It's tough all over, even for 8-year-old entrepreneurs! According to the NY Times, North Carolina Girl Scout Wild Freeborn (yes, that is her name) is in trouble for posting a video of herself saying, "Buy cookies! And they're yummy!" on YouTube. Her mistake, according to GS, was posting an online order form, which would give her an unfair advantage over other girls in the area competing for cookie dollars.
Interestingly, the Scouts spokesperson initially cited personal danger as the reason the organization forbids using the Web for sales, and yet, what could be more dangerous than meeting strangers in an empty apartment hallway? Growing up in Sunnyside, Queens, I visited a couple of apartment buildings in addition to the rows of single-family houses. I found some of those apartment encounters alarming, to say the least.
I think Freeborn was smart and enterprising, and exhibited a number of skills--entrepreneurship, independence, creativity--you're supposed to learn by going door to door selling cookies, a task I was spectacularly unsuited for. My aunt told me to visit a bunch of her friends in the neighborhood ("tell them you're my niece!" she said, "and if they open the door a little, stick your foot in so they can't close it till they buy cookies!") and even with family-generated leads and pep talks I still hated cold-cookie-calling. If there had been a way to stick up a sign or a video of myself saying, "Buy these great cookies but don't make me ask you face to face to do it," I would have done it in a heartbeat. Here's hoping the GSA changes their policy and joins the 21st century.