Parents and Scout Leaders Say Girl Scouts Are Being Harassed for Selling Unhealthy Food

by Hannah Heser
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Girl Scout cookies are some of the most popular treats today. With the season upon us, it’s not starting out the way everyone hoped for. Parents and Scout leaders say that Girl Scouts are dealing with harassment for selling unhealthy food.

Firstly, Girl Scouts put in a lot of hard work to complete their daily goals of selling cookies to us. The scouts have a lot of duties they take part in during the season. They hold meetings, work booths outside of local shops, and update their social media with messages about their overall experience. After observing their many responsibilities, you’ll notice that they have a lot on their plate. But lately, they’ve been receiving some backlash for the unhealthy food they sell.

Girl Scout Cookies are Receiving Harassment From Customers

This girl scout cookie season looks a little different than previous years. Apparently, the organization’s tradition of in-person sales is receiving an increase in customer harassment.

According to Insider, scouts from five-year-old Daisies to 16-year-old Senior Scouts are dealing with a lot of complaints. Most of the comments come from adults who want to lecture the girls about healthy eating habits, or the price increases on the cookies.

Recently, a popular parenting group on Facebook presented a message, which received more than 100 responses. The replies entailed many recent stories from scout leaders and other adults on the current situation.

One scout parent in Los Angeles expressed how she felt in terms of the harassment. “I feel like in the last 10 years, and maybe especially since the pandemic, that people are getting even more aggressive with girls and the volunteers,” Oona Hanson wrote.

The Scouts often see the comments as hurtful. In a recent interview, a few scouts, scout leaders, and parents revealed how this criticism can harm self-esteem. Morgan Shelly, from Shaker Heights, Ohio, explained how she felt when she experienced this herself.

“The girls were at the age where something like this can really destroy your self-esteem,” Shelly stated. “Some people have wrong ideas about all sorts of things, and think it is okay to voice those things. But that was really the start of us as troop leaders really needing to do an ongoing check-in with the girls.”

Some People Think Harassment Occurs Because They’re Girls

Apparently, Girl Scouts have a higher chance of experiencing harassment when selling girl scout cookies. One example of this is from a high school sophomore, Amelia who is still a Scout today. Her mother told the news outlet about Amelia’s past experiences with harassment while selling cookies.

“Girls naturally deselect from doing booths and sell in spaces where they feel safe,” Amelia’s mom, Wardy revealed.

A third-generation Girl Scout in New Jersey agreed with this.

“I think they get harassed because they’re girls,” Liz Franke said. “And because most troop leaders are women, people think that perhaps, you know, a female leader is also not going to give them what for.” 

Fortunately, Scout leaders are preparing their Scouts to handle difficult customers and situations.