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Old 09-15-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
NHdisneylover
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Girl scout/facebook issue

I need some varying perspectives and advice please. I know I can always find those here

My daughter joined a Girl Scout troop last February. She was a scout from first grade until we moved here in Feb 2009 and always loved it. I led her troops the first 6 if those 7 years and I love it too. This is a Cadette Troop (grades 7 and 8--my DD is grade 9 but very young for her grade and wanted to stay with this group so the council okayed it).
It took us a while to find her a troop here in Germany. They meet on the military base and as we are not military it was hard to make the connection. However she is in the troop now (we get signed onto the base for meetings by other troop members and will have a special access card just for meetings so no one has to do that as soon as our background checks come back).

The troop ran into an issue last year where one leader had to be gone for several months and getting volunteers to come in so there could still be a meeting was next to impossible. I was asked to be a third leader (technically it is one leader and now 2 co-leaders) since i have experience and I was willing to come in to help at meetings when this happened.

I said yes and was very happy to do it. I do feel a bit awkward as we are very clearly not a part of the same community as the other people. i made it clear that because DD attends a German school with very different vacations (like summer was July 28 until September 13) I might not always be around when they are meeting (we get other random to the US schedule vacations during the year to make up for that short summer). Ineveitably every leader meeting takes place on base and half the time they have said not to bother coming since it would be a hassle to sign me on. SO, I am already feeling liek they want my presence for numbers but not really my inout--hard for me; I love scouts and like to have input.

SO the above is the history (sorry to prattle on).

Today was our first meeting. The other co-leader brought up that we need a way to communicate with everybody and know if someone will not be at a meeting, etc. One of the girls said she was very good at emails and if people sent her and email she would check them daily and bring a list of issues to the meetings-or collate it all and send out a mass email. The girls all seemed to like this idea (as of now there are only 7 girls so this would be easy--more could transfer in during eht year but it is not likely to get huge anyway). The co-leader interupted them to say that a better thing would be that she was starting a private Facebook page just for the troop and would invite them all. She flat out told them that was what would happen and emails would not work (so much for girl led). This had NOT been mentioned to me before the meeting (I do not know if it had been mentioned to the other leader or not).

One of the girls got upset because she is only 12 and not allowed to have facebook. This girl happens to be the daughter of the main leader (who did not comment when this happened so I also held my tongue). The co-leader whose idea this was told her just to "go through your mom" I DID at that point ask if anyone else was too young for facebook and the co-leader cut the girls off before they could answer and said that anyone who is can have their parents check as she KNEW they all had parents with FB accounts.

Personally, I think since the grade range for the group includes girls in the 11-12 y/o age range and we have some 12 y/o in the troop now (and could get more younger ones later) it is inappropriate to have Facebook be a main communication tool for the troop. However, since I feel my input is not wanted i hesitate to say anything (my own DD has a facebook account and is not affected by this one way or the other).

So my question (after this long winded lead up) is:
Would you say anything or not? If so, how would you go about bringing it up so as to not make too many waves (I really did not want to question her too much in front of the girls--and missed the chance to bring it up right after the meeting as I had to run out 30 minutes early to take my son to the ER--he got hit in the eye by an acorn thrown by one of the leaders' son)?
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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Since your dd has a FB account, you do not have an issue here.

I would let the other parents of the kids come to the leader and speak for themselves.

You never know, the other parents may prefer a FB account as a way to keep things straight. So I would not assume that this is a bad thing right off the bat.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
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why can't the 12 yr old have a facebook account for scouts? If the parents don't want her on facebook she could use it just for scouts and they could watch her check it.
I might mention to the leader that some girls seemed hesitant about doing it this way but drop it after that and let the ones with the problem come forth from there.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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Since it is a violation of FB terms of service for those under age 13 to have accounts, I think that I would first ask her privately why she is so sure that it will be all right for underage girls to be registering for FB accounts. It may be that being military there is more acceptance; it is my understanding that "family" FB use is more widespread in the military Dependent community than outside of it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the opinions. I am feeling better about it knowing the rest of you do not think it is a big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mystery Machine View Post
Since your dd has a FB account, you do not have an issue here.

I would let the other parents of the kids come to the leader and speak for themselves.

You never know, the other parents may prefer a FB account as a way to keep things straight. So I would not assume that this is a bad thing right off the bat.
I guess I was thinking that because I am one of the leaders it is my job to look out for ALL the girls and not just mine. Maybe I am over thinking that though.

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Originally Posted by Hannathy View Post
why can't the 12 yr old have a facebook account for scouts? If the parents don't want her on facebook she could use it just for scouts and they could watch her check it.
I might mention to the leader that some girls seemed hesitant about doing it this way but drop it after that and let the ones with the problem come forth from there.
Facebook's official policy is that no one under age 13 may open an account. Of course, many people lie about their ages and open them for younger kids any way. I guess I was thinking that if we are saying that the official means of communication for the troop is facebook and yet facebook does not allow some of our girls to have accounts then we are encouraging the girls to break the rules. Again, I am probably over thinking things. I tend to do that
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:20 PM   #6
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Its my understanding that FB has rules against anyone under the age of 13 having a FB page.

I realize that many kids DO have pages anyway... But it may be your way out. Its not very Girl Scout like to break a rule.

Here is the link...you could print it out & show it to her...or just email it to her I guess. It is under Registration & Account Security. #5
http://www.facebook.com/terms.php?ref=pf
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:23 PM   #7
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If the leader is encouraging the girls to have Facebook page, which is against FB's rules, then doesn't that kinda go against the Girl Scouts mission.

But, if she's starting a group and having the parents be a part of it as a means of communications, then fine.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PigletsMommy View Post
Its my understanding that FB has rules against anyone under the age of 13 having a FB page.

I realize that many kids DO have pages anyway... But it may be your way out. Its not very Girl Scout like to break a rule.
That is my concern in a nutshell. i have NO issues whatsoever with using facebook to communicate IF all the girls (and potential girls) are over age 13--so for a senior or ambassador troop this would not have bothered me one iota. It is ONLY because some of the girls are too young for facebook by facebook's rules that I question whether we as troop leaders should be doing this (I would not have--but should I say anything now that it was done without asking my opinion?).

Notursula--thanks. One thing I struggle with is not being a part of the military community and therefore really not knowing what some of the norms are within that culture. Any ideas on how I ask her that privately without sounding like I am being critical?
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHdisneylover View Post
That is my concern in a nutshell. i have NO issues whatsoever with using facebook to communicate IF all the girls (and potential girls) are over age 13--so for a senior or ambassador troop this would not have bothered me one iota. It is ONLY because some of the girls are too young for facebook by facebook's rules that I question whether we as troop leaders should be doing this (I would not have--but should I say anything now that it was done without asking my opinion?).

Notursula--thanks. One thing I struggle with is not being a part of the military community and therefore really not knowing what some of the norms are within that culture. Any ideas on how I ask her that privately without sounding like I am being critical?
Sorry, we must have been posting at the same time

I was a Girl Scout, quite a while ago & my mom was our leader. I can't imagine her knowingly suggesting the troup break rules.

Does she KNOW your daughter already has a FB? If not, maybe you could contact her & tell her you were setting up your daughters page for the troup & saw that rule??? It would be a violation of the FB for the leaders to encourage the younger girls to lie. Thats my only suggestion for you, without coming across as a know-it-all & trying to call her out on something. Just play dumb & ask her if she knew about this rule cause you just "found" it.

I certainly understand you feeling like an outsider with this troop.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NHdisneylover View Post
Thanks for the opinions. I am feeling better about it knowing the rest of you do not think it is a big deal.



I guess I was thinking that because I am one of the leaders it is my job to look out for ALL the girls and not just mine. Maybe I am over thinking that though.


Facebook's official policy is that no one under age 13 may open an account. Of course, many people lie about their ages and open them for younger kids any way. I guess I was thinking that if we are saying that the official means of communication for the troop is facebook and yet facebook does not allow some of our girls to have accounts then we are encouraging the girls to break the rules. Again, I am probably over thinking things. I tend to do that
Yes, you are overthinking. The parents with a FB account may be the one to track the stuff and not the girls.

I would not speak for other parents. When you speak for other parents without knowing what they want, you tend to put your foot in it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #11
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OK I didn't know it was 13, I hear so many people on here talking about their 5th graders having an account so I didn't know. My DD was older when FB became popular so she was over 13 at the time.

Yes if it is 13 then everyone in the troop should be 13 or else the parent of the 12 yr old should agree to have a page for her to look at, or other means for communication should be made available for that girl. Could they use facebook for everyone but her and the leader always send an email to the 12 yr old saying whatever she was posting on the facebook page?
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PigletsMommy View Post
Sorry, we must have been posting at the same time

I was a Girl Scout, quite a while ago & my mom was our leader. I can't imagine her knowingly suggesting the troup break rules.

Does she KNOW your daughter already has a FB? If not, maybe you could contact her & tell her you were setting up your daughters page for the troup & saw that rule??? It would be a violation of the FB for the leaders to encourage the younger girls to lie. Thats my only suggestion for you, without coming across as a know-it-all & trying to call her out on something. Just play dumb & ask her if she knew about this rule cause you just "found" it.

I certainly understand you feeling like an outsider with this troop.
Thanks for teh idea. It would not work as she friend requested DD in teh first week that DD had an account. DD thought it was "weird" because they had no friends in common and she would have had to have searched for her and DD did not know why an adult who was not a close friend would want to friend her (she told me because she was asking how to respond). I think the leader just really likes facebook (the other leader does not have an account--presuambly she will get one now)
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:01 PM   #13
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IT tech and military spouse here-i would have thrown a bullchit flag on her-i dont have Facebook-and i dont allow a computer in my house to be logged into facebook because i dont want facebook junk on my computers. Whats more in some cases its likely military members DONT have accounts-simply because some commanders require that you Friend some on in the intel section so they can monitor you for OPSEC violations. I went seven rounds with my FRG when they wanted me to have one and i refused.
Also -because of some things i am aware of-i dont believe any child should have either un supervised internet access or social networking accounts-but that is my personal predjudice-as i said-i make my living in IT and IT security and simply wouldnt play that facebook game-they would have to send my child emails
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:47 PM   #14
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Yes, you are overthinking. The parents with a FB account may be the one to track the stuff and not the girls.
Bingo. All of the communications can/should go thru the parents for those girls whose parents do not want the girls on Facebook. No big deal, and it is not really up to you as the leader to be policing which girls may or may not legitimately have a facebook account.

On the other hand...this may be a question to ask of the girl scouts service unit manager (or whatever they call the person the leaders report to) because Girl Scouts MIGHT have some sort of policy regarding using electronic communications to transmit information to the girls. Maybe they don't, but you should find out if there is an offical policy.
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