Girl Scout Cookies Can Be a Mom's Worst Nightmare

girl scout cookie boxesGirl Scout Cookies: Seems like people either love 'em or hate 'em. As a mom, my issue with Thin Mints and Tagalongs and Trefoils (you know, the boring shortbread ones nobody ever wants) has nothing to do with the way they taste or the hydrogenated fat content.

It has everything to do with what a pain in the Samoa it is to sell the $%#^&*@ things.

See, my daughter used to be a Girl Scout. Actually, now that I think about it, she used to be a Brownie, but the distinction is irrelevant right now because Brownies, in case you didn't know, are required to sell Girl Scout Cookies too.

Actually, to be more precise, Brownie moms are required to sell Girl Scout Cookies too.

I'm giving it to you straight, ladies. Just in case this is your daughter's first year dealing Do-si-dos. Because nobody's gonna come right out and tell you unloading those biscuits is your job ... 

But it is. It is your job! And I'd hate to see you make the same cookie-peddling mistakes I made.


I gotta say, those GSC people are smart, because -- just like the evil masterminds behind school wrapping paper and scented candle sales -- they've devised a socially acceptable way to employ a force of unpaid child laborers. Bwahahaha!

So one day you pick your kid up from school in her little brown vest with the iron-on patches, and the Troop Leader hands you a "packet" to take home containing one of the most confoundedly complicated order forms you've ever seen, a couple of full-color pamphlets filled with photos of dee-licious-looking cookies (that don't at all resemble the actual product), and a few other chart-type things you'll never figure out what to do with.

Oh! I forgot about the most important item in that packet: The catalog of "prizes" your daughter could "win," depending on how many boxes of cookies you she sells.

If I remember correctly, it's something like 500 boxes wins you a sparkly pencil and 12,000 boxes equals a stuffed unicorn. (I'm honestly not exaggerating THAT much.)

Here's the worst part: You have to get people to place their orders -- and fork over their cash -- BEFORE the cookies even get delivered! Which is a shame, because it turns out people are much less likely to hand you a wad of cash in exchange for the "promise of cookies in 4 to 6 weeks" than they are to slip you a $20 for "real cookies in 4 to 6 minutes."

That's why one year I figured I'd just pay up front for however many boxes we needed to sell in order for my daughter to get one of those cheap wooden paddles with the rubber ball attached on a string and then sell the actual cookies to people after they arrived.

I still say that plan had potential. Maybe if I hadn't left all the boxes in the trunk of my car ... for a couple of months, because I kept forgetting about them ... and then it got warm out ... and Thin Mints sure don't stand up to the heat very well.

(Don't tell anybody, but I wasn't really that disappointed when my daughter decided she wanted to quit Brownies.)

Does your daughter sell Girl Scout Cookies?


Image via Dave & Margie Hill/Kleerup/Flickr

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