The Girl Scouts came calling the other day. Just when I begin to make a dent in that holiday weight gain, it's Girl Scout cookie time.
Somewhere between now and March 10th I'll see their smiling faces, dressed in green or brown politely asking "do you want to buy some cookies?" Of course I do... Girl Scout cookies are an America icon of good stuff. Never mind the carbs, fat grams and calories. I love Do-Si-Dos, Thin Mints and Samoas.
I'll gladly hand over my cash to these friendly although sometimes very shy salesmen in front of Harris Teeter or some other local establishment. Always under the watchful eyes of concerned parents who keep their distance except to help close the sale. I take 2 boxes of well everything but the lemon coolers.
Admittedly, I don't need a lot of selling to convince me that I need/want to buy Girl Scout cookies.
"What do you do with all the money" And her reply will enviably be "I dunno" At the office or on my doorstep it seems the girls do not know what happens to the proceeds. The "official" Girl Scout web site provides part of the answer to where the profits go.
According to the Girl Scouts:
"All of the proceeds remain in the area where the cookies are sold. This revenue is used to benefit girls, some of it directly by remaining in the Girl Scout troop/group treasury and some of it indirectly by subsidizing the cost of providing the Girl Scout program in the local area."
In other words after paying the bakery, the balance supports the local council infrastructure, and what remains is given back to each troop who sold the cookies.
I friend of mine tells me how she got into trouble with the girl scouts and the parents of her local troop.
My friend, we'll call her Lynn, volunteered to chair the year's cookie sale. Being a savvy business woman and salesman, she schooled her girls in the art of closing the sale. Accordingly these selling machines were responsible for the most successful cookie drive ever.
Pleased with the girl's effort and being democratically minded she took a vote from the young smiling faces as what to do with the proceeds. The girls agreed to take all the money they earned and buy dog food and pet supplies for the local animal shelter. This Lynn felt was what Girl Scouting was all about; supporting the local animal shelter was a wonderful and worthy cause. Lynn was so proud of the girls that she immediately made the announcement to the parents.
The parents were aghast. It turns out that normally they used the funds to offset things like; pizza parties, trips to the movies and the local skating rink. If all the money raised was given to the shelter, the parents would be forced to pay for these "fun" Girl Scout activities out of their own pockets.
"You can't do that!" the shocked parents cried. "We've never given the money away" explained another. "I'm sorry" Lynn told the parents in a letter. "The girls took a vote and I've already sent the check to the shelter".
The parents were not happy, several were down right angry even calling for a full audit of the cookie sale receipts. Soon Lynn's voice mail box was over whelmed with unhappy mothers demanding that she step down as cookie drive chairperson.
The parents were so upset that Lynn resigned not only as chairperson but from the troop as well and now her young daughter goes to ballet on Tuesday's rather than Girl Scouts.
I'm not saying boycott the Girl Scout cookie sale this year. Hopefully Lynn's experience is not the norm.
But before you buy understand where the money goes. The use of each troop's proceeds, are completely up to each troop. This year you might want to ask: "so what does your troop do with all the money"?