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I want to quit Mom’s troop

A letter writer wants to quit Girl Scouts — but her mom is the troop leader and meetings are at her house.

Can our elder help her leave without hurting her mom?

Dear EWC

Hello, I am a 12 year old and I have been in Girl Scouts since I was in kindergarten. My mom is our troop leader, and meetings are held at our house. I would like to quit Girl Scouts because I find it stressful for and I no longer enjoy it. However, I am afraid to tell my mom this because I know that she would think I am being ungrateful and that when she was a child she would have done anything to be a Girl Scout. Also, that would make meetings extremely awkward because I would be hiding in my room while a bunch of girls who used to be my friends came to my house. Could you help me tell my mom that I would like to quit?

June-Bug replies

I agree that you are getting older and should be taking more responsibility for your own life and making more choices on your own. You are entering a time in your life where your parents serve as guidance and as a safety net as you become more and more independent. You are facing a tough decision that is not without consequences and it affects your mother as much as it does you. I recommend that you think carefully about what you want to do and how you want to do it.

Your mother is deeply involved with the troop and if you quit, she will likely have to quit as well. I think it would be highly unusual to continue as troop leader once her daughter has quit the troop. On the other hand, I can see that you might be feeling “stuck” in Girl Scouts because your mother is the troop leader. That’s not a good feeling to say the least.

I’m sure that the Girl Scouts has been great for you over the years. But, I also understand that at this point in your life you want to make your own choices. Because this choice affects your mother, you need to be sensitive to her feelings about it. She will have to give up something that she enjoys. She may feel like you are not grateful for all the years she has devoted to Girl Scouts for your sake.

You said Girl Scouts stresses you out but you weren’t specific. Think about what it is that is stressing you out. Are you having conflicts with others in the troop? Are you bored with the activities and projects? Is there something else you want to do? There is always something you can do to make things better. Not that I’m trying to convince you to stay. I’m just trying to help you to think about things and be sure about what it is you want to do. Girl Scouts is supposed to be about you and the other girls. In other words, it should be for you and by you. Maybe you would like it better if you took more of a leadership role. Maybe you and the other girls could think of different activities and service projects that would be more fun and fulfilling.
You are getting older now. It’s only natural that your interests would change. Have an open and honest conversation with your mother. Tell her why you want to quit and be open to what she has to say. She may try to talk you into staying, but that’s okay. Remember that she has strong feelings around this. She’s invested a lot of her time and it will be hard for her to let go. Be sure to tell her that you appreciate all that she has done for you over the years. Maybe the two of you could come up with ideas to make things better so you won’t want to quit. If you still want to quit there might be some compromise you can reach between the two of you. Maybe you can agree on a timeframe for when you will leave Girl Scouts in a controlled manner, such as at the end of the school semester or after a particular project is complete, or something like that. That would be less abrupt and would give her time to phase out as troop leader.

You don’t have to be stuck. You do have choices. If, after careful consideration, you still want to quit Girl Scouts, you should do that. I encourage you to be thoughtful and considerate in how you handle this situation. That way you will feel good about yourself. Good luck!

Letter #: 438969
Category: Family

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