March 12, 2009

Newsweek enters GS cookie battle

Kurt Soller asks "By banning online sales, are the Girl Scouts failing our daughters?" The item had 25 pages of comments by midnight of the day it was posted.

The article concerns an 8-year-old Girl Scout who wanted to earn enough money to send her whole troop to camp. Her dad works as chief operating officer of a Web design and development firm so a web site for orders made sense to the two of them.

I'm familiar with the discussion as it first came up in January when the girl's video first hit YouTube. (You can see it here)

I'm familiar with the selling cookies over the Internet because the troop I advised did it back in 1995-98 before the national office decided that wasn't something girls should do. The rules loosened up over the years to allow email solicitations (never did understand how that was supposed to be stopped.)

So since my troop did it in 1995, why is GSUSA still saying things like this:
"Girl Scouts of the USA is not shunning the Internet … though we still have to figure out how to do this."
That's from Michelle Tompkins, a spokeswoman, who aslo says the marketing of cookies is allowed online, but sales are still verboten. She also highlighted a few other online advances, including the recent creation of a Thin Mints Facebook page and the registering of, a Web site with information on how to buy cookies from local troops. (See my blog post: XXX).

Anyways, back to Freeborn and the video that got more then 700 orders within two weeks. Some folks were unhappy, including Matthew Markie who is quoted in the article and answers a lot of the comments.
"If you have an individual girl that creates a Web presence, she can suck the opportunity from other girls," says Matthew Markie, a parent who remains involved in Girl Scouts even though his three daughters are well into their 20s.

Markie, and other disapproving parents, brought the Freeborn's site to the attention of local Girl Scout officials who told the Freeborns to take down their YouTube video and reminded the family of the organization's longstanding prohibition of online sales.
If you'd rather read about cookies, then eat them try checking out 10 Girl Scout Cookie Crumbs or Sadie's Take:Samoa 4.0: One Scout's Celebrity Prompts Jealousy, Betrayal, Cookies

If you'd rather eat them, sales are down so help out by going to Girl Scout cookies online.

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  1. This creative and innovative girl seized an opportunity. As a result, Matthew Markie had to stomp all over her efforts and cry to the parent organization about this. The Girl Scouts openly make cookie sales a competition... someone tries to get ahead in the race and all the helicopter parents at are using Matthew Markie to cry about fairness"?!

    Parents are crying about Mr. Freeborn robbing his daughter of the opportunity to sell cookies herself. I don't see how Mr. Freeborn robbed his daughter of anything. In the real world, when one has an idea, but doesn't have the means to execute it themselves, that person asks people who know questions. That's a culture we promote at my business... teamwork, helping each other out, problems are solved better in teams than by individuals. According to the article, Mr. Freeborn never forced the internet on his daughter... SHE asked her dad about it.

    Of course, this is just another manifestation of socialism which is taking our country by storm. Someone is sticking out from the rest of the group so let's hammer her under the guise of the collective good. It's really sad the target is a little girl.

    Again, absolutely pathetic (and not to mention Markie's daughters are in their 20s and he's still in scouting... If other parents are worried about security and safety and about RSOs, this is the first place they need to look)!

  2. It doesn't bother me that Markie's daughters are too old for Girl Scouts. I wish more volunteers would stay involved even when their daughters don't because they believe in the good of the organization.

    It is frustrating that the idea of using an Internet video became an issue.

    Thanks for taking a break from your studies and stopping by.

  3. "believe in the good of the organization?"

    Huh??? It seems to me this is one taken right out of the socialist's playbook.

    Enter a competition, and be a little successful. But don't be too successful. Because if you stick out from the crowd, we'll hammer you!

    What #&@! kind of message is that? Is that what we want our 8 year olds to learn? Contemporary society laments about women who aren't given the same opportunities as men, who don't make the same pay, and then Matthew Markie and GSA pulls this stunt?

    I applaud Wild Freedom and I think it's reflects poorly on GSA that an entrepreneurial 8 year old has to drag them into the 21st century!

  4. Yes, overall I believe that Girl Scouts is a great organization.

    I don't agree with all their policies and procedures. I'm not even happy with all their programs.

    But Girl Scouts is an organization worth supporting.

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