Dear Mary Pat,
My daughter has been in Girl Scouts for three years now and each year she gives her all during cookie selling season. She sells on her own by going door-to-door (we go with her when she’s selling in the neighborhood) and picking up the phone and calling our out-of-town relatives and friends. She makes a really good effort to sell the most in her troop and is always outsold by girls in her troop who have their parents help in selling. It just doesn’t seem fair that some kids have so much help from their parents. If this is supposed to teach them the value of money and how to be entrepreneurial, how can they learn if mommy and daddy are doing everything for them?
Girl Scout Dad
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Dear Girl Scout Dad,
I remember selling Girl Scout cookies and getting motivated by sales goals when I was your daughter’s age. Inspired by the prizes I could win, I went door to door and asked every single house in the neighborhood. The pinnacle was when I got to Mr. and Mrs. X’s house. They owned a swank French restaurant in Chicago and always bought 20 to 25 boxes. Who would be able to top that, right? Well, as it turned out, a lot of girls did. Girls who had parents who worked in factories and big offices and brought the order form to work with them. I was disappointed, sure, but that only lasted for about five minutes. Having now been in the work force/business for more than 25 years, my perspective has changed a little bit. Here are a couple of things to consider:
- Life isn’t always fair.
- If you compare yourself to others you will always come up short.
- Do the best you can regardless of what others are doing.
- Business and selling largely rely on networking and word of mouth.
- Cookie sales are a very big part of Girl Scouts fundraising. The more money that is raised, the more the Girl Scouts benefit, local troops included.
That being said, I still think it should be a combined effort. Girl Scouts should also sell even if they are getting a little (or a lot of) help from parents. The Girl Scouts organization stresses the importance of the girls getting out there and learning about selling. They also now have online ordering links to help support the selling effort. In other words, they have given a helpful tool for the girls to use to increase their sales.