Charm City Cakes Creates Girl Scout Cookie Cake

Charm City Cakes Creates Girl Scout Cookie Cake

How awesome!  I’m a big fan of Ace of Cakes, a show on Food Network highlighting the operations of Charm City Cakes of Baltimore, MD.  Recently they aired a segment about a cake they made for the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.  The cake was for a gala event and featured Girl Scout Cookies prominently in the design.  The event itself was their Green Carpet Event, honoring the top cookie pre-sellers and took place last November.

The event was a success and the girls LOVED seeing celebrity chef Duff Goldman at the event, who was more than happy to take photos and sign autographs for the girls and adult volunteers.

Go view the video here (Food Network doesn’t allow embedding).

Alligator song

Alligator song

This is a great song for a camp, complete with hand motions mimicking an alligator whenever the word Alligator is repeated in the chorus.  Soon I hope to include recordings!  Until I get there, it’ll be lyrics only for now.

(Chorus)
Alligator!
Alligator!
Can be your friend, can be your friend, can be your friend too.

The alligator is my friend
He has a lovely face
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to have him on my suitcase
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He has a very lovely pelt
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to wear him on my belt
(Chorus)

This alligator is my friend
He has a very lovely snoot
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to wear him on my boot
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
Step on his tail, he’ll be in a rage
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to see him in a cage
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He can be your friend too
I’d rather have him as my friend,
then wear him as a shoe (point to shoe)
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He has a scaly pelt
I’d rather have him as my friend
Than wear him as a belt (point to belt)
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He likes to tease and flirt
I’d rather have him as my friend
Than wear him on my shirt (point to shirt)
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
You can do no worse
I’d rather have him as my friend
Than wear him as my purse.

Girl Scout YouTube Ad Violates Policy

Girl Scout YouTube Ad Violates Policy

Just when you thought it was safe to embrace social media!

Girl Scout Cookie Entrepreneur Stymied by Internet Sales Ban

Earlier this year, Wild Freeborn (yes, that’s her real name) posted a YouTube video, with the help of her dad, with an enthusiastic pitch: “Buy cookies! And they’re yummy!” They set up an online order system where customers in their area could purchase Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas. Within two weeks, 700 orders came in.

But Wild Freeborn’s e-commerce plan hit a major snag. The Girl Scout Cookie Program, which according to Newsweek “bills itself as the largest program to teach entrepreneurship to young girls,” says it prohibits all online sales of its cookies — primarily because of safety reasons. Its guidelines state that Internet use should only be for advertising.

I understand the drive for a parent to do what he can to help his daughter sell more boxes.  But the rules are there for a reason, and you should adhere to those rules.  This father knowingly broke a rule.  Some people have criticized the Girl Scouts for not allowing cookie sales online, but I don’t think those people understand that the policy is there to keep it fair and safe for the girls participating.  People may not realize that Girl Scouts don’t make a ton of money on the cookie sales.  The primary goal of the cookie sale, along with the fall nut & calendar sale, is to teach the girls entrepreneurial skills along with the life lessons of honesty and fairness.  The lessons learned from selling cookies is the main point of the exercise, not to harass you outside your local super market to buy some Thin Mints to line their pockets.

[Bryan Freeborn] told Matt Lauer of the “Today Show” last week, “We knew there was a policy that it wasn’t OK, but we thought we were taking orders and promoting the cookies and we seemed to think that was within the spirit of the rules. The whole intent was to help my daughter meet her goals, utilizing up-to-date marketing principles.”

He knew there was a rule against this, and yet let his daughter break those rules to meet her goal to go to camp.  To me, the lesson that it’s okay to break the rules when you want something bad enough is not as important as fairness and honesty.  Had this just been a YouTube video, I don’t think the GSUSA would have taken issue.  The online ordering system the father set up is where the line was crossed, essentially allowing his daughter and her troop to “steal” sales from other girls.  Bear in mind that I work in online marketing myself, and while I’m usually the first person to advocate brick and mortar organizations to leverage social media and online marketing to their benefit, I still stand behind the Girl Scouts in their decision in this case.

None of the articles I read commented on whether or not the girl had to forfeit those sales;  my best guess is that they let those orders stand at the time the website was taken down.  I’d love to see her embrace social media in other ways with working on different badges or other troop-run fundraisers to help them go to camp.   That would allow her father to teach her what he really thinks he’s teaching her, about updated marketing tactics and technology, without the underlying questionable rule-breaking message.

Girl Scouts Rebranding?

Girl Scouts Rebranding?

I read an interesting article recently from the Washington Post titled Blogs In, Badges Out as Girl Scouts Modernize.  As a marketer by profession and life-long Girl Scout purist and enthusiast, this naturally piqued my interest on multiple levels.

Long associated with images of dorky vests and singalongs around the campfire, the 97-year-old Girl Scouts of the USA is trying to become cool. Or at least cooler.

With enrollment dropping sharply, the organization is experimenting with a total makeover of the Girl Scout experience.

What’s in: books and blogs written in girls’ voices on topics such as environmental awareness and engineering; troops led by college students; videoconferencing with scouts in other countries.

What’s out: textbook-style lessons on the value of helping others; shunning the Internet; moms as troop leaders for teenagers.

Thin Mints are not in jeopardy, but — OMG! — badges will be de-emphasized.

“We took a step back and asked, ‘What do girls need from us right now?’ ” said Eileen Doyle, the Girl Scouts’ senior vice president of program development. “There is consistency in our goals throughout our history, but we can maintain that while being fun, edgy and challenging for modern-day girls.”

I’m of two minds about the loss of badges as a core of the Girl Scout program.  I learned so much about very diverse things in my pursuit of badges.  I was an overacheiver and I wanted to earn as many badges as possible, including all the dabblers in various categories.  That goal forced me to broaden my intellect, and I can’t imagine being who I am now without having picked up those little bits of information that broadened my horizons.  On the other hand, I’d hate for girls to not join scouts just because of some of the negative stereotypes surrounding it, that it’s all badges and cookies.  I hope this works out for them, but I also hope that they find ways to increase learning opportunities that loosing an emphasis on badges might otherwise be lessened.

Happy 97th Birthday Girl Scouts!

Happy 97th Birthday Girl Scouts!

Wow, it’s hard to believe that the Girl Scouts of America are just 3 years away from celebrating their 100th birthday!

Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia, on March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars, and studied first aid.

Within a few years, Daisy’s dream for a girl-centered organization was realized. Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of nearly four million girls and adults, a significant growth from its modest beginnings nearly a century ago. In fact, more than 50 million women in the U.S. today are Girl Scout alumnae. We invite you to learn about our robust organization and its rich history. From our willingness to tackle important societal issues, to our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness—Girl Scouts is dedicated to every girl, everywhere.

I can’t tell you what Girl Scouts did for me growing up.  While not a terrible childhood, it certainly wasn’t picture perfect either.  I give Girl Scouts a LOT of credit for giving me the ability to look back on my formitive years and to be able to say they weren’t that bad.  All my best memories growing up involved Girl Scouts, whether is was regular troop meetings, outings, council camping trips, or summer camp.  Heck, I even spent the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 at a Girl Scout meeting!  It’s helped me to become the strong woman I am and I can’t thank my leaders and other volunteers enough.

I’m sadly not in touch with them anymore, but in the off chance they ever do a Google search for their names… THANK YOU!  Shirley Taylor, who was my leader from the time I was in Brownies until the day I graduated high school, was a huge influence and inspiration in my life, and I kick myself all the time for not keeping in better contact after going away to college.  While in high school our troop was merged and co-lead by Deborah Kelly and her sister Pam (for the life of me I can’t remember Pam’s last name).  They also helped to shape me as a young woman ready to go off into the world and I learned so much from them as well.  I can only hope someone finds this and forwards it to them so Thank you so much from Trisha (Floyd) Fawver!