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


March 16th, 2012
3:51 pm

Are they made from real Girl Scouts?


March 16th, 2012
4:07 pm

Is it bad that I miss the days when the GS would go door-to-door selling cookies?

We haven’t ordered any cookies this year because local troops are never selling at the grocery store when we go and nobody we are friends with has any daughters currently active in GS.

The last time we had a GS knock on our door to pre-order was a few years ago, and she never came back with our order when/if the cookies ever came in (very thankfully she didn’t have us pre-pay or we would have been knocking on her door down the street).

(TBH, I didn’t even realize that the BS sold popcorn)

Soccer Milf

March 16th, 2012
4:10 pm

I like the dbag neighbors who drag their kids around the neighborhood forcing the sell. Why does Girl Scouts not just put the cookies on a shelf at the local grocers like normal non cult like organizations.

When I am watching Days of our lives zanaxed out of my mind I do not want Ansley or Madison banging on my door when I have my house keeper go to the grocery store to get cookies. Why dont they bother her sonce she is the one buying my cookies.


March 16th, 2012
9:12 pm

Well, you know, if you don’t like the Boy Scouts attitude toward God or some other spiritual presence — DON’T JOIN. I get almighty tired of folks who put down Boy Scouts because they are “too religious”. That’s like saying that you don’t believe in Jesus, but feel left out during communion. It is what it is. Here’s the oath that boys are expected to try to follow if they are a Boy Scout: “On my honor, I will try to do my duty to God and my country . . .” That’s it. It’s part of the pledge. IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, DON’T JOIN. Nobody’s feelings will be hurt. God is defined fairly loosely, to embrace all faiths as they are taught by religious leaders and families — it’s not just Christian. No one is making you join. If you object to their philosophy and beliefs, you, as a free citizen of this country (and the world, for that matter) are free to join any other youth organization that you like. Boy Scouts is a private organization, and as such, is a free to pursue beliefs they feel are important JUST AS MUCH AS YOU ARE. There are Christian Scouts, there are Muslim Scouts, there are Jewish Scouts, there are Buddist Scouts.

As far as gays in Boy Scouts, I understand why the restriction is in place, litigation being what it is these days (Ask the Catholic Church how they feel about child molestation litigation . . .) (PS: there are no boxes to check re: sexual orientation on membership form). It might be more relevant to specifically exclude pedophiles or child molesters, which are an entirely different psychological kettle of fish — and far harder to pinpoint. You have to remember the Boy Scout’s historical foundation as a organization developed along military-style lines for boys — and also remember the same restrictions against gays serving in the military that were in place for decades — heck, the DADT policy (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) ONLY got repealed less than a year ago. I don’t consider Boy Scouts to be homophobic, just cautious. Also consider that from a historical perspective, many of these became avowed policies during the AIDS epidemic that grabbed the country in the 80’s and early 90’s. People forget how the term “safe sex” came about — it came about because of the lightening spread of AIDS in the gay community due to sexually promiscuous lifestyles. The stigma, ignorance and panic was very real, no one wanted their sons at any risk. “Coming out of the closet” is far less of an event than it used to be just 20 years ago, and even many churches are far more accepting than they used to be. Who knows how it will evolve? Don’t expect Boy Scouts to be on the cutting edge of social change, though — the basic principles haven’t changed much in 104 years — but I think there’s a balance to be found. It is a traditional organization that has many, many good facets, and I don’t think anyone going through Boy Scouts comes out a homophobic bigot. That is the sort of thing that is taught far more at home, church and school, not for a couple of hours a week working on merit badges and learning first aid.


March 16th, 2012
9:36 pm

@DB…well, said. Every organization is not from everybody and vice versa. Pick one that fits your ideals and lifestyle and keep it moving.

mom of 3

March 17th, 2012
10:24 am

My husband is an Eagle Scout. Yes, I say is because it was an accomplishment that few boys made or make today. I have all of his badges, certificate and sash framed and on our den wall. He never sold popcorn – he never had new equipment – he worked hard. Proud of my husband and I hate the way Girl Scouts and now Boy Scouts have made it all about selling and having the best equipment.


March 17th, 2012
10:31 am

I would be more concerned with what is in the Girl Scout cookies than the pressure on them to sell the cookies.
Ingredients include, refined white flour, oil etc.
If you eat more than 4 a day that contain trans fat you could exceed dieary guidelines.
Cookies can say 100% free of trans fats and still have a gram or so in them.
Also, they have high fructose corn syrup.
The Girl scouts should be selling healthier cookies, you know obesity starts young .
Now, “pink slime” has caused no adverse effects.


March 17th, 2012
10:57 am

my problem with gs cookies……they’re always sold during lent…..can’t do sweats at lent and by time easter rolls around forget all about the cookies.

i do buy bs popcorn from scout at my church. i see it as a contribution to the troup.

centuries ago when i was a gs come cookie time, was only allowed to go door-to-door and i think i sold 10 boxes (this was in 1960’s). it wasn’t so competitive back then and parent’s didn’t pass along the sign-up sheet at work. culture was different. i went to private school and back then didn’t have to sell anything. tuition was enough to cover the school and functions.


March 17th, 2012
11:41 am

@momof3: If your kids are in a troop where it’s all about selling and shiny new equipment, they are in the wrong troop, and the leaders have gotten a little off-track when it comes to setting programming priorities. Selling Girl Scout cookies is just ONE activity in a program that provides a myriad of opportunities that allow girls to learn and discover new things about the world and about themselves.


March 17th, 2012
11:59 am

Both the cookies and the popcorn are fattening and unneeded. What about selling things that are truly useful, that could be Bought and sold without guilt? My band used to sell lightbulbs. No expiration date. Selling energy efficient ones would be educational and green.

melissa gibbs

March 17th, 2012
12:39 pm

Boy Scout popcorn is 10X better than GS cookies.I wish they would push it more,I can never find any

robert....cookie selling dude

March 17th, 2012
12:54 pm

sold 4 cases(48 boxes) in less than 1 hour…..the boys on the freight dock are hungry….wish I had more to sell…


March 17th, 2012
1:05 pm

First of all, Susie, fattening and unneeded sells and troops need money to operate. People are big boys and girls, they can make the decision whether or not to buy. They don’t need you or anyone else getting rid an age old practice so that people can be healthy and “green”. These are Girls Scout Cookies. A true American tradition. There is no substitute for freakin’ Girl Scout Cookies. The day that people jump up and down because Girl Scout light bulbs come out is the day I move to another country.
Light bulbs might be great for the band to sell but these are the Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts sell cookies. Boy Scouts sell popcorn. Some of us like to indulge now and then on (gasp) unneeded items. I don’t feel guilty about buying them and I certainly would not feel guilty if my daughter was selling them. Sorry, I realize this rant was probably uncalled for but your post just screams of todays sentiment of “lets change America and its horrible ways”. I happen to be proud of the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts and don’t see the need for them to change anything or to feel bad about how they go about making money to operate.


March 17th, 2012
2:02 pm

applause for homeschooler

old school doc

March 17th, 2012
2:14 pm

As a physician, I was a little less then pleased about the prospect of my daughter selling cookies. But, watching her, and her fellow Brownies, go through the process was priceless. In the course of selling, they practiced real-world skills: math, eye contact, how to make the sale, cold approaches at booth sales, manners. Under the watchful eye of us mommies, they really learned important life skills in the process! Equally nice was that many adults patiently coached the girls during the sales too. Many were former scouts themselves.
Our troop leader was very clear that our sales, while for the benefit of the troop, were for the kids to do. We just supervised and coached. Once a year, I can get over myself on the nutrition angle!

Cut Prices

March 17th, 2012
2:20 pm

girl scout cookies are too expensive—they need to cut the price by 30% and people will buy a lot more. I only bought 10 boxes this year due to the high prices.


March 17th, 2012
2:34 pm

I don’t want to be a Grinch about this, but I won’t buy GS cookies (or Sally Foster gift wrap, popcorn, etc) unless the child sells it to me himself/herself. I DON’T like to be hit up by parents to buy fundraising items for their child’s school or scout troop. When the parents ask me to buy GS cookies, I tell them so, “Have Susie-Q ask me herself”. Back when I was a Girl Scout (in the Good Old Days) we sold them ourselves, every single box. It never would have even occurred to my Mom to sell them for me. She was too busy selling her Tupperware! We sold GS cookies door to door in our own neighborhood, pulling the cookies in a red wagon and selling them directly to the customers for 50 cents/box. When we ran out, we went to our troop leader’s garage to restock. Even girls who don’t live in a neighborhood safe enough to do that, they can still phone or email family and friends to make the sales. The whole point of the project is for the girls to learn skills and accomplish goals. The parents need to STAND BACK, stop hovering, and let their children have the satisfaction of failing or succeeding on their own. Support them – yes. But don’t do it for them.


March 17th, 2012
5:54 pm

@homeschooler: Well said!!

GS Leader/Parent

March 17th, 2012
6:45 pm

We have been scouting for four years and at no point in time do my scouts feel pressured to sell more cookies. We dont even make it mandatory for the girls to sell. The girls are usually eager to sell and the cookies pratically sell themselves!

GS Leader/Parent

March 17th, 2012
7:03 pm

Well said homeschooler!


March 18th, 2012
8:44 am

I would also like to point out that right now, Boy Scout chapters are “Scouting For Food” in order to fill the Atlanta Food Bank for summer. They are always low for summer and have a hard time feeding the needy. We have Eagle Scouts (who are grown men now) in my office who have organized a drive at work and countless parents of Scouts who are helping and whose troops are collecting. Our floor at work alone has over 1000 items for the food bank! That is an awesome effort that’s going on metro-wide. Boy and Girl Scout organizations do a lot of community service and help a lot of kids who need a “place” and could use some guidance.

☺☻Have A Smile!

March 19th, 2012
8:59 am

It’s a safety thing, in Girl Scouts’ eyes: They don’t want to expose the girls unnecessarily to internet predators.

That is absolute and sheer nonsense. There is no exposure to “internet predators” on eBay. I call bullsh1t.

It is just old-fashioned plain market control.


March 19th, 2012
1:03 pm

@Smile: Anytime children get on the internet, the possibility is there. Girl Scouts is just as conscious of litigation as any other non-profit.

☺☻Have A Smile!

March 19th, 2012
4:55 pm

Anytime children get on the internet, the possibility is there.

You clearly have no practical knowledge of eBay.

Drama, much?

Litigation, schmitigation. Nonsense.

Missing the Point

March 21st, 2012
10:37 am

Girl Scouts don’t sell cookies – their parents do. The entire thing has become a complete sham. Most girls learn that when the going gets tough, mommy and daddy will always be there to bail them out (quite the opposite of what this was supposed to teach them). They also learn that the oppressive government will come down on them hard if they are selling without a permit in some really messed up locations. The Girl Scouts should just hook up with a distributor, put their damn cookies into every market in the nation, rake in the cash year-round, and figure out something else for the girls to do that actually teaches them hard work and independence.