I Let My Child Quit Girl Scouts

Review it Rah-shay, Say it Rah-shay By Apr 03, 2014 38 Comments

The Bee has decided that she no longer wants to do Girl Scouts.

Part of me is perfectly fine with her decision; besides being able to sleep in on Saturdays I swear I have been suffering a type of PTSD from having my car broken into. Not having to deal with the selling of cookies makes me totally cool with her choice. Another part of me wants her to complete something she started because I really don’t want her to ever feel a ping of regret when she thinks about how things could be. I can totally remember being The Bee’s age and “not feeling like doing anything.” My grandmother, all 4’11” of her, would drag me or my sister out of the house and force us to do the very thing we were refusing to do. Inevitably we would end up enjoying ourselves, forgetting the drama of HOW we arrived at the event.  My mom was a little more loosy goosey; she would join Buffy and me in a day of pajama wearing and chilling. It was all good back then in the moment but as an adult I can’t help but think of wasted opportunities and how one morning sleeping in often turned to weeks sleeping in. This led to a few missed opportunities because I didn’t feel like getting dressed, because I just didn’t want to, because I was so much more comfortable sitting and sitting, staying where I was and content with my comfort zone.



A family of scouts during days of yore.

Now, as high school looms for The Bee, I cannot help but wonder if I am doing her a disservice. In a few short months she will be headed to high school. Gone will be the days of me driving her around and setting up her schedule; she will be on her own, taking the bus to a new school. Balancing new classes, a new environment and she will not have the option to just stop if she doesn’t like it or feel like it. Even though The Dad is in the picture, most of the parenting duties falls to me as The Bee lives with me. I don’t complain; I knew the job was dangerous when I took it however after a six day work week I am tired. My six day week is split between two jobs which are all about helping other people and I cannot describe the amount of guilt I have because I feel that I give my all to everyone but my girl.

When The Bee originally broached the subject of quitting, I had her speak to her troop leader who encouraged her to give it another go. We would head out for meetings but soon it was back to the same old: Not having a complete uniform because she “forgot things at her dad’s”, oversleeping or a conflict in schedule and we would be rushing trying to figure out drop offs, pickups and schedules. It was so much easier to have a lazy breakfast before starting our lazier day and quickly that became the norm. After lots of fussing, nagging and arguing I decided to let it be.


After a few weeks of scout-less Saturdays, Buffy asked me about The Bee not going and actually quitting scouts. Buffy, true to form, gave it to me. She broke it down like this: in her house, scouts and other extracurricular activities are non-negotiable. Buffy’s words, “My kids were chilling too hard Saturday mornings and no child of color has that luxury. Instead of it being their thing, it’s a family thing. Everyone one of us found a way to participate. Cookies were a way to have Mama (my niece who sold oodles of cookies) to myself.” My BIL does scouts with Dill and the whole family gets involved. 

Aside from scouts, The Bee does track and takes piano lessons. She tolerates those activities but her real passion is creating and editing videos, a hobby she seemed to have discovered on her on. Lately she has been writing short stories and creating cover art for the books. I initially always dismiss her attachment to things digital but as she shared some of the projects she was working on  I was quite impressed. Not only has she taken the time to write something, she shared it with me, something I was too scared to do at her age.

The opportunity to have a conversation to revisit Girl Scouts came when I got an e-mail announcing camps. Girl Scouts has so many camp options available and there seems to be something for all. The Bee looked through the brochure and found a few options that made her excited about donning the uniform once more.

Instead of looking at scouting as a chore, we needed to look at it as an adventure. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania’s camp options came to the rescue. There are two options available to support and nurture my creative teen.


Overnight Camps:

Camp Laughing Waters (Gilbertsville, PA)

Camp Laughing Waters features 460 acres of rolling meadows, wide open spaces, a large swimming pool with lights, an athletic field, hiking trails, archery (4th grade and above) and horseback riding. In addition to their chosen program theme, all campers will participate in traditional camp activities (weather permitting) which may include swimming, arts and crafts, cookouts, campfires, hikes, nature activities, singing, and games.


Camp Mosey Wood (White Haven, PA)

Camp Mosey Wood is located in the Pocono Mountains on 425 acres and features a beautiful lake. In addition to their chosen theme, all girls experience traditional camp activities including swimming and boating on a daily basis (weather permitting).  Other activities include arts and crafts, cookouts, campfires, hikes, nature, science, singing, archery (*4th grade and above at all campsites), climbing wall (6th grade and above), teambuilding activities, and wishing candles. All girls sleep in platform tents.


Camp Wood Haven (Pine Grove, PA)

Located in Schuylkill County, Camp Wood Haven has 200 beautiful acres of forests, meadows, and protected wetlands. Choose from a great selection of leadership, horse, animal, and trip programs with fun themes to make this your best summer ever. All girls enjoy swimming and age-appropriate activities like archery, low ropes, climbing wall, teambuilding, arts and crafts, journey activities, and more (weather permitting). Girls in grades 6-12 design their own activities in the “Choose Your Own Adventure” program.  Campers may live in a tent, Adirondack shelter, or a treehouse with beds and mattresses.


Day Camps:

Camp Mountain House (Allentown, PA)

Mountain House is a wooded sanctuary located in Lehigh County minutes away from Allentown. This popular day camp has two large cabins, a picnic pavilion, a nature trail and new this year, an outdoor stage for performances. In addition to their chosen theme week, all girls experience arts and crafts, archery, teambuilding activities and daily swimming offsite.
Shelly Ridge Day Camp (Miquon, PA)
Located just outside Philadelphia in Montgomery County at GSEP Headquarters, Shelly Ridge offers 113 acres of meadows and woodlands, an indoor activity lodge, and a large swimming pool. All girls who attend Shelly Ridge Day Camp experience a special themed week in addition to traditional camp activities including swimming, arts and crafts, archery, sports, and outdoor exploration.


Valley Forge Day Camp (Valley Forge, PA)
Valley Forge Day Camp has plenty to offer girls with a sports field, archery, Nature Shack, pool, and ample climate controlled indoor spaces including an art studio, kitchen facilities and multi-purpose rooms. In addition to the listed themes for each week, campers will also swim every day (weather permitting), visit Valley Forge National Park each week, and enjoy other traditional camp activities.

Take a look at what Girl Scout has to offer. The full camp guide can be accessed here. Financial Assistance is offered but hurry! The deadline is April 30th.

The Bee choose a camp that will allow her to have new experiences and enhance the things she already knows. We have learned that Girl Scouts offers options for “troopless” girls and we are exploring this option for a more flexible scouting experience. Quitting scouts was actually a good thing. She learned on her own that she enjoyed the activity and how to manage her schedule for what works best for her.

Her enthusiasm excites me. The camps offer activities which are both familiar and comfortable but will challenge her.

Tell me…have you ever let your child quit anything? WOULD you?


r’s note: I was offered a week of camp for my daughter in exchange for sharing this post. All opinions are my own. 




I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Sarah M says:

    Yes. We will let our kids quit an activity but not in the middle of the season/year. It is alright to be done with something but not until the commitment is fulfilled.

  2. Brandi says:

    That is great that you were able to find a way for The Bee to continue. When I was in the 9th grade, I was away at a summer science program. I called my mom and told her I wanted to quit. She told me that if I quit this because it was a little uncomfortable, I’d probably end up quitting a bunch of things in life. She encouraged me to stick it out, and I’m glad I did. If my daughter had an alternative to how she wanted to spend her time, I’d probably let her do something else, but quitting just for the sake of quitting? No.

  3. Val says:

    Yes, we quit piano for another activity. I was actually relieved.

    1. Rachee says:

      I was torn about letting her quit scouts but it all (sorta!) worked itself out.

  4. I feel that the moment my boys don’t want to do any activity anymore, they can decide to stop or change activities. What I care about is their happiness but I have to admit, it would make me sad if they gave up on some of their activities because I enjoy having that time with them too.

  5. becca says:

    Son hasn’t quit anything but he did lose interest in a couple of activities due to instructor ignoring his request.

  6. My oldest son was in cub scouts for 3 years and quit in the middle of his 3rd year. It had gotten to the point that he was getting as many projects for cub scouts as he was getting in school and it was getting ridiculous – so we stopped and I was totally fine with it.

  7. Ashley Bunker says:

    Good for you! You're letting your kids make important life choices and that is very commendable.

  8. A while back my son started playing soccer, That was short lived because after two days of playing he said he didn’t like it so I didn’t force him to go. I can’t help but feel that at certain age it is best to not let them quit things, just to get them in the habit of sticking to it. But then again, if he doesn’t like it and I make him go, I would be forcing him and he may end up resenting me.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I do not understand what it is like to be black and the importance of doing things, like you mentioned in your article but aside from that, I did let my girls quit dance. They were in it for several years before they wanted to quit, I made them stick it out another year but they were still asking to quit~ so I let them. I don’t think that it’s my job to force them into things. I guided them and made sure they REALLY didn’t want to do it anymore. It’s opened up time for us to do other things so i am not too worried about them missing out.
    I think you will make the right decision for your family. You are mama~ you know whats best!

  10. Valerie Gray says:

    Yes. I let my son quit Scouts. I think it made more sense to let him stop because he wasn't enjoying it then make him continue and grow to dislike it even more.

  11. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I think kids should only stay in activities if they actually enjoy them. Good call to let her quit.

  12. I am glad that you supported her decision but that you just didn’t let her quit for no reason. Thanks for sharing your parenting trials.

  13. Sounds like a wonderful camp that your daughter will enjoy. My kids never quit anything while participating, but they did try street hockey and decided it wasn't for them and didn't want to rejoin. We were fine with it.

  14. Erica says:

    I think that it’s important for us to encourage our kids to try various activities. But, pushing them to do something that is supposed to be “fun” that they don’t enjoy isn’t fair, either. I think you made the right choice.

  15. Janeane Davis says:

    I let my children quit things after they gave them a fair shot and discovered the things were not to their liking, ability or benefit. It all depends upon the situation.

  16. Terry says:

    I loved Girl Scouts when I was young, but my Daughter didn’t want to join and I didn’t make her. She was in a lot of sports so she really didn’t have much time.

  17. oooh. I loved camp so much. I can't wait till my kids are old enough for that.

  18. Pam Hudson says:

    I just had a conversation the other day about if I ever let my kids quit something. In general, we made them finish out the commitment and never let them quit mid season. However, I did let my youngest quit Pop Warner football several weeks into the season. It just wasn't for him and it was a lesson learned for everyone involved. He didn't really want to join in the first place but a family friend talked him into it.

  19. Pam W says:

    I let my kids quit activities when they no longer enjoy them. It’s not fair to any of us to keep them in activities that feel like a chore.

  20. Triplezmom says:

    I haven’t let them quit in the middle of anything, but I’ve let them quit after finishing the year of classes or session or whatever.

  21. lawna says:

    I think it’s important to let children make their own decisions when it comes to things like this. I also quit when I was younger and my mom was totally supportive of me. Hmm..Speaking of Girl Scouts, thinking about them, makes me hungry for Girl Scout Cookies!

  22. Sarah Bailey says:

    We don’t have girl scouts over here I don’t think.. I was a Brownie as a kid and then went onto Girl Guides which I think I quit (or at least I stopped going I think perhaps the night changed and it clashed with something else but not 100% sure) always glad my parents gave me the choice to do things though as it made me want to go and want to do things. x

  23. Mama Harris says:

    I usually have my kids finish anything they start. If it’s sports or an activity and it’s for a set amount of time (2 months, a season, a year, etc). If they decide partway through that they no longer want to do it, they know they at least need to finish the time they committed to. If they don’t want to sign up next time, or next season, they don’t have to. I think that teaches them responsibility and sometimes they have a tough week or two and it shows them how to stick with things through the hard times. Often once they make it through the hard times they do get over it and sign up again next time. Other times, they may decide it’s just not for them and we look for things that are more suited for them. I think it’s a great way to teach responsibility while also finding who they are and what they like to do. I’m glad she found a way to make it work for her!

  24. Annie says:

    It’s a touchy subject really. You don’t want to completely force them into something as you’d also want them to have some initiation/autonomy. Pick your battles, right? 🙂

  25. I let my oldest quit baseball though he loved it, the coaches made it miserable for the kids. They yelled if they lost and they yelled if they won. If not for that, I would have made him stay in. However I believe everyone deserves the chance to just veg and relax. Kids are pushed so hard today that it is crazy IMO. Go with your gut on what is right, you are her mom and you know what is best for your family.

  26. Amber NElson says:

    It is a hard thing to do. But maybe she will want to re join?

  27. Liz Mays says:

    I have let them stop activities if they wanted to, but never in the middle of a season or class. They had to finish it out. I let them try all kinds of things to see what they would like, but I’m not one to force something that isn’t a good fit.

  28. Amanda says:

    I loved camp! I’ve let Josh quit a few activities before. But we try to wait until the end of the season/program.

  29. Toni Patton says:

    My son only did scouts for one year. He wanted to try it and I said he had to do it the whole year so he could get a good feel but if he didn't like it after a year we would not do it anymore.

  30. Teresa Moody says:

    I just let my daughter quit girl scouts too! I believe its up to them if they want to be in an activity. n

  31. I think organizations like Girls Scouts are great! Now, when I was younger, and I wanted to do something, my mom and I would agree on how long I would do it. If I hit that time point, and I wanted to continue on, then great! If not, then I had kept my word and she allowed me to do something else. There are many activities kids can learn valuable skills from, though!

  32. This is a very informative post…I was in Girl Scouts myself and look forward to participating in family activities when my little one gets older. Your daughter sounds like a smart cookie!

  33. she might like the day camps. Its not a total commitment of camp and she forget to come home sounds like she gets distracted easily and has some concern/fear of the unknown.

  34. Amanda McMahon says:

    I think follow through and commitment are important, but honesty to get through and be honest about giving up is also an important step in growing up.

  35. My kids all have started sport and I always encouraged them and always got sad when they quit, but they have to learn and make their own decisions. If they don’t like it why make them do it.. she probably LOVED her time as a girl scout, but now with High school she thinks its time to move on.. She will be just fine making her way… thanks for sharing

  36. I saw something on GMA Monday about girls & self-confidence. Research shows we’re raising girls to be too perfect and not letting them make mistakes.
    Some things you try won’t be for you/her and that’s fine.

  37. Emily says:

    I would love to work with The Bee to create videos for Girl Scouts E PA about the Highest Awards!

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