Heading to Sheetz last week, I walked past three little girls, who were probably 8 years old, selling Girl Scout cookies.
The girls were standing outside trying to get some business. Walking toward them I could see there was hope in their eyes, because they knew if they sold 200 boxes they could get a cool stuffed animal or money for a troop trip.
I told the girls I would get some on the way back with the full intention of buying a box of cookies. Waiting on my food, I was reminiscing on the time 12 years ago I was in the same position.
I was selling cookies at a table in my local grocery store with homemade signs, my brown vest covered in patches and an old decorated pretzel container we used as a cash jar.
I got my sub and was headed back their way and the girls jumped with joy when I returned. They shot me a pleasant little smile and politely asked me with their sweet voices if I wanted to buy cookies.
I bought a box of the tagalongs, and to my surprise, the box looked the same as I remembered. On the front was a picture of a red-headed girl with a kayak.
The photo looked like it was taken in the 1980s. However, it seems this imagery was the only thing that had stayed constant since my days in a troop.
When I asked how much a box was the little girl told me it was $5. When I was selling cookies I remember each box being $3.50.
Then I opened the box of cookies and saw that there were only 14 in the box. I recall the tagalongs being thicker and having more peanut butter, but that was not the case.
After a little research, I discovered that 75 percent of the earnings goes to the Girl Scout National Council and only 10 percent of that fraction goes to the individual Girl Scout troop.
The remaining 25 percent goes to the bakeries, which use a dollar and some change to make a box.
If they are expensive, why do we even buy them?
Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies, but the same exact products are made by the Keebler Co.
You could get four times as many cookies for the same price, but there is an elf on the package instead of the girl in the kayak.
We do not buy Girl Scout cookies because they are amazing. We could go to any supermarket and buy the same product for cheaper if we really wanted to.
We buy them because it makes the girls happy, and it allows them to work hard for something, and we cannot say no.
After all, kids are the future of our world. Playing to their strengths and using their cuteness to their advantage will just make them successful little business women.
However, my research made me wonder what the Girl Scout Council does with 65 percent of the profits made from the cookies.
When I was young and invested in selling cookies, my sister and I sold about 400 boxes.
That would have been $2,000 today, and $1,300 of that would go to the council. Only $200 would go to the troop. What is all that council money used for?
After even more research I found that out the 2016 CEO of the Girl Scouts, Anna Maria Chavez, made an annual salary of $393,380 after only making $104,000 as head of the Girl Scout council of Texas. What I could not find was where the funding for her salary comes from, but my guess would be cookie sales.
If that is the case, these 8-year-old girls have to sell 121,040 boxes of cookies yearly just to pay her salary as CEO. How is that right?
Now that seems insane that there are 200 million boxes of cookies sold a year, and revenue for girl scouts is at $700 million. There are more than 100 councils across America with leaders being paid over $100,000 salaries.
The CEO makes $393,380, yet the little girls who work their butts off selling cookies get so little of that.
Who cares that the cookies are $5 because we only buy them for the kids. However, if they’re going to be that expensive, a higher percentage of that should be for the kids. After all, we buy cookies for the benefit of the kids, not for the organization.