"Cookie Pushers" Flout Girl Scout Honor Code

The dirty little secret of the Girl Scouts? Of the 200 million boxes of cookies sold annually, many are actually being pushed by aggressive parents!

As children's lives get increasingly complicated and their schedules increasingly packed, many simply don't have the time to peddle Thin Mints door-to-door. As a result, their parents do the dirty work for them, forcing coworkers to buy them at the office — or, even worse, bringing their Girl Scout along to work so the grown-ups are forced into buying (not, mind you, that we'd require much urging). Some offices have apparently instituted a "no solicitations" policy.

One mom makes the point that, for those folks who don't have a local troop, providing a Samoa hookup is really a service. Also, she adds, it's "dangerous" nowadays for her daughter to peddle door-to-door. While no one wants safety compromised,the issue, for the Scouts, is that it's not just about the sales: the whole point of the fundraising is that the girls do it themselves, and "because the interactions boost their confidence and help them learn basic skills like making correct change." Then there are the prizes for big sellers: obviously with a parent involved, the waters are muddied.

Of course, parental meddling is probably as old as parenthood itself, and even in the halcyon days of the trans-fattened Lorna Doone there must surely have been a little pull used to bring in the big prizes. There's a lot right with selling Girl Scout cookies as many places as possible and in as great a quantity as possible on grounds of extreme deliciousness and good works, so from an office standpoint it's hard to see where the problem of having a sign-up sheet in the kitchen lies (although if the "solicitations" ban extends to pleas from triathletes on other floors whom one doesn't know we can kind of see the issue.) The thing is, doesn't it ruin it for the kids? Not just in a "they're not learning" way, but in that way that only a meddling parent can ruin something? Safety aside, there's a lot to be said for letting kids have a project that's just theirs, and unless your mom is a troupe leader, wouldn't it feel a lot more fun and a lot more important to go it alone? No one in the article asks the kids how they feel about it, but I'd be willing to bet a few would like their folks to butt out.

Girl Scout Cookie-Pushing Ethics At The Office [CNN]