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To be fuming with DD's Guide leader?

(297 Posts)
Classroomblues Fri 07-Aug-15 19:59:01

I am absolutely fuming right now. Dd2 has just got back from a camping holiday with her Guide group. She didn't look particularly great when I picked her up and it turns out she's been unwell with food poisoning and they didn't call me. What's upset me even more is it was caused by incredibly poor hygiene measures.
The cooked chicken yesterday. Dd2 apparently told the leader she isn't allowed to touch raw chicken at home and the leader said "well you're not at home now". hmm

The hand washing was a BOWL of soapy water. Not even any actual soap or running water. Surely anyone knows this is not good hygiene?
Dd said their camp was so far from the toilet block that she had to crouch outside her tent in the middle of the night with an upset stomach etc. sad
She asked the leaders if they would call me this morning and they refused as we were collecting them this evening anyway. AIBU to be upset/ angry? I don't know if I'm more upset or angry right now. angry

VerityWaves Fri 07-Aug-15 19:59:41


sequinfalls Fri 07-Aug-15 20:03:10

Yanbu, I would be very annoyed at this and would definately be speaking to the leader.

Wolfiefan Fri 07-Aug-15 20:04:07

Were all the other children ill?
I can understand them not wanting her to just refuse to cook. Scouts and guides tend to promote independence and life skills.
I think not calling you as soon as they were aware she was unwell was totally wrong. Poor kid.

itsmeitscathy Fri 07-Aug-15 20:05:13

poor wee soul, sounds horrible! I'd def speak to the leader as so much of that is wrong.

Headofthehive55 Fri 07-Aug-15 20:05:24

I don't think you can know where the infection came from. It may be viral. However I think you should have been contacted at the first instance of her becoming unwell.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Fri 07-Aug-15 20:13:14

You're not unreasonable to have expected a call because she was ill, although I can sort of understand why they didn't, for the sake of a couple of hours.

However, you're bonkers to expect them to excuse her from cooking duty because you're precious about chicken. Guider was right, she wasn't at home and did need to muck in and get on with the job at hand.

I agree with others too, she may have a viral bug or any other sort of lurgy. You're projecting about the chicken.

gointothewoods Fri 07-Aug-15 20:14:26

I don't understand - did every child touch the raw chicken and then wash their hands in the same bowl? If so, YANBU.
Otherwise, I think they should have called you if she was ill.
However I don't think it was necessarily food poisoning, not sure how you could know that for certain.

GinandJag Fri 07-Aug-15 20:16:29

Why is she not allowed to touch raw chicken?

DonkeyOaty Fri 07-Aug-15 20:22:26

Yanbu about not calling you

Yabu about handling raw chicken. Teach her efficient handwashing, how to handle food safely, about cross contamination hazards.

Guides are age 10 -14 iirc, plenty old enough

yogababymum Fri 07-Aug-15 20:26:44

YANBU I am shocked that "leaders/adults" would think this is ok.

Get in contact ASAP & kick up a huge stink about it.

Becles Fri 07-Aug-15 20:31:33

As a Brownie and Guide leader, I can say that"

starShe will have been able to walk with a torch to the loos or call for a leader for help.
hmmIf we called parents at the first sign or inkling of illness, most parents would be doing g a pick up. Unless there's very clear seriius issues the First step is normally tlc, rest, first aid and 'wait and see' before you call a parent.

I suggest that you wait until the middle of the week so that these volunteers can rest from the effects of 24/7 care of your daughter as they will be physically exhausted and most likely going to have work on Monday.

You can then raise a concern that your daughter seemed to have food poisoning taking the time and courtesy to listen to their view of what happened and also ask that they check if other children were also ill.

Once they have spoken to you then you can have enough information to know if being 'fuming' is actually the right state of mind.

meerschweinchen Fri 07-Aug-15 20:32:54

"Kick up a huge stink" really? These leaders are volunteers - people who give up their own time to take our children away. Sounds pretty unreasonable to me to behave like that.

OP, I can kind of understand your concerns about hygiene, but obviously they thought your dd wasn't too bad, and could wait just a few more hours until they were due home anyway.

Katie2001 Fri 07-Aug-15 20:37:36

I agree with Becles (I am a Cub Scout leader though).

annandale Fri 07-Aug-15 20:38:31

What Becles said.

Most camps will have tents a way away from the toilets, and it's very unpleasant to be ill in those circs, so your poor DD, that's horrible. Did she have D, V or both?

When I have organised food at a camp thing, we have made it a vegetarian camp in order to swerve the whole issue, but learning to handle meat is not bad idea. Depends what the bowl of soapy water was used for, but it does sound as if their H&S procedures could do with a revamp.

I'd suggest helping out with the food at the next event, and suggesting a vegetarian/vegan menu as it saves a lot of hassle.

Salmotrutta Fri 07-Aug-15 20:38:50

And the people who "fume" and "kick up a stink" would be one of the reasons why DH and I stopped helping out at Cubs years ago...

You have no idea if it was anything to do with the chicken so YABU.

Perhaps you'd like to volunteer to be a Guide Leader OP - so you can run it all much more effectively?

MammaTJ Fri 07-Aug-15 20:44:07

Sorry, but why is your DD not allowed to touch raw chicken? Surely if you had taught her effective hand hygiene at home, she would have been fine to do so at camp.

LabMonkey Fri 07-Aug-15 20:44:51

What Becles said.

Yes at camp everyone pitches in with cooking\tidying, I have had to teach Guides how to wash dishes in the past because they don't do it at home.

If nobody else was affected chances are it isn't food poisoning and nothing to do with the hygiene.

Feel free to voice your concerns and contact the DC if you wish to take it further. While complaining please remember that these leaders are volunteers who will have given up time, money, time with their own families and often annual leave to support our young women in becoming strong and independent.

If you don't think your DD is correctly cared for then you can either remove her from Guiding or volunteer yourself

Salmotrutta Fri 07-Aug-15 20:47:07

So are you going to volunteer to help at the next camp then OP?

To show them where they are going wrong?

ProcrastinatorGeneral Fri 07-Aug-15 20:51:29

annandale why should a whole camp have to eat veggie? if you were organising any camp for any of the guiding or scouting units I've been involved with you'd have been laughed out of the room. Vegetarians are catered for, certainly, but there's no way a whole unit would go without bacon or sausages for the sake of avoiding safe practice. Camp is a learning exercise as well as fun. Food prep, cooking and hygiene throughout are valuable lessons, and should be used as such. Omitting meat from the menu just to dodge that is lazy.

ChoudeBruxelles Fri 07-Aug-15 20:51:49

Your post makes me so glad I no longer lead at beavers. Bonkers parents moaning about all sorts of things.

Touching chicken is not like playing Russian roulette. Ds (9) helps prepare chicken and knows to wash his hands properly.

m0therofdragons Fri 07-Aug-15 20:53:00

I'm confused. Guides cook their own food so that would include touching raw meat. Did you think the leaders would do all the cooking? Water with soap in it would be fairly standard and the leaders would expect a child of that age to be able to wash her hands.
The only thing you can be upset about is that they didn't call you but if they were packing up it's likely they didn't have time. Reality is that packing up after a camp is bloody hard and all hands are on deck. To be fuming is ott - be fuming about the situation in Syria not this. (In reality she's your little girl and you feel she didn't get the care she would at home and that's true but it's a lesson in independence and I would be praising dd for coping so well in that situation and giving her lots of love now she's home).

annandale Fri 07-Aug-15 20:59:25

grin OK then. It's also cheaper, and there's a high proportion of veggies in the camp we run. The kids learn a lot, including food prep, but yes, in that 2.5 day camp they miss out on learning to handle raw meat. Mea culpa.

fastdaytears Fri 07-Aug-15 21:04:15

Another guide leader here. They have to cook- that's part of the point of going. Why can't a 10+ year old touch raw chicken? hmm
The toilets thing is odd. The camping rules about how hard it is to get to a toilet at night are pretty strict. Was it a long way from her tent? I also didn't think we were allowed to camp anywhere without running water any more but I'm not the best at roughing it so I may have made that up for my on benefit.
Your daughter would not have done this I'm sure but I do get a fair few requests to ring parents at the start of the last day as they've done the fun bits and don't want to clean and pack. Leader may have had similar and been a bit cynical?
Running camp is really hard work and most of us have to use up a fair chunk of our annual leave on it. Yes your daughter has to be properly looked after but a bit more investigation might be needed before kicking off. If no other ill children then I don't understand how chicken can be to blame?

Lurkedforever1 Fri 07-Aug-15 21:04:56

Agree with procrastinator. Also with all those that say you can go along next time.

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