Parenting,  Special Topics

Samoas, Trefoils and ThinMints – Oh, My!

Confession:  I was more than a little surprised the other day when my assistant asked me about the “nature of my issue with Girl Scout cookies.”  I didn’t think I had one.  So she reminded me that in the past week or so I had:

  • been quick to add a comment to parent coach Keyuri Joshi’s blog post on the topic
  • sparked a minor controversy in my VolunteerSpot post on effective fundraising
  • and perhaps may have even forwarded said posts to some of the direct selling friends and clients in my life who just may have gotten just a hair carried away “helping” their daughters and granddaughters sell cookies.

Hmm.  Yep – I did all of that.  But my “issue” is not with Samoas, Trefoils or Thin Mints… or girls in scouting.

If my primary job as a parent is to prepare my child for adult life then I need to resist the temptation to make a habit of doing FOR them the things they need to do for themselves.  (I didn’t build my son’s Pinewood Derby car either – does that make me a Tiger Mom?)

That’s why I don’t like buying Girl Scout cookies from adults.  And, as I said in the fundraising post, I’m not a fan of stopping to chat outside the grocery store while the frozen food items are still frozen.

So, to be clear: I’m a big fan of Girl Scouts and of effective fundraisers – especially the kind that help kids to learn and grow in the process.  Have you read about Kirsten? I did.  And it was because of a remarkable achievement: last year she sold one thousand three hundred one (1,301) boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

To begin to put this in perspective, I’ve learned that the sale of 300 boxes is considered exceptional.  In addition, her parents work from home and didn’t provide that “order sheet in the break room shortcut” (ugh – don’t get me started again).

However the most impressive part of the story is that when Kirsten was diagnosed with autism at age four, it was so severe that she didn’t speak.  This is the girl who, at age 15, sold almost twice as many boxes of cookies as the next highest seller in her area – that vast majority through door-to-door face-to-face direct sales.

And that, my friends, is why I think selling Girl Scout cookies is important.

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