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mamaraby

A Scouting/Fundraiser Question - Am I being unreasonable?

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29 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

Aren't cookie booths usually held in public places? How would they ever be able to enforce this rule? 

Booths are held at public ISH places.  Meaning sure, if a booth is in the vetibule at a Kroger it's public.  But if there are 6 kids there and Kroger said "no, only 4" then yeah, that can be reported.  Also, being that booths are public, other troop leaders can and do report booths that aren't following protocol. 

 

The truth is it only takes on set of crazyness for a company to decide no booths ever.  If a family shows up at a Kroger booth and lets their 4 yr old tag a long kid climb the displays, it only takes one customer to report that crazy kid to the mangement and one manager to report that to council and suddenly, GS loses Kroger as a council sponsored booth.  

 

No one at council goes around and polices such things every single weekend or anything.  But much like trash piles up at national parks when rangers aren't there to take the bags out of the cans, craziness in booths can pile up when such booths don't have clear rules.

 

If I show up at Kroger on   16th with my DD8 and DS6 in tow, no one is there to police me.  But it's a rule and I wouldn't break it just because I felt like it.  

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1 hour ago, Margaret in CO said:

But if they did look at that breakdown, how much went to National salaries?

Probably close to the same as what goes to the BS national salaries from popcorn sales.  .  GS isn't out to hornswaggle their girls into making their executives millions of dollars a year.  The executives have to be paid of course, but it's not like the executives of either of these organizations are getting paid millions of dollars each year.   

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Does any of the money from cookie sales go to GSUSA (the national Girl Scout organization)?
Does any of the money from cookie sales go to GSUSA (the national Girl Scout organization)?
 

No. All Girl Scout Cookie sale proceeds stay local. GSUSA is paid a royalty by its licensed bakers to use Girl Scout trademarks based on gross annual sales. Girl Scout councils do not provide any portion of their cookie revenue to GSUSA, and no other revenue from cookie sales goes to GSUSA.

GSUSA approves all marketing and sales materials developed by the bakers. GSUSA also provides councils with coordination and training for national media activities, safety standards for girls and volunteers, a world-renowned girl leadership program, and support during cookie season.

 

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales is retained by the originating council and troop to power amazing experiences for girls and influential girl-led community projects. Girl Scout troops set goals for how to spend their proceeds on program-related activities, such as paying their own way to a community event or museum or funding other program outings. Girl Scout troops may also choose to use proceeds to purchase materials for a Take Action or service project to benefit the community.

https://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies/FAQs.html

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Booths are held at public ISH places.  Meaning sure, if a booth is in the vetibule at a Kroger it's public.  But if there are 6 kids there and Kroger said "no, only 4" then yeah, that can be reported.  Also, being that booths are public, other troop leaders can and do report booths that aren't following protocol. 

 

The truth is it only takes on set of crazyness for a company to decide no booths ever.  If a family shows up at a Kroger booth and lets their 4 yr old tag a long kid climb the displays, it only takes one customer to report that crazy kid to the mangement and one manager to report that to council and suddenly, GS loses Kroger as a council sponsored booth.  

 

No one at council goes around and polices such things every single weekend or anything.  But much like trash piles up at national parks when rangers aren't there to take the bags out of the cans, craziness in booths can pile up when such booths don't have clear rules.

 

If I show up at Kroger on   16th with my DD8 and DS6 in tow, no one is there to police me.  But it's a rule and I wouldn't break it just because I felt like it.  

Here we actually have a well known mom who “polices” booths. She drives around and reports some (once she reported some girls blowing bubbles and once she reported some girls who made a “booth” at their school. It was a couple of girls selling at a club activity.)  It is sad and yet funny to me that one would waste time doing this.  

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I think it would be one thing if the girls and parents were asked and agreed to it, probably on a case by case basis. But if not, that is just not right or fair.

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7 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Probably close to the same as what goes to the BS national salaries from popcorn sales.  .  GS isn't out to hornswaggle their girls into making their executives millions of dollars a year.  The executives have to be paid of course, but it's not like the executives of either of these organizations are getting paid millions of dollars each year.   

Technically true.
BUT, technically, the money that the Girl Scouts make from selling their flavors/brand to cereal companies, creamers, coffees, ice cream companies..this does not go to the troops.  It goes to corporate.  It hurts the troops by making the flavors available year and hindering their individual cookie sales.
So technically, more money goes to national now than it did before, because of the way that they sell their flavors and undercut their own girl-led sales.

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8 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Probably close to the same as what goes to the BS national salaries from popcorn sales.  .  GS isn't out to hornswaggle their girls into making their executives millions of dollars a year.  The executives have to be paid of course, but it's not like the executives of either of these organizations are getting paid millions of dollars each year.   

None of our CS fundraiser money goes to BSA or the local council, it all stays with the pack. Dues/registration money largely goes out.

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27 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

None of our CS fundraiser money goes to BSA or the local council, it all stays with the pack. Dues/registration money largely goes out.

I answered your question/tried to expand on how in my council troops had to buy extra boxes that no one had yet sold. And that those were the first boxes I would credit girls who were close to incentives. 

Did you see it?

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8 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Here we actually have a well known mom who “polices” booths. She drives around and reports some (once she reported some girls blowing bubbles and once she reported some girls who made a “booth” at their school. It was a couple of girls selling at a club activity.)  It is sad and yet funny to me that one would waste time doing this.  

Council does that here on a random basis. Their explanation is that they want to see how the girls are doing but they are also clear that they are making sure you are following the rules. They don't want to "lose" a spot due to poor relationship with the location. 

They also said if a troop requests a spot then doesn't go, that is frowned upon, too. so they spot check to see if a troop is actually having a booth sale they were approved for.

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2 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

I answered your question/tried to expand on how in my council troops had to buy extra boxes that no one had yet sold. And that those were the first boxes I would credit girls who were close to incentives. 

Did you see it?

Yes, thanks. 

I understand crediting girls who are super close to an award level. With regard to the OP, I still think it is wrong to move the credit for selling without asking the girl(s) who actually did the work.

Not sure I understand how there are boxes not sold by individuals. Who sells the extras you have to buy? Or are they not actually sold, just paid for and assigned by the troop? 

Whew, so complicated! My hat is off to y'all for persevering through such a process! Glad ours are much simpler. Kids sell, product comes in, kids deliver, done. 

 

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Just now, ScoutTN said:

Yes, thanks. 

I understand crediting girls who are super close to an award level. With regard to the OP, I still think it is wrong to move the credit for selling without asking the girl(s) who actually did the work.

Not sure I understand how there are boxes not sold by individuals. Who sells the extras you have to buy? Or are they not actually sold, just paid for and assigned by the troop? 

Whew, so complicated! My hat is off to y'all for persevering through such a process! Glad ours are much simpler. Kids sell, product comes in, kids deliver, done. 

 

Because we had to round up to full cases, when cookies are initially ordered, no one has sold the boxes that are purchased that round up the cases yet. 

So those boxes had to be purchased by the troop and we just had to keep trying to sell them. When I did it, I'd let the troop know what type and how many extras we still had. Some types were easy to get rid of (Thin Mints, Samoas) but the tough ones were the new flavors. I hated to get stuck with more than a couple boxes of some odd flavor no one has ever heard of.

If we couldn't sell those extras before the sale officially ended, the troop would take them to camp or use them for a snack. But they were paid for out of the troop's proceeds of the cookie sale, which absolutely stunk if we couldn't get rid of them.

Where do the Boy/Cub Scouts get their product that they sell.door to door? 

I have boys who come by with product and order forms. I just buy whatever they have on hand bc I feel bad when they have to deliver. That is the PITA part of sales!

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2 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

Technically true.
BUT, technically, the money that the Girl Scouts make from selling their flavors/brand to cereal companies, creamers, coffees, ice cream companies..this does not go to the troops.  It goes to corporate.  It hurts the troops by making the flavors available year and hindering their individual cookie sales.
So technically, more money goes to national now than it did before, because of the way that they sell their flavors and undercut their own girl-led sales.

None of those Girl Scout products are cookies, though. Samoa flavored or thin mint flavored is not the same as a Samoa or a Thin Mint. If you want a cookie, you don't want ice cream.

But the positives of the flavors being available year round are: it keeps the product's existence in the public eye. Seeing them reminds people of the cookies. It also can lead to cross over cookies sales. Someone who enjoys the ice cream can then go look for the cookies. 

And also, Girl Scout USA exists to support the girls and the program. So the money they get does benefit girls.

 

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2 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

None of those Girl Scout products are cookies, though. Samoa flavored or thin mint flavored is not the same as a Samoa or a Thin Mint. If you want a cookie, you don't want ice cream.

But the positives of the flavors being available year round are: it keeps the product's existence in the public eye. Seeing them reminds people of the cookies. It also can lead to cross over cookies sales. Someone who enjoys the ice cream can then go look for the cookies. 

And also, Girl Scout USA exists to support the girls and the program. So the money they get does benefit girls.

 

It's skimming off the top.  It's creating specific products with the intent that all the profit will go to corporate.  It's saturation of the market at the detriment of the individual troops.  Girl Scouts have never needed to remind the public of their cookies.  Even in the digital age, people know what a Thin Mint is and don't forget between, oh, say, March 2018 when they stopped sales and December 1, 2018 when they started sales again.  Samoa memory lapse is not an issue for the general public.

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1 minute ago, HomeAgain said:

It's skimming off the top.  It's creating specific products with the intent that all the profit will go to corporate.  It's saturation of the market at the detriment of the individual troops.  Girl Scouts have never needed to remind the public of their cookies.  Even in the digital age, people know what a Thin Mint is and don't forget between, oh, say, March 2018 when they stopped sales and December 1, 2018 when they started sales again.  Samoa memory lapse is not an issue for the general public.

most marketing people would say it is beneficial to always keep your product in front of the consumer since consumers have a shorter attention span than ever.

 

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3 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

most marketing people would say it is beneficial to always keep your product in front of the consumer since consumers have a shorter attention span than ever.

 

If proceeds were structured differently, I'd agree with you.  But being what they are, cookies are a fundraiser for the troops.  They were never meant to be the income of the national organization.  You can disagree, but it doesn't change fact or outcome.  I have a feeling that GSUSA will eventually kill their own organization with bad decisions.

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18 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

If proceeds were structured differently, I'd agree with you.  But being what they are, cookies are a fundraiser for the troops.  They were never meant to be the income of the national organization.  You can disagree, but it doesn't change fact or outcome.  I have a feeling that GSUSA will eventually kill their own organization with bad decisions.

But cookies aren't the income for the national organization. It's the other products. GSUSA does not get cookie money.

I feel like we're going in circles. 

I don't agree with everything Girl Scout does, on all levels (national, council, some troop.stuff). But when it is done right, it is a wonderful thing for girls and their communities. 

Edited to write out girl.scouts & add levels

Edited by unsinkable
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1 hour ago, unsinkable said:

Where do the Boy/Cub Scouts get their product that they sell.door to door? 

Our pack sells popcorn, but not the brand/program that the council does. They do not carry popcorn with them. They sell ahead, then order exactly what was sold. We get the popcorn 2-3 three weeks after the order is submitted. Generally they sell mid-late October and we deliver the week before Thanksgiving. 

Not sure how other BSA packs/troops do it. Not all BSA units sell popcorn. My nephew's troop sells Christmas trees!

My daughter's AHG troop sells coffee, tea and cocoa. 

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19 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

Our pack sells popcorn, but not the brand/program that the council does. They do not carry popcorn with them. They sell ahead, then order exactly what was sold. We get the popcorn 2-3 three weeks after the order is submitted. Generally they sell mid-late October and we deliver the week before Thanksgiving. 

Not sure how other BSA packs/troops do it. Not all BSA units sell popcorn. My nephew's troop sells Christmas trees!

My daughter's AHG troop sells coffee, tea and cocoa. 

 

Our AHG troop sold pasta last year. It sold okay but people didn't like the taste.

 

This year we sold World's Finest Chocolate Bars -- which sold fantastically! (Bars were $2 and the troop got 80 cents per bar, if I remember right. We chose not to do any incentives so it all went to troop activities) So I suspect we'll do that again.  We have 7 unopened boxes left. We could return them but they have done so well we've chosen to hang onto them to sell the remainder in the spring.

My son's Trail Life group used to sell Chick-fil-a calendars, which evidentally did great for them. But then they decided not to do them anymore so they did Usborne Cards this year (Cards were $30 for 30 cards; Troop gets $15 per box sold... But I don't know how many boxes were sold). I haven't heard how that sale went.

 

Edited by vonfirmath

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I'll buy almost anything if a kid comes to my door! And I much prefer for them to have the product right there, if possible. 

I haven't had a girl scout come in years. I've had to track some down for cookies. I should probably start looking again. The last girl I knew started high school and stopped Scouting.

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Yes, I think it is unfair to re-distribute cookies to pull someone else up.  But in a zillion years of scouting I have never given a hoot about incentives or how many boxes of anything we've sold.  So while you are right, I also can't imagine caring about it. 

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@mamaraby Back to your original question. I'm truly an uninterested third party because while I was a Brownie a long time ago and I buy girl scout cookies from the first person who asks (or from DD#2's best friend if she's selling them), I am not otherwise involved in GS or cookie sales.

Do I think you should not sell any cookies this year in protest for years of fraudulent record keeping by the Cookie Mom? No. If her 'cooking the books' had penalized your girls, I would be leaning toward yes.

I think your idea to scale back is good. I also think that if there is a group cookie meeting this year, you should pay very careful attention to whether Cookie Mom mentions the shaving of cookie boxes to supplement others policy. If she doesn't, I think you should loudly ask about that policy. When she (obviously) explains it, you should publicly opt out your kids from either getting boxes shaved or added. It'll embarrass Cookie Mom and likely earn you Stingy Mom status, but it'll help others know the score. You can always fill people in on the backstory if they ask. Then, I'd keep VERY careful records of how many boxes are sold by your girls so Cookie Mom doesn't penalize them by a box just to spite you. 

That's IMO.

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21 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

So, because the leader had been lying for several years, that makes it okay? I would raise a fuss. I'm sure if the girls had been ASKED it would have been agreed to bump up the other girls, but to not be asked??? Our older boys got together on their own and decided to just support the younger guys in their pop sales at rodeos. They all realized that they could make more in a few hours at their jobs, and that the younger boys could use the help. But it was THEIR idea!

Yes, this would be totally different if it was an idea coming from the children.  I’d be flipping out at every meeting this came up.  That is a LOT of work being credited to girls who didn’t do it themselves.

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13 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

@mamaraby Back to your original question. I'm truly an uninterested third party because while I was a Brownie a long time ago and I buy girl scout cookies from the first person who asks (or from DD#2's best friend if she's selling them), I am not otherwise involved in GS or cookie sales.

Do I think you should not sell any cookies this year in protest for years of fraudulent record keeping by the Cookie Mom? No. If her 'cooking the books' had penalized your girls, I would be leaning toward yes.

I think your idea to scale back is good. I also think that if there is a group cookie meeting this year, you should pay very careful attention to whether Cookie Mom mentions the shaving of cookie boxes to supplement others policy. If she doesn't, I think you should loudly ask about that policy. When she (obviously) explains it, you should publicly opt out your kids from either getting boxes shaved or added. It'll embarrass Cookie Mom and likely earn you Stingy Mom status, but it'll help others know the score. You can always fill people in on the backstory if they ask. Then, I'd keep VERY careful records of how many boxes are sold by your girls so Cookie Mom doesn't penalize them by a box just to spite you. 

That's IMO.

 

I would only do this at the group cookie meeting if you were looking to leave the group/take over as cookie mom next year. Volunteer positions can be very hard to fill and groups have dissolved for lack of volunteers to do the work.

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6 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

We chose not to do any incentives so it all went to troop activities.

Our AHG troop does not do incentives that cost money either. The top two sellers get to do a whipped cream pie in face to the TC and Asst.-coordinators! They ham it up and it is hilarious. Ds' CS pack does give cash incentives, but they also do the pie in the face. Top seller in each den gets to do his den leader and overall top seller gets the Cubmaster too. 

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My troops actually redistribute cookie numbers on a case by case basis and have for years. No one has ever said anything about it or seemed to care but that's partly because the troops aren't super into cookies. I can guarantee the not a single parent or girl is keeping a spreadsheet, except for me. And it's not necessarily a strict policy that I will for anyone. By case to case I'm not talking cases of cookies. I mean I'll look at the cookie totals at the end of cookie season: Girl A has 254 so she gets the prizes up to 250 boxes with 4 random ones left. Girl B and Girl C are 4 away from their next prize level. Girl B has worked her butt off at booths and just rocked it while Girl C came to one booth, didn't do a lot of door to doors or had a bad attitude. I'll switch the 4 boxes over to Girl B. No one is hurt and Girl B has been rewarded for her hard work. And before people say that's not fair, Girl B may have had a parent take their form around or something like that, I've been with these girls for 9 and 6 years. I know who's doing the work. If a girl has done what she can and is at 10 boxes, great! Every year I ask the girls to sell 100 boxes. I want them thinking high but there is no consequence at all for selling fewer.

All of the money for cookies stays with the local Council, Service Unit, and troop. There are some not-so-great Councils that don't have a lot of programming. I'm lucky to be one that does a lot for the girls and you can tell. People know GS and are willing to donate to help us out. We also have something like 100 troops in my city alone which makes it interesting to try to sell cookies. It gets saturated fast. This year since my Junior troop is trying to go on a big trip we've also done flamingo flocking and created and sold cookbooks in addition to cookies.

I can tell you though, that moving cookies isn't because the troop leader is being dishonest and she should have spoken to you first or at least announced it but it's really common and for me at least it's strictly to help the girls get to the next level for incentives. If you don't want her to, just let her know.

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Youy need to report this lady. That is so wrong. That sort of thing is like having a 4 kid group project but only 2 people do the work yet the others still get credit. It is wrong and needs to be reported to the higher ups immediately before cookie season begins. 

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Do you get "cookie dough" (a gift card) in your council? In ours, the girls receive $0.20 per box  to use toward camp, activities or in the GS store. By taking 60 boxes from you, she'd actually be losing $12, which isn't a small deal given how hard girls have to work to sell! 

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On 1/3/2019 at 8:29 PM, happysmileylady said:

I also always feel compelled to point out that just because the troop receives 50c to 70c per box, that doesn't mean that the other funds don't benefit the girls.  When I was a scout, I spent 2 weeks at a GS camp that was horse related. We rode horses every day.  They were kept in the horse barn on camp......caring for those horses...year round food, vet care, etc...it didn't come just from some summer camp fees.  Cookies are a huge part of that sort of thing.

Council wide events.  Leader training.  etc etc.  These things are things that cookie sales contribute to.  Just because the troop doesn't get 95% of the box of the cookie, that doesn't mean the girls don't benefit from more than 50c per pox.  


It is funny you mentioned G.S. horse camp.  I went to G.S. horse camp as a kid and loved it..  Went every year, it was the highlight of my summer.    My troops always sucked rocks, so it is likely the only reason I stayed in.  BUT, back then 400 boxes or maybe a little more, earned two weeks free at summer camp.   When DD was a baby, I looked into G.S. and the camp to see if it is still open (it is).   Now you need over a couple of thousand boxes to get ONE week free.   That is because they take the incentive money that would have gone to pay for camp for the girl that earned it, and instead offered a tiny benefit to anyone that attends.  

I don't expect any governing body will do anything.  My last troop leader literally stole our money and they just shrugged their shoulders and said "oh Well.   We can't do anything."
 

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It sounds dishonest to me if we're talking about individual cookie sales.  It seems to be teaching the kids that it's OK to fudge numbers in order to make the troop and some of the girls look better.  I have an issue with that. 

Personally I would sell the least possible cookies or honestly just drop the whole thing.  It sounds like cookies have taken on too much importance.  But then, I too am burned out on scouts (not our leaders' fault, just too much stuff going on for my family).

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