Do you remember The Clash’s hit song Should I Stay or Should I Go?
I am reminded of this song when I read some of the Girl Scout forums that I frequent. They are the perfect venting ground for us. Remaining anonymous permits leaders the freedom to complain to sympathetic ears. Who else can understand the frustrations of preparing for a meeting and having only two girls out of ten show up or a parent who gets mad as us because we only reminded her seven times about the field trip that her daughter missed?
This is the time of year when leaders post questions about staying on for another year or stepping down.
Why do Girl Scout leaders choose to leave?
Sometimes they have just had enough. They feel unappreciated and are tired of all the work and prep they have to do, which often goes unrecognized by parents who tend to put Girl Scouts at the bottom of their child’s activities list.
They may also be tired of being the only leader who does anything when her co-leader will not step up and help, even when she is asked.
Life hurls changes at us. Perhaps when your daughter was a Daisy Girl Scout, you were a full-time at home mom, or had part time hours that worked for you while you led your troop. Fast forward a few years and job changes or job losses, pay cuts and new expenses (braces, college tuition for older children) mean that you had to find a full-time job and there is simply no time for you to be a leader (or be a leader and do it well).
Leaders also step down when their daughters are no longer interested in being a Girl Scout. The reason almost all of us became a leader is because we wanted this for our child. Now that reason is gone.
Another reason is that you just do not want to do it anymore. It is not the volunteer job that is right for you. There are plenty of other organizations that need you and you want to donate the time you spent on Girl Scouting to them.
Of course, choosing to stay in your leadership position or leave it is a very personal decision that only you can make.
Your Service Unit can tell you how the rules of your Council for leaving. You may be passing on the reigns to a co-leader, which makes this an easy transition. Otherwise, you will have to disband the troop. There are rules for doing this that you need to follow.
If you decide to leave, make sure to do it on positive terms. You do not want your last impression with your troop to be acrimonious.
Have you ever thought about throwing in the towel and leaving your role as a Girl Scout leader? What made you change your mind?