Posts Tagged ‘ girl scouts ’

Should Nestle Be Allowed to Partner With Girl Scouts USA? One Mom Says No.

Friday, November 7th, 2014

The holidays are coming up, the most wonderful time of the year. But I know many people who might disagree. For them, the most wonderful time of the year is not in the winter. It’s Girl Scout Cookie season. Seriously, I know people who wait all year to stock up on their Thin Mints, to get their hands on Tagalongs, and munch on their Samoas—or Peanut Butter Patties and Caramel Delights, #wheresourcreativity. Well, Nestle realized people clamor for these flavors and so they decided to partner with Girl Scouts USA and infuse their famous Nesquik drink with Girl-Scout-cookie flavors for a limited time.

But one mom thinks that this pairing is not in the honorable spirit of the Scouts. Monica Serratos, mother of two, has started a petition on Change.org for Girl Scouts to end the partnership. In her eyes, Girl Scouts should be promoting healthy habits and a drink with 48 grams of sugar per bottle is not in line with that ideal. According to ABC News, a Nestle spokesperson said the beverage made with the adult consumer in mind. But Serratos is not convinced given the drink’s mascot is a furry brown bunny. She believes that endorsements like these contribute to the growing childhood obesity epidemic in this country.

To date, over 6,000 people have signed the petition following the beat of Serratos’ drum. The Girl Scouts have responded, so far, with silence.

Serratos also objects generally to the Girl Scouts’ use of cookie and candy sales in general, though there is no official call to end these on the petition. The Girl Scout website emphasizes that their cookies should be a snack or special treat.

I was a Girl Scout as a kid and my favorite part of year was the annual cookie sale. Ironically, I wasn’t a huge cookie person. I just loved the competition to prove how many boxes I could sell. But there was no doubt I sold to adults and families who LOVED the chocolate-y goodness of their Girl Scout sweets. I had friends who sold cookies but were not allowed ANY sugar in their diets. I had friends who were allowed to eat Twinkies after school.

Yet Serratos’ call to action raises an interesting question: Should organizations like Girl Scouts be allowed to promote sugary drinks and snacks to children, be it through cookie drives or Nestle partnerships? Should it be left to parents to decide if and how often their children indulge in these products?

Sound off in the comments below!

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Fruit Nachos
Fruit Nachos
Fruit Nachos

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What Should the Future of Girl Scouts Look Like?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

girl scout badges on vestThe New York Times recently ran an article about the decline of Girl Scouts and what some advocates are proposing to do in order to raise those numbers. The sad truth is that the number of Girl Scouts has fallen from more than 4 million in 2003 to 3 million. That is obviously a huge drop, and, as a former Girl Scout, I believe something should be done. Advocates are calling for the Girl Scouts to return back to its roots of camping and the great outdoors. They believe that the 2011 swaps in badges to make room for a more STEM-focused curriculum has hurt membership. Girl Scouts should be focused on outdoor activities and skills. I’m not so sure I feel the same way.

I loved being a Girl Scout, but it was definitely not because I enjoyed camping. In fact, I think we went camping one time and I begged to go home roughly one hour after we set up the tent. But we did plenty of other things that helped us grow and develop as young women. What made Girl Scouts so special? It allowed us to learn things and have amazing experiences that we would have never gotten in the classroom. My troop earned our badges spending the night on the U.S.S. Hornet, writing our pen pals across the globe, and learning proper etiquette by having a tea party. The possibilities for earning a badge seemed endless, and we tried to do almost every type of activity. And this was all well before 2011. I can’t even imagine how much girls are able to accomplish today through the program.

If some troops are interested in spending more time in the wilderness, I wouldn’t want to stop them. In a recent survey of 2,000 scouts in grades four through eight, nearly half wanted more outdoor badges. As an urban girl with no outdoor skills, this is somewhat baffling to me, but I think it’s a great idea to give that opportunity to girls who want it. However, I also think the development of new badges in STEM areas has been very helpful and useful, and my hope is that they stick around, even with the proposed addition of more outdoor badges. In my opinion, the message should be that there are lots of outdoor badge opportunities for Girl Scouts, but the program also has badges that are beneficial in helping your daughter succeed in the twenty-first century. It’s a great hybrid of honoring tradition and being progressive. To me, that sounds like a win-win situation, and it sounds like a program that I want my future daughters to join.

Are your daughters part of a troop? Make these apple pops for the next meeting:

How To Make Apple Pops
How To Make Apple Pops
How To Make Apple Pops

Image via Shutterstock

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Would You Buy a Girl Scout Barbie Doll?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Barbie is adding a new hobby to her resume: she’s joining the Girl Scouts. As the dolls roll out in stores this week, real life scouts can also earn a Barbie “Be anything, do everything” participation patch—the first time Girl Scouts has ever worked together with a corporate sponsor. And as you can expect, some consumer groups are upset about the partnership, saying that putting the unrealistically perfect Barbie in the wholesome uniform sends a bad message.

“Barbie is basically a terrible role model for girls, and she’s not about what the Girl Scouts’ principles are, which have to do with leadership and courage,” Susan Linn, a psychologist and direct of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told Today.

Both the Girl Scouts and Mattel stand by the new doll, saying that Barbie inspires young imaginations and encourages girls to follow their dreams. In fact, earlier this year, Mattel released Entrepreneur Barbie, and in the past, the doll has been everything from a presidential candidate to a firefighter. It seems only natural that she would don a green patch-covered vest eventually.

Yet the debate continues.

If the Girl Scouts feel the new doll fits their ideals, why can’t that be good enough for everyone else? As a child, I played with Barbie dolls often. I wasn’t looking for a role model; I simply saw it as a chance to invent new characters and stories with my sister. The toys allowed our imaginations to bloom. (We were both Girl Scouts at the time, and I’m sure we would have loved to dress our dolls like us.)

As for the little ones who aren’t involved in a scouting program, this new doll will raise awareness about the organization. If it encourages youngsters to check out the Girl Scouts and learn more about leadership and courage, then really, what’s the harm?

That’s not to say that none of the concerns are legitimate. I do understand the worries about shoving product placement in front of young children, and sure, I’ve never seen such a stylish Girl Scout uniform in real life. But let’s face it: little girls are going to continue playing with Barbie dolls. If my 5-year-old niece develops an interest in becoming a Daisy Scout after picking up one of these toys, I’d say the good far outweighs the bad here.

Tell us: would you buy a Girl Scout Barbie doll?

What career will your child have?

Manners & Responsibility: Chores Kids Can (and Should) Do
Manners & Responsibility: Chores Kids Can (and Should) Do
Manners & Responsibility: Chores Kids Can (and Should) Do

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Help Make Our Girls Unstoppable

Friday, October 4th, 2013

I was fortunate enough to have parents who instilled great self-confidence in me. My mom, who is quite the feminist, never once complained to me about her appearance; therefore I didn’t grow up thinking I needed to look a certain way. During elementary school co-ed recreational soccer the boys were too aggressive on the field and I didn’t want to play anymore. My dad wouldn’t stand for that! He called up the rec department and got them to start a separate league for girls so we could excel in the sport without boys hogging the ball. I played soccer for years after that.

Joining Girl Scouts helped me see my potential in many ways as well. And I can’t forget that I was a Brownie when the Spice Girls were preaching GIRL POWER! In my eyes, all types of girls (whether sporty or posh) were simply awesome.

All girls deserve to grow up with high self-esteem, and I know you strive to make your daughters feel confident. However, 6 out of 10 girls stop doing their favorite activities because the feel bad about their looks, according to a study from Dove. This statistic needs to –and can—change, and Dove has the tools to help you make a difference in a girl’s self-esteem.

The 4th Annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend, starting today, is the perfect time to help our girls realize that they’re unstoppable. The company has partnered with over 1,000 Walmart stores by hosting in-store self-esteem activities and launching an exclusive first-ever limited edition Dove “Confidence is Beautiful” product collection. Purchasing these products supports self-esteem programming with Dove’s national non-profit partner organizations, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Girls. Inc.

Kroger is also providing free self-esteem resources for moms and mentors in over 1,500 stores nationwide, as well as hosting workshops for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati. Facebook and Safeway are also hosting workshops at their respective headquarters with local Boys & Girls Club and Girls. Inc. chapters.

If you can’t make it to one of these events, be sure to download a self-esteem toolkit on Dove’s website.

When armed with the right attitude and resources, we can all empower our girls to be unstoppable!

Image via Dove: Girls from different organizations light up the Empire State Building to kick off the Self-Esteem Weekend on October 3, 2013.

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