Too much pressure for Girl Scouts to sell, sell, sell?

A mom sent me a note about selling Girl Scout cookies. Apparently she’s getting some pressure (I’m not sure from whom) that she is not pushing the girls to sell enough cookies.

She writes: “Should people buy them if it’s the parents/leaders doing it all?? Should some girls be made to feel ‘bad’ about not selling a billion?”

Our leader was always very relaxed about it, and I appreciated that. We went out and sold, but we weren’t going to make ourselves crazy to sell another 100 boxes. We did booth sells at Discover Mills one time and the girls all seemed to enjoy it and were excited to be there. I don’t think our leader would have done it if they weren’t having fun.

I actually felt more pressure to sell the Boy Scout popcorn than I did the cookies. Maybe because I was less excited to sell that. I just don’t think people want the popcorn as much as they want the cookies.

So what do you think? Have you experienced pressure to sell Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn? Has your troop leader ever made you feel badly for not selling enough?

Do you buy if it’s the leader or parent selling?

75 comments Add your comment

tc

March 16th, 2012
6:15 am

Our GS troop is also very relaxed about selling cookies. But the BS popcorn is another story. We have to sell it and if you don’t sell it, you don’t get a discount on your troop dues. That popcorn is so dang expensive and you don’t get a lot of it. I’m actually embarassed to have my son sell it because of the price. I think the boy scouts need to get with the girl scouts and figure out how they can sell so many more cookes for so much less. And then take that advice and reduce the price of the popcorn.

Miss Priss!

March 16th, 2012
6:33 am

I swear to God, the Girl Scouts would make a whole lot more money if in Georgia and South Carolina they sold nipple rings and cigarettes.

Fred ™

March 16th, 2012
6:41 am

Unfortunately we have only done the Girl Scout cookies once . They disbanded my daughter’s troop the next year. She loved it.

From a man’s point of view, selling GS cookies is like asking a drunk if he wants another beer. The Boy Scout “popcorn” is another thing. BS popcorn was late to the party. They are like Democrats trying to get into talk radio lol. It ain’t happening.

homeschooler

March 16th, 2012
6:59 am

:-) That was funny Fred. I agree on all points that I just read. Still, when you think about it GS cookies are expensive. 3.50 for a very small amount of cookies? People are willing to buy them, though because it it a tradition. There are much better tasting cookies in the stores imo. (well, except for thin mints). Also, popcorn is popcorn. GS cookies are unique. My kids have never been in the scouts. Just never found a good group close enough.
I can totally see there being a lot of pressure though. It seems that is is going to fall more on the parents than it used to, though because we don’t allow kids to go door to door anymore (or do we?). Parents have to ask the people at their work, set up booths, etc.. What can the kids do besides call a couple relatives or go to a few close neighbors?

shaggy

March 16th, 2012
7:11 am

Boy Scout popcorn is an aberration.
In my BS day (actually, it is still my BS day.) we paid dues, provided our own camping gear, which we preferred, and paid extra for the special events, like Jamboree, which my misfit troop won every time we competed. We didn’t have, or care about, complete uniforms, and the other troops were all crisply dressed, with shiny, new gear. Our gear was never shiny, because it was used frequently when we were not “called into action” for Jamborees, organized camping trips, etc… When it came down to competitions, we smoked the new and shiny scout’s britches…we tied knots, made fires, compass navigation, etc… all of the time anyway. We had an edge, and laughing at the inept, but crisply dressed losers was an object of great fun.

We still talk about it today, over beers that we can legally drink…yes, I am still close friends with my scout buddies, and we continue that which made us close in our youth. We are bigger now, but trust me, we still have that edge.

Me

March 16th, 2012
7:21 am

Well, I always purchase my normal 4 cases of Girl Scout cooies. I don’t have anyone I even know in the Girl Scouts but I love their cookes so I buy them. As for the Boy Scout popcorn, I usually buy the $20 box – which is really espensive for popcorn – but that’s it as I don’t find their popcorn all that appealing.

A

March 16th, 2012
7:34 am

The Boy Scout popcorn is a joke. In the Fall, when I see those dreaded tables set up outside *every* store I visit, I avoid it like the plague. Who think overpriced, stale popcorn is going to sell? And while I do still support my neighborhood Girl Scouts by buying a few boxes of Thin Mints, the cookies are expensive, and I think from now on I’ll just buy 1-2 boxes and call it a day.

JATL

March 16th, 2012
7:43 am

I think it depends on the troop leader. You’re always going to have “those” types who turn everything into a crazed competition and suck the fun out of all of it. My son is just about to get into scouting, so if that takes, we will sell what we sell. If someone doesn’t like it, they can lump it! If I had a troop leader getting nutty, I would probably put her/him in their place and let them know where they could stick all the extra cookies or popcorn -in private of course! Some of my verbiage would probably not be suitable for young audiences.

Bunion Jeff

March 16th, 2012
7:47 am

I agree. More cigarettes and nipple rings….And clamps.

What’s the point of selling cookies? Have they not looked around and noticed the level of obesity and diabetes in this nation? To say the Boy Scouts are lame for selling popcorn is absurd. At least popcorn does not contribute to this nations poor health.

justmy2cent

March 16th, 2012
7:48 am

I have 2 girl scouts. We were lucky this year that our troop sold “our goal” quickly, so we did not have to do a single booth sale. I HATE booth sales!!!! People need to go into cookie & popcorn buying with the thought that they are just making a donation to the organization and the cookies/popcorn are just a bonus. It keeps the camps up & running and well maintained.

Techmom

March 16th, 2012
7:53 am

My son is a Boy Scout and we all loathe popcorn sales. Our troop did so poorly this year, we are considering not even spending the time and energy on it next year. It’s overpriced and hard to sell. We all agree that we wish the Scouts would come up with something more reasonably priced that we could sell more of. We actually break the boxes up for the front-of-store sales so if people only want to buy a couple of bags, they can. We usually end up with more $1-$5 donations than actually add up to more profit than we get from the popcorn.

Right now our district is selling “Camp Cards” and they beat the socks off of everything else. $5 for a discount card that includes one-time ‘coupons’ for Publix, Sports Authority & Bass Pro Shops and a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich and then a reusable card with discounts at lots of local merchants. Now those, we can sell and I don’t even feel guilty asking people to purchase. They’re only $5 and even if you just use the Publix coupon, you get your money back plus a free Chick-Fil-A.

Blake

March 16th, 2012
7:57 am

We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado.

Anybody want to see second prize?

Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.

Surreal Housewife of Atlanta

March 16th, 2012
8:00 am

I lime me them hash brownies.

Kat

March 16th, 2012
8:05 am

I love to buy GS cookies, but I never know who to buy them from. Interestingly, several of my friends come late to the party and say, “Oh sorry, did you want to buy a case of Thin Mints?” I’ve already bought four boxes of the things and I’m done people.

The only BS popcorn that I like is the chocolate-covered one – I love that one! I buy two at most because of the high cost, but I love it! Popcorn in tins is (generally) not my thing. There are other things that the kids could sell that might do better.

Figment

March 16th, 2012
8:21 am

I usually buy a box or 2 of GS cookies and did this year as well. The quality of the cookies has really gone down over the years. All the ones I have taste like they were made last year.

This will be my last year buying cookies, I can make better tasting cookies myself.

  

March 16th, 2012
8:40 am

To say the Boy Scouts are lame for selling popcorn is absurd.

No it’s not. Selling overpriced corn kernels is LAME.

Good grief…if you’re attempting to raise money sell something people want.

JOD

March 16th, 2012
8:42 am

I actually managed to avoid buying any GS cookies this year. Agree that Thin Mints are good (or were? haven’t had them in so long, I can’t say for sure), but I just don’t get into kids hocking stuff. Not a fan of the wrapping mess either. I don’t think I would let DD get involved with GS unless I thought there was a lot more to it – unfortunately, around here, the cookie selling is all we usually see.

☺☻Have A Smile!

March 16th, 2012
8:47 am

I happened to notice last year that some mothers & daughters were selling Girl Scout cookies on eBay, which is awesome.

There were also several woman who posted several auction “listings” (which is not supposed to happen) on eBay making a big stink about OMG YOU CAN’T BUY GIRL SCOUT COOKIES ON EBAY IT’S BAD BAD!!! and other such silliness. It was to the point of making it sound almost immoral to buy cookies from there. Good grief!

That’s the way the free market works. Don’t make a stink if you want me to buy cookies and someone offers them to me in a way where I don’t have to fight traffic & go out in bad weather.

Can you say “market control”?

Just thought it was interesting.

A

March 16th, 2012
9:05 am

It’s not absurd to call BS popcorn sales lame. Not only is it expensive, but popcorn is one of those foods that’s best fresh out of the popper/microwave. Why would I pay that much for cold, probably soggy popcorn in a tin I don’t need. And agree with other posters who say GS cookies have gone down in quality. I sold my share back in the late ’70s and not only were they way cheaper, they actually had nice flavors. Now just give me a box or two of Thin Mints in my freezer and I’m good.

Becky

March 16th, 2012
9:09 am

I bought two boxes of GS cookies this year..That is my limit..Just like others have said, not as good as they were and cost to much..

Boy Scouts popcorn..I buy a box every year from coworkers son..I’m not real enthused (sp) with BS in general..Two years ago, my boy wanted to join them..Took him to the meeting, paid dues for him to join..The day before his first meeting, they emailed me to be at the church at 7.00..Only thing was, there was no name for the meeting place..When I called them, it took them about 3 weeks to get back to me..Still no good answer…They gave me a phone number for the leader of his troop..After 3 messages were left for him with no return call, they told me that they would put him with another troop..Never heard anything after that..No refund, no troop…

DB

March 16th, 2012
9:11 am

@Have a Smile: The reason that people were getting upset at the eBay cookie sellers is that it is very, very clear in the instructional literature that individual girls are not permitted to sell cookies via the internet in that way. Doing so could have jeopardized the profits for their entire troop. It’s a safety thing, in Girl Scouts’ eyes: They don’t want to expose the girls unnecessarily to internet predators. And, since the GIRLS are supposed to be selling, and not their moms, it’s improbable that a Brownie would be setting up her own eBay shop (she’s not old enough, for one thing).

I think the pressure is misplaced, if girls and families are feeling pressure to “perform”. Ideally, the cookie sales aren’t a vehicle to pay a girl’s “share” of the troop activities, but I know some troops structure it that way. They use the cookie sales as a way to teach the girls goal setting, etc., and yeah, sometimes the leaders (or even the girls, for that matter) get carried away a little. As a leader, I would NEVER have pressured my girls to “Sell, sell, sell!!” Some of them enjoyed it and were good at it. Others found it agonizing. It didn’t matter — we were happy with everyone’s contribution. As a troop, we found other fund-raising activities to be more lucrative, and taught the girls more about structuring activities for groups, planning, goal setting, etc. that didn’t involve food or overpriced items to sell.

jarvis

March 16th, 2012
9:18 am

The chocolate covered caramel popcorn from the BSA is like crack in a can. It is outstanding!
Anyone that likes dark chocolate should give it a try.

P.S. There was no pressure to sell cookies in my daughter’s troup, but I think we did a pretty good job. She sold a couple hundred boxes, bt one girl in her troup sold over 850. I was impressed.

DB

March 16th, 2012
9:19 am

@Becky: I’d have been FURIOUS enough to go over to the Boy Scout offices and complain in person (it’s at 75/285). That is completely inexcusable, not to get return calls. Most troops are so happy to get new members they are all over you! However, I will note that, between the Boy Scout troops and the Girl Scout troops I was involved in for the last 15 years, the BS troops always had the most trouble administratively, and it always seemed to be a mom who ended up handling the paperwork.

Another thing to do would be to go to the church/organization that sponsors them and complain. BS troops get support from the church, etc. where they meet, and they do NOT want to mess up relations with that sponsorship. If you call the church and let them know you’re having trouble, you WILL get a call back, quickly. :-)

Tad Jackson

March 16th, 2012
9:30 am

When I was in the 7th grade band at Floyd Junior High School, home of the Green Wave, in Austell, Georgia, we raised money for band trips by selling … Claxton fruit cakes. I kid you not.

I am very proud to say I won the sales contest … with 17 sales. I still love the stuff. Enjoyed then with Tang … now with Starbucks French Roast.

http://www.adixiediary.com

homeschooler

March 16th, 2012
9:31 am

The chocolate covered BS popcorn IS amazing. (so much for Bunion Jeff’s comment). Nothing healthy about the BS popcorn I buy. Also,(@A) unless it has changed, they do sell the microwave popcorn, not just the stuff in the can. Still, it just doesn’t have the notoriety behind it that GS cookies have. Maybe someday it will. Maybe if Boy Scouts had gone door to door for 40 years it would be as popular.

Here is my pet peeve about fundraisers. DO something or SELL something. There is a new practice of just asking for money. Standing on the street corner with a sign. My friend used to complain because her business partner’s son’s sports team would do this. At the time we thought it was an inner city thing because that is where they lived. Lately I saw South Cobb HS doing this and most recently a team in Paulding County. PLEASE, let’s not teach our children that this is okay. I know that the firemen and Shriners do this but they are providing a service to the community. I’m not going to drop a dollar into a can just so your team can go on a trip.

Techmom

March 16th, 2012
9:32 am

BS Popcorn doesn’t come in a tin anymore! It’s all in sealed bags and a lot of it is microwavable. Their microwavable Kettle Corn this year is really good. You buy a box of 18 bags for $20. Not horrible when you consider the price per bag but not many folks want to plunk down $20 when can buy a box from Sam’s Club for $8. But remember, this is a fundraiser so you’re giving more than just to cover the cost of the cookies or popcorn.

The money that is earned is split between the Council (for which they run camps, provide training, troop/pack support, etc.) and the individual Pack/Troop. Some Packs/Troops have just a general fund and they use that to offset costs for everyone. Our Troop keeps track of what the boys sell and they have the money in their “account”. We figure this makes it more fair. If you have a boy who is willing to knock on doors and stand outside a store, he deserves the proceeds from his work. Plus we encourage boys, not just their parents, to earn their way. It’s a great lesson in being responsible for yourself. We do other fundraisers as a Troop to pay for things that everyone benefits from (leader fees, Troop equipment, etc.)

@Becky, I am sorry to hear about your experience with Scouts. It really is a great organization but you have to remember that Packs and Troops are run by volunteers. Some are more motivated and organized than others. One of my biggest issues when my son first started was the lack of communication. Now that I’m the committee chair, I send at least 1 email per week and we have a website. The other thing to keep in mind (for anyone thinking about letting their kids join) is that there are lots of Troops/Packs out there. If you don’t like one, chances are, there is another one within 10-15 mins of that location so you can always try another one.

Techmom

March 16th, 2012
9:35 am

@homeschooler – right there with you! I absolutely refuse to just give money to someone who is not willing to do something or sell something in return. Quit Begging!!

Stacey

March 16th, 2012
10:01 am

My son crosses over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts tomorrow…YAY!!!

The popcorn is hard to sell because it is so expensive. As others have said, we make about as much in donations as we do in sells when we do “show and sells”. I always buy one bag of the triple chocolate for my son but I buy my microwave popcorn from Publix BOGO sale and get 5 times more for the same price. In past years the BS popcorn tasted better than store bought (IMO) but now it’s the exact same stuff you buy out the grocery store. We are looking forward to doing the camp cards which I think our troop plans to roll out in the next couple of weeks. In years past we also so Chik Fil A calendars and they were much easier to sell than the popcorn.

As for Girl Scout cookies, my son usually buys 2-3 boxes are year from his “sister troop”. I don’t eat them but even when I did, I would only buy them from the girl and not the parent. Not sure if they still do, but Dollar General’s store brand used to have knock off girl scout cookies that I liked for like $2 per box. I sometimes bought them during the off season and I try to buy a couple of boxes of GS cookies just to be supportive.

April

March 16th, 2012
10:06 am

I think the pressure comes from the troupe itself. My daughter’s troupe has always been really relaxed about it – have fun & provide people with something they enjoy, but don’t stress about it. My niece’s troupe on the other hand is very high pressure with each child sitting at half a dozen or more booth sales, etc.

I think GS cookies are so popular because they are fairly unique and can only be purchased at a certain time of year. We have never had any trouble selling them and usually wind up selling many more that we predict just through word of mouth and people we know approaching us to ask for some.

Stacey

March 16th, 2012
10:24 am

@Becky…I know from past conversations that you and I are from the same county (not sure about area). What Techmom said is true; there are a lot of troops in our district so if your grandson is still interested in joining, I encourage you to check out another pack. He only has one more year as a Cub but (in my son’s experience) it will be a year of fun and learning. Our WEBELO II’s (5th graders) were required to visit three Boy Scout troops just to get a feel for how others worked and to see if there was one that was a better fit. My son chose to stick with our BS troop but he admits that there was close competition with another one.

I don’t mind Theresa giving you my contact information if you want specific information about my son’s pack. There is also a Girl Scout Troop under the same terrific leadership if your granddaughter is interested.

DB

March 16th, 2012
10:50 am

@Stacey: That’s good advice, shopping the Boy Scout troops. My son’s Cub Scout troop visited a couple of local troops and we signed up for a large one that seemed to attract a lot of kids, but it was clear from the beginning that it wasn’t a good fit — their expectations were too rigorous in terms of participation, etc. and didn’t mesh well with his club soccer and school activities. Plus, the leader could never remember his name (it’s NOT an unusual name!) and on his fourth meeting, the leader came up to him and said, “Oh, hi, are you visiting?” He ended up going to a different troop at our church that was much more low key and laid-back. He ended up with his Eagle and three Palms to add to it, so he didnt leave much on the table by the time he finished. :-) I don’t think he would have stuck with it if he had stayed with the other troop, he’d have gotten frustrated and dropped out. People are often attracted to the “busy, busy, busy” troops, but the more laid back troop still get things done. He was the only one out of his troop to go to Jamboree, but he loved it. He went to Philmont twice, the last time as the leader.

I guess my point in this ramble is that if a troop — either Girl Scout or Boy Scout — doesn’t seem to be a good fit, don’t give up on it if your child is still interested. There’s a troop out there that would be perfect for him/her.

PS: This week is the 100th birthday of Girl Scouts in the US!

KT

March 16th, 2012
11:38 am

One thing I keep noticing is that people continue to complain about the price of cookies. I don’t know why, since you aren’t buying GS cookies or BS popcorn on a weekly basis like toilet paper or some necessity. I don’t know about BS, but the sale is a Cookie Program that teaches girls entrepreneurial skills. Starting them off young, teaching them people skills, business skills, marketing skills, etc. is a great way to set these girls up for life. I’ve met many girls in high school who’ve stuck with GS – they are amazing.
They are some of the hardest working, most dedicated and driven people I’ve ever met. Much more responsible and reliable than many adults I know. All the girls in our district that completed their GS Gold Award (equivalent to Eagle Scout) went on to 4-year colleges. I believe GS works to make a better generation of girls. I’m sure the same is for BS.
So stop harping on about prices! Just spend $20/year on 5 boxes of cookies (that should last for quite awhile unless you scarf down a box per day!). The same with BS popcorn. I never eat/buy the sweet stuff except at fundraisers, so what’s the big deal to buy it once a year? You’re supporting something special!!!

motherjanegoose

March 16th, 2012
12:05 pm

No cookie eating this year, as we are on diets and they are WAY too tempting to have around the house,.

I have a question, related to Scouts. We live in a neighborhood with a small clubhouse: kitchen, fireplace and open seatin area. If it is an open event for everyone who lives in the neighborhood, it can be reserved for free. You cannot have a venue with only people on your block, if you do you pay $25. NO BIG DEAL. You can also rent it for a private party or whatever for $25…I have done so several times.

Scout Troups use it for free several times a month. I do not care BUT I think they should perhaps be asked to do a community service project once or twice a year in our neighborhood, for use of the building:

Put up the Christmas Decorations at the entrance
Paint mailbox posts that nead a fresh coat ( you can get the paint for free)
Pool duty…we typically volunteer to clean up the pool area and my two did it when they lived at home
Food drives…we also did this with our own kids and collected quite a bit of food

Just wondering what the rest of you think…thanks!

Stacey

March 16th, 2012
12:20 pm

@DB…Congratulations to your son for his tremendous accomplishment. When my son had his Scoutmaster’s conference, (scoutmaster) encouraged him to stick with it and get his eagle. The lose a lot of boys to sports in middle and high school. My son really wants to play sports but he doesn’t realize yet that he isn’t athletic. He loves scouts though and is looking forward to doing all of the activities that he has heard about from the older boys. I think he will stick with it if his sport star dreams don’t pan out. ;-)

One of the troops we visited was huge and IMO, unorganized. We were barely acknowledged by the leaders and not at all by the scouts. My son said when he tried asking questions (of the boys) about what type of activities they do, he got the feeling that he was bothering them so he knew that wasn’t the troop for him and asked to leave. The one that he felt was close competition for our troop was also a lot bigger but the boys were polite and engaging. They answered questions we didn’t even know we had and the scoutmaster sat and talked to us as well. We all got a really good feeling from them but there activities are really expensive and I think my son would have been disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to afford a lot of them. Thankfully, he made the decision to stick with our troop on his on. As a matter of fact, we are acquiring a scout from “the good” troop largely because his parents said it is too expensive for them right now.

Scotty

March 16th, 2012
12:35 pm

I detest Boy Scout popcorn. My son has to sell it and it is a hard sell. We’ve got a few folks our neighborhood who buy it because they know and want to support my son, but other people just don’t want it. Who can blame them? It’s expensive and it’s frankly not that good. We have never really felt pressure to sell though and have been pleased with the “you sell what you sell” ideology of the troop leader.

Now…Girl Scout cookies. I have such a weakness for Girl Scout cookies. Our daughter is a little too young to be in Girl Scouts (she will be next year), but our neighborhood is lousy with them. We had a lot of girls (probably 15-20) come to the house this year and we only bought 1 box from five of them. For starters, the cookies have gotten very expensive and I don’t think are as good of quality (they are still tasty though). Secondly, the five that we bought from were the only ones selling the cookies themselves. Their parents were with them, but the girls were doing the talking and making the sales pitch. Just like I make my son do the selling of his Boy Scout popcorn, I won’t buy Girl Scout cookies from parents. I feel like that defeats part of the purpose of selling the cookies. Yes, it’s to make money but I think it also teaches the girls (and boys) valuable social skills and there is a greater sense of involvement and pride in what they’re doing if they’re the ones making the sales. My wife & I also never buy from anyone who’s parent takes the form to the office. I never take my son’s popcorn selling forms to the office (nor does my wife). We do get people who know that it’s popcorn selling time who want to support my son, so I do make note of that and take my son by their house later in the week, but I think that’s different than going ahead and signing people up – my son still has to do the selling.

I guess I just can’t imagine that scouting cookies and popcorn need to be taken so seriously that there is pressure to not sell enough. I know it is for some kids though – several Girl Scout troops have been having booth sales near where I live and their parents have actually instructed them to follow people down the sidewalk and basically bug them until they buy cookies, which I think is so distasteful and not the ideals that scouting is about.

Valstake

March 16th, 2012
12:36 pm

I don’t buy either product. It feels like a guilt trip walking by the sales, but I’ve become inured by now. I don’t approve of children being used a pawns in the sale of these overpriced products. Are GS/BS financial data accessible to the public? Are all the proceeds of the sales funneled back to the troops selling the products?

Scooby

March 16th, 2012
12:49 pm

I prefer BS popcorn over GS cookies any day.

Soccer Milf

March 16th, 2012
1:02 pm

Harrassment…pure and simple. These girls should be spending more time trying to find a rich boyfriend.

DB

March 16th, 2012
1:40 pm

@Valstake: Both BS and GS have their annual reports online, for both councils and national. Keep in mind that when you buy a box of cookies, that money is going in three different directions: One, to the troop (about $.40 per box), one to the Council (depends on the Council’s sales and arrangement with the bakery), and three to the bakery, to pay for the actual cookies. The Greater Atlanta council depends a great deal on cookies sales — it forms a large part of their operating budget for their camps and training activities. (PS: None of the $12 registration fee that girls pay at the beginning of the year goes to the local Council — those all go to National for program development, etc. Some service units may charge an additional $1-3 to cover local costs, but otherwise, everything goes to National.)

justmy2cent

March 16th, 2012
1:48 pm

76% goes back to Girl Scouts at various levels, 24% goes for baking costs. This is why I mentioned earlier that it is really just a donation to the GS for upkeep of all the camps and programs they offer.

JATL

March 16th, 2012
1:48 pm

@homeschooler and Techmom -AGREED! If you want me to give you money, do NOT beg on the street corner for it! For all I know you’re going to use if for yourself. I don’t care if you do have a football helmet in your hand. We’ve also had kids around here just randomly (and sneakily) approaching people in grocery store parking lots with boxes of candy they are supposedly selling for some school function. Really? If you’re a parent and your kid is supposed to sell something -have them do it legitimately! I told the last crew in the parking lot they needed to set up a table at the entrance with signs and a letter from the school club, because most of us are not handing over cash in parking lots between cars.

As far as the BS popcorn -I bought some this year and it was gross! My oldest is going to start Scouts next year, but the popcorn is nasty!

Penguinmom

March 16th, 2012
1:51 pm

I haven’t really been interested in GS cookies for about 25 years, ever since they got rid of the sprinkled sugar cookie version of the trefoil. My husband does like the thin mints but, since he is now diabetic, those are a no-go.

I have one friend who I felt went a little overboard for her daughter. She posted several pleas on FB asking people to purchase. I was torn but ended up not purchasing. My niece is also in GS and I felt if we bought from one, we would need to buy from the other as well. One thing I do like about my friend’s troop is that they donate cookies to the military (send overseas and to the USO at the airport).

MJG, I agree that they should do a community service project. Our homeschool academy rents space from a local church (we pay quite a bit of money for use of the space) and we still do service projects for the church on top of the rent that we pay. Our students helped install a french drain system, we paint rooms, deep clean the chairs, etc. I’m surprised the troop is not automatically doing that, isn’t giving back to the community part of being a scout?

DB

March 16th, 2012
1:51 pm

@Scotty: The girls in my troop used to sing and dance at their booth sales — several of them were musical, and passerbys always seemed to enjoy the free show :-) They made up “cookie songs” to extoll the virtues of GS cookies and would sing in harmony. Honestly, though, we really didn’t have much time for a lot of booth sales — if we did one a year, we were doing good.

@MJG: Yes, absolutely, the troop should be doing some sort of public service in appreciation for the free meeting space. It’s getting harder and harder to use schools for activities, and churches are reaching their limits as far as facilities available to the community. If you are giving them the room free, then yes, they should definitely be helping out in some way — perhaps cleanup once a month around the club area, helping with seasonal plantings, etc.

zb

March 16th, 2012
1:56 pm

Not just the scouts, any youth sports organization and public shools are the same way with the fundraising sales. I would happily pay $10 more for a season of football or baseball if it meant that we didn’t have to participate in all of the selling. Same with scouting, not sure what the dues are but if my son were a scout I would be happy to pay 10% more to avoid the selling.

Augusta

March 16th, 2012
2:04 pm

I refuse to buy anything from Boy Scouts and I will not support them. I do NOT like their stand on homosexuality.

I won’t buy from the girl scouts either. The cost has gone up and the size has gone down. This year the boxes are 1/3 smaller than previous years and the cost has gone up. They aren’t worth it anymore……

Figment

March 16th, 2012
2:24 pm

The price of GS cookies doesn’t bother me, it’s only once a year. It’s the fact they no longer taste good. I’m not paying for cookies that taste bad. I don’t even want to eat the ones I bought cause they are just not good. And from the sounds of it I should skip the BS popcorn too if ever offered.

Old Man

March 16th, 2012
2:27 pm

I always give the inner city candy kids that approach me in the parking lot the same “you’re being exploited by The Man, cast off your shackles” speech. It throws them off long enough for me to make my escape.

A

March 16th, 2012
2:35 pm

Thank you @Augusta for your comment about the BSA stand on gays. That is just one reason I never looked into scouting for my son, who probably wouldn’t be into it anyway. But that’s my protest against an intolerant organization. That and it seems a lot of the troops are sponsored by churches. What about people who are not religious or are not Christian?

jarvis

March 16th, 2012
3:13 pm

@A, Just as many BSA troups aren’t sponsored by churches as those that are. Pick one of those and stop playing the “poor yittle athiest” card.

You AREN’T a victim.

JATL

March 16th, 2012
3:34 pm

@Augusta and A -I used to feel the same way, but I have done A LOT of research on it, partially because I have two young sons, and I feel they would really enjoy the Scouts. We also are not deeply religious, so I investigated that as well. Jarvis is correct -there are some troops that are church-sponsored and probably play up the Christian aspect a good bit. There have been issues in SOME troops in SOME places with homosexual parents, but for the most part the troops near us are not homophobic, Bible thumpers at all. I know these parents and kids! I know that we have three Boy Scouts in the troop my oldest will probably start who have openly gay parents who attend functions, go on camping trips, etc. I’m not prepared to keep my child from what could be an amazing experience because there are some bad apples scattered around the nation.