So at $4 a box, you can do the math on how much the troops gets.
I thought nothing of it at the time, but later started wondering what would happen to that $2. Naturally it would belong to the individual troop and council, but there are glaring alternatives. I considered possible scenarios and found that some of them (all of them, really) touched on morality, role modeling, and parenting in general. Consider these potential comments by the father to his Girl Scout daughter:
a. "That was nice of him, honey. We'll turn that in with the rest of the money you collect."
b. "That was nice of him."
c. (Silence; nothing.)
d. "Well, now. What do you think we should do with that money?"
e. "You can keep that money for yourself, you know. I think he was just thanking you for all the work you have to put in selling the cookies. I don't think he even intended it to go to the troop."
f. "You could just keep that money for yourself."
g. "You should just keep that money for yourself; no one will know about it. And don't tell anyone."
h. "Give me that. No one will know about it. And for God's sake, don't tell anyone."
OPINION: Killing the competition isn’t the government’s job.
Note that b, d, and f are short and only d is interrogative; they leave the next step to the daughter. They place her in a position to decide, based on previous upbringing (nurture) and her inherent sense of right and wrong (nature), what she should do. Dad may have some idea what he wants or expects of her, but we don’t know what that is. He may even be, consciously or unconsciously, testing her a bit.
But I have faith in the goodness of this new new generation in general, and certainly the Girl Scouts in particular. And those Thin Mints were great.
David Shumway is one of our regular community contributors.