Cookie Doldroms

Girl Scout Cookies came up in conversation yesterday.  I sold GS cookie as a kid and was the Cookie Mom for several years when YA was in scouting.  I am aware that as cookies go, they are extraordinarily expensive, but I’ve always thought of them as more of a charity than a fair purchase.  Any time I see Girl Scouts selling cookies, I buy a box or two.  The grocery store, the hardware store, at my office and from the grand-daughter of a friend of mine.

This year that habit netted us well over 12 boxes of cookies.  We tried all the new ones (none of them passed the “we’ll buy them again next year” test).  YA’s favorites are Thin Mints and PB Patties.  Mine are Samoas and Shortbreads.  But clearly neither of us are as enamored of the cookies this year as we have been in the past.  I still have 2 boxes of the Shortbread sitting on the counter and have googled what I could do with them (I did get a good idea for something to put in spring baskets this year – I’ll take a picture in April when it happens).  YA has a box of PB that has been opened but clearly not touched for at least a week and there is a half a package of the Lemonades in a ziplock that no one has touched for quite some time.  (Don’t get me started on the packaging for the Lemonades and the French Toast – it’s criminal!)  I’m pretty sure the Lemonades are going to get tossed.

It’s making me re-think my strategy where GS cookies are concerned.  Maybe if I run across Girl Scouts who are selling, I should just buy one box.  And buy fewer from my friend’s grand-daughter.  And maybe pass on signs I see up at the office.  Because even if I just think of them as a charity, it bugs me to throw out cookies or to finish a box just because we have too many of them.  At least I have a year to refine how I’m going to handle this next time.

Do you have too many of anything in your house because it’s a good cause?

20 thoughts on “Cookie Doldroms”

  1. As a kid, I always hated it when we were supposed to sell something to raise money for an organization or activity. In those days, we were expected to go door to door and unless you were a Girl Scout, you were trying to sell light bulbs or chocolate bars or greeting cards or Cloverine brand salve or, always at a non-competitive price. The real beneficiaries of those marketing schemes are the suppliers of the product.

    As a child and as an adult, I’ve always considered selling something as the least imaginative and most knee-jerk means of fundraising but with the Girl Scouts it appears to be baked in, so to speak, to the national organization. I’d like to see a breakdown of where the money goes. Could individual troops decide to fund raise some other way? Sending kids out door-to-door is no longer acceptable and even when Girl Scouts set up a table in some public location, there is always an adult present. The greater share of GS cookies, I am certain, are bought by grandparents, the parents themselves and co-workers and friends of the parents. They get a scant box of cookies they may or may not want for an exorbitant price. How much of that goes to the scouts? Personally I would rather just give them five or ten bucks and skip the middleman, but there doesn’t seem to be any mechanism for that. I can find my own cookies if I want any.

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    1. Sometimes when dad and I had been fishing and caught more cod fish than we could eat, I would be tasked with going around to our neighbors to give them away. Mind you, not sell them, give them away. I was a shy kid, and I hated knocking on people’s doors. Most neighbors would be grateful for the free freshly caught fish, and some would even give me a Krone or two in appreciation, but I still hated it.

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  2. Our church youth are selling butter braids to raise money for Bible camp. I bought a couple of the braids. They are yummy and come from somewhere in northwest Iowa, close to where I grew up. I don’t buy GS cookies. I don’t like the way they taste. I really dislike BoyScout popcorn. It is so unhealthy. I think I am more inclined to support GS than Boy Scouts, though.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Yes, similar dilemma here, VS, with half a box of Shortbread… might use it for a pie crust for a cream pie of some kind.. I’m pretty much the only one who’s eating them,and this is just silly.

    I do love the Thin Mints, and I used to love Savannahs which are probably long gone. What are the peanut butter ones called? I’m really out of touch, hadn’t bought for decades till a girl at church started selling.

    Most of the clothing in our closets comes from thrift shops, and there’s certainly too much of that. Who knows how much of that actually goes to the charity, esp. Goodwill.

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  4. I used to like the GS cookies but I think they’ve changed. I liked the ones that used to be called Samoas. I was never a big fan of the Thin Mints. They’re ok but not my favorite. I buy a few boxes if I see them selling in a local store. I noticed this year one of the boxes said, “Proceeds stay local.” I hope that’s true. I think some troops sell them and then use the proceeds to help send girls to GS camp. I was a Girl Scout too and it was mostly a good experience so I like to support them. I really don’t need to sugary sweets around though.

    I have loads of Rock Bend t-shirts. I have long and short-sleeved Rock Bend t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, two sweatshirts (one with the famed St Peter tornado on it that says, “Our trees may be gone but our roots are still here” – I love that one), ceramic mugs, water bottles, window clings, every gimmicky thing we ever sold in the Info Booth. Most of my t-shirts are staff or volunteer t-shirts. They were our reward for working so hard. I have one large dresser drawer full of t-shirts I never wear anymore, all Rock Bend. There was a phase during which all the women’s t-shirts were tiny, with low scooped necks. I really love Kris’s designs from that era but I can’t wear those t-shirts. There are probably seven or eight of them. I’m glad that phase is over.

    Like Barb, I buy a lot of clothing from thrift stores. I like that Goodwill trains people to work and hold down a job. That’s a helpful thing for some people. Otherwise I prefer the smaller, local shops. Northfield has a good one: The Clothes Closet, which supports the senior center/health club FiftyNorth. I’m a member there and I like that kind of local support. FiftyNorth is great. They do all kinds of community stuff, like voting and classes, and the Citizen’s Action Center/Food Shelf is part of it too. They have local artists’ works presented in the community rooms and halls. Some of that showcases new artists monthly. There’s a book donation library and lots of classrooms for community classes. There’s a choir, a band, a ukulele group, a garden club, a cafe’ and free meals for people who need one on Thursdays. I use the swimming pool to swim laps and the hot tub. I have used the fitness room too – I should use it more. It’s a good place.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Individual scouts always got perks from selling the cookies that could be used towards camp. YA was the top seller in her region for three years in a row – it was the only way we could have afforded camp. Then her region merged with another who hadn’t had as good an incentive and rather than raise up the other region, they decreased our region’s incentive. I actually called HQ to discuss it and was basically told our girls have to suck it up. So as the top seller, YA would have gotten less than half the reward as earlier years. She very succinctly said “if I can’t make enough to go to camp, then why should I bother to sell cookies at all?” No answer to that from her mother so that was the end of selling cookies and very shortly after, the end of her Girl Scout career.

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      1. The Girl Scout organization does claim that the girls learn about the world of business through cookie sales, though I would argue no more than they would at a lemonade stand. your example suggests that the things YA learned about business were not the things they promoted.

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  5. I don’t seem to run in the right circles to get GS cookies. Sometimes if I see them at a store I’ll buy a couple boxes of the peanut butter ones. It’s always a surprise to me to open the box and see the cookies to packaging ratio.

    I recall the 4H clubs selling candy. I bought a lot myself. And the few times our kids had something to see, we just paid for the box and let it go at that.
    Missed out on Hockey pizzas too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It feels almost un-American to admit it, but I have never liked the practice of fundraising for Girl Scouts by selling cookies. It was also at odds with scouting values as I knew them as a Danish Girl Scout. Despite this, I have bought more than my fair share of GS cookies over the years from co-workers, neighbors and friends, most often without any involvement of the Girl Scout herself. Like others, I find the cookies overpriced and not particularly good, although I’ll readily admit, I’m no cookie connoisseur.

    One notable exception to the no involvement of the GS herself was Erin. Erin is the daughter of one of my neighbors. She was born with multiple birth defects, both physical and mental, and she has a severe speech defect that makes it difficult to understand her. Undaunted by Erin’s challenges, her parents lovingly and patiently pushed her to work as hard as she could to live as normally as possible. Erin would call me up on the phone and ask me to buy some cookies, and when I said I would, she’d grab her order sheet and walk to my house with her mother (three houses away) to take my order. Her mom would encourage her to tally up the sales and figure out how much I owed. This was a slow and arduous process, and I’m sure that Erin sold very few cookies compared to other girls in her troop, but she sold them all herself.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I always let YA decide what she wanted to do in terms of raising money. She’s actually very good at it… always top of the Read-a-thon fundraiser in elementary. Tops at Girl Scout cookies. She didn’t want to sell wrapping paper so she didn’t. She also wasn’t crazy about gymnastic fundraisers (although since I love Butter Braids, she did sell a few of these), plants were meh. One of her best money raising forays was in the neighborhood. It was one of the years we were doing a block party and she really wanted to rent a cotton candy machine (she was 7 or 8) but it was more money than I could cough up (I think it was $60 with all the sugars). So she hit up all our neighbors… she raised all the money in about 20 minutes!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I would never go out of my way for Girl Scout cookies, though I have bought them from a neighbor’s daughter in the past. She’s now grown up and gone off to college, so there’s no more necessity to make a purchase.

    I have four T-shirts and a hooded sweatshirt from my volunteer shifts at the Minnesota Humane Society booth. Not as extensive a collection as Krista’s Rock Bend collection, but probably more than I really need. I have one Rock Bend T-shirt and maybe a half dozen or so buttons.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m keeping most of my folks’ things that they didn’t have room for in their retirement condo. Invariably, mom thinks of some random thing that she would like back, so I’ve kept as much of it as my house will hold and I bring it back to her. This includes all of our old family photos.

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    1. I kept a lot of my aunt’s things when she went into assisted living, and then a nursing home. She would occasionally ask for things back. There’s a term for it in the community of senior move managers – they call it archiving, when people can’t keep all their stuff and they aren’t ready to let go of it, so they turn it over to someone with the expectation that that person will keep it for them

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