San Antonio Girl Scouts Threatened with Suit by GSA for Big Cookie Error

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May 30, 2013; Consumerist

I do not mean to pick on the Girl Scouts, but when I was following up on our story from a few days ago, which looked at the dissent occurring around the selling off of Girl Scout Camps I came across this item. Caution to nonprofits, by the way: sometimes the symbolic meaning of an act takes on proportions out of scale to the act itself.

Recently, a Girl Scout troop in San Antonio received a letter from the Girl Scouts of America telling them to pay up for their cookie order by June 3, or else the debt would be placed with a collection agency. The problem is that the massive cookie order was in error. The troop had meant to order 500 boxes, but instead ordered 500 cases. Each case contains twelve boxes, so that’s 6000 boxes of cookies needing to be sold—at a quick glance, that’s roughly 120,000 cookies—which in turn would mean that each girl in the troop would need to sell 1,200 boxes.  

The troop tried its best, selling veritable mountains of sweet treats, but the task was overwhelming. Other troops stepped up to help, taking on the sale of a total of 200 cases. Finally, at a quarter-past-three on Thursday, an anonymous donor picked up the last 49 cases, getting the group off the hook. During all of this, there was apparently no call made by GSA to say, “Let’s figure out how to fix this.”

This is the kind of story that accumulates additional meaning in the context of a number of other stories about the GSA’s relationships with its constituency.  —Ruth McCambridge

  • Stacy Anderson

    Please note the organization is NOT Girl Scouts of America (and never has been). It with the Girl Scouts of the USA. I don’t know why writers, editors and proofreaders continue to make this mistake.

  • Save Our Girl Scout Camps

    I understand not wanting to pick on the Girl Scouts…..but unfortunately someone really needs to investigate how GSUSA & individual Councils are using the millions of dollars in cookie money that is raised every year along with other donations they receive that is suppose to be used for something other than staff salaries, benefits & travel.

    The general public views the cookie sale as the major fundraising opportunity to donate to the Girl Scouts. Most people believe the money is going to support the camps (the original & long time purpose for holding cookie sales.) and other GS sponsored programs/event for the girls to attend. However, the girls and accompanying adults most often pay fees to participate in everything that is Council does, despite there often being donations, Corporate Sponsors & Gifts in Kind.)

    The Girl Scouts have become very concerned with profit & loss over any service they might provide their membership.

    The Camps that cookies built are being sold left & right. The girls and/or their troops are charged fees (in some cases quite high) to use any aspect of the camps that remain. Including renting of any (even donated) equipment for activities while at the camps. It is becoming more affordable to take a troop camping at a local campground than to the Girl Scout Camps.

    I could write more here…perhaps send me an email Ms. McCambridge…I could share some different writing pieces with you or documentation.