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Pro-Abortion, Feminist Training Corps Cookies
September 9, 2010 6:46 PM   Subscribe

The Boy Scouts have garnered a lot of controversy for refusing to accept gay and atheist scouts. Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts have no official stance on sexuality, and while they officially pledge to "serve God," they have become more flexible on the policy. In addition, a Girl Scout council had endorsed Planned Parenthood as a source for information on sex education. These policies have earned the ire of Republican House Representative candidate Hans Zeiger, who declared the organization a "a pro-abortion, feminist training corps," and that "perhaps it will be time to look for our cookies elsewhere" in an online editorial. He has pulled down most of his writings, but most of them have been cached by Google.
posted by mccarty.tim (155 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
i'm reminded of pat robertson - "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
posted by nadawi at 6:53 PM on September 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm glad that the Girl Scouts are being (somewhat) progressive about these things. BSA, however, is not nearly as centrally-controlled as outsiders would believe. Most troops are almost entirely autonomous, and I can say as the son of a former District Chairman that if any troops within the Rising Star district in the mid-nineties had been discriminating he would've dragged some people out to the woodshed over it. (It's possible that he did have to do this, and that I just never found out about it.)

In conclusion, Thin Mints are awesome.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:53 PM on September 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm a Girl Scout leader. One of the things I really like about it is that, while there are religious awards to be earned, they can't be done during regular troop meetings. Also, I get to take my girls on a sleepover at the Boston Museum of Science, which is one of the coolest things ever.
posted by Ruki at 6:54 PM on September 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


On non-preview, Thin Mints really are awesome. Especially when you stick them in the freezer.
posted by Ruki at 6:55 PM on September 9, 2010 [16 favorites]


They kind of are a feminist training corps. I thought that was what was good about them.
posted by shinybaum at 6:55 PM on September 9, 2010 [90 favorites]


What a dickbag.

p.s. samoas or death.
posted by boo_radley at 6:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I find it hard to believe that the Girl Scouts are godless, when it is so obvious that Samoas are clear evidence of a higher power.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 6:57 PM on September 9, 2010 [35 favorites]


i love it when politicians pull posts.

i love google cache even more.
posted by el io at 6:57 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, boo_radley, I do adore samoas as well, but I grew up on frozen thin mints.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:58 PM on September 9, 2010


p.p.s. what were you thinking with those bizarre white chocolate ones? Nobody likes white chocolate.
posted by boo_radley at 6:58 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The first time I made out with a girl was at Girl Scout Camp. It was awesome. (And get your mind out of the gutter; we were teenaged camp counselors, thank you very much.) GIRL SCOUTS MADE ME A LESBIAN.


Just kidding. Jessica Rabbit made me a lesbian.
posted by honeydew at 6:59 PM on September 9, 2010 [68 favorites]


Representative Zeiger, you can have my Tagalongs when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:59 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


to say that the BSA isn't centralized is to ignore the mormon/BSA problem.
posted by nadawi at 7:03 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


In conclusion, Thin Mints are awesome.

Protip: Thin Mint milkshakes.

Also, the girl scouts are pretty cool and this guy's a jackass.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 7:03 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


...encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.

I thought watching Medea encouraged women to do all that.
posted by Avenger at 7:05 PM on September 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Win or lose, Hans Zeiger's tombstone shall be inscribed with the battle cry by which he will be forever remembered...

----- PERHAPS IT WILL BE TIME TO LOOK FOR OUR COOKIES ELSEWHERE -----
posted by Joe Beese at 7:05 PM on September 9, 2010 [24 favorites]


Also, I now realize that he was running for Washington state's House of Representatives.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:06 PM on September 9, 2010


Ruki - while there are religious awards to be earned, they can't be done during regular troop meetings

That seems rather restrictive itself, to be perfectly honest...religious freedom != secularism.

posted by tmacdonald at 7:06 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Girl Scouts are awesome. I was a GS for 12 years. My troop even went to Switzerland. My troop leader was a devout Lutheran, heavily involved in her church, and for several years we even had troop meetings in one of the rooms of her church. Something I always appreciated was that she never, ever brought up religion. She would occasionally mention church events that were happening on the weekend or something, in case any of us were ever interested, but never pushed the issue.

I would always leave out the god part when reciting the Pledge, and one day she noticed. She asked me about it once, only once, saying "did you mean to not say 'serve god' or did you just forget the words?" And I said, "it was intentional." The briefest look of disappointment flashed across her face, but she instantly brightened, smiled, and said, "well, ok!" And that was the only flak I ever got for being a non-believer. (Contrasting greatly with the rest of my tenure growing up in Georgia.) She was a wonderful woman and I think truly believed in the Girl Scout mission.

She also insisted that we all learn how to change a tire.
posted by phunniemee at 7:09 PM on September 9, 2010 [84 favorites]


I still miss Scot Teas. They were my second best seller after Thin Mints by a close margin. The new Trefoils just aren't the same. Yeah, I was a scout back when the girls still sold their own cookies instead of just sending an order sheet into work with whatever parent can be co-opted. Originally, the point of the cookie sales was to help young women associate work with income, because part of the cookie sales proceeds goes directly to the individual troop. It was very much a capitalist in training thing. Now the lesson, apparently is, "your parents will do all your work or you and money will just appear."

Also, you kids? Need to get off my lawn.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:10 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I love the Girl Scouts and this guy is a dick, but crazy state-level candidates (which I guess it's not entirely clear from the article that he is, unless you know that Washington state has nowhere near 25 US House districts) are a dime a dozen.
posted by naoko at 7:12 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Will no one rid me of this meddlesome party?
posted by uosuaq at 7:15 PM on September 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


Those peanut butter ones were good, too. And I have a feeling this imbecile just lost himeself an election through sheer asininity.
posted by jonmc at 7:16 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


before cookie sales one year we were shown a pamphlet, sell this many cookies, get this prize - i needed to sell 300 to get a bike. i sold over 350 boxes. i was so freaking excited. except, apparently, my troop was poor and we couldn't afford the bike so i got a plaque. "for outstanding cookie sales" i still have that damn plaque.
posted by nadawi at 7:16 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know what cookies I miss? Juliettes. They were around for a short time in the mid-90s when I was queen of my neighborhood's GS Cookie dynasty. I can't find anything about them online, but as I remember they were approximations of turtles; carmel/pecan on a chocolate wafer, coated in chocolate.

These can't be a figment of my imagination. Does anyone else remember these wonderful, wonderful things?
posted by phunniemee at 7:17 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Look at that picture of Hans Ziegler. Loot at it, drink it in.

My advice to you: If he asks you if you like Huey Louis and the News, get outta the fucking house.
posted by boo_radley at 7:20 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ok this is so weird. I just came back from a meeting where my wife forced talked me into being the Cookie Mom Manager for our daughters troop.
The GS are pretty even keeled as opposed to the Boy Scouts.

but you got it all wrong. the lemon chalets are where its at. BTW around here preorders start next week….just sayin'
posted by ShawnString at 7:20 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Ten year old girls cannot vote but they sure can canvass. Tidal wave comin.
posted by yesster at 7:22 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jessica Rabbit made me a lesbian.

Out of what? can she make some more?
posted by jonmc at 7:22 PM on September 9, 2010 [40 favorites]


preorders start next week?? i thought they were sold in jan/feb/march area??
posted by nadawi at 7:22 PM on September 9, 2010


NOVELTY MUG PROOF THAT JULIETTES EXISTED
posted by phunniemee at 7:25 PM on September 9, 2010


And in case it isnt obvious, Zeigert is a one man walking feminist training camp. Streisand effect kinda thing.
posted by yesster at 7:26 PM on September 9, 2010


clicking around the links - did he actually pull them? or did they just expire? looks like both pages are from 6+ years ago.
posted by nadawi at 7:34 PM on September 9, 2010


preorders start next week?? i thought they were sold in jan/feb/march area??
posted by nadawi at 10:22 PM on September 9


Its all based on regions, they have them selling all over the country at diff times of the year. Gotta keep that cookie money rollin' in. Sept/Oct/Nov is cookie time for Maryland
posted by ShawnString at 7:35 PM on September 9, 2010


I would always leave out the god part when reciting the Pledge...

I did this at a Girl Scouts-run camp at around age 11 and got reprimanded for it. YMMV, of course, and the Thin Mints make it hard to hold a grudge, but obviously the experience stuck with me.
posted by nev at 7:40 PM on September 9, 2010


p.s. samoas or death.

I pity the fool who tries to pass off Caramel Delites as Samoas!
posted by briank at 7:44 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dear Mr. Zeiger:

It's true; we open every meeting by discussing how tiny your penis is. Then we go get abortions and Satanic tattoos.

Love, GSA

Honestly. I had a lousy troop which never went camping (fuck the embroidery badge, seriously), and I hated selling cookies, and I still think this guy's a dickbag.
posted by emjaybee at 7:49 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is why my kids are Brownies. Feminist training camp!

I had to quit Brownies because my mom's very conservative church didn't dig on Girl Scouts. Not because of the feminism, overtly, but officially because the Girl Scout Promise was too close to "praying with people of different faiths". I have no idea whether Boy Scouts was forbidden, because there weren't any boys my age that attended our church. It probably didn't help that my Brownie leader was Jewish. Ironically my aunt, an Evangelical, was active in her local Girl Scout Council for decades and my mom allowed me to work as a Girl Scout camp counselor on the sly every summer. She just had a limit to the shit she was willing to tolerate from her church friends, it was enough being divorced.

My little Unitarians are happy Brownies. Happy little feminist future leaders! They may or may not say the God part of the promise, and I don't really care, it's up to them. They're huge fans of historical Jesus anyway, all on their own, so be it.
posted by padraigin at 7:51 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do-Si-Dos rule, yo.

An' I'll pop a cap in anyone who says otherwise.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:52 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I sat through a United Way/ Girl Scout fundraiser at my office earlier this week, and I was thinking that if the Girl Scouts were as fucked up as the Boy Scouts have become in recent years, then I was going to ignore them and, once again, dedicate my funds to support puppies and prophylactics (Humane Society and Planned Parenthood), but seeing that in reality, the Girl Scouts are actually "a pro-abortion, feminist training corps," I feel much better about giving them my money.
posted by quin at 7:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


My local leader sucked.

I did camp a few summers and realized that other troops were awesome.
posted by k8t at 7:57 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Badges are amazing motivators.
posted by k8t at 7:57 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I skimmed the post's paragraph, and expected "perhaps it will be time to look for our cookies elsewhere" to be a euphemism.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:58 PM on September 9, 2010


That seems rather restrictive itself, to be perfectly honest...religious freedom != secularism.

No, not really. IMO, it's actually respectful and inclusive. For example, about 90% of my troop is Catholic, but my daughter and I are Jewish, and there are a handful of various Protestant denominations for the rest. If I taught what I know, it would only benefit my daughter. Although I have Catholic relatives, and a passing familiarity with the Catholic Church, I am entirely unqualified to provide any sort of religious education on it. Being able to work on their religious awards, with their own clergy, is much more beneficial to any individual girl. As a troop leader, I provide parents with the information on how and where these awards can be obtained, and in our meetings, no one is left out by being a member of a minority religion or having no religion. It's secular if you want to be, but otherwise, it lets a family deal with the religious aspect on their own terms.
posted by Ruki at 7:59 PM on September 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


Its all based on regions, they have them selling all over the country at diff times of the year. Gotta keep that cookie money rollin' in. Sept/Oct/Nov is cookie time for Maryland

OMG BEST NEWS EVER. (I move to Maryland this month.)

Also, I totally remember Juliettes. We always ended up with stacks and stacks of boxes of cookies that my sister never managed to actually DELIVER to the various neighborhood families that had ordered them (or that it turns out they didn't want), so my parents would end up buying all the extras, and I always stashed away the Samoas, Tagalongs, Juliettes, and a couple of boxes of Thin Mints just for myself.

(And yeah, nowadays more cookies are sold by parents taking order forms into work, I also see a lot of Girl Scouts manning cookie tables outside grocery stores during the peak season. Presumably this is safer for them than going door to door in the neighborhood. I understand the Girl Scouts are also revisiting the idea of allowing individual troops to do online sales, provided the girls undergo an online safety training course -- you know, don't give your personal information to strangers online, that sort of thing. It still has the same basic concept at heart -- teach these girls that money isn't divorced from effort.)
posted by devinemissk at 8:04 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I skimmed the post's paragraph, and expected "perhaps it will be time to look for our cookies elsewhere" to be a euphemism.

I think he filled his euphemism quota with the book title "Get Off My Honor: The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America".
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:05 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just today the co-worker from whom I bought $87 worth of thin mints (and two boxes of samoas) last year came down the hall today to tell me they're starting pre-orders on Dec 16. (This is in TN.)

I frequently slip and call them the Girl Guides (which was also started by Baden Powell so it's basically the same). I loved being a Brownie.

If you're ever in Concord, NH go to Arnie's and get their homemade thin mint ice cream. Oh my God.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:09 PM on September 9, 2010


As a Brownie leader (in Canada), I left out the 'under God' part and nobody cared. Not the girls, not the other leaders, not nobody. We also did lots of science stuff, and health stuff, and went camping, and did crafts and went to the art gallery and the local museam, sang song, and let the girls run around and it was great. (caveat: not all at the same time)

The point was to help the girls to grow up into strong women who felt good about themselves and, being exposed to lots of different things (art, science, the outdoors, etc) could find out what they liked and were good at and follow it. So yes, feminist training camp, and darn proud of it.

I hated doing the cookie sales, though. The girls weren't really allowed to canvass any more (not door to door any way). Not considered safe. And it was a big push from the top on down, the major source of revenue. That part sucked. And we don't have all the cool varieties the US does.

Don't do it any more. I can't commit to it any more. But it was fun while I did it.
posted by sandraregina at 8:11 PM on September 9, 2010


Yeah, I was a scout back when the girls still sold their own cookies instead of just sending an order sheet into work with whatever parent can be co-opted.

I do my best to buy from both the parents of Girl Scouts at my work as well as the kids at the table in front of the grocery store.
posted by rtha at 8:14 PM on September 9, 2010


I hate to do this to the Girl Scouts, but if you've got a Dollar General nearby, they sell "Mint Thins," which are exactly the same as "Thin Mints," only with a different pattern stamped on them. They're even made by the Girl Scout cookie people. Not only are they less expensive, but you can get them year round.

In any event, you will get zero of either unless you pry them from my cold, dead hands. (my hands will be cold and dead because my stomach burst from eating too many..no need for murder)
posted by wierdo at 8:17 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I still miss Scot Teas. They were my second best seller after Thin Mints by a close margin.

Scot-Teas were amazing, as close to real shortbread cookies as you can get on a massive scale. I miss them too.

That seems rather restrictive itself, to be perfectly honest...religious freedom != secularism.


Even back in the way, way back day, there were religious-oriented badges to be earned and projects to be completed, and my experience was that leaders made it possible for them to be earned in a very respectful manner and no penalty for a lack of interest in them whatsoever. This was part of what my childhood church hated so much about Girl Scouts: the sheer inclusiveness and respect for other faiths of it all. My experience as a parent is that it's even more respectful and tolerant now than it was then, and that is relative to an extraordinary level of respect and tolerance for the times thirty years ago. It's like Girl Scouting is a microcosm for all that is good in the world and shit, we should let the boys in and fucking RULE this world, already.

If you're a person with a brain, and you have daughters the age of five or older, and you're not looking to Girl Scouting as a way to get them involved in their community and get them thinking about the world around them, I seriously have to ask you to reconsider the possibility. It seems to be more cool and less cool in some places than in others, but in a perfect world it is cool everywhere, and cool adults get involved to make it even cooler.

It kills me that I couldn't take scouting to its natural conclusion, and in hindsight it kills my mom that she didn't allow me to pursue it and pursue adult scouting opportunities herself. I come from this amazing Scouting family, and bringing my daughters into that is one of the things I'm absolutely sure I'm doing right for them.
posted by padraigin at 8:17 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh and I have a Girl Scout capitalism story. One time, going in to a Target in Murfreesboro, TN, the Girl Scouts were selling cookies. As we went in, this one girl asked my husband if he'd like to buy some cookies. He said, "Are you going to be here when we leave?" She said, in this heavily ironic tone, "I don't know," like the odds weren't good.

Best sales job ever. We stopped and bought cookies.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:17 PM on September 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


The Boy Scouts have garnered a lot of controversy for refusing to accept gay and atheist scouts.

I can say from experience that this might possibly be the most poorly-enforced policy on the planet.
posted by schmod at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2010 [14 favorites]


If you happen to live near a Girl Scout council shop, they sell cookies there about 50% off at the end of local cookie season. When I went to buy end of the year badges and certificates, I ended up spending all the money in my wallet on $2 Thin Mints.
posted by Ruki at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2010


"I frequently slip and call them the Girl Guides (which was also started by Baden Powell so it's basically the same)."

Still called Girl Guides in Canada (and it's just Scouts in Canada, no boy). Probably just your inner Canadian rising to the top of your consciousness. Have you had the urge to run to the store for a two four or a bag of milk lately?
posted by Mitheral at 8:20 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


So did I tell you my Thin Mints story? I was in New Orleans and there where some Girl Scouts selling them in the park and SO CUTE, right? I bought a box and carried it during my bar crawl. Wonderful way to meet people as everybody on Earth Would like A Thin Mint.

Forward two weeks to San Fransisco - where another catch of Scouts is selling them to tourists on line for the Trolley. They upped the price by 5 bucks. Clever girls.

I bought like 4 boxes and brought them home and instantly became the most popular person at the bar ever
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The moral of this story is that they could be a coven of kitten-eating Satan-worshipers and i'd still buy those cookies.

Maybe more so.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


From Zeiger himself:
"If the Girl Scouts of America can't get back to teaching real character, perhaps it will be time to look for our cookies elsewhere"

So, character, by his estimation, involves completely denying one's self through suppressing one's sexuality, spirituality, surrendering unintended pregnancy, not to mention remaining dependent on men? Wow, that's some strong character.
posted by sunshinesky at 8:23 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I really wanted to like Girl Scouts. I was in the Girl Scouts for many years, and the only thing we ever did besides sell cookies and march in parades was a yearly sleep over at the mall. I'll repeat that...THE MALL.

In college I volunteered with a troop that did all kinds of cool things like camping and sleep overs at museums. The Scout experience is really dependent on the parents who are in charge. So super big kudos to you Ruki. Sounds like your kids have a great troop! I hope to someday be an awesome troop mom too.
posted by bloody_bonnie at 8:23 PM on September 9, 2010


Have you had the urge to run to the store for a two four or a bag of milk lately?

Whaaaaaat? They don't have bags of milk? *mind blown*
posted by sunshinesky at 8:24 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


They ain't no Samoas, but yes, phunniemee, I remember Juliettes.

Also, I will both salute anyone who achieved the distant dream of girl-on-girl makeouts at Girl Scout camp and defend my motherfuckin Textiles and Fibers badge to the death.
posted by clavicle at 8:34 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, a few stories:

1.) I'm an Eagle Scout, and I only came into any trouble with the BSA once, and it still pisses me off, as much as I love that institution (which really does need to change some of its policies, even if they don't regularly affect scouts.)

I was at Scout Camp, working on my environmental science badge, in a class with my best friend, Ryan. I can't remember the name of our staffer teaching that class, except that he was young and super cool and never talked down to us. Ryan and I got along with him well and soon became his favorites in this class, and if this dude had any true faults in this scenario, it's that he didn't hide his favoritism well.

So after class is done one day, Ryan and I walk with this guy, asking him about the book he was reading. It was about Wicca, and we were naturally curious. I don't think he subscribed to it, but he explained it to us, that was all. But one kid who wasn't his favorite was tagging along behind us just closely enough to hear the conversation.

That staffer was fired by the next day. That the boss who fired him was a hippie-ish woman in her early twenties with a shaved head and named "Sprite" is an irony that I have never totally reconciled, but she hated Ryan and me, and we didn't get the merit badge. Because we asked this guy about a book he was reading and he answered us without preaching to us.

The merit badge wouldn't have been such a big deal except that it was one of the "white-rimmed" ones required in order to be eligible for Eagle, and more of a pain in the ass than the rest of them, really, unless you're earning it at camp with someone to teach you.

Earning that badge once we got back to Houston was a political nightmare, because Ryan's dad was the Scoutmaster and my dad, again, was the district chairman and "Caesar's wife must be above reproach." We both got it, and both made Eagle, but that was an awful process for no good reason, and punished two kids for asking questions.

2.) We sold greenery around the holiday season in order to raise money, and I was the king of that shit. Mostly because my mom knew of a single street, tucked away outside of our area, which was made of 100% gold for that sort of thing. They'd grown to depend on my brothers for their christmas needs, and so my coming around was a sure-sale.

3.) I was also the king of sales for my schools' annual fundrasing drives, but that was entirely on my own. I lived right by the district line, and on the other side of it was a nuveau riche neighborhood no one else ever tried to sell to, which included one very young couple who would - without fail - open the door half-dressed in a state of post-coital bliss and buy almost everything in the catalog. I almost felt guilty.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:36 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


bag of milk

Ok, I've only recently found out about the milk bag thing, after seeing them in Montréal. How on earth do you get the milk out of them without spilling it everywhere? There was no obvious spout on the bags!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:40 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Feminist training ground (talk about your proverbial feature, not a bug)
+
awesome cookies (I don't want to live in a world where I'd have to choose between Thin Mints and Samoas)
=
One of the times I can clearly say that I would be jealous of the opposite gender

I sometimes wish there was an organization for adults that were about the collection of badges; I'd love that.

Also, Ruki, the separation of church and secular as described is just so... reasonable. The world could learn a lot from the Girl Scouts.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:40 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I sometimes wish there was an organization for adults that were about the collection of badges; I'd love that.

Some of us call them favorites.
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 PM on September 9, 2010 [34 favorites]


As I grow older, I'm more and more thankful for my ten years in Girl Scouts, and more and more sure that if I have daughters they'll be Scouts too, whether they like it or not. It was at a Girl Scout career day that I first met a woman software engineer and found out what they do and that it was something I could learn to be that really played to a lot of my strengths. It's what I do for a living now, and I'm so glad the Scouts put that little bug in my ear. Girl Scouts and the Internet pretty much brought me up to be the upstanding young citizen I am today.

One really entertaining side effect of having been a high school Girl Scout is that in my years of running weekend camps for Brownies and Juniors I learned pretty much every camp song ever. My husband has all these little nieces and nephews and the fact that I know all kinds of crazy repeat-and-answer songs with goofy lyrics and funny hand motions makes me the best aunt in the family. Best camp song of all time, you ask? It's "Princess Pat", no question.

And, yes, I remember selling Juliettes too but haven't the faintest recollection what they were like. I preferred the cookies everyone knew since then you didn't have to explain them and everyone just bought two boxes. So much easier!
posted by little light-giver at 8:42 PM on September 9, 2010


I can't eat the cookies, but I give money to the Girl Scouts sometimes for exactly the reasons described in the FPP.

The Boy Scouts? They ain't gettin' a penny from me. For exactly the reasons described in the FPP.
posted by kyrademon at 8:43 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


We sold greenery around the holiday season in order to raise money, and I was the king of that shit. Mostly because my mom knew of a single street, tucked away outside of our area, which was made of 100% gold for that sort of thing. They'd grown to depend on my brothers for their christmas needs, and so my coming around was a sure-sale.

The Boy Scouts in my area always sold Vidalia Onions (om nom nom) door to door as a fundraiser. But my troop needed to raise money to go on our fully self-funded trip to Switzerland, so we were eager for new fundraising opportunities. The dad of one of my troop mates knew a guy who knew a guy who was the hookup for the Boy Scouts, and we totally stole the Vidalia Onion business out from under them that year. Turf war ensued. We even got an irate phone call from one of the Boy Scout's mothers.
posted by phunniemee at 8:43 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


non-snark: You snip the corner.

snark: Fuckin' milkbags! How do they work!?
posted by Trochanter at 8:44 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


How on earth do you get the milk out of them without spilling it everywhere? There was no obvious spout on the bags!

You put the bag in a pitcher or jug, then snip a corner off for pouring.
posted by jedicus at 8:44 PM on September 9, 2010


Have you had the urge to run to the store for a two four or a bag of milk lately?
posted by Mitheral at 10:20 PM on September 9


I have. I miss bags of milk. And the snipit - without bags of milk, you don't need snipits, and they're so useful for other things. I miss Smarties and Laura Secord and wine gums and cherry blossoms and kinder bueno and Tim Horton's lemon-filled doughnuts and spelling things with all the extra letters and fog and clover leaf exits and people knowing what I mean when I say "garburator." I also miss the old Girl Guide cookies, the vanilla and chocolate sandwich ones.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:45 PM on September 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


I was a summer camp leader at our provincial girl guide campvfro many years (it paid my tuition though undergrad). There was always this basic undercurrent of religiosity, mostly Christian but only vaguely. Over the years i had jewish and buddhist campers that i remember well. As a leader and from an atheist family, i just left god out of the program, which basically meant not singing all those grace songs before meals. If the kids individually wanted to sing them among themselves (under their dining flies) I wouldn't stop them. It was only an issue once when a volunteer twice my age accosted me about it, as if I were depriving the girls of marshmallows and campfires. I told her not all our campers were christians and that stopped that conversation.

Guiding in Canada has been veering away from any formal religious ties. I was lucky enough to be party to some of the early discussions about reforming the general program on this and other fronts, in particular reforming the promise and the law, items that are frequently recited. In those conversations ii learned that one of the laws, "a guide smiles and sings even under difficulty," had been interpreted by young girls in situations of abuse to hide their struggles instead of being open about them. The (strong, powerful, intelligent) women who lead the organization really didn't like the idea of sending that kind of message. So after a lot of discussion, the "law" vanished and was replaced by "challenges."

This new program includes the following: "a guide is challenged to live with courage and strength." given my own experience working with teens and pre-teens with incredible hurdles thrown in front of them, including sexual abuse and profound neglect, I cried when I first read those words. I was so proud to be part of an organization that was prepared to replace long-standing documents with an attempt to express sentiments more relevant to and compassionate.

I really admire Girl Guides of Canada as an organization. I admire them for having the balls ovaries to chuck a long Christian tradition and base their core values on compassion and kindness instead.

Given this experience, I am baffled and confused whenever I read about Boy Scouts. The groups share founders and remain related, but family dinners in the guiding/scouting family must be awkward.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:47 PM on September 9, 2010 [31 favorites]


Tea Party Jesus weighs in.
posted by Evilspork at 8:47 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


These reactionary toads have been going after the Girl Scouts for over fifty years.
posted by kipmanley at 8:47 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


You put the bag in a pitcher or jug, then snip a corner off for pouring.

Amazing. Mind is blown.

Do you ever use them like water balloons?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:49 PM on September 9, 2010


I love it that this thread has become all about contrasting and comparing the merits of the various Girl Scout cookies.

As you were.
posted by orange swan at 8:52 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


My daughter was Girl Scout for about 3 years ~age 8-10. Her very best friend in the whole world still is from Girl Scouts, now about 10 years on, so that was cool, and I fucking gorged on thin mints the whole damn time. I can seriously eat a tube at a sitting. They are the crack of the snack food universe, and I am an unalloyed addict.

Though those coconut caramel ring things will do in an emergency.

So to Mr. Zeigler I say "Fine. That leaves more for me!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:53 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a young teen, I met a whole lot of extremely powerful, intelligent, and confident women in charge. I'm entirely certain they made me more confident as a result. I didn't know how much I missed that kind of environment until I went to library school and realized I had found myself in another one.

Feminist training camp? Absolutely!

And sorry about the typos. I'm still getting used to the iPad.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, I know a Samoan gent who was proud that the protests of his people had rescued the world's most perfect cookie from politically-correct purgatory and restored it as a proud marker of his heritage. I have no idea if it's actually true that the name of the Samoa Cookies were changed to Caramel Delites in an attempt to avoid offending people of that ethnicity, or that strident, offended complaints from ethnic Samoans who felt slighted changed it back, but it's a hell of a story, and I can't find it confirmed or debunked on snopes.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:59 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Do you ever use them like water balloons?

Not that I know of, but a certain canadian is well known for these kind of antics.
posted by sunshinesky at 9:00 PM on September 9, 2010


Though I have no children, I have been meaning to get back into guiding. I want to be a pathfinder leader and do all the really cool stuff the program allows for. (when I was a ranger, we went dogsledding for 4 days, had an all night chocolate party, and formed a prize winning drill team.)
posted by Hildegarde at 9:01 PM on September 9, 2010


Guiding in Canada has been veering away from any formal religious ties. I was lucky enough to be party to some of the early discussions about reforming the general program on this and other fronts, in particular reforming the promise and the law, items that are frequently recited. In those conversations ii learned that one of the laws, "a guide smiles and sings even under difficulty," had been interpreted by young girls in situations of abuse to hide their struggles instead of being open about them. ...This new program includes the following: "a guide is challenged to live with courage and strength."
posted by Hildegarde at 10:47 PM on September 9


Thank you for sharing that. I teared up a little. It's strange to think that the laws have changed, but I remember even as a child finding that one a bit twee. The new version is better. Bravo, Girl Guides.

Do you ever use them like water balloons?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:49 PM on September 9


I've tried this, and the plastic is too thick. You need something that popps instead of just knocking down your opponent and giving them a concussion.

My Mom turns them inside out so the milky areas are fully exposed and then runs them through the dishwasher, and uses them as freezer bags.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:01 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


My Mom turns them inside out so the milky areas are fully exposed and then runs them through the dishwasher, and uses them as freezer bags.

This is the most Canadian sentence on Earth.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on September 9, 2010 [41 favorites]


I love it that this thread has become all about contrasting and comparing the merits of the various Girl Scout cookies.

And I love it that this thread is teaching me that should I ever have a daughter in the future (hope hope) that the Girl Scouts will teach her well. Echoing the sentiment that DAMN STRAIGHT such an organization should be a "feminist training camp." Why would you send your daughter to anything less?

Also, when hypothetical Miss Navelgazer Jr. reaches the right age, Rock and Roll Camp for Girls will surely be a part of her life as well.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:06 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


In Western North Carolina, at least, the grocery store Ingles sells a house-brand knockoff of Thin Mints, with some silly generic name. The thing is, they superior to thin mints. The coating is thicker, the cookie is bigger, it's mintier, and did I mention the coating is thicker because it is.
posted by fuq at 9:07 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


"and people knowing what I mean when I say 'garburator.'"

Wait, What the heck do Americans call garburators?
posted by Mitheral at 9:08 PM on September 9, 2010


I love it that this thread has become all about contrasting and comparing the merits of the various Girl Scout cookies.

I double-plus love the unrelated milk derail.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:10 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Via Wiki
The best selling Girl Scout cookies are:

* Thin Mints (25% of total sales)
* Samoas (Caramel deLites)(19% of total sales)
* Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties) (13%)
* Do-si-dos (Peanut Butter Sandwiches) (11%)
* Trefoils (Shortbread) (9%)
The other varieties combined account for the remaining 23%

TMYK
posted by NoraCharles at 9:10 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let me get this straight. We're dredging up old comments from 2003 using Google cache and making a stink about them? Whose playbook are we using?
posted by dhartung at 9:10 PM on September 9, 2010


Proof that Girl Scouts is better than Boy Scouts: everybody loves, longs for, plans in advance by clearing out cabinet and freezer space for, and spends way too much than they initially intended on....delicious yummy Girl Scout Cookies.

Boy Scouts has crummy popcorn. Fucking popcorn! And it's like $20 for a shitty little tin that has -- maybe! at most! -- fifty cents worth of product in it. I can get better popcorn at the county fair, and you better believe that popcorn has been trucked halfway across the southeast in the hot trunk of some meth-addled carny for two months before I ever lay hands on it.

So, in closing, Girl Scouts > Boy Scouts.
posted by contessa at 9:13 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait, What the heck do Americans call garburators?

Loud Angry Sink-Monsters.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:13 PM on September 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Wait, What the heck do Americans call garburators?
posted by Mitheral at 11:08 PM on September 9


Garbage disposal.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:14 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let me get this straight. We're dredging up old comments from 2003 using Google cache and making a stink about them? Whose playbook are we using?

I don't think you've been listening, buddy. I'm only going to say this one more time:

Thin. Mint. Milkshakes.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:16 PM on September 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


This is the most Canadian sentence on Earth.

Forgiveme, as I'm Canadian, but why exactly? I don't even see any "ou" words.
posted by sunshinesky at 9:16 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


They kind of are a feminist training corps. I thought that was what was good about them.

Lord knows that ten years of Girl Scouts made me a feminist.

My junior/cadette troop was co-run by dads and moms, and because it was a largely military troop, we had two dads who were Army rangers who never treated us as anything less than capable of whatever they thought we could do (catching one's own dinner when camping, whitewater rafting, whatever) ... it made me assume I was capable of doing anything. As a 12-year-old, that's a powerful revelation, one that stuck.

That troop was so rad. We also had an Army physicist dad who did something with lasers who got us into his lab for a science badge, and we took classes in gourmet cooking, and learned synchronized swimming. And all of us filthy-minded little feminists kept up intra-troop goodwill by circulating V.C. Andrews books between different troops. Make new friends, but keep the old ...
posted by sobell at 9:26 PM on September 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


I know a Samoan gent who was proud that the protests of his people had rescued the world's most perfect cookie from politically-correct purgatory and restored it as a proud marker of his heritage.

I had always thought that the reason you've got different names for the same cookie came down to how different GS councils (i.e. regional districts) have different contracts with different bakers. For example, some work with Little Brownie Bakers, others are with ABC Cookies, and so on.

(Can you tell that I'm now all grown up and acting cookie "mom" for my niece's GS troop?)

But I like the Samoan anecdote. A lot.
posted by sobell at 9:30 PM on September 9, 2010


Can we spilt this out into another thread about milk bags and various other assorted Canadian epherma so that we can resume discussion about Girl Scout cookies?
posted by schmod at 9:32 PM on September 9, 2010


Also, when hypothetical Miss Navelgazer Jr. reaches the right age, Rock and Roll Camp for Girls will surely be a part of her life as well.

You know they have Ladies Camp too? It's like the girls' camp, but with lots more swearing and drinking. The tune our improptu band wrote/learned/performed in three days was called "Slut Farm."

Girl Scouts is probably to blame for that too, somehow.
posted by emjaybee at 9:37 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. My favorite day of the week was when I could wear my uniform to school. I was so proud. I had a bad habit of volunteering my Mom for stuff. We did a camp out in tents on the beach in south Florida and I volunteered my Mom to be the nurse. I was young. I didn't know she was pregnant. But ya know what. She did it. The tent she stayed in had a girl who hurled, big time. All those s'mores, ya know? We had a blind girl in our troop. Her blindness really helped me learn a lot. But the thing I remember about her the most, was when a group of us went to the bathroom and she had pubic hair. That's what I remember about the blind girl. The pubic hair. I also volunteered my house to be the cookie station. My poor Mother. I bet she wanted to kill me. And I wouldn't have blamed her. But those thin mints, they are the best. I still have my sash with my badges. I worked hard for those bitches. The pro-abortion, feminist training corps will always be in my heart.
posted by wv kay in ga at 9:47 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Since the smarties thread turned into a discussion about the virtues about American smarties, I think you have to suck up the milk bag conversation.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:51 PM on September 9, 2010


posted by Mitheral What the heck do Americans call garburators?

"The Sink Sarlacc"
posted by mattdidthat at 9:53 PM on September 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


I knew it was time to quit when I got self-conscious about wearing my Brownie sash at school.

I still bridged to juniors and bailed right after. My poor mom had to buy the new vest, take all the badges off of the Brownie sash and put them on the Junior vest...

But that rainbow badge was pretty sweet.
posted by k8t at 9:55 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hadn't thought about it from a safety standpoint (god, it's just fucking depressing that going door-to-door is considered, or actually is, too dangerous), but when I saw two Girl Scouts with a folding table set up amongst all the 'performance artists'/assholes who paint themselves silver on the main strip in Waikiki last March, I thought they were absolute geniuses. My wife had never experienced the absolute wonder of thin mints (or tagalongs), but I knew, and those scouts left $20 richer.

For whatever reason, mint is not well liked in Japan. My wife ate most of the Tagalongs though, damnit. Due to my hoarding habit (since there's a lot I can't get here), those thin mints lasted until June in the freezer. God, they were good.

If anyone feels like setting up an emergency relief fund for expats without access to Girl Scout cookies, let me know. I can be your poster child.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:05 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Feminist training ground (talk about your proverbial feature, not a bug)
+
awesome cookies (I don't want to live in a world where I'd have to choose between Thin Mints and Samoas)
=
One of the times I can clearly say that I would be jealous of the opposite gender


Over my dead body will my son ever become a boy scout, for all the reasons listed above.

I really wish he could somehow be a girl scout, though.

How do we invent girl scouting, for boys?
posted by anastasiav at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Girl Scouts should ally themselves with the Spiral Scouts to fight their common enemy.
posted by homunculus at 10:08 PM on September 9, 2010


Re: Mormon/BSA problem - I think there is an Over-arching Leadership / local troop divide, because my experience in boy scouts and what my brother experienced wasn't shaped by any Mormon or overtly Christian emphasis. My troop started as a bunch of kids at the same elementary school, and slowly transitioned into a Mormon troop with a a few non-Mormons. This wasn't because the Mormons exerted control, but because the non-Mormons chose sports over scouting. Even though the troop would meet at a Mormon temple, no one ever talked to me of the Mormon religion. My brother's troop was non-denominational and met at a school, and seemed to spend as much time hiking and backpacking as working on badges. I don't agree or like the Official stance of BSA on gay and athiests, that doesn't really reach individual troops. If you like the idea of scouts but one troop is not to your liking, try another. (And neither I nor my brother sold popcorn. Totally a sad attempt at copying Girl Souts.)

/Boy Scouting advert
posted by filthy light thief at 10:08 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


anastaviav, I share your concern, but please, if you shop around, you'll quickly find a Boy Scout troop which you'd be cool with. It really is a great experience, and one your son would be better for experiencing, provided that it isn't being run by fundie assholes, which the troops in my experience have not been.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:10 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hated selling cookies but I did it grudgingly (self link to evidence that girl scouts at one time sold SESAME CRISP CRACKERS! I wonder if I ever sold any of those?)

seriously, sesame crisp crackers.
posted by vespabelle at 10:12 PM on September 9, 2010


To bring home my point further, I am an atheist and a (though straight) equal rights crusader, and neither of those things ever came up at all in my scouting, and there are too many great things I experienced through Boy Scouts that I never would have otherwise. Backpacking through New Mexico with friends of my own age, for instance, or sailing through the Florida Keys (atually sailing, not just riding on the boat) and hugging the bow of the boat while I reached down and petted dolphins swimming along with us at sunset.

There's shitty stuff at the central office which NEEDS TO BE REVOKED, but there's too much good there to throw out completely.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:16 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Forgiveme, as I'm Canadian
Yes, you are. Very Canadian.
posted by Killick at 10:32 PM on September 9, 2010


I was a Boy Scout from basically kindergarten through high school, starting with Tiger Scouts, then moving to Cub Scouts, then finally to Boy Scouts.

My troop never sold the awful popcorn, and I never understood why others did because it was crappy and everyone knew it. We sold various bits of greenery, mostly wreaths, around the holidays. We also sold maple syrup and citrus fruit, in direct competition with the local Lions club. At least those sales were in parking lots, though; the worst thing was our door-to-door mulch sales. Door-to-door sucks.

I'm straight, and at the time I was semi-religious (now agnostic), but many people in my troop were atheist/agnostic and at least of couple of the boys were gay. The people running the troop didn't seem to care at all. For what it's worth, I'd say that the kids in the troop were more outwardly hostile to gays than the official BSA stance simply because a lot of teenage boys are (or were) fucking homophobic dicks.

The BSA's ridiculous, shitty policy didn't really make much difference to me because it essentially didn't affect any of my friends who were clearly in violation of it. From my point of view, scouting was simply a vehicle for me to spend semi-structured time outside with my friends, lighting fires and using knives and canoeing and going on fun trips, and getting neat awards for all of it (for example, I got my Atomic Energy merit badge for taking a tour of the Oak Ridge National Lab). I honestly had a lot of really good experiences.

But there were also some not-so-good experiences, like the time that our (DC area) troop was invited (forced) to volunteer at the presidential inauguration in 2000, where we were supposed to help people get to wherever they were going and do other random things. I was 13 at the time. Being shouted at, ridiculed by, and literally spit on by anti-Bush and pro-gay rights protestors because of policies that I didn't create and vehemently disagreed with was probably one of the most frustrating and depressing experiences of my entire life. I was and still am very liberal and might have been there protesting with them if I had been a little older.


Anyway, I don't really know where exactly I was going with this rambling post. After seeing all of these glowing comments I sure as shit wish I had been a Girl Scout because it would have taken all of the bullshit out of it.
posted by malthas at 10:45 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not being in the US, my Boy Scout experience was probably pretty different from everybody else's in this thread, but I have to say it was pretty cool: It was mostly about doing outdoors stuff like camping and hiking, and taking responsibility. Also, I won a bunch of money playing the slot machines on the boat when we were going to Italy.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:48 PM on September 9, 2010


Oops, Bush's inauguration was in 2001, not 2000, so I guess I was 14.
posted by malthas at 10:52 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is the most Canadian sentence on Earth.

Well, as Canadian as possible... under the circumstances.
posted by bonehead at 11:21 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was a Brownie. But that was boring, so I dropped out and joined the Boy Scouts. Or as we call them, the Scouts.

Gender integration is reason #2 why Scouts Australia is wonderful. A lack of discrimination against gay members is reason #1.

Reason #1 why Scouts Australia isn't so great is that we also (officially, anyway) exclude atheists. I remember the uncomfortable moment at my training camp for prospective leaders when it was explained that we were expected to turn away potential members who didn't believe in a higher power.
A lady at the back called out, "That would never be an issue, why would a Satanist want to join Scouts anyway?"
I pointed out to her that under the stated rules, Satanists were perfectly welcome. She didn't talk to me again all weekend. Result.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 1:28 AM on September 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


Thin mints are vile, evil, poison. IT HURTS US! IT BURNS US!

That being said, Girl Scouts are rather awesome, my Girl Scout leader sister has convinced me. (Sent her a link to this thread).

And the cookies have been shite for decades. Once upon a time, they had Savannas, (peanutbutter) which were fabulous (before they changed bakers). And Scot Teas were good, but that was before I'd had Walker's shortbread. Of course, once upon a time BSA was a respectable organization, so, all things must pass.
posted by Goofyy at 4:03 AM on September 10, 2010


Man, after not enjoying Boy Scouts (the kids were snotty, and the Scout Leader didn't do much to stop the bullying/make it interesting), I kind of wish the Girl Scouts would have adopted me, especially now that I know they're so awesome.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:22 AM on September 10, 2010


Yeah, my GSA experience was not great. There were two local Brownie and later Junior Girl Scout troops: one all my good friends were in (as well as some girls I didn't get along with), and one all my acquaintances were in. A few of the moms in the "good" troop who didn't like my mom wouldn't let me join. So I had to join the other group, where we went camping exactly once, sold our cookies, and learned how to properly set a table for a formal dinner.

I quit shortly after finding out that when my mom was in Girl Scouts back in the 60s, she got a *pocketknife*. I don't think our troop would have known what to do with knives. The few who stuck with it longer than l did gave up around Cadet status when the troop clearly just wasn't doing anything real.

So I'm sure it *can* be a feminist organization, but when it's run by either petty housewives or ew-camping-you-mean-I'll-get-dirty? housewives in a middle class suburb in the Midwest, it can be less exciting.
posted by olinerd at 4:24 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


"...a pro-abortion, feminist training corps,"

He says that as if it were a bad thing!
posted by Decani at 4:32 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


During the cookie sales in our area, the Girl Scouts sit at a table outside grocery stores. I ask them, "If you were homeless, which cookie would be best?" They discuss it amongst themselves -- Thin Mints, because there are more individual cookies in the box? The peanut butter ones, because they stick to your ribs? The Samoas, because they are an awesome treat? They finally decide, and I buy a large number of boxes per their decisions. I pay with a large bill, so they have to figure out the change. Then, I ask them to put my cookies in the food pantry barrel that is always just inside the door of the grocery store.

Zeiger would undoubtedly be pissed. Not only am I supporting budding pro-choice feminists, I'm also trying to help them have compassion for the hungry and learn math!
posted by Houstonian at 4:54 AM on September 10, 2010 [16 favorites]


I have to say reading that Girl Scout piece in the FPP, Hans is not a bad writer. You could replace maybe two sentences, and it could totally be an endorsement by a pro-gay group. He's done his research!

I was never allowed to join Girl Scouts. It was rather Christian where I lived, and my Hindu parents didn't approve. I longed to go to Brownie meetings in the cafeteria after school where I (mistakenly) thought the girls were baking brownies and girl scout cookies.
posted by bluefly at 4:57 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Girl Scouts was a very important formative experience for me. Brownies and Juniors were great and we did a big mix of indoor and outdoor things. Cadettes ended up sucking a lot my first year because the other girls in the troop turned 13 and became jerks (it's magic, I think, that all former 13 year old girls can relate to). So my friends mom started a new troop for those of us who weren't jerks. She was a nurse and in the Army Reserves and an absolutely awesome leader and role model (until she got called up for the first Gulf War and it all ended).

And then I registered as an independent scout for a couple of years and I got to go on a Girl Scout Wider Opportunity in high school--a week dogsledding and cross-country skiing in Boundary Waters in Minnesota. Seriously.

But Girl Scout Camp was another thing entirely. Simply a sublime, amazing thing where I learned over various years how to ride a horse, tie-dye a shirt, rappel, and sail. And for a girl with a big brother who had been exposed to a great bit of sexism at a young age, it was so nice to be in a place run by women for girls. And it was pretty politically subversive. While we learned proper flag etiquette like most Scouts, I also learned from my counselors some perfectly valid reasons to not say the Pledge of Allegiance, like you don't believe in God, or you have noticed that we don't actually have "liberty and justice for all". And yes, some of the counselors were lesbians, and we learned that there was nothing particularly wrong with that. And googling around I just discovered that Camp Occoneechee closed a couple of years ago. So sad. It was a magical place.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:01 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Girl Scouts is a feminist training camp??? No WONDER my mom was so insistent that I join. Now I kind of wish I had, so I could have had a museum sleepover like the kids in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (can you guess that I spend my childhood holed up with books intead?).
posted by leesh at 5:21 AM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, this dude was like in high school or just after when he wrote those things. I think these are reprehensible positions, but so what? These are the scribblings of a manchild, someone who sees the world in black and white, someone with limited perspective on life. I live with teens, this is how they process the world, by and large. I think the voters in this district are idiots if they send this kid to the statehouse, but not because he said some provocative nonsense about the Girl Scouts in high school.
posted by Mister_A at 5:32 AM on September 10, 2010


I do understand the "risk" of door-to-door canvasing, but even back in my day, they had workarounds, like having an adult follow along on the sidewalk (or in a car) and never let the children enter the house, etc. In my case, my older brother took me around, which accounted for a lot of my sales. (For one thing, he's a better salesman than I am, and for another, the cute factor of a teenaged boy looking after his kid sister makes a good door-opener.) I got most of my babysitting jobs that way, because canvasing meant I met all the neighbors, and, as a Girl Scout, I was presumed to be responsible and competent. I mostly mourn the loss of making girls associate level of effort with profit, but also the loss of connecting with your community.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:50 AM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh great--I was trying to diet, and now, because of this idiot, I'll be doubling my order of cookies this year.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:03 AM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I frequently slip and call them the Girl Guides (which was also started by Baden Powell so it's basically the same)."

Girl Scouts of the USA was founded by Juliette Gordon Low, hence the name Juliettes on the earlier mentioned cookies that no longer exist.

I was a girl scout for years. My troop leader led a troop of brownies and cadets. Her name was Charlotte. She had mobility issues and could only walk short distance but, she made sure her troops did all the the hikes and camping, and assorted Girl Scout things.

She bought a 15 passenger van solely to carry around her Girl Scouts as many of the girls in this area wouldn't have a ride to get to meetings or activities. She spent her life dedicated to Girl Scouts, even though she never had a child of her own. Charlotte was like a second Mom to me and was my confidant and friend.

She died very young from a heart attack one night as she was getting out of bed. Her husband said she was gone pretty much instantly. My heart broke into a million pieces that day.

Her funeral was packed with many of the girls she had led and students that she had taught. (she was a substitute teacher.)

I'm glad I read this thread this morning and got to think about Charlotte today.
posted by SuzySmith at 6:07 AM on September 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


My oldest daughter wishes she were a Boy Scout like her little brothers: there's camping, regular meetings, and tons of activites. (This is a tribute to our hardworking Cubmaster, Mister Moore.) My sons, on the other hand, hate the multiple fund-raisers -- selling junk-- several times per year, a sentiment I share.

I am glad to have them all in either organization, because it's the local adult leaders who the kids see volunteering, sharing, and treating them with respect. Your unit leader makes or breaks your kid's experience, and your engagement with the unit and the kids is one of the most powerful lessons you'll ever give them.

So endeth the lesson. (Also, Thin Mints are the best cookie.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:21 AM on September 10, 2010


The best part of Girl Scouts was doing a sleepover at the Boston Museum of Science. We were in the electricity Room, with the giant Van de Graff generators.

I love thin mints, but tagalongs are my favorite. I use this recipe to get me through the many months of the year when I don't have ready access to thin mints.
posted by bryghtrose at 6:59 AM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I also did the Boston Museum sleepover (this was about 20 years ago), and we slept in the electricity room too! Which I have always referred to as the Lightning-in-the-Glass-Thing room, so thanks for knowing their actual name.
I wish we could have slept under the dinosaurs, but it was still one of the greatest memories I have. Remember that hallway with all the plaster casts of deformed hands? Because man do I remember that.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:22 AM on September 10, 2010


Yes, you are. Very Canadian.

I still don't get it. The Whelk, please explain!
posted by sunshinesky at 7:31 AM on September 10, 2010


the other girls in the troop turned 13 and became jerks (it's magic, I think, that all former 13 year old girls can relate to).

Quoted for truth. That's when I quit. Plus, the SCIENCE MUSEUM SLEEPOVER!? Yeah, that's a tough act to follow.
posted by clavicle at 7:33 AM on September 10, 2010


This Madonna pastiche about GS cookies by Lisa Dank is my favourite pop song of 2010
posted by rollick at 7:34 AM on September 10, 2010


Oh, I forgot to mention the science museum sleepovers! Ours were at Discovery Place which really was incredibly cool. There was just as much chemistry, physics, computers, and engineering as animals and health science--Never a mention that there was any aspect of science that girls might not be interested in.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:35 AM on September 10, 2010


Yeah, well, I got thrown out of Girl Scouts. Does this mean I have to hand in my feminist abortion-loving badge?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:39 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was a GS for 11 years, counting Brownies (when we wore beanies, even, and, yes, I sold those crackers, as well as tea and calendars one year). But, when I was a Senior and my local GS council did a purge of lesbian leaders, or those whispered to be lesbian, I left. I figured they'd come after lesbian scouts next.

I was looking forward to growing up and being a leader, too. Haven't had anything to do with GS since, but I'm still glad GS isn't as messed up as BSA.
posted by QIbHom at 9:10 AM on September 10, 2010


Even though I got thrown out of Girl Scouts (note: calling your leader a bitch to her face after she overhears you talking about what a bitch she's being is a bad idea, even if she specifically asks "What did you say?" Don't fall for it and say "I said you were being a bitch." Although, if it keeps you from having to sleep outside on 2 inches of hail in nothing but a sleeping bag on a "survival" campout, well...), I was asked to serve on a committee for the local council as an adult. I said, but wait -- I got thrown out -- surely you don't want me. And they laughed and said of course we do, you're great, welcome aboard.

Proof positive that Girl Scouts know when to forgive and forget.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:36 AM on September 10, 2010


My mom was my troop leader. We went on a couple camping trips at first, but then she realized that she was only mediocre as an outdoorsy troop leader. So she changed tacks, and started taking us to women-owned businesses (we had a day at a hair salon and spa where we got manicures but also learned about budgeting for a business), and to visit women with interesting careers (recording studio engineer, chemist for Coca Cola). Instead of camping in the woods, we went to visit the big city (Nashville and Atlanta). That was a pretty big deal for some of the girls, who hadn't really left North Alabama before, or who hadn't been to any place bigger than Huntsville (180,000 people).

At the time, none of it struck me as unusual, but now, looking back, it was very foundational for my ideas of what women do.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:39 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I quit shortly after finding out that when my mom was in Girl Scouts back in the 60s, she got a *pocketknife*. I don't think our troop would have known what to do with knives. The few who stuck with it longer than l did gave up around Cadet status when the troop clearly just wasn't doing anything real.

We still got those, in 1980 (?) or so. Before we did, we had to make a First Aid kit in shoebox and always bring it with us.

They were pretty good knives, green with the GSA logo.. they don't seem to be offered on the GSA site, though. Mine rusted years ago and was tossed out, sadly.

Ya'll who had good experiences have inspired me; I'll either buy cookies or donate to them some way this year.

Oh and the YMCA now does Adventure Scouts or some such (used to be Indian Princesses/Indian Scouts, I think? Now co-ed).
posted by emjaybee at 9:43 AM on September 10, 2010


Oh man, now I'm mad I never got to be a girl scout. I was briefly a member of some girl scout copycat organization but all we did was sell horrible candy and stick glitter to things. It was... not fun. And the kids were awful. Girl scout camp sounds awesome!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:48 AM on September 10, 2010


I got kicked out of Girl Scouts, too. I got caught with Creme de Menthe in a Maybelline Kissing Potion lip gloss bottle.
posted by Jade5454 at 10:43 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got kicked out of Girl Scouts for attempting to incite a revolt against the troop leader. I was seven.

There is no larger point to this story.
posted by sonika at 10:54 AM on September 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Am I totally insane or did you used to be able to buy cookies online, year-round?

I hate this post because now I want a fucking thin mint and it is 91 days til NYC cookie season.
posted by elizardbits at 11:30 AM on September 10, 2010


You could try making your own thin mints...
posted by Karmakaze at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2010


That does not teach children the wonders of capitalism and fiscal responsibility. That teaches my ass the wonders of getting fat.
posted by elizardbits at 11:43 AM on September 10, 2010


After reading the responses above about other people's great experiences with Girl Guides, now I regret not "shopping around" when I went to join when I was a kid. I had an abysmal guide leader. It's nice to see it can be a much more pleasant and formative experience!
posted by LN at 12:04 PM on September 10, 2010


When do we get our cookies in NJ?
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:28 PM on September 10, 2010


I was a Brownie and loved it (still have my sash); my husband was a Cub scout and sort of liked it (still has his uniform). I have boy-girl twins, and when they're old enough, I really want her in Girl Scouts, but I really don't want him in Boy Scouts. I'm torn. We also have the choice of our church's American Heritage Girls troop, which is a reactionary stab at the "secular focus" of GSA. Ugh, no thanks. (We're Christian, but plenty of our friends aren't.) Unfortunately, there's no Campfire Council near us, but maybe we'll join up as "Fire Tenders" or I'll just put the kids into 4-H or something. I'd like badges and fun but without the side helping of bigotry.

BTW, when I was a Brownie my Junior cousin and I sold cookies door-to-door. But, you know, that was the 1970s. We also had GS knives so we could protect ourselves, and we knew how to use them. To make sit-upons and tin-can hobo stoves, that is.
posted by candyland at 12:36 PM on September 10, 2010


COOKIETIME CHECKER
posted by elizardbits at 1:37 PM on September 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fellow Former Girl Scout Represent!

Anyway now I'm at a huge state college, and there are never girl scouts around. Sometimes someone will bring a box of thin mints from home and they are like gold. For the life of me I don't understand why a local troop doesn't set up a table across from our campus. My god, they would make a KILLING.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:27 PM on September 10, 2010


if you want to find girlscout cookies, when they are in season, just go to walmart. you don't even have to go in. there the girls will be, huddled behind a table, surrounding a usually deeply unpleasent woman guarding a cashbox. you will fork over 40 bucks, get 10 boxes (5 thin mints, 3 samoas, and 2 tag alongs), and that will keep you through a couple months so you can start dreaming of next year.
posted by nadawi at 2:34 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Funny that this topic came up about a week ago at my house as my spouse and I compared scouting experiences. I was struck by the thought that most of my happy childhood memories are tied-up with scouting.

Along with my sash, I have a notebook filled with the hundred or so songs I collected-- each one painstakingly typed out using my mom's old manual typewriter. At the time when I put the notebook together I envisioned years of Senior scouting and summer camp counseling but alas! it didn't work out. 1972 was not a popular time for Girl Scouts in California and there was only one Senior troop in the area; I didn't have a car and couldn't get to the meetings. I regret that to this day.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:51 PM on September 10, 2010


Elizardbeth! That is the greatest thing ever!

I think I might camp out by my front door just for the start of the season. If only I sticked with Boy Scouts so that I would know how to pitch a tent in my foyer!
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:20 PM on September 10, 2010


How on earth do you get the milk out of them without spilling it everywhere?

Mouth ---> nipple.

Oh wait.
posted by Ouisch at 7:23 PM on September 10, 2010


This thread has made me super happy because it inspired me to do some googling to find a site that will let you type in your zip code and get a countdown to when cookies are next coming to your hood.

123 days is way too long, though.
posted by piratebowling at 1:27 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


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