I stopped at Fred Meyer earlier, and noticed on my way to the WAMU ATM that a Boy Scout was selling popcorn. I thought maybe I’d buy some. Then I had a tussle with myself about whether I really wanted my money to go to the Boy Scouts. Their official policies are anti-gay, and there are other things I don’t like about them too. But I decided, based on personal experience, that they do more good than harm, and as a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts (who, by the way, are NOT anti-gay) I know how important the sales can be for the kids.
I bounced up to the table with my cash in hand. “What have you got?” I inquired, smiling. Then I looked at the pictorial price sheet on the table.
$15 for a package of microwave popcorn, with 15 individual packets inside. $30-40 for large tins of popcorn. I wanted to just back away at that point, but after voluntarily approaching the table and speaking up, felt I couldn’t. I ended up buying the cheapest item, which was a very small tin of caramel corn with peanuts for $8.
Aside from the prices, I was shocked that the young man in the Boy Scout uniform did not say one word during the whole transaction. His parents did everything. And he was a teenager — taller than I am. If you are involved in Girl Scouts, you know that we are told this should NEVER HAPPEN. The cookie sale isn’t just about making money; it’s also about the girls learning skills, like dealing with the public, making change, etc. Adults are NEVER supposed to do the selling. We get in trouble if we get caught doing it.
So, I’m sorry, Boy Scouts, but I won’t be buying any more popcorn. I’ll be waiting for the Girl Scout cookie sale. The price is going up in Oregon and Southwest Washington; next year they’ll be $4 per box, but I don’t think that’s too outrageous, given the quality, and it’s comparable to the price of many store-bought cookies. I also know for sure that it’s an organization I can believe in.
Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington will begin taking orders for cookies in January 2009. For other areas of the U.S., you can check here for availability. Outside the U.S.? You may be out of luck. Sorry!