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Mizzo

Girl Scouts And gluten-free (Not)

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Hi,

Mostly this will be a rant but feel free to chime in.

We have a day camper Girl scout event coming up 8am till 8pm ( not doing sleepover because DD still bed wets and kids will taunt )

Anyways we NEVER got a call from co-leader who was planning menu so that goes without saying nothing gluten-free there to help me out with and menu was emailed to all parents and items were bought. So I am packing my own cooler.

FYI I had emailed her asking about the menu 4 days before she sent it out but she still did not ask me about food choices. Also found out she never spoke to mom of Peanut allergy child about menu but she managed to make a Peanut free menu anyways.

I emailed the Girl Scout coordinator of event 2 weeks ago asking about any and all food related events being done that day.

The response I got was text book : This was in response to 2 emails I sent asking about food and arts n craft planned.

To the best of our abilities, we have tried to ensure that we are providing an allergy-free environment.

Those girls, like your daughter, who cannot have dough, can just make baked apple slices, which only she will handle. We only have one cooking station to teach cooking skills and it is a snack.

The jelly beans come as a surprise to the group and it would ruin the surprise to bring extras. I

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I have Boy Scouts but from what I have heard is that these GS people are volunteers and moms. I don't think we should expect lay people to understand or even be able or aware of the proper precautions to keep us safe.

Next year, way ahead of time, when they do the volunteer sign-ups, sign-up. Plan the meals, activities, etc.

My hub & I volunteer for alot of things - Boy Scouts, sports, Robotics club, etc. We try to plan food that works for all but there are so many different medical & religious preferences, it doesn't always work out. Something as serious as Celiac (I have it) or a peanut allergy - where one little crumb can hurt- may be beyond what we can do. Especially in a outdoor type setting.

We see many parents who do not even try to help but demand that this or that should happen. I usually tell them, "That sounds wonderful. You can be in charge of that."

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I have Boy Scouts but from what I have heard is that these GS people are volunteers and moms. I don't think we should expect lay people to understand or even be able or aware of the proper precautions to keep us safe.

Next year, way ahead of time, when they do the volunteer sign-ups, sign-up. Plan the meals, activities, etc.

My hub & I volunteer for alot of things - Boy Scouts, sports, Robotics club, etc. We try to plan food that works for all but there are so many different medical & religious preferences, it doesn't always work out. Something as serious as Celiac (I have it) or a peanut allergy - where one little crumb can hurt- may be beyond what we can do. Especially in a outdoor type setting.

We see many parents who do not even try to help but demand that this or that should happen. I usually tell them, "That sounds wonderful. You can be in charge of that."

Normally I would agree except our co-leader in charge of the menu is a NURSE . She should know better. Also, I personally have volunteered and organized a few events and I have even worked with the camp coordinator on a few things in the past. So I think they should of considered calling me when they were making sure everything was peanut and egg free. Something as simple as a brand change would have worked in our favor.

BTW I agree, so I already signed up to be leader next year because 2/3 of our leaders dropped out after 1 year of service, so this will not happen again.

I am also a room parent to a class with 3 different types of allergens and a vegan of which I planned 2 class parties for. I also am a member of the PTO and have provided Allergy friendly food lists for school events as well as volunteer in the school for various projects. I absolutely understand how impossible to be allergy free friendly to all. I just wish they had at least reached out to TRY.

yes, ranting again!!!

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Haven't been on the board in a while, but we are going on out Girl Scout camporee this weekend, and the event planner was not nice or helpful regarding the menu. Unwilling to either work with me, or refund part of the food money. Meals are french toast, mac and cheese, and pizza--argh. So we are taking all our own food. I am actually a Leader of two troops-one older girls with my non-celiace daughter, and a daisy troop with my celiac daughter. Even with our older girl troop we have a dairy free, a vegan, a dye free, a beef free, and a kosher, so meal planning is tough, but we do it-think make your own tacos with bean dip and dairy-free choices, turkey dogs, etc. My daisy troop is gluten free b/c I run it that way,last year we had another gluten free family involved, and it was nice for the girls to share that. Only once did a mom send in a treat for the group that my daughter couldn't have. I think the fact that I am used to helping others and our troop life is set up to work for us, that this even got me so frustrated. it's not that I expected them to totally meet our needs, but they wouldn't even discuss it or try. It's not like she's just picky and I was saying she doesn't like orange juice, you need to get apple. It's a health problem, and it's tough enough to deal with being different without the adults making hard.

Boy scouts for my son has been much better, they are both gluten free as well, and the resident camp program made seperate meals for them, covered in plastic prepared seperately. Plus, they got to go through the normal line, and just ask for the gluten free tray when they were up there, so it felt normal. My older son's troop is also great on regular camp outs-they evn bought him his own pancake mix. He also went to a 3 week chamber music camp that was amazingly good. Even got him gluten free lasagna when that was being served. It's only 32 kids or so a session, but they really went the extra mile.

Of course, that is paid staff, not volunteers like girl scouts.

Still I feel your pain, and I would totally send along jelly beans ( wrap them like a present so it is a surprise for goodness sake). It's not a child's "choice" not to eat jelly beans if they have gluten in them, it's a medical necessity. They used the "it's your choice" line with me about the camporee too. It's not a choice, or believe me, I would totally choose to eat the donuts.

Patty

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We quit Girl Scouts for this very reason. In my daughter's troop there was another girl with a wheat allergy. Actually this girl had more allergies than my daughter did. But we did not learn of their allergies until towards the end of the year. I wanted to refuse to allow her to sell the cookies because she can't have them. But their solution was that if I didn't want to sell them I could do something else. Like be responsible for the money or store the cookies or... Basically something to do with the cookies. I was very happy when she decided to throw herself into dance the following year so there was no time for the Girl Scouts.

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MIZZO - I am not 100% sure if my 3 year old has celiac or not cause they are telling me they need a biopsy this week. But if he is he cant even play with macaroni at school? i didnt know all these things till i read your forum!

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MIZZO - I am not 100% sure if my 3 year old has celiac or not cause they are telling me they need a biopsy this week. But if he is he cant even play with macaroni at school? i didnt know all these things till i read your forum!

Correct. Or Playdough.

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but WHY????? I dont get it.... what does play dough do?

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but WHY????? I dont get it.... what does play dough do?

Some types of Play Dough are made with wheat flour. Even if your kids son't eat the macaroni or Play Dough on purose, it's all over their fingers. They might forget & chew on a finger or not get all the dough out from under their fingernails and then eat lunch.

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This is from Hasbro's website

Play-Doh

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I'm a Brownie leader (the girls are 7-10). When I first started, before I went gluten free, I have to admit that it totally freaked me out to have girls with nut allergies in our group. I was terrified something would happen, though we were very careful to check labels, I really didn't know how careful to be. In retrospect, I should've sat down with the parents and asked all my questions, but it's so hard to find the time and I let it just be something I worried about but didn't action.

I totally understand your ranting. She should've contacted you. But being a nurse won't make her more knowledgable - we've all had such problems with doctors! One that thing really bugs me about being a leader is lack of communication from parents. They act like I'm paid and putting on a babysitting service for them, whereas it's supposed to be a community thing, with parents actively involved (not saying you're not - now I'm just ranting!). We don't get paid and the planning is a huge amount of work. Which is fine, it's worth it for the girls but I hate it when parents don't talk to me about any issues they are having or concerns that they might have. We did a "monk's dinner" night recently; the girls love it but it's super stressful to me having all that spaghetti around. Because I'm concsious that I have to look after myself, I questioned carefully the parents of the new girls to make sure that spaghetti and sauce were fine for them to eat. One father (his daughter has attended twice already) said yeah fine but I questioned him again about anything I should know and he said 'oh yeah, she's allergic to nuts'. OMFG, could you have not told me that before?? How allergic, how careful do we have to be? Does she need an epipen? I always have snacks of nuts in my bag, could I contaminate her? We've had a few years of me being the only one with food issues and that's fine, I'm an adult and can take responsibility for myself, but I'll be going back to being super strict about the food the girls bring to share. When I checked the ingredients later that night, I realised it had a 'may contain traces of nuts" warning on the spaghetti sauce. I wouldn't have eaten it if was a "may contain" warning for wheat, should she have eaten it? Her father didn't ask to check and I had the jars right there.

And I get to experience it myself when I go on training courses. I have one coming up, a whole weekend. I rang to ask to speak to whoever is doing the catering because I'm concerned about cross contamination... we'll see if they call me back.

I think you're doing the right thing to get more involved. It's hard work being a leader, but very rewarding. And at least you're get to have more control over things like that. I love seeing the parents more involved. I don't have kids myself but it's so much better if parents are involved, it's great seeing them interact with their children within a different dynamic.

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but WHY????? I dont get it.... what does play dough do?

It has wheat in it. Kids will use this stuff and stick their fingers in their mouth or touch their eyes or nose and gluten themselves. And some people also get contact reactions.

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