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Posted on: Mon, 10/09/2006 - 1:15am
Carefulmom's picture
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Whether or not it is harmful depends on the troop and the leaders. When dd was in Girl Scouts, they had Saint Patricks Day party in a BAR. Yes, you read that correctly, it was a bar, actually an Irish pub. And of course it had peanut bowls and residue everywhere, so dd was excluded, but come on, what are they doing having an event for 7 year old girls in a bar?
About the outcast thing, at our school, almost every girl in first grade was wearing a brownie uniform on Wednesdays. That was why I even made the effort to put dd in. Because of the uniform, it was very clear who was in and who wasn`t.
About the self confidence and speaking skills, again it depends on the troop and the leaders. All I saw was a bunch of out of control, poorly behaved girls, overpowering a few well behaved ones (mine was one of the well behaved ones). Dd got far more self confidence and speaking skills from her acting and modeling than she ever did from Girl Scouts. There are many ways to acquire those skills other than scouts.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited October 09, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 10/09/2006 - 1:50am
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Quote:Originally posted by Carefulmom:
[b]About the outcast thing, at our school, almost every girl in first grade was wearing a brownie uniform on Wednesdays. That was why I even made the effort to put dd in. Because of the uniform, it was very clear who was in and who wasn`t.
[/b]
our school district [i]outlaws[/i] identifying group "uniforms".
They consider it a [i]distraction[/i].
The dress code is strictly [i]enforced[/i]. For example: No wearing of any hats inside the building, including [i]hoodies[/i].
This is a [i]public school[/i]. Shorts can be no more than just above the knee. No mini skirts, no sleeveless shirts (we have air conditioning). They also reserve the right to send someone home for wearing anything they deem [i]age inappropriate[/i] clothing. Including stuff people obviously have [i]grown out of[/i].
I'm all for it. The girl next to my son in class doesn't need to wear [i]fishnets[/i], anymore than he needs to wear chaps and a cowboy hat. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
I'm bracing myself for an all out ban on camo soon......my youngest son has amassed an entire closet full of the stuff.

Posted on: Mon, 10/09/2006 - 9:15am
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[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.
[/b]
I've seen nothing but understanding and kindness by parents and coaches of kids that age in our soccer club. They even suspended the use of a whistle for one under 6 team that had a child with an autism spectrum disorder who was bothered by the loud sound.
Now, the older kids' parents can be vicious. My eight year old had a run-in with some awful moms on travel soccer last year, but he somehow survived and has really improved this year.
I agree, the "popular" activities aren't for every kid. My mother in law has often lamented that one grandson didn't play any sports and his parents dressed him so nerdy. He's now an accomplished violist and just received notification that he is being recognized as a National Merit Scholar. I do think it helps with the peanut allergy issue to volunteer in most cases.

Posted on: Fri, 10/13/2006 - 12:36pm
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In support of girlscouts... My dd is one and loves it. It has been great socially for her. Her leaders try very hard to accomodate her allergy. They asked about how to use the epipen and what to look for. Its the leaders that make the difference- don't knock the entire organization. Education is the key. We need to help educate others.

Posted on: Fri, 10/13/2006 - 10:36pm
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also in suport of girl scouts. my daughter just joined this past week. im going to be the second parent in the room. a co-leader of sorts,
before i signed krisin up and volentiered, i had to know if it was going to be peanut free because im going to have to bring my son sometimes...
she emmedatily said no problem.
so we will see..
i was a girl scout for 9 years, i missed my 10 year pin by one year. went to church camp that last year and discovered boys!!!
i was so happy when i found out they were starting a daisy troop i our school district.
however i do find it disturbing that the council is so unacomadating for a ltfa. and that the leaders of certin troops are acting in such a manor that will affect the health and safty of there members.
i would bring this to the attention of the council leaders in your aera and if that dosnt work go with someone over there heads.
because quite frankly i think its BULL DOOKIE that you or any one else has to take that kind of garbage. and that a cupple of bad seeds will spoil the whole girl scout experance for you and your daughter.
this turned out to be much longer than i expected.
just my 2 cents
erin

Posted on: Fri, 10/13/2006 - 11:02pm
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As far as today goes, my leaders were sympathetic, and it may be only their two girls even going. It was last minute, and there is a conflicting school event which sounds like a blast.
Two schools buddied up(ours and the other school is one I love) and have faculty-parent rock bands, and games and such. It is super fun for the kids to see the principle rockin' out in a band, LOL!
That is if we even make it as dh just came in on the red-eye after a week away, showered and is off to soccer! We may all just crash for the afternoon!
I am going to keep a log of these events, and I do have a buddy mom, whose dd is in the troop with PA, and very proactive on the allergy issues. So, together, perhaps we can do something if it is an ongoing issue at council level. becca

Posted on: Fri, 10/13/2006 - 11:42pm
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Quote:Originally posted by smudgesgarden:
[b]
however i do find it disturbing that the council is so unacomadating for a ltfa. and that the leaders of certin troops are acting in such a manor that will affect the health and safty of there members.
i would bring this to the attention of the council leaders in your aera and if that dosnt work go with someone over there heads.
because quite frankly i think its BULL DOOKIE that you or any one else has to take that kind of garbage. and that a cupple of bad seeds will spoil the whole girl scout experance for you and your daughter.
[/b]
Here's the problem with the [i]chain of command[/i] (ie, what you are recommending: "go with someone over their heads"). In [i]volunteer[/i] organizations that depend heavily upon the gratuitous service of their membership, the chain of command often works in [i]the wrong direction[/i]. Too many people "in charge". [i]A conflict of interest[/i].
It's really difficult, if not near impossible, to enforce or bring to fruition, [i]a mission statement[/i] without everyone being "on board".
I've got to ask myself: Do I want to support an organization and invest myself in it with not only *my* time and energy [i]and hope[/i] but my [i]child's[/i] as well?" This is where, in my parenting crossroads, [i]anticipatory guidance[/i] comes in handy. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img] Good judgement, I mean.
My plate is already full wading through the "volunteer" organizations coagulated by "involved" parents enmasse throughout my children's schools. Unpoliced and rampant throughout my children's schools weaving their tentacles "up the chain of command" under the guise of "fundraising". [i](urge to vomit)[/i]
Honestly? It's to the point my school smirks at my requests to enforce a [b]Federally Promulgated[/b] Law meant to protect my child. It's almost as if I need a lawyer and a Due Process hearing to get [i]the simplest[/i] of accommodations delivered. Some good all that fundraising is going to do them if [i]lawyers[/i] are involved...
But honestly? I don't think the fundraising is the payoff. For the school or the parents.
In our district, I'll be willing to guess most, if not all families could just afford to donate a small amount each year to the district without all the exchange of material goods and [i]time[/i].Material goods mostly being [i]food[/i]. Junk food. Probably less money delivered that way would go alot further than requiring I spend "x" amount of dollars (usually an overinflated amount) on an item I don't need and surely my school doesn't need. You know, no "middle man", less money leaving my pocket, but more for the school.
The school administration, I think, just doesn't have the wherewithal (in addition to the high turnover rate of staff) to deal with the social networks such "volunteer" organizations choke....I mean, [i]embrace[/i] the school with.
Lately, I'm having trouble remembering if my child is leaving for a [i]carnival[/i] each day, or school. Considering the amount of [i]non-essential[/i] food items present on school grounds each day.
I'm waiting for the cotton candy spinner replace the front desk soon....

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2006 - 2:47am
Jana R's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]
But honestly? I don't think the fundraising is the payoff. For the school or the parents.
In our district, I'll be willing to guess most, if not all families could just afford to donate a small amount each year to the district without all the exchange of material goods and [i]time[/i].Material goods mostly being [i]food[/i]. Junk food. Probably less money delivered that way would go alot further than requiring I spend "x" amount of dollars (usually an overinflated amount) on an item I don't need and surely my school doesn't need. You know, no "middle man", less money leaving my pocket, but more for the school.
[/b]
The high school my son went to did a "pass the hat" at "Back to School" night instead of any other fundraising and it was widely embraced! I was so excited when my daughter's elementary school announced they were going to do this but I guess it wasn't as successful in part (IMHO) because they didn't believe folks would kick in enough and already had other fundraising (running alongside the "pass the hat" night). So we're back to being saddled with other time consuming fund raising [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2006 - 4:11am
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Quote:Originally posted by nancy023:
[b] I've seen nothing but understanding and kindness by parents and coaches of kids that age in our soccer club. They even suspended the use of a whistle for one under 6 team that had a child with an autism spectrum disorder who was bothered by the loud sound.
Now, the older kids' parents can be vicious. My eight year old had a run-in with some awful moms on travel soccer last year, but he somehow survived and has really improved this year.
[/b]
[b]Uniontown, PA[/b]:
[url="http://www.wral.com/sports/10068922/detail.html"]http://www.wral.com/sports/10068922/detail.html[/url]
[i]Disgusting.[/i]
edit to add disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, currentness, content, or applicability of the link in this post. While individual mileage may vary, I remember [i]vividly[/i] the gym teacher just standing by while as the opening whistle blew during Dodge Ball and every ball hurled at me simultaneously. What an asinine game to organize as part of "Physical Education". Dorks.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited October 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2006 - 2:36pm
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That story about the evil coach of the autistic boy has been big news, here. I don't think it's the norm, and will stick by my guns in saying that volunteering can usually help. I agree that dodge ball can be a frightening experience (flashbacks of manly girls hurling kickballs that have gone half flat are going through my head).

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2006 - 10:04pm
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We don't do soccer, either. I think it's insane when parents scream at the kids who are 6 or 7. That doesn't happen much in my community, just a tad, but I've seen it go on in the teams that they play.
My daughter and son are in tennis, swimming, she is in ballet, they are both in martial arts, she is in Girl Scouts, and riding and violin start in the Spring for her (he is too young still for Boy Scouts, or music or riding.)
No one screams at the tennis players...LOL. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Also, it's indoors and doesn't involve long travel times and the tennis outfits are cute (LOL!) And there's this: they can play it their whole lives. I see the gamut at our club - 4 year olds to 80 year olds.
I will get them invovled in golf, too.

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2006 - 11:45pm
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Those of you who have had a good experience with your GS troop making accommodations, do you also have a pretty good experience with your school making PA accommodations? Or similarly, those who have been involved in non-accommodating GS troops, was your experience the same at your school?
Since (volunteer) troop leaders are usually parents from the [i]school community[/i], I wonder if there's any relationship. . . .
Mariah was a GS for 3 years, but I was never a leader or any type of volunteer with the troop because I didn't feel the need. The parents were already very knowledgeable about LTFAs because the school (via [i]us[/i]) had begun educating the students and parents. The girls and troop leader were already trained/accommodating.
I'm currently a "co" troop leader for my younger non-PA daughter. She likes GS because she thinks it's [i]fun.[/i] IMO, 'scouting' is a very tiny aspect of our group. . . it's just a monthly 'activity club' where the girls do fun crafts or sports and get to collect cool looking badges. Very little to do with 'scouting' at all. Looking at our schedule this year: going to "Flicka" at the movie theater, ice skating, 'math fun' (badge), bowling, bike riding, 'Science in Action' (badge), 'careers' (badge), "friends are fun' (badge), the April Showers collection and cookie sales. IMO, none of this really has much at all to do with 'scouting' or 'camping'. Just a girl's club, IMO. <> Nothing one couldn't do without.

Posted on: Sun, 10/15/2006 - 11:42am
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]
Honestly? It's to the point my school smirks at my requests to enforce a [b]Federally Promulgated[/b] Law meant to protect my child. [/b]
mb
why does this not suprise me!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
no tone intended!!
you dont strike me as the kind of person who will let someone walk all over you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
girl scouts for me was such a positive experance and i realy want my daughter to have fun and make the kind of friends i had. now remember my daughter isnt pa....
i am worried about the time when they start selling cookies, and from what i understand they now sell nuts, but i will cross that bridge when i come to it.
when its time for my son to join cub scouts that might be a diffrent can of worms!!!!
i am going to call the "leader" of our local girl scout council on monday morning to find out about there policy with ltfa.
ill post her reply... hopefully its a good responce.
ps this post is kinda rambling ( i had a few beers, husband is away for the weekend and so are the kids!!) woo hoo
party at my house!
oh another thing, my sister brought up a question i want to post for responce...
sould i deny my non food allergy child from after school activites ie: girl scouts, just because my son is allergic to something??

Posted on: Sun, 10/15/2006 - 12:16pm
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Smudgesgarden: To answer your sisters question- Of course not
We just have to make sure they are safe while they are there. Sometimes depending on who is running the after school activity-this can be an incredibly hard task. I do choose to try and educate and speak to whomever the after school program director is before I make a decision to send or not send dd. I do prefer activities where food is not involved!

Posted on: Mon, 10/16/2006 - 12:50am
smudgesgarden's picture
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yeah, i prefer activities where food isnt involed either. i was just wondering what everyone felt about it. id rather girl scouts didnt sell nuts. im not sure what we are going to do when that time comes.

Posted on: Mon, 10/16/2006 - 1:00am
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Yes, they do sell nuts. When our troop sold them, they passed out free samples in front of a store. Of course, dd could not participate in that. One of the leaders asked me to have dd do it and wear gloves, because if dd didn`t do it, "it wasn`t fair to the other girls". Let`s see, what about airborne, should I tell dd not to breathe while she is passing them out? I was told by people on this board that the nut sale is optional and the troop can decide to do it or not, unlike the cookie sale which all troops do. Our troop, of course, chose to do the nut sale, even with a pa child.
Gail W., to answer your question, our school had great accomodations for the pa. We were the ones who were offerred a 504 without even asking....so no correlation with the accomodations in Girl Scouts.

Posted on: Mon, 04/02/2007 - 4:02am
Carefulmom's picture
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Re-raising for PA-Mom.

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
gvmom's picture
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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
Carefulmom's picture
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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
becca's picture
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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
gvmom's picture
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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
becca's picture
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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
becca's picture
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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
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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
Corvallis Mom's picture
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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.

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Just 30 seconds of mindfulness, of quieting our thoughts by being attentive to the present moment, can help manage stress and anxiety.

The...

Those affected by peanut allergy might have heard about basophil activation tests (BATs), a potentially accurate tool for diagnosing food allergy...

When your child has a food allergy, you want to make sure they are safe in school...

It’s the time of year when holiday parties, and family gatherings can make allergen avoidance more problematic. Whether you celebrate Christmas,...

Food allergies and sensitivities are on the rise. Almost everyone knows someone who has problems with at least one food. The most common food...

Peanuts and Nuts Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI), more than 3...

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...