Skip to comments.Girl Scout Cookies Controversy – To Sell or Not To Sell? You Decide!
Posted on 03/15/2014 5:19:52 AM PDT by harpu
It was Juliette Gordon Lows vision to empower young girls to grow courageous and strong and to develop their full potential. For that reason, she founded Girl Scouts in 1912. Today, membership has grown to 3.2 million, 2.3 million girl members and 890,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers. Some of the many benefits of scouting include learning skills, discovering fun, increasing understanding and respect, contributing to society and developing values to guide actions. If value driven actions matter, I cant help but wonder if Juliette would have envisioned a sweet little 8-year-old girl selling cookies on the doorstep of a pot distributor.
Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Samoas are some of the beloved cookies which were once sold door-to-door. Due to safety concerns, girls are now encouraged to set up tables in public areas in the form of cookie booths to operate under the supervision of adult troop leaders. Last year, declining cookie sales made headlines, leaving many to quip about watching the cookie crumble in the face of financial woes. Falling membership rates, pension plans with a nearly $350 million deficit and tensions at headquarters created a firestorm leading to forced retirements, layoffs and a vacating of positions. Despite the organizations economic hardships of 2013, young girls worked harder than ever to sell cookies. Some girls even paraded in empty cookie boxes to attract customers to buy cookies. Are girl scouts being pushed to extremes by leaders and parents to make sales?
Shortly after a teenager sold dozens of boxes of cookies at a marijuana dispensary in San Francisco, an 8-year-old girl made headlines by setting up a cookie booth at a dispensary in Phoenix. This decision was encouraged by parental approval. The Phoenix dispensary, happy to have free press, agreed to solicit customers and offered patients who buy at least a half ounce of pot a free box of Girl Scout cookies. I must say, I find Scouts and Marijuana an odd partnership. Some folks claim its simply a clever selling strategy which may help break down the barriers of marijuana use for various purposes. Others disagree, stating a marijuana (cannabis) dispensary is not an appropriate place for a young and impressionable child to sell cookies nor is it setting a good example. Girl Scouts is now thrust into the debate, putting councils at odds with one another over the controversy, with the deciding factors often left up to the parents. The 8-year-old childs father spoke to the media on his daughters sales success, Its better than she wouldve gotten outside a grocery store. So, whats the next profitable spot? Will he have her sell cookies in front of a strip joint, casino, or liquor store? Heck, why not set up a cookie booth in a prison courtyard on pay-day?
Girl Scouts of Colorado is currently barring girls from selling cookies outside of adult oriented businesses. In a statement issued, they say We recognize these are legitimate businesses, but we dont feel they are an appropriate place for girls to be selling cookies in Colorado. They are receiving mixed reactions and are being accused of hypocrisy and creating missed opportunities. Think its odd that the organization isnt taking a universal stance other than providing general safety guidelines? Perhaps they are taking lessons from our President. When interviewed by David Remnick for The New Yorker, Obama acts wishy-washy. On one hand, the President speaks about legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington and says that Its important for it to go forward because its important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished. According to Obama, the select few are African American kids and Latino kids. Obama says Middle-class kids dont get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. On the other hand, in the same interview, he says Its not something I encourage, and Ive told my daughters I think its a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.
As it stands, the Federal government allows states to pass their own laws to decriminalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes with a regulation system in place. Marijuana is now legal in two states, Colorado and Washington, and is currently approved for medicinal purposes in nearly two-dozen states. Legalization of this drug, which more than one-third of Americans have tried, is continually debated. Gallup polls show that past and present use of the drug is similar among Democrats and Independents. Its use is more prevalent among both these groups than it is among Republicans.
Increasingly, and strangely, some Republicans are abandoning their conservative sensibilities to join the pro-marijuana movement. Why? They see a marijuana tax as a government means to earn money. Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana had voters approve a pot sales tax. Monies earned will be used for public school construction projects and enforcement of regulations on the drugs retail industry. Recreational sales will have a 25% tax. Some marijuana advocates argue that a large tax may lead to the creation of a black market. Washington, the second state to legalize its use, passed a tax with each party in the buying and selling process paying a 25% excise tax. This affects producer to processor, processor to retailer and retailer to consumer. The state estimates it may produce several billions in tax revenue during the first five years.
Remember the late C. Everett Koop? In his role as Surgeon General of the United States, under President Ronald Reagan, Koop did not shy away from controversy. Many liberal politicians and womens group opposed his nomination, as Koop maintained conservative beliefs. He supported the rights of disabled children, took a strong anti-abortion stance and worked diligently towards AIDS education and prevention. Koop strongly opposed tobacco use and warned of its connection to smoking-caused illnesses and death and of its addictiveness. It was during his tenure, that in 1984, Congress passed legislation to place warning labels on cigarette packs. Koop issued Americans a challenge that same year to create a smoke-free society in the United States by the year 2000. He did not waiver in his opinion of marijuana, and diligently urged doctors and other health professionals to discourage patients, especially youth, from using marijuana due to its negative psychological and biological effects. Dr. Koop bluntly called marijuana a major public health problem. Perhaps the Girl Scouts should take note of Dr. Koops findings and steer away from associating with its distribution.
Those who oppose marijuana legalization strongly believe that the states role in distributing addictive substances is immoral. They argue that the governments job is to protect the health and welfare of its people, not expose them to risk of high abuse and addiction. Do the Girl Scouts have a moral obligation to protect these children? Those on the pro-side feel that the government has a responsibility to respect individual free will. Like Obama, they suggest its use is no different than that of alcohol. Do the Girl Scouts have a duty to uphold free will? While the organization sorts out the matter, or ignores it, let me remind them that smack dab in the middle of the controversy are innocent young females hoping to sell cookies.
another good person’s good deed hijacked by the progressives.
On a mundane level, the Girl Scouts aren’t immune to the problems facing McDonald’s, Kroger or any other seller of foodstuffs. They are slashing portions (another box of air) and charging more and their customers have noticed.
And then there are the politics. The Scouts are the Junior PC Army now. They have appointed a lesbian as ‘Chief Girl Experience Officer,’ which sounds like the premise for a porn film. Their method of dealing with press inquiries is an especially smug variety of boilerplate in which they quote meaningless statistics and big themselves up some more.
As with schools, sports and other youth-oriented endeavors, the leftists simply cannot resist the devil’s candy of young impressionable minds to poison. They’ve gone from in loco parentis to parents having to monitor closely what nonsense the Scouts have foisted on their daughters.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have turned into one big money making machine. I would not let my kids join either as they are presently organized. Parents should just get with friends and take their kids on excursions and camping trips!!!
This will probably set me at odds with many people but here goes.
I personally NOW believe, (I didn’t use to), that Marijuana as well as other currently illegal drugs should be made legal as well as taxed. Why?
Because the War on Drugs as well as the War on Terror have destroyed the foundations of this country and have brought us to the very edge of a total Surveillance and Police State. The Federal Government is nearly supreme in everything and can tell us, (The Citizens), what we can and can’t do from how much water our toilets can use to whether or not we can grow ‘organic’ vegetables to feed ourselves. Our movements are monitored, our computer usage can be monitored at whim.
I can go on and on, why bother if you’ve been here long enough you know all of that stuff. The solution IMHO is to legalize the damn drugs first and tax the h*ll out of them. It’s totally amazing at how hard the government will fight for it’s tax revenue isn’t it? That in itself will put a huge damper on illegal drugs entering the country. They’ll do it legally now and eventually make even bigger profits by getting rid of the more expensive portions of their current networks and security forces.
This scene plays out all across the country: You come out of a supermarket after having paid $238.05 in groceries and suddenly you are confronted with little girls with those pleading eyes squealing for you to purchase some of their overpriced factory-made cookies. They are invariably ringed by scowling, hovering, "Girl Scout" moms, standing out there in the cold, clutching their Starbucks coffee cups, as they stare you down - as if daring you to not to shell over $20 for your four boxes.
It's as bad as the Salvation Army people at Christmastime ("Put a nickel in the drum, save another drunken bum")
I just walk past the lot of them, not even making eye contact.
My parents did the same. School was out and we hopped in the car and were off to the wilds of Canada. The last 50 miles were dirt road. Probably similar to riding in a stage coach.
No more odd than their partnership with Planned Parenthood. I wonder if they offer a free box of cookies with every abortion.
I have no problem with the members capitalizing upon the side-effect of the legal state-approved product.
I have a problem with the policies of Girl Scout national organization.
I hate Do-Gooders, the author should go annoy her local PTO in Jersey.
Agree! My daughter joined, much to my chagrin, because even 15-20 years ago, they were too PC for me. I called GS headquarters to find the salary of the people in charge over there. They refused to tell me even though they break child labor laws by enticing my daughter and every Daisy, Brownie, and Girl Scout with proceeds from cookie sales. The cut individual troops receive for spending hours selling cookies is shockingly low, most of the money goes to pay the corporate salaries. I harangued them for a while but they refused to tell me. Shouldn’t that be public information?
It is public information. There is a form they have to file that discloses the top salaries. I want to say it’s the form 900. Never request the salaries, request the form.
Having been closely involved with the Girl Scouts for over a decade I can say with authority that in the 15 years since my wife stopped being a troop leader that they have become an organization with which we would now have no association.
I won’t even try listing the things that have changed for the worse. Makes me ill to see what has been done.
We have lost the culture war, IMO. I don’t see us coming back.
I can walk right past the GS cookie booths outside the store. Maybe it’s because I’m overweight and they somehow understand./s
It’s getting hit up for donations to charities right there at the supermarket checkout that irks me no end. Especially when the counter is plastered with tokens signed by those who have already donated because they care.
I mutter, “I give through my church” & push on.
“Think its odd that the organization isnt taking a universal stance other than providing general safety guidelines?”
No, I think it is good that the organization structure leaves certain policy decisions up to the Councils and even up to troop leaders. Sometimes there could be better decisions in hiring staff at these levels that make these local decisions and set these guidelines for the troops - staff that would laugh pot-loving parent complainers off the public stage
If you don’t agree with the Council, you can find a troop in another Council. If we let National set all our policies, it would cause big trouble.
Just because something is “legal”, like pot, liquor, strip clubs, abortion clinics and Nevada houses of prostitution, doesn’t make it appropriate for 6-14 yr old girls to promote or endorse by their presence selling GS cookies
GS does not have a partnership with any other nonprofit, including PP, though sometimes our leadership is at conferences such as those sponsored by the United Nations, where other nonprofits such as PP are also in attendance.
Like it or not, PP is tied into most conferences and confabs dealing with women and girl issues
the allusion to a “partnership” was an unfortunate misnomer 10 years ago by a long-gone national CEO, Cloninger, and the PP claim stories do an endless loop back to her comment
Not true. They (at least some councils) have a partnership with United Way - maybe others.
You are correct in what you say. It IS inappropriate to sell cookies at those locations.
About $1 per box goes to the baker, the rest of the profit goes to local councils and troops. Any money that goes to GSUSA National comes from the cookie baker share, which pays for royalties and trademark images and program publicity and oversight
My troop keeps $.70 of every $4 box sold, a figure that slides based on productivity. Baseline is $.50 per box. Lower than Boy Scout popcorn but then, our product is $4, not $15 and up
FACT: GS troops are self funding. Leaders are volunteers and get NO money to start a troop or buy supplies, pay for meeting space etc.
FACT: No girl has to sell cookies.
However if she does not, the parents have to pay to run the troop and pay for activities. Some cannot.
Girls are not permitted to fundraise if they do not first sell cookies. Troops that sell cookies are limited to 2 extra fundraisers per year, so they cannot be turned into money raising machines.
FACT: The Council uses its portion of cookie profits to maintain Council offices and staff that trains and oversees ALL our adult volunteers (troop leaders), run girl programs especially those for underprivileged troops, and maintains our CAMPS. Anyone who can think of a better model that includes girls as young as 6 in sustaining their own troops-can start a new organization.
FACT: MOST of the little girls love selling cookies (having been a leader for 7 years). It gives them people skills and a chance to say they earned their own money and set their own goals for spending it. It is a lot of fun watching 8 year olds debate whether to spend their typical $40 shared profits per girl on camping or Build a Bear, and whether to donate some to a charity. It is their decision
FACT: We set up booths at grocery stores because going door-to-door is no longer safe in many neighborhoods, nor do all the girls have parents willing to spend this time with them.
FACT: MANY people love GS cookies and their reaction to the product and enthusiasm makes it even more worthwhile for a 2 hour booth sale. I’m going to miss those moments when someone buys 6 boxes of cookies and the girls are thrilled.
Lots of organizations are under United Way’s umbrella, and compete for grants and funds from United Way. Especially those that serve diverse and low income members and can use grant money to provide assistance. A VERY significant number of our GS have their $22 dues paid by Council grant money.
United Way fundraises heavily from the US military during share campaign. I guess that makes the US military PP partners, too
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