Girl Scouts and Green Living

I’ve been helping out with Girl Scout day camp this week, teaching girls the basic outdoor skills of firebuilding and knot-tying.  I developed quite a reputation as “the lady who let us use matches.”  Pretty awesome when you’re eight years old, regardless of your gender.  I enjoyed volunteering and feeling like I did something useful in shaping the next generation.  I also enjoyed being reminded what girls are like – inquisitive, naive, stubborn, silly, intelligent, clueless, and frustrating – often all at the same time.

Day camp is filled with a variety of activities from swimming to craft-making to service project but there was one that caught my eye.  A couple of women came down from the Girl Scout office to survey the girls about what cookie sale prizes should be next year.  For those of you unfamiliar with Girl Scouts, cookie sales are a major revenue generator.  A portion of the sale of each box goes to the troop, another chunk goes to the Council (the local office) and a third chunk goes to the national organization.  There is an incentive system set up to encourage girls to sell as many boxes as possible so they can earn different prizes.  Every year there’s a theme of some sort.  Many of them involve animals – the last one I remember in detail was centered around cats.  If you sold X boxes you got a little patch with a cat, more boxes earned you a t-shirt with a cat, and even more boxes would get you a cat plush toy.

Well, this year apparently they are going with an ecological theme.  I didn’t get a close look at the prizes but it seems like they had things like stainless steel water bottles and maybe some sort of tiny solar panel.  To be honest, my first impression was “aack!  greenwashing!” but I think that was probably a harsh evaluation.  I’ve just been a little frustrated lately about all the green products being hawked and how it has become so trendy but on the other hand, it’s totally something in line with the girl scout mission and I’m excited to see the girls get educated about living more environmentally sound.

I’m just not sure we really need any fluorescent light bulb plush toys running around.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    arduous said,

    June 19, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    Hey, a stainless steel water bottle is a pretty practical and useful product. Maybe if you have any input next time, you could suggest experiential gifts. Like gift cards to the movies?

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