Thin mints were the family favorite and 50 years ago we couldn’t get enough . Available only once a year, boxes that weren’t devoured immediately were frozen to extend their shelf life. They were peddled by young girls in green uniforms who rang door bells and won hearts. The incredible girl scout cookie campaign offered a unique quality product while creating income for the National organization and local troops.
The reward for the scout was a hands on internship into the world of sales and marketing. She often experienced personal growth in pride and confidence, while learning to keep track of money, sales orders and delivery status. A series of prizes for different levels of sales accomplishment punctuated the value of hard work. Girls quickly learned whether or not a career in sales was something they might consider in the future. In a world and at a time where there were few role models of women in business, it is impossible to measure the impact of the girl scout cookie program.
This month, my 9-year-old granddaughter is trying to achieve her personal cookie sales goal. Unknowingly, she is also a part of *the great cookie debate. The girl scouts have gone digital and have made ordering cookies as easy as clicking on a link, entering your credit card information, and making your selection. You can have the cookies personally delivered or mailed to you. If you don’t want to eat cookies, you can donate your boxes to the military for a minimal shipping charge. If you don’t eat wheat, there is a gluten-free option.
You may or may not have any face to face contact with the scout you are supporting if you go with on-line ordering. You probably miss the old days when each cookie sale started with a ding-dong – change can be hard to swallow, but bite your tongue if you are critical of the new options. Please, give the girls a break and reconsider.
My granddaughter and her friends are incredibly busy people, juggling after-school activities, homework, sports, and chores. Her relatives and family friends live all over the city and in different states. It’s difficult, if not impossible to find a time when her mother is available to drive her to their homes (when they are home) to take their orders and then again to deliver. I live 45 minutes from my granddaughter and I find on-line ordering a fantastic option. She followed up my order with a thank-you video text.
My grand girl scout still finds time to ring door bells in her neighborhood, careful not to go to homes of people she doesn’t know. Her mom, who is the busiest person ever, walks the neighborhood with her and promotes her daughter’s cookies at her office (every business person, in every profession gets a little help from someone). She is learning all about sales and the sales process just like the girl scout of yesteryear, with the additional skills necessary for today’s world of digital commerce.
The rumbles and whispers that girl scouts today have it too easy and are not learning the ethics of hard work, is an argument that is bound to crumble. It simply doesn’t hold water, or the milk for that thin mint you should order on-line today.
*my term for the reaction to the program
** just for fun – beer and cookies?