"Cookie Pushers" Flout Girl Scout Honor Code

Illustration for article titled 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]

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Is this really news? Back in the 90s I remember being strongly discouraged from selling cookies and my folks brought the cookie sheet to their jobs (although neither of them were the "you must buy from my kids" type).

And really, Girl Scouting gives girls so many oppertunities to do things on their own. My cadet group created a whole program of year long activities at a local nursing home for our silver award (the troop leaders were just support). They took me on my first no parent in the room trips to Baltimore and DC. They took me skiing, camping and taught me how to change a flat tire. I single handedly ran a town wide clothing drive that collected more clothing than the Key Club for my Gold Award (the girl Eagle Scout award). They also offer summer enrichment programs like volunteering in India or snow sledding in Alaska.

Girl Scouting for the win!