Girl Scouts Gold Award = Very Disappointed

I have to tell you a story about a wonderful girl who is in a ambassador girl scout troop in which I am a co-leader of. The girl is 21 and is a special needs child. She has been in Girl Scouts since she was a brownie. The reason why she is still in Girl Scouts was that she was in High School until this past year and we are finishing it up at the end of September.

For privacy purposes I am changing the name of the girl but I do have permission from her mom to post this. The reason I write this is I would love to hear feed back from other parents whether you have a special needs child or not.

Getting your Gold Award is a very exciting thing for Girl Scouts. These girls work very hard to get them. However, I have to sit and wonder just how many girls actually get their Gold Award as it is VERY hard even for a girl with out any disabilities. The Gold Award the girls have to do something in the community and the project remains ongoing. Meaning they have to keep up with it long after their Girl Scout time is done.

Well one of the things the Council did allow was my girl more time to do this Gold Award. However, NO ONE could help her. We could listen to her ideas and she could bounce things off of us but that is it. Well let me ask you something. For a special needs girl who is NOT at the level of understanding for a 18 year old girl, let me rephrase this because their is ALOT that this young girl can do as she is amazing. How can the council not allow us to help her in a small way? There are things that she just can’t do. She understands and processes every other word you are saying to her. She has really wanted to do this Gold Award. It was something very close to her heart. Let’s just say that now her dreams are shattered and her self esteem has plummeted.

She was going to make some bibs for a camp for disabled kids. She even went ahead and made a sample. They wanted more. A pamphlet telling people how to make them and how else they could contribute to the camp, they had other suggestions. I even offered to contact the news and I was told NO she had to do it herself. Well it’s not like they were interviewing me. I had sat down with her and picked her brain the best I could to get answers for the proposal. What I couldn’t help with her mom did. The only part we didn’t get done was the cost. Why figure out the cost if it wasn’t going to get accepted. Well we had a meeting and that didn’t even really answer questions and I couldn’t stick up and defend her right in front of her because of the fact that I didn’t want her to feel bad or her self esteem to be lowered.

Well all the work that was put into was wasted time because they wouldn’t accommodate her special needs. Sure they gave her more time then they would a normal child. That is the extent of it. What amazes me is that Boy Scouts do so much with Special Needs kids. They even have special needs boy scout troops. Their Eagle Award is not even as hard as the Girl Scouts. As far as I know there is no Special Needs Girl Scout Troops in our Area. I wanted to try to put one together. However, that is a whole different story. I get that their are rules. However, don’t you want to accommodate special needs to also help them feel good about themselves.

I am truly disappointed in Girl Scouts. I have been for sometime for reasons I will not disclose at this time. I am very disappointed that this girl feels let down. I am also upset because now her self esteem is shot.

What else gets me is they want to pressure her to be a life time girl scout….well what for you just shattered her dreams and you expect her to want to be a life time member. Unreal! I can tell you this is not going to happen. After this year she is done.

Can you blame her? Has anyone else felt the way I do?

14 Responses to “Girl Scouts Gold Award = Very Disappointed”

  • 1
    Mary Lou says:

    Shaking my head…….another reason to add to why I don’t support the Girl Scouts. They missed the boat ….. again!

    admin Reply:

    I am really disappointed in Girl Scouts big time.

  • 2
    Manic Mom says:

    My daughter left GS for other reasons, but they were equally disappointing as well. So sorry to hear what you both are going through.

    admin Reply:

    I am really sorry to hear that. Girl Scouts is meant to be fun and when the experience isn’t fun it is rather discouraging.

  • 3
    Kristi says:

    How ridiculous and sad for this girl!! Yet, once again, GS has proved they have no idea what they’re doing. 🙁 Or maybe they do, which makes it even worse.
    Kristi´s last blog post ..Summer Reading for the Dialectic Stage

    admin Reply:

    Lately I haven’t heard good things. Which I am not trying to slam Girl Scouts because it can be a great experience. Just a little upsetting that they couldn’t accommodate special needs.

  • 4
    Janet says:

    I have been a GS leader for 43 years. I, too, have a problem with the negative way in which the earning of the Gold Award is approached. Basically, the “committee” gets to decide what is worthy. The “committee” gets to make changes that will not work in most small communities. I also agree with you that the cost is irrelevant if the “committee” doesn’t approve it. Additionally doing the ground work not knowing what will be accepted is ridiculous. The projects should support teamwork, as this is what will be expected of mist of the girls when they get a real job.

    I, too, am quite disappointed in scouting. It should be a positive, secure, place to learn and grow. It has become an organization that wants money, money, money from its members. It’s awful to think if Juliette Low would have succeeded had the “committee ” gotten hold of her project. I think she would be mortified.

    As far as a girl with special needs being brave enough to try, perhaps the ” committee” should have done some research. Then they would have realized what an awesome thing it was that this young lady wanted to do this. This should have been individualized to her needs. She should have been applauded.

    I dint know where you are from, but I have about 85 Girl Scouts here in McComb, Mississippi that would consider it an honor to help her complete her project. Seriously, they would love it. We do all sorts of things with special needs kids. We would love to help.

    In my opinion the project should be more about making a difference and less about over planning.

    I know this was long, but this whole thing really upsets me.

    admin Reply:

    Janet thank you for your response. It really touched my heart and almost brought tears to my eyes. We didn’t get far enough to present this to the committee. We met with the coordinator to the area we are in. I think in a sense they were trying to encourage her. They are aware of her special needs. In my eyes I feel as if they are treating her as a “normal” child. Like I said even for a “normal” child this is hard. I feel this could work towards her abilities of what she can do. She is a wonderful gal with a big heart. They were tossing out suggestions of things she could do to add to the project. However, they were above some of the things she could do and she would need help to do it. I don’t know if they will want to do this project if she can’t get her gold award. I read your comment to her mom and she will talk it over with her daughter.

  • 5
    LauraOinAK says:

    I am not super impressed with Girl Scouts on so many fronts. I earned my Silver Award back in the 1980s, but dropped out as I hated the local leader so that I never earned the Gold Award.

    So glad that most organizations recognize those with special needs and make reasonable accommodations.
    LauraOinAK´s last blog post ..Finding Inspiration to Live Life to the Fullest with Repurposed Organizers #PGeveryday

    admin Reply:

    I use to love Girl Scouts. I was a leader when my daughter wasn’t old enough to be in Girl Scouts. I am a co-leader in two troops now. I know we try really hard to give the girls a positive experience. Then there are some people who shouldn’t be leaders and it’s a shame they are. As those leaders give the bad experiences. Some parents don’t even speak up when their are issues. All I can say is lately I have I been very disappointed.

  • 6
    Karen W says:

    I actually didn’t even know about the Gold Award. When my oldest daughter was in Girl Scouts she went through to Brownies I believe and then quit. But, there is no Girl Scout troop in our high school anyway. She would have been done after 6th grade anyway. I got involved with GS when she was in Kindergarten, I agreed to take over the Daisy troop because there was no leader. I did that for several years while she continued on. Then I just couldn’t do it anymore and she ended up quitting too. With my little ones we are not involved at all for other reasons. But I am very disappointed to hear about this and it has added to my reasons for not wanting my girls in scouts.

    admin Reply:

    Being a leader isn’t always easy. There is lots of planning that goes into the meetings. I have heard of a lot of girls stopping after 6th grade because they just get to busy with other things and then as they become older it just isn’t cool. There are some that do continue through highschool.

  • 7
    Tauna says:

    That’s so wrong! What a missed opportunity for this gal and for the organization as a whole.
    Tauna´s last blog post ..Summer Homeschool: A Roundup of Approaches and Ideas

    admin Reply:

    That is kinda how I feel in a nut shell.

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