Girl Scout Sells 17,328 Boxes of Cookies
Jennifer Sharpe, a 15-year-old Dearborn, Michigan Girl Scout, sold 17,328 boxes of cookies by “setting up shop on a street corner.” This achievement may or may not be a national record because nobody’s actually keeping score, but we know nobody sold more this year. Regardless, it required a near-obsessive dedication and, as usual, quite a contribution from the adults:
Sharpe sold cookies every day on a street corner with help from her mother and troop leader, Pam Sharpe. “We were always there; we never closed,” Pam Sharpe said. “At one point, Jenny got really sick and we did shut down early, and we heard about it the next day.”
At least, her troop must have earned oodles of money, no?
Jennifer Sharpe’s Troop 813 raised about $21,000 in cookie sales, paying for its 10-day trip to Europe this winter. Troops get only part of the proceeds from their members’ sales.
That’s not bad money for a group of junior high girls selling cookies. But we know that just one girl sold 17,328 boxes. Even if none of the other girls sold so much as a single box of cookies, you’d think they’d reap more than that. That’s only $1.21 a box even if we only count Jennifer’s sales.
The cookies sell for around $4 a box. Cookies are cheap to make. What’s going on? According to the GSA,
Q: When I buy Girl Scout Cookies, where does the money go?
A: With every purchase, approximately 70% of the proceeds stays in the local Girl Scout council to provide a portion of the resources needed to support Girl Scouting in that area, including a portion that goes directly to the troop/group selling the cookies. The balance goes directly to the baker to pay for the cookies.
Obviously, the baker has to be paid. But that’s a whole lot of administrative overhead. What does “the local Girl Scout council” do with all that money? And what is the “portion” going to the girls selling the cookies?
Q: What portion of the cookie revenue is shared with the troop/group selling cookies?
A: That decision is made by each local Girl Scout council, so the portion varies from one council to another. Nationwide, an individual troop/group receives from 12-17% of the purchase price of each box sold. The troop holds the money earned in its treasury, and its girl members vote on how to use that money.
So . . . not a lot of money goes to the actual Scouts here.