Is the world too creepy for door-to-door cookies?

Truth be told, your cookies aren’t that great, Girl Scouts. If I look around the estate long enough, I’ll probably find the ones I bought last year — or was it the year before?

The Girl Scouts are going to start selling the cookies online, which may make some sense since everything else is going online. They will not be available online in Minnesota — at least not yet.

It’s a pity it’s come to this, but the if there’s a badge for learning the world is a creepy place, you all get one, Scouts.

It’s been awhile since a Girl Scout has knocked on our door to sell the cookies for way too much money, because we’ve reached the age where we don’t know any Girl Scouts anymore and the Scouts mostly aren’t selling to strangers anymore — it’s family, friends, and the people at work who get roped into buying them by a co-worker.

In many places, and apparently in my neighborhood, Girl Scouts don’t knock on doors of non-family, non-friends and on those occasions when they do and a man answers, he has to go sit out on the stoop in the cold to order. You can’t invite a little girl in out of the cold and it’s not like we don’t see you hiding around the corner of the garage, Mom.

The kids will probably still set up tables around stores, an effective way to sell a ton of cookies and earn a merit badge in “guilt.”

  • Gary F

    Bob, Samoas are rated right up their with street grade crack as an addictive substance. Serving size should say one box.

    But, I was told they only make 50 cents per box. That gross margin sucks. I give them a $20 and don’t take the cookies.

    My diet can’t handle them anymore.

    • The individual troop gets 50+ cents a box, but the local council gets way more than that, and that money goes into trips and the girls. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/03/07/good-question-where-does-girl-scout-cookie-money-go/

      • Gary F

        Now the troop gets $20 in clear profit.

          • Gary F

            Sure.

            But kids need to put shoe leather on the pavement and work it. Kids need the sales and business experience and effort that goes into the cookie sales.

            That’s why I make an effort to stop at every lemonade stand I can. Even with customers in the car, it’s always my treat and my tip is larger than my bill.

            If I know the kid, the family, or the school, I’m an easy sell.

            I will donate and not buy. I don’t need hockey pizza, dance company butter braids or scout popcorn.

          • Kassie

            It just isn’t reasonable for a lot of kids. Who is going to buy cookies in a neighborhood where 75% is below the poverty level? Should they all be bused to your neighborhood?

            And here was my experience selling cookies door to door. This was 25 years ago in the suburbs: two men answering the doors in their underwear. A few people saying they would buy cookies, then not paying/answering their doors when I went back with the cookies, so my parents had to pay. Me being scared and uncomfortable going door to door. What did I learn from all this? Nothing about sales or business experience, I promise you that.

    • davehoug

      Serving size should say one box. = = = YES

  • davehoug

    The world IS less safe. 12yr old kids used to go around collecting for their paper route, holding a bag of money and waiting in out of the cold. Now many won’t let their adult daughters be pizza delivery drivers………sigh 🙁

    • The world is not less safe, but it’s perceived to be less safe. I think this has nothing to do with safety, and more to do with family being spread out around the country. My extended family in Chicago would like to buy from my kids here in Minnesota, for example.

      • davehoug

        The perception may be the factor. I recall hitchhiking died over just one or two summers with national exposure of drivers getting killed. Every parent puts deep into memory tragedies with children. Yes we do hear about more than used to be known, topics fit for a family paper are now a much longer list.

        However, the perception or reality, parents just don’t allow kids to carry money in the street and go from home to home. What was once OK is now considered VERY unwise.

    • jon

      Check the crime rates again.
      The perception is that we are less safe.
      The reality is that we are as safe or safe now than we’ve been in the last 30-40 years.

  • Kassie

    I’m glad they are doing this. There are a lot of troops where the girls are just not going to sell high number of boxes, particularly low income troops where mom can’t just sell them at work and the neighbors don’t have money to be buying cookies. I’m hoping that a chunk of the money from what is sold online can go to the more disadvantaged troops around the country.

    • BJ

      No, even this is geared to the troops that email the link to THEIR cookie ordering pocket book.

      • Kassie

        Well then BOO! And this post just encouraged me to sign up to be a volunteer for the Girl Scouts, background check pending.

        • BJ

          Good for you. My daughter has been in GS for 5 years, small troop of 6 girls with about 4 still original from 5 years ago.

        • joetron2030

          Kudos to you for signing up to volunteer! My wife is the troop leader for one of my daughters and volunteers for the other daughter’s troop when it’s her turn.

          She’s also getting more involved at the next level up, too (training new leaders, etc.)

          The hardest part, at least in our area, is that there are plenty of girls who want to join but not enough adults interested in volunteering as troop leaders. The existing troops are all pretty full, too.

  • BJ

    Weird, I seem to remember this from last year.

    • Last year was a pilot project to see how it would work. Apparently it went well enough to expand the effort.

  • A friend of mine who volunteers with the River Valley Girl Scouts noted that shipping and credit card fees for online orders would really eat into what the troops get, so that’s one reason to still support local troops by ordering in-person or buying at the stores where they set up a table.

  • KTFoley

    Kids selling cookies:
    I wonder if on-line ordering opens the door to year-round cookies sales? That’s not necessarily a good thing. There are no GS cookies in the house: Thin Mints taste more nostalgic than good.

    However, if a troop has a table at a grocery store and participates in programs to donate purchased cookies, I’m happy to write them a check on the spot. Win/Win/Win – the troop gets the successful sales experience, the food shelf or deployed troops get the cookies, I get the donation instead of the carbs.

    Kids selling newspapers:
    It could be that a paper carrier is no longer a pre-teen’s first job for reasons beyond the safety aspect of walking alone in the (dark, deserted) early morning hours: (1) houses are spread out and on-line subscriptions are common, so it’s no longer cost-effective to deliver a route on foot; (2) nearly all papers are morning editions now, so the after-school opportunities have evaporated; (3) weekly cash payments are an anachronism, so there is no longer a need for someone to collect in person.

  • joetron2030

    Our girls still go door-to-door when it’s time to sell cookies. Around here, that’s roughly end of Feb. into March or April, I think.

    Last winter was tough just because it was so cold out. But, when it was warm enough out (relatively speaking), the girls got bundled up and went door-to-door in our neighborhood with my wife in the car to haul more cookies than the girls could carry in their backpacks and a warm place to take a break. But, regardless of their age, we would never send them out unaccompanied, though. If nothing else, it’s for our own peace of mind.

    They’ve generally had more good experiences than bad. The only bad experience came from a guy who came out screaming at the girls about how evil GS is because the organization didn’t adhere to his conservative social values. But, my wife talked to the girls about how to handle those situations.