It didn’t start when someone knocked at our door selling Thin Mints. Nor did it occur to me when a colleague walked around hawking those cookies on her child’s behalf. It suddenly dawned on me when I noticed some extremely overweight adults helping young girls sell cookies outside the Walmart store.
Sometimes people sell homemade cookies for fundraisers, since there are rewards for top sellers. Some parents simply buy many boxes of these cookies in order to help their children meet the target.
When I put together these facts, it didn’t make sense: cookies, young girls, overweight adults, and America’s obesity epidemic. Even if girl scouts management was said to try to reduce fat in their cookies, cookies are the last thing we need if we want to overcome our weight problem. Why can’t people sell something else, in addition to cookies? Are cookies really the only thing that will sell?
Even in fundraising or in doing any kind of charity work, we need to learn to be innovative and creative, and to be so at an early age, like combining fundraising with something else, something more challenging and healthy than selling cookies, like helping girls come up with healthy and nutrious recipes, like growing plants or doing some craft work during holiday seasons and selling them for fund raising, like mixing with boys in their fundraising activities. I am sure boys also have fundraising task. In this process, the girls can learn something other than making cookies. I am sure there are many things that people can learn to make and sell.
One last thing that is a bit disturbing is the fact that the only thing that I, as an outsider, know of girl scout is about girl scout cookies, as if that’s the only thing they are good at or they are expected to be good at. That’s purely a view of an outsider. I am sure the insiders would argue with me on this.
On the other hand, I never hear of boy scouts selling cookies. On the contrary, I have heard of many fun things that boys scouts are doing. Do we have a different expectations when it comes to scout’s gender? Or are we enforcing gender stereotypes by preparing our girls to be cookie-makers/homemakers?
For our nation’s girls to grow up meeting the challenge of the future, girl scouts organizers should prepare girls to be anything but cookies makers or cookies sellers.