How to handle difficult situation with a Co-Leader??

United States
June 3, 2007 12:23pm CST
Leaders, I would like to have your input and advice on how to handle a situation with a Co-leader. In my troop, I have three Co-Leaders. One has been thoroughly trained and has been with me for many years. She has become my best friend. I love her dearly and at times, I don't know what I would do without her. I have discussed this situation with her and she has shared her advice with me. One of my Co-leaders is very new and will be receiving her training in the fall. I have known her for many years also. The girls know her and love her as she spends a great deal of time at the schools. The other Co-leader is also very new. I don't know much about this lady. I do know she has six children and a bunch of dogs. So far she has not made a very good impression with us. She says she will help drive for a trip and does not show up or calls off 5 minutes before we are ready to leave. Not reliable. She has only attended one meeting. She avoids interacting and talking with the girls. (lacks people skills) She is not scheduled to receive any training until the fall. She seems to be very secretive and avoids giving answers. (red alert) The breaking point is when we pick up the local newspaper and read that she has been in court because of writing and passing bad checks. The charges against her are numerous. She has had plenty of time to talk to us about this in private. She has said nothing. (lack of Honesty) Even after it has become public knowledge she has not said anything to us. I am not comfortable having this person listed as an 02 (assistant leader) any more. I am planning to call Council and have her status changed to a 14 (adult volunteer). She will remain an adult Girl Scout until the end of September. If she wants to re-register in September as a Co-leader, what would you do? What would you say? I don't want to take her on as a Co-leader next year. I think it reflects badly on the troop. This is not the kind of "good citizen" example we want in front of the girls. I need your advice, ladies.
4 people like this
8 responses
@tammyr (5958)
• Etowah, Tennessee
4 Jun 07
If she is never there then that alone would make me say she is only a 14. I do not as of yet have a co-leader for my juniors. I still would not add her as an 02 with her 'record' would she pass to be one?
3 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 07
Some of the information that we have found only came up recently. I have talked to Council. As of today, she is now listed as a 14 (adult volunteer) and is no longer in a position of authority in the troop. It is up to Council to actually talk to her if they feel the need is there to do that. Council may have questions. I know years ago there was a lady that got into some trouble. The difference was she was open and honest about it. She was on probation and did a ton of community service for the courts and for Council. She redeemed herself in the eyes of her peers. What she went through was hard but that lady was honest about it.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5958)
• Etowah, Tennessee
5 Jun 07
The hiding of the fact could also mean there is more to the story. My co-leader, the one that got the night job and had to leave us, had some trouble in the past, but she told me about it and was honest on her application. She was approved. It was a long time back and she had not been in any more trouble. I also had some blurs on my record from MANY years ago, and I was up front about it, even though it was so long ago. I would not want it to come back on me.
3 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 07
I do not think she should be there under any situation at all. She is not dedicated. The question is, why is she there? She is not there because she loved children and wants to help them. It appears to me that she has some outside motive. We live in a world where we care too much about hurting the feelings of others when they should be concerned about others. You have every right to question her and if you do not get the answers you want, she should be gone. I cannot imagine you receiving any acceptable answer. She could be there to steal, etc.
3 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 07
I don't have the feeling that I can trust her. I also have that feeling that she has a hidden motive. She volunteered. She joined Girl Scouts and paid for her membership so she would have the insurance when we go on outings and trips. She asked to be a Co-leader so she could get the training. Then she does not show up for the outings and trips. She does not attend meetings and it is hard to contact her by phone. She moved and did not tell me. We live in a small community so it was not hard for me to hunt her down and find her. But I should not have had to do this to ask if her daughter was attending a workshop or not. That is a bit much. Now this thing in the newspaper is like the straw that is breaking the camel's back. I do not have the ability to terminate her membership but I can limit her in regards to the troop.
3 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 07
Be careful with this lady. She is up to no good. It is especially scary when their are children involved.
3 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
3 Jun 07
This lady has no business around young ladies. She needs to clean up here life and be given no position of authority til she has straightened up alot. Be very careful and severe ties I say. Good luck with this. A serious situation to me.
3 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 07
By changing her to a 14 (adult volunteer) she would have only her membership and the insurance if she travels with the troop. She would not attend meetings, not interact with the girls closely, not handle money issues, and not need to attend or get any training.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Jun 07
To thine own self be true. In your heart of heart you know what has to be done. The good of the many outweighs the needs of the few. As a girl scout leader your troops must come first and they are looking up to their leaders as good role models. If the girls are looking up to someone who is not honest, not reliable, not a good communicator and not willing to come forward and speak honestly about her inhibitions what does that teach them? I think she should have her status changed to adult volunteer. Obviously she has more to learn on what it means to be a good Scout leader. I understand your hesitancy in going forward with this action because as a good person yourself you don't want to judge unfairly nor cause any ill feelings with this person...but like I said...Your troop must come first and they deserve the very best. Good luck in your decision. Deana
3 people like this
• United States
3 Jun 07
Your words are like the music from a harp. They ring so true. Thank you for sharing with me. Yes the well being of the troop as a whole is very important.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
6 Jun 07
I see you have pretty much made up your mind about this person. This may be an opportunity to give her a bit of a helping hand. Had you thought about showing her the other side of life? Talk to her, tell her all the things you wrote here and how much this concerns you and why. Ask her why she joined. Ask her if she wants to stay. This lady might not be a good example but I think it would be a good exercise to give her a chance to turn things around. I really don't know, these are just ideas that came to me. If she's up to no good (though it seems a bit strange to be joining a Guides group for this reason) then you can let her know she is not a proper person for the Guides. If she is genuine and trying to be a better person then you might just be able to help her. Now that would be a valuable lesson for your troop. Be up front with her, put your cards on the table. I think this is the fair thing to do. Encourage her to reciprocate. I'll be interested to know the outcome.
• United States
6 Jun 07
I do like your ideas. Over the next several months, we will see if she is open to talking about the situation. From there we will know if there is any way that we can be of assistance to her. For now, she is no longer in a position of authority and does not have access to the troop funds. Perhaps after she gets some of the required training under her belt, we could bring her status back up. Until then, we have to protect the troop.
1 person likes this
@tutor1235 (113)
• United States
27 Aug 07
First off, let me say that my red flags would be up, too! (I'm an experienced leader, SU manager, trainer and leader mentor) I would suggest, first of all, getting your SU manager involved. Talk to this woman openly, preferrably with your SU manager present, and express your concerns. I'm assuming she passed the criminal background check, but with the legal matters hanging over her head, I think you'd be wise to offer her a less=active role for the time being. Her reliability and her interactions iwth the girls are the biggest issues, for me anyway. There are (or at least should be!) evaluation-type forms somewhere at your council that will guide you in talking to her about her 'review'-I'd use every tool you can get your hands on. Also, be sure to document everything said and done and when...if she becomes upset and goes over your head, you need to be able to prove you've done everything by the book, so to speak. Good luck and keep us posted! Feel free to message me if you want to talk more in private.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Aug 07
Thank you for your thoughts and advice. 3 months have passed since I wrote this discussion and had to deal with this situation up front. It is almost time to re-register. This lady in question has not been seen or heard from all summer long. This might not be a bad thing. School starts next week and we will start having our weekly meetings. Most of the girls have been gone for the summer and are looking forward to getting together. So next Monday we will should see if this lady will be coming back or not.
• United States
6 Jun 07
I agree with what you want to do. Go with your gut feelings and do as planned. Otherwise, the situation will be worse next year as your co -leader. Good luck.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jun 07
I want to handle this situation very carefully because if I was to approach this with anger, yelling and other high emotions the lady would get mad. Then the fallout of that would be her taking both of her daughters out of girl scouts completely. The children would pay the price for the actions of the adult and that is not fair to the children. My gut feelings are to "proceed in the proper direction slowly and with caution." What I am looking for here in this forum is confirmation that my gut feeling is the right way to handle this or is there a different approach that I have not yet considered. This is where and why everybody's ideas and opinions are so welcome. I really do not want to confront this woman with hostility (although I am very angry). But if I am overlooking something important, please feel free to point it out to me. Thank you all.
@Lydia1901 (16354)
• United States
6 Jun 07
It sounds to me like she isn't fit for that job. When she registers next year, just don't accept her. You'll have to tell her sooner or later anyways, so let her know already.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jun 07
True, so very true. If she registers next year, I will inform her that we have enough co-leaders so she will have to register as an adult volunteer. I might even suggest she register with the troop her other daughter is in. That way she would have zero attachment to our troop.