Friday, September 8, 2017
Can Samoas-flavored pina colada mix be far behind?
Boys Scouts have an oath. Girl Scouts have a promise. As both organizations were forged more than a century ago—Boy Scouts in 1910, Girl Scouts, two years later—it is not surprising that a fine mist of Victorian notions about youth clings to both groups, despite their sometimes frantic efforts to stay current.
The Boy Scouts, for instance, vow to stay "morally straight" and obey a law demanding they remain "clean." The girls' morality, meanwhile, is assumed, as is their cleanliness. No vows necessary. The boys are, in a subtle way, being warned away from traps that boys are expected to be tempted by, if not fall into. The girls, well, not so much an issue. Rude to even mention, really. They're girls. The "good" is implied.
That's why the Boy Scouts' gradual transformation into a hate group was so jarring. They were supposed to be moral, while being blinded to what morality now meant, thanks to the shrinking in significance of what you do with other people and an increase in what you do to them.
Girl Scouts, well, they sold cookies. Who doesn't love cookies?
Yet, despite this chasm in pretensions to morality, one still has high moral expectations for Girl Scouts, perhaps even more than the Boy Scouts, since they didn't have to struggle for decades deciding which kind of kid to bar at the door. Girls who liked girls, well ... let's just say, years before the military initiated "Don't Ask/ Don't Tell" the Girl Scouts were already there. You're a girl? Great, start making potholders.
So I was a little disappointed to see this box of Girl Scouts Thin Mints breakfast cereal at the Evanston Jewel Thursday night. Really? Everyone has a bottom line, and brand extension is all the thing, but cookies for breakfast? The Girl Scouts of America is not only endorsing cookies for breakfast, but making a buck in the process? Does that "make the world a better place," to quote one of the imperatives from the Girl Scout Law. Does that help the girls who snarf it back be "strong"? Is the girl who breakfasts on Thin Mints really, truly, "Doing her best?"
I imagine General Mills didn't steal the Thin Mints brand, but are sharing their cut with the Girl Scouts. So the organization gets paid something. But what are the Girl Scouts giving up in return? I have to wonder whether they thought this through. I'm all for marijuana legalization, but somehow, when the Girl Scouts offer a merit badge in cannabis cultivation, it will still be a sad day. If the Girl Scouts don't take their own program seriously, who will?