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What's with the name?

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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Ohio Girl Scouts: No Cookies Until We Get to Pee in the Woods

Some Girl Scout groups of northeastern Ohio will be refusing to sell their eponymous cookies this year. It is apparently a last resort protest tactic, that follows a campaign of petitions, correcting misinformation, appealing to the Girl Scout organization at the national level, and even camp-ins; everything to “[work] through the democratic process.”

What’s the cause that has rallied kids and mothers together alike?

They’d like to keep roughing it when they go to Girl Scout camping sites… and that includes peeing in the woods. Okay, we admit that we posted this because we couldn’t resist the title opportunities.

According to Rebecca Shaffer, director of marketing and communications for the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, when Scouts in her organization’s jurisdiction were surveyed a few years back,  ”the number one response to our questions about what they wanted [improved in the camps] was more inside plumbing.”

But the survey was apparently not quite that representative (or opinions have changed somewhat), and there are a lot of Scouts out there who like their camping rugged as it gets, thankyouverymuch.

“The council management has forced the cookie boycott by turning a deaf ear,” said Lynn Richardson, organizer of Trefoil Integrity, an organization working to keep the existing campsites open without renovations, adding “that it is up to each individual Girl Scout to decide what to do. ‘The girls boycotting are the ones who still have hopes that the board will change.’”

“Half of the girls in our troop made the difficult decision to not sell the cookies this year,” said Alisha Trammell, a Girl Scout troop leader in Cleveland Heights.


Trammell says her troop raised about $800 last year through the cookie sale and she realizes this year they will not have those same funds to use for activities.

“We’ve talked to the parents and they are very supportive of what the girls are doing,” she said. “They know we might have to do less this year.”

The majority of the $4 price tag on each box of Girl Scout cookies goes to fund whatever regional Girl Scout sub-organization that a given troop belongs to, in this case the Ohio Girl Scout Council, who Trefoil Integrity is hoping will be pressured by the prospect of lacking funds, but parents and Scouts are well aware that less cookies sold also means less money for their individual troop (about 60¢ on each box goes to the troop that sold it).

(Reuters via Jezebel.)

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  • Anonymous

    Seems like there is plenty of room for compromise, though I will say my GS facilities were constantly being upgraded because there were so many girls/parents who were terrified of, you know, actual camping. There is a line when camping just becomes “sitting in a rather big backyard” when it is over-upgraded.

  • curiositykt

    We always complained about the facilities in our girl scout camp, I would have preferred peeing outside to using the really gross pit latrine they offered. Seriously, in the winter – freezing cold metal seat that I was always afraid I’d stick to, in the summer – OPEN PIT LATRINE. Full of bugs and such flying around, so gross! Every year we’d write on our surveys, please replace with composting toilets! (which I think they finally did in the early 2000s) 

    On the other hand real camping and digging our own bathroom would have been perfectly fine. 

  • Terence Ng

    Busy day for the Girl Scouts. One girl scout is reportedly protesting the Girl Scouts because she feels that allowing trans girls to join the organization threatens her safety:

    Thankfully, earlier, the Girl Scouts had stated that all girls, trans or cis, are welcome. With the exception of that one girl scout, I’m admiring the Girl Scouts and the scouts themselves more and more.

  • Francesca M

    All I would have preferred when I was in Girl Scout camp was if these girls actually cleaned up after themselves. I didn’t need more plumbing, just clean. Also the hike to the bathroom in wyoming was hell.

  • Anna B

    I commend them for their conviction, however, I am a complete camping sissy. I would very much prefer to have a bathroom. Anywhere. I know, because I’ve gone camping rugged and boy did I hate it.

  • Gina

    When I was a girl scout, the only dedicated girl scout camping site my troop used had cabins and cots… and latrines with the biggest spiders I have ever seen in my entire life. My sister, on the other hand, had an actual cabin. With a full on bathroom and kitchen. Seriously, her troop made cookies. 
    So I’m seriously impressed that these girls are saying no to indoor plumbing. And are sticking to their guns. 

  • Matt Peters

    Girls Scouts should be careful. Keebler’s got someone on the inside:

  • TKS

    I was in Boy Scouts and we had those same open pit latrines.  I wasn’t afraid I would stick to the seat, but I did play a game called, “aim for the giant spider in the bowl before it jumps out and attacks you first.”

  • Ashley B

    I’m a huge fan of rugged camping. When I was in Girl Scouts I was so angry that “camping” meant going to this big open area with electricity run to each “tent-site” and barbecue pits instead of campfires. Honestly I still did my business in the woods for total fear of the DISGUSTING bathroom facilities and their many 6-8 legged inhabitants. I’ll take my chances in the woods. At least there they have plenty of space to crawl about that doesn’t involve “on me”.

  • Anonymous

    I was a Girl Scout in Northeast Ohio, and the main reason I quit, was my troop never went camping. There was a lodge thing the troops in the area went to, where we pretty much just had a giant slumber party on the floor of a climate controlled building with electricity, not so much as sleeping out in a tent. The biggest camping experience was a night we spent sleeping on one of the girl’s giant trampolines in her back yard. This was out in the country too, there were woods everywhere. So, for the girls who want more rugged camping conditions, I feel your pain, and support you, completely, because not camping sucked. (We did do an overnight in COSI once, which was awesome not really camping, overnight in a science museum).

  • Anonymous

    “Also the hike to the bathroom in wyoming was hell.”

    Yeah, well thats what you get for going camping in Florida …

  • Shawna Chesser

    My mom (who 25 years ago was my scout leader) and I and our troop had these issues back when I was in scouts and was why we all quit.  My dad was a eagle scout leader….so mom and I were totally into actual camping and actual survival skills.  When we were told by our council that we weren’t allowed to go on camping trips – and the only outside activity were would earn credits for were “nature” walks where we only collected item to “make a collage.”  it’s sad that 25 years later that is still the case :-(

  • Anonymous

    I’m also a Girl Scout (Junior) drop out. I joined in…5th grade? And quit after only a few months. I got sick of sitting in a church basement making crafts and singing songs while my Boy Scout brothers were off in the woods. The best time I remember in Girl Scouts was when we were making these paintings where you use a straw to blow paint around on paper to make cool designs….it was fun because we all got dizzy/high from blowing through the straw nonstop.

     I finally quit after our first “camping” trip….We went to the Boston Museum of Science (yes, cool! but still…) and “camped” inside one of the rooms. Meanwhile, my brother went up to the Allagash (northern part of Maine) where they made snow igloos to sleep in. WTF?

    As an adult now, I recently contacted the Girl Scouts to see about becoming a troop leader or something (maybe to make sure local girls were out in the woods, not inside embroidering)….Turns out, you have to JOIN the Girl Scouts and pay dues in order to be a volunteer? WTF, again!

  • Alex T

    I’m glad they’re doing this. The only type of camping we even got close to was having a sleepover in the church where we normally held meetings. That and one time we went to the zoo. Although neither can hardly be considered “roughing it” because we stayed within the city limits at all times.

  • Anonymous

    If it makes you feel better, I was an active scout until the early 2000′s (college happened but I’m still a lifetime member) and my troop didn’t just do actual camping, but kayaking, horse back riding, back packing, orienteering, and many other “outdoorsy” activities. 
    I think now it really depends on your troop mates and leader want to do. 

  • Anonymous

    This was my experience in GS, too. I quit by 4th grade and later went camping a bunch with my brothers’ BSA troop, as my mother was away taking care of her parents and my Dad was the Scout Master. That was a lot more fun for me, if a bit lonely. 

    I totally appreciate that modern girl scouts do plenty of awesome things that aren’t camping (like job shadowing, and volunteering), but isn’t a little bit of the rough outdoors right there in the name?

  • Anonymous

    I wish the Pawnee Goddesses were a real thing!  They wouldn’t need bathroom facilities either.  Plus they’d have Puppy Parties…

  • Emily Hill

    I remember the girl scouts I didn’t get to go camping because my mom kept me home after I drank too much grape juice and threw up thus to my  idiot mother that meant I had a fever which I did not

  • Francesca M

    Camping in Florida involved Mud Hikes.

  • Amber Brandenburg

    I was lucky that out of the four leaders I had two of them weren’t complete crud.  My first leader had us camp out in her backyard when we were younger…BUT we were required to dig the hole and pee out there and then later we filled it in all propper…but they also had two acres of land to play with in their back yard.  We cooked outside and everything.  I think we went inside once that weekend because it was raining hard enough to take down our tents.  We earned every single badge up till juniors when people started to get to middle school.  She was great and if we couldn’t do it at her house she found somewhere we could.  My second leader just helped us with girl things and we never did anything.  The girls were afraid of ants….oh and the thought of not being able to have cell signal TERRIFIED them.  My third leader was crud as well…the whole crafts in a church thing…my last leader was great though. Her husband had a Boy Scout troop and we had cook offs and camp outs together…with distance of course..  We even made our own soap box derby cars and raced them in the church parking lot.  So it really does depend on how lame or fantastically amazing your leader is…I support these girls…lets teach independence and survival skills.  That’s what it was all supposed to be about in the first place. 

  • Elizabeth J Loftus

    yea, the girl-scouts have changed so much since when I was in girl-scouts, but i would opt for the out-house though…

  • Anonymous

    As a troop leader, I can tell you that the pushback from moms of daughters is amazingly negative when it comes to doing anything outdoors. If the girls can’t ride in cars with drivers and friends in the cars designated by their moms, the girls don’t go on the field trips. What a waste of time organizing events for such lame parents and kids. 

  • Elliander Eldridge

    When I was in the Boy Scouts we would sell chocolate bars at 1.00 each. 60 cents per bar went to activities. The troop would be delivered boxes of 40 chocolate bars that any non-profit organization can order. These Girl Scouts should call Nestle and/or Hershey and order their chocolate bars and sell them instead. That would have a MUCH bigger impact and would not prevent the girls from activities. (which I would hope includes camping. I have seen girl scouts that never get to go camping at all.)