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Grown Up Girl Scouts Are Selling Cookies

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A controversy is buzzing online about the ethical dilemma of parents pushing co-workers to buy Girl Scout cookies from their daughters. While some parents trot their princesses around the office hawking their confections from cubicle to cubicle, others act as grown-up Girl Scouts, passing around the sign-in sheet in the conference room, hoping a sprinkle of guilt will get their colleagues to commit to a few boxes.

woman selling cookies to co-worker

There's no question about the pressures facing the parents pushing their daughters product for them, but is it ethical for them to deprive their kids of the very lessons cookie selling is supposed to teach them? Here's the thing: what your daughters aren't learning is rejection. One day, your little girls are going to get turned down by potential colleges, possible employers, even boys they'd like too date. A few doors slammed in their face selling cookies can prepare them to handle it.

Hard work pays off -- with an economy crumbling like their cookies, the next generation is going to have to work hard just to survive. The time, sweat and perseverance needed to sell enough boxes to win a prize develops the skills not only survive but succeed in the future.

The cookie selling program was developed to teach your daughter lessons like teamwork, money management and goal setting. If she's not doing the work, she's not learning the lessons.

Does the cookie dilemma extend beyond office politics? Tell us what you think!


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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Katrina February 5, 2009, 5:39 AM

I’ve got 3 words for you, “No, Thank You”. That’s all you have to say to whomever is pushing something you’re not interested in. It’s not hard, trust me.

I’m sick of people whining about parents having sign-up sheets at work for things their kids are selling. I’m a teacher and get hit up daily by co-workers selling things for their kids and former students pushing something. Even IF I wanted to buy from everyone, I CAN’T! I don’t get mad, I just say those 3 simple words, “No, Thank You”. Works every time!

As far as kids needing to learn rejection. Seriously? It’s called “life” and kids learn it soon enough. They’re cookies. If you want some, buy some. If not, don’t. It’s really that simple!

Keri February 5, 2009, 9:13 AM

I’m a parent of a girl scout. We try to go door to door to sell. Guess what? Nobody answers the door anymore unless they know us. Parents don’t have much choice but to take the forms to work. It is our only chance to sell the cookies!

Teresa February 5, 2009, 10:27 AM

I am a troop leader for Girl Scouts. For some children that is their only means to get orders. Not many people open their doors for someone they do not know. We are newer to our nighborhood and have had people knocking at our door here and there through out the week. Most of them looking for work. They do leave business cards. I am home alone with a small child during the day. My troop girls range in age 5 to 7 years old.I do not answer a door to a stranger! So I can undertand not opening a door to someone you may not know. Also it is not safe to send children selling door to door to peoples houses they do not know.
Our troop has set up cookie booths at a grocery store, Walmart and Lowes. With parent and troop leaders supervising the girls do get a chance to actually sell their cookies. So, I’m sure it may satisfy you to know that I am sure that these little girls will learn and get some rejection. What I hope to teach our girls that “no” does not always mean no. It means maybe not right now. Also, just because someone tells them no doesn’t mean that the next person will. So, for the sake of keeping it simple for the little girls we will tell them that some will buy and some will not. That is ok if they do not. Try the next person because they might say yes. I am sure they will get a lot more yes’s than “no’s”

As for the rejections in life, I hope the girls learn that if a boy rejects them they were truely not worth her time to begin with! Anyway, these young girls will have plenty of time to learn life lessons on rejection!

I do not see why this article was necessary. Can’t you just say no thank you and move on??? People do understand those words!

Lindy February 5, 2009, 10:56 AM

I agree with Teresa. When my daughter was in GS I volunteered to help at a cookie booth at a KMart store. The troop leader and I were there just to supervise or maybe answer any questions the girls couldn’t. They did the actual selling themselves and had lots of fun doing it. They knew not everyone would buy they but said thank you to all the people whether they bought or not.

My daughter only sold to friends relatives, and a few neighbors we knew. I could not take the sheet to work because my job would not allow it and you could get written up for it. IMO they girls who received the 100 patches mostly likely had parents that took the sheets to work and they probably didn’t do much selling on their own.

R February 5, 2009, 10:58 AM

A family owned business in our small town has “Buy Girl Scout Cookies Here” posted on their sign. In one way I think it’s a good idea and in another way I think it’s sort of tacky. I almost feel like I’d need to buy them if I went in!

City Island mom February 5, 2009, 12:27 PM

I remember a discouraging incident when I was a GS leader. A child in our neighborhood had been molested and so I refused to let my troop participate in the cookie sale that year. Someone from the GS Council actually called me to ask why we weren’t selling cookies that year. When I told her the reason, she calmly informed me that if we didn’t sell cookies, we wouldn’t be allowed to go camping that year at the GS campground. I resigned shortly thereafter because I realized it wasn’t about the girls at all. It was all about the MONEY!

adrienne February 8, 2009, 9:15 PM

We bought cookies from a neighbor GS who went through the neighborhood with her sister, mom, and their golden retriever.

I’ve also bought cookies from coworkers and kids at tables in front of local stores. I really don’t care who in the family is selling the cookies (but I LOVE cookies).

My son’s preschool allows parents to choose between participating in fundraisers or paying higher tuition. It’s a very honest approach, I think, and I don’t mind paying to avoid the hassles of fundraisers.

angie February 16, 2009, 9:56 PM

My daughter sold gs cookies all her scouting years. She is now 19. NOW, I GO TO GIRL SCOUTS ON MY OWN to buy from them! Heck, All the years my daughter’s been selling, we had to promise people that we would bring the order form next time we saw them. Are you kidding about this? These cookies sell and with no preservatives…no wonder they taste so good. Men were are BEST customers. Talk about another fundraiser not what girl scouts do. At least its a group with great things to mold our girls into. I have pure proof of that with my daughter. My son has a fundr. for an 8th grade trip to San Francisco. Give me a break, use that fundr. money for something the kids will have for a lifetime.


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