I need some OT advice
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|Thu, 01-29-2004 - 10:21am|
Last summer, we got a notice that if anyone was interested in Daisy or Brownie troops, to come to a meeting. So about 6 or 7 mom's from DD's first grade class showed up. We were told at the meeting that we had a leader already that "Joan" had volunteered and was already trained. She was new to the parish and school and she had been a Daisy leader at her DDs previous school.
We all thought, "Great! Someone who knows what she's doing!" and volunteered to help her out. Two of us volunteered to be co-leaders and two others to be Cookie mom's and unofficial helpers.
We had the first meeting at her house. It was very unorganized. She worked with the girls for about a half hour, then sent them outside to play (unsupervised) while she talked to us moms. The girls ended up getting into some arguments and there was just too much free time.
The next two meetings weren't any better. Mom's were starting to get frustrated. Some of their issues where:
1. She had an unfenced, in-ground pool in her backyard and was sending the girls out there to play.
2. She was only spending half the meeting with the girls and the rest with the mom's.
3. There was no apparent organization to the meetings.
4. Brownies have an initiation ceramony called an investiture. She was going to do this at a normal meeting one night. There were some moms in the group who had older Girl Scouts and apparently in our school, the investiture is a bigger deal. Its on a Sunday maybe, you invite grandparents, have a little reception, etc. These mom's were upset that she was just going to do it at a meeting, unannounced.
I tried to be a peace maker and we had a meeting of any mom who was interested, to air some things and do some planning. Everyone thought the meeting went OK and that we had made progress. "Joan" shed tears and told us that she always felt like an outsider and didn't want to be an outsider again and how scouting was so important to her. We all said we wanted her to be a leader, but we just wanted there to be more planning surrounding the meetings and that we wanted the investiture to be more special. Two mom's volunteered to plan the next meeting and do some planning with the investiture and we thought she agreed.
These two mom's did some work, tried to call her and sent her an email with what they wanted to do. She didn't respond. The night of the meeting, she told them she thought some things they planned were "inappropriate" and that we shouldn't do them. These moms where not happy and wanted to throw in the towel. Other moms were talking about dropping Scouts because it was just too unorganized. The troop was in jeopardy of falling apart.
The four of us who were in Official positions (co-leader and cookie moms) went to our first training with the unit manager and we talked about. The unit manager was having difficulty getting "Joan" to answer her calls/emails too. We decided (rightly or wrongly) to ask "Joan" to step down as leader, but to remain part of the troop and part of the leadership team. I was asked to take over as leader because I had remained fairly nuetral and the peace maker and we all thought that would be less threatening to Joan.
The two of us who had remained fairly nuetral talked to Joan, told her what we'd decided and asked her to stay with the troop. Ever since the first parent meeting, Joan had said she would step down if we wanted her to. At that time, we thought we could work it all out and didn't think that was necessary.
Well, Joan was understandibly hurt. She decided to pull her daughter out of the troop and go back to the old troop "where they were wanted." We told her over and over that she was welcome to stay in the troop, that we loved her daughter and this wouldn't effect her, etc. BUT that we respected her choice. (This was back in Oct and Nov.)
OK, life goes on. Brownies is going great!! We all get along, the moms are happy, the kids are having a good time. My DD is still good friends with Joan's DD and I encourage that. Actually, I invited Joan's DD over for a sleepover and she accepted. Joan and I chatted and I thought things were going well. I insisted again, that if she wanted to come back to the troop, she would be more than welcome. I know some of the other mom's made a point to speak to her pleasantly at other school events, but got a cold shoulder.
So, last night, we had a parent's meeting/town hall type meeting at Church to talk about school budget. We are talking about tuition, non parisioner familes, non Catholic Families, etc. etc. etc. At one point Joan stood up to say how great she thought the school was compared to where they came from.
But then, at the very end, she stands up and says that even though we seem to be welcoming on the surface, we weren't. That she had volunteered for an activity and jumped into it without knowing the "hidden agenda" and that she learned a hard lesson. She said she was afraid her dd would be "ostracized" so she pulled her out of that Activity and went back to her old school for that activity. (She never mention Scouts.)
Afterwards I overheard her talking to others and saying that she had been "asked" to do this and was then shut out. (Umm, you volunteered lady.)
I was SOOOO upset and hurt. I felt like I have bended over backward to try to make her feel welcome. Everyone has tried to make sure her DD felt included at school, etc.
I know asking her to step down was not the "nicest" thing to do, but we had to make a decision - protect her ego and let the troop fall apart, or do what we thought was best for our DDs.
I am so tempted to send her an email and let her know that I was hurt by her comments. I really feel that at this point, she has chosen to make it the issue that it is and for her to air her dirty laundry and villanize us at a public meeting like that was hateful.
But then part of me says to just ignore it. I would never talk badly about her to other parents and I certainly don't talk about the whole Brownie scenario to outside people who know her.
If you've stuck with me this far, thanks. What would you do?