How Mrs. Kunilou got a Girl Scout in hot water

Who among us can resist the angelic face of a Girl Scout with cookies to sell? At least the first 20 of them, anyway?

Certainly not Mrs. Kunilou. Even though she’s on a strict exercise and diet regime that excludes cookies, she can always be counted on for at least a box of Thin Mints.

And so it was two weekends ago when a poor little waif in her uniform showed up at our door. Even though the big cookie push had been earlier, Mrs. Kunilou ordered yet more cookies.

We were somewhat surprised when the girl returned with the cookies last weekend. All the other Scouts said we’d get the cookies in March. We opened the Trefoils. They were stale. Even by the low standards we’re willing to give GS cookies, they were stale - rock hard, bang-on-the-table stale. Even the twins wouldn’t eat them.

Mrs. Kunilou suspected the innocent young thing at our door was dumping last year’s cookies. She sent a polite e-mail to the local GS Council. Then all hell broke loose.

We’ve gotten apologetic calls from the Council. The cookie police called, wanting to know the name of the girl, her troop, the lot number on the box of cookies, whether we paid by cash or check, how stale the cookies were on a scale of 1-10 and so on. E-mails have been flying. DNA samples have been collected from the cookies. Soon, there will be a knock on some little girl’s door in the middle of the night.

Finally I asked Mrs. Kunilou if this wasn’t something of an overreaction for a $3 box of cookies, especially since we could dunk them in milk. She looked at me with her sternest tough-teacher face.

“I was a Girl Scout troop leader. I was a cookie chair. I was a cookie mom. I know how Girl Scout cookies are sold AND DAMMIT, THERE ARE PROCEDURES!”

Kunilou, they do seem to be overreacting a bit, but, well, would you let a company of any sort sell you cookies that were made over a year ago and have probably passed the expiration date? :eek: If not, then why let a Girl Scout do it? Their cookie fundraising efforts is run similarly to a company’s procedures, and they find it unethical that the Girl Scout in question would sell you year-old cookies. If she wants to break the rules and her parents think it’s okay, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Girl Scout troop or the GSA that they’re affiliated with want her as a representative of any other Girl Scout out there selling cookies.

This was an atypical incident, but they’re reacting in the way that a group would if someone had brought it up as an issue that would be publicized amongst every person they knew. Those Girl Scouts that don’t do this don’t want to be associated with the handful of Girl Scouts that do practice this unethical method of getting rid of last year’s cookies.

Good luck with your next batch of cookies. :wink:

She’s got a point, you know. There are procedures, and those procedures are there for a reason. One of the goals of Scouting is to teach basic ethics like “don’t lie, cheat, or steal from people”, and this little stunt was basically an attempt to swindle you. The organization deserves to know that a member is undermining one of its fundamental tenets. Besides, the cookie drive represents the bulk of the Scouting budget, and the last thing they need is somebody out there misrepresenting the product and giving them a bad name.

They might be over-reacting a bit, but I think the Girl Scouts of America is pretty protective of it’s little cash-cow.

I mean, $3 for a little box of cookies, times four because I have to buy two boxes from the doe-eyed urchin at the door, a box from my secretary who’s shilling them for her daughter, and one more so as not to look like a douchebag in front of the grocery store when the cuteness mafia ambushes me. $12 from me, and I’m not even that big a fan of cookies! Are the Girl Scouts saving up to buy a stealth bomber? Where does all that money go?

It could be that they are blaming the bakery, NOT the girl. Girl Scout cookies are made at two different main bakerys, one in KY and one…somewhere else. :slight_smile: This is the reason that if you live in the South your choices are a little different than if you live in the North, and sometimes the same cookies have different names. Each bakery is required to supply the staples: Thin Mints, both peanut butter brands, the “samoas” (the coconut caramel ones), and the shortbreads. Then they can experiment a bit with a few flavors that they want to sell. Your wife should be able to verify this (speaks another reformed “cookie mom”).

I find it hard to believe that the girl is doing that, although I suppose it’s possible. I mean, if she’d put 'em in the freezer, it wouldn’t be an issue! (boasts the GS Council anyway) If she did, it would have to have been cookies that her family purchased the year before. We never had a box left over when I was cookie mom in my troop. As a matter of fact, we took some of the other troop’s leftovers on the last few weekends to help them out. If those troops didn’t sell them, they are supposed to keep them for troop meetings, or have the families buy them.

Inky, that money is pretty much the sole support of the GS, aside from the meager dues they charge the girls…the campsites, the camping trips, seed money for the girls to participate in activities. Unfortunately, the amount that the troops get to keep out of their sales is very small (IMO).

And after learning about that on this board last year, I will be giving a few extra bucks on top of any cookies I buy. I used to sell the things. It’s a lot of work. And it annoys me that they get no money for it. But oh, I adore the silly cookies, so I’ll give them extra on top of it.

I remember several years ago selling popcorn for the scouts. Every year the troop got less and less of a cut. Really was demoralizing to be 12, running around being the sales whore for Trail’s end when our local troop was getting first 20%, then 10% then, as I’ve heard recently, there was another cut of a few percent. Yay capitalism.

Oh, for anyone that doesn’t know… The BSA distributes popcorn as a fundraiser the same way the Girl Scouts sell cookies.

Hmm. I’ve never in my life see Boy Scouts selling anything. And they get screwed too? That sucks.

Hi. Ex-Girl Scout here. Sold the damn things for 13 years. The reason the council is so freaky about it is because they are PROTECTING THEIR SALARIES. The troop probably got 36 cents per box. Although I find it odd that the scout mighta been selling last year’s cookies. My house used to be cookie distribution central, and any extra we could easily get rid of long before the selling season was over.

I don’t know how wide spread this is, but in my neighborhood the Boy Scouts sell Christmas trees and offer to haul them away after the holidays (my tree’s fake so I just slip them $10).

I don’t know how distribution works around the country, but just to throw a delivery datum in to the mix, I got mine delivered this past Monday.

[aside]I don’t normally buy or snack on sweets, but I’ve done the GS cookie thing for our departmental secretary, or her daughter, every year just as a, well, get along thing. So, what to do with them?

My 1º political foe in the corporado battlefield in which I live is very slick, very mean and quite overweight. He knows it. He hates it. And he cannot resist.

So, this morning I put my box of chocolate covered peanut butter GS cookies out on the kitchen table. That’s (in my office) an open invitation to anyone who cares to indulge. ~150 calories each. I noticed that he carried four into the morning meeting.

By 4:00 o’clock he’d finished off the last one in the box.

I realize that this sounds terrible to some, but realize that this guy has unnecessarily jacked with my career in serious ways. And other peoples’ as well. He fires any shot he can get in. Zero team spirit.

And he fights dirty, really dirty, so why shouldn’t I?

Tomorrow, he’s having a box of those peanut butter sandwich GS cookies. :slight_smile:

When the cookies run out, we’re going to donuts.[/aside]

It’s not nearly on the same scale as the cookies. I don’t know any troops that do it. I do know several that do Christmas tree and other winter greens sales. And our troops and councils cut those deals themselves, rather than do a national thingie like the cookies.

The Girl Guides in Canada do the cookie thing too, but it’s strictly cash and carry. We too are ambushed at the entrance to Loblaws by a squad of Bambi-eyed youngsters and coerced into forking over hard-earned cash, BUT we get boxes of yummy cookies on the spot, and can carry them home for immediate scarfing (well, whatever Mrs and Miss Bookkeeper let me have as leftovers). I can’t really see this “for later delivery” business.

Hmmm. The next time they come to my door, I think I’m just gonna donate. I don’t like GS cookies anyway and this way the local troop can keep everything.

Hi! Actual, factual Girl Scout employee (of a local council) weighing in here.

A few pertinent facts:
*There are three licensed cookie bakers, “Little Brownie Bakers,” “ABC Bakers” and one more whose name I can’t remember.

*Each council (local geographic region of which there are 316 in the USA) contracts individually with one of the 3 bakers and sets their sale dates, cookie prices, and troop profits individually.

*Because each council doesn’t want to compete too badly, often sales are offset when councils are close by (which is why NY city, which has regular commuters from at least 5 council that I can think of seems to have sales constantly).

*Also because the councils set their own prices, they decide how much (if any) of the profits go back to the troops. Our council sells for $3.50/box, 50 cents of which goes back to the troops (with additional troop bonus money available for older girls going on long trips). Some councils sell cookies purely as a council fundraiser, i.e. no money goes back to the girls. I personally don’t like that, but I don’t work for those councils. No cookie money goes back to the national organization.

*The councils use the money for a variety of things, including property and camp maintenance, outreach programs for girls, leader training and support and a myriad of other things including paid staff. But keep in mind Girl Scouts is a volunteer organization and in a council like mine with 5,000 volunteers, there’s only 30 full-time paid staff, so it’s not going to a lot of overhead. I’d like to personally thank any leaders and cookie moms (or dads) out there. You rock!

*Girl Scouts are on their honor (cheesy sounding, I know) not to start selling before their council’s official start date and time. The little girl in the OP was just wrong for passing off year old cookies and her council should be upset. She cheated by selling ahead of time and with old cookies.

*And one, last nitpicky thing, there is no such thing as Girl Scouts of America or GSA. The national organization is Girl Scouts of the USA (abb. GSUSA). Boy Scouts are the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Thanks to all of you who support the Girl Scouts and if you ever feel that you’d rather support your local council by simply giving a monetary donation, I doubt anyone would turn you down. If you don’t want the calorie-laden things lying around your house, ask if the council has a “Gift of Caring” program where you can buy a box of cookies to donate. Sorry this was so long, just trying to fight a little ignorance on a topic I know about.


They delivered the cookies at work tonight. It was horrible. I had to stand there and watch all of those people walk off with boxes of Samoas, Do-Si-Dos, and (sob) Thin Mints. Last year I bought a dozen boxes of Thin Mints. Plus a few of the Samoas and Do-Si-Dos. And this year nothing. I hate being sick. :frowning:

According to the site, there are only two commercial bakers for the cookies. Does your local council contract out with a third company? If so, do you think the national organization knows anything about this?

I’m just curious; I don’t have any daughters nor do I buy/eat the cookies. I just saw your post after reading through the FAQ page on Girl Scouts site, and wondered who the 3rd baker was.

It’s entirely possible that 2 of the bakers merged and now we’re down to 2. My council contracts with Little Brownie Bakers. There used to be 3 bakers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we’re down to 2. I’d take the word of GSUSA over mine.

I wonder if there will be some sort of ceremony where the convicted girl stands at attention in her uniform while the troop leader tears off her badges and then rips her sash?

Or do they just give her a white feather?