after four years of leading a girl scout troop, my co-leader and i are done. it wasn't an easy decision to make, and it was the hardest thing to wrap our heads around once we settled on it. but because we've gone through so much unnecessary crap with our council and even the local service unit, we just didn't have it in us anymore to deal with it anymore. like, we got flagged for yet another financial audit (which wasn't something we were worried about, but it was a ton of extra work we had to do yet again for absolutely no reason whatsoever). and the service unit manager refused to acknowledge me as a troop leader. they do a leader meeting every month that we had one of our parents designated to attend and a facebook page that the leaders and service unit team members had access to for sharing information and events and things. but when i asked to be added to the group so that our troop would be in the loop for things like campouts and workshops and fun stuff, i was told in no uncertain terns that this would not happen as i was not considered to be a true leader. never mind that i've done all of the necessary training, been background checked, registered with GSUSA, and oh, i don't know...been a leader for several years already?
blech. we've kept our parents up to date on everything that we've been dealing with, and so i'm pretty sure that when i told them that we were going to disband at the end of this year it was no surprise to anyone. after thinking everything through, i kind of just came to the conclusion that as long as my name or that of my co-leader was attached in any sort of leadership position, we would never escape being targeted by council. and our troop number was forever going to be under a microscope. as much as we loved leading these girls (and they seemed to enjoy being scouts with us), we really had no choice but to get rid of the troop number. i presented the options to our parents at a meeting about a month ago - someone could step up and lead the troop under a whole new number, the girls could find a new existing troop to join, or they could all go the juliette route and be individual, troop-less scouts and we could still get together to work on badges and things together whenever schedules permitted.
well, no one offered to lead. i guess that's not surprising either, considering all of the drama that they knew we'd gone through over the last few years. and so we're officially disbanding, after we empty the bank account. we'd already had our final meeting of the year planned - an overnight trip to great wolf lodge, which we got to do a couple of weekends ago.
i'd gone shopping to pick up some fun things to put goody bags together for the girls, and i was super amused when i found these drawstring backpacks at daiso:
i mean, could they be any more perfect? i took them home and cut out some adhesive vinyl to personalize them for the girls, which would make it easier for distributing their final patches and prizes from the cookie sale and things.
and then i sat on the floor and stuffed all of the bags full of the goodies i'd picked up.
the next day, we hopped in the car and headed down to garden grove to check into the hotel.
after meeting up with all of the girls in the lobby and getting our wristbands and things, we headed up to our room. we'd reserved a nice big suite, which turned out to be two adjoining rooms. the girls were all excited to see their room, pick their beds and go through those goody bags. this room had two queen beds and a pullout sofa:
and the adjoining room had a king bed in it and plenty of space for two rollaway beds.
this was our view:
and these wristbands were for me and my co-chaperone. the girls had bands that allowed them access into the waterpark, but ours had a chip inside that served as our room key.
while everyone left to hit the water park, i stayed behind to wait for the last couple of girls to arrive. and when we finally made our way downstairs, the wave of chlorine and humidity hit me as soon as i stepped through the door. yuck.
but the girls had a blast. my co-chaperone and i sat at a table and hung out, not really wanting to get in the water, and the girls came to check in every so often as they ran around from one slide to the next.
a few of them stood in a super long line for the boogie boarding simulator. it looked fun, but it was a really long wait.
we brought in pizza and lemonade from the restaurant next door, and after they'd eaten we got a few group pictures. this one cracks me up.
afterwards, we headed back to the room to get cleaned up. it was a really long trek to the suite, which was at the very end of the very long hall.
one of the girls was celebrating her birthday that weekend, and her parents managed to get the room right next to us. there was a birthday poster on their door, and they brought over the cake that came with their package to share with the girls.
once everyone was showered and dressed, we took them back downstairs to the arcade to blow some more money and have some non-water park fun. while they played, my co-chaperone and i grabbed some dinner in the form of pizza and salad.
we closed out the night with a trip to the ice cream parlor and one more group photo.
while our two girls took the king-sized bed:
i got this air mattress:
and my co-chaperone got this one.
it was kind of sad when we realized that this really was our very last outing as a troop. one of our girls is moving (to hawaii...rough life), while my co-leader's daughter is really involved with her all-star cheer team and hasn't been available to join us for the last few meetings. another girl is also moving away, and in fact two of the girls have found another troop to join that i'm going to add the bean to as well. we're going to keep our facebook page going as long as anyone is interested in it, and maybe we'll still be able to see the other girls every now and then.
oh well. now i'll get to see what it's like to be a drop-off parent. and i won't have to plan outings and carry first aid kits and collect permission forms and sew patches on multiple vests. silver lining? i guess.