Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Girl Scouts Practicing Communism

My daughter, Macy, set out to be the number one salesman in her Girl Scout Troop in cookie sales. That is how she rolls….sets goals…then does not let absolutely anything deter her. That meant that she would go and sale door to door in the rain…on multiple occasions. Her secondary goal was to sale 250 boxes, thinking that it would put her on top. She fell a bit short on the 250 boxes. On whether she was the top salesman…we don’t know…and thus I am writing this post.

My wife sent an email to the “cookie mom” of her troop, inquiring about where Macy stood in cookie sales. This was the response to her email…verbatim….from the cookie mom.

“There's not necessarily a "place" or a rank of the girls, we want to encourage everyone to sell what they can and not creat (sic) too much pressure on the girls. That said, Macy did VERY well among the other members of her patrol and the troop as a whole. She has earned an additional patch for selling 200+ orders in the initial order taking.”

ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!?!? We don’t want to create too much pressure? Are we afraid that someone feelings are going to be hurt? Are we afraid of Character Building? It is Girl Scout Cookies…not a lively hood. Have we grown so concerned about guarding our precious little ones that we cannot let them grow up? Isn’t being in Girl Scouts suppose to empower our girls and help them become viable and successful members of society? Why yes! This is what I found posted on the Girl Scout Website.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is much more than a fundraiser.

It’s a fun way for girls of all ages to earn the money that fuels their dreams, and it’s a hands-on leadership and entrepreneurial program unlike any other in the world. The knowledge and skills they learn will serve them well for a lifetime. Girls gain a wealth of essential skills, not from a book, but from real-life experiences that build a strong foundation for success. Girls will learn the important skills of: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. You can find out more information on these 5 skills and how they tie into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience by reading the information about Cookie Program 5 Skills and Girl Scout Leadership Outcomes on our website. “

It states clearly that the purpose to sale cookies is to teach entrepreneurial skills...skills that will "serve" them well for a lifetime...not from a book...but from real-life experiences. Whoa...hold the horses..."REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES." You mean not everyone can be first...not everyone will sell a whole lot...and yet we want to protect them for getting their feeling hurt...from too much pressure. provides pressure....from taking a standing up and reciting the Scout Oath in a Board of Review.

It's not about Macy being first either. In fact, I wouldn't have a problem if she was at the back of the long as she did her best. For some of the best life's lessons happen when we don't do as well as we had hoped.

Let me set the record straight. I am Cubmaster of a Pack…and our little Pack sold nearly $20,000 of popcorn. Yes…Our Popcorn Chairman, Brannon, makes it very competitive. My son, Luke learned you got 4 tickets to a Rangers Baseball game if you sold a $1000.00. That was his goal…and he did it!!! We award our top salesmen in the pack with generous gift cards…the top salesman in each den got to throw a pie in their Den Leaders Face. I, as Cubmaster, got “pied” by the top salesman mid sales period. One year Luke didn’t meet his goal…he was very disappointed…he dealt with it…and next year…came back with a vengeance. One boy in our Troop was impressed with how well Luke did his second year. That same kid came back the next year…sold $2000.00 and was top salesman. Character building…becoming the best you can be…learning about disappointments…and learning FROM disappointments. That is life…that is what my wife and I try to instill in our kids. You don’t have to be the best…but you better give your best.

So....the story with Macy’s troop gets worse. When arriving at a troop meeting, they were told not to discuss how many boxes of cookies each girl sold. Despite this, Macy learned that two girls sold….drum roll please…ZERO!...and another girl was right behind Macy at 209 Boxes. Ok…are you ready for this. The troop was going to vote with what to do with the profits…and do you know how much say so Macy got in that decision. That’s right…the same as the girls that sold ZERO! It sounded like it was a subplot of George Orwell’s "Animal Farm" depicting Communism. Macy wanted to give some of the money to Children’s Hospital in honor of her friend, Sarah Grace, fighting cancer. She didn't even get to put in her suggestion because of a lack of time. Therefore the Troop decided differently. Macy was disgusted…I rarely see her this angry. Of Course we used it as a Character Building exercise in Team Elliott…That even when you produce like that, you sometimes have to know that you just did your best. I believe in what goes around comes around….and I believe that non producers eventually get called out in life…and I believe that it is not too early to begin to teach that to your children. I feel really sorry for those other girls…I really do…despite the Girl Scouts saying they are empowering girls…they are stunting their growth. Trust Me…TEAM ELLIOTT is not shielding our precious little egos…we are attempting to build Character…despite the Girl Scouts…communism and all. WE teach them that performance school, in Scouts, in Sports...and In Life. Tonight at the dinner table, I was telling Macy that her drive, her goal setting, and her entrepreneurial spirit will one day allow her not to have to work for anybody else...but that she will own the company...she will have those other girls working for her. That is empowering your daughter.

Press On!

p.s. In full disclosure, I am a straight 100% commission salesman...of course there is no pressure there;-) I am so glad that my parents, my Scoutmaster, my coaches, and my Marine Corps Drill Instructors and Commanding Officers shielded me and protected my fragile ego.

And for the record...TEAM ELLIOTT laughs more than most...jokes around a lot...we are not intense all the time...but don't get in Macy's way if she has a goal...


Lynn B said...

Dude! Macy's a lucky girl.

K said...

Please review this website. The young lady who cofounded it is in my confirmation class at my church.

Larry said...

So..., my wife was born and raised in the Soviet system and I can attest what she thinks of the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality. She thinks it's ridiculous and laughable. There are winners and losers in life and there are unintended consequences regarding coddling our kids.

Parents need to parent, try not be be their children's best friend, and instill in them the value that hard work reaps rewards. Of course, there are setbacks along the way, but we tel them to get back up and keep pushing forward. In the meantime, there's a whole generation out there being raised who think they're owed a 6-figure income straight out of college and when reality sets in, they expect those of us who have sacrificed and worked hard should "support" them by demanding we pay more taxes.

Ok, I'm obviously getting off on a tangent, but you get the picture. Congrats to your kids!!!

David Tallant said...

...becoming the best you can be..
I related this statement to military slogans....why you could have chosen:
It’s Not just a job. It’s an Adventure!...from the US Navy or
The Few. The Proud...from the US Marines or
Aim High...from the Air Force...
You chose one very near to
Be All That You Can Be...from the US Army. While your at it, just tell her
Get an Edge on Life!

Jeff said...

People respond to competition. In middle school we used to go to an amusement park every year. And if you sold just one item in the fundraiser you would get a discount ticket. Guess how many items I sold every year? If I needed to sell more I would have, but why bother?