Regarding "Girl Scout cookies destroying our future" in the Jan. 17 issue of the Miner: It appears author Tom Purcell was attempting to be humorous. Unfortunately, it was quite offensive and demeaning to the name and purpose of the Girl Scouts. I am respectfully writing to defend the Girl Scouts and request that the Miner cease publication of slanderous articles such as this.
Purcell asked, "How can we be so inconsiderate to diabetics and others who are unable to consume sugar?" And he said, "Precious trees must be felled to farm the grains and sugars needed to produce them." Girl Scouts do in fact sell sugar-free cookies. They are not inconsiderate but are simply selling cookies as a fundraiser. Buyers do have free will to say, "No thank you." Why not complain about the grocery stores selling foods loaded with high fructose corn syrup and trans fat; or even threaten lawsuits against manufacturers for tempting consumers to buy unhealthy foods by using flashy colors and destroying the environment with excessive packaging? Because that, like this article, would be ridiculous! Part of elementary education includes proper nutrition. It is the responsibility of each individual to eat well and exercise. Cookies will not destroy a person's health if eaten in moderation. The health information and serving size is printed on each box. Girl Scouts also sell calendars and trail mix, and they hosted a root beer float stand to fight breast cancer and a yard sale to raise funds for prostate cancer.
Purcell also said the annual cookie sale "is teaching girls terrible values ... raw capitalism - how to exploit the weak and the helpless." That is completely untrue and slanderous. The Girl Scouts teach young girls how to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. They are taught some anatomy and physiology so they learn how their bodies develop and function. Just recently Troop 1090 finished a CPR class at the local Moose Lodge. They learn about local law enforcement. The fire department brings fire trucks to the girls for them to tour. They participate in "Thinking Day," which teaches them about other countries. Part of Girl Scout education also includes drug abuse prevention.
Girl Scouts are given a good taste of community services. They regularly perform community clean-ups. Locally, the Girl Scouts clean areas in the Hualapai Mountains, vacant fields, and of course, the Girl Scout campgrounds. Frequent clean up is required due to constant vandalism. The local Girl Scouts also adopted a segment of Route 66 (on the way to Hackberry). They have retired flags and helped with annual canned food drives hosted by various organizations.
"They probably meet in private to laugh about the helplessness of their victims; they laugh about the strong-arm techniques they use to part friends, family and neighbors from their hard-earned dough." They do not prey on helpless victims; they help those who need it. The Girl Scouts participated in disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina victims by donating care packages. They support victims of breast cancer and prostate cancer as well. They do not learn how to hurt or take advantage of those around them. Some activities focus on strengthening relationships with family, friends and neighbors.
"In the process, they are destroying our environment...." That's right, the Girl Scouts are causing the arctic cap to melt. It is obvious that Girl Scouts are not single-handedly causing global warming or any other catastrophic event. The manufacturing and packaging of their cookies is not unlike any other brand of cookie.
In short, adults have had access to this information for decades. It is not the responsibility of 9-year-olds to educate them. "If the Girl Scouts won't willingly stop foisting their cookie pox on the rest of us, we must use the might of the federal government to mandate a ban on their annual sale." The definition of "foist," meaning "to impose by fraud." This article clearly defames the Girl Scouts. These young girls and their leaders are not guilty of fraud. The only thing they are guilty of is learning, growing and giving to others. Selling cookies is not a crime.
Nicole Butler, Troop 1090