Last night I read a post on Steam Feed that outraged me, as a mother, a scouter( I was a girl guide ,the mom to a brownie, and 2 scouts, my mom was a Brown Owl,and my grandmother a early Guiding leader) and as some who works in the digital world every day.
If you have not read this post from Robert Caruso you need to especially if you have ever had a child involved in the international scouting movement. I believe the tweets from the Girl scout stream would have Juliette Gordon Low turning over in her grave. She is the woman who founded the scouting movement in the United States after meeting Sir Baden Powell in England.
First of all a young scouter Emma thought outside the box, and thought of others namely the American soldier (by the way my daughter’s big brother Seth serves in the US military) who might be lonely so she wanted to send them cookies to remind them they were cared about. Great cause right? According to the Girl Scouts Twitter Account they originally thought so too but then they decided the good cause should not be supported because the scout would not be collecting payment in person but would be accepting digital payment.
So they tweeted to Emma, and told her her great idea could not go forward.
What a way to correct a child. A scout. With a tweet. Not a call to her mom. But to correct a child in a public forum. I think Juliette, who encouraged independent thought and leadership who would be shaking as would Sir Baden Powell.
Then there is their reasoning, a digital sale does not teach a child effective communication skills which is paramount to the cookie sale process. This mom calls Hogwash! As a corded Girl Guide in Canada and the step mom and mom of kids who have all been involved in the scouting movement digital communication is just as important in today’s job market as the ability to sell door to door on in a location at a local mall. In today’s society we need to be creating opportunities for children to learn skills that lead to leadership both offline and online.
Now here is another kicker the Girl Scouts in the US have a site called Little Brownie Bakers and I will quote the site here:
“Setting high troop goals, building leadership skills, serving the community — these are some of the key learning goals of the Cookie Activity. By helping your Girl Scout learn to set and achieve goals, you are fostering a lifelong skill.”
Emma was doing just this..she was learning a skill that will carry her far, and serving the community at the same time.
As for not accepting a payment unless done in person, well that would mean long distance relatives could not even support their favorite scouters. Grandparents that live far away and want to receive a box of cookies couldn’t. As for a scouter being present for every sale, then no more would we ever see a box of cookies at work. All of this is done on a daily basis.
Dear Girl Scouts I would really rethink your policy.
Dear Emma as a Scouter I am so proud of you and your efforts, lets find a way to get the troops some cookies.
Now on Twitter there is a movement to get Oreo behind the Cookies for the Troops movement so tweet them if you think cookies for the troops is a good idea, I think it would be a sweet reminder of home.