I received a news release this week, telling me to expect Girl Scouts to visit homes in the Mid-Ohio Valley in the next couple of weeks, selling Girl Scout cookies.
The release made mention of how many people say they would buy Girl Scout cookies if only a Girl Scout would ask. Count me as being one of those people.
The sale of Girl Scout cookies helps to finance many different scouting activities throughout the year. I'm sure that was the initial and on-going reason for selling them.
But a side benefit of Girl Scout cookies is that selling them gives the scouts an opportunity to learn some sales skills, how to handle and track money, and have a business discussion with adults, perhaps even people they don't know.
I know it's probably too dangerous these days to allow children -- boys AND girls -- to go door-to-door selling cookies or anything else to strangers, sad as it is. Paper routes, snow shoveling, lawn cuttting, baby-sitting -- all of these tasks used to be great ways for young people to use their energies, earn some money, and interact in the adult world of money and work. Now too oftentimes, we have to be afraid to let our kids do any of this, which cripples their ability to succeed as adults.
Parents are often too busy to accompany their children door-to-door to sell cookies or other things that school PTAs sell to make money to provide things to children that school systems can no longer afford. So parents oftentimes just take an order sheet to work and their co-workers sign up and order stuff. The parents collect the money and deliver the product, all with virtually no involvement of the children, depriving those youngsters of an opportunity to learn.
A better solution is to go door-to-door with your kids. I remember doing a lot of that when my daughter was younger. I would stand out on the sidewalk, and she'd go to the door and do her sales pitch. I was close enough to make sure she was safe, but she had to the selling!
Call me an old Scrooge, but I don't buy Girl Scout cookies unless a Girl Scout asks me to. Then, I will happily buy too many Thin Mints for any one person to consume. A box of Thin Mints and a gallon of milk can disappear pretty quickly if left in my custody.
So if there are any Girl Scouts out there, I hope ONE of you will track me down!