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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:26 PM

People skills are so important. Perhaps the executives at Girl Scouts could use some.

Girl Scouts: No brownie points for PayPal-using cookie seller

Oh, people skills are so important. Perhaps the executives at Girl Scouts could use some.

...

So I feel more than a pang of sympathy for 11-year-old Emma Vermaak.

She is not the only 11-year-old to like One Direction. However, she might be the first 11-year-old who thought to use modern methods to raise money as part of the Girl Scouts' "I Care" program so troops overseas could enjoy Girl Scout cookies.

Inspired in her quest, she thought it might be an idea to use PayPal. This system is not revolutionary. It feels like it's been around since Jimmy Carter's time. Yet the Girl Scouts organization seems not to be quite a pal of it.

...

Moreover, Emma's bemused mom told SteamFeed that she tried to talk to a local Girl Scouts vice president, who, mom says, told her "that by us helping Emma get the word out on social media, we are not helping her to learn real skills like she does by going door to door."

But Emma is going door-to-door. This PayPal online initiative is an extra.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57567920-71/girl-scouts-no-brownie-points-for-paypal-using-cookie-seller/

13 replies, 1284 views

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Reply People skills are so important. Perhaps the executives at Girl Scouts could use some. (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
jberryhill Feb 2013 #1
Brickbat Feb 2013 #2
RevStPatrick Feb 2013 #3
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #4
Xithras Feb 2013 #5
kimreynolds Feb 2013 #6
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #7
savebigbird Feb 2013 #10
surrealAmerican Feb 2013 #8
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #9
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #11
avebury Feb 2013 #12
xmas74 Feb 2013 #13

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:30 PM

1. If she went door-to-door with a paypal card scanner, that would help too


Out of politeness to my neighbors, I do the "fundraiser" crap when their kids are dragooned by schools and professional fundraising skimmers to be cogs in their machine. But I rarely have any cash in the house other than coins in the sofa.

"real skills like she does by going door to door"

Yah, "real skills" like learning how to break out of cable ties, evading dog bites, and blinking "help me" in Morse Code in a hostage video.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:31 PM

2. Paypal takes a cut, IIRC.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:36 PM

3. I would expect this from the Boy Scouts...

 

The Girl Scouts always seemed more modern and together than their male counterparts.

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Response to RevStPatrick (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:42 PM

4. Somewhat in their defense

I don't think they were prepared for it - but they should have figured out something in this case.

We do live in a computer age after all

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:59 PM

5. The Girl Scouts have a good reason to worry about online cookie sales.

There's a real worry that a handful of powerful troops could build some cookie "supersites", effectively shutting out most of the other troops in the country. How would you like to be the girl sitting in front of a store in California trying to sell cookies, and have someone tell you "No thanks, I already bought my cookies online from a troop in Alabama".

The Girl Scouts don't want the troops in competition with each other for cookie sales, and moving sales online would place ALL of the troops into direct competition for the same customer base.

A few years ago our local troop approached me about building a "Buy A Cookie" app (I do a considerable amount of free software development for nonprofits). Their idea was to build a phone app where you could specify the cookies you wanted, and that order would be routed to the nearest troop that signed up for the app. Your cookies could them be delivered to you immediately, wherever you were, by local Girl Scouts. They thought it was a great idea, and so did I, but they were swatted down the moment they tried to get approvals from their council. The council wouldn't allow anything that even HINTED at online sales.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 06:41 AM

6. Girl Scout Now Boycotting Emma

Now the Girl Scouts have deleted the one nice tweet they sent Emma and are not allowing me (her mom), to be at her events. Apparently I make the girl scout leader uncomfortable. I am probably going to have to pull Emma out because when I tried to find support for the council, they basically told me that I can fill out a report, it will go to someone, who will show it to her boss, it will go to a committee and if the complaint makes it through local committee it will go to the local CEO. If she decides to act on it...

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Response to kimreynolds (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:24 AM

7. wow - and welcome to DU

We pulled our daughter out two weeks ago.

Partially because she wanted to be but also the last two leaders were awful (missing money, nothing to do at meetings, canceling activities all the time, etc).

Hope things work out better for you and welcome to DU!

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Response to kimreynolds (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:11 AM

10. It's a shame.

Emma seems like she is very industrious and smart to think of new ways to make the cookies available to those who didn't have access to them.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:02 AM

8. I'm confused:

I thought the Girl Scouts discouraged door-to-door sales. At least they did here some twelve years ago when my daughter was a scout. It was a safety issue. They encouraged the girls to sell to people they knew.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:06 AM

9. From their safety rules (undated):

http://girlscouts.amesev.com/cookies/safety.htm

Girl Scout Cookie Selling Safety Rules

Girls should wear Girl Scout identification--their pin with their uniform, sash, or T-shirt.

Girls must sell with a buddy.

Girls should be familiar with the neighborhoods in which they sell. Use safe pedestrian practices.

An adult must accompany a Brownie or Junior Girl Scout when girls are taking
orders and selling cookies. Girls 11-17 must be accompanied by an adult when selling door to door. Daisy Girl Scouts do not sell cookies.

Girls should sell only during daylight hours.

Girls should never enter a customer's home unless accompanied by an adult.

Two adults must be present, at all times, when Girl Scouts operate a booth in a
store, mall, or other public place.

Girls should never give out their names, addresses, or telephone numbers to customers. Only the group leader's telephone number or other adult's telephone number is given out to customers.

Always have a plan for safeguarding money collected. Money may be given to the accompanying or supervising adults so girls are not walking around with large amounts of cash.

Never sell cookies on the Internet.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:14 AM

11. Having young girls sells stuff "by going door to door" is INSANE in today's world!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:16 AM

12. GS Executives need to get real.

I don't know of any girl scouts who actually go door to door (unless it is setting up card tables outside of stores like Walmart). I buy my cookies either from a parent who brings the order sheet to work or outside of some store. It sounds like the Girl Scout organization does not understand how the real world operates.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:20 AM

13. cookie sales are not allowed online

And never have been.

Each council sets their own rates and sell at different times. It wouldn't be fair if one of the early councils set up websites selling them long before any other councils get a chance.

Online sales also punish girls who do not have similar resources. GS had scholarship programs available to girls who cannot afford to join. The goal is to be open to all girls no matter the finances. Cookie sales are also applied to camp credit,reducing the cost for camp. Allow sales online and you take away that chance for some young ladies to earn money to attend camp.

When I was a scout leader I couldn't even mention cookies here on DU. A few knew through other threads that I was a leader and sent me a pm during our season. They trustingly mailed me money and I mailed a couple boxes of cookies. I also included their local council info for future sales.

Besides, each council already has a program for the troops. When a call is received on their "cookie hotline" they'll pass the caller's info along to the nearest troop or troop that "needs" more sales. The troop will make contact and deliver the cookies. It benefits our soldiers and it benefits scouting programs.

Setting up online sales can lead to a monopoly.

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