Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Should I?

Or, alternately titled: "My Husband Reserves the Right To Say 'I Told You So.'"

I got an interesting proposition that I want to share with you, and in turn, pick your collective brains about. Most of you who've been reading my blog for a while know that I spent 6 years as a Girl Scout Leader. For anyone other than those three loyal, longtime readers, I spent 6 years as a Girl Scout Leader. My troop went kaflooey in a rather spectacular manner two years ago. It was all a lot of histrionic, middle-school bull that got drawn WAAAY out of proportion, with my family cast as the villains. This was, in no way, close to actual fact. My troop folded, and I've continued volunteering as an adult with my local area, and as a parent in the troop I asked for my daughter to be placed in.

At our adult meeting Tuesday evening, I was approached by someone at our local office who told me that there is tremendous interest for a Daisy troop at my school. Daisies are the youngest level of Scouting, the kindergarten (and now, since the big age-level reorganization) first grade girls. Since, this is the age I teach, and at the very school where most of the interest lies, I was approached as possible leadership for this troop.

Now, there are plenty of pros and cons.

*I could ease back into leadership this way.
*I already have a possible co-leader lined up.
*It would be very convenient for me, personally, to meet at my workplace.
*It's an age that I'm VERY familiar with, and so is my potential co-leader.
*There are a lot less "woes" working with the younger girls -- pretty much everyone is happy to be part of the program, and there's not the middle-school attitude to contend with.
*My Girl Scouting mentor did Daisy leadership for YEARS, so I have a good source of ideas and tips at the ready.
*I've been a leader for years, so it's not like it would be ALL new to me.
*Daisies is a two-year program, and I have the option to stay where I am, and have the girls move on without me. This would mean new blood every two years at the most.
*Daisies is a more hands-on, crafting, having fun version of Scouting than some of the other levels, where it's go-go-go all the time.
*My principal has given permission to have meetings in our school buildings. (You would not believe how many schools/principals *don't* allow this!) This is already one dilemma off my back.
*Offspring could help me out occasionally, and could even earn her Program Aide status this way.

*Parents. You can never predict if you're gonna get the good ones, or the bad ones.
*Still a possibility for not-so-likeable girls, but possibilities for those are lower the younger the girls are.
*Taking over a leadership role would mean more time away from my family, and more training classes.
*Paperwork out the wazoo, on top of the paperwork that I already keep track of for my local area.
*Cookies. It's a hassle when it's my own daughter, but they're letting Daisies sell cookies this year.
*If I decide to do it, can I get it up and rolling before the new year? If I can't, should we still sell cookies? The order-taking starts in January, so it would be cutting it close.
*It's a lot of work, and can be physically exhausting.
*If I don't do it, these girls probably won't get placed until late spring, at the earliest. A more realistic expectation would be that we lose them entirely, because we have no one willing to step up into the leadership role. I would hate for that to happen.
*Little to no parental help is a distinct possibility. Since we work in an economically disadvantaged school, we are more likely to have parents who either cannot afford to help, or just plain don't want to help. This may mean more personal, out-of-pocket expenses for me. Though, I do not mind doing that AT ALL if the girls benefit.

So, what do you think? Should I take the plunge?I had a lot of heartache with my old troop, but they were much older, and all awash with tween angst and hormones galore. There's no guarantees that there would be a repeat of last time, but there's also nothing to indicate that they'll be angels, either. Anytime you undertake a venture like this, you run the risk of having it all not turn out anything like you planned. But, I think with a good friend who has my back as co-leader; and with girls I'm most likely familiar with already -- maybe it wouldn't be a total disaster.

Am I mental for even considering it? I liked being a leader. I liked teaching girls all about the program, and watching them grow stronger within themselves with the good foundation that Scouting gives them. I like watching them learn, and knowing that I helped them. I did not like all the drama and hurt feelings with my last troop. I really disliked having my daughter exposed to all that: drama, hurt feelings, and maligned and slandered parents. It was almost worse for her, because she not only lost her troop, but she lost her innocence with Scouting as well. She saw people for the manipulative sneaks that they were, and at the cost of her parents' reputations. And it was not pretty.

Should I expose myself, and my family, to all of that again? Is it worth it?


Marni said...

What is up with all the SPAM??? Holy moly...

Follow your heart.

These are younger girls that you can have a positive influence on. Parents are the clincher for me though. You are a stronger person that I to put up with their BS.

Hugs... and are you gonna go visit the Extreme Erotica account? LOL

KLee said...

God -- NINE spammers! Maybe they were lured here by the phrase "y0ung girlz." Yeesh.

And, no. I don't think I'll be cruising the Extreme Erotica pages, thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for you to have the support of a GOOD Girl Scout council. In order for our girls to get their Silver/Gold it has to go through ONE lady, and if she doesn't like you---well, the girls has to try her project again.

Anyway, I'm sorry that had to happen with the middle school hormone ridden girls. That's a nasty age there.

You are considering the pros & cons, just follow your heart. I would do it the rest of this year, then if it doesn't work out, don't do it next year.

Parents who don't pick up kids (horror stories there). I would get their Mama's, Daddy's, Aunt's, Uncle's, Granma's, Granpa's, neighbor's, and Cousin's Telephone numbers!!!

It'll be going on 9 years for me as a GS leader. Daisies were the best!! I wouldn't put too much into selling cookies this year, too much of a hassle. If some girls want to do it, let them, but don't go out in the rain and do booth sales. Good Luck!! Tina

Anonymous said...

oopps-- shouldv'e been "the girl has to try her project again"

liz said...

I vote yes, if you have the time.

ccw said...

I think you would enjoy being involved with GS scouts again. Daisies are such a fun age. The only reason I wouldn't want them is because the parents have higher expectations as how Girl Scouty you should be which gets less as they get older and have more commitments.

Me, I'm hanging on to my troop this year and next year if we have enough girls after that I am done. Sign me up to be cookie mom but leader no more.

I think the idea of not moving on with the troop as they bridge might make it more enjoyable. Fresh faces, eager little kids. I say go for it!

Dr. Corndog said...

It sounds like you've done a thorough job weighing the pros and cons, and you still want to do it. Knowing what you know now, your eyes are wide open for potential problems, which means you can probably head many of them off at the pass.

My concern is, if you spend all day with this age group, do you really want to spend much of your spare time with them too? If so, maybe this is just what you need to get re-involved in something you obviously care greatly about.

And if it all goes to Hell, at least it will be good fodder for Wednesday Whining.

Jenevieve said...

Yay, I'm one of the three!

Nothing useful to say, but you're a smart woman, and I think you'll make a good choice.

Also, Daisies can sell cookies this year?!?!? WTF?

Andrea said...

Can you give them a one-year commitment, then decide on a long-term basis after that year is up? that way if it doesn't work out and you want out, they have that year to think about possible replacements and the girls get that year with the Scouts....