I’ve written a lot around here about Girl Scouts. I take a lot of heat around cookie season. Mainly when my daughter and her troop are selling cookies in front of a grocery store. You wouldn’t believe some of the snarky comments people say… to young girls. My favorite comment so far was, “How do you like exploiting your child?” My response? Well, if you don’t want your child to grow up smart, strong, independent and brave, here are ten reasons why you should not sell Girl Scout cookies (unless you want to raise smart cookies)…
My child is learning how to set goals, work towards them, and either obtain them or not. If they reach a goal, fantastic. If not, how can they adjust their goals to reach them next time?
Our girls are entrepreneurs. Once they set a goal, they figure out a sales plan. How are they going to market and sell cookies and where? They get creative, manage money, and take pride in achieving what they set out to do.
They are getting to know their community. When you see girls “exploited” in front of their local grocery store, chances are they are meeting people in their community and making new connections. Our troop is always looking at new ways to donate our time, you never know who you’ll connect with. Our troop has personally donated over $1500 to various organizations. That’s not counting the many hours of service the girls have provided.
Our girls are using their voices. When they are in their uniforms, selling cookies, these girls are loud. That shyness goes away, and they are proud to be selling cookies. They know how much they get per box, and they know that money will be spent wisely.
WHAT? They only get $0.75 per box they sell? WHAT? You don’t take home your entire paycheck either? Wait a minute… before you go out and tell us we are exploiting our children… let’s break this down a bit.
Here’s how the cookie crumbles… on a $5 box of cookies…
- $2.65 goes to council for activities, volunteer training, and camps.
- $1.16 goes to the cost of cookies, program materials, and events.
- $0.19 goes towards the cost of the Girl rewards.
- $1.00–$0.75 goes to the troop.
I’m certain you have SSI/Medical/Taxes taken from your paycheck. This is no different. And the girls have learned this. So when they get their first paycheck, they’ll know how to break it down and understand why they don’t get ALL THE MONEY.
They learn and understand safety standard from the start. You’ll never see our girls out there without a lot of supervision. In all seriousness, safety comes first. We do everything we can to make sure our girls are in a safe and secure environment.
Girls get to learn how to use the internet in a responsible way. They upload a video talking about what their goals are, how they are going to obtain their goals, and how they are doing with their revenue. I never had this opportunity as a kid, and I still have a hard time in front of the camera. These are life learning activities that prepare them for the future.
Older girls get to help and train the younger girls. When the older girls get to take on this role and become mentors to their little counterparts, you see how much they have learned and are eager to share.
Besides managing money, setting goals, working hard on a business plan, spending six weeks of their lives working hard to reach their goals… they also get to eat cookies, do something fun with their cookie money, donate and feel good about giving back, and make this crazy world we live in a bit better… that’s what being a Girl Scout is all about.
And if you really want to help us with our smart cookies, we created a t-shirt for cookie season. (Update: Sorry, this shirt is no longer available.)
As a mom and troop leader, even I have learned something from these girls. I know they have thicker skin than I do. I know they take “no” a lot better than I do. I know they keep going, even when things are not always bright. They are strong, brave, smart… entrepreneurs.
I am so proud of them. And if you want to know five things you shouldn’t say to Girl Scouts selling cookies, read on over here.
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