This is an opinion editorial.
In Eugene OR, a Girl Scout Troop had nearly $58,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies confiscated and their leader dismissed after their parents disobeyed an order from their volunteer supervisor and set up shop in front of Taylor’s Bar & Grill.
The parents acknowledged that they were informed that the Girl Scout volunteer supervisor did not want the Girl Scouts in front of the bar, but, according to one of the parents, they have sold cookies at that location for years. Now the parents are demanding the return of the inventory and the dismissed leader re-instated..
This is where opinions start to vary…
My opinion: Right or wrong, the parents were told by a representative of the Girl Scouts organization not to set up in front of this particular bar. Why? I don’t know.
We have all heard about the Girl Scouts who do well selling cookies outside marijuana dispensaries. How is that allowed but this bar & grill is prohibited?
According to Kelly Parisi, chief communications officer for the Girl Scouts of the USA, each region has its own guidelines.
“All the money stays in local councils, and they make all decisions on how the cookie program is run,” said Parisi in a statement. “As always, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the girls we serve. Volunteers and parents are empowered to relocate their booths if conditions change and the location is no longer suitable.”
Based upon this explanation, the local supervisor than is empowered to use her own discretion with how strict or lenient she wants to be in regard to selling locations.
Maybe the Girl Scouts supervisor didn’t want minors in front of an alcohol-serving establishment. Although, I often buy cookies off the Girl Scouts that set up shop in front of my local Spartan grocery store, which also sells alcohol, this bar is known to be frequented by local fraternities and sororities. I imagine the girls are setting up during daylight hours and are not being exposed to 2 A.M. drunkenness by the college students, so I doubt safety or exposure to lewd behaviour was a concern.
Maybe another troop was jealous of the sales this troop and internal politics came into play. Perhaps an altercation similar to the confrontations we saw in the movie “Bad Moms” is taking place behind the scenes with Christina Applegate as the supervisor.
If the parents wanted to teach the girls how entrepreneurship pushes the envelope, why didn’t they simply set up shop at another bar & grill? Or an adjacent business that shares the same parking lot as Taylor’s? Setting up shop where you were specifically forbidden to is not pushing anything, it is breaking a rule that carries a consequence.
My guess is this was the culmination of long brewing proverbial “pissing match” between this particular volunteer supervisor and some parents.
But, regardless of the reasons, the Girl Scouts have the right to protect their brand by controlling where they want their name associated. According to Parisi’s explanation, this supervisor has that responsibility.
If the parents thought the volunteer supervisor’s decision was unjust, incorrect or compromised, they should have found a way to appeal the decision to a higher contact within the Girl Scouts. Such as making a case to Parisi herself for a one time exemption based upon the successful legacy of selling at this location.
I believe the Girl Scouts over-reacted by confiscating the inventory but the parents were incorrect to put their girls in this position in the first place. Teaching respect for authority is important as well as learning that violating rules carries consequences. This applies to adults as well.
Obviously, there is more information that we are not privy to that will affect opinions. I have no experience with the Girl Scouts so I would welcome some comments on what some Girl Scout parents think.
Do you believe the Girl Scouts over-reacted? Do you believe the parents over-stepped their bounds by not following the directions from the Girl Scouts supervisor?