It’s that time of year again when we run the gauntlet, exiting our local grocery stores shielding ourselves from the chorus of young girls and mothers imploring us to buy overpriced cookies.
I used to be opposed to the concept of the girl scout cookie sale because I don’t believe I witnessed it being done in the spirit it was designed. My experiences with the sale were 4-5 girls loitering by the market entrance as their mothers were within arms reach glaring at me, daring me to walk by them without purchasing their wares. The mothers always prompted the girls on what to say and how to act. It felt like an exploitation of cute freckle faced youth in order to fund raise for the all mighty local council.
I never bought their cookies, mostly out of spite. I mean who could reasonably say that the cookies didn’t taste good? I even had psychotic day dreams of setting up my own table next to them. In my vision, I would buy boxes of Oreos from the market and give them away free of charge just to destroy my competition. My sanity prevailed, and I simply walked on by with a curt, “no thanks”.
All of this changed on Saturday when my adorable neighbors pulled their wagon up to me as I was outside. They addressed me by name, made a sales pitch, and sold me a box of whatever they call Samoas these days. The most important part of this transaction is that there were no parents to be seen. No one coaching them through the pitch. No one carrying their cookies. No one doing math and making change with cash money. In an instant I finally saw the true intent and evidence of the actual mission of the cookie sale. The girls were independent and mature as they engaged with an adult. I got over my disdain for the fundraising process and saw these girls as an example of what the cookie sale tries to teach. They seemed to enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit and I would bet they were not racing toward a sales goal a’la Judy Blume’s “Fudge”.
I am glad I had a great experience with the sale to help me overcome a bias and learn to be a little less cynical . When they make a calorie free cookie I’ll buy even more.
PS – Girl Scouts need Square readers.