Sunday, March 4, 2012

In the Care of Strangers

Plenty of Girl Scouts, my own included, are planning to do a flash mob dance in the coming days. [Does anything say more about how a fad has passed its prime than a scouting organization getting behind it? It's like you know a song is over-done when it's released on Kidz Bop 42.]

Friday night had me taking and retrieving Daughter and her NBFF (Neighborhood BFF) from the rehearsal at a local school. The school has an enormous campus, and those of us who use it mighty infrequently don't really know the secret path of roads that leads to the back of the campus, where the Girl Scouts were rehearsing. We infrequent users park in the front and hike to the back where the multi-purpose room is. Realizing that there was no way in hell I was going to hike it in to retrieve the girls, I figured out the Bat route after I'd dropped them off. And this is how I came to find myself in the back with Daughter, getting a call from NBFF's father asking, "Where the hell is this being held?"

I offered to drive NBFF to her father in the front of the school, and that was my first mistake. Why? Because one of the parents in NBFF's troop heard me say that and said, "Oh, Sparky's brother is picking her up front. Sparky, go with them."

I don't know the woman. I don't know the 11-year-old girl nicknamed "Sparky." I do know that this troop mother had just sent one of her Girl Scouts off into a stranger's car, albeit a normal enough looking woman. I also know brothers. Fat chance he would be there, right?


This girl -- whose real name I still do not know -- had no cell phone to call anyone. She gave me three different numbers to call, none of which were answered. I joked to NBFF's father that, seeing as no one knew we had her, we could just kill her and ditch her body somewhere. He joked in return that he was thinking more along the lines of kidnapping to make bank.

In the 20 minutes we waited and phoned and drove around to the back to see if anyone was still there, I kept thinking that I'd be livid if Daughter had been sloughed off on someone else. Can you imagine? You think your daughter is being tended to by the Girl Scout troop leaders, but that's hardly the case?

Finally, the brother answered the repeated phone calls. He thought their mother was picking her up. Oh. NBFF's father released me at that point, saying there was no point in both of us waiting. As I left, I said to Sparky, "Make sure you tell your mother that you were left in the care of strangers."


Anonymous said...

Wow. I am speechless. I admit that I could by many probably be classified as an overprotective parent and my shock may be influenced by that fact but, really??? I'm not sure what shocks me more - the leader who sent the child off with an unknown person to both the leader and child or the family members that couldn't seem to coordinate a pickup. Egads.

Tara R. said...

As a former GS leader, I lost count how many times I stayed late after a meeting or other event, waiting on parents. I would have never left a scout with a stranger like that. I hope Sparky does tell her mom, and her mom has 'words' with the leader. Not acceptable.

Jomama said...

I totally agree. If the scout leader had known you, that would have been different, but how odd to send a girl off with someone *she* doesn't even know!? How old? Middle School?


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