Free-Range Kids

Do Teenage Girl Scouts Really Require Adult Supervision While Selling Cookies?

And we wonder why college students are so fearful and fragile.


Girl Scouts

At first I read these official Girl Scout Safety Tips as saying girls between the ages of 6 and 12 must be supervised by an adult while they sell cookies door to door. But that's not what it says: the site recommends adult supervision for girls in grades 6 through 12. 

According to Tip #4: 

Adults must accompany Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors when they are taking orders, selling, or delivering product. Girls grades 6–12 must be supervised by an adult when selling door-to-door and must never sell alone. Adults should be present at a cookie booth in any public place at all times. 

A high school senior in the company of another high school senior is not considered ready to knock on a neighbor's door, or even stand outside the local supermarket selling cookies? Really? 

I thought maybe this was a typo, as elsewhere the rules say that girls must never sell at night unless accompanied by an adult. This seemed to suggest that sometimes, in the protective light of day, they can sell without an adult. But then I found another official Scout site that reiterated even Girl Scout "Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors" (middle-through-high school age girls) can't sell door to door without an adult. 

And we wonder why college kids seem so fragile as of late. Could it be because we officially treat them like babies right up until the day they arrived on campus? It's like expecting a person who has worn socks and shoes his entire life to walk barefoot through the woods. 

The idea that selling cookies this way builds the skills "essential to leadership, success, and life" seems woefully delusional. We are confusing young people into thinking they are always threatened unless there's a grown-up keeping the terrifying world at bay.