Friday, January 25, 2013

Girl Scouts Teach Delicious Life Lessons

Photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar

Memo From Mom

TO: Everyone who has a kid selling something for a fundraiser
RE: Cookies for sale! And wrapping paper and nuts and gift cards and…

I will be the first person to say that Girl Scout Cookie Delivery Day should be a national holiday. All work should cease so that Americans can sit peacefully and binge on Thin Mints, Samoas, Thin Mints and some more Thin Mints. No need to wear your fanciest clothes. Simply don your best elastic waistband pants and settle in for a day of pure cookie nirvana.

I do love Girl Scout Cookies, and am very willing to partake in this old-fashioned, door-to-door sales approach. When a young, eager Girl Scout knocks on my door accompanied by her mom or dad, I have to buy a box or nine of these overpriced artificially preserved delicacies. Even if I shopped with a coupon or two that morning to save a buck, when Girl Scout Cookie time rolls around, I don’t bat an eye at the obscene amount of money it costs for a box of approximately 12 cookies. How could I deny a child working hard and pounding the pavement for her beloved organization? I do it for the charity, I do it for the community and sense of pride for the girls and yes, I do it all for the cookie.

However, when order forms are taped to the lunchroom table at work soliciting my hard-earned money for little Joey’s wrapping paper sale or Janie’s chocolate sale and yes, even for Girl Scout Mary’s Tagalongs, it is quite easy to ignore the silent pleas coming from those faceless forms. This method of passive fundraising doesn’t teach our kids the value of hard work, communication, or graciousness. It simply says, “Look, my kid wants to win a cheap plastic flyer disc. We have no intention of bringing him or her around the neighborhood and teaching our child to say hello, explain the fundraiser to practice good verbal skills, engage in small talk with a neighbor and to say thank you face-to-face with our consumers. We want to get in, get out and get done.”

Let’s add Facebook begging to this, now. We are in the throes of Girl Scout Cookie selling season and I cannot log on to Facebook without being bombarded by people letting me and the world know that their child is selling Girl Scout Cookies. “Patty wants to win an Xbox! Please Buy!” I don’t care if Patty wants to save starving koalas in Australia. Tell Patty to visit or call me and tell me all about the Girl Scouts and how she makes ten cents for her $4.00 box then we’ll talk.

Let's not forget the tried and true best way of selling anything - including beachfront property in Arizona - the grandparents. If time doesn’t allow for neighborhood canvassing and you need to boost sales by a box or 20, hit Grandma up. That’s what we do.

No comments: