Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts Are Trying to Ruin My Life

I love scouting. My two big kids are both scouts and they get a lot out of it. But this time of year is a killer for parents. I don't know how the leaders do it. To you brave souls, I salute you. I admire you. I pity you. You must be exhausted. Here, let me bring you a large Starbucks and pat your shoulder while murmuring "there, there."

The boy has the Pinewood Derby this month and then something called the Blue Gold dinner. The Pinewood Derby, in case you didn't know, is a BFD. For little dudes, it's huge. They make a car out of a small piece of pine and then they race them. It's this big thing. I never knew anything about it because my brother was never a boy scout (my father thought it was a stupid para-military group and a waste of time).


Now that I know about the Pinewood Derby and I almost wish I didn't. It takes my husband and son forever to build that tiny car and it means nothing else is getting done. Curse you, tiny vehicle, CURSE YOU.

And my Girl Scout has the father daughter dance this weekend. Also a BFD. And there's the lottery to get into the really good Girl scout camps this summer - don't forget that! And then there's cookie sales. Every year, it's the same thing with freaking cookie sales. I do all the grunt work while she swans about in her sash looking adorable and closing sales. Which is fine, that's how its supposed to be. But I'm wiped out and the worst of it hasn't hit yet.

My husband and I deserve badges for this, people. Because it's the season of scout-caused parental exhaustion. (If you have trouble with the chart, click to enlarge it)


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2013

32 comments:

  1. In my house it is 3 Pinewood Derby cars this month....no cookies yet as my tiny one is only 3 but still! I think I may just create the badges for my husband!

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  2. All four of our sons participated in Scouts from Tiger Cubs to aging out of Boy Scouts. We had so many years of making 3 cars that I can't count them. And our Blue and Gold dinner involved a cake decorating contest! I was assistant den leader for 3 of the 4 sons, advancement chair and assistant cubmaster. I know chair the troop committee. Only the youngest is still in Scouts - he is a high school senior - but I still hold the record for the most siblings in our troop at once! Youngest overlapped with Oldests last 5 months in troop. Nothing beats Boy Scouts for the independence and leadership skills the boys develop!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! My oldest is set to receive his Life rank in a month or so and he's already giving serious thought to his Eagle project.

      My daughter earned her Girl Scout Bronze Award a year ago (highest award for a 4th/5th grade girl) and is talking about what she wants to do for her Silver Award (highest award for 6th/7th/8th grade). She swears she's not quitting Girl Scouts until she has her Gold Award (equivalent of Eagle).

      My youngest just started Cub Scouts this year and he's loving it! Like you I've been Den Leader, Cubmaster, Advancement Chair, Activities Coordinator, Troop Committee Chair...all while being a Girl Scout leader. I love Scouts!

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  3. This was our first pinewood derby. Dad is in charge of that as he goes to all the meetings. Our troop lets family members also build their own car so Little Miss Adventure had her own to make too. Good thing Daddy helped with that too. Little Miss Adventure wants to be a Boy Scout, not a Daisy since the Boys get to do all the cool stuff. UGH!

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    Replies
    1. Jrseygirl - tell her to wait until she's 14 and then she can join Venture Scouts. Its the co-ed high adventure branch of Boy Scouts.

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  4. We had two derby cars this year, rushed around and got them done just in time......for the whole thing to be cancelled due to last weekends snow >:(. So, Derby has now been rescheduled to the end of February and I rushed and stressed for nothing. BUT at least the darn things are done, as long as the boys keep their hands off of them and don't break them! All boys in this house, so no cookies at least!

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  5. We have 2 cubs, 1 scout, 1 American Heritage Girl. So there's the Blue & Gold cub banquet, the Red & Green scout banquet, Scout Sunday (troop serves a pancake breakfast to the whole church), and there's Scouting for Food, too. Thankfully, the biggest boy is an Eagle, so he's done. Loooove your parent badges!

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  6. We've got 2 cubs, 1 scout, 1 American Heritage Girl. So there's Pinewood Derby, the Blue & Gold cub banquet, the Red & Green scout banquet, Scout Sunday (troop serves pancakes to the whole church), Scouting for Food (2 Saturdays in a row!), and Chocolate Sales with our AHG girls. Whew! Thankfully, our teenager is an Eagle so he is done. Looooove the parent badges.

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  7. You know, there is now a Pinewood Derby for Girl Scouts. It's called the Powder Puff Derby. And yes, we are participating. So we have 2 cars to complete (1 for Girl Scouts and 1 for Cub Scouts), plus Girl Scout cookies. Fun.

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  8. My goal is to convince my kids scouting only runs from September to December!

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  9. I am a Gude leader in Canada, two groups. One is strictly Brownies, the other is Guides/Pathfinders/Rangers. My own daughter wants no part of it ROFL - so I am one of those crazy leaders that gets parental pity every week as they drop off their wired little darlings. You think it is bad being a parent? Try organizing badge requirements for about 40 girls at a time all at different levels and can never remember what they are supposed to bring. Sigh. I think I would rather build a pine car.......

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  10. Soooooooo Glad my kids have NO interest in Scouts. In fact, I was just telling my husband how happy I was for once just to be a "basketball mama". (And football, and Soccer, and Track...) Listening to the girls at work talk about it stresses me out lol :)

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  11. Wait until you get asked to be cookie mom! Nothing like cases & cases of yummy cookies clogging up a room in your house for days. Been there and done that, but now that my two girls are grown, I wouldnt trade the memory of that headache for anything! BTW, I currently have a box of Thin Mints I need to get rid of before I polish them off. My other box didnt last an afternoon. They are crack I tell you!

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  12. This year I volunteered to be the Service Unit Cookie Manager - GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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  13. I was in charge of a Pinewood derby once.......Not the funnest time of my life!! Oh, and my husband was deployed so that made it super cool too :)

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  14. Kinda glad that we had girls and not boys! My hubs, and both his brothers, are Eagle Scouts.....my poor MIL!

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  15. I am currently working on a "Parent Appraisal" letter for my youngest son's Eagle Scout Candidate Application. This is the second time I've had to write this letter in 3 years. My sons spent 3 years being "Den Chief" for their Troop's Cub Scout Pack, which meant an extra 3 years churning out Pinewood Derby cars. And, much like childbirth, these painful memories will fade with time. :)

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  16. I have this but times 10 because I am the leader of 2 girl scout troops!! Trying to coordinate everyone's cookie orders, cookie booths, plan meetings, etc in addition to my full time job and family responsibilities is overwhelming me BIG TIME!

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  17. If you survive this all, you probably have earned this badge. http://www.demeritwear.com/catalog/product/38b80f45e32a4f11a760dc5697464a7d
    You should also probably e-mail them some suggestions for parenting fail badges.

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  18. Just started cookie sales here in Colorado, and just finished the Pinewood Derby last week (along with the Science Fair -- never a dull moment!). Our Cub Scout pack lets the whole family participate in the Pinewood Derby, so we built five cars. Last year, my oldest DAUGHTER won the Derby with her pink car (only cub scouts can officially win, so my son's second place car was the official winner). This year, my four-year-old DAUGHTER had the fastest car of the night (my son finished 8th, oldest daughter finished 4th). The secret to a fast car is all in polishing the axles. Buy the kit and spend all your time on that. Then add graphite and have the kids sit and spin the wheels with their fingers while they watch TV (don't roll the car on the floor, it will pick up crud on the wheels and be slower). My car came in a respectable 16th (I'm a hobbyist woodworker, so I built the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, an aerodynamic disaster if ever there was one!).

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  19. My daughter is a junior in high school and has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. Cookie selling started getting pretty intense 2 years ago as she was working toward a trip to London. She made it and went to London in March of 2012. I thought we might be able to relax a bit her last 2 years in Scouts since she is sooo busy...but no! The girls have decided they must to to paris in June 2014 right after graduation as one last great trip. Oh joy.

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  20. I hear ya! I'm the Cookie Mom for my daughters Troop of 24 girls. Yes, 24 girls and 40 something site sales. And I'm taking over as Cub Scout Pack Committee Chair after B&G next month. Why oh why?? So I'll take a venti skinny vanilla latte please along with my pat on the back.

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  21. You know, so far I've avoided this death-trap. My oldest, the dramasaur, has mentioned scouts a few times, usually when they come to school in their uniforms and pass out flyers trying to recruit. After about a week, he's forgotten about it, and I can breathe easy again.

    And YAY the damn karate contract is up and we no longer have to pay more than our car payments for the boys to beat the shit out of each other on a regular basis! Which means (sign) I'm probably going to have to shell out for some other activity with a damn contract...

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  22. you really should think about having a design contest for a parent badge! I would enter a design or two I know. And I'm sure zazzle or cafepress could make real badges for fellow pinewood and cookie parents!

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  23. We have objections to boy scout national policies, so my 5 year old wont be participating - from the sound of all this, that's a relief! I was a girl scout, but was so disgusted that boy scouts got to go camping and that I got a patch for learning how to arrange flowers that I dropped out in 4th grade or so. Now I just have to stalk the girl scouts to get my hands on cookies!

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    1. I object to the BSA's policies, too. I wasn't really aware of them until after the boy had joined. It's now very important to him and he'd be devastated if I made him quit. I hate to punish my kid because of the policies of the national group. I hope that there will be enough parents like me who make a point of saying that they support inclusion that we can change it from the inside. I honestly don't know how to handle it now that we're already in it. Sigh...

      And our Girl Scout troop digs latrines, camps, hikes, makes fires in the rain and cooks over it, shoots stuff with arrows, etc. They're making ninjas. And cookie dealers. And of course the Girl Scouts nationally have a great policy of inclusion.

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    2. for what it's worth -- BSA is looking at changing its policies. www.scouting.org

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  24. I expect my Starbucks soon. Venti, non-fat latte with 2.5 pumps of peppermint. I am Co-leader of a Girl Scout Troop AND PTO President running the planning of our Family Bingo Night all right now. And BONUS, our Girl Scout Troop is going to do DERBY next year too. :P

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  25. My husband is a den leader and Pack Master (read "Wife is also den leader and Pack Master"), while I got drafted by the exiting treasurer to be the new treasurer ("Oh don't worry! It's really not that much work!" My left foot...), which also included Popcorn Sales Coordinator and re-chartering chair. I also went back to work full time this year. Our Pinewood Derby was last weekend and went really well! Thankfully, our daughter is only 18 mos old, so we have a few years before having to deal with cookies (besides eating them!). Oh well, this is part of the reason we had kids: to be involved in their extra curricular activities! Grande Cafe Mocha, skim, whipped cream and a shot of Bailey's, please. :o)

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  26. We are not a scouting family.. yet. We are, however, a skating family and carnival is just around the corner. Which means lots of extra practices and dress rehearsals and Mommy doing things like making costumes and decorating the rink and organizing raffles and bake sales all so the little darlings can skate to one bloody song and look perfect and get lauded.

    I wish my girls sold cookies. *sigh*

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