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On my honor I will try … to serve capitalism?

Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Samoas, Shortbread. Need I go on? I don’t think I do, because you already know I’m talking about the sensational and seasonal treats that grace our cabinets in the springtime. 

That’s right; Girl Scout Cookies.

We all have our plugs, whether it be your neighbor’s seven-year-old niece or that faithful table set up outside your local grocery store. And each box you purchase goes toward that Girl Scout’s tally. The more you buy, the more likely she is to earn the coveted charm bracelet that holds high rank in the prize catalog. 

But this year is a little different because Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, is apparently going for Top Sales Scout (the multi-billionaire has recently begun selling the cookies on the e-behemoth site).

Seriously, Jeff? 

The sanctity of the Girl Scout Cookie Season is in jeopardy. As a former Brownie member of troop 222, I’m livid. 

The whole point of Girl Scouts is to teach the next generation of women leadership skills, entrepreneurship and confidence. 

How are they supposed to support those pillars — and their entire organization — if the doors they knock on in the coming months are dead ends because customers’ cabinets have already been stocked? 

According to the FAQ section of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) website, “All registered girl members of Girl Scouts may participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Although parents and Girl Scout adults may assist, girls make the sale, set learning and sales goals, learn to think like entrepreneurs, and gain five essential skills that are part of the program.” 

In order to sell cookies, Bezos must be an honorary member of the Scouts. The five pillars he’s intended to be learning through the program are: Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and – wait for it – business ethics. 

The simple question to ask here is why are the Girl Scouts letting this bad, bad man sell their cookies? 

Well, according to that same FAQ page, the answer is they actually probably didn’t make Scout Jeff an honorary member.

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“We caution against purchasing Girl Scout Cookies for sale online at auction, community list sites, or sites such as eBay and Amazon, because GSUSA, your local Girl Scout council, and our licensed cookie bakers cannot guarantee the freshness or integrity of these cookies,” reads the GSUSA website. 

Under the Who can Sell Girl Scout Cookies tab, GSUSA advises the public that cookies purchased on Amazon often “have expired or are using Girl Scout intellectual property without authorization.” 

And, they add, “purchasing cookies in this way does not support Girl Scouts participating in the cookie program.”

Scout Jeff is no scout at all, and never was. He’s just a multi-billionaire who never bothered with learning or practicing ethical business because he knew he could just sell Girl Scout cookies on Amazon for double the price, profiting off the backs of mistreated workers and Girl Scouts everywhere. 

He is also clearly unfamiliar with the Girl Scout Promise, which reads; “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times and To live by the Girl Scout Law.”

And it’s not just Girl Scout Law that Amazon has a history of evading. The company worked through loopholes when it was founded, allowing themselves to avoid collecting sales tax because they were selling goods online. They also have a history of paying unfair wages to people in the lower levels of the company, specifically warehouse employees

So, it’s not actually that hard to believe that one of the world’s richest men, who doesn’t pay livable wages, is also competing with children for cookie sales. 

By selling these cookies outside the program, Bezos is breaking Girl Scout Law. But even worse, in the process he is breaking the heart of the Girl Scout organization. 

As an alumna of troop 222, all I can do is apologize to today’s Girl Scouts who have to compete with one of the richest men in the world for that coveted bike in the catalog this year. 

And to all you people who are chomping at the bit to get your hands on those springtime treats, remember that Jeff Bezos is no honorable scout. Don’t buy his cookies and contribute to troop Amazon, or as I like to call them; Troop 666.  

It’s up to us to make sure that’s not the way the cookie crumbles. 

wolffrg@miamioh.edu

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