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

activities, kid activities, food


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MMbales MMbales

hate to break it to you but they are very firm that you don't pay for your cookies until you get them. While this is the first year my daisy (that is the 5 -6 yr olds) is selling cookies, I can say I have never had to pay for a box before I recieved them in the ten years I have been buying them. 

As far as the incentive goes 500 boxes gets you a mp3 player, 1000 gets you a digital camera, and 1500 gets you an e reader. 

I haven't had a problem with selling the cookies. I took it to work and most people just drop $20 bucks on the cookies they want ( that is 5 boxes). We still have to go around the neighborhood to people we know so my daisy can ask if they want some cookies. I will be happy with 75 boxes which get you a theme patch instead of the regular bar patch, because it isn't about rewards as much as it is about fundraising for the troop and learning basic business skills like customer service.

MrsSi... MrsSimonsen

I used to love selling them when I was little..I usually sold the most boxes thanks to my parents but whatever prize I got I always donated.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

I have boys, so popcorn is the drug that gets pushed over here.  And, wanted to add, that neither my husband nor I sell it - the kids do.  It drives me nuts when I get a approached by a parent who is selling anything on behalf of their child.  If it's not the kid, we don't buy.  Period.

tinyp... tinypossum

I have boys and, so far, we haven't been hit with any fundraising efforts that required us to sell anything. Mostly, they just want ME to buy stuff.

Girl Scout cookies a the only thing of this ilk I will buy, but I prefer the kid does the selling. If a co worker brings them, I'll probably buy a couple of boxes, though. Personally, I refuse to bring crap to work or harass my friends and family to buy wrapping paper or popcorn or cookie dough or whatever other junk they come up with. I'd much rather write a check and be done with it.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I agree with HotIced. My so does all the selling (popcorn, for Boy Scouts), even to his out-of-town relatives and friends. I take him around to neighbors in town, and he also sells at his various practices. And when other parents approach me, I politely tell them that no, I don't buy from parents, but I'm happy to work with their child to complete the transaction. That's the whole point of the sale - to teach the kids how it works, not to have Mommy sell as much as she can so darling little person can have the trinket of the week.

ashja ashja

I hate it when people try to peddle that crap at work, what exactly does your kid learn from that???

count... countrygirl670

Agree with tinypossum.  I really don't like being approached to buy anything.  I will buy some fundraising items (girl scout cookies, the occasional candy bar) if its sitting on a table at my work place.  But I would rather just hand over cash and not have to fill out paperwork, or choose which wrapping paper or candles I don't actually want.  

I wish that my child's school raised funds by offering something that someone like me might actually use or want. Like maybe having groups going door to door to rake leaves or shovel snow.  

PonyC... PonyChaser

CountryGirl... I know in my own experience, the popcorn company that our Boy Scout Council uses offers a "Military Donation" option. A $25 donation will purchase a "care package" that will be sent to a Troop serving overseas, and the Scout still gets the commission. I've also accepted checks made directly to our unit - given as a straight monetary donation - in place of a product order. All you need to do is ask.

ashjo85 ashjo85

At least your mom wasn't the cookie mom for the troop! Our living room looked like that photo for two weeks while we sorted all those cases of cookies for each of the girls, and had them come get them. It was delightful chaos. And yes, my mom made me do all the selling. That's the whole point! I walked up and down the streets in our neighborhood after dinner. I buy all my cookies from my little cousin, who brings her form to some family gathering around that time. I don't deal with parents.

nonmember avatar Shannon

I never sold more than 10 boxes myself when I was a Girl Scout. My dad didn't want to ask his employees to buy cookies and my mom didn't work. I sold to my parents, my next-door neighbor and maybe an aunt or two. I was annoyed at the time, but I got over it quickly. When my troop sold cookies at the grocery store or Blockbuster, the leader split the number of boxes sold between the girls who were "on duty" that day. I ended up getting credit for about 300 boxes each year, which was fine with me.

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