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Trefoils, the Drama

Tingley-021 colorI’ve already given my cookie order to my favorite Girl Scout and can’t wait until they arrive.  Samoas, Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Thank You Berry Much, and my all-time favorite, Trefoils, which a dear family member derides as the “un-cookie.”  Be that as it may, it’s not hard for me to wolf down nearly a whole sleeve of them with a good cup of tea.  But this year, sadly enough, some Girl Scouts are boycotting cookie sales for what seems to me to be kind of un-Girl Scout reasons. 

In Cleveland Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, some Girl Scouts are refusing to sell cookies to protest the closing of several rustic camps and replacing them with more modern facilities.  “It was a tough decision,” says Alisha Trammell, a Girl Scout troop leader, “ But we talked about it and what it means and what the consequences might be.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Scouts keep about 60¢ for every $4 box sold, and Trammell’s group raised about $800 for the troop last year.  Girl Scouts of the USA, the national umbrella group, says the annual sales yield about $700 million nationally is the “largest girl-led business in the country.” Girl scout cookies

The mothers of the girls boycotting the sale say they would like their daughters to experience the more rustic camping experience afforded by the old camps.  But the Rebecca Shaffer, director of marketing for the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, says that they surveyed the girls themselves a few years ago and the number one response regarding the camping experience was that the girls wanted inside plumbing.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast a California Girl Scout is calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies because of the national decision to allow a 7-year-old transgendered child to join a Colorado troop this past fall.  Claiming that the profits from cookie sales are furthering the agenda of a “small handful of people,” the teen expresses her concern for the “safety” of girls in a video seen on a website “concerned with the alarming choices” the Girl Scouts have made.  In truth, Girl Scouts of Colorado waffled about admitting Bobby Montoya, but finally released a statement saying, “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.” Three Louisiana-based Girl Scout leaders promptly resigned and dissolved their troops.

In the meantime, thousands of girls across the nation are having a great time in Girl Scouts, selling cookies, earning merit badges, and reciting and believing in the Girl Scout Law:  “I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others ….” 

The Girls Scout law, folks.  It would be great if we all lived by it.  Boycotting cookie sales is a grown-up response to conflict, not a kids’ response.  Leaders need to think about the example they’re setting.  In the meantime, I’m waiting for the Trefoils to arrive.





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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Practical Leadership are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.