Cookie catastrophe leaves scouts in the dust

An overreaction from the Girl Scout Council has left a troop without a leader

Cynta Camilia

It’s no secret that the Girl Scout cookie industry is massive. 194 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies were sold in 2015, according to a Fortune article. That equals out to about $776 million in sales. So why then is everyone in the area in an uproar about one single troop selling cookies?

Local news has recently been buzzing about a Eugene troop leader being dismissed for letting her troop sell cookies outside of Taylor’s Bar and Grill near the University of Oregon campus. According to an article in the Register Guard, she had apparently been told not to but decided to sell there anyway. This Register Guard article starts out with a statement about girls being taught to respect authority as a “core principle” of the organization. From there the rest of the article takes on a slightly demeaning tone, leading me to believe the author feels the troop leader should’ve done a better job at respecting authority.

As a former Girl Scout, I know that respecting authority is a part of the Girl Scout Law, which is essentially a list of the core principals of the organization. What the RG article doesn’t mention is the rest of the law, which is:

“I will do my best to be: honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to: respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.”

The decision this troop leader made may have violated the respect authority part of the Girl Scout Law but what about the council that dismissed her? Was taking away her volunteer job and all of the cookies that she was trying to help her troop sell by going to a place that had a lot of business honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, respecting others, using resources wisely or being a sister to every Girl Scout?

Taylor’s is a very busy spot near campus which may elicit a large amount of cookie sales. As long as the Girl Scouts are supervised and not inside the bar, I don’t see a problem with taking advantage of that.

According to the Girl Scout website, 100 percent of revenue from cookie sales goes back into the local council that the sales originated from and 10 to 20 percent of those proceeds go to the individual troop. Money made from cookie sales are what sent me to multiple camps — San Francisco, Hawaii and Mexico — with my troop throughout the 14 years I was in Girl Scouts. Cookie revenue gives girls opportunities that most people normally never get the pleasure of experiencing. Through Girl Scouts I gained strength, confidence and incredible life experiences. All of these things were funded by sale earnings.

Alicia Allen, a former local troop leader, said that in her understanding the troop had been selling in front of Taylor’s for several years and were supported by local UO Greek Life. According to Allen the troop leader wasn’t told until the night before the sale, after everything had been reserved and set up, that they were not approved to sell there. It apparently took two days before the troop’s cookies were repossessed and their leader was dismissed.

“Terminating the leader seems harsh, as she has a reputation of being an upstanding, active and by the book volunteer,” Allen said. “I’m sure there is more to the story, but in the end, it’s the girls that lose due to an overreaction, on several levels, from the Council.”


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Kira Jones