Cookie Conundrum

Full disclosure: I was never a Girl Scout. I will admit to a short stint as a Brownie. But I really couldn’t stand how bossy Angelise Haralumbus was, and since her mom was the troop leader, I gave it up pretty quickly. Plus, honestly, I wasn’t into the regalia. Brown just isn’t my color.

But I appreciate the values that this kind of organized uniformity provides for some folks. Plus, the tenets of leadership, helping others and respect can’t be undervalued. And then there are the cookies.

I think we can all agree that the cookies rock. Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos. I’ve never actually met a person who could sit down and eat one or two at a time. The fact is that if you open the box, you are eating an entire sleeve. Let’s just be honest about it.

But here’s the thing; and I know this is going to get me in hot water with all the moms out there. What is the actual point of selling Girl Scout Cookies? According to their website, it is “to give young women the opportunity to learn essential life skills, soar in confidence and quickly discover the leader within.” It also stresses teaching skills like setting and achieving goals, financial literacy and social entrepreneurship.

So here is my question: why is it that every request I get to buy Girl Scout Cookies every year comes from the parent of a Girl Scout? At work, I’ve been asked to buy cookies from my boss, my coworker and the maintenance guy. Last I checked, none of them were Girl Scouts. My workout partner awkwardly cornered me by the TRX machine last month. Multiple parents in my community were hawking the tasty treats. I don’t get it. How does selling your kids’ Girl Scout cookies teach any independence or strength of character?

I feel like a heel. But I’ve decided to stay true to what I believe. I will not, and did not, buy Girl Scout cookies from anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t a Girl Scout. I’ve had it with the peer pressure from parents. Maybe I’m just bitter because I remember selling boxes of oranges and grapefruits for choir and drama back in high school, (that’s what we Midwesterners sold to raise funds back in the day), and my parents did not help one iota. Maybe they bought one box. But that was because they really wanted the oranges. I had to go door to door to unload those darn citrus cartons.

Personally, I am not enormously tempted by Girl Scout cookies. I’m more of a Snohomish Pie Company’s chocolate chip cookie gal. But I would rather not have them in the house to tempt myself or my family. (I happen to be a “sleep-eater,” so having random boxes of cookies in the cupboard usually ends badly for me.) I only buy them because I’m trying to support the young women who sell them. But I have no intention of supporting the parents of the young women who sell them.

So, next year, join my movement! Always support a Girl Scout trying to fundraise and increase her business acumen. But boycott the pressure tactics of parents pushing their kids’ wares. It’s just wrong on so many levels.


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