Be Prepared! / Scouting

A Rant About Girl Scout Cookies

Boxes of the two most popular Girl Scout cooki...

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Have you seen ’em? Smart young girls in front of supermarkets and drug stores and Wal-Marts, surrounded by boxes of Thin Mints and Caramel deLites?

I haven’t!

I haven’t seen a single box of these bad boys this year, and I’m conflicted about this. In January, I’d have scarfed ’em up by the box, but I recently started one of those diet thing-y’s, and those sugary carbs just aren’t the menu.

Which is why I was so happy to hear from a BSP fan last night about whether I’d be willing to buy a few boxes from her daughter to support the military. You buy ’em, they deliver ’em — either to active duty military or to veterans back at home.

I bought 10 boxes on the spot. It completely satisfied my desire to support scouts AND stick to my diet, and it has the added benefit of thanking our men and women who’ve served our country, if only in a small, tasty way.

Thing is, I would LOVE to tell YOU how to support this program. I would like nothing better than to direct you right to a website where you could buy a few boxes that would go right to the troops.

But I can’t. I couldn’t find an actual link to this program on the national or district websites.

And that’s because the Girls Scouts have the wackiest business model for these cookies in the whole wide world. You can’t buy them online, and you can’t buy them in stores. You can only buy them from girls in front of stores (if you happen to be in the vicinity), and only for a few months of the year.*

And, far as I can tell, you only find out about cookies for troops if you happen to know a mom who knows about the program. Geez.

Now, I get it, I really do. This business model means that cookie sales are the true domain of scouts. The program presumably teaches girls money management, a bit about running a business, and some people skills. And if cookies were available any time, through any outlet, girls wouldn’t have the same experience. I get it.

But not every girl is cut out for sales–and that’s what this is. This is THE big money maker for GSofA.

When I was a scout, I dreaded cookie time each year. There was no way to get out of it. The pressure to sell was palpable. I hated knocking on neighbors’ doors. I hated asking for money. Frankly, I just wanted to give them away, or eat them all myself. It kind of made me sick to my stomach.

Sales. Blech.

When Juliette Gordon Low founded the GSofA, one of her prime directives was to allow girls to guide the troop’s activities. As scouting evolved, girls were encouraged to pursue activities of interest to them. That’s what all that badge work is about. But cookie season seems like the opposite of that; if you’re a scout, you’re expected to do it, and do it well.

So I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a happy medium. Some middle ground which would allow cookie fans to perhaps buy them online throughout the year? Hell, make it even more exclusive by selling only one type of cookie each month! They’d make good money and there wouldn’t be so much pressure on every girl to sell, sell, sell. Some people have a knack for sales in their DNA, and it’s just anathema to others. I think that should be okay.

And if nothing else, give me a link online that let’s me buy a cookie for a soldier. Know what I mean?

Thus endeth the rare rant, and now I shall return to being a good, big scout.


* Of course, there is another way most people I know actually get their cookies. They get ’em from the devoted (or tired?) mom/dad who oh-so-gently strong-arms co-workers into buying their daughters’ inventory. Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about. 🙂  


6 thoughts on “A Rant About Girl Scout Cookies

    • Suzanne, you are SO KIND to offer up some cookies! To my complete surprise, two sweet girls knocked on our door with cookies in hand — a first in the 10+ years I’ve lived in this house. I wasn’t home, but my husband bought a ton of cookies from them. And then he ate them… which is good, ’cause I’ve just started a serious diet! Thanks again — your offer ROCKED!

  1. Awesome post! Wish I could eat a few Tagalongs myself, but drat, don’t know any Girl Scouts anymore! And the idea about sending them to soldiers is a great one. I am super into organic food & healthy eating, but would loooooove a Tagalong right now! It’s a Lipitor enabler non plus ultra!

    • Thanks for sharing that link, Amy! It’s true — you can find cookie sales near you (based on zip code), if you need your fix of Thin Mints. Don’t know about you, but I found the experience a little frustrating. Kind of a dark rabbit hole, actually, and it sort of summed up why I think there’s a happy medium that GSofA has not yet struck. 🙂

      It took me me five minutes, two websites (national & district), and two-sub-pages to get to a very challenging little spreadsheet! Now, it really does list all the info you need to find a scout and her table of sweets, but it also requires that you be available to get there during those hours. Another challenge to this model is that we can’t always be sure our scout will have the type of cookie we’re craving when we get there (I’ve had this happen more than once).

      But back to the websites for a sec… sigh…, there were no links ANYWHERE to the cookies for troops program (which is what I was searching for in the first place). My point, of course, is that there’s got to be a way to bring cookie to consumer more effectively a) so scouts can raise more money, and b) so girls can still have a powerful introduction to business.

      But again folks, Amy’s right — You can, indeed use this tool, and with a little elbow grease and good timing, you’ll be able to enjoy those Samoas real soon!

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