I was a Brownie for about 2 years. Granted, I was a member of Troop 666 (no kidding), and I was a bit of a rebel in organizing an after-school revolt against the uninspired mothers that thought Munchkins were the appropriate snack for EVERY SINGLE TROOP MEETING (my little napkin petition had plenty of crayon signatures from like-minded 2nd graders).
I must also disclose that, while I took orders (and money) for cookies, once they arrived, the sat in my sun room, sneakily being eaten me: a pudgier, less thoughtful version of the woman I am today
Keep in mind that was about 16 or 17 years ago.
Well, I went online searching to see where I could buy these annual delights, and, much to my dismay, I couldn’t. An organization as well-funded and supported as the Girl Scouts do not have an online ordering mechanism. It’s helpful that they’re gracious enough to help you find a council in your area by which you can go and pick up some cookies, but there’s something incredibly satisfying about having gluttonous cookies delivered right to your door.
Now, according to the GirlScouts.org site, “Our existing National Girls Scout policy prohibits the Sale of Girl Scout Cookies® or any other Girl Scout approved product on the Internet. The safety of our girls is always our chief concern. Girl Scout Cookie Activities are designed to be face-to-face learning experiences for girls. IN an online setting, there is no guarantee that the seller is indeed a member of the Girl Scouts. We have many other ways for girls to explore and experience the benefits of science and technology and the Internet, including…”
That’s great, and I wholly support teaching the girls a strong work ethic. However, why are instilling a work ethic in young girls and selling cookies online mutually exclusive?
We live in a Web 2.0 world, and it’s high time for the Girl Scouts to join us.
Now, I know that there are probably some traditionalists that enjoy the purity of the door-to-door sale, but we no longer live in a time where relying on neighbors to buy your wares (a la Avon, Ginsu knives, Tupperware, etc.) is enough. In this particular economy, brick-and-mortar stores are closing faster than you can imagine, and wholesome, bright-eyed girls just don’t have the selling power they once did.
By moving some—because I’m not advocating that the girls STOP going door-to-door—of the sales online, the profits could be used to benefit ALL troops. We need to be realistic in recognizing that all troops are not created equal, and that depending on where you live and what your parents’ jobs are, certain girls can be at a huge cookie-selling advantage.
The back-end would be incredibly simple to execute, and they’d reach so many more people than they currently have access to. And I don’t buy the argument about the Girl Scouts not wanting to commercialize their product, since they’re already selling Girl Scout-inspired cookies through Edy’s (available seasonally January thru April).
At the very least, I’d love to see one entrepreneurial girl scout take it amongst herself to solicit orders online, or figure out some way that I can get cookies without hoping someone will knock on my door or that a colleague will have a child in the Girl Scouts.
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