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No Do-Si-Dos for my daughters: thoughts on the ubiquitous Girl Scout cookie boxes

March 17th, 2005 · 2 Comments

Girl Scout cookies appear everywhere this time of year, as ubiquitous as the narcissus now blooming. Sometimes it seems that every girl in my community is eager to sell me Tagalongs or Do-Si-Dos. Whenever I enter the grocery store I am greeted by girls wearing sashes of badges asking me to buy a box.

I did buy two boxes from girls I know in our neighborhood. I like to feel I am participating in the community and involved in others lives. I like to help my neighbors. It’s a good cause. Having to keep a box of Thin Mints company for a week or two in March is a small price to pay.

However I have doubts about allowing my own daughters to become Girl Scouts due to the required Do-Si-Dos dances and Tagalong gymnastics. I don’t disapprove of children trying to earn money or running a business in some form, but it is the apparent pressure as well as the product that concern me. I thought about listing all my reasons but Eve Winer already did.

Bonus link: Official Girl Scout Cookie FAQ where I learned that Girl Scout cookies are kosher and that the price of a box is dependent on location (we pay $4 here). Apparently the Girls Scouts have also written a research review on the obesity epidemic ( I didn’t download the pdf), perhaps in an attempt to answer the criticism of cookies?

Tags: culture

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Julie // Mar 18, 2005 at 1:58 am

    Chris O’Donnell (http://www.odonnellweb.com/) sent this comment during the time that comments weren’t working:

    Both of our kids are Scouts (one boy, one girl) and although overall
    Girl Scouts has been a very positive experience, the cookie program
    has always struck me as too “corporate.” The Troops are required to
    participate, and the local Troop only makes about a quarter a box. It
    seems like a lot of work for minimal benefit.

    To contrast, my son’s Boy Scout Troop just delivered 3100 bags of
    mulch on Saturday – making a profit of about $3000. 100% of that money
    stays with them. In fact, the two days dedicated to mulch (one day
    delivering fliers, one day delivering mulch) pretty much funds the
    Troop for the year. Boy Scouts has an official fund raiser (overpriced
    popcorn) but it is not required.

    I think Scouting is a great program for kids, but like any other youth
    program, the success is really dependent on the quality of the local
    adult leaders.

    I suspect you’d make a fine Girl Scout leader Julie 😉

  • 2 Rhonda // Mar 18, 2005 at 8:09 pm

    Here in our community, western WA, Girl Scouts is covered by Totem Council and no girl is required to sell cookies. Most girls do participate in the cookie program though because it can be alot of fun for them. My daughter really enjoys selling the cookies and found that it really gave her alot of confidence (her words not mine). Also you don’t have to buy the cookies to support Girl Scouts, volunteering is a great way to give to the community too. You can always just send that $4 to council too, if you’d rather not have the cookies.

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