Last month, we vocalized our distaste for Girl Scout Cookies in a highly read article, Why You Should Never Buy Girl Scout Cookies. It’s not that we don’t like the troops, many of us worked hard for those same badges. What we don’t like is the message these cookies send, the ingredients they’re stuffed with, and missed opportunity to do something so much more with these young minds.
When we were tipped off to what Girl Scout Troop 2753 is doing in California, we were thrilled. Why isn’t every troop doing this, we wondered.
One of the troop’s members, Alicia, dons her Daisy uniform and says, “My Girl Scout troop is not selling cookies but we are raising money for our fruit and vegetable garden at our school.”
The troop, which does have the option to sell the cookies or not, passed on that tradition in exchange for doing something that we see as far greater. The students will build an edible garden at Viejo Elementary School. The troop’s goal is to raise $1,590, leaving each of the 15 girls to raise about $100 a piece. In the letter Troop 2753 sent to their families and friends, they note that a box of Girl Scout Cookies cost $4.00 with only about sixty-nine cents of that making it back to the troop. With a donation toward their garden, 100% of the proceeds will ensure they have all the materials they need to grow fruits and vegetables. We’ll take real mint over Thin Mints, please!
That sounds like a win to us, so much so that DietsInReview.com sent a donation of our own!
The troop made the collective decision to bow-out of cookie sales and do something not only more healthful, but something that benefits their entire school, presents an incredible learning opportunity, and lets the girls keep more of the money they worked so hard to earn. They cited the over-sugaring of our kids as one reason, something they saw too much of in their own classrooms.
Whenever we speak out about Girl Scout Cookies, we invariably hear from people ready to stand up for the cookie tradition they love so well.
Some people argue that they’re a once a year treat, so what’s wrong with indulging? The problem, if we’re asking, is that it’s not a once in a while treat. Every other day and week of the year we’re pumping our children with store-bought cookies (that aren’t much different than what is in those boxes), popsicles, candy, gummy fruit snacks, chocolate-dipped granola bars, sugared yogurt that’s no better than a candy bar, soda, juices, and the like. Back in the good old days, a Girl Scout Cookie was a rare treat, that’s what made them special. But now, it’s just another day, another dose of sugar.
The arguments people make for buying Girl Scout Cookies include giving the children ownership over something (a garden will most certainly do that); the sales effort shapes strong women (a garden can do that, too); and leadership skills are gained (again, totally doable via a garden).
The cookies themselves aren’t responsible for engendering these wonderful qualities in these young women; the project management, goal setting, team work, and seeing something through to the end, that is where the life-long skills are garnered. Some decide to do it with a cookie, but we champion those who think well outside that cookie box and do it via anything that also prioritizes health and wellness. A garden will absolutely do that, and Troop 2753 is about to be living proof!
We hope you’ll join us in supporting Troop 2753, which can be done by sending your donation via check to the address below.
Girl Scout Troop 2753
Viejo Elementary School
26782 Via Grande
Mission Viejo CA 92691
This troop’s efforts toward learning about and practicing a healthier lifestyle extends well beyond their garden initiative. They learn about the sugar content in their beverages and how to select a better option, meeting snacks consist of only fruit and water, they’re learning about GMOs, and they even celebrated the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary with a four-foot tall “cake” made entirely out of fruit.
March 1st, 2013