Girl Scout reboot required

After finishing my second successful term as President of the United States, I intend on taking over the Girl Scouts and turning that waste-of-time organization into something that can truly benefit its female membership.

As a member of the Boy Scouts, I learned valuable skills that I continue to use to this day. With extensive training in first aid, I was able save the life of a friend at the age of seventeen when emergency first aid was needed. Thanks to wilderness survival training, I managed to survive a cold night lost in the White Mountains of New Hampshire without injury, panic or discomfort. For three years during and after high school, I worked as a Lifeguard at a local camp, thanks to my training and certification through the Boy Scout of America. As a Boy Scout, I learned to sail, canoe, and swim. I can tie more than a dozen different knots depending on the need. I can identify poisonous snakes, plants, and insects. I can orientate using a compass, the sun, and the stars.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In comparison, Girl Scouts teaches its members little or nothing. It’s a shameful waste of time, and it begins with their goddamn cookie sale. Each year tens of thousands of Girl Scouts are transformed into miniature salespeople for an organization that cannot find a more meaningful and creative way of fund raising.

In Boy Scouts, we raised money by collecting recyclable materials throughout town, by starting a tree planting business, and through a great many car washes. These activities taught us about botany and gave us an opportunity to dig into the soil, get dirty, and plant a tree that would remain standing for more than 50 years. We studied the impact of plastics, metal, and glass on the environment and did our part to aid in conservation. And we spent a great many Saturday mornings with our friends, hosing down cars, throwing around sponges, learning about teamwork and having fun.

The selling of cookies is an individual activity that often requires close parental involvement and no cooperation with fellow Girl Scouts. This is not a team-building fund raiser, and it doesn’t teach the girls much of anything.

The selling of Girl Scout cookies needs to be eliminated.

The members' time could be better spent learning genuine skills that might make them more productive and prepared citizens in the future, and failure to do so is shameful to say the least.

I’ve been told by fund raising supporters that this annual cookie sale teaches the girls to manage money and instills a business sense in them. The Girl Scout’s website claims that the cookie sale promotes “goal setting, money management, and teamwork.”

Money management? The girls (if they are lucky) collect money from friends and relatives and hand it to their mothers. Is this is the Girl Scouts’ definition of money management?

Teamwork? Since when do the girls sell in pairs or groups? The sale of cookies is a solitary activity unless Mommy is tagging along (which she usually is).

Worst of all, these claims are usually false and misleading.

For example:

A couple of weeks ago a former student and her mother arrived in my classroom to drop off my cookie order and receive my payment. Though I love the cookies, I took a moment to express my distaste in the concept of the cookie sale. The mother attempted to defend the fund raiser, explaining how the sale of cookies teaches her daughter to operate a business, handle money, and monitor inventory.

“But who is holding the order sheet?” I asked the mother.

She was.

“And though your daughter handed me my cookies, who handed the order to her daughter just seconds before?”

She had.

“And who ultimately received my money and made the necessary change?”

She had again.

After eleven years of teaching Girl Scout-aged girls, I can tell you that this was not an aberration.  I see this all the time. Almost every time. These girls aren’t running a business, handling cash transactions, or monitoring inventory. At best they are handing an order form over to friends, relatives, and neighbors with the hopes of generating a sale. They are nothing more than a conduit, a means of getting the cookies from the factory to the consumer.

At worst these girls are glorified delivery people, working for an unimaginative and short-sighted organization that cares more about fund raising than genuine educational opportunities.

It’s an organization in need of a complete overhaul, and I honestly believe that I could be the one to do it.