Girl Scouts booted from cookie corner - founder's historic house
Girl Scouts, seen here near Atlanta, smile despite challenging times during cookie season.
February 28th, 2011
08:03 AM ET

Girl Scouts booted from cookie corner - founder's historic house

It's hard out there for a Girl Scout.

After someone complained about a Savannah, Georgia, troop selling cookies at a busy intersection in town, the city forced the girls to move away from the money-making location, according to the Savannah Morning News. The demand to move broke decades of tradition because that corner - Oglethorpe Avenue and Bull Street - is in front of the historic home of the founder of the Girl Scouts organization, Juliette Low.

Savannah zoning administrator Randolph Scott said the problem was that the girls were setting up their sale table on a public sidewalk, which violates a city ordinance, the Morning News reports. Scott tried to help, calling for a survey in the hopes that the property line near the home had private space. No such luck.

The Scouts are taking it on the chin elsewhere in Georgia and around the country. Recently in Villa Rica, Georgia - about 35 miles west of Atlanta - Girl Scouts were told they could no longer peddle their Thin Mints at a strip mall. (Watch how a cop nearly booted the Scouts from their favorite spot. "He was scaring us," one of the girls said of the officer.)

And in this economy, the governing body of the Girl Scouts in Texas is adjusting sales methods. At least a dozen troops across the country are offering only six varieties of cookies rather than the usual eight, according to KVIA TV in El Paso. The price of Samoas and Tagalongs has gone up in some areas to $4 a box, the station reports. It's still a little too early to tell how well newly introduced cookies - "Thanks-a-Lots" and "Shout Outs!" - will sell or if some troops' use of new eco-friendly boxes will boost sales.

At least one girl has not been deterred from her cookie mission. Lydia Johnson, 7, and her mother, Susanne, of South Florida, have reportedly sold 2,053 boxes this year. "We're like twins," Susanne Johnson said. "People like it, and it is fun."

The Scouts are selling cookies until March 20.

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Filed under: Girl Scouts
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  1. Dave M

    why is my commentary not posting???

    February 28, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey5Picks

      This one did, and it added A LOT to the discussion.

      February 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sally

    @Laura – sounds like you were in a bad troop and its a shame that you're so bitter. Do you actually believe that so many girls would participate if all troops were that way? When my daughter was in Girl Scouts, they sold cookies maybe 2 or 3 weeks in a year (and actually didn't mind getting out there because the girls had fun together), and the rest of the time they did fun projects and went on outings. She remembers GS as some of the funnest times in her childhood. I do agree that the cookies are very expensive (at $4 a box in our area for many years), but honestly, do you expect the cookie company to just give the cookies for free to the Scouts? They have to make money too. I wish they gave them a bigger break on the cost, but I know my daughter didn't learn about corporate greed by selling cookies. She learned that if you wanted to do something, you worked to earn the money. Before even selling the cookies, the troop leader would put out suggestions on what they could spend their earnings that year (camping trips, a sleepover at the zoo, etc), and how many boxes they'd need to sell to reach their goal. That doesn't seem like a bad lesson, IMO. At age 20, my daughter now has a great work ethic and is very responsible, partially due to her time in the GS.
    As far as school fund raisers, at least you are willing to donate something. That is the most important thing. Fund raisers are necessary because our schools don't get enough funding, and are in dire need of supplies.
    @Jim Bob – As far as only allowing in Christians, I think you might be getting the Girl Scouts mixed up with the Boy Scouts, a completely different organization. The BS were in the news a while back for kicking out gays and athiests. I don't remember ever reading about the same thing happening in the GS (but I could be wrong). I do know that in my daughter's troop, that was not the case.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Salim Jumma

    My daughter is a girl scout and i am pround of it, Like i was when i was in India growing up.
    Also Girl scouts cookies is 3.50 dollars and 50 cents goes to scout.
    So maximum profit goes to company that manufacture the biscuit not girls scouts.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave M

      that is a lie!

      February 28, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Per our council's cookie manager training:
      $3.50 purchase price
      $0.85 to the bakery for production
      $0.55 to the individually selling troop
      $1.75 to the local council for leadership programming and camp programming/maintenance
      $0.35 for marketing and production for the girls' incentives/prizes.

      Cookie sales make up 2/3 of any given local council's budget. This fundraiser keeps camps open and leadership opportunities available, as well as funds grants and scholarships for any girl who can't afford camp or membership on her own.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • a little sad

      @ Dave M-

      What is a lie? That Salim Jumma grew up in India? That she is proud of having been a Girl Scout?

      Your post was both pointless and insulting. If you have issue with a comment, at least identify the issue.

      February 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave M

    The Girl Scouts are one of the most poorly run non-profit organizations. They are in fact a for profit business that use these girls to push over-priced cookies. "Help me raise money to go to camp", is a pitch they often use. The The Girl Scouts of America are sitting on enough funds to send every girl in the United States to camp for the rest of their childhood.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Care to back that claim up with some clear facts and verifiable information?

      February 28, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Our local council gives camp scholarships to nearly EVERY girl that applies every year (my TWO daughters included), so how is that a scam?

      February 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • andrew

      Dave M... does the M stand for Moron?

      February 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laughing my butt off

      Are you as stupid as you sound here? Put out facts and links to the facts, or shut your pie hole.

      February 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enraged

      I am a Senior Girl Scout and many times, our cookie sales have helped us go to camps!. If you are not in the Girl Scouting community you do not know of the nice people in it who donate their time, and money to make our events happen. You only remember the bad people you have met in GS, then you project that view onto other GS people even when they are really nice. You should not be commenting on the topic if you don't have any idea what it is about. Also, what most people forget to mention is that Girl Scouting is a non-profit organization.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Amunaka

    That's just wrong...They don't go door to door anymore making it hard to get my four box minimum of Thin Mints fix..now I gotta go out and find them ...but for a box of Thin Mints I'd do almost anything....It's an American tradition..

    February 28, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      There is a cookie mobile app to find a booth, and there is also a website that allows you to find a cookie booth. The girls do go door to door but it's much more limited due to safety concerns.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dave M

    They should not be allowed to sell in front of grocery stores either. Tax paying companies pay to be put on the shelves of that grocery store. These exploited girls are allowed to setup in front of these stores and stop sales belonging to vendors who pay to be there and offer a fair price.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      They only sell three weeks out of the year, man. People need to loosen up the anus.

      February 28, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Sally

      Yeah, selling cookies in front of the grocery store 2 weeks a year is going to put all of those tax paying cookie companies out of business! The absolute greed of those little girls!

      February 28, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Are u serious

      Grocery stores can allow anyone to sell snything they want. That is free enterprise. Need ferry fare to Cuba?

      February 28, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Analise

      FYI – they must have permission from the store(s) before they are premitted to set-up shop in the foyer to sell the cookies so the store as elected to allow them to sell their items vs. those on the shelves.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • GS Troop Parent

      How exactly does a more expensive box of cookies outside (or right inside in the rare case) as an option being sold by a volunteer girl scout troop prevent someone from buying a less expensive box in the store and taking away the money from the "tax paying business"? A whole aisle of cookies of all kinds with lower prices these kids are competing against, and you've got a bug about it? Lighten up.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • asc

      If those companies could make a cookie that tasted as great as girl scout cookies, then maybe people would buy those instead of the girls outside the store. & really, it's only 2-3 weeks a year. I'm sure that's REALLY going to hurt other companies. Get over yourself.

      February 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • a little sad

      You really bear a grudge against this, don't you?

      Nabsico has no more right to complain that the Girls Scouts are seling cookies at that location than that Keebler is selling cookies at that location. If they have a contract which specifically excludes the store carrying a competing product, that would be a different issue. However, I see many different cookie companies represented in the 4 grocery chains locally, so I tend to doubt that is the case.

      February 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave M

    Look up the girl scouts on charity navigator dot com. You'll see how terrible they are.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Grumpster

    I think GS cookies should come with a fat content warning like ciggarettes do for nicotine. The quality of those cookies has steadily gone downhill year after year. Gimme back my GS cookies of the 1970's where the thin mints actually had a layer of mint cream in them. BLAH!!!!

    February 28, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Perhaps you should just put a bullet in your head and save the American taxpayers your BS.

      February 28, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Ramdomact

      Yeah...totally agree that the cookies are just awful in recent years. Sugar and more sugarcoated sugar and the recipies have sure changed for the worse over the years.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Do you know how to read the nutrition facts? Also, no trans fats in any of them. Not any worse than any other cookies and at least the money does some GOOD.

      February 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    What a marketing opportunity this creates for the troop. Load up a van and hit the streets....I know the police would help them too.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Yea, whatever...call what you will. I call it the destruction of society and kindness.

      February 28, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. tiredofthiscrap

    I love the Girl Scouts, but I hate when they sit outside stores and jump at you. I wish the cops would make them move around here.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lisa

    What kind of jerk would complain about the Girl Scouts selling cookies? It is for a limited time and it's not like they chase you down...they take a polite no. Probably some fat pig with no will power!

    February 28, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. GS Troop Parent

    It's totally up to the troop leader and the troop itself how much the troop has for any sales goal. The individual girls can sell as much as they want, or not participate in the sales. Some go whole hog with fundraising for many years for one trip.
    Some troops just require the parents to write checks for any troop activities and dues(dues are also discretionary per troop), so it's like a massive baby sitting service. Our troop funds all activities through fundraisers including cookie and nut sales and the troop leader asks the supportive parents of the troop to help. It's like a big family over many years now. The girls are responsible due to all aspects, recognizing the value of their work as well as that of the parent volunteers .The benefits will go with them for the rest of their lives.
    Like anything else, the value comes back with what you put into it. There are other leaders and parents in town who practically phone it in (i.e. only cookie sales come from parent's work place).
    The booth/tabletop sales benefit the girls because of the volume in one shot vs. going door to door and getting empty houses or people who see the GS coming and hide in their house, refusing to answer the door (Yes, we see you.)
    The booth sales are only for a limited time during the year, different from the door to door sales.
    The girls in our troop do both, and they all benefit. Our troop does not cost the parents anything ($) due to the hard work of the girls and the volunteerism of the dedicated parents. If you are a parent of a GS, and you can make the time to get involved even sometimes, your kids will benefit. I see many GS troop leaders and parents who are some of the most dedicated volunteers and I am proud to know them.
    The BS, from what I can tell, have a quota or minimum order to meet of everything they sell, and if they don't, the parents are forced to buy the quota, in addition to a hefty annual fee for each boy.
    For those that are hard on the GS for hawking expensive cookies, yes they are expensive, but it is truly for a good cause, and yes, the troops only get a small percentage.
    If you answer the door to a door to door sale, please be polite. They are little girls, for crying out loud, and the door to door is also a learning tool for dealing with people in the real world. If you see a booth sale, understand it is for the troop as a group and that many girls benefit from the one time a year that you might buy GS cookies. They also take donations if you don't like cookies or can't eat them and want to help some girls who are trying to help themselves.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave M

      Shame on you exploiting your daughter like a call girl in Thailand

      February 28, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • GS Troop Parent

      I think Dave M spends a little too much time on the net looking for girls from Thailand.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Larry L

    I saw two fat kids and two fat mothers fattening selling cookies to a population of fat people. Maybe we should learn to promote this worthy cause in some other fashion?

    February 28, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • hunnykins

      Maybe you could get something started for your own organization – the skinny, ignorant population.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mike H

    For the people here that are using this stupid act as a sounding board.....What have YOU done for the youth of this country lately other than whine and bad mouth?

    February 28, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Rum Dumb

      Paid my taxes which support under privileged children and adults alike.

      February 28, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • GSMommy

      Thank you Mike for supporting a worthy cause. GS is a non-religious organization which is why I gave it the thumbs up for my daughter (we are not religious). GS is about making our girls into leaders, teaching them good morals, and enabling them to have great social skills; it's not all about the cookies. The cookies help the troop raise money so they can have materials, and take trips to develop the skills mentioned above. The cookie selling also teaches them how to manage money, save money, and donate to charity. The organization has changed the way the troops can earn. They can opt for some money, and cheap prizes (even as a GS Mom I do feel the prizes are cheap and unrealistic to meet the better prize goals for the younger girls) from the council. Or they can opt for money from the proceeds with no prizes from the council. Most troops are now taking the second option to do more for the troop (this is a much better option in my opinion). What would it hurt to purchase one box of GS Cookies for these children who are trying to better their lives? Nothing. You don't even have to eat them if you don't want to, you can donate your box to the Gift of Caring program which gives the less fortunate or your Home Town Heroes some appreciation. Every GS Troop offers this option. You can also make cash donations at the cookie booth, this money goes directly to the troop. FYI, all GS Cookies are now 0 Trans Fat.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. John

    When people ask what is wrong with America a number of the responses here in this thread should tell the tale.
    Pathetic that some are so small and have so little self worth that they attack the Girl Scouts.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
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