26am
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] It's also so [i]backwards[/i] to publish a mission statement unless it's the [i]status quo[/i] already. Not needing [i]infiltration[/i]....depending on the luck of getting a [i]volunteer[/i] who's willing to back it up.
Backwards, I tell ya.
[/b]
Wouldn't that be great if that were the case in reality? [i]in a perfect world . . . .[/i]
I've also seen issues in churches and PTSA (just two that come to the top of my head) that have written verbiage that needs someone to step to the plate to make it true for a particular situation. Scouts, churches, PTSA programs coordinated by time strapped volunteers - maybe with agendas of their own maybe not (but then when I volunteer for something, don't I have an agenda? Sure, I try to be fair . . . ) When someone says to a volunteer leader, you should be doing it this way yet doesn't volunteer to make so just sounds like whiners. I'm sure it's happened to all of us in our various leadership roles forced on us when someone else wanted you to take on their agenda yet didn't want to step to the plate in a leadership role. Doesn't go over well. Nobody else will fight your battle. Right or wrong.
I'm just sayin' . . . .

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 11:46am
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I hear ya, Jana. And I agree-- to a point. I have tried to "volunteer" our way into inclusion in a few cases. AND been thoroughly rebuffed. I might have even had my feelings deeply hurt if I hadn't (as MB evidently has [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) learned that particular lesson early on. It is a very painful lesson to learn as a child, I know. But the nice thing is that resiliance is a more useful trait as an adult than conformity. (Baaaaa-aaaa.)
Some people just don't like being told ANYTHING by an "outsider." Even one who wants to volunteer.
But I understand that there are cases where your other social opportunities may be so limited that GS offers one of the few options. In that case, I guess you have to fight for it.
I personally wouldn't. But that is my hang-up about cookie sales. In our area, you are obligated to sell, and I will not have it. I know some of the local leaders, and they [i]are[/i] good people... but GS isn't a public institution. In other words, you can't FORCE them to do it.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 12:36pm
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It will go well or it will not. I will not be fighting hard to make GS the right thing for my dd. Either it is, or it isn't. She has enough interests as it is. She wanted to do it, and we have given her the opportunity. In our community, it does not seem huge, not at our school, anyway. This one troop of 12 is it for the moment, out of 3 classes at our grade level. So there are around 48 gals declining to join.
Dd will not be an outcast. At least not because of GS, anyway, LOL! becca

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 12:48pm
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guess i'm lucky that girlscouts are not a big deal in our area. i don't know a single one of my two PA girls' friends who belong.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 12:50pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Jana R:
[b] Wouldn't that be great if that were the case in reality? [i]in a perfect world . . . .[/i]
I've also seen issues in churches and PTSA (just two that come to the top of my head) that have written verbiage that needs someone to step to the plate to make it true for a particular situation. Scouts, churches, PTSA programs coordinated by time strapped volunteers - maybe with agendas of their own maybe not (but then when I volunteer for something, don't I have an agenda? Sure, I try to be fair . . . ) When someone says to a volunteer leader, you should be doing it this way yet doesn't volunteer to make so just sounds like whiners. I'm sure it's happened to all of us in our various leadership roles forced on us when someone else wanted you to take on their agenda yet didn't want to step to the plate in a leadership role. Doesn't go over well. Nobody else will fight your battle. Right or wrong.
I'm just sayin' . . . .
[/b]
Hey, sure as **** it can be reality [i]and[/i] backwards. Completely agree......the world is littered with examples. Just because someone doesn't give a round of applause condoning them, doesn't mean they are whiners. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 1:00pm
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Girl Scouts are not a big deal around here either. My dd not being a part of this organization will never make her an "Outcast". Please....
What are we feeding our children that they feel they have to part of this to be accepted?
I'm sorry...don't mean to seem angry but the NUMBER ONE thing I try to teach my child is to be her own person. She has already learned this lesson...the first time she couldn't eat the cake, or the cupcake. We don't all have to be the same. KWIM? And that is ok.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 1:14pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]I hear ya, Jana. And I agree-- to a point. I have tried to "volunteer" our way into inclusion in a few cases. AND been thoroughly rebuffed.[/b]
WRT: "volunteering"
oddly enough, I spoke with a parent at my child's school recently regarding a bi-monthly school function I am (or was) supposed to be contacted about in order to help plan and make "safe". Apparently this person jumped the gun, and planned it anyway, begging forgiveness after the fact. ie: "Can't you just keep him home on those days??" when I informed them the selections would have to change if they were found to be "unsafe".
I'd still be p***** off if I didn't realize people can't help their character flaws. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Anyway, once again, the choice of establishments picked to service these bi-monthly functions are very [i]cliquey[/i] and lean heavily on those establishments run by families in the district. (actually two different functions for a total of 4 days a month). Is it any wonder, despite the IEP considerations directly involving me, were [i]overlooked[/i].
This person made the mistake of asking me why I hadn't [i]volunteered[/i] to help plan. I had, they just [i]overlooked[/i] me. I volunteered to give an "educational" talk on LTFA (actually was asked by the principal). They never followed up despite my reminders. Maybe they expected me to forget.
I volunteered for the "Local Wellness Policy" committees in our district (and at the cooperative level). I volunteered with the Co-op Coordinator, the district super, and the principal of my child's school last year for this "Local Wellness Policy". I am an RN, a parent of two special needs children, a parent of a children with LTFA, and a member of the district community. Despite what I saw as obvious qualifications, and numerous attempts to volunteer on these projects, [i]I wasn't chosen[/i]. No followup whatsoever.
The list could go on, but I just gotta laugh at the idea that "volunteering" automatically gives you consideration for [i]anything[/i].
Our district is advertising for substitute RN's. I'd be one lonely snowball if I thought for [i]a second[/i] any resume or application I submitted would receive any consideration. I mean, I'm not even a member of the softball league! (again, dripping in sarcasm)
[i]I might apply just for kicks.[/i]
and keep calling and calling and calling. leave oodles of messages.
and then wait for them to send home those notices "Substitue RN's needed" once again. (evil grin).
I might make it my pet project. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
Say "volunteer" again. I need the laugh. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Oh, and I have "volunteered" on numerous occassions to come in and scrub down and disinfect my child's classroom (this year his homeroom) each year. (I use FA as an [i]excuse[/i]).
I mean, the condition of the desks just makes my skin crawl. Last year, there were smears on everyone. So gross. Apparently there have been cutbacks on custodial availability. Daily routine cleaning is no longer "the standard".
I wasn't taken up on that offer either. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
But thanks for the smile. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 1:27pm
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I still don't get it. If "Scouts" in general are supposed to be of such moral temperance, this discussion shouldn't even be happening. It seems to happen a lot.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 2:10pm
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MB- seriously!!
It's too much to include those who actually need the accommodations and look at you or whoever else w/credentials. But- we are all willing to educate and offer so much and I really feel like most people just do not want to deal with any of it. In my opinion- no matter what I put in place- no one wants to accommodate due to allergies. Something they already know and recognize as a disability YES, an allergy... well....I'm having a hard time. And no...I've never cared if I "fit" into the clique or not. People really don't enjoy that either actually.
[This message has been edited by krc (edited October 09, 2006).]
[This message has been edited by krc (edited October 09, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 5:02pm
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[b]I mean, I'm not even a member of the softball league! (again, dripping in sarcasm)[/b]
Was reading along, doing my silent nods and agreements here and there, but I got to this and I just nearly came out of my seat! No &*%&ing sh$^!!!!! I tell ya, sometimes I think we are living in the same neighborhood! AMEN sista!

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 6:00pm
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It's too bad that Girl Scouts are such a problem. My son has had such a positive experience with Cub Scouts. They asked that no one bring peanut products to the Pack meetings and they even gave him his own refrigerator space and let him use the microwave so my husband could make his food separately at overnight camp.
My husband was den leader (until this year), and think that did make a big difference in accomplishing the needed accommodations.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 10:21pm
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I feel terrible that Scouts is seen as such a negative. My son just earned his Eagle Scout and my daughter just earned her Bronze award and is now a Cadette. Both have been in since Tiger Cubs and Daisies.It has been a tremendous experience for both.They are BIG on volunteering and helping others always.They are both EXCELLENT public speakers. They are both VERY confident.I attribute this directly to their scout experiences.It is not just them -I see it in the others in their troops. Their scout friends have been solid friends.Those of you with middle school girls will appreciate how wonderful this is. There are several girls with food allergies in her troop but this was explained and embraced and dealt with.I help when I can (not a lot) with the girls troop, but now that they are older it is girl driven.I am going to see if they want me to help with the PAL Patch Program.It has been my experience that when it seems others are running the show their way, in reality if I get in there, they are really greatful for help and suggestions and for the break.I just want others to realize that many wonderful lifelong skills can be gained from Scouts.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 10:41pm
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b] AMEN sista! [/b]
[url="http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm"]http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm[/url]

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 11:00pm
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Mimom, yes, it seems you have found a good thing. As I have stated, it really seems to vary widely. Quite alot of inconsistency.
Again, my rant was because it was bluntly told to my leaders they would not be accomodating nut allergies at the function, yes there were nuts in the trail mix, and allergic girls "were welcome to pack their own food." Duh! Like we need a welcome mat to bring food that won't kill us. It is the fact that this is the snack for the entire event and will be all over the place. No thanks. No effort put forth and no desire to put forth any effort to try to come up with a safer snack or trail mix. None. Just an attitude.
Oh, then they banned Santa and decided against any Winter events because of all the mixed cultures in our community and someone being offended by anything they could think of. Cultural fair was nixed. They sound pretty rigid and inflexible to me. Here, anyway.
My dd gains loads of self confidence in Piano lessons, and recitals, doing watercolor classes, playing soccer, and various other group activites. I hear martial arts are wonderful too. Might give it a try one of these days, but she is so busy already. Its just good to be a kid sometimes too. becca

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 11:03pm
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Quote:Originally posted by nancy023:
[b]
My husband was den leader (until this year), and think that did make a big difference in accomplishing the needed accommodations. [/b]
In kindergarten when we first moved in, they came around from the park district signing children up for [i]soccer[/i]. My first child, I thought, "Oh, alright."
My husband, visionary that he is, volunteered to be assistant coach in order to.........[i]run interference[/i] for our son. (Not too coordinated, slower physically, very unstreetwise, and um......we are all outcasts by nature. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img])
Anywhooo, my husband, who had never been in sports of any kind as a child or adult, never had been to *any* kind of sporting event, and who was very independent and [i]self reliant[/i] [b]volunteered[/b].
I sat there on the sidelines that year cringing as other parents heckled my son (who wasn't the worlds fastest runner) and other less athletically endowed five and six year olds that season. The offenders didn't take kindly to gentle reprimands from the assistant coach to [i]lay off[/i] the children. I always spent the remainder of the afternoon restoring my son's self esteem. It was a disaster.
I thought my husband coached with a level head, and with fairness to a [i]fault[/i]. Bless him, he called the last game off when it started to downpour on a frigid afternoon. Called it a draw.
You'd think he gave Texas back. The parents were rabid.
You know, we kinda new what we were in for, but we didn't want to force our children to live by our experiences. Pay for our sins.
That was our first mistake. Now, we just fill their days with things [i]they really want to do[/i], instead of things they [i]think[/i] they [i]should[/i] want to do. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]
To call it rewarding would be an understatement.
And I can't think of even *one* activity my children are taken with that involves [i]competitiveness[/i].
Oh, and for anyone interested, the "band" thing seems to be working out.
I mean, I think it's rather statistically flawed to think *every* child should want to, or even will excell, at something like soccer or any other highly over-rated activity. [i]Let alone enjoy it.[/i]
OOO. time to reraise a thread.

Posted on: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 11:08pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Mimom:
[b]They are BIG on volunteering and helping others always.They are both EXCELLENT public speakers. They are both VERY confident.I attribute this directly to their scout experiences........[/b]
my children are too. except it's not from Scouts. it's just who they are. especially the "EXCELLENT public speakers" part. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]
These things are not something limited to "Scouts". To some, it is a natural happenstance.
Quote:[b]....I just want others to realize that many wonderful lifelong skills can be gained from Scouts.[/b]
again, some just come equipped that way, and if not, I don't for one minute believe "Scouts" is the [i]only[/i] route to honing these skills. Or even a guarantee. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Maybe Scouts just attracts those who are already there...
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited October 09, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 10/09/2006 - 12:55am
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KRC
I want my child to be her own person too...
but, in my child's private Catholic school, *every* little girl grades 4 and under belong to a troop. The father daughter dance held at the school that all of the little girls attend every fall is ONLY open to girl scouts. They all wear their vests on scout meeting day every month, etc. It is a huge deal at the school.
It is not coming from ME that it's outcast status not to be in GS, it's the way it's set up at our school. I am not big on conformity and there are other things to do, but scouting at our school is practically another class at school the way it is so indoctrinated into all of the social events.
I will never make a social point on my child's back. Never. I might have when I was younger but I've gotten more practical in my old age.
She wants to do this and all of the little girls do it. It's the main way those grades make friends at the school. It's basically overrated, but not harmful. If it was drinking and drugs we are talking about, that would be different. But this kind of conformity smoothes the way for my child - and I am ok with that.

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According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, over 50 million people in the U.S. have allergies. Today's allergy tests...

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) addresses the labeling of packaged food products regulated by the FDA....

For people who suffer from anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can result from an allergy to...

Anaphylactic shock (A-nuh-fih-LAK-tik shok): A severe and sometimes life-threatening immune system reaction to an antigen that a person has been...

In 1963 the American Medical Association designed a special symbol that would alert emergency medical personnel of special medical conditions when...

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Finding allergy-free foods for an office potluck may seem impossible, but more options are available than you might think. Eating foods prepared...

One of the most difficult things for a parent to do is determine whether his or her toddler has a cold or a...

You no doubt have your own way of teaching people about your child’s food allergy, a way that suits your temperament, and style of communication....

Reliable peanut allergy statistics are not that easy to come by. There is a lot of available research on food allergies in general but not too...

Most people know that to enjoy whatever food safety accommodations an airline offers they need to inform the airline of their allergy prior to...

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school. Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting...

If there is a child at your children's school allergic to peanuts, the school probably discourages or may not allow peanut products to be brought...

If you are on a budget, but you need to wear some sort of notification that you have a peanut...

Unless we consciously carve out time for self-care, constant food allergy management can slowly erode our sense of well-being. Signs of allergy-...

Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a...

If you avoid peanuts, it’s likely you know the joy of cashews. Slightly sweet and smooth in texture, cashews provide not only relief to those with...

The prevalence of food allergy has dramatically increased over the past two to three decades, and not just among children. Preliminary results...

When someone in the family is diagnosed with a food allergy, a choice must be made whether to ban the problem food or foods from the home. The...

Looking for a fun way to share what you know about your own food allergies? Or are you hoping to educate the people around you in a fun way about...

According to the results of a new study, children lacking Vitamin D may be more susceptible to food allergies. Researchers working at the Albert...